Thursday, 18 December 2008

UlsterHeritage website - All Things Ulster

Whilst I work as a Scottish based genealogist, and mainly on Scottish research, my home town is actually Carrickfergus, in the easternmost Ulster county of Antrim. As I am sure anyone from Northern Ireland will understand, it's an origin that I am in parts fiercely proud of, as much as I am of my Scottish heritage, and in other parts, deeply ashamed. My mum always talks about people who 'could make two stones fight', and she could easily have been talking about the divided communities in Ulster. But this is also the land that came up with the 'Ulster fry', Bushmills whiskey and a quair bit of craic along the way! Clearly the province was once touched by the Lord God himself - it's just such a pity that we spent so long arguing about which community he visited first! Thankfully, that's all joining the history books at long last.

It is rare to come across a website on Ulster that is not tribalistic in one way or another, but gets right through to the core on the province's identity without siding with any one culture or political slant. I was e-mailed tonight by an American gent called Barry McCain, who runs such a website of interest to those with Ulster ancestry, whether that be Ulster Scots (Scotch Irish), English or Gaelic Irish. The UlsterHeritage website at carries posts in Irish, Ulster Scots and English, on matters of local interest and history, as well as various essays and other material in an online magazine, and more. The site also hosts the Ulster Heritage DNA project, which aims to provide ancestral information based on research into various Y chromosome DNA studies.

This is a site as much for those in Ulster today as it is for those in her diaspora, wherever they are in the world. Highly recommended - and a huge thanks to Barra for his efforts.

Scotland's Greatest Story
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