So many people from Appalachia share a similar heritage. Both my husband and myself, along with many others from this area are primarily of Scottish, Irish, German and Native American descent. My husband's ancestory includes French and English as well. But looking at him, you can't deny the Scottish/Irish heritage that is there. It is said that three Coleman brothers came into Appalachia orginally and helped settle and progeninate the entire Coleman population here. If that is so, they surely took well the job of extending the Coleman name, because you can't throw a rock around here and not hit a Coleman. Once, while waiting to be seated at a local restaurant, the hostess called three parties of Colemans before it was actually our turn. I think I heard two more being called while we were dining. They seem to be everywhere!
This is an ode to the heart and spirit of our Scots/Irish Ancestors. This is an ode to my husband, a strong man of faith and family who loves adventure just like his ancestors. He plays hard, loves strong, and prays daily. There is no denying the Scottish blood that runs in his veins. This is for him. But it is truly the story of all of us here in Appalachia. If you are Appalachian...this is YOUR story too...
Our Scottish ancestors were what became known as "Ulster Scots"...those who relocated from Scotland to Ulster in Northern Ireland and then intermarried with the Irish and later came to America. We are also referred to as "Scots-Irish".
We came over the Atlantic before the Declaration of Independence was even thought of. We left our homes and our families. Said goodbye to parents we would never see again. Left a land that was all we knew. We were adventurers. We faced the unknown for a dream that we held in our hearts. For us, the end of the rainbow was always just over the next hill. We were instrumental in carving a new nation out of the rock and unforgiving landscapes we found.
We landed on the shores of North Carolina and spread out across the land and spilled over the mountains of Virginia into the Shenandoah Valley and pushed on westward into the Appalachian mountains of what would become West Virginia and Kentucky. I imagine that seeing the Appalachian mountains for the first time may have faintly reminded us of our highland homes across the sea. We married native indian daughters and together, our families helped build the roads, the towns the forts, and the railroads that would forge a new nation. We are your presidents, your statesmen, your war heros, your wagon builders, your blacksmiths, your teachers, ...your friends. We are Scotsmen.
To begin to understand the trek of the Scotsman from his homeland in Ulster, Ireland towhat would become America, please take about ten minutes to enjoy this video on Ulster Scotts, set to music. You won't regret it, I promise.
To view the link: Click on the link to open. Or, open a new browser window and Cut and paste into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05z5ZXKHKbY