Friday, 31 December 2010

Auld Lang Syne

The Kilt In Ireland

Is the kilt Irish…. was the kilt ever worn in Ireland? The answer to this question is a very simple yes, of course, but even simple answers need some explanation. The kilt comes in two forms, the filleadh beag and the filleadh mór. The wearing of kilts came into fashion in the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland sometime during the late 1500s. Prior to the popularsation of the kilt most Hebrideans and Highlanders dressed identical to the native Irish in a léine and short jacket.

Liam Neeson portraying Rob Roy wearing the large kilt, of filleadh mór

Why the kilt came into fashion can only be speculated on, perhaps it was the changing climate, which was growing colder in the late 1500s and the full kilt offered warmth, or perhaps it was improved small looms that could produce more woolen cloth, or perhaps just a fashion trend indigenous to the Gaels of Scotland. For whatever reason, the kilt became popular and fashionable among Gaels in certain parts of Scotland and would be brought to Ireland by Scottish Gaels that settled there in the late 1500s.

The filleadh mór is comprised of a very long piece of material called a plaid, which is belted in the middle. The upper part could be arranged in various ways depending upon the temperature of the day. The part below the belt was folded in the back to make pleats and came down to the knees.

There is a pseudo history about the creation of the smaller kilt, the filleadh beag, which is the form of kilt still very much in use today. At some point prior to 1690s, Gaelic tailors began to cut the filleadh mór in half. It was an organic fashion development within the Scottish Gaelic community. The upper part became a separate plaid and the lower part had the folds sown into it. This way the lower half, the kilt, could be worn separately from the plaid.

Sean Connery wearing the small kilt, or filleadh beag

A false story has long circulated about the creation of the small kilt that maintained two English tailors invented this form in 1727. However, in Gaelic oral history it was known that the small kilt predates this time. The English creation myth persisted in some circles until writer Clifford Smyth produced an illustration of the small kilt in use in 1690 and put an end to the pseudo history of the small kilt.

18th Century illustration on how to wear the kilt

In Ireland the full kilt and small kilt were worn in those areas settled by Highland and Hebridean Gaels. There are eyewitness descriptions of the kilt being worn as early as the 1590s in Ulster. Originally it was worn in the Redshank communities in east Donegal, northwest Tyrone, and north Antrim. Its popularity has waxed and waned over the years, but more and more the small kilt can be seen in Ireland worn at weddings and parties, by hill walkers, and sportsmen. This growing popularity of this very old Gaelic garment is natural and part of the heritage of Ulster.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Kist O Wurds Program Interview

William Rouston (left) and Barry R McCain

The Ulster Heritage Project's Barry R McCain is interviewed by Dr William Roulston in this week's edition of the Kist o Wurds program on BBC Northern Ireland. To listen on line go to this link : A Kist O Wurds

The broadcast can also be heard via radio in Northern Ireland and Ireland; broadcast schedule is:

  1. Wed 15 Dec 2010
  2. Wed 15 Dec 2010

The program will also feature an interview with small pipe player Alan Wade and poet Willie Laverty.

Historian, Barry McCain from Oxford, Mississippi has had a life-long passion for tracing his Ulster-Scots roots – he started when he was 12! He talks to Dr William Roulston of Belfast’s Ulster Historical Foundation - who is also a distant relative! Barry uses DNA testing at a laboratory in Houston, Texas. He has traced relatives from Ireland and in other parts of the USA – including Senator John McCain - and has uncovered family roots as far back as the early 17th century in Scotland.

Musician Alan Wade specializes in playing the Scottish Small Pipes or as they are also called, Scottish Lowland Pipes. He lives in Stranocum outside Ballymoney and fell in love with these small, beautiful pipes some years ago. His pipes were made in Scotland to his own specifications.

Poet, Willie Laverty lives in Ballymoney and describes his poetry as just what he thinks of at any given moment. It’s unusual yet heartfelt - and his own melodic voice gives it an authentic sound.

Friday, 3 December 2010

New England Scots-Irish Research Project

21st Century Scotch-Irish in Northeastern U.S.

Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Roe. I am a teacher at Seattle Pacific University and a research fellow at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. I also have Scotch-Irish roots in the eastern/northeastern U.S. With Clan Crawford ties in Scotland, my family lived in County Armagh, Ireland, and then immigrated to Philadelphia in the middle 1800’s. For the past decade or so, I have been doing research on present day Scotch-Irish in the U.S.; and I am currently beginning the fourth in a series of studies.

This new study is designed to “listen” to personal and family stories of Northeastern Scotch-Irish. I am looking for men and women, 18 years of age or older, to participate who are (1) of Scotch-Irish ancestry, (2) consider themselves to be Scotch-Irish, (3) are interested in their Scotch-Irish history and family stories, and (4) are willing to describe their experiences—to be storytellers in fine Scotch-Irish tradition.

Participants will be responding in writing to a series of questions about their family roots and their present day activities, opinions and identity as Scotch-Irish. Confidentiality, of course, will be maintained. The entire experience should take no more than one hour, although all are encouraged to write in as much detail as possible, so some may decide to spend more than an hour on their responses. Feedback from past participants indicates that most enjoyed describing their Scotch-Irish roots, and so our expectation is that this study too will be a motivating and enjoyable experience for all.

In my previous studies, I found that the Scotch-Irish participants were primarily locating their family histories and traditions in the South. It will be an important contribution to understanding Scotch-Irish identity and to the wider literature on the Scotch-Irish to have a strong contingent of participants whose roots are in the Northeast.

Please contact me at the email address, mailing address, or phone number below.

Thank you. Michael

Michael D. Roe, Ph.D.

Dean and Professor of Psychology

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle, WA 98119 U.S.A.

Phone: (206) 281-2252

Fax: (206) 281-2695


IRB #091002001R. Exp date: 8 June 2011

Mark Thompson's Ulster Scots Verse

Here are two quick poems I wrote tonight (when I should have been doing real work) and when panged with guilt looking at the iPod I hardly ever use any more. These are in my best pigeon Ulster-Scots, and inspired by Gary Blair, who was rightly complaining that Ulster-Scots has more to it than prootas and kye. (potatoes and cows)

Address to an iPod, version 1

Fair fa' yer fancy, shiny face
Chief gadget o the modern race
Aboon them a' yer thumpin' bass
Through white ear plugs
The status symbol o' the tasteful
An the smug

(that was with apologies to Robert Burns)

Address to an iPod, version 2

A langed tae buy an iPod
For aa ma favourite sangs
A wud pit aboot ten thoosant on't
Tae listen a' year lang

A seen ither fowk wi iPods
So A wanted yin masel
Wi wee white wires hanging fae mae lugs
Amang the sproots o' hair

Oh hoo A yearned for an iPod
A thocht A wus missin' oot
Wi' adverts on the television
iPod fowk aa jumpin' aboot

So A bocht masel an iPod
It wasnae very big
A cud pit it in ma pokit
Wi room for 80 gigs

Boys A loved ma new wee iPod
It haed a colour screen
It wus wee an black an shiny
An powerfu' on the een

Admirin' ma new iPod
A thocht A wus some boy
A footer't at it, och, for oors!
It wus my pride an joy

But, the coast o' ma new iPod
Weel it was far fae chape
Three hunner poun' A pairted wi'
Tae be redd o' CDs an' tapes

So for weeks A fill't ma iPod
Wi' aa' o my CDs
A burnt an burnt and fill't it
Tae the gills wi MP3s

But efter weeks an' weeks o' wantin'
It wusnae lang afore
A loast the notion o' ma iPod
Noo it sits here, getherin' stour

Noo A niver luk near ma iPod
A jist dinnae hae the time
Weel thon wus yin dear Aipple!
Three hunner poun'? A wusnae wise!

Burns he wrote o' the haggis
An Orr o' prootas an hills
But siccan a waste o' money!
O' gadgets A hae had ma fill

Yinst we jist haed grapes and prootas
Noo Ulster-Scots hae iPods forbye
But we irnae ony mair content
For we hinnae ony time.

Ulster History & Genealogy Summer School

The Ulster History & Genealogy Summer School, a joint project between the Ulster Historical Foundation and the University of Ulster. The summer school will run from the 26th of June to the 2nd of July 2011.

The Summer School is run in partnership with the University of Ulster. Participants will be able to register as part time students of the University for the duration of the school. This will allow access to the University’s library, computer suite and also its extensive range of electronic resources.

For details and rates visit: Ulster History & Genealogy Summer School

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Year End Price Reduction on DNA Test!

Starting tonight, and until December 31st, we will reduce the price of our YDNA37, YDNA67, mtDNAPlus, and Family Finder tests.

Price for NEW KITS: Regular Price Promotional Price
YDNA37 $149 $119
YDNA67 $239 $199
mtDNAPlus $159 $129
Family Finder $289 $249
Price for UPGRADE:
Family Finder $289 $229

Orders must be in and paid for by Dec. 31, 2010, to receive this offer.

IMPORTANT: since this promotion will run through the month of December, we encourage you to spread the word starting now, as the natural tendency is for people to order at the last minute, and we will not extend it beyond 12/31/2010.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to the sustained growth of the Family Tree DNA matching database.

To Join the Ulster Heritage DNA Project use this link: ULSTER HERITAGE

Cré na Cille on DVD

A DVD of Cré na Cille (Graveyard Clay), the feature film adaptation of Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s celebrated Irish language novel, has been released by ROSG.
The DVD, which has the option of no subtitles or subtitles in Irish, English, French, Spanish, German and Chinese, is now available to buy from selected retailers and websites.
Directed by Robert Quinn and produced by Ciaran Ó Cofaigh for ROSG, a Conamara based film and television production company, Cré na Cille (Graveyard Clay) is a darkly-humorous tale of an intense jealousy and hatred between two sisters which worsens with age and continues into the afterlife. Set in the rugged Conamara landscape, Cré na Cille reaches out to the Irish diaspora and exposes images of Ireland in a time gone by and culture and traditions which will be all too familiar to the millions of Irish at home and abroad.
According to producer, Ciarán Ó Cofaigh, “Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s novel is the most important contemporary literary piece of work written in the Irish/Gaelic language. Our film adaptation accentuates the comedic element of this fantastic piece of work and makes it much more accessible to both Irish and non-Irish speaking audiences. The availability of this DVD will expose both Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s work and the Irish language to a much wider audience.”
The DVD is formatted for PAL an NTSC Regions so is suitable for playing in all countries / regions. We would appreciate it if you could share this.

Tá an scannán lán-fhada Gaeilge Cré na Cille, leagan d’úrscéal iomráiteach Mháirtín Uí Chadhain, ar fáil le ceannach ar DVD.
Tá an DVD ar fáil le rogha gan fotheidil nó le fotheideal i nGaeilge, Béarla, Fraincís, Spáinis, Gearmanaís agus Sínis, agus insíonn sé an scéal faoin éad is faoin bhfuath atá ag beirt deirfiúracha dá chéile. Coimhlint a théann in olcas le haois, agus a leantar de fiú san athshaol.
Stiúrtha ag Robert Quinn agus léirithe ag Ciarán Ó Cofaigh do ROSG, comhlacht léirithe scannáin is teilifíse, insíonn sé an scéal faoin éad is faoin bhfuath atá ag beirt deirfiúracha dá chéile. Coimhlint a théann in olcas le haois, agus a leantar de fiú san athshaol.
Tá liosta de na suíomhanna agus siopaí ina bhfuil sé ar fáil anseo

Dúirt Ciarán Ó Cofaigh, léiritheoir Cré an Cille:
‘Aithnítear Cré na Cille mar phríomh-úrscéal comhaimseartha na Gaeilge. Leagann an athchóiriú scannáin béim ar eilimintí grinn an mhórshaothair seo agus tabharfaidh an DVD deis do lucht féachana leathan sult a bhaint as, in Éirinn agus thar lear. Níl aon dabht orainn ach go mbainfidh an lucht féachana taitneamh as an scannán, bíodh Gaeilge acu nó ná bíodh agus tá muid an bhródúil as athchóiriú ar an úrscéal iomráiteach seo a chuir os comhair lucht féachana níos leithne’.
Tá formáid an DVD déanta do PAL agus NTSC, mar sin tá sé oiriúnach do chuil tír / réigiúin. Bheimis buíoch dá bhféadfá seo a scaipeadh.
Le gach dea-mhéin,
Julianne Ní Chonchobhair
+44 7766555891

Ulster Scot Trail News

(from the Belfast Telegraph 26 November 2010)

Ards has been showcasing its Ulster Scots influences and history in a ‘test tour’ of a potential Ulster Scots Trail.

More than 20 tourism advisors experienced the ‘Fair Fa’Ye tae the Airds’ coach trip which included a talk from a native Ulster Scots speaker and a guided walking tour of Donaghadee, where characters along the route brought the town’s history to life.

The trip was organised and hosted by Ards Tourist Information Centre, one of only a handful of centres to be selected by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) to promote the best that an area has to offer.

“We were delighted not only to be chosen again as a showcase destination, but also to have the opportunity to test some of the elements which we hope to develop further into an Ulster Scots Trail,” said Judith Francey, Tourist Information Centre Advisor. “The day was a great success and helped raise awareness, not just of our unique history, but of the attractions and beauty of the Ards in general. Our guests enjoyed themselves and left much more knowledgeable about this area.”

Read more:

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Atlantic Zone Celts

Ancient Britain and the Atlantic Zone (Ireland, Armorica, and the Iberian Peninsula)

The research initiative recognizes a potential paradigm shift in Celtic studies. Arguments based in archaeology and genetics have recently been put forward in favour of Celtic origins in the Atlantic Bronze Age rather than the central European territories of the early Hallstatt and La Tène archaeological cultures of the Iron Age. However, a hypothesis of ‘Celticization from the West’ has yet to be fully formulated or tested in detail from the perspective of Celtic and Indo-European historical linguistics. Professor John T. Koch’s| recent research on the Tartessian language of the Early Iron Age in southern Portugal and south-western Spain has now suggested similar preliminary conclusions. In its abundance, diversity, archaism, antiquity, and geographic and cultural remoteness from Hallstatt and La Tène, the Hispano-Celtic linguistic evidence sits more comfortably with a theory of Atlantic Bronze Age Celtic origins than with the established central-European model. Celtic scholars, especially in the English-speaking world, have not yet completely ‘factored in’ this material and its implications. Accordingly, the agenda of the project includes collecting, updating, and resifting evidence of the Bronze and Iron Age (third to first millennia BC) to evaluate the case for emergence of the Celtic subfamily of Indo-European in the west.

Under the leadership of Professor John T. Koch| the research team combines a breadth of multidisciplinary strengths and interests. Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe was Director of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, from 1972 until his retirement in 2008. He has published prodigiously on periods from later prehistory to Roman times in Britain, Armorica, the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Europe generally. Dr Dagmar S. Wodtko| is an Indo-Europeanist with special interests in Celtic and the pre-Roman languages of Spain and Portugal. She has published extensively on Celtiberian, Old Irish, and Proto-Indo-European. Dr Catriona Gibson| is a specialist in the Bronze Age of the western Iberian Peninsula with background in field archaeology in Britain, Portugal, and Turkey. Professor Raimund Karl, Bangor University, was formerly a Research Fellow at the Centre. His research interests and publications deal with the Iron Age in Wales and Austria, Celtic social structure, and the Celtosceptic controversy.

Koch is working in the following subject areas: Tartessian, the Brittonic of the ancient and early medieval periods, and the origins of the Irish language and literary tradition. Co-investigator Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe’s input to the project concerns the Bronze Age in the Atlantic Zone. Professor Raimund Karl is contributing on the Irish Sea Region in the Iron Age to Early Middle Ages. Project publications will also include contributions by external experts in Linguistics, Archaeology, and Genetics. The first of these will be a collaborative volume to be published in 2010, edited by Koch and Cunliffe and supported by a British Academy Grant, which will include the papers presented at the forum ‘Celticization from the West’.

Project Website: Atlantic Zone Celts

Monday, 1 November 2010

Portrush's Graeme McDowell Wins Again

Graeme McDowell was celebrating his third tournament win of the year last night - and with it a place in the world’s top ten for the first time.

The US Open champion's casual aside to a TV camera as he walked off 18 at Valderrama succinctly summed-up the gruelling gauntlet Europe’s Ryder Cup match-clincher had to run yesterday as he claimed his third victory this year and seventh in-all on the European Tour.

“Glad that’s over,” McDowell said with a knowing grin after winning a nail-biting Ulster battle-royal with Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin at the Andalucia Masters by two strokes.

Truer words rarely have been spoken in jest. The going was every bit as brutal at wind-tossed Valderrama yesterday as it had been at Pebble Beach that famous Sunday afternoon in June.

It took all of the Portrush man’s qualities as one of golf’s toughest fighters to carve-out a final round of three-over par 74 and secure a €500,000 winner’s cheque which has thrown Europe’s Race to Dubai wide open with four tournaments to go.

Martin Kaymer, who earned just €33,000 in a five-way tie for 21st place, saw the €995,581 advantage he’d held over McDowell last week shrink to €528,561.

That might sound like a king’s ransom to the average working man but with €16m-plus up for grabs over the next month on Tour, the German will be sweating.

For all the brilliance of his recent hat-trick of wins on Tour, sparked by his US PGA Championship success at Whistling Straits, Kaymer looked jaded at Valderrama.

So don’t be surprised if McDowell bites another big chunk out of Kaymer's lead at this week’s €5m HSBC World Championship of Golf in Shanghai, where the first prize alone will be a whopping €835,000.

Germany’s US PGA Champion needed to win or finish second at Valderrama to leapfrog Tiger Woods to the top of the world rankings — an honour which went instead to Lee Westwood, even though the Englishman rested last weekend.

While Kaymer remains third in the rankings, McDowell leaps three places to a career-high 10th and the Ulsterman goes to Shanghai with his morale sky high after a win he described as “very special. I draw a lot of comparisons Pebble, where I also shot 74 in the final round on a very tough golf course.

“Today was a real war of attrition and it came down to the last man standing,” added the 30-year-old, before paying tribute to Meath’s Damien McGrane and Maybin for hounding him all the way to the finish on a brutally tough afternoon.

“Just four players finished under par this week and three of them were Irish, what does that say?” he exclaimed.

McGrane and Maybin finished tied second on one-under with Soren Kjeldesn, worth €223,710 to each of them. The diminutive Dane, who won the Volvo Masters here in 2008, showed his mettle by posting the equal low round of the final day, a stunning 69.

McGrane wrestled the lead and the initiative from McDowell when he holed out for birdie from a greenside bunker at the daunting par three 15th — but frittered it away on the final three holes.

After an ugly double-bogey six at 16, followed by a bogey six at the intimidating 17th hole, the Kells man needed to sink a sizeable putt for bogey five after pulling his tee shot into the cork oak trees at the last.

“After my good fortune (he modestly didn’t mention his good golf), to hand it away at the end of the day was disappointing,” McGrane sighed after signing for a 72.

Maybin started the final round in a tie for the lead with McDowell and for the second day in succession, he battled back stoutly after bogeys on the opening two holes. The 30-year-old menaced the US Open champion until dropped shots at 17 and 18 left him with a 76 and two strokes shy.

“That’s probably one of the most enjoyable week’s I’ve had on tour,” said the pride of Ballyclare, who has now finished second three times in three years on the European Tour. A win is not far away for this dogged customer.

Maybin has soared to 35th in the Race to Dubai rankings and will be joined at the European showpiece by McDowell (currently 2nd), McIlroy (14th), Padraig Harrington (18th), Darren Clarke (27th), McGrane (32nd), Peter Lawrie (34th).

Shane Lowry is just beyond the pale in 61st but can boost his ranking in Singapore and Hong Kong. He earned €37,300 in a tie for 18th on six-over at Valderrama after yesterday’s 75, the same score posted by Clarke in joint 26th.

(article from the Belfast Telegraph)

Read more:

Friday, 29 October 2010

Belfast Man Locates Time Traveller.


New Issue of Donegal In Touch

Welcome to the Donegal in Touch e-zine. This e-zine is part of the Donegal Diaspora Project. Through this project Donegal is reaching out and connecting with people in all parts of the world who have a connection to or interest in Donegal. This e-zine is sent to people in all parts of the world.

Please feel free to pass this e-zine on to others that you feel might be interested in it. Any views, comments or contributions to the e-zine are very welcome. The latest edition of the e-zine can be viewed or downloaded via the Donegal County Development Board website - using the following link:

For further information on Donegal or on the Donegal Diaspora Project, please contact Maria Ferguson at or Roisin McBride at

Fáilte go ríomhiris Dún na nGall i dTeagmháil. Tá an ríomhiris seo ina pháirt de Thionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall. Tá Dún na nGall ag síneadh amach agus ag nascú le daoine ar fud an domhain a bhfuil gaol nó suim acu leis an chondae. Cuirtear an ríomhiris seo chuig daoine i ngach cearn den domhan.

Seol an ríomhiris seo chuig duine ar bith a mbeadh suim acu ann, le do thoil. Beidh fáilte roimh thuairimí, ráitis nó eolas don ríomhiris. Tá an eagrán is deireannaí don e-iris le fáil le léamh nó íoslodáil ó suíomh idirlín Bord Forbartha Chontae Dhún na nGall - ag an nasc seo a leanas:

Chun tuilleadh eolais ar Chontae Dhún na nGall nó ar Tionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall, dean teagmháil le Maria Nic Fheargusa ag nó le Róisín Nic Giolla Bhríde ag

With kind regards

The Donegal - community in touch / Dún na nGall - pobail i d'teagmháil Publication Team ______________
Roisin McBride

Research Officer
Strategic Policy Unit
Donegal County Council
Tel: +353 74 9172562
Fax: +353 74 9142130

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Revamped museum enjoys visitor boom

the Ulster Museum, the unique lighting was done by a local colour blind gent

This report taken from The Belfast Telegraph, 21 October 2010.

The Ulster Museum has welcomed more than half a million people through its doors in the year since its multimillion-pound renovation.

The attraction has won a string of awards since it reopened in October last year after a £17 million remodelling of the building.

Officials have now revealed that it has been visited by around 625,000 people in the last 12 months, representing a 200% increase in the figures recorded before its dramatic facelift.

Director of National Museums Northern Ireland Tim Cooke said the public reaction to the Ulster Museum had far exceeded expectations.

"We anticipated higher visitor numbers as a result of the rejuvenation but had not predicted a response of this level," he said.

"The refurbishment has allowed us to reach wider and more diverse local, national and international audiences. What has been most encouraging is that many of our visitors are new to museum life, representing all social groups and ages."

The Ulster Museum has won seven major awards including the Museum and Heritage Award for Best Permanent Exhibition and the UK Art Fund Prize, which has been billed as one of the world's most prestigious museum awards.

Mr Cooke added: "Winning major UK awards and partaking in prominent loan programmes such as the recent Downing Street exhibition has all helped raise the museum's profile in an international context."

"It sends out a message that Northern Ireland's cultural assets and our approach to visitor engagement are world class. We have exciting plans for the future to build on our successes and continue to draw visitors to the Ulster Museum."

Read more:

Monday, 25 October 2010

Talk Irish Needs Your Vote

Michelle Gallen - founder of - has been nominated as a Digital Hero for Northern Ireland.

The prize is £5,000 plus free broadband for the winning project. £5,000 will help us create loads more new resources for to help even more people learn Irish.

Please click on this link and vote for Michelle. It's a one click voting system so it should take you only a few seconds!

Please please spread the word and get as many people as you can voting to support their lovely website!

Vótáil ar son - Duaiseanna an Laoich Dhigitigh (Digital Hero awards)

Ainmníodh Michelle Gallen - bunaitheoir - mar Laoch Digiteach do Thuaisceart Éireann.

Gheobhaidh an buaiteoir £5,000 agus leathanbhanda saor in aisce. Cuideoidh £5,000 le foireann Talk Irish a lán acmhainní úra a chruthú don suíomh, acmhainní a chuideoidh le níos mó daoine Gaeilge a fhoghlaim.

Iarrtar ort cliceáil ar le vótáil ar son Michelle - ní ghlacfaidh sé ach 5 soicind!

Agus le do thoil, scaip an scéal agus iarr ar a mhéad daoine agus is féidir vótáil ar son an tsuímh ghalánta seo!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Ulster Scots Radio Program

Frae it wus furst pit oot in 2002, BBC Norlin Airlan's A Kist o Wurds haes bin rinnin lang'r nor onie ither Ulster-Scotch programme on tha wireless. Iverie sennicht we bring ye a kist o sangs an music, crack, rhymes an wittins frae aa roon tha hale kintrae. Sae swutch on Radio Ulster fur a guid lissen - an fin oot mair aboot tha leid, tha heirskip, tha screivins an tha hist'rie o Ulster-Scotch.

Since A Kist o Wurds began in 2002, it has been BBC Northern Ireland's longest-running Ulster-Scots radio programme. Each week we bring you a selection of music, poetry, news and crack from all over the country. Tune into BBC Radio Ulster and find out more about the language, culture, literary traditions and history of Ulster-Scots.

Web Site Link:
A Kist o' Wurds

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Gaelic Language Careers in Ulster

The Buntáiste Breise na Gaeilge Irish language opportunities tour, organised by Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, is well underway with events having taken place in Belfast and Letterkenny in the past two weeks.

These seminars are aimed at second level students, in the senior cycle in schools across the country. During the seminars the extra advantages which the Irish language provides in the workplace are discussed.

To date, An Chomhdháil has held these seminars in Killarney, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Castlebar, Belfast and Letterkenny.

The speakers are inspirational, aspirational and motivational, and their words encourage students to consider Irish as a career option.

Among the speakers in Letterkenny were Caoimhín Ó Casaide, a Donegal footballing hero, and teacher. Loretta Ní Churraighín from Gleann Cholm Cille, spoke about her work as an executive with Oireachtas na Gaeilge, while Caitlín Uí Chlochláin discussed her career to date, and her role as an Irish language coordinator with Donegal County Council.

RTÉ and TG4 journalist, Caoimhe Ní Chonchoille spoke of the many opportunities which the Irish language has afforded her, and said that she would not have carved out the same career path without Irish. Caoimhe spoke to the 400 students about her time at NUI Galway, where she completed an Arts degree in English and Irish, as well as a masters degree in Modern Irish. Caoimhe also completed a postgraduate diploma in Media Studies, with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.

As part of the seminar, questions from the students were welcomed, which gave rise to lively debate about the future of the language, Gaeltacht status, Irish as a compulsory subject, Irish at third level, and the Government’s support for the language.

Representatives from third level institutions were on hand with exhibition stands, to inform students of the various Irish language courses available to them after they leave school.

In November, An Chomhdháil will host Buntáiste Breise na Gaeilge seminars in Tullamore, and Dublin. To register your school for either of the upcoming events, please contact Brígíd on 01 679 4780.

Check out our video of Buntáiste Breise na Gaeilge in Letterkenny on Youtube here.

Mayoress of Donegal To Speak in Boston

Cora Harvey, Mayoress of Donegal will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Irish Echo Golden Bridge Awards, which will be held in the Marriott Copley Place Hotel on the 3rd November. The Mayor will be accompanied by Clr Dessie Larkin, Chairperson of Donegal County Development Board.

Mr Henry McGarvey, Managing Director of Pramerica, will be a recipient of one of the Irish Echo Golden Bridge Awards for 2010, which promotes Irish-American Partnership. This award is in recognition of the substantial contribution made by Pramerica to the economy of Donegal and the North West since establishing in Letterkenny in 2000.

Also among the Honorees will be Rep Charles Murphy Chair Of The Ways and Means Committee in the Massachusetts State House and former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.

If you would like to attend the Irish Echo Golden Bridge Awards or would like some further information on the awards, please contact Ms Madeline O'Boyle by email at or Tel: +1 212-482-4818

Roisin McBride Strategic Policy Unit
Donegal County Council
Tel: +353 74 9172562
Fax: +353 74 9142130

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Stone Mountain Highland Games

Canadian Piper Andrew McCain

A chance to have Haggis with your grits in October.

October 15-17, 2010
Stone Mountain Park, Georgia

Established 38 years ago, the Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish Festival is one of the oldest international festivals to take place in the Metro Atlanta area. It is very popular in the community and routinely draws participants from all over the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom (including Scotland, Ireland and England), Australia, and other parts of the world.

Stone Mountain Highland Games is an all-volunteer organization created to preserve and foster Georgia's Scottish heritage and ties within our local community. Sponsored by Stone Mountain Highland Games, inc, a nonprofit Georgia corporation, all proceeds from the annual festival events are used to benefit worthwhile Scottish related activities and organizations within the Atlanta region. For further details contact: Stone Mountain Highland Games.

Canada's Premiere Celtic Magazine

Celtic Life is Canada's premiere Celtic magazine. Articles on Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and other Celtic areas of the Atlantic are featured in the magazine. It is highly recommended. To view their on line version and to inquire about subscribing follow this link:

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

New Albany Mississippi Festival

Hands- on history will be in full swing this week as the 9th annual Heritage Pioneer Days will be held September 17-18 in New Albany at the Union County Heritage Museum, 114 Cleveland St. in New Albany.

Manpower, mule power, making do, shaped note singing, and the ingenuity of the rural heritage of Union County will be live and in person and on exhibit.

Shelling corn, washing clothes with a rub board, visiting a country store, building a log cabin, making rope, churning butter are a few of the opportunities that children will experience at Heritage Pioneer Days.

Old time toys and corn shuck doll making were once the only distractions from chores for children. Today’s youngsters will get to play and make. This year on Saturday there will be contests and trophies to win for sack racing, egg and spoon race, watermelon seed spitting, pea shelling and other such down home fun. Schedule for the Saturday contests is Pea Thumping – 10 a.m.; Pea Shelling – 10:30; Watermelon Seed Spitting – 11:30; Corn Shelling – 12 noon; Sack Races – 12:30; Egg and Spoon Race – 1 p.m.

Shaped Note Singing School will be held at 11 by singing master Stanley Wise.

For more information call 662-538-0014 or go to the website

Monday, 13 September 2010

Portbraddan on White Park Bay

from the talented camera of Nevin Taggart

Ulster Maternal DNA Test Sale

Last fall Family Tree DNA offered a significant discount for anyone who wanted to order the Full mtDNA sequence.

The response was overwhelming, and, as in prior Full mtDNA sales, we crushed the lab. Despite the fact that we had more lab technicians and more equipment, the volume was far above what we could reasonable handle. As we have now caught up with the huge backlog, we are prepared to offer the Full mtDNA test again at a promotional price, but with lessons learned!

We will offer this test at discount for a very limited amount of time, and we will limit the number of orders to 500 on a first come, first serve basis. Payment must be made by credit card at the time of the order. The sale will begin late this evening and once we have sold 500 tests we will end this ‘quiet’ sale and return prices to the current level.

By limiting the quantity of this promotion, we expect results to be posted within 6 weeks.

We don’t have a way to show how many have been ordered, so price will be your notice.

mtFull Sequence (Add-on only) Was $289 Now $249
HVR1 to Mega Was $269 Now $219
HVR2 to Mega Was $239 Now $189

To take advatage of the sale contact: Ulster Heritage

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ulster Gaelic Voices

Ulster Gaelic Voices presents a unique record of 1930s native speakers from the lost Gaeltachtaí
of Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Louth and Tyrone, as well as recordings of renowned storytellers from the Donegal Gaeltacht. The recordings provide a fascinating insight into the rich linguistic and cultural heritage of another day - its folklore, myth, legend and song. Each recording is accompanied by a transcription, an English translation and a brief introduction.

Now available in An Ceathrú Póilí, An Chultúrlann and Queen's University Bookshop.
Ulster Gaelic Voices is available on and Litrí
(check both for the best bargain!)

Ulster Gaelic Voices, Bailiúchán Doegen 1931, Róise Ní Bhaoill, ISBN 978-0-9555081-1-0, 366pp, £22

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Will Transcripts from Coleraine and District

Thirty-one Will Transcripts from Coleraine and District, 1634-1832

In this volume, Mr. Forrest makes available the names of hundreds of Scots-Irish and their descendants who settled in the Lower Bann valley in and around the town of Coleraine in County Londonderry during the Ulster plantation. Coleraine was an important port during the Ulster plantation and many families that emigrated from Scotland in the seventeenth century entered into north Ulster through this important gate-way.

Mr. Forrest has trawled the vast archives of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland [and the Registry of Deeds] to make available the wills of thirty-one testators who were residents of Coleraine town and district from 1634-1832. In Ireland, as in other countries, wills are one of the most fruitful sources of genealogical information. Wills are a particular rich source for the family historian as they provide detailed information about family relationships and are clear indicators of the economic and social status of the deceased.

Link to purchase as an E-book: Ulster Heritage E-books

Friday, 27 August 2010

County Tyrone Bluegrass Festival

One of Europes biggest Bluegrass festivals, the Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park attracts some of the worlds best known Bluegrass bands. The event takes place from 3rd - 5th September and tickets are now on sale. For further information visit

Organisers of one of Europes biggest Bluegrass festivals are looking forward to a weekend of some of the worlds best known Bluegrass bands.

From 3rd to 5th September, the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone will once again be host to the Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival, now in its 19th year.

Three-time winner of Best Female Vocalist at the International Bluegrass Music Awards, Dale Ann Bradley, will be one of the headline acts at this years event. Dale Ann won the hearts of thousands when she performed at the Festival back in 2004 and she makes a welcome return to the Folk Park next month. Also headlining is renowned Appalachian musician and Grammy award-winner David Holt with his band The Lightning Bolts as well as former Emerging Artist of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Awards, The Gibson Brothers.

Organiser Richard Hurst said the Bluegrass Music festival continues to attract world-class performers. We are delighted to announce a top line-up of local and international acts for the Bluegrass Festival. We have wanted David Holt to perform at the museum for many years and are delighted to be welcoming him for the 2010 festival. Dale Ann Bradley is a Bluegrass phenomenon in the U.S.A. and we are very much looking forward to her performances over the weekend.

As well as afternoon performances throughout the museum and evening concerts in the marquee, we will once again be offering visitors instrument workshops, a Bluegrass Camp for Kids and the ever-popular McAuley Music Lectures. This award-winning festival offers something for everyone, all in the unique surroundings of the Ulster American Folk Park, said Mr Hurst.

Other acts performing at the Festival include local bands Northern Exposure and Broken String Band as well as Czech Republic group Blackjack. Other bands from the United States include The Mighty Gospel Inspirations, Water Tower Bucket Boys, Cedar Hill and Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters.

The festival runs from 3rd to 5th September at the Ulster American Folk Park, part of National Museums Northern Ireland. For further information and full programme details, visit Tickets for the evening concerts and weekend passes are now on sale and early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Prior booking for the instrument workshops and Bluegrass Camp for Kids is essential.

Link here: Ulster American Folk Park

Monday, 23 August 2010

Duffy's Cut Irish Immigrants Story

(this is a fascinating and growing story about a group of Irish immigrants with Ulster connections and their tragic story.)

It was murder, pure and simple. That was the verdict this week of Dr. William Watson, who has been leading the excavation of the Duffy’s Cut Irish immigrants site in Malvern, Pa.

The site, which adjoins a present day commuter rail line, is the last resting place of an estimated 57 Irish railroad workers who met their maker back in 1832.

The dig has been going on in what is another summer season with evidence steadily pointing to the hand of others in the deaths of the men who, according to Watson, are buried in a mass grave that has only been partially excavated.

“We have found two more bodies and their skulls show signs of a violent death,” Dr. Watson, of nearby Immaculata University, told the Echo Tuesday.

The men suffered very bad blows to the head,” said Watson, while one of the skulls had what appears to be a bullet hole.

Watson said that coffins used to bury the men also had far more nails than would be usually needed, this to make sure that efforts to examine the bodies at the time of the deaths would be all the more difficult.

Watson said that the newly discovered remains would be examined by forensic experts in the coming days.

“This is going to rewrite Chester County history,” said Watson, referring to the county just outside Philadelphia where Duffy’s Cut is situated.

The new bodies were found about 30 feet from where the remains an Irish railroad worker identified as John Ruddy was discovered last year.

Watson said that the discoveries pointed to an historical cover-up.

“This was a case of murder and a cover-up and it is just as ugly as we had theorized. We know there was something. What we have found is the echo of something horrible in the valley 178 years ago,” he said.

“These men are crying out for justice,” he said.

During excavation at Duffy’s Cut, which have been ongoing since 2004, a treasure trove of artifacts including belt buckles, coins, eating utensils, buttons, pickaxes, various kinds of spikes and nails and a portion of rail track have been found at the roughly one acre site.

From the start of his work, Watson, who teaches history at Immaculata, expressed the belief that some of the Irish workers at Duffy’s Cut might have been buried alive during the stage of cholera known as cold cholera. At this point in the disease’s lethal progress, it is possible to appear dead, though the individual is still alive.

Beyond that, he has long held the view that some of the men died more suddenly at the hands of local Nativist gangs. That view is now taking firm hold in Watson’s excavation team.

Separately, Watson’s team has uncovered records for the arrivals of eight ships in Philadelphia at the time, all carrying immigrants from Ireland. Most of them were natives of counties Tyrone, Derry and John Ruddy’s native Donegal.

The latest discovery has prompted considerable media interest in the Duffy’s Cut dig.

“We’re now expecting CNN to visit the site,” said Watson.

Article from the Irish Echo and was written by Ray O'Hanlon.

Hamiltons of Kype, Avondale, Lanarkshire

The Hamiltons of Kype in Avondale, Lanarkshire

by Edgar M. Bralley

The Hamiltons are one of the most dynamic families, not only in Ulster, but in Scotland and other parts of the UK. DNA testing have shown the Hamiltons to be a bona fide Norman origin family, as their oral history maintained. The recently completed study of the Hamiltons of Kype, in Lanarkshire, is welcomed addition to the growing body of historical research into the fascinating family.

The ancestry of the Hamiltons of Kype in Lanarkshire, Scotland is now available with the publication of this E-book by Edgar Bralley. Working with other scholars, relying on previously-published books and manuscripts, and undertaking a careful examination of the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, testaments and other primary source materials, he has been able to prove a lineage which connects this cadet to the most senior lines of the Hamilton family. In addition, the book contains charts, illustrations, photographs, and is fully-indexed and every word searchable. It contains a veritable goldmine of data on the history of Avondale and the families who lived there. A must-read for anyone interested in Lanarkshire history and genealogy.

This is the first publication of this massive work. It contains 97 letterhead-size pages plus a detailed 17-page index.

To purchase The Hamiltons of Kype in Lanakrshire, Scotland visit this link:

Ulster Heritage E-book.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Ulster Surnames, McDaneil

McDaniel is a common surname across Ulster. It is almost always a anglicised form of the Gaelic surname of Mac Dónaill and can be either Irish or Scottish in origin. The root name is Dónall which means 'world mighty' and it is a very old and very common Gaelic personal name. Many of the McDaniel families participating in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project have matches to men surnamed McDonald, McDonnell, etc., showing how one Gaelic name will often have multiple anglicised forms.

Some of the McDonnell in Ulster additional will have matches to the historic Gaelic Clan, Clann Mhic Dhónaill, or Clan Donnell as they are often called in Ireland. They were a Gallóglaigh and Redshank clan found in great numbers in the Glens of Antrim, but also in other parts of Ulster. There is also native Irish McDaniels that descend from the Fermanagh clan Kelly. It is also good to keep in mind when doing family history that many McDaniels will not have any known clan connections and will be the descendants of a man named Dónaill whose sons took his name, a case of simply patronymics. McDaniel, McDonnell, and McDonald is one of the most numerous surnames across Ulster.

Ulster Heritage Haplogroups August 2010

There are over 1,600 families now participating in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project. As expected, the most numerous haplogroup is the R1b1b2. As families in this group upgrade so they can further explore their haplgroup, most become the Ulster norm of R1b1b2a1b5 or the downstream haplogroup of R1b1b2a1b5b, which is also known as the 'Niall of the Nine Hostages' haplgroup.

The I1 and subsets of I haplogroups also have substantial presence in the results. Some of the I haplogroups represent indigenous families in the UK and Ireland, while others have Norse and other continental Europe origins.

The most unique haplogroup to show up yet in an Ulster family is the 'A' from County Antrim.

The R1b1b2a1b5 haplogroup is common across Ulster then east into Argyll, and includes many families with Aryshire and Gallowayshire origins in Ulster.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Portballintrae Sunset

From the very talented camera and eye of Nevin Taggart comes the two recent photos above of a beautiful sunset seen at Portballintrae, County Antrim. Portballintrae is the anglicised form of Port Bhaile an Trá, or 'port of the beach settlement.' It is in one of the most beautiful spots in Northern Ireland and is located very near Dunluce Castle and the Giant's Causeway. It was off the coast at Portballintrae that a team of divers located the greatest find of Spanish Armada treasure ever recovered from a sunken ship. The Spanish ship Girona's gold is now on display in the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Henry, O'Henry, McHenry, Hendry

One of the more successful Ulster family DNA project is the Henry Surname Project. The project is researching the anglicised surnames of Henry; Hendry; O'Henry; McHenry and their variations. The project has already located several Henry families, among the the Henrys of the Bann Valley, which have Highland Scot origins, and the Henrys of Bushmills, which is a sept of the Ó Catháin family.

Renee Hendry Greene has reconfigured the results charts for the project web site. Each participant name is also linked to his lineage and to the lineages of the group to which he belongs. If you see any problems with your information, please e-mail Renee at

The Project's three results charts that are accessible from the Results link at the web site:


There are 173 participants, including several with variations of the Henry name - Hendry and Hendren. Several participants took advantage of the July sale on extending markers and so there is some new data available in some groups.

Several family groups are shaping up nicely - many going back to Ireland or Scotland. Two participants who have been in the project for a while now have matches for the first time.

The very capable administrators are Doris Noland Parton, who created the Henry project is busy keeping up with developments in the project.

Renee Greene is the premier HENDRY expert and is also assisting with reviewing lineages for new members. Lind below:

Monday, 2 August 2010

Donegal On Line Magazine

The new issue of Donegal's online News magazine is now available, just use the links below to access it.

Fáilte go ríomhiris Dún na nGall i dTeagmháil. Tá an ríomhiris seo ina pháirt de Thionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall. Tá Dún na nGall ag síneadh amach agus ag nascú le daoine ar fud an domhain a bhfuil gaol nó suim acu leis an chondae. Cuirtear an ríomhiris seo chuig daoine i ngach cearn den domhan.

Seol an ríomhiris seo chuig duine ar bith a mbeadh suim acu ann, le do thoil. Beidh fáilte roimh thuairimí, ráitis nó eolas don ríomhiris. Tá an eagrán is deireannaí don e-iris le fáil le léamh nó íoslodáil ó suíomh idirlín Bord Forbartha Chontae Dhún na nGall - ag an nasc seo a leanas:

Chun tuilleadh eolais ar Chontae Dhún na nGall nó ar Tionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall, dean teagmháil le Maria Nic Fheargusa ag nó le Róisín Nic Giolla Bhríde ag

Welcome to the Donegal in Touch e-zine. This e-zine is part of the Donegal Diaspora Project. Through this project Donegal is reaching out and connecting with people in all parts of the world who have a connection to or interest in Donegal. This e-zine is sent to people in all parts of the world.

Please feel free to pass this e-zine on to others that you feel might be interested in it. Any views, comments or contributions to the e-zine are very welcome. The latest edition of the e-zine can be viewed or downloaded via the Donegal County Development Board website - using the following link:

For further information on Donegal or on the Donegal Diaspora Project, please contact Maria Ferguson at or Roisin McBride at

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

County Tyrone Mail List Website

A very good resource for all with ancestors and kin in fair County Tyrone is the Official Website of the County Tyrone Mail List.... more data below: is the Official Website of the Co. Tyrone Mail List! has just been named by Family Tree Magazine in their prestigious list of 101 Best Websites for 2010!

The site contains hundreds of pages of research records for Co. Tyrone including birth, marriage, death, tithe applotment books, photographs and church records. These records have been transcribed and submitted by volunteers from all over the world.

If you have any ancestry linked to County Tyrone, make this website your first stop!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Conradh na Gaeilge Meeting in Gaoth Dobhair

Beidh Tionól Gaeltachta Chonradh na Gaeilge i nGaoth Dobhair ón 1-4 Iúil. Is féidir an clár a fheiceáil anseo -;

Beidh seiminear gearr (i bpáirt le Guth na Gaeltachta) dar teidéal 'Ceard is Gaeltacht sa 21ú Aois?' in Ostán Ghaoth Dobhair oíche Shatharn (3 Iúil) ag 8.30i.n. Beidh oíche cheoil ina dhiaidh ag tosnú ag 10i.n.. Bigí linn!

Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Le meas,

Éamonn Mac Niallais
Guth na Gaeltachta
087 6387468;WWW.GUTHNAG.COM

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Portballintrae Sunset

Portballintrae Sunset by Nevin Taggart

A photo from the gifted camera of north Antrim, historian, writer, and photographer, Nevin Taggart. Taken recently, perhaps today in fact. Maith thú Nevin.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ciaran Kelly, Ciaran Curran and Dick Glasgow

Some music for the summer; Ciaran Kelly, Ciaran Curran, and Dick Glasgow. Dick Glasgow's blog site is in our 'Ulster Links' make sure you visit it for the best in Antrim music.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Graeme McDowell Wins US Open!

right, Graeme McDowell's moment of victory

The Ulster Heritage Project sends out a hearty congratulations to Graeme McDowell on his prestigous victory at the US Open. McDowell was born in Portrush, Northern Ireland. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1998 to 2002. In 2002, he won the Haskins Award for most outstanding collegiate golfer in the United States.

The Portrush native shot a 3-over-par 74 Sunday for a one-shot win over Frenchman Gregory Havret at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. McDowell, 30, finished four rounds at the legendarily difficult course with an even-par 284 and needed only to par the final hole to finish one stroke ahead of Havret, who shot a 72 and finished in sole possession of second place at 1-over 285.

With the victory, McDowell became the first Irishman to win a U.S. Open in 40 years and notched his first major championship.

Many of golf's biggest names participated in the tournament Sunday, and McDowell benefited from their misfortunes. Ernie Els (73) ended in third place at 2-over 286 after collapsing down the stretch, playing his final nine holes at five-over par. Phil Mickelson (73) and Tiger Woods (75) ended in a fourth-place tie one stroke further back at 3-over. They combined for nine bogeys Sunday.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

DNA Test Summer Sale

The Family Tree lab that the Ulster Heritage DNA Project uses, is running a summer sale with substantial discounts on the test kits. Right now it is possible to purchase the 37 marker test kit for only $119. That is an amazing bargain and gives a participant enough DNA markers to really advance family research and genealogy.

Visit the Ulster Heritage DNA page on the main website and follow the menu on the left for more details.

Ó Brolaigh History

The ancient origins of the Ó Brólaigh sept are examined in a articles by Edgar M Bralley. The article is found on the main Ulster Heritage Website in the History section. The Ó Brólaigh family is native to County Derry and the name has been anglicised as Broly, Brolly, and Brawley.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Royals Visit north Antrim and Rathlin Island

One of the better Northern Irish bloggers is of course Nevin Taggart, he has posted a photo collection of the recent visit by members of the Royal family to north Antrim and Rathlin. Nevin's blog is the North Antrim Local Interest List. Link below to his excellent photo spread on the visit.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Elder Family Tree DNA Blog

The Elder family has launched a DNA blog to help the many Elder families in the Diaspora keep up with their DNA project. The Elder DNA Project is headed up by Nancy Elder-Petersen. Elder families are found across Ulster; in many cases the surname was taken by a man that was an actual 'elder' of a church congregation. It is possible to find the earlier surname of an 'elder' family when DNA matches locate the name. Visit the Elder Family Tree DNA Blog at the link below: