Friday, 27 May 2011

Kist O Wurds Programme

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.  This program is highly recommended by the Ulster Heritage Program.  It is a very entertaining way to learn more about Ulster Scot history and society. 

A Kist O Wurds

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Decorated boulder in United States reveals links to Early Bronze Age Ireland | Irish News | IrishCentral

Over the years there have been several very interesting stone artifacts and structures found along the east coast of the USA that are suggestive that Bronze Age Atlantic society may have had a presence in North America. 

Link below describes one such interesting stone that was found. 

Decorated boulder in United States reveals links to Early Bronze Age Ireland | Irish News | IrishCentral

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Heritage Tour of American

Author Billy Kennedy will guide a Scots-Irish heritage tour of the USA in October. 
Link for more details:  Scots-Irish Heritage Tour

Historic Presbyterian Church in Derry Reopens

The First Derry Presbyterian Church reopens. 

Link to story

First Derry Presbyterian Church

New Searchable Virtual Library for Ulster Family Historians

Queen's University Belfast has created a a new, free, web resource with a searchable virtual library called 'DIPPAM: Documenting Ireland - Parliament, People and Migration'.

It brings together into an accessible form and enhances three existing resources - EPPI - the Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland 1800-1922; the IED - Irish Emigration Database, containing runs of emigrant letters, newspaper extracts and other emigration-related materials for the 18th-early 20th centuries; and VMR - Voices of Migration and Return - a collection of 90 interviews with 20th century Ulster migrants.

The project is a collaboration between Queen's University Belfast, University of Ulster, the Centre for Migration Studies (Omagh) and Libraries NI, and funded by the AHRC. 

It can be accessed at 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Wallace McCain Dies at 81

Wallace McCain (centre-left) is seen in 1957, the year he opened the first McCain Foods potato processing plant in Florenceville, N.B. with a staff of 30.
Wallace McCain (centre-left) is seen in 1957, the year he opened
the first McCain Foods potato processing plant in
Florenceville, N.B. with a staff of 30

Wallace McCain, co-founder of McCain Foods, dies at 81
Published On Sat May 14 2011

Dana Flavelle Business Reporter   The Star

 Wallace McCain, co-founder of McCain Foods and chairman of Maple Leaf Foods, has died after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81. The son of a New Brunswick potato seed exporter, McCain became a scion of Canadian business and a major philanthropist. Together with his brother Harrison he co-founded McCain Foods Ltd., now a $6-billion-a-year frozen French fry empire that exports to more than 60 countries.

Later ousted from the firm in a succession battle, Wallace and his sons, Scott and Michael, bought a stake in Toronto’s struggling Maple Leaf Foods Inc. and through acquisitions built another multinational brand.

With his wife Margaret, McCain was also a noted philanthropist, supporting a range of causes, from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital to Canada’s National Ballet School and New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University.

For the past year, the man described as a straight talker with a self-deprecating manner had faced another kind of battle, this one with cancer.

“Wallace McCain was an inspiration, as a father, businessman and humanitarian,” said Michael McCain, Wallace’s son and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Foods.

“His incredible success in business was always balanced with the importance of family and community. He had unwavering values that defined him and everything he did. My family and the entire Maple Leaf community deeply mourn his passing, but also celebrate his life and the contribution he made to so many people.”

Born in 1930 in the small farming village of Florenceville, N.B., Wallace McCain was one of six children of Laura and A.D. McCain, a potato seed exporter.  In their 20s, Wallace and his brother Harrison, with the support of their older brothers Robert and Andrew, decided to start their own business.

They opened the first McCain Foods potato processing plant in Florenceville in 1957 with a staff of 30. The company grew rapidly into a multi-billion dollar global French fry and frozen foods business.  But the brothers had a falling out over who should succeed them.
In 1995, with the help of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Wallace and his sons bought a 33 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Foods.

Together, they built the food-processing firm into a $5-billion-a-year firm, acquiring such leading brands as Maple Leaf, Schneiders, and a majority stake in Canada Bread Inc., makes of Dempster’s brand bread.  “Wallace made an indelible impact on Maple Leaf Foods, our country and the food industry globally,” said Purdy Crawford, Maple Leaf Food’s lead director.  “He had a rare gift for business that was driven by his personal courage, love of people, and sharp insights. His incredible accomplishments came about because of his perseverance, humility and belief in others.”

Wallace’s passing comes at a critical time for the leading food processor.
The Teachers’ Pension Plan decided to sell its stake last year and an activist investor, West Face Capital, bought into the firm and demanded a seat on its board.

Maple Leaf Foods has since undertaken a major restructuring program that includes consolidating and upgrading many of its plants, entering new products categories.
The move came two years after the company had finally begun recovering from a tragic listeria outbreak that claimed 21 lives. Michael McCain was credited with saving the company by taking full public responsibility for the problem and swift action to address its cause.

Wallace is survived by his wife Margaret, who became New Brunswick’s first female. Lieutenant Governor, his four children and nine grandchildren.  His successor as chairman will be determined by the Maple Leaf Foods board.  His funeral will be held at St. Paul’s Bloor Street in Toronto on May 20. For more information, please visit

(The McCain family originates in Donegal and has branches in Canada and the USA)

Strabane & West Ulster Ebook Available

Strabane & West Ulster In The 1800s
History From The Broadsheets
Selections from The Strabane Morning Post 1812 – 1837

Strabane & West Ulster in the 1800s, is an in-depth look at the lives and time of people of all classesStrabane Morning Post and creeds in the early decades of the 19th century. The information is extracted from the pages of the weekly newspaper, The Strabane Morning Post, and much previously unavailable material has now been brought into the public domain. Descriptions of floods, fevers and famines provide insights into the problems of everyday life, while advertisements demonstrate the extent of economic activity and the range of products available to those who could afford to pay. The copious coverage of court cases sheds light on the extent of lawlessness and the severity of law enforcement while regional and parliamentary affairs are also highlighted.

This compilation is therefore both an entertaining examination of the foibles of a past age and a comprehensive source base for further analysis of key events and responses. It is a must for anyone interested in the everyday responses of ordinary people in their own environment to a rapidly changing world and a major addition for researchers and genealogists in unraveling an era in which evidential material has been difficult to locate. This limited edition publication should take pride of place among a range of local materials from West Ulster and provide endless hours of pleasurable engagement in the concerns of another age. Click for Full Index

This e-book is every-word-searchable. Includes Introduction, Dedication, Preface, Appendix, Index. 428 pages.   Instantly Downloadable - Only $16.95.


Ulster Heritage Books

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Tyrone Parish E-book now available.

Three centuries of life in a Tyrone parish.
A history of Donagheady from 1600 to 1900History of Donagheady Parish

This book tells the story of the parish of Donagheady and its families over three centuries. Donagheady occupies the most northerly portion of County Tyrone. It is a large parish, stretching from the River Foyle to the Sperrins. In the period covered by this study Donagheady experienced massive changes with the result that the parish in 1900 was a very different place from the one it had been in 1600. Through the Plantation and subsequent waves of migration in the seventeenth century, especially from Scotland, the character of much of the parish was transformed.

The creation and disintegration of the estate system in Donagheady is also charted in this volume and the fate and fortunes of the landowning families and their tenants is explored. The histories of the main religious denominations are covered, as well as the nature of rural society itself. Other chapters in this book examine the impact of the Great Famine on the parish, the development of the village of Dunnamanagh, attempts to improve educational provision, the rise and decline of rural industries, and the relationship between Donagheady and the wider world.

William Roulston is from the townland of Gortavea in the parish of Donagheady, and was raised on a farm that has been in his family’s possession since 1830. He is the Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation. His other books include The parishes of Leckpatrick and Dunnalong: their place in history (2000), Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors (2005), and Restoration Strabane, 1660-1714 (2007).
This e-book is every-word-searchable and includes Griffiths Valuation for the Parish. 390 pages

To Purchase use this link:  Ulster Heritage Ebooks