Unionist MP's anger as US drops 'Scots-Irish' term from census listDUP MP Gregory Campbell has written to the US Ambassador to object to the removal of Scots-Irish as a distinct ancestry by the USA Census Bureau. Individuals in the USA who report themselves as Scots-Irish in the American Community Survey will now be included in the 'other groups' category.The census data will retain distinct categories for Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh.
The Scots-Irish, referred to in the British Isles as Ulster-Scots, are the descendants of those who came to Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century. Mr Campbell said: "I have written to the US Ambassador in London, Mr Louis Susman, requesting that the US government reverse this decision and continue to have Scots-Irish available in US census data. "I have also informed Scotland's Westminster Members of Parliament about this matter." "I indicated to the US Ambassador that it is an historical fact that immigrants of Scottish descent from the Ulster region of Ireland settled and helped to establish and build the United States of America.
"Scots-Irish descendents have made a significant contribution to society since the foundation of the USA in areas such as music, film, military and political life of the nation. There have been numerous famous Scots-Irish among 17 US Presidents." The East Londonderry MP also indicated that the tourism industry in Northern Ireland might suffer as a result of the decision. "Much of the tourism between the USA and Northern Ireland has been aimed at the Scots-Irish because of the ancestry links. "People from a Scots-Irish descent in the USA are a separate ancestry as distinct from an Irish descent."
It is estimated that at least 200,000 Scots-Irish emigrated to North America, primarily during the colonial era. Many figures in US history have come from the Scots-Irish, including three Presidents whose parents were born in Ulster. Andrew Jackson's parents emigrated from Boneybefore in Co Antrim; James Buchanan's parents were from near Omagh, and the father of Chester Alan Arthur emigrated from Cullybackey, Co Antrim. Read more:
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The Wilson House, near Strabane, County Tyrone, was the home of James Wilson, grandfather of President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States of America. This house, owned by the Ulster American Folk Park, is maintained in its original setting in the townland of Dergalt, two miles out of Strabane on the Plumbridge Road. It is open to the public from 2pm to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday inclusive, during July, August and the beginning of September (get closer by clicking the images).
James Wilson was a printer by trade. In 1807 he emigrated to America from the port of Londonderry, landing at Philadelphia. In time he became a prominent newspaperman, working on the Democratic newspaper the ‘Aurora’, the ‘Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette’, before founding the ‘Pennsylvania Advocate’.By 1816, James was involved in politics and served in the Ohio Legislature from 1816 to 1817. Although not a lawyer, he was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and because of this, he was known in later life as ‘Judge Wilson’.
James Wilson married Ann Adams in Philadelphia in 1808. She is reputed to have come from Sion Mills, County Tyrone. They had ten children, the youngest of whom, Joseph Ruggles, was born in Steubenville in 1822. He became a Presbyterian minister and married Jessie Woodrow from Carlisle, England. Their third child grew up to become President Woodrow Wilson.