May 25, 2018
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Ulster Scots focus of website

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

Those of us who took U.S. history in 1967-1968 from the late Warren “Pete” Myrick at Piscataquis Community High School used to tell him it wasn’t fair to include test questions on information from our textbook’s photo captions and footnotes. Too picky, we said.

Little did I know that 40-odd years later, I would utter a silent “thank you” to genealogy writers who use footnotes to tell us where they got their information.

A good example is the article “The Family of John Reed of Topsham, Maine,” by Glenn D. Nasman of Westwood, Mass., in the May issue of The Maine Genealogist, the quarterly journal of the Maine Genealogical Society.

John Reed, the 14-page article tells us, was born in Ireland about 1719.

One of the footnotes refers to an early manuscript on Topsham history by Moses Woodman, 1806-1840.

Diane J. Deans transcribed the manuscript, which had been printed in 1924 in the Bath Daily Times. There is a good deal of genealogical information on early Topsham families.

Now it is available online on the Maine Ulster Scots website at This is the website for the Saint Andrews Society of Maine.

The Ulster Scots are the people referred to as the Scots-Irish who came from Northern Ireland, counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry (Londonderry), Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone. Donegal is part of the Republic of Ireland.

Click on “New Articles Posted Here” to find the list of features, among them “Articles from The Bath Daily Times.”

A few of the other offerings are “Ulster-Scots in Nova Scotia” (Part 1) and (Part 2), “Scottish Place Names in Maine,” “Ulster-Scots words and phrases used in Maine,” “The Pattens of Bath, Maine” and “The Rise and Fall of the McLellans of Ballymoney and Maine” by Alister J. McReynolds, “The Scots from Northern Ireland” by Blaine Mills, “The Scots in Maine,” “Armstrongs Come to Maine” and “The Kalloch and Boyd Connections of Maine” by Dianne Bergstedt.

“Ulster-Scots in Nova Scotia” (Part 1) mentioned the 300 Ulster colonists who came to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1761 from Londonderry, Ireland, on board the Hopewell and the Nancy.

So, I looked up “1761 Hopewell Nova Scotia” through Google, and ended up on, which showed me certain pages from Terrence M. Punch’s “Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1761-1853, Volume 1.” The book was published by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 2008 in Baltimore.

From the pages available, I gleaned some of the names of immigrants from Ireland: Connor, from Cork County; Condon, Cork; Cleary, Galway; Byrne, Tipperary; Butler, Kilkenny; Burke, Tipperary; Ross, Antrim; More, Donegal; Henderson, Donegal; McNutt, Donegal; Patton, Derry; McClean, Donegal.

Why did Erin’s Sons come in 1761? Well, the British had evicted the French Acadians from Nova Scotia and parts of New Brunswick in 1755, and they were looking for permanent settlers to keep the land British.

Also, in the first 10 years after the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 35,000 to 40,000 Loyalists moved in.

People continued to come from Ireland, too, but after 1815, immigrants from Scotland outnumbered the Irish 7-2.

Let’s go back to author Terrence M. Punch for a minute. It would be great if “Erin’s Sons” were available in its entirety at a library or two. And so it is, URSUS tells us. Visiting URSUS, the online catalog for Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library and the University of Maine libraries, at the site, I find these Terrence M. Punch books:

ä “Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1761-1853,” Bangor Room, Bangor Public Library; Maine State Library, Augusta.

ä “Some Sons of Erin in Nova Scotia,” 1980, Fogler Library, University of Maine.

ä “Genealogical Resources in Nova Scotia,” Bangor Public Library; Fogler Library, University of Maine, Orono; Maine State Library.

ä “Genealogist’s Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research,” edited by Punch, Bangor Public Library; Fogler Library, University of Maine; University of Maine at Fort Kent; Special Collections, University of Maine at Presque Isle.

ä “In Which County? Nova Scotia Surnames from Birth Registers, 1864-1877,” Fogler Library, University of Maine.

ä “Nova Scotia Vital Statistics from Newspapers, 1769-1812,” Bangor Public Library; Maine State Library; Fogler Library, University of Maine.

ä “Nova Scotia Vital Statistics from Newspapers, 1813-1822,” Bangor Public Library; Maine State Library; Fogler Library, University of Maine; Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library.

So, a footnote in “The Maine Genealogist” took me to various websites, including a list of books by Nova Scotia expert Terrence Punch.

Genealogical and historical materials for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec are in the Canadian section on the third floor of Fogler Library at the University of Maine.

Maine materials, except for census records, vital records and newspapers on microfilm, are held in Special Collections on the third floor.

Special Collections at UMaine is undergoing renovations now through July 23. So the reading room for that department, known in my day as the Maine Room, may well be closed the next couple of months.

However, microfilm records, which are held on the first floor in Government Documents, should be accessible whenever the library is open. For library hours, call 581-1664.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to

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