As a travel agent, I am always interested in learning more about different places and cultures. This coincides well with my interest in roots travel.
This week I found out more about a group of people called the Ulster Scots. These people were from the lowlands of Scotland but moved to Ulster (the settlements were called the Plantation of Ulster) in Northern Ireland. Eventually most of them moved to America. It's a fascinating story, one that highlights the history between Ireland and Great Britain.
I recommend learning more, especially if you think you might have Ulster-Scot heritage. You can find out more about the Ulster-Scots from the great article I read. Or you can go to the website for the Ulster-Scots Society of America or the very informative Ulster-Scots Agency website. The BBC even has a website devoted to the Ulster Scots at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ulsterscots/. Finally, there's a great and informative website put together by the Ulster-Scots Agency on the Plantation of Ulster.
Naturally, this got me wondering whether there was a museum in Northern Ireland dedicated to these Ulster-Scots. Such a museum would be a great place to start one's roots travel. Turns out there is one: the Monreagh Ulster-Scots Irish Heritage and Education Centre in County Donegal. This museum would be a must-stop visit on anyone with Ulster-Scot heritage visiting Northern Ireland.
For a more general look at emigration from Ulster, one could also visit the Ulster American Folk Park. While this living history museum does not focus on the Ulster-Scots, it does talk about the experience of emigration from Ulster to America, so it is definitely a helpful place to get closer to your ancestor's experiences.
It never ceases to amaze me how much history there is around the world. The Ulster-Scots are a part of history I had never heard of, but I am now thinking of including it on an Irish heritage tour I am planning. Not only because I think that Northern Ireland would be a great place to travel, but also because I think it would be a great place to do roots travel for anyone with Irish or Ulster-Scot ancestry. Only by learning about all the different aspects of a country's history can one truly understand their ancestors.