Hi! Uncle Sam!
Wherever there was fighting
Or wrong that needed righting
An Ulsterman was sighting
His Kentucky gun with care:
All the road from Yorktown
From Lexington to Yorktown
From Valley Forge to Yorktown
That Ulsterman was there!

It is often assumed that the greatest exodus from rural Ireland occurred in the aftermath of the Great Famine of the nineteenth century when 1.2 million people fled Ireland, almost forty per cent of whom were from Ulster. In fact, the mass exodus began in the preceding century when multitudes left for the New World. Almost overwhelmingly, these migrants were Presbyterians fleeing religious restriction and attracted by the vast quantities of land in America and Canada.

Since many could not afford the sea fare, they travelled to these new lands in indentured servitude where, after a period of service, they would finally receive their freedom. Of course, in many instances they continued this servitude, finding it impossible to amass sufficient funds to establish themselves and their families in the new countries.

Migration graphic.