Heritage - Information and Online Resources
Wilderness Road - Virginia's Heritage Migration Route
Germans in Virginia (www.Virginia.org)
The reasons for the Scots-Irish immigration to the colonies can be found by tracing the history of the Presbyterian Church. The conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism, and financial hardships in Scotland for farmers pushed many to flee to Ulster, Ireland. As that pattern continued, the religious and social tension between the Irish and the immigrant Scots grew to the point that the better life the Scots were seeking was not to be found. When the word of the lands available in America began to spread, sometimes entire congregations of these “Scots-Irish” emigrants would leave together to travel to America. Ulster was a British colony, the same as America, and although the Scots-Irish did not like the British rule, the difference in proximity meant less controlling rule. Additionally, there was no language barrier, and no emigration restrictions. When developers began pushing their land for sale in America, it was easy for many to make the trip. Between 1717 and 1800, more than 250,000 people left for America.
Like the Germans, Philadelphia was one of the most popular ports for their immigration, and thus many settled in Pennsylvania. As their numbers increased, land in the valleys of Virginia became attractive, and many moved into the region, beginning in the 1730’s.
Again, looking at the history of the Presbyterian Church can demonstrate the pattern of migration: as the Scots-Irish moved into an area, the Presbyterian Church would be created.
The Scots-Irish continued to play a major role in the region through the period of Revolution, fed by their disdain for British rule. Many of the sites you can find along the Wilderness Road – Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route will share the stories of the Scots-Irish immigrants.
Virginia Genealogy Information - Do you suspect that your family roots extend into Virginia? (www.Virginia.org)
Genealogy or Additional Resarch Available at these sites
Appalachian Regional Studies Center at Radford U - Radford
Bassett Historical Center - Henry County - The Carolina Road
Botetourt County Courthouse - Botetourt County
Botetourt County Museum - Botetourt County
By the Side of Road Bed and Breakfast - Harrisonburg
Crab Orchard Museum - Fincastle Turnpike
CrossRoads: Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center - Harrisonburg
Fincastle Library Genealogy Room - Botetourt County
Hardesty-Higgins House and Visitors Center - Harrisonburg
Heritage Museum - Harrisonburg
Jefferson National Forest - Blacksburg & Christiansburg
Mt. Hebron Cemetery - Winchester Frederick County
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley - Winchester Frederick County
Old Town Winchester - Winchester Frederick County
Silver Lake Mill - Harrisonburg
Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library - Winchester Frederick County
Valley Turnpike Museum - Harrisonburg
Virginia Tech - Blacksburg & Christiansburg
Virginia Museum of Natural History - Martinsville City - The Carolina Road
Virginia Quilt Museum - Harrisonburg