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Scottish fact of the day: Emigration to America

James Monroe, the fifth US President, was descended from a minor clan chief

James Monroe, the fifth US President, was descended from a minor clan chief

Between 1815 and 1914 more than 13 million Scots arrived in the USA and these settlers were very influential.

This compares to the 4 million who left for Canada and 1.5 million who set off for Australia.

The census of 1790 showed that 12 per cent of the new nation was of Scots or Scotch-Irish descent. The latter were also known as Ulster Scots and were the descendants of communities planted in Northern Ireland, many from the Scottish Borders and the Lowlands.

The fifth American president, James Monroe, was the direct descendant of a minor clan chief and the seventh, Andrew Jackson, hailed from Scotch-Irish stock. In all, 23 of the USA’s presidents, more than half, have had Scots or Scotch-Irish lineages in their family tree.

This statistic is all the more remarkable against the background of mass emigration. As a result of the arrival of many more ethnic groups and the effects of slavery, the proportion of people claiming Scots descent in the USA has declined to 1.7 per cent.

Source: Scotland’s DNA

 

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