In 2017, the Ulster Historical Foundation was involved in a project titled ‘1718: An Archaeological Perspective on Ulster Migration to New England’. The objective of the project was to archaeologically investigate, through a combination of survey and excavation, the settlement architecture of the Bann Valley in the early eighteenth century.

The project received financial support from the Historic Environment Fund of the Historic Environment Division (Department for Communities) and was delivered by Dr William Roulston in association with the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (now the Centre for Community Archaeology) at Queen’s University Belfast represented by Dr Cormac McSparron.

A small excavation at a vernacular house at Brockaghaboy, near Garvagh, County Londonderry, established that it is probably an eighteenth-century building. In addition, the project identified a number of previously unknown settlements likely to have been in use at around the time of the 1718 migration and found above ground traces of some of these houses and associated garden plots still visible today.

Garvagh Museum poster

Furthermore, the project revealed several apparently fruitful avenues for further research generally on the Post Medieval vernacular settlement landscape in Ulster. A well-attended community event was held in Garvagh Museum on Saturday, 11 March, when there was an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the work undertaken during the course of the project.