skip to main content
  • Familia2013article
  • Familia2013article
  • Also available to buy as:

Home and Leaving Home in Eighteenth Century Ulster

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 29, 2013


List Price


Please note this is available in electronic format only. It will be sent to you via email when your order is complete.

by Linde Lunney

"It is probable that most people in our modern society share certain assumptions about home, and it is at least likely that people in the past, even if living in circumstances that differ from ours, could well have shared these basic conceptions.

Evidence about what Ulster people in the past felt and thought about their homes is found mainly in poetry and essays; there are few indigenous novels, and official records generally do not concern themselves with such imponderables. It seems to be true in general that writers do not say much about home until they leave it or think about leaving it.

The prospect of departure seems to make people focus for the first time on the home place, just as emigrants had seldom any need to write letters until they left. Emigrant letters are of course a wonderful source of information about emotions and attitudes, and have been used extensively by historians such as David Fitzpatrick in his Oceans of Consolation (1994).

However, in this article, the main focus will be on what people thought about home while they were still at home, and also as they contemplated departure, with quotations mainly from Ulster poets, who provide some intriguing observations and comments on attitudes changing over time."