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The Moores of Londonderry & Baltimore: A Study of Late 18th-Century Scotch-Irish Emigration

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 19, 2003


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by Richard Moore-Colyer

"FROM THE MOMENT the uniquely Scotch-Irish settlements were founded on the eastern shores of Maryland on land granted by Lord Baltimore in 1632, emigration from Ulster to North America began to be undertaken. By the close of the seventeenth century there were annual migrations of groups of settlers from this Irish province to the eastern Chesapeake area of what was ultimately to become the United States of America.

By the second decade of the eighteenth century the in-flow of migrants to colonial America began to expand and Ulster became, and would remain right throughout the century, the primary Irish regional contributor to the settlement of the New World.

Recent research has outlined the true extent of emigration from provinces outside Ulster in the eighteenth century; nonetheless, the fact remains that two-thirds of Irish arrivals in America in the period prior to the outbreak of the War of Independence were of Ulster origin.

Among the many recent estimates of emigration levels, one of the more authoritative argues for an overall Irish population in America of some 447,000 by the 1790 census, the overwhelming majority being Ulster Protestants from the Presbyterian fold."

This article examines late 18th-century emigration to America, focusing on the Moores of Londonderry - their emigration to America and the subsequent history of the family on both sides of the Atlantic.