The story of the Scots settlement in Ulster is interesting and indispensable to an understanding of the history of those days, but the story is too long for these pages. We here but can observe that the conflict in Ireland for both civil and religious supremacy plunged from one phase to another until the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603. To no phase of the struggle is more to be attributed than to the galling grapple between Protestantism and Romanism. That year James I, already king of Scotland and James VI, ascended the English throne as the common ruler of the two countries. As James was Catholic in sympathy, the Irish Catholics took heart and defied the laws forbidding worship after their customs. But Parliament in 1605 renewed a law known as the act of supremacy, and also the law requiring attendance on the Protestant church. Naturally the troubles increased. Intrigue and disloyalty to the king and to the English government spread. In 1605 two earls of Ulster, who claimed title to the lands under the English law, were detected in plots which James regarded as seditious. They escaped to France. James at once took advantage of this to declare the Ulster lands escheated to the crown. The people by thousands were ejected from these lands and in most cases forced to flee to the mountains. Many wandered "gypsie-fashion" among the inhospitable hills; and such as could fled the island.
Fire, sword, starvation, "with a ferocity which surpassed that of Alva in the Netherlands, and has seldom been exceeded in the pages of history," were all used to exterminate the Irish. "Not only the men," adds Lecky, "but even the women and children who fell into the hands of the English, were deliberately and systematically butchered." (1 History of Ireland, 5; 1 Hanna, The Scotch-Irish, 485; and other standard authorities. Read the full story as Lecky gives it.)
The bodies of the dead people "lay all over the country unburied," elucidates Woodburn (The Ulster Scot, 487), following the original authorities. The awful story, surpassed only by that written in blood by the Germans in the great war which William kindled in 1914, is not only history, but it serves to make us prouder of our Cymric Scotch.
Scotch and English Protestants were induced to accept the escheated lands. Large numbers came. Those of them who could bring others as tenants and make extensive improvements were known as "undertakers," because they undertook specific duties. A few of the Irish remained as tenants, but from that event, known as the "Ulster Plantation," Ulster became and remains largely Protestant. The Scotch "undertakers" and their tenants from Scotland greatly outnumbered the English. Hannah says that from 1606 to 1618 between thirty thousand and forty thousand emigrants went from Scotland to Ulster. (1 The Scotch Irish, 504). Those Scotch emigrants were of the best blood, descendants of the original Celtic Lowlanders and border Highlanders,--generally Celt interbred with Saxon. They are sometimes maligned by early writers; but the available evidence establishes the fact that they were the best people of that day, alert, virile, brave, aggressive, industrious, shrewd, intellectual, and generally of the Covenanter Presbyterian faith; and measured by the standards of that day, sanely and cleanly religious. Those colonists did "not leave Scotland until after two of its famous covenants [for the perpetuation of Protestant religion] had been signed" (C. S. Lobinger, The People's Law, 62). If not in all cases signers of those covenants or oaths to aid in perpetuating the Protestant faith as they held it, they were in full sympathy with the purposes of those obligations, and supported the doctrines they embodied. Macaulay, in his History of England, says those colonists, soon augmented many times, "were proud of their Saxon blood and of their Protestant faith." Among the first of those emigrants were many whose names their descendants made famous later in America.
Some Ewings, claiming descent from our Scotch clan, were there before the plantation movement began. Papers in the court house in Lifford, the assize town of Donegal County, show that in 1603 a license was issued to David Ewing of Cavan, authorizing him to plant trees, as elsewhere is seen. Aside from its interest genealogically, this suggests a curious condition of governmental supervision.
The new comers built towns, one of the earliest being Londonderry, destined to become famous, and another Coleraine, fostered industries, one of the most profitable of which was the growth of flax; and prosperity rapidly rewarded their labors.
Neither those Scotch nor their immediate descendants intermarried with the old Irish. However, upon what I regard as not satisfactory evidence, except as showing negligible instances, it is said that after a time the Scots "intermarried to some extent with the native Irish, who became Protestants" (Woodburn, The Ulster Scot, 26). As Woodburn points out, Geo. Chalmers (1 Caledonia, 358) followed by some others, insists that many of the Scotch who settled in Ireland during any of the plantation period were the descendants of the Scots who had emigrated to Argyllshire in the seventeen century. "But this cannot be proved," Woodburn correctly says; and the best evidence indicates that the Ulster Scotch blood was mainly Anglo-Briton from the northern regions of old Strathclyde, as were the Ulster Ewings from whom we descend. In a somewhat compromise spirit Woodburn says that the conclusion is a safe one that the Ulster Scotch "must have had at least as much Celtic blood as Teutonic" (The Ulster Scot, 25); but, whatever the degree, the Celt in the Ulster Scot was of the Briton Lowlands and not the Scots or Gaelic of the Highlands. Religious beliefs, racial traits, and, above all, the fact that the Irish had been evicted from their lands (unjustly as measured by the higher standards of our day) kept the tow races apart. Very soon, to distinguish them from other Scotch in Scotland, they were called Scotch-Irish, there in Ireland, meaning a Scotchman living in Ireland. The designation to this day follows their descendants, and now generally means those who are descendants of those early Lowland Scotch who settled in Ulster along with the other Protestants who were turned toward Ireland by King James' "plantation" offer. As suggested by the late Whitelaw Reid, the term Ulster Scot would be less misleading and more descriptive. However, "They are 'Scotch-Irish,' i.e., Scotch people living upon or born upon Irish soil, but not mixed with the native people. Their ancestors, many of who came to Ireland nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, were Scotch. They came in a body, they kept in a body, and they remain in a body, or a class by themselves, largely, to this day. . . . They stuck together and kept aloof from the native Celtic Irish. They were surrounded by the sharp dividing lines of religious faith and by keen differences of race" (L. A. Morrison, A. M., Among the Scotch-Irish, 38).
King James II proclaimed in 1690 that no more than five Protestants could meet together, on pain of death. They were refused burial for their dead except when the clergy officiated. Ministers were heavily fined for performing marriages according to the ritual of the Scottish Church. Queen Anne, daughter of James II, succeeded to the throne in 1702, and her reign brought the Penal laws into full force. All Non-conformist were forced to resign their positions as magistrates, burgesses, custom officials, postmasters, officers in the army or navy, or local judges. At this time, people marred by a Presbyterian minister were publicly censured by the bishop. Such marriages were denounced and the children of such marriages were treated as bastards. It was not until 1782 (long after our Ewing's left there) that an Act was passed declaring the perfect validity of Presbyterian marriages. Emigration of Scottish Presbyterians began in earnest in 1718, when thousands left Ulster and/or Scotland.
Many of the progenitors of the Ewings of America came to this country directly from Ireland. They were Scotch, nevertheless.
During two and half centuries the Scottish Presbyterian colonies in Ulster maintained a close connection with their homeland, while they remained a race apart from their Irish and English neighbors. Ulster Scots intermarried and sent their sons to Scotland to be educated, where those sons, in many cases, married.
* Who were the six stalwart Ewing brothers? Much research still needs to be done but at this point in time, the brothers might have included John Ewing of Carnshanagh; Robert Ewing, father of Alexander; Findley Ewing, father of Thomas; James Ewing of Inch Island; William Ewing, father of Nathaniel; and possibly an Alexander Ewing.
In the early 1700's the ship Eagle Wing and the ship Rising Sun brought many members of the family with their cousins (Porters, Gillespies etc.) to the shores of America.
"Just a word about the old ship Eagle Wing is worthwhile. History says that she began to ship Scots hither as early as 1635, and that in September, 1636 she brought 140; and that for more than a hundred years she was plowing the deeps, bearing first and last many thousands of the best blood to our shores. For heroism and service and for the part her passengers took in founding this government, the Eagle Wing shades the Mayflower into a speck on the horizon of the local history of New England." (From Clan Ewing of Scotland by Elbert William R. Ewing, published in 1922.)
The EAGLE WING, a vessel of one hundred and fifty tons, brought the very first immigrants from Ireland the the colonies, in 1636. We think of the millions who followed The Eagle Wings passengers, emigrating from Irelands shores. To remember them a light shines from the window of the President of Irelands official residence.
By the spring of 1631 a number of Presbyterian ministers is Ulster, among whom were the revivalists who had stirred the great revival of 1625, Rev. Robert Blair, John Livingston, William Wallace, and others, oppressed by the intolerance of Charles I and Episcopalian Archbishop Laud, and the conduct of Lord Deputy Wentworth, took the first steps in preparation for emigration to America in the hope of establishing a Presbytry that was denied them in Ulster. They envied the liberty of conscience enjoyed by the Puritan colonies founded at Plymouth (1620) and Salem(1628). Between 1731 and 1735 several efforts were made to obtain passage.
In the 1630'a Ulster Scots were not welcomed by New Englanders, and so efforts were made to have Scotsmen approach a prominent New Englander minister with the idea of obtaining land with which to establish a Presbyterian colony.
Rev. Cotton Mather wrote of the developments:
"That there were divers gentlemen in Scotland, who, being uneasy under the ecclesiastical burdens of the times, wrote on to New England the inquiries:--Whether they might be there suffered freely to exercise their Presbyterial church government? And it was freely answered--that they might. Thereupon they sent over an agent, who pitched upon a tract of land near the mouth of the Merrimac River, whither they intended to transplant themselves. But although they had so far proceeded in their voyage as to be half-seas through, the manifold crosses they met withal, made them give over their intentions; and the providence of God so ordered it that some of these very gentlemen were afterwards the revivers of that well-known Solemn League and Covenant, which had so great an influence upon the nation." There is one error in this extract. The conclusion would naturally be, that the expedition was from Scotland; and very probably Mather understood it to be from that country,--whereas, the company sailed from the North of Ireland. The error arose undoubtedly from the fact, that the correspondence was carried on from Scotland, and the agent was a Scotchman, the ministers were from Scotland, and of no small eminence, and the colonists themselves were either Scotchmen by birth, or the children of Scotchmen reared in Ireland.”
The ministers had managed to obtain the funds with which to have a ship built, named the Eagle Wing. The name derives from the Bible, verse 4 of Exodus 19 “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.”
“On 10th August 1636, Presbyterian ministers were summoned to the Church of Belfast for questioning. Five ministers were deposed for refusing to subscribe to Anglican doctrine. They later set sail for America on the Eagle's Wing but bad weather forced them to return.” http://www.celticcrossroads.com/celt1600.html
Billy Kennedy, Northern Ireland Journalist, is the author of The Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee, The Scots- Irish in the Shenandoah Valley, The Scots-Irish in the Carolinas, and The Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. In "Scots-Irish in the Carolinas" a Lecture by Billy Kennedy sponsored by the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs , October 8, 1998, Billy Kennedy placed these observations about the Eagle Wing before his audience.
"The Eagle Wing is believed to have been the first ship to set sail from Ulster's shores to America, but its 1636 voyage from the little Co. Down port of Groomsport was aborted after a heavy storm in mid-Atlantic. Some 140 Presbyterians from congregations on both sides of Belfast Lough in North Co. Down and East CO.Antrim sailed from Groomsport on September 9 bound for Boston. The journey ended back in Carrickfergus Bay on November 3 with the ships shrouds asunder, mainsail in ribbons, and rudder badly damaged
"It had been a traumatic experience for the voyagers who had completed three-quarters. of the journey when one of the Presbyterian ministers accompanying them, the Rev. John Livingstone advised, in the face of the continuing storm, that it was God's will that they should return home. The ship's captain was also of similar mind, and the 150-tonne vessel was turned around. "The Eagle Wing journey, notwithstanding its apparent failure, is remarkable in that it took place only 16 years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth.
COAT OF ARMS:
From the earliest dawn of history men used ensigns, banners, standards and badges as distinguishing emblems in war and in other affairs. Ancient and medieval warriors wore armour, we know. Armour continued in use until about 1300. The head was encased in the helmet and so the identity of the armoured warrier was difficult or impossible. This led, it is believed, to the emblazonment of some distinctive device upon the outer or surcoat; this giving rise to the term Coat-of-arms. When later the Coat-of-arms came into use in Scotland the lion rampant became and yet is the chief figure on the arms of the King of Scots. Hence, the lion rampant is significant, as an early meaning, of royalty or royal descent.
The king alone can give a grant of arms, and this he does in Scotland through the “Court of Lord Lyon”, who holds directly from the crown. But the Lyon Herald of Scotland has lost much of his ancient function, which is now in Herald's College of Great Britain.
At an early day the Coat of Arms of the Ewing's of Scotland, the arms claimed by our early American ancestors, was placed in one of the stained glass windows in the north aisle of the nave of the present Cathedral of Glasgow. Bishop Alexander Ewing of Glasgow in the eighteenth century, found a Ewing tombstone dated 1600 in Bonhill churchyard, the old Ewing burial grounds on the banks of Loch Lomand (Loch means lake) with the Ewing coat of arms carved upon it. The Ewing's of Scotland were of the Covenanter faith, and of the greatest stronghold of dissent against the Roman Catholic Church."
John Ewing, of Craightoun, Scotland inherited his Coat-of-arms from his ancestors. There are six entries of Ewing arms but all are founded upon those of Ewing of Craightoun. The arms of the Ewing family show several variations, but there is a substantial uniformity in those borne by the Scottish branches. The Ewing of Craightoun shows very certainly the four or five bars.
"Elbert William R. Ewing in Clan Ewing of Scotland pages 359-362 has a discussion of the EWING Coats of Arms. He had determined that the earliest on record was before 1565 and had been “executed” by one named Workman. By 1922, only six Coats of Arms had been registered in the name of EWING, i.e. proven, by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. Only one man in the United States, who lived in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1980, is qualified to bear a EWING Coat of Arms. Dr. Don Pottinger, in the Lord Lyon's Office in Edinburgh graciously showed me the originals of all seven. The earliest is not recorded there only described. It is thought that the grave slab of a WILLIAM EWING who died in Bon Hill, Scotland, is the earliest known COAT OF ARMS. The date on the grave slab is 1600. Next to William Ewing is the grave of Robert Ewing and his grave slab is identical in composition to that of William. It does not bear a Coat of Arms. I was unable to decipher the dates of birth and death of either of these men. The “rubbing” attempt was the only possible clue to the dates other then the 1600 date (which had been verified in Scotland for E.W.R. Ewing in 1918 or thereabout). WILLIAM EWING then was head of the Clan and Robert Ewing was either a brother or a son. We found no will nor intestate account for either of them."
"My Ewing female “cousins” will laud Senator Thomas Ewing for the following remark (quoted in "Ewing in America," Chapter 5):
"I do not dwell upon the family genealogy at large as I am aware that one of you has traced it back several hundred years; [the footnote indicates he is referring to Hugh Ewing's 1867 manuscript which I have been unable to locate] and more especially as I attach little importance to remote ancestry. Go back three hundred years and there are few who may not number two or three hundred ancestors, and among them persons in all ranks and stations of life ... men who have pride in their descent do for the most part trace back their genealogy along the male line, forgetting that their ancestors all had mothers who had their full share in forming the physical, moral and mental man."
"OUT OF SCOTLAND AND IN IRELAND (Some Early Ewing History)," compiled by James R. McMichael
"CLAN EWING OF SCOTLAND" by Elbert William Ewing, A.M.; LL.B.; LL.D.
"JOHN EWING, Immigrant from Ireland, 1660-1974" by Sara Ewing Myers.
"Ewings in Early America"
"Ewing-McCulloch-Buchanan Genealogy" by Marguerite and Vernon Brown, 3445 Western Ave., Mattoon, 11L (1957), published by Royal Publishers, Dallas, TX. Most of the early history comes from this source, but some of the information has not been verified, but reads as if it is to be believed. Copy can read at the LDS library in SLC. (929.273 Ew 53b).
"Clan Ewing", and "Our Ewing Family", by Laura Dingle Ewing of Wimberley, TX. Published by Spindletop Museum of Lamar University in 1978, (929.273 Ew 53c).
“Report - Ewing”, A Research Report for Clan Ewing in America, (Ireland, 1995), Part 1, pp. 2-4: Some information included from the Clan Ewing in America Ireland research report in 1995, by Deidre Speer, for Clan Ewing in America in 1995.
William Ewing “of Stirling, Scotland”
William Ewing “of Stirling, Scotland” was born about 1625 - died about 1717 in Ireland. "There is universal agreement that William Ewing, of the old Loch Lomond or Glasgow Clan was born within the old clan territory in Scotland within the environs of Stirling Castle. In or about 1685, he emigrated to Ulster, Ireland, near Coleraine where many of his clan kindred had lived for many years."
There seems to be no doubt that William Ewing married Elizabeth Milford, apparently about 1648. Elizabeth was born in Dunbarton, Glasgow, Scotland There is some doubt as to some of their children. Apparently Elizabeth was William's second wife; name of first wife not known. [There was a line of Ewing’s in Dunbartonshire in the 19th century].
It is generally believed that Robert, William, Frances, and Patrick (the first 4 listed) were children of William Ewing (originator). WILLIAM & William II were our DIRECT ANCESTORS.
William EWING * "of Stirling, Scotland" (b.Abt 1625-Stirling,Scotland d.Abt 1717-Ireland) and Elizabeth MILFORD * (supposition) (b.Abt 1630-Dunbarton,Glasgow,Scotland m.Abt 1648) had the following children:
1) Robert EWING "of Scotland" (b.Abt 1650-Scotland)
2) Frances EWING (b.1 Dec 1653-Londonderry,Ireland)
3) William EWING (II)* of Ulster, Ireland (b.Abt 1655-near Stirling Castle - Scotland d.apparently in Ulster,Ireland) (our direct ancestor)
| sp: (1st Wife Unknown) (m.14 Nov 1683d.Ireland)
| sp: (2nd Wife) * (possibly Ann)
4) Patrick EWING (b.11 Nov 1657) (I know nothing else about Patrick - any information appreciated)
Some details about the three names below will be provided. They are: John, Alexander and James. Actually, their parentage is unknown, but they were born in an appropriate time frame as William’s children, and thus were at least contemporaries of William’s children, if not actually his children.
Some of the following names are included as they were undoubtedly "related" and were in the same locale at the same time. The information about them is very interesting. There is no proof of the parentage of some of these Ewings. John was possibly another son of William & Elizabeth, but I have not verified any sources for that information. I include these children as a means of following these lines.
John EWING - "Of Carnshanaugh" (b.Abt 1648-Carnshanaugh Parish of Gahan City,Donegal,N. Ireland d.1745)
| sp: Jannett WILSON (m.3 Dec 1683)
| sp: Jannett MCELVANEY/MCILVENNY
Alexander EWING (b.3 Oct 1656-Londonderry,Ireland)
| sp: Margaret
James EWING (of Inch Island) (working hypothesis) (b.Bet. 1650 - 1665)