The Scottish – Southern Connection

The genetic and cultural connection between Scotland and The South is well established. Here is a rather comprehensive article on the subject that was prompted by the creation of a Southern Memorial tartan.

My own opinion is that the Scottish – Southern connection has been overblown by some folks. It definitely exists, but the influence is rather minor.

NOTE – This web site, “Temple of Democracy” is a rabidly anti-Southern organization.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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11 Responses to The Scottish – Southern Connection

  1. Proud Scot descendant and proud Southron.

  2. Stephen, Thanks for stopping by Homestead Revival and for adding my blog to your list of “Southern Agrarian”. Although I’m serving on the “mission field” in CA with my husband, we are both from South Texas and have proud ties that forever bind us there (I could get real homesick reading your blog!). Both of us are of Scottish decent (originally came from TN), but in TX, you’ll find a lot more of German and Czech descent, so you may be right that it’s overblown a bit.

    My great-grandmother (5x) was Sarah Bradley Dodson, who came to TX with her parents in the first 300 with Stephen F. Austin. She later married and created the first Lone Star Flag for the state of TX. Another wonderful Scottish Southern Belle.

  3. Deltaboy says:

    It is sad that this man is on the taxpayer payroll here in TX!

  4. Rattlesnake says:

    If you can wade through the rhetoric, the articles do bring up some valid points.
    The scottish influence on the south is almost entirely contained within the Appalachian culture. Evidence of that still exists today in alot of thier folkways and especially the language. The accent from that area is heavily influenced by the Lallans language of southern Scotland.

    That said, the plantation culture of the rest of the south shows minimal celtic influence. It was very much an English, cavalier society.

  5. Rattlesnake, I think you pretty well summed it all up there. I hadn’t considered the idea that the plantation culture had a heavy English influence, but it does appear that way. I’ll have to give that one some more thought. Thanks for the insight.

  6. Rattlesnake says:

    Prior to the American revolution, the southern plantation owners were all landed English gentry. Washington, as well as most of the other southern founding fathers considered themselves to be English gentlemen prior to the war, and because of this we can infer that it was the general sentiment of that class. While political allegiance may have changed, the culture never really did. They went from being landed English gentry, to plantation owning Americans without alot of cultural upheaval beyond the obvious effects of American independence.

  7. austincloss says:

    The overwhelming majority of white Southerners are of North British descent. That is, their ancestors came from Northern England, Wales, and Scotland with a multitude of Scots coming by way of Northern Ireland—the Scots-Irish.
    Brandeis history professor, David Hackett Ficsher, gives a detailed account of the diaspora from North Britain to the Southern highlands and the South in general in his fascinating book, “Albion’s Seed.” The original planters of the Tidewater and Carolinas were indeed English Royalists driven to America by Cromwell and the Puritans following the English Civil War and the beheading Charles II. The Anglo-Celts came to America, en masse from North Britain, following the Act of Union between Scotland and England in 1707 and came in successive waves up until the Revolution. This is why many [not all!] planters and professionals [lawyers, doctors, bankers] in the South were and are Episcopalian while more [not all!] small farmers and labourers were and are Calvinists such as Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterian.

  8. Austin says:

    Correction: it was Charles I, not Charles II who was beheaded.

  9. James says:

    Dear Mr. McGehee,
    As you may already fully realize, McGehee is a sept, a subdivision, of Clan McGregor.
    Secondly, the general ancestry of Southerners, whether English Cavalier, Scottish and/or Irish, have one commonality, ancestors who at one time or another, during the English Civil War, fought the Puritans, the religion of which dominated New England(though the Puritans of Boston were of a faction opposed to Cromwell). Therefore, there seems always to have been, and still is, at least a latent tension between New England and the South, which may have had its origins in the seventeenth century.
    A New Jersey Copperhead

  10. James,

    The Puritan connection is one that I had not made. I was aware of the individual connections (Scottish vs. Puritan, and English vs. Puritan), but had never put it together. Thank you for helping us connect the dots.

    Some years ago, I was an active member of American Clan Gregor Society. Although I no longer am a member there, we still attend the Scottish Highland Games whenever possible. There is one school of genealogical research that says that the McGehee/McGregor connection does not really exist, but I have come to the conclusion that those who make that claim are simply trying to make a name for themselves by promoting a theory that is certain to anger a lot of people (similar to what many anti-Southern “historians” do). There is ample evidence, both circumstantial and provable, of direct ancestry from Clan McGregor to McGehee. Even the name McGehee is a phonetic spelling of the Gaelic nickname for the McGregor Clan – Children of The Mist – so named for their ability to disappear into the mist following an attack on their enemies.

  11. James says:

    Dear Mr. McGehee,
    As you know, Clan Gregor was proscribed in Scotland until 1774. The bearing of the name was outlawed under the penalty of death. Yet, your Clan exists to this day, both in Scotland and abroad, exemplifying that the retention of cultural indentities within the home areas of the cultures, however brutally suppressed by outside forces, often later leads to their open revivals.
    On another tangent relating to your post and the comments, descendants of Puritan New Englanders settled in and dominated the San Francisco area and the coastal Pacific Northwest. Thus, California and Oregon joined the Unionists during the War of Southern Independence, and the domination of the West Coast by their ideological successors continues.
    A New Jersey Copperhead

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