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Thread: Martha Orr
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Old 27th August 2017, 11:20   #2
Elwyn
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Randalstown, Co. Antrim, Ireland.
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Re: Martha Orr

The names you have mentioned (Orr & Steel) are both very common in Ireland. Taking the 1901 census as a source, there were 3052 people named Orr and 1813 Steel(e). The names suggest Presbyterian/Church of Ireland denominations. That, together with the 1700s timescale, points to them being from the counties of Ulster (Counties Antrim, Down, Armagh, Londonderry, Cavan, Monahan, Donegal, Tyrone & Fermanagh).

A high percentage of the emigrants from Ireland to the USA in the 1700s were descendants of Scots and English settlers who arrived in Ireland as part of the Plantation of Ireland in the 1600s. By the 1700s, many of them were dissatisfied with conditions in Ireland and decided to move on again, whereas the native Irish didn’t start emigrating in large numbers till the 1800s, due to a population explosion, lack of employment opportunties and intermittent famines.

So I’d say your ancestors were probably Presbyterians or Church of Ireland folk who came from Scotland in the 1600s and settled in Ulster before moving on again 100 years later. Scotch-Irish is what they tend to be known as in the USA and Canada. Ulster-Scots is the term in Ireland.

There are very few records from the 1700s to search. And few of those that exist are on-line. With common surnames and without a specific parish or townland in Ireland, there’s not much prospect of tracing anything on this lady on the current information.

DNA testing is probably the most likely way of linking up with any family in Ireland (or Scotland).

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