Planning your vacation?

Even the many Americans with Irish ancestry may not think of Ireland much except on St. Patrick's Day.

But Northern Ireland hopes to take advantage of a growing interest in genealogy to promote a cultural and tourism exchange between that region and East Tennessee.
Many of the whites who settled in East Tennessee in the 18th century where Scots-Irish who left Ulster for the Appalachian frontier.
Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Edwin Poots, was in Tennessee last week and says he sees a "significant opportunity" for tourism and exchanges between the two regions.
The Knoxville News Sentinel

Guess what, I've found the perfect place to start.

It's in North East Tennessee, on NORTH IRISH STREET ...

(423) 787-0500
WEBSITE: www.mainstreetgreeneville.com/tours_mansion.html

Located 14 miles from I-81 in Historic Downtown Greeneville. "Showplace of East Tennessee." Designed and constructed by two craftsmen from Ireland (1815-1821). The circular staircase, arising three full flights, is the "tour de force" of the builder's art. Built by William Dickson, Greeneville's first postmaster for his only child, Catharine, who married Dr. Alexander Williams. This house served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Tours daily at 1 p.m. limited to 12 people. Advance reservations for groups over 12 people. Closed holidays. AC.


Andrew Kottenstette said...

Just catching up and find this interesting in two ways. Love circular staircases that are done well in wood. Have ancestors who most probably were Scot-Irish, and from East Tennessee. I have a scholarly treatise written about this subject a while back by a professor in Georgia. Now I will have to dig it out again.
The thing I don't get about the family name is "Bishop". Seems very English, but then someone told me Irish on the run (1770's) changed, Angli-sized Gaelic surnames. Could have been Mac Gilla Espuig, or Gillespie, "servant of the Bishop".

CyberScribe said...

It'd be interesting to read highlights from the scholarly treatise sometime.

Andrew Kottenstette said...


The one that I have is by Leyburn, but as you can see this is a subject here which really captures the imagination, if not factual history.

Our own legend is of a family which helped settle these regions after the colonial and revolutionary period. It is almost as if the English knew which group of people to send there because of their socially fractious nature. The Germans which settled in Pensylvannia got along with the natives. The Scot-Irish did not. They couldn't even get along with each other in the New World! They continued to move around, given the new option of space. Wouldn't you? They left Scotland because of various agricultural limitations, when not fleeing religious persecutions and remants of clan feuds over these lands of meager means. Imagine their chagrin in moving to Northern Ireland of the time! After a short period they caught the first boats available for Austrialia, the American colonies, or wherever someone spoke a little english.

One ancestor of mine, one Richard Bishop, fought bravely in America's Civil War 1861 - 1865("War Between the States", to all you Confederacy romanticists). He fought across enemy lines (Confederate) to visit family when they were sick. Then he fought his way back, only to be taken prisoner for desertion, or spy... until they needed more rifles. After the war on the day of a general election he was killed in cold blood walking home by a former rebel named Sizemore. (He was a bad man who would go on to kill other people, and was later brought to justice for his crimes.) I dare say he most probably was not armed, or the outcome might have been different.

At the turn of the 20th Century my great grandmother Sudie (Susan) Bishop came west in search of opportunity in farming in eastern Colorado, located around the town of Lamar. She joined a half-brother who must've come out earlier. They are both lsited in the census of 1910 for the county that sits in, Prowers or Baca.

She married a man named Henry O'Key in 1910 or 1912 (I forget which), though it is unsure now if the aposthrophe was inserted. He died of Typhus in 1914. Our grandmother on my mother's side was born in 1917 in Pueblo, but given his surname. She was listed in the Morse sales listing as living in Pueblo from 1917 to 1919 as a dressmaker or seamstress with two children, aged 6 and 4, whereupon she left my grandmother at the Scared Heart Orphanage with the reason being, "Too poor to support." She was then listed as having moved back to Lamar, re-marrying to a man named Pearson, and inheriting some rental property along with a house after his death, but she never went back for her last child. She then re-married again to a man named Hackley, and had one child, Alonzo Hackley Jr.

Later on she would die on the operating table surrering from ovarian cancer, 1929 if I recall correctly. Her son died soon thereafter in 1932 at the young age of 20. Her second child was listed as mentally incompetent in a lawsuit initiated by Sudie's older brother to prevent two younger children, Alonzo Hackley, and my grandmother, Dorothy (O'Key) Ordaz, from having any claim upon her estate. I doubt my grandmother knew of any of it.

Sadly, we never got to meet grandmother's older sister before she passed away in 1991. We hadn't done enough of the genealogy to know before then. She was living as a ward of the state in a home (in our own hometown) for the developmentally disabled when she broke her ankle. Now, I'm not sure how one can die in a hospital of a broken ankle, but she was by that time in her eighties.

Andrew Kottenstette said...

Amazon will allow looking through excerpts:


CyberScribe said...

|Do you know whereabouts in Ireland or Scotland they originated from?

Andrew Kottenstette said...

There are few things I'd like more than to know where Joseph Bishop came from before he showed up on the property owner rolls in Virginia. I have so little time to devote to genealogy now. Every once in a while I'll get back on Ancestry.com and see if any others have made any progress. I do know that some of the more notable Bishops before his time were involved in witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts.