Open Alternative Views of Statue
 

 

If those who remained behind in Ireland after 1718 had known that so much of the Ulster way of life and culture was long cherished in the unknown wilderness that was to become New Hampshire, and if they had known even a little of the lives of their friends and descendants and kinsfolk, it would surely have comforted them. Sharing the stories, exchanging family information, re-visiting the land of origin or the land that became home to Ulster-born people; it is to be hoped that activities such as these will help in the present day to connect families separated for almost three hundred years. The re-forging of bonds between the communities may help to increase Ulster and American knowledge of the past, and thus to acknowledge the losses and trauma suffered by Ulster and Irish and Scottish society over so many generations, losses which were transformed into unparalleled contributions to modern America, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain.

A few paragraphs written in 1889 by Leonard Allison Morrison from New Hampshire, the first person who wrote about the need to re-connect, are a fitting conclusion. He was a descendant of the Dinsmores and McKeens, and other co. Antrim and Derry families.

'It had been my great desire to visit the old home of the early Dinsmores, the abode for many generations of their descendants. All the other Dinsmores there, in their several generations, were, in different degrees of consanguinity, my relatives. Business of another nature called me to Ballymoney, and I gladly embraced the opportunity of visiting one of the townlands, Ballywattick, two miles away. With Mr William Hunter, an occupant of part of a Dinsmoor homestead, I had enjoyed a pleasant correspondence for several years. An Irish jaunting-car, on the afternoon of the day of my arrival, bore me rapidly over the smooth, hard road to the home of Mr Hunter, where he, his amiable wife and interesting family, gave me the cheeriest welcome.....They live pleasantly and cosily in a well constructed, good-sized stone house, built upon a portion of the homestead of Robert Dinsmore, the writer of the historic letter of 1794. [The letter from Ballywattick to an American kinsman set out the details of the Scots ancestry and early history of the family]....Through the windows I looked forth upon fields familiar to, and trodden by, my ancestors two hundred and more years ago, and which had been sacred to their descendants almost to the present year. A lane, lined on either side with hedges, led us to the former home of Robert Dinsmore, the letter writer. It is a stone house of comfortable size and dimensions, with a roof of thatch. In its day it was one of the most pretentious in its neighbourhood. It is now unoccupied. Here it was that Robert Dinsmore lived, at seventy-four years of age, in 1794 when he wrote his letter, since famous, and now historic, to his relative John Dinsmoor of Windham, N.H., giving the genealogy and early history of the family'.

 

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