Scottish American

Scottish American

Infobox Ethnic group
group = Scottish American

caption = Notable Scottish Americans: Alexander Hamilton·Lucille Ball·Douglas MacArthur
Johnny Cash·Edgar Allan Poe·Reese Witherspoon
poptime = Scottish Americans 20-25 million Up to 8.3% of the U.S. population Scots-Irish Americans 30 million 10% of the U.S. population Scottish/Scots-Irish Americans: 50-55 million Up to 18.3% of the U.S. population"'
popplace = throughout the United States, particularly Appalachia,New England,West
langs = American English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic
rels = Mainly Protestant, some Catholic
related = British Americans ("Scots-Irish Americans, English Americans, Welsh Americans"), Irish Americans

Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster-Scots, who in the US are often treated as part of a common ethnic group. The Ulster-Scots originally came from the lowlands and border country of Scotland before migrating to Ulster Province in Ireland (see "Plantation of Ulster") and thence, beginning about five generations later, to North America in large numbers during the eighteenth century.

Number of Scottish Americans

The number of Americans of Scottish descent is estimated to be 20 to 25 million [ [ Tartan Day 2007] , "scotlandnow", Issue 7 (March 2007). Accessed 7 September 2008. ] [ [ Scottish Parliament: Official Report, 11 September 2002, Col. 13525.] ] [ [ Scottish Parliament: European and External Relations Committee Agenda, 20th Meeting 2004 (Session 2), 30 November 2004, EU/S2/04/20/1.] ] and Scots-Irish up to 30 million. [James Webb, [ Secret GOP Weapon: The Scots Irish Vote] , "Wall Street Journal" (23 October 2004). Accessed 7 September 2008.] In the 2000 Census, [ 4.8 million Americans] reported Scottish ancestry, 1.7% of the total US population. Another 4.3 million reported Scots-Irish ancestry, for a total of 9.2 million Americans reporting Scottish descent. These self-reported numbers are regarded by demographers as massive under-counts, because Scottish ancestry is known to be disproportionately under-reported among the majority of mixed ancestry, [Mary C. Walters, "Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), pp. 31-6.] and because areas where people reported "American" ancestry were the places where, historically, Scottish and Scots-Irish Protestants settled in America (that is: along the North American coast and the Southeastern United States). Scottish Americans descended from nineteenth-century Scottish immigrants tend to be concentrated in the West, while others in New England are the descendants of immigrants from the Maritime Provinces of Canada, especially in the 1920s. Given Scotland's population (just over 5 million), there are almost as many self-identified Scottish Americans as there are native Scots living in their home country.

cottish Americans and African Americans

There has been a long tradition of influences between Scottish and the African American community. The great influx of Scots Presbyterians into the Carolinas introduced the African slaves to Christianity and their way of worship and singing. Even today, psalm singing and gospel music are the backbone of African American churchgoers. It has been long thought by the wider African American community that American Gospel music originated in Africa and was brought to the Americas by slaves. However recent studies by Professor Willie Ruff, a Black American ethno-musicologist at Yale University, concludes that African American Gospel singing was in fact was introduced and encouraged by Scottish Gaelic speaking settlers from North Uist. [ The line connecting Gaelic psalm singing & American Music] (2007) Line Singing Conference at Yale.] His study also concludes that the first foreign tongue spoken by slaves in America was not English but Scottish Gaelic taught to them by Gaelic speakers who left the Western Isles because of religious persecution. Traditional Scottish Gaelic psalm singing, or "precenting the line" as it is correctly known, in which the psalms are called out and the congregation sings a response, was the earliest form of congregational singing adopted by Africans in America. Professor Ruff focuses on Scottish settler influences that pre-date all other congregational singing by African Americans in America and found, in a North Carolina newspaper dated about 1740, an advertisement offering a generous reward for the capture and return of a runaway African slave who is described as being easy to identify because he only spoke Gaelic. [cite web| url=| publisher="Scotland on Sunday"| title=Black music from Scotland? It could be the gospel truth| author=Ben McConville| date=31 August 2003| accessdate=2007-12-18] Such cultural influences have remained until modern times, even a church in Alabama where the African American congregation worshipped in Gaelic as late as 1918, giving a clue to the extent to which the Gaels spread their culture - from North Carolina to Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. [cite web| title=Black America's musical links to Scotland| url=| publisher="The Scotsman"| author=Ben McConville| date=4 June 2005| accessdate=2007-12-18]

cquote|We as black Americans have lived under a misconception. Our cultural roots are more Black Gaelic than Black American. Just look at the Harlem phone book, it’s more like the book for North Uist. I have been to Africa many times in search of my cultural identity, but it was in the Highlands that I found the cultural roots of black America.

— Professor Ruff, Conference at Yale 2007

The lasting legacy of Ruff’s research is an anthropological revelation which forces the re-evaluation of the history of two peoples. [cite web| title=Indian, Black Gospel and Scottish Singing Form an Unusual Musical Bridge| author=Chuck McCutcheon| date=April 21, 2007| url=| publisher="Washington Post"| accessdate=2007-12-18] Such research has heightened a re-think an interest in Scottish-African American relationship and cultural influences.

2006 American Community Survey

* Scottish 6,006,955 Americans
* Scots-Irish 5,393,554 Americans [ [ 2006 American Community Survey] ]

cottish Americans by state

thumb|340px|Dark red and brown colours which indicate a higher density: highest in the east and west"' (see also Maps of American ancestries)]

The states with the most Scottish & Scots-Irish populations:

*California- 541,890 (1.6% of State population)
*Florida- 294,293 (1.8%)
*Texas- 289,827 (1.4%)
*Michigan- 224,803 (2.3%)
*New York- 212,275 (1.1%)

*California- 410,310 (1.2% of State population)
*Texas- 337,630 (1.6%)
*North Carolina- 255,825 (3.2%)
*Florida- 246,580 (1.5%)
*Pennsylvania- 218,173 (0.7%)

The states with the top percentages of Scottish:

* Maine (4.8% of state population)
* Vermont (4.6%)
* Utah (4.4%)
* New Hampshire (4.4%)
* Oregon,Wyoming,Idaho (3.2% each)

* North Carolina (3.2%)
* South Carolina (2.9%)
* Tennessee (2.6%)
* Montana (2.6%)
* Maine (2.6%)

Presidents of Scottish and Scots-Irish descent

At least twenty three presidents of the United States have some Scottish or Scots-Irish ancestry, although the extent of this varies. For example, Ronald Reagan's great grandfather was a Scot and Woodrow Wilson’s grandparents were both Scottish. To a lesser degree Bill Clinton, James K. Polk and Richard Nixon have less direct Scottish, Scots-Irish ancestry.
#George Washington 1st President.
#Thomas Jefferson 3rd President
#James Monroe 5th President
#Andrew Jackson, 7th President 1829-37
#William Henry Harrison, 9th President
#James Knox Polk, 11th President 1845-49
#James Buchanan, 15th President 1857-61
#Andrew Johnson, 17th president 1865-69
#Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President 1869-77
#Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President 1881-85
#Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President 1885-89, 1893-97
#Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President 1889-93
#William McKinley, 25th President 1897-1901
#Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president 1901-09
#Woodrow Wilson, 28th President 1913-21
#Harry S. Truman, 33rd President 1945-53
#Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President 1963-69
#Ronald Reagan, 40th President 1981-89
#George H. W. Bush, 41st President 1989-93
#Bill Clinton, 42nd President 1993-2001 (his fathers surname was Blythe)
#George W. Bush, 43rd President 2001-present

Other Presidents of Scottish descent

#Sam Houston, President of Texas 1836-38 and 1841-44

National Tartan Day

National Tartan Day, held each year on April 6 in the United States and Canada, celebrates the historical links between Scotland and North America and the contributions Scottish Americans and Canadians have made to US and Canadian history and society. "Scottish Heritage Month" is quickly being adopted around the United States and Canada.

Highland Games

, and traditional Scottish dance.

List of notable Scottish Americans

* List of Scottish Americans

See also

*Scottish place names in the USA
*Scottish Canadian
*Celtic music in the United States
*Maps of American ancestries
*British American
*Scots-Irish American
*English American
*Welsh American
*Irish American


External links

*gutenberg|no=15162|name=Scotland's Mark on America, by George Fraser Black, Ph.D.
* [ - Official government source for Scottish roots]

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