Jimmy Carter has become the 13th President of the United States to be positively established as having direct links with the Ulster-Scots Presbyterian families who moved to the American frontier in the 18th century.
The Ulster link for the Democratic president from Georgia who was in the White House from 1976 to 1980, is confirmed by News Letter assistant editor Billy Kennedy in his latest book, The Scots-Irish in the Carolinas, which will be launched in Lisburn on Thursday night.
The latest book, published by Causeway Press/Ambassador Productions, completes the trilogy by Billy Kennedy on the Scots-Irish diaspora. The first two were The Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee (first published in 1995 and now heading for its fifth print) and The Scots-Irish in the Shenandoah Valley (published in 1996).
Jimmy Carter is Scots-Irish on his father's side and can trace his roots back to Andrew Cowan, one of the earliest settlers of Boonesborough, near Abbeville in the Piedmont area of South Carolina.
Andrew Cowan (1742-86) was one of a group of mainly Ulster emigrant families who moved into a buffer territory at Long Cane in the Carolina up-country between 1763 and 1775.
Sophronia Caroline Cowan Pratt, the great grand-daughter of Andrew Cowan, was great-grandmother of President Carter, who was born at Plains, Georgia, in 1924, not so far from the South Carolina homeland of his descendants. …