Scots-Irish Settlement in Southern Appalachia


Early European pioneers carved the settlement patterns for the Southern Appalachian region. Pioneers from the British Isles led early expeditions into the region’s interior. Irish Protestants from the northern counties of Ireland – dubbed “Scots-Irish” or “Scotch-Irish” – developed passages and settlements in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Highlands of Northwest North Carolina, and portions of Central and Eastern Kentucky. This document is intended to provide information for researching the role of Scots-Irish settlers in Southern Appalachia. All of the sources are available in the Belk Library or the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection.

Introductory Text: 

Rehder, John B. “The Scotch-Irish and English in Appalachia.” To Build in a New Land: Ethnic Landscapes in North America, ed. Allen G. Noble. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. 455 pp. See pp. 95-118. ASU App Coll E 184.A1 T6.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Scots-Irish - - Appalachia, Southern
  • Scotch-Irish - - United States
  • United States - - Emigration and Immigration - - History
  • Appalachian Region, Southern - - Guidebooks
  • Appalachian Region, Southern - - Social Life and Conditions
  • Mountaineers, Southern States - - Description and Travel
  • Shenandoah River Valley - - History

Also Relevant:

  • Historic Sites - - Appalachian Region, Southern
  • Scotch Highlanders in America
  • Scots - - Ireland - - Social Conditions
  • Irish American - - Biography
  • Ulster (Northern Ireland and Ireland) - - Emigration and Immigration

More General:

  • Immigrants - - United States - - History
  • Irish Settlers in North America
  • United States - - History - - Colonial Period
  • Scotland - - Social Conditions
  • Ireland - - Geneology - - Bibliography
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • E 49
  • E 184.S3, S4
  • F 160.S3, S4
  • F 209.E
  • F 217.A65
  • F 265.S3, S4
  • Z 1251

Davis, Julia. The Shenandoah. New York: Farrar & Reinhart, Inc., 1945. ASU
F 232.S5 D3. p.11,31,34-44,52,94,275,287,337.

Leyburn, James G. The Scotch-Irish: A Social History. Chapel Hill: The University
North Carolina Press, 1962. ASU App Coll E 184.S4 L5. p.170-2,186,200-

MacLean, J. P. An Historical Account of the Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in
America prior to the peace of 1783. Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Co., 1968. ASU App Coll E 184.S3 M2. p.40-59.

Williams, Cratis D. The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction, v.1. New York:
New York University, 1961. ASU App Coll PS 255.W26. p.9-43.

Williams, John Alexander. Appalachia: A History. Chapel Hill: The University of
North Carolina Press, 2002. ASU App Coll F 106.W68. p.43,45-7,101,145.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Hudson, Patricia L. and Sandra L. Ballard. The Smithsonian Guide to Historic
Amerrica: The Carolinas and the Appalachian States. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang: Distributed by Workman Publishing, 1989. ASU App Coll F 217.A65 H83. p.20-6.

Wilson, Charles and William Ferris, ed. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989. ASU App Coll Oversize F 209.E53. “Shenandoah Valley,” p.393; “Appalachians,” p.418;
“Migration Patterns,” p.551.

Cordasco, Francesco, Ed. Dictionary of American Immigration History.
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1990. ASU Reference JV 6450.D53.


Brosi, George. The Multi-Ethnic Heritage of the Southern Appalachian Region: A
Selective, Annotated Bibliography. Berea: Berea College, 1995.
ASU App Coll Z 1251.A7 B76. p.9-10.

Ross, Charlotte, ed. Bibliography of Southern Appalachia. Boone, NC:
Appalachian Consortium, 1976. ASU App Coll Z 1251. A7 B5x.

Appalachian Bibliography, Vol. II. Morganton: West Virginia University
Library, 1972. ASU App Coll Z 1251.A7 A6. p.950.

Abstracts and Indices: 

Social Sciences Index. v.1 – v.21, June 1974 – March 1995. ASU Reference
AI3.S62. Subject Headings: “Appalachian Region.”


Appalachian Journal. Boone, NC: Appalachian State University. 1972 - . ASU
App Coll F216.2 A66.

Mountain Life and Work. Berea, KY: Berea College. 1925 - 1988. ASU App Coll
GR103. M5. Bound: 1957-1988; Microfilm: 1925-1976.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Justan A. Treadway, Fall 2003