Monday, 23 July 2007

William Erigena Robinson

I am (still) searching for a book, "The Irish in America", written by William E(rigena) Robinson. It was published in America about 1878. One of the families mentioned is Clinton! [Erigena means native of Ireland.]

William Robinson was a member of Congress for Brooklyn in the 1870's and, as a newspaper columnist, was known as Richelieu of the Tribune - according to the New York Sun, of the 22nd September 1878. He had a brother James in Coleraine and a brother John in the neighbouring town of Ballymoney.

The Sun tells us that William devoted much of his research to "the immigration to this country from Ireland prior to the Revolution" (War of Independence). He claimed that the Irish were pioneers of American education and that one particular Irishman (unnamed) gave presidents to Hampden, Sidney, Princeton and Union Colleges.

In his book "The Irish in America" (published circa 1878) there are full accounts of Carroll, Livingstone, Preston, Meade and Clinton plus details of Adams, Aiken, Alexander, Alison, Armstrong, Beatty, Blair, Black, Brown, Burke, Butler, Caldwell, Calhoun, Campbell, Chambers, Clarke, Crawford, Davidson, Ewing, Finlay, Floyd, Fulton, Gibson, Graham, Hall, Harper, Houston, Iredell, Irvin, Jackson, Johnson, Johnston, Kennedy, Logan, Lynch, Morton, Marshall, McDowell, McKean, Montgomery, Moore, Morse, Nelson, Porter, Polk, Pollock, Patterson, Read, Reid, Rodgers, Rutherford, Rutledge, Smith, Speight, Stewart, Tennent, Thompson, Vance, White and Wilson.

Many of the above names are in existence in North Antrim. The Pollocks are still called Polk (pronounced as poke!), by older people; Irvin has become Irwin.

These details came from the Ballymoney Free Press. I've just recently spotted a reference to this work by W E Robinson, "The Scotch-Irish in America".