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Now playing: The Irish Emigrants

THE HOMELAND

PETER SNR was born in Seaforde in 1774, the second son of  PATRIKUS DORREEN SNR (c1735-1785) and his wife Margaret Fulton.  Patrikus and Margaret had five other children, JOHN, RUTH, MARGARET, MARY AND MARK.  Patrikus farmed on the old Forde estate.   

Seaforde is situated in the old parish of Loughinisland, County Down about 20 miles south of Belfast.  It remains today very much as it did almost a hundred years ago.  The peaceful village in its picturesque rural setting gives the appearance of having been trapped in time.

Peter Snr married Laetitia Keys born in nearby Castelwellan.  Of their 8 children, JOHN, ELLEN, AGNES, WILLIAM, JAMES and PETER Jnr  (1815-1868) were born in Ireland.

The Church at Seaforde

Seaforde Village

Sometime after the birth of Peter Jnr the family moved to Glasgow, where their two youngest children were born, MARGARET 1817-1875 and THOMAS 1819-1900.  The family eventually lived in Old Cotton Street, in Paisley.

A lawyer, John Crawford advocated emigration as a means of helping to reduce Scotland's economic problems.  He suggested New Zealand as a possible solution, and the idea of the FIRST SCOTTISH COLONY FOR NEW ZEALAND was mooted. 

The historic voyage of the Bengal Merchant in 1839 stands as witness to the success of the 'brainchild' of
organizers like John Crawford and the New Zealand Land Committee.

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