Monday, 18 October 2010

Some North Carolina connections

In my last post, yesterday, I referred to local gospel singer Kathryn Mitchell.  Later in the day I was listening to her most recent CD and saw that it was recorded  in the Son Sound Studio in North Carolina. The studio is in Gaston County and about midway between Charlotte and King’s Mountain.

As regards Ulster connections in North Carolina Gaston County was named after the son of an Ulsterman and Kings Mountain was the scene of an important victory for the American patriots during the War of Independence. On 7 October 1780 the Overmountain Men, many of whom were Ulster-Scots and the sons of Ulster-Scots, defeated the British Army at Kings Mountain.  Theodore Roosevelt described Kings Mountain as 'the turning point of the American Revolution'.

The earliest settlers of Gaston County were Scotch-Irish and both the county and the county seat, Gastonia, were named after William Joseph Gaston (1778-1844), a US congressman and state Supreme Court judge, whose father emigrated from Ballymena to America.  His father, who was of Huguenot descent, died when he was very young and William was then raised by his mother, who was a Roman Catholic.

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