A Scotch-Irish Clan in Middle Georgia? The Migration and Development of a McCarty Family across Two Centuries

Previously posted at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363199019881341?ai=2b4&mi=ehikzz&af=R

Journal of Family History, Ahead of Print.
This essay argues that characteristics of the Irish and Scottish kin-based clan systems brought to America by settlers from Ireland and Scotland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had lasting effects on American kinship systems. Using a case study to focus on a single family, it suggests that elements of kinship systems originating in Ireland and Scotland could be found in a central Georgia community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is significant because the location was far removed from areas often identified with Irish, Scottish, and Scotch-Irish settlers, such as the hill country of the lower Appalachian Mountains. It suggests that cultural folkways could persist across many generations of a family, even outside areas where they were heavily concentrated. The latter portion of the essay focuses on the role of one woman, family matriarch Rhoda Johnson, in shaping identity and transmitting culture across generations.