Thomas Carrick's origins in County Armagh in what is now Northern Ireland, places him firmly among the people known as Ulster-Scots. Many of these people came to
Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster commencing in the early 17th century. King James 1 of England promoted a scheme whereby those loyal to the crown of
England were "planted" in the north of Ireland to offset the power of the Irish Earls and to leaven the mainly Catholic population of Ireland with English and Scottish
protestants. The "Troubles" of the late 20th century can trace their roots to this action.
The genealogy of Thomas Carrick before his migration to Australia is proving hard to track even though we know his parents were Thomas Carrick and Anne or
Susanna Gillespie who were married on 2 June 1805 in the Parish church of St. Paul, Tartaraghan, Co. Armagh.
St. Paul's Church, Clontylew Road, Tartaraghan, Portadown, Co. Armagh (1)
I visited this church and the surrounding areas in 2003. I had been in
touch by email with a young man also named Carrick who was
following his family history as I was. We met and exchanged ideas
and information and we are both convinced that my GGGrandfather
and his were brothers, living in the same townlands where the
Carricks live today.
Since then I have corresponded with another researcher who has
Carrick ancestors and also Matchetts as I do. The origins of Matchett in
Co. Armagh has been traced back to the 17th century to a John
Matchett from Norfolk, England. The origins of the Carricks there is
less definite - in the gaelic language, Carrick means "large rock" and
it appears in many placenames in Ireland and Scotland. Carrickfergus
in Belfast for instance means the Rock of Fergus, as in fortress. In
Scotland there is a Carrick district in the county of Ayrshire and it is
well described here.
The French motto is "Avise la fin" - Consider the end.
It is not putting too fine a point on it to say that the people of Northern Ireland do not wish to be known as Irish - they will tell you that name belongs to those
people down south of them in the Republic of Ireland. I learned a lot in my brief stay there and in correspondence since.
If our branch of the Carrick family can be traced back to
Scotland, we are able to claim kinship with Clan Kennedy as
Carrick is a sept, or minor clan, of Kennedy. The Kennedy
clan was prominent in western Scotland and eastern Ireland
and the clan crest is impressive: