Shelby68, on 26 August 2013 - 05:07 PM, said:
Jim himself identified as Irish* and Scots-Irish, which settles it for me.
if you trace the family tree, look at the usa locations & then understand the ethnic movements of groups in the mid 1700's-mid 1800's, in my mind its very clear morrison had a strong scot irish lineage.
the scot prefix to the irish root is especially important when you're looking at migration patterns during that period in wh/ our nation was being formed thru england & later revolution.
scot-irish who came & settled in the usa in the late 1600's-1700's were a clan of people who were caught up in violent turf wars in europe in re to their own homelands. They eventually fled as outcasts from the established order of the british crown (well before the same revolution would occur in the 13 colonies in the 1770's) seeking avenues of survival & freedom in the new world.
one only has to examine the travails of the Scot, william wallace, in the early 1300's thru the wars of 3 kingdoms in the mid 1600's, to understand how political events shaped a course of exile, migration & a vigilant quest for freedom wh/ manifested itself in an almost tribal movement of the clan as it come onto the shores of the new world.
notice w/ morrison's family tree, that some of the first documented locations were lancaster pa, marshall county wv. & then on to Ohio. That parallels w/ scot irish migration movements in the usa during that era.
many scot irish by the early 1700's found themselves as a politically ostracized group who in many cases were either impoverished or enslaved as indentures to wealthy british interests. yet, b/c of their history of their fierce blood stands vs the Crown & their engrained ethos for freedom, they in many cases were endowed w/ a fiercely strong independent streak. Thus, as they found themselves on the shores of the 13 colonies, even though many were forced to endure hard agric labor (in some cases indentured), they soon struck out & carved their own independent pathway away from the ruling classes. West, in the mid 1700's, was the appalachians, & it was the scot-irish clans who were the first to forge pathways & establishments in the mountains.
w/in 1 generation of being in the new world, it was their clan who were the first to live amongst indians tribes such as the cherokee nation, even before the revolution itself. the powerful early aristrocacy class in the 1700's colonies were mainly of british line (esp in the southern colonies) and controlled the rich coastal areas in va & the carolina's. They forced not only african slaves to work on their lands, but also scot irish. but of course they & the scot irish mixed like oil & water. from that strife, very quickly scot irish clans carved out western pathways into the appalchian mtn chain. This fed their not only their need for independence & freedom, but even the lands themselves were similar to their homelands of scotland. its why bluegrass has strong echoes of irish & scottish music.
Therefore, when the amer revolution occurred in the mid 1700's, it was the scot irish clans who were amongst the strongest supporters for the fight for independence against the crown. in a sense it was their pay back time. people like danial boone & thomas jefferson had strong scot irish roots & this obviously manifested itself in rebellion against the established order of england & even found itself in the new nations philosophical concept of what freedom was.
if you trace the early history of lancaster pa & marshal cty, wva, & early ohio where morrison's lineage laid roots, you will also see the migration of the scot irish. remember it was the scot irish who opened up the pathway to the ohio valley from the south & pa & ky thru the cumberland gap. d boone himself was born in pa & then migrated thru what is today ky, va., wva, tenn & into ohio.
that strong scot irish independent streak interestingly remained intact also after the forming of the nation. the later planter class in the deep south in many cases werent scot irish. rather, many scot irish remained in the mountainous regions of the upper south & lower pa & didnt embrace slavery. many people dont realize this, but when the civil war strarted the confederacy had many problems in the appalch areas of tenn, nc, va & ky. Many of the scot irish in those areas sided w/ Lincoln's sentiments (70% of east tenn for ex fought union) & either stayed neutral or joined union forces. That is why teh state of w va was created, it was essentially a thank you from lincoln to the strong union support in that region of appalch va. (mainly scot irish).
I've always felt morrison lays a lot of this out in the song, WASP. The va swamps, the indians on the perimeter (probaly the renegade later forming of the seminoles who were of cherokee, choctaw & runaway slave clans), the runaway slaves w/ egyptian roots, wandering in the Western dream & the blood swirl of conflict in these areas as the nation was being formed. these were the experiences of his own heritage in those regions in the 1700's & they themselves were intertwined w/ those other groups as the nation was being formed.
considering his strong libertarian independent streak, it seems that the scot irish ethos certainly shaped to some degree his own outlook of how freedom & amer would be defined in his mind. perhaps one could claim, morrison, in some round about way, as the william wallace of rock n roll.
Edited by the_manassa_mauler_1919-'26, 29 August 2013 - 01:11 AM.