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Consul hears of US President’s Ulster links

Gregory S.Burton (left) Consul General at the US Consulate in Belfast paid a visit to the Andrew Jackson Cottage at Boneybefore.  Also pictured is Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Billy Ashe, Joni Wilson and Ann Mayne from the Kragfergus Living History Group. INCT 13-007-PSB

Gregory S.Burton (left) Consul General at the US Consulate in Belfast paid a visit to the Andrew Jackson Cottage at Boneybefore. Also pictured is Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Billy Ashe, Joni Wilson and Ann Mayne from the Kragfergus Living History Group. INCT 13-007-PSB

An American President’s ancestral links to Carrickfergus have been outlined during a visit from a senior US Consul.

Mayor Of Carrick Alderman Billy Ashe welcomed Consul General Gregory Burton to the Jackson cottage and Rangers Centre last Monday.

Members of Kragfergus Living History group were on hand to tell the story of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the USA, whose parents emigrated to America from Carrickfergus in 1765.

It was the first official visit to the borough for Mr Burton, who took up his Belfast-based post in June 2012.

The Philadelphia native’s career in the foreign service has taken him all over the globe from South Korea, Afghanistan and Venezuela to Denmark and Serbia.

“It’s great to finally get to Carrickfergus and see the cottage; it’s very nicely presented here,” Mr Burton said.

“I think Andrew Jackson’s links to Northern Ireland are not something people in the US would be particularly aware of unless they studied that period of history, but the Ulster Scots migration was something that was very important to the formation of the colonies.”

The US Rangers centre was also given the seal of approval from the former Army officer, who served for four years in Korea and Arizona.

“There’s a great military history in Northern Ireland, from here in Carrickfergus right down to Fermanagh,” he added.

With 75 percent of American presidents noted to have Irish or Ulster Scots ancestry, is hoped the Consul General’s visit will boost the profile of the Jackson homestead as a tourist destination among American visitors.

 

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