Dumfriesshire, Scotland to Antrim, Ireland

On a clear day you can see Scotland from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, a distance of about 15 miles.  Carrickfergus was a fort and coastal town on the coast of Ireland when Peter Hairstones was there the early 1700s. 

The Hairston family is first noted in Dumfries area of Scotland, less than 100 miles by water to the east.  At the time Peter Hairstones was in Ireland, the town of Carrickfergus was the main fort, city and port in the area. 

The river Nith runs through Dumfries and empties south of Dumfries into the Solway Firth and Irish Sea.  Ships sailed up the Nith River to Dumfries in the 1700's and it is possible that Peter Hairstones or his parents left Scotland for Ireland by this route.

William Hairstanes of Dumfries was involved in Tobacco trade with the American Colonies as early as 1721 and as late as 1744.

At the PRONI* in Belfast, I found a lease for farm land and a memorandum to that lease, both dated in 1726, between a land owner named Sir Robert Adair and three men; Peter Hairstones, Andrew Allett and William Owens.  The lease was for 120 years at a yearly rate of 14 pounds, 2 shillings and 6 pence sterling.  The piece of property leased was called the Belly and was formerly leased by a John Todd.

The lease indicates that Peter Hairstones was living in Straidnahanna at that time.

*PRONI - Public Records of Northern Ireland, located in Belfast, Northen Ireland

Scotland to Ireland