Just a mile outside Carrickfergus you will come to Boneybefore, the ancestral home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States. The signage is easily missed but a visit to the cottage is well worth your time, if you want to go inside you have to make an appointment with Carrickfergus Council or visit on a Friday and Saturday between 11 and 3pm when it is manned by voluntary staff from Kragfergus, a local living history group. (rmap reference).
The restored cottage was originally built in the 1750s and one of a dozen similar farm cottages in this area. It is not where his parents emigrated from, unfortunately that identical cottage was demolished to make way for the railway in 1860 and stood fifty yards away from this one. A blue plaque larks the spot today.
His parents Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson emigrated to America in 1765. Andrew Jackson (junior) was born two years after his parents had arrived and settled in the Waxhaws on the border of North and South Carolina. His father tragically died in February 1767, three weeks before he was born after injuring himself lifting a log, aged 29.
Also attached to the cottage is an exhibition dedicated to the United States Army Rangers. They first entered the European Theatre of War in 1942 when the 1st Ranger Battalion was recruited, trained and billetted in Carrickfergus. They saw active service in North Africa and Italy, the majority of the 500 volunteers came from the 34th Infantry Division and of those 500 only 87 survived the war.
Just up the road a short distance on the opposite side of the road is 'Fool's Haven', a beautiful well kept thatched cottage which dates to the same period as the Andrew Jackson Cottage. On the wall is a blue plaque to Ruddick Millar (1907 - 1952) Titanic Orphan, Journalist, Author and Playright.
His father Thomas Millar had been employed by Harland and Wolff as a engine fitter and worked on the engines of both the Olympic and Titanic. He then joined the White Star Line and after one voyage aboard the 'Gothard' was assigned to the Titanic as a Deck Engineer.
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