Andrew Jackson

US president whose parents hailed from Boneyface near Carrickfergus

The parents of US President Andrew Jackson lived at Boneyface, outside Carrickfergus, prior to emigrating for a new life in the New World. Andrew Jackson senior, with his wife Elizabeth and sons Hugh and Robert, departed from Ireland in 1765, encouraged in their adventure by Arthur Dobbs of Dobbs Castle, Carrickfergus, then governor of North Carolina.

The family travelled to the Waxhaws settlement in the Carolinas, near to Elizabeth’s sisters who had emigrated earlier. The young Andrew Jackson was born just after the death of his father in 1767. Losing his mother and two brothers in the War of Independence, Jackson was brought up by his aunts and later trained as a lawyer. He was soon appointed a public prosecutor for North Carolina, moving then to Tennessee, where he was elected as the state’s first representative.

Jackson’s legal career continued to progress and he was appointed a high court judge, while a new dimension was added to his life when he was appointed major general in the Tennessee militia. In 1815 Jackson the victorious commander at the Battle of New Orleans when British forces were defeated. He became a national hero overnight, and this status took him to the White House.

Jackson served two terms as US president between 1829 and 1837. He died in 1845 and is buried at his home just outside Nashville, Tennessee.

The ancestral home of Andrew Jackson was demolished in the 1860s. However, the Andrew Jackson Centre is housed in a similar 1750s period cottage adjacent to the site. Restored to its original state, the house contains an open fireplace with a daub and wattle canopy and hanging crane, a dresser, sponge wear crockery, and iron pots and griddles. With a collection of Ulster patchwork quilts and farm machinery, the centre also has a display of the ancestry and life of Jackson and his family in the exhibition gallery.