|WHAM is an unusual name. In my lifetime, I have been thought to be Chinese, Spanish or Indian. However, the
Wham family originally was from Scotland. On account of religious persecution, they removed from
Durmant, Dumfries, Scotland to County Antrim, in northern part of Ireland so that they might have religious freedom. However,
the family jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
Religious intolerance in Scotland was very bad. The Whams were staunch Presbyterians, and to be a staunch
Presbyterian in those days would be an impossibility to present day Americans. The Presbyterians in Scotland lived a
VERY VERY STRICT life. They strictly observed the Sabbath - no cooking, no frolicking, no dancing, no working -
only praying, reading the Bible and singing hymns.
And so these Whams (Scot word for SWAMP), went to Ireland either voluntarily or involuntarily, found themselves to
be in the same situation they had been in Scotland. To them, freedom meant everything and they were determined that
they would be free. My Whams, and all those others descended from the Whams who immigrated to South Carolina
came from County Derry, Ireland - Londonderry to be exact, and according to the poem written by Joseph Wham, sold
all their possessions, and they walked to old Cilton Town, spent the night there and walked on to Belfast. I know that
when they reached Belfast and could look down on the harbor and saw the ships there, they must have had both
misgivings about leaving Ireland, and hopes for a better life in America.