This simple two room cottage is very typical of the Ulster-Scots cottages of the 17th century; with one main room for living and cooking; and a bedroom.  Furnishings were hand-made and simple.  The light was often poor, particularly in the darker winter months, and a tax on windows in Ireland led to the expression “daylight robbery”.

Note the original mud walls, reinforced with reeds, which can be observed in the bedroom.

The original family arrived in Ulster from Scotland at the time of the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century: in 1634 we find a record of a Simpson tenancy of a 10-acre farm at Dergenagh.  Some generations later, John Simpson (grandfather of the President) was born in 1738, emigrating to the American Colonies aged 22.  His daughter Hannah Simpson married Jesse Root Grant, a leather tanner – and they became the parents of Hiram Ulysses Grant who was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, in 1822.