Whoa, Eleanor! Long story...after several years of fighting and not getting anywhere, King William of England (Black Billy Grimes) gave the Irish earls and their soldiers a choice at the Treaty of Limerick. To keep what was theirs and be free, but politically part of England, or to fly to Europe, where they could fight for England's enemies. Many many, fled to Europe, mostly to France, where a whole "Irish Brigade" was formed in the French Army. William of course, after 2 months, repealed the treaty, and thus imposing on those who stayed The Penal Laws, which took land and home away from the Irish. Catholicism was outlawed. Food could not be grown. Many more Irish left after they saw how they had been tricked. The French ships used to come at night, smuggling goods to the Irish people, and in return taking refugees back to France. The French, not wanting to arouse suspicion of the stowaways, listed them as "Wild Geese" in the ship manifests. So the saga began.