Dr. David Dobson is not only one of our most prolific authors he is also the leading authority on Scottish immigration to North America. David born in Carnoustie, Scotland and educated at Dundee College of Commerce and later at Dundee College of Technology [now Abertay University] where he studied business subjects. He then studied History at the University of St Andrews and finally again at the University of Aberdeen, where he earned his Ph.D.
Dobson’s particular interests are the Scottish Diaspora of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and Scottish Maritime history of the same period. His research has mainly been carried out in the United States and Scotland but also, to a limited extent, in London, Ireland, Canada, Madeira, Rotterdam, and Copenhagen.
For many years he taught at Madras College in St Andrews. Subsequently, David was an honorary Research Fellow with the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen. He is currently an honorary Research Fellow with the Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews.
David Dobson has written or compiled over 100 titles bearing the Genealogical Publishing or Clearfield Company imprint. His two newest books for Genealogical.com are Scottish Trade with Colonial Charleston, 1683-1783, and a The People of Fife, 1600-1799.
For Scottish Trade with Colonial Charleston Dr. Dobson has drawn upon original sources found in both Scotland and Charleston, David Dobson here identifies the Scots merchants doing business in Charleston as well the merchants in Scotland with whom they traded. Also covered are the quantities and types of goods bought and sold; the importance of family connections and networking in the success of Scotland’s trading ventures, both in financial terms and the wider commercial activities generated; the role of ship-building; Scottish emigration, both voluntary and involuntary; and other factors that characterized the Charleston-Scotland nexus.
As eighteenth-century South Carolina was unarguably an economy based on slavery, it was virtually impossible for any resident there not to be either directly or indirectly involved in the use of slave labor. Chapter Five of Scottish Trade with Colonial Charleston examines the extent to which–and in which capacities–Scots participated in the slave trade between Africa, the West Indies, and South Carolina. It considers the selection of slaves; their transportation, sale, and eventual employment in the colony; and the available evidence of the number of slaving voyages in which the Charleston Scots were involved, the numbers of slaves landed in Charleston, and the locations in Africa or the West Indies from which they came.
The People of Fife, 1600-1799 is the latest in a series regional colonial works from Dr. Dobson that identify inhabitants who, or whose descendants, may have emigrated to the New World. The County of Fife is on the east coast of Scotland and lies between two river estuaries–to the south lies the Firth of Forth and to the north lies the Firth of Tay. During the period 1600-1799, the economy of Fife was based on exports of fish, coal, salt, agricultural produce, linen, and other textiles. Its seafaring communities were engaged in fishing and whaling, with trading voyages to ports in Scandinavia, the Baltic lands, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and the Americas. These shipping links led in due course to emigration. Among such emigrants were John Cunningham, who led a Danish expedition to Greenland and Labrador in 1605, later settling in Norway; General John Forbes, who fought in the French and Indian War and is buried in Philadelphia; and Samuel Greig, 1735-1788, the founder of the Russian Navy. Another notable son was Adam Smith, 1723-1790, economist and author of The Wealth of Nations, who was born in Kirkcaldy. While the contents of the 2,000-plus entries of Fife inhabitants varies considerably, the following sample conveys an idea of what researchers may hope to find in the work as a whole:
WEST, JAMES, born 11 June 1791, son of John West in Kirkcaldy, emigrated to America in 1815, settled in Wood County, West Virginia, died in Fox Township, Ohio, in 1851. [OVG.125]