Scotland’s connection to Barbados is as old as British colonization itself. The first Proprietor of the Barbados was the Scot, James Hay, Earl of Carlisle. Following the establishment of trading links between Scotland and the West Indies, Scots indentured servants were in constant demand on Barbados plantations. Owing to Cromwell’s defeat of Scotland between 1648 and 1651, the Covenanter Risings in the second half of the 17th century, and eventually, the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745, the Crown would banish many Scots to Barbados and elsewhere in the New World. Throughout the colonial period, a steady trickle of Scots sought to inhabit Barbados because of the opportunities the land offered. Barbados is also of special significance to genealogists as it was the springboard for the settlement of other British colonies, notably Jamaica and South Carolina.
David Dobson’s first new effort of 2005 tackles the subject of Scottish emigration to the island of Barbados. Drawing upon a wide range of manuscript and published sources originating in Barbados, Scotland, England, the Netherlands and the U.S., the author here identifies about 2,500 Scots or their progeny who made their way to Barbados. Most of these emigrants left Scotland in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since vital records comprise a large number of the sources for this book, the researcher will find that most Scots are identified by name, date/place of birth, baptism, marriage, or death; name of spouse or parents; and sometimes occupation, reason for transportation, ship, religious or political persuasion, miscellaneous pieces of information, and the source.