For centuries, English monarchs had tried, with limited success, to subjugate Ireland, and under the later Tudors had made serious attempts to settle Ireland with English colonists. Once he occupied the English throne, James I, as King James VI of Scotland, also invited the Scots to participate in the plantation of Ulster in particular. Scottish “undertakers,” who were granted vast estates, recruited the settlers, and since many of the “undertakers” were from southwest Scotland, a number of the settlers came from that region as well. In addition, some of the emigrants were Scottish Covenanters fleeing from persecution.
The final book in this series from David Dobson is designed to assist family historians researching their origins in the Scottish county of Renfrew during the 17th century. Since only seventeen parish registers of the Church of Scotland prior to 1685 survive for this area, Mr. Dobson’s researches attempt to fill the void as best as possible. The volume is based, overwhelmingly, on primary sources in the National Archives of Scotland and Edinburgh, and is fully referenced. The most important sources used in the compilation are the Registers of Testaments for Hamilton and for Glasgow. Also used were Monumental Inscription lists, the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, and the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland. The inhabitants are arranged alphabetically and are identified by a town or townland, date, and source. In some instances, Mr. Dobson includes additional details, as in the case of the following inhabitant:
“Hay, John, of Renfield, born 1566, eldest son of Andrew Hay, MA Glasgow, 1582, minister at Mearns, 1588-1593, minister at Renfrew, 1593-his death in December 1627; husband of (1) Margaret Hamilton, (2) Agnes Somerville. [F.3.185]”
Mr. Dobson’s newest book identifies about 2,200 inhabitants of Renfrewshire who might have relocated to Ulster and whose origins go back to the 16th century.