During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the area now known as Georgia was a buffer zone between British-governed South Carolina and Spanish-governed Florida. Settlement of the region by the British did not take place until 1732 when James Oglethorpe established the colony of Georgia as a refuge for English debtors, paupers, and discharged prisoners. Scottish immigration to the colony commenced almost at the same time, however, and was made up of two distinct categories of immigrants: Lowlanders and Highlanders. Lowlanders immigrated for purely economic reasons, as farmers and later as merchants; while Highlanders were recruited to the colony for strategic purposes, basically to guard the southern frontier from Spanish incursions.
Somewhat later, at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763, the Spanish withdrew from Florida. The removal of the Spanish threat and the acquisition of new lands by the British led to an influx of settlers, including Scots, into Florida and as far west as Mobile. Many of the earliest settlers in the area were former Scottish soldiers and indentured servants, awarded land on the condition that they develop it and settle other immigrants on the land within a few years.
This work by the prolific Scottish author David Dobson contains the names of several thousand Scots who immigrated to Georgia and the Deep South, settling in the area sometime between 1735 and 1845. Based on probate records, court records, family papers, newspapers and journals, naturalization papers, church registers, gravestone inscriptions, printed sources, and census returns, the information provided in this book is of a broad and mixed character, generally giving some or all of the following details: name, place and date of birth, occupation, place and date of settlement in Georgia or the Deep South, and names of wives and children.
If you’re looking for a Scottish ancestor who hasn’t shown up in any of Mr. Dobson’s other books, this could be your answer.