Scots in New England


Author: Dobson, David
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: x 236 pp.
ISBN: 9780806316864


Compiled from sources in both Scotland and America, this book by renowned Scottish genealogist David Dobson names some 3,000 Scots who settled in New England between 1623 and 1873. In a series of sketches ranging from two or three lines to a paragraph or more, Scots immigrants are identified by place of origin, occupation, date of arrival, place of settlement, and various other details, including their membership in organizations such as the Scots Charitable Society of Boston or their service in the cause of the beleaguered House of Stuart. For ease of use the sketches are arranged in alphabetical order, and each one is linked to at least one source record, with numerous sketches drawn directly from the records of the National Archives of Scotland.

On the whole, Scottish immigration to New England was small and intermittent compared to the movement from Scotland to the Carolinas or Canada. The reason for this may lie in the fact that by the time large scale immigration occurred, opportunities for settlement were greater elsewhere in colonial America than in New England. Nevertheless, from virtually the earliest period in American history Scots had settled throughout the length and breadth of New England. Probably the only time that significant numbers of Scots settled in New England occurred in 1650-1651 when Oliver Cromwell despatched hundreds of Scots prisoners of war, captured after the battles of Dunbar and Worcester, into exile, or in the period immediately before the outbreak of the American Revolution when the Scots American Company of Farmers established a settlement in Vermont. Throughout the 19th century, however, there was a steady stream of skilled industrial workers and granite tradesmen from Scotland to New England, attracted by social and economic opportunities.

Although we often associate Scots immigrants with the Carolinas or Canada, this work gives cause for a fundamental shift in thinking, placing New England at the forefront of Scottish-American genealogical research.

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