From the 16th through the mid-19th centuries, there was significant emigration (some of it temporary) from Scotland to the Scandinavian lands of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The majority of Scots went as soldiers of fortune seeking employment in the armies of such leaders as the Emperor Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years’ War. Scottish merchants, goldsmiths, silversmiths, and other craftsmen emigrated from towns along the east coast of Scotland and from as far north as the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Experienced Scottish seafarers were employed as well; for instance, Sanders Clerck took part in the Swedish expedition to the Delaware in 1638, while Richard Clerck acted as commissary of the Swedish West Indian Company around 1646. The failure of the Jacobites in 1715 and 1746 caused a number of Scots (e.g., the Carnegies) to take refuge in the Swedish city of Gothenburg,home to the Swedish East India Company. During the first half of the 19th century, tens of thousands of Scots settled in Scandinavia, and a number of them would eventually become engaged as planters and merchants in the Danish colony of the Virgin Islands.
Leaving no aspect of Scottish emigration to go unaddressed, David Dobson here identifies about 1,200 Scots who took up residence in Scandinavia and some of whose progeny made their way to the Americas. Despite the enormous variation in the sketches of these individuals, on the whole these descriptions include the emigrant’s name, place of residence in Scandinavia, occupation, a date, and the source. In some cases, Mr. Dobson has also unearthed the names of family members, place of origin in Scotland, date of birth, name of vessel sailed on, eventual place of settlement in America, and so on. In the front of the volume, researchers will find a list of the author’s sources, which include about 25 Scottish newspapers, as well as archives in Scotland, England, and Scandinavia.