Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration, 1725-1775: The People of Highland Perthshire. Volume 2


Author: Dobson, David
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: xvi 120 pp.
ISBN: 9780806357256


Highlanders from particular counties in Scotland settled in particular areas in the colonies; for example, the earliest emigrants from Highland Perthshire were Jacobite prisoners transported to South Carolina, Maryland, and the West Indies in 1716 and 1746. The next group from Highland Perthshire were soldiers recruited for regiments, particularly the Black Watch, that fought in the French and Indian Wars; some of whom settled in the colonies in the aftermath. Possibly influenced by the settlement of these soldiers, Perthshire families emigrated from Greenock to New York aboard ships such as the Monimia and the Commerce in 1775 to settle on the frontier. Most of them tended to be Loyalists at the outbreak of the American Revolution, and they consequently moved to Canada.

The Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, which provide data on baptisms and marriages, are the single most important source of information concerning Highland Perthshire emigrants. Unfortunately, they identify only Presbyterians, Perthshire’s most numerous denomination. Accordingly, the researcher must consult other important sources, such as estate papers, wills and testaments, services of heirs, rent rolls, and especially monumental inscriptions; all of these primary sources figure in the citations to the work at hand.

While the present volume, like its prequel, is not a comprehensive directory of all the people of Perthshire during the mid-18th century, it does pull together references on about 2,000 additional 18th-century inhabitants not referenced in Volume 1. In all cases Mr. Dobson gives each Highlander’s name, a place within Perthshire (birth, residence, employment, etc.), a date, and the source. In many cases we also learn other details, such as date of death, the identities of relatives, the individual’s employment, vessel traveled on, later whereabouts, and so forth. The surnames Campbell, Stewart, Robertson, McLaren, Cameron, Drummond, Ferguson, McGlashan, McArthur, McFarlane, McGregor, McNaughton, and Menzies, among others, figure prominently in the Perthshire entries found within.

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