This is part of a series by David Dobson designed to identify the origins of Scottish Highlanders who traveled to America prior to the Great Highland Migration that began in the 1730s and intensified thereafter–and is the second volume devoted to the Northern Highlands, an area that includes the counties of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Cromarty. The main clans traditionally associated with the Northern Highlands were Mackay, McLeod, Sutherland, Sinclair, Gunn, Munro, Ross, and Mackenzie, all of whom are represented in this volume. The Northern Highlanders were among the pioneers of colonial Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Canadian Maritimes. Among the vessels that brought them to these places were the Hector to Nova Scotia in 1773, the Friendship to Philadelphia in 1774, and the Peace and Plenty to New York in 1774.
The parish registers of baptism and marriages are the backbone of Scottish genealogy; however, only a handful have survived for the Northern Highlands. Family historians, therefore, depend on alternative sources, few of which are available online. Accordingly, this book derives mostly from alternative sources, such as the Edinburgh Advertiser, Historical Records of the 93rd [Sutherland Highlanders], the London Guildhall Record Office, the Public Archives of Prince Edward Island, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and more.
While the present volume is not a comprehensive directory of all people living in the Northern Highlands during the mid-18th century, it does pull together references to about 1,500 additional 18th-century inhabitants. In all cases Dr. Dobson gives each Highlander’s name, a place name or county within the Highlands, a date (of birth, residence, etc.), and the source. In the majority of cases, we also learn the identities of relatives, the individual’s employment, vessel traveled, or other defining characteristic.