Kinsearching August 27, 2006




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Since some terms or words in the past had different meanings from their application in the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries, it is important in genealogical research to know how to interpret them correctly. Otherwise, researchers may jump to erroneous conclusions.

     Two words that are commonly misunderstood are "Senior" and "Junior." Today they invariably mean father and son. Previously, however, they may have referred to an uncle and nephew or cousins.

     Another common usage was to differentiate men with identical names who resided at the same time in the same area. Although the older man was called "Senior" and the younger man "Junior," the men may not have been kin at all.

     To complicate matters, the same man may have used both terms during his lifetime. For example, when he was young, he would have been called "junior." When the older man with the same name ("senior") passed away, the younger one (previously "junior") would then become "senior," especially if a third young man with the same name (who would then become "junior") lived nearby. The fluidity in the usage of these terms points out the need to consult as many records as possible to determine relationships--if any--between individuals with the same name who lived in the same area at the same time.

     Bonnie Bright Johannes, 5594 North 10th, Apt. 103, Fresno, CA 93710-6586 (e-mail: would appreciate information about Edward GARLAND and wife Martha HENSLEY. Martha was born between 1650 and 1660. Their son John GARLAND was born in the New Kent Co., VA, area.

     Because many Americans claim some Scots-Irish ancestry, they are aware of the large number of these pioneers who came to colonial America. Some Americans may not be as familiar, however, with the Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots who also settled in pre-Revolutionary America. Although a few had trickled into the American colonies in the seventeenth century, their voluntary numbers began to increase in the 1730s. The peak period of the so-called Great Highland Migration occurred in the 1760s and 1770s. Although Highland immigration to the United States continued after 1783, the majority of settlers after that year headed for Canada.

     What caused the Highland exodus? Much of it was directly related to a breakdown in social and economic institutions in Scotland. Under the pressures of the commercial and industrial revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries, Highland chieftains abandoned their patriarchal role in favor of becoming capitalist landowners. By raising farm rents to a high level, the clan chiefs left the social fabric in tatters.

     Conditions were intensified by the failure of the uprising by the Jacobites (loyal supporters of the Stuarts) in 1745, followed by the British military occupation and repression that occurred in the Highlands in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. In 1746 the British government dispatched approximately 1,000 Highland Jacobite prisoners of war to the colonies as indentured servants.During the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War), 1756 - 1763, many members of Highland regiments recruited in the service of the British Crown chose to remain in the American colonies rather than return home.

     Once in North America, the Highlanders tended to be clannish and moved in extended family groups, usually settling on the frontier. They seemed to have established "beachheads" as many of their kin subsequently followed them. The best example of this is in North Carolina where Highlanders first arrived in 1739. Since Highlanders were inclined to join their relatives when possible, Highlanders from certain areas in Scotland usually settled in certain areas in the colonies.

(To be continued)