Kinsearching December 2, 2012




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

     Although the number of persons of Scottish descent in the Chesapeake area in the early seventeenth century was relatively low (approximately 200 by 1645), the Scottish population in Virginia and Maryland grew significantly as the years passed. Factors leading to the increase included Oliver Cromwell’s exile of 900 Scottish prisoners of war to Virginia and Maryland about 1650, immigrants coming to America as indentured servants, and the growth and expansion of the tobacco industry, which led to a proliferation of Scottish merchants in such Virginia towns as Norfolk and Portsmouth. In 1992, David Dobson compiled SCOTS ON THE CHESAPEAKE, 1607-1830, which contained information about many of these residents.

     Since the publication of that book, Dobson discovered in a variety of resources additional data concerning persons believed to be of Scottish origin; some of them may have been born in Ireland or America. In his new expanded work, which is approximately one-third larger than the original, Dobson limits his material to the colonial era. Hot off the press is his revised edition, SCOTS ON THE CHESAPEAKE, 1621-1776.

     Each entry usually provides the name of the individual, a date, a place, and the source of the information. Many entries also furnish such details as name of parent or spouse, age, occupation, date of emigration, name of ship on which he or she sailed, place of arrival or settlement in America, and date of birth, marriage, or death. Miscellaneous details may also appear. For example, Peter AFFLECK is listed as “born 1733, a shoemaker, settled in Isle of Wight Co., Va., before 1753, a militiaman of the Virginia Regiment, 1757.” Jean ROSS is described as “a gypsy from Jedburgh, transported from Glasgow to Va. 1 Jan. 1715.” Some common recurring surnames are BLAIR, BROWN, BUCHANAN, CAMERON, CAMPBELL, CHRISTIE, CUNNINGHAM, DUNCAN, DUNLOP, FERGUSON, FINNIE/FINNEY, FRASER, GILCHRIST, GRAHAM, GRANT, HAMILTON, HAY, HUNTER, LINDSAY, MCCULLOCH, MCKENZIE/MACKENZIE, MCLEAN, ROBERTSON, SHAW, STEWART/STUART, STRACHAN, THOMPSON/THOMSON, and WATSON.

     Dobson also supplies a supplementary chronological list of all known ships that sailed between Scotland and the Chesapeake region and brought the majority of Scots to Virginia and Maryland prior to the American Revolution. If genealogists can identify the ship on which their immigrant ancestors sailed, they may be able to trace the vessel’s route and gain a more thorough understanding of the perils their forebears endured.

     Because Dobson scoured various primary sources located in Virginia, Maryland, Scotland, and England, he has compiled a wealth of data into one handy volume and made the material accessible to innumerable researchers. Libraries will want to add a copy of SCOTS ON THE CHESAPEAKE, 1621-1776 to their genealogical collection.

     The 203-page publication has soft covers, an informative introduction, maps, and a list of abbreviations for references used in the text. Names of the main individuals appear in alphabetical order; any additional persons mentioned in the entries are not indexed. To the book's price of $24.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order 8095) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

Kinsearching Home Page