Kinsearching May 6, 2012




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

     An authority on Scots and their descendants in America, David Dobson has published numerous works about the subject over the years. One of the latest additions to his series pertaining to eighteenth-century inhabitants of Scottish towns is THE PEOPLE OF GLASGOW, 1725-1775.

     After the political union of Scotland and England in 1707, Glasgow’s overseas trade saw a major expansion which, in turn, stimulated the development and growth of industry in and around the city. By 1740, Glasgow merchants dominated the Virginia tobacco trade. As a result, their companies settled personnel (“factors”) along the American eastern seaboard, especially in the Chesapeake region, and in the West Indies. Distributing Scottish goods and shipping tobacco and sugar back to Glasgow for the continental market, many of the merchant personnel were from Glasgow or the surrounding area. By the late eighteenth century, Glasgow was a major international trade center.

     Within the city, burgesses dominated the economy as well as the society since they were the only group that could operate businesses or elect members of the town council. Becoming a burgess, therefore, was the key to obtaining economic and social success. Only a minority of male citizens had the right to be burgesses, who fell into two categories: merchant and trades. The majority of the approximately 2,500 individuals named in this compilation were burgesses.

     Following his usual format, Dobson furnishes a date and the source of his information about each individual. Supplementary details, however, vary from person to person. For example, the entry for John FREELAND states he was foreman of “the weavers of Caltoun in the barony parish of Glasgow...” in 1730. The entry for John DINWIDDIE is more informative because it asserts he was “born 1698, a merchant in Glasgow, late in Hanover, King George County, and Rappahannock, Virginia, died 1726 in Glasgow....” Some recurring surnames are BUCHANAN, CRAIG, CRAWFORD, FLEMING, GRAHAM, HUNTER, JOHNSTON(E), LUKE, MCFARLANE, MCKAY, MITCHELL, and SIMPSON.

     Each volume in the “Scottish People” series identifies thousands of individuals who were living in a Scottish burgh during the era of significant Scottish immigration to the New World. Dobson’s publication does not claim to be exhaustive, but it does showcase some of Glasgow’s residents for the period under study. In addition to merchant personnel, the colonies attracted farmers, tutors, skilled craftsmen, physicians, and other professional workers. Since the city was close to Greenock, the favorite port of departure for people traveling to the Americas, THE PEOPLE OF GLASGOW, 1725-1775 may provide clues for further ancestral research.

     The 148-page publication has soft covers, a brief introduction, a glossary of occupations and relationships, illustrations of buildings, and a list of references. 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 $19.50, 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 8092) 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

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