Kinsearching November 10, 2013




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

     Nine years ago, Clearfield Company launched a new series, SCOTTISH HIGHLANDERS ON THE EVE OF THE GREAT MIGRATION, 1725 - 1775, by David Dobson. An authority on the subject, Dobson has produced several volumes pertaining to various counties since then. As he digs through old archives, he continues to discover more data. As a result, his latest publication is THE PEOPLE OF INVERNESS-SHIRE, VOLUME 2.

     In his new volume, Dobson identifies approximately an additional 1,500 Highlanders in the county of Inverness--the origin of many of the pioneers who settled in colonial Georgia, Pennsylvania, upper New York, Jamaica, and the Canadian Maritimes during the Great Migration in the eighteenth century. Inverness is also the county where Fraser's Highlanders regiment, which played a prominent part in the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763) and in the settlement of Canada, was raised; when the war ended, many of the soldiers decided to stay in North America. (In addition, Inverness-shire saw significant emigration both during and after the Highland Clearances in the nineteenth century.)

     For this second volume, Dobson draws on fresh resources such as the Mackintosh Muniments (1441-1820) and the Letter Book of bailie (magistrate) John Stewart of Inverness (1714-1752) as well as standard materials. Although information about each person varies, most entries provide the individual's name, a location (place of birth or residence, for instance), a date, and the source of the data. In some cases, details may also include occupation, military rank or service, the name of a parent or spouse, date of death, place of death, or the name of the vessel on which he or she sailed to America.

     An interesting example is the entry for Margaret MACKINTOSH of Craggie, who “was allocated a spinning wheel in 1760 as part of a government attempt to develop the linen industry in the Highlands.” Another fascinating entry is the one for John MCKINNON, who died at age 75 in Kilmarie, Skye, in 1756; his survivors were two sons and a daughter, all of whom were born after he was 71 years old. In addition to MCKINNON and MACKINTOSH/MCINTOSH, common surnames appearing in the records are BAILIE, CAMERON, CAMPBELL, CHISHOLM, FRASER, GRANT, MCBEAN, MACDONALD/MCDONALD/MACDONEL/MCDONNELL, MACKENIZE/MCKENZIE, MCLACHLAN, MCLEAN, MCLEOD, MACPHERSON/MCPHERSON, MCQUEEN, NICOLSON, ROSS, and STEWART.

     Not all of the people mentioned in this work became settlers in North America. Nor did they necessarily have descendants who did. But chances are good that at least some of them had familial ties to the New World. Once a relationship is established, Dobson’s information may provide clues for further research overseas. Like his other books, SCOTTISH HIGHLANDERS ON THE EVE OF THE GREAT MIGRATION, 1725 - 1775: THE PEOPLE OF INVERNESS-SHIRE, VOLUME 2 will be a useful addition to genealogical library holdings.

     The 101-page paperback has an introduction, illustrations, and a key to sources. Names of main individuals are arranged alphabetically. 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 UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #8100) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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