Kinsearching October 21, 2007




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

     Family researchers who are seeking ancestors from the land of the kilt will be glad to learn about David Dobson's newest publication, SCOTTISH TRANSATLANTIC MERCHANTS, 1611-1785. Based on sources in the United States and Scotland, the book identifies approximately 2,500 persons.

     In the 17th century, Scottish merchants were in the vanguard of immigration from Scotland to colonial America as successful trading voyages between the two continents led to an increase in commerce, especially in tobacco. As ships began transporting passengers (many of whom became indentured servants) as well as goods, Scottish ports like Glasgow started expanding in size and scope of operations.

     Following the trade routes, factors (agents who transacted business for Scottish companies) and their servants began settling in the North American colonies, especially in the Chesapeake region. Frequently, the factors were sons of merchants or the gentry in the Glasgow area. Although some Scots eventually returned to their homeland, many remained in the New World. Connected by blood and business, Scottish merchant families had built a network along the Atlantic rim by the late 18th century. Dobson often furnishes the relationship between various branches of the same family on both sides of the ocean.

     Dobson's information also pertains to the merchants' American agents scattered throughout North America, including such islands as Antigua and Jamaica. Minimum facts for each entry are the person's name, location in the Americas, a date, and the source of the information. Additional details appear about many individuals. John DINWIDDIE, for instance, was "born 1698, a merchant from Glasgow who settled in Hanover, King George County, Va., died in Glasgow during 1726, testament Glasgow 1726." Another example is Hugh DEAN, "a merchant who emigrated from Scotland to America, and settled in Somerset County, Md., during 1770, moved to the Bahamas by 1783, later in N. Y." Genealogists seeking ancestral ties to Scotland prior to the 19th century will want to check out SCOTTISH TRANSATLANTIC MERCHANTS, 1611-1785.

     The 169-page paperback has a brief introduction, several interesting illustrations, and a key to references. Names of the main merchants are arranged alphabetically. Because some entries mention other people, such as business partners or relatives, an index to their names would be useful.

     To the book's price of $20.00, buyers should add the charges for postage and handling. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9817) 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

     Bonnie Bright Johannes, 5594 North 10th, Apt. 103, Fresno, CA 93710-6586 (e-mail: would appreciate information concerning ROBERTS families in Kentucky, 1830-1840. She is especially interested in data on Louis F. ROBERTS, born about 1832 in Kentucky. Who were his parents and siblings? By 1870, Louis was in Texas.

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking any family information about Ily BYRD. Was Ily her real name or a nickname? She married Charles A. L. FERGUSON/FURGUSON/FURGERSON on 16 August 1903 in Red River Co., TX. On the marriage license only his initials appear. The "L" stood for Levi. This couple cannot be found on the 1910 census. Did they divorce?

Kinsearching Home Page