Kinsearching September 14, 2008




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

     Every time researchers think David Dobson has mined all possible family data in British records, he completes another surprising publication. His latest is SCOTLAND DURING THE PLANTATION OF ULSTER: THE PEOPLE OF DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY, 1600 - 1699. Based mainly on primary sources in the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh, this volume continues to demonstrate the wide range of resources available to genealogists.

     As Dobson points out in his interesting and informative introduction, seventeenth-century Scotland was a country in transition. After its union with England under King James (known in England as James I and in Scotland as James VI) in 1603, major transformations in the relationship between the two nations began to occur. One significant change took place in 1607 when Ulster (Northern Ireland) came under James's influence. While earlier rulers of England had tried to subjugate Ireland by settling the country with English colonists, King James invited Scots to join in the "planting" of Ulster. Scottish "undertakers" received large estates in northern Ireland, which they were required to develop and to bring in colonists. Because many of the "undertakers" were from southwestern Scotland, they typically recruited from among inhabitants in the area embracing Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, and Wigtownshire (now known as Dumfries and Galloway). Although many people moved in order to seek economic opportunities, some of the region's residents were Scottish Covenanters who fled to Ireland to avoid religious persecution.

     Utilizing his usual format, Dobson arranges the names of individuals alphabetically. Besides the person's name, an entry generally furnishes the name of a place (usually a town or parish), a date, and the source reference. Information about Thomas BLACKWOOD, for instance, states that he was "in the parish of Moffat" in 1620. Some entries provide additional facts, as in the case of John DICKSON and Archibald CUTLER. "A shoemaker in Lockerbie" in 1697, DICKSON married Elizabeth STITT. In 1700, CUTLER was named as "heir to his father John Cutler of Orroland." Major families in the Dumfries and Galloway region were GORDON, IRVING, KENNEDY, MAXWELL, MCKIE, MCLELLAN, MCDOWALL, and JOHNSTON; material on many of them appears in this volume.

     Because only three of the eighty-six Church of Scotland parish registers prior to 1685 still exist for the southwestern area, data in Dobson's new book should help to fill the void in genealogical records. Since numerous Americans have Scots-Irish forebears, genealogists are naturally interested in linking their ancestors in Ulster to the Scottish mainland. Clues in SCOTLAND DURING THE PLANTATION OF ULSTER: THE PEOPLE OF DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY, 1600 - 1699 may assist genealogists in finding that crucial connection.

     The 134-page paperback has interesting illustrations (which includes one of the flag of the Covenanters) and a key to sources. Since some entries mention people whose surnames differ from that of the main entries, an index to those individuals would be helpful to genealogical researchers.

     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 $5.00 for one book or the first volume of a set and $2.50 for each additional copy or each additional volume of a set; for UPS, the cost is $7.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9017) may be purchased by check, 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

     "Hampton Roads: Gateway to Virginia" will be the focus of the fall conference co-sponsored by the Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) and the Tidewater Genealogical Society. Scheduled for October 31 - November 1, 2008, the meeting will take place at the Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. Featured speakers will be Jeanne Eubanks, Carolyn Goudie, Paul Neinegg, and Donald W. Moore. They will discuss seventeenth-century immigration, settlement, and migration patterns in the counties in the Hampton Roads area; free African-Americans in Virginia and the Carolinas from the colonial era to approximately 1820; complexities of Virginia's land records; and genealogical materials at the Mariners' Museum Library. For details about registration costs, go to the website at or write to VGS, 1900 Byrd Ave., Suite 104, Richmond, VA 23230-3033 (e-mail:

Kinsearching Home Page