Hector arrived in Pictou Harbor in September of 1773 bringing the vangard of a great
number of Scots, Highlander and Lowlander, to the Maritime Provinces and to upper Canada.
These people put a cultural stamp on Canada that has helped make Canada the unique country
we know today. The Hector also included among her passengers my 4th great grandparents,
Hugh and Elspie McLeod.
The McLeod passengers known to me included Hugh McLeod (1728-1801) and wife Catherine
MacKay (d. Sept 1773) who brought with them three daughters. I don’t know the daughters’ names
but Patterson records where they went and their married names in his history. Along with Hugh
was his brother Alexander and his wife Elspie (1745-1804). They brought three sons with them,
James, Hugh, and Donald (1763-1839). James died young and Hugh never married. Donald married
and has many descendants. Catherine MacKay died of smallpox just as the Hector reached Pictou.
Alexander drowned in 1775 and Hugh married Elspie, Alexander’s widow, and had one son, David
(1778-1851), who was born in Pictou and is my ancestor. Elspie’s name is usually spelled Elpa
or some such, but her tomb stone in Durham Cemetery spells the name Elspie. The family plot in
Durham Cemetery in Pictou County is the key to identifying these people as they are all buried
in close proximity with their spouses and children. These passenger lists are not completely
consistent with what I know from family sources, Patterson’s History, and the tomb stone
inscriptions. Since the only existing passenger list was written by one of the passengers
in his old age and only from memory, inconsistencies should not be a surprise.
Hector History transcribed from Clan MacLeod Magazine, number 39, Spring 1974, pp. 14-16.
MacKay, Donald, Scotland Farewell: The People of the Hector,
[McGraw-Hill Ryerson Toronto 1980.];
Patterson, D.D., Rev. George, A History of the County of Pictou Nova Scotia,
[Dowson Brothers, Montreal 1877; Reprinted Mika Studio Belleville, Ontario 1972.];
Wright, Esther Clark, Planters and Pioneers,
[Hantsport, Nova Scotia : Lancelot Press Limited 1978.], 300 p. ; 21 cm;
Whyte, Donald, A dictionary of Scottish emigrants to Canada before confederation,
[Toronto : Ontario Genealogical Society, 1986.];
The “Hector” Voyage
From Scotland’s rugged northern slopes,
From mountainside and glen,
Upborne by ardent “New-World” hopes,
Trooped down the “Hector” men.
And as their vessel stood to sea,
On voyage strange and long,
“God of our fathers our God be,”
They sang the grand old song.
For weary weeks the “Hector” braved
Atlantic’s surges high:
The winds and waves around her raved;
They heard no wail or sigh.
“O spread Thy covering wings around,”
They breathed in faith and peace,
Until we pass the ocean’s bound
“And all our wand’rings cease.”
Then prayed amid the tempest’s strife,
When death stood by their side,
“Through each perplexing path of life
Our wand’ring footsteps guide.”
When seized by famine, cold and dread,
In anguished faith they cried,
“Give us each day our daily bread
And raiment fit provide.”
Their fathers’ God inclined His ear,
Their fears and dangers past,
Upon a day of presage clear
They entered port at last,
And knelt on Pictou’s favored sod
To vow, as oft before,
That He should be their “chosen God
And portion evermore.”