Directory of Scots can help with research

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

Hopefully a good number of you with Scottish roots were able to participate in the Scots/Irish workshops this past week … and you are now inspired to continue your research work. A new volume, Directory of Scots in the Carolinas, 1680-1830, Volume 2, may be of interest to those of you who are still searching for an allusive ancestor or two.

The great 18th-century emigration to the Carolinas was a response, in large part, to the failure of the Jacobite rebellion in 1715, a phenomenon which set in motion a chain emigration of Scottish Lowlander, followed by one of Highlanders.

Publication of David Dobson’s Directory of Scots in the Carolinas, 1680-1830, Volume I in 1986 was the first attempt to build a comprehensive list of Scottish settlers in that region. Since 1986 Mr. Dobson has gathered an overwhelming amount of new information on these early emigrants to North and South Carolina based on his research in Scotland, England, and the United States, but especially at the National Archives in Scotland.

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This sequel to the 1986 volume encases those findings. In all, Mr. Dobson has found evidence of nearly 1,000 Scots not mentioned in the original work and, for the most part, not found in his other publications on Scottish emigration.

The book provides an alphabetical list of all the Scots found. As you might expect from such a disparate body of sources, the descriptions of these Scots vary considerably, but there is a solid foundation of genealogical detail including name, age, place and date of birth, and often the names of parents, names of spouses and children, occupation, place of residence, and date of emigration from Scotland.

They often include even the name of the ship on which they traveled to the new country, employment records, death dates, and burial sites. Each individual entry is clearly documented as to source which is invaluable.

This is an important addition to the literature of Scottish emigration to colonial America and, given the difficulty of identifying the participants in this extraordinary emigration, one worth waiting for.

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