Archiver > GENEALOGYBITSANDPIECES > 2004-09 > 1095800523

From: "Sally Rolls Pavia" <>
Subject: Jacobitism & American Colonial Immigration
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 14:02:03 -0700

Jacobitism & American Colonial Immigration, by David Dobson
Books on Jacobite & Related Scottish Emigrants



What was Jacobitism and what relevance did it have for immigration to
colonial America? Jacobitism was basically a movement committed to restoring
the House of Stuart to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland. It
originated when King James II of England, who was simultaneously King James
VII of Scotland, abandoned his kingdoms and fled to France in 1689. His
hurried departure was prompted by the arrival in England of William of
Orange, later to reign with his wife as William and Mary. The dual monarchs
were succeeded by Queen Anne and thereafter followed the ruling House of

Support for the House of Stuart could be found throughout the three kingdoms
of England, Ireland, and Scotland, especially among Catholics and High
Anglicans. Hoping to reinstate the Stuart regime, the Jacobites rose in
rebellion on a number of occasions, notably in 1715 and in 1745. In 1715 the
main centers of revolt were in Scotland and in the north of England, and the
revolt's failure led to many of its supporters being transported in chains
to the colonies or taking refuge on the continent. By 1745 Jacobitism had
lost some of its appeal, especially in England and the Scottish Lowlands.
Instead, the main support came from the Highlands, and the ensuing Jacobite
defeat had severe repercussions there. Perhaps a total of 1,500 Jacobite
prisoners were exiled to the American Plantations in the aftermath of the
rebellions of 1715 and 1745. At the same time other Scots, such as the
physician and future Revolutionary War martyr Hugh Mercer, fled to America.

The Scottish movement to America, of course, had begun earlier. In Scotland
the Stuart Kings had required the Church of Scotland to follow Episcopalian
practices, but William and Mary returned the Church of Scotland to
Presbyterianism in 1689. Consequently, a number of displaced Episcopal
ministers emigrated to America to seek employment in the Anglican church
there. (James Blair is the best example of this.) So also did a number of
schoolmasters who became tutors to colonial families.

The failure of the Jacobite Rebellions had a significant impact on the
social structure in the Scottish Highlands, which already was cracking under
pressure from the commercial and industrial revolutions underway in the rest
of Scotland. While emigration from Lowland Scotland to America had begun in
the 17th century, voluntary emigration from the Highlands began in the 1730s
especially to Georgia and North Carolina. This process was intensified by
the failure of the Jacobites and the subsequent collapse of the clan system.
The forced transportation of Jacobites to America sparked an interest in
emigration among many other Highlanders.

Ten years after the final battle between the Jacobites and the Hanoverians
at Culloden in 1746, the British government began, for the first time, to
recruit regiments in the Scottish Highlands. These soldiers were sent to
America to fight in the French and Indian Wars in regiments such as Fraser's
Highlanders and Montgomery's Highlanders. In the aftermath many of these
soldiers chose to settle in America and in turn encouraged their relatives
in Scotland to join them. At the same time certain Catholic families in the
Highlands who had supported the Jacobites were emigrating. For example, the
McDonells settled initially in up-state New York before moving to Canada
after the Revolution. So intense was the level of emigration from Great
Britain at one point, especially from the Scottish Highlands, that the
government decided to compile what has become known as the "Register of
Emigrants 1773-1774," the only comprehensive list of its kind compiled
before the American Revolution.

The failure of the Jacobite movement also had among its consequences a
collapse of the traditional social structure in the Highlands and its
replacement by more commercial practices. This led to the Highlands being
depopulated, with the people either moving south to the growing industrial
towns or emigrating to North America.


BOOKS ON JACOBITE & Related Scottish Emigrants


The Scottish county of Angus, or Forfarshire, made a significant
contribution to the Jacobite armies of 1715 and 1745. David Dobson has
compiled a list of about 900 persons--including not only soldiers but also
civilians who lent crucial support to the rebellion. Arranged alphabetically
the entries always give the full name of the Jacobite, his occupation, rank
date of service and unit (if military), and, sometimes, the date of birth,
names of parents, a specific place of origin, and a wide range of
destinations to which the Jacobites fled after each of the failed

JACOBITES OF 1715 AND 1745. North East Scotland (Temporarily out of print)

In 1715 and again in 1745, a significant number of rebellious Scottish
Jacobites could be found in the North East, an area dominated by
Episcopalian landowners allied to the House of Stuart. This work identifies
2,000 North East Jacobites of 1715 and 1745, any number of whom either fled
to France or were forcibly transported to the New World (to Maryland and
Virginia, in particular). While the details vary, the biographical notices,
in the aggregate, mention the individual's dates of birth and death, the
names or number of family members, town of origin, where he participated in
the rebellion, and what became of him after the insurrection was put down
(capture, imprisonment, execution, transportation, or flight).

JACOBITES OF LOWLAND SCOTLAND, England, Ireland, France, and Spain, 1745
(Temporarily out of print)

In preparing this volume, Mrs. Frances McDonnell examined records in the
Scottish Record Office, National Archives of Scotland, and the Scottish
History Society, as well as the Public Record Office in London. The end
result of her labors is an alphabetical register of 1,500 Lowland, English,
Irish, French, and a handful of Spanish Jacobites. The descriptions are
similar in scope to the two titles above.


Drawing on papers at the Public Record Office in London and the Scottish
Record Office in Edinburgh, Mrs. Frances McDonnell has amassed as much as we
are likely to know about the Jacobites of Perth. Arranged alphabetically,
upwards of 1,000 combatants are identified, at the very least, by rank,
position, disposition at the Battle of Culloden, and source. In addition,
many of these same Jacobites are referred to by other campaigns served in,
civilian occupation, physical appearance, and, where applicable, ship and
date when transported to America.


This work contains the names of several thousand Scots who immigrated to
Georgia and the Deep South, settling in the area sometime between 1735 and
1845. Based on probate records, court records, family papers, newspapers and
journals, naturalization papers, church registers, gravestone inscriptions,
printed sources, and census returns, the information provided in this book
is of a broad and mixed character, generally giving some or all of the
following details: name, place and date of birth, occupation, place and date
of settlement in Georgia or the Deep South, and names of spouses and


In general, the compiler David Dobson provides the following details on 6
000 Scots transplanted to the Carolinas: age, place and date of birth, and
often names of parents, names of spouse and children, occupation, place of
residence, and the date of emigration from Scotland.

DIRECTORY OF SCOTS IN THE CAROLINAS, 1680-1830. Volume 2 (Temporarily out of

Since 1986, David Dobson has gathered an overwhelming amount of new
information on another thousand early Scottish emigrants to North and South
Carolina (see above) based on his research in Scotland, England, and the U.S
, but especially at the National Archives in Scotland.

DIRECTORY OF SCOTS BANISHED to the American Plantations, 1650-1775
(Temporarily out of print)

Between 1650 and 1775, many thousands of Scots were banished to the American
colonies for political, religious, or criminal offenses. These exiles,
together with a stream of petty criminals, formed a sizable proportion of
the Scottish population of colonial America. Mr. Dobson here furnishes a
list of these banished Scots, the ancestors of thousands of Americans living
today. For each person cited in this directory, some or all of the following
information is provided: name, occupation, place of residence in Scotland,
place of capture and captivity, parents' names, date and cause of banishment
name of the ship, and date and place of arrival in the colonies.


In this book, David Dobson attempts to bring together all available
references to Scots in Virginia and Maryland from sources scattered
throughout Great Britain and North America. The result is an exhaustive list
of several thousand Scots known to have been in the Chesapeake region
between 1607 and 1830, including, where known, details of birth, marriage,
and death, occupation, age, date of emigration, place of settlement, and
family relationships.


The French and Indian War of 1756-1763, in particular, led to significant
recruitment in Scotland for service in the American colonies. The experience
gained by these soldiers would influence their decision and that of their
countrymen to subsequently settle in or emigrate to America. The list of
about 1,000 soldiers is arranged alphabetically and, while the descriptions
vary widely, the researcher will discover some or all of the following
information in each one: soldier's name, rank, military unit, date(s) and
campaign(s) of service, place of birth, when arrived in North America,
civilian occupation, date and place of death, and the source of the


Working from manuscripts in the Acts of the Privy Council and the Calendar
of British State Papers and published sources such as the "Aberdeen Journal,
the "Edinburgh Advertiser," and the "Georgia Gazette," Mr. Dobson has
uncovered information on an additional 750 Scottish colonial solders not
found in the book above.


This recent title identifies some 3,000 Scots who settled in the
mid-Atlantic colonies prior to the Revolutionary War. In point of fact,
Scottish settlement in the middle colonies of America dates from the early
17th century, and Mr. Dobson demonstrates that even before the establishment
of English colonies in that region in the 1660s, there were a number of
Scots pioneers living with the Dutch settlers of New Netherland and probably
also in the Swedish settlements along the Delaware.

Sally Rolls Pavia
Sun City, AZ

“We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds."
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