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It opens with a roots-in-the-Highlands picture. The next pages outline immigration from 1739 to the 1840s. The bulk of the book is a selective genealogical survey of dozens of families, beginning with some from the 1739 Argyll colony, but more likely those who came later in the much larger migrations that occurred just prior to the American Revolution.
With its handsome format, rich illustration, and modern way of listing complex family relationships through as many as four generations, this book has been hailed as "the new resource for Carolina Scots families" and "an ideal 'First Reader' for anyone who is just beginning a serious study of the Highland Scots" who came to North Carolina."
Bha feum againn air leabhar mu Ghaidhealtachd Charolina: seo e. Leabhar breagha agus sgoileireil a tha seo, le fear a mhuinntir an Eilein Sgitheanaich a thuinich a shinnsrean an Carolina a-Tuath an 1803. Cha do chaill Gaidhil Charolina riamh an ceangal ris an t-seann duthaich; chum iad an cuid Ghaidhlig gu chionn fhada, 's tha beagan aig Dubhghlas Ceallach fhein.TRANSLATION: We have needed a book on the Highland Scots of Carolina: here it is. This is an attractive and scholarly book, whose author is of Isle of Skye stock, whence his great-grandfather came to North Carolina in 1803. The Carolina Gaels have never lost their connections with the old country; some of them have retained some Gaelic for a long time; Douglas Kelly himself knows a certain amount. -- Scotsman (Edinburgh)
In September 1739, the quiet lapping of dark waters against the thickly wooded banks of the Cape Fear river would have been disturbed by the sounds of men, women and children talking excitedly in their native Gaelic, " Feuach, 's briagha a th'ann!" - (Look, isn't it lovely!). They had sailed in July, from Campbeltown, the main port of their home area of Argyll on the West of Scotland following the recommendation of a committee of leading citizens. These men had already made an advance trip the Carolinas encouraged by the interest of the Governor, Gabriel Johnston, himself a Scot, who felt that the colony would be prospered by the addition of Highlanders. To attract such immigration, he offered free land grants and even possible exemption from taxation for a time. Led by Neill Du MacNeill ('Black' Neil of Ardelay), this group of Gaelic speakers, included Armstrongs, McAlesters, Clarks, Colvins, Alexanders, McKays, McLaughlins, McLachlans, McNeills, McPhersons, Stevens, Buies, Camerons, McDuffies, McCranies, Pattersons, Campbells, Stewarts, Connors, Wards, McGaws, McDougalds, McGills, Smiths, and Smylies, - and as they fanned out into the surrounding sandhills during the next months, they set the pattern for future settlements, adapting their Scottish ways to the new environment... Geography and History of the Highlands
...Until last century, the Highlands were isolated from the Lowlands not only by the difficulties of travel through the mountains and remote islands, but also by a difference in lauage. The Highlanders spoke Gaelic, a form of ancient Celtic, which is far more different from the English that was spoken in the Lowlands than is German or French! And along with the Gaelic language there was a distinct Highland, or Celtic, culture which set the region apart from the Lowlands even more than its geography.
...The Highlanders are one branch of a larger family of Celts, who belong originally to the Indo-European peoples, and who seem to have come in two large waves to pre-historicritain: one directly into mainland Britain and the other by way of Ireland. These people brought with them not only their language but also a peculiar structuring of society along kinship lines, which in later centuries evolved into what is known as the clan system of Ireland and Scotland. At one time the Celts occupied large sections of Great Britain, but by the early Middle Ages, the invasions of the Romans, and then of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and others, had driven them back into the Northern and Western portions of Britain: to Wales, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland. The Highlands of Scotland, however, can trace the main development of their peculiar culture to a sixth and seventh century migration of their distant relatives from Ireland to the Southwestern Coast of Kintyre. Large numbers of Gaels or '"Scots" moved into Argyllshire in the early Middle Ages. They brought with them not only a line of Kings, who would become the progenitors of the Scottish Royal House, but also the form of Gaelic which would become standard in Scotland. In addition, they were accompanied by monastic Christian missionaries, who helped to spread faith, language and civilization throughout the mainland of Scotland.
Eventually the MacDonald Clan became the most powerful of the clans, so that for much of the Medieval period they dominated large areas of the Highlands and Islands as well as significant parts of Northern Ireland. The MacDonalds were a counterbalance to the authority of the House of Stewart, who were, in theory, the Kings of all Scotland. For several centuries, the MacDonalds essentially functioned as rulers of the Highlands, and closely connected to them were a number of other powerful clans such as the MacLeans, Camerons and others. In fact, until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Highlands, under the MacDonald hegemony as 'Lords of the Isles', maintained a functional independence from the rest of Scotland. But the Highlands were not to remain isolated for long. As was so often to happen in the future, it was events further south that were to have a decisive influence in the shaping of Highland history and culture. In 1603, the long reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England ended. But she died single and childless and the Tudor line came to an abrupt end also. Who would succeed her? In looking for a successor, eyes turned north to her cousin, James VI, Scottish monarch of the House of Stewart. Thus, when he was chosen to succeed her, the crowns of England and Scotland were united in his person and line and he moved away from Edinburgh to London. As a result, although the process would take generations, the tendency of the controlling powers of Scotland was naturally to look southwards to England, and increasingly to draw Scotland into the orbit of the economic and social system of the vastly larger and more powerful Southern neighbor.
From this time forward the central government would work hard to bring the independent Highlands under their sway. Eventually the result was that they were fused into the Lowland section, and ultimately - in a certain sense - into the whole of what would become the "United Kingdom." However, as it turned out, the actual procedure would take a long time and would be accompanied by considerable bloodshed and widespread dislocations for the Highlanders...
Windows on the past
...As we shall see, the Scots loved the past, and so they were not without their own chroniclers of the period. Although, naturallhey were not all writing at exactly the time of the Argyll colony, for example, very often they draw in past experiences, their own or of others, or describe features of Gaelic culture which had changed little over the years. When they do this, they can be of use to us. For example, Alexander Carmichael, made an enduring study of Gaelic Hymns and songs in the nineteenth century, and at about the same period, John Francis Campbell was traveling through the Hebrides, keeping records of his experiences....
Chapter Number: Four* Partial Chapter Text
CAROLINA GENEALOGICAL TRADITION, ITS SCOPE AND LIMITS
...First, let me state that not all of the Highlander families who remained in Carolina are included in the genealogicasection. ...Not only were the numbers so vast, but among some families, considerable information has been lost over the generations owing to wars, fires, moves or lack of interest. What I have done is to concentrate on those families either known to mene way or another, or in many cases, not personally known, but who had genealogical information readily available. I wish to make it very clear that there has been absolutely no 'hidden agenda' in choosing families.... Secondly, if sufficient interest ould be shown in this volume, perhaps there could be another edition at a later time....
Thirdly, let me mention the method I have followed in presenting these representative genealogical notices. It of course would be impossible attempt to trace all the descendants of the original settlers in a book such as this! What I have tried to do is to list the first two or three (or possibly four, in some cases) generations, and give references which will help the genealogical researcher find more information (insofar as such resources are known to me)...
Fourthly, a concern for strict historical integrity requires me to underline the point that much of the genealogical section of this volume is presented in the form of folk hisry. That is, I have not attempted to document... every name, date and relationship in these chapters, which would of course need to be done in order to put this material in the class of an officially accredited genealogical record. ...A fair question mimmediately be raised: what then is the value of this mass of genealogical material? The answer is simple: the validity of what I repeat here depends directly on the validity of the sources from which I have compiled my information. I have tried to document with the greatest care exactly where my information comes from, so that those who wish to research a particular family will know where to go in order to assess the material I have used as well as to get ideas for other potential sources. ...I havbeen working with this sort of material for over twenty five years, and it is my opinion that most of what I have used is well grounded historically and genealogically, although I do not doubt that there will inevitably be mistakes here and there.
.We must remember that in the Cape Fear Valley we are dealing with people of Highland background, who were part of a centuries' long oral culture. ...In my viewpoint, material that comes from an oral rather than from a written tradition is much less reliae and frequently wrong, but not totally unworthy of consideration. ...In sum, I feel that great care and reserve, but not total scepticism is called for when dealing with Highland and Carolina Scots oral-based genealogies. ...If I had ignored all such rial, many valuable clues for the family history researcher would be unavailable, and much of our valued cultural tradition-even though it must properly be termed 'folk history'- would be lost. ...The serious genealogical researcher will then be able toake use of a much of it, as he or she does further research in written sources. This material could be one step along the way in establishing an accredited family history based on generally acceptable genealogical procedures.
Possibly the most important part of the book for the genealogical researcher will be the 72 page index. If names and sections seem confusing in these genealogical chapters, the index should help you locate those in whom you are interested, presuming they are included. Even if they are not, material on related families may well help you know where to look next.
I have formatted these genealogies in a straightforward, common sense way so that the three or four generations covered would be clearly and easily discernible. I have basically followed J. E. Purcell's approach in his Lumber River Scots... of putting the first generation of descendants from the emigrant parents in capital letters after a Roman numeral, the next generation in lower case letters llowing the letters of the alphabet, and the next generation is lower case following the normal Arabic numerals. One of the greatest values of this approach is that every one of the literally hundreds of different family groups has been formatted alike, so that with relative ease one can survey the various Carolina Scots generations up and down the Cape Fear and Pee Dee Valleys in a uniform manner....
The order in which I list the families is largely determined by the geographical locaty in which they settled (or at least in which they have lived for most of their time in the state). I have chosen to begin in the middle, that is, in mid-Cumberland County, where most of the Argyll Colony first settled in 1739/40, since this volume was written in commemoration of their 250th anniversary of settlement. We will first cover much of central and upper Cumberland County (and what is now Harnett), then go up and over to Moore County, and back downstream to the eastern section of Cumberland (and present Hoke), Robeson, Scotland, and Richmond Counties, and then further down to lower Bladen, and finally across the state line to the Pee Dee section of South Carolina, significant sections of which, are culturally an extension of the Cape Fear Valley.
|Chapter One-The Highlands of Scotland: Fountainhead of Emigration||Page 3|
|Chapter Two-Winds of Change||Page 47|
|Chapter Three-North Carolina, New Home of the Highland Scots||Page 79|
|Appendix on Gaelic in North Carolina, Past and Present||Page 129|
|Chapter Four-Some 1739 Argyll Colony Families, and Other Early Settlers in Mid-Cumberland and Harnett Counties: McNeill, McAllister, Smith, McKay, Clark, McLean, Darroch||Page 141|
|Chapter Five-The Buie Family, Carolina and Westward: Buie, McDuffie, Patterson||Page 183|
|Chapter Six-The Most Scottish County in North Carolina: Bethune, Cameron, Black, Patterson, Blue, Ferguson, Dalrymple, McCallum||Page 209|
|Chapter Seven-Skye Families in Moore County: Martin, McIver, McGilvary, Murchison, Kelly, McIntosh, McLeod, Keith, McCaskill, McKenzie, McDonald, McCrummen/McCrimmon||Page 245|
|Chapter Eight-Families of Western Cumberland, Robeson, and [Present] Hoke Counties: Monroe/Munroe, McKeithan, Currie, Johnson, McPhaul, Conoly||Page 279|
|Chapter Nine-Families of the Longstreet Church Area of Cumberland County: McFayden, Lindsay, Gillis, McInnis, McDiarmid, McRacken||Page 303|
|Chapter Ten-Families of Upper Robeson and Scotland [Richmond] Counties: McNair, McKinnon, MacQueen, McRae, McArn, Graham, Brown, McNeill, McCallum, McMillan||Page 317|
|Chapter Eleven-"Lumber River Scots": Robeson County and Lower Cape Fear: McLean, Purcell, McIntyre, Torrey, Gilchrist, McLeod, Fairly, McKeithan, McColl (McCall,) McMillan||Page 345|
|Chapter Twelve-Highland Scots in the Pee Dee Area of South Carolina: Carmichael, McIntyre, McLaurin, McColl, McRae, Henderson, Brown, McEachern, McDaniel, McLellan, McDonald||Page 361|
|Epilogue-South and West From Carolina||Page 397|
During the summers from the time I was age five until my last year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I lived on the old family farm which had been granted to my father's Highland emigrant ancestors, shortly before the Revolutionary War, and had been inhabited by their descendants ever since. In that quiet, and at that time fairly remote section of Moore County, I learned not only about farm life from my father's Aunt Maude and Uncle Bill, and his maiden sister, Aunt Margaret, but also about our family heritage in the local Carolina Sandhills and in the far away Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
When my bride (a native of England) came to live in these parts, she noticed how very much shared experience and history these people had, how much they seemed to know about each other and their past, and how they tended to discuss not so much politics, cultural events and contemporary ideas as family concerns and interests - both current and historical - as well as church, economy and school, in that order. In addition to immediate relatives, many of the people who surrounded me in the Moore County of the nineteen fifties, knew, loved and discussed the details of the lives and times of our Carolina and Highland ancestors in a way that was fascinating to me, a grammar school boy. They spoke of persons and events in these very fields and woods going back to the Reconstruction and War Between the States and indeed of the American Revolution and the first settlement of these Sandhills as though it were yesterday and almost as though our remote forefathers could be called out of the next room in the old house or perhaps summoned from the family burial plots in Union and Bethesda Churchyards to tell their story. So, at the early age of twelve, I wrote my first family history, and since then have continued to learn and collect all I could on the Scottish Highland families of Moore County and of the entire Cape Fear Valley.
These genealogical and historical interests were greatly stimulated when I went to Edinburgh for doctoral studies in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies. While there, grand old Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod kindly befriended me, and I frequently visited my distant Kelly cousins in the Isle of Skye, who shared an appreciation of our mutual heritage as well as a strong commitment to the Christian Faith. Hand in hand with the discovery of new family connections, my understanding of HIghland history was greatly expanded as I studied Gaelic under the Rev. William Matheson of the Celtic Department of Edinburgh University. Many have considered him to have the greatest genealogical knowledge of the families of Highland Scotland of any person alive today. He explained the basic events and movements that were afoot during the time our Carolina ancestors emigrated from their ancient homeland, and he put me in touch with many sources, both well known and obscure, which helped to answer many questions that had been in my head since childhood, and gave me many fruitful leads for tracing the lines of particular forebears.
Then in later years when I served as a minister in the Presbyterian Churches of Raeford, North Carolina and afterwards in Dillon, South Carolina, my congregations were largely composed of the same Highland Carolina families of which I was a part. During pastoral visitation, I learned much not only about these people and their forefathers, but about my own roots, since we were frequently descended from the same emigrant heads of families. Thus an early childhood interest has been (in my view at least) providentially encouraged by the direction in which my own life and professional training and labors have flowed. Suffice it to say that this little book is the fruit of many years of casual conversation, serious research and fairly wide reading and travel in Carolina and in Scotland. I have written it this summer in honor of the 250th Anniversary of the first major settlement of Highland Scots in North Carolina: the Argyll Colony which made its home in the Upper Cape Fear Valley in 1739.
My goal is to help clarify the reasons why these people - and tens of thousands of other Highland Scots - left their homeland and settled in eighteenth century Carolina, and to assist future genealogical research and publication on the Cape Fear Scots families by including brief genealogical notices, along with indications of where further information may be gained, on as many of these families as possible.