CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 41
By Damon Veach
SPANISH RECORDS: Louisiana Legajos, A Catalogue of Records in Spain for Research in the Colonial Mississippi Valley and on the Gulf Coast is the monumental work of Roscoe P. Hill. The present edition, a reprint of Hillís original edition, should encourage researchers to check out these records.
Before the publication of this book, researchers had to travel to Spain to check out these Papeles Procedentes de Cuba. The expense to do this was too much for most researchers. Things did improve with microfilm records, but even then only the major libraries in larger cities provided this method of research.
Even though the records would seem to relate to Cuba, this is a misnomer, and the legajos have little to do with the island in the Caribbean. Many of these records were generated in the Province of Louisiana, and they relate to the entire Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast. Dates of genealogical interest cover the years from 1763 to 1803 and later. They were deposited in Cuba in route to Spain, and the reference to Cuba somehow remained associated with the records.
These records encompass correspondence and reports to and from the commandants and others at the various posts and settlements. Census reports, militia rosters, tax lists, and many other genealogical papers are included. Anyone with ancestral ties to this period will find these records invaluable. Now available in a huge soft-cover edition, this reprint is available through Claitorís Publishing. Price is $87.50
SCOTTISH RECORDS: Between 1650 and 1775 many thousands of Scots were banished to the American colonies for political, religious, or criminal offenses. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, for example, Oliver Cromwell transported thousands of Scots soldiers to Virginia, New England, and the West Indies. The Covenanter Risings of the later 17th century led to around 1,700 Scots being expelled as enemies of the state, and the Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745 resulted in an additional 1,600 men, women, and children being banished to the colonies. Moreover, from the 1650s to 1830, when it became illegal, banishment and transportation to the colonies was a traditional punishment for certain serious (but over time petty) crimes, thereby contributing even further to the Scottish population of colonial America.
Dr. David Dobson has added another valuable book to his list of compilations, and Clearfield Company of Maryland has just issued a new second edition to their listing of available publications. In the more than twenty-five years since Dobson first endeavored to account for the individual Scots who took part in this forced emigration (1984)--the ancestors of thousands of Americans living today--he has established himself as the undisputed authority on Scottish emigration to the New World.
In the absence of official Scottish passenger lists for the period, he initially derived his information from the records of the Privy Council of Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary, Treasury and State Papers, and prison records, the sources of the majority of extant information available on the Scots who were banished to the colonies prior to 1775. His initial success, however, did not stop him over the intervening years from hunting in ever more obscure sources in North America and the UK--sources such as the Aberdeen Journal, Caledonian Mercury, the Dumfries and Galloway Archives, Justiciary Records of Argyll, Calendar of Home Office Papers, and more. Dr. Dobsonís tireless efforts have produced this new second edition of the Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations, 1650-1775, containing fully 30% more convict passengers than in the original.
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, parentsí names, date and cause of banishment, name of the ship carrying him or her to the colonies, and date and place of arrival in the colonies. The exact number of Scots banished to the Americas may never be known because records are not comprehensive. Moreover, some Scottish felons sentenced in England were shipped from English ports. The contemporary English judicial system was harsher than in Scotland, which explains why the Hanoverian government had the Jacobite prisoners taken south to England for trial.
The first edition of this work has been enlarged by the addition of fresh material, particularly from American sources but also from more obscure sources in Scotland. Dobson has made some modifications as well. For example, some men who were thought to have been Covenanters are now classed as rebels and English transportees have been omitted, while the references used have been enhanced to facilitate further research. In total, somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 Scots were banished to the Americas during the Colonial period (whereas England transported around 50,000 and Ireland in excess of 10,000), all of whom contributed to the settlement and development of Colonial America.
This book is available for $35.00, postage and handling included. It can be ordered directly from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211.
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