Emigration from Scotland to the Ottawa, Canada area in the 1800's
To Glengarry County, Ontario and Lanark County, Ontario
also Scottish Settlement on Indian Lands in 1815 in Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

New November 29, 2020:
This is a table of the place of origin Scottish emigrants to Glengarry County, Upper Canada in the year 1785. 
Also given are the names and a break-down by age groups. The book which holds this table was written by Lucille Campey 
from the University of Aberdeen in 2005. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855 - Glengarry and Beyond, 
published by National Heritage Books, Toronto, ISBN 1-897045-01-8, page 22.
Keywords: New York, Albany

Stormont, Glengarry and Prescott Counties

November 26, 2020: This is a map of the three Upper Canada Counties of Prescott, Glengarry and Stormont plus all of the townships for each county. This was an area of early and dense immigration from Scotland, (c. 1775-1815). The book which holds this map and a lot of other good information was written by Lucille Campey from the University of Aberdeen in 2005. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855 - Glengarry and Beyond, published by National Heritage Books, Toronto, ISBN 1-897045-01-8, page 24. This was the county of origin of my great grandmother, Ann Robb, who came from Aberdeenshire in 1851. She married my great grandfather, James Burns, whose dad came from County Wicklow, Ireland, to work at building the Rideau Canal in 1827.
Stormont, Glengarry and Prescott Counties

November 25, 2020:
Royal Montreal Golf Club, 1882 Notman Photographic Archives, McGill University
Picture Source: The Scottish Tradition in Canada, edited by W. Stanford Reid, McClelland and Stewart, 1976, ISBN 0-7710-7443-3, page 166.
Royal Montreal Golf Club, 1882

March 20, 2017: Here are some persons surnamed Campbell who settled in the Ottawa / Gatineau area starting in the late 1820's. Campbell is a Scottish name. Many of the Campbells were Presbyterians from the Scottish Lowlands, and some of them were Roman Catholics from the Highlands. Many of them migrated to what is now Northern Ireland, to County Down and to County Antrim, before coming to North America. January 28, 2013: Before the Scottish Immigrants came to Glengarry County and Lanark County, these "Townships" were populated by Aboriginal peoples in the Ottawa area. Some of the Algonquin people were located in the Ottawa River Watershed including Lanark County. The Mohawk people were living along both sides of the St. Lawrence River, including in the Maxville area. These Indian lands were encroached upon by European settlers for very little in compensation. The Maxville area was part of the early St. Regis Reserve.
Source below: Maxville: Its Centennial Story, 1991, page 3, (no ISBN) Indian Lands in Glengarry Township, Ontario, Canada
Keywords: St. Elmo, Dunvegan, Notfield. December 24, 2012: Stop the presses! There is another terrific new book, just out in 2012, by Lucille H. Campey of Aberdeen University in Scotland. It is called An Unstoppable Force: The Scottish Exodus to Canada, National Heritage Books (Dundurn Press), 2012, ISBN 978-1-55002-811-9. The year 2012 was terrific for publication of two very good books regarding Scottish Immigration to Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec prior to 1840. Here is the other: Imperial Immigrants - Scottish Settlers in the Upper Ottawa Valley, 1815-1840, Dundurn Press, 2012, ISBN 978-1-55488-756-9. My copy from Global Genealogy arrived this morning. No more work today -- where is that hammock? ________________________ 1. Early Scottish Emigration (1784 to 1826): October 9, 2003: Glengarry and Lanark Counties - Highlanders and Lowlanders. Note: The above is in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format. Map of Scotland and its counties. Map Source: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/sct_cmap.html The Right Reverend Alexander MacDonell became the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Upper Canada. Picture Source below: The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855 - Glengarry and Beyond, by Lucille Campey, National Heritage Books, Toronto, 2005, ISBN 1-897045-01-8, page 32.
The Right Reverend Bishop Alexander McDonell
The following table shows the number of Scottish emigrants who sailed from Scottish ports to Quebec between 1831 and 1855: Source below: The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855 - Glengarry and Beyond, by Lucille Campey, National Heritage Books, Toronto, 2005, ISBN 1-897045-01-8, page 158.
Number of emigrants from Scottish ports to Quebec, 1831-1855
October 4, 2003:
Early Scottish Emigration to the Ottawa, Canada area
to Glengarry County
to Lanark County and Renfrew County
Characteristics of Emigrants 2,500 subsistence farmers from the Scottish Highlands to Glengarry County before 1815 4,000 weavers and artisans from the Scottish Lowlands to Lanark County and Renfrew County after 1815
Emigrant Organization No financial assistance, organized by families, led by Highland patriarchs. Catholic and Presbyterian Financially assisted, organized by emigrant societies.
Presbyterian and Anglican
Reasons for Emigration Maintain cultural and lifestyle traditions (also Clearances) Economic opportunity for politicized emigrants
* Source: "Peopling Glengarry County" by Marianne McLean and Michael E. Vance "The Politics of Emigration: Scotland and Assisted Emigration to Upper Canada, 1815-1826" (History 3500) 2. Duncan McNab (The Laird of McNab Township, Renfrew County ) Archibald McNab was the last chieftain of the McNab clan from the Loch Tay region in Scotland. In order to escape heavy debts, he fled to Upper Canada where he negotiated for land along the Ottawa River so that he might bring his clansmen from Scotland as settlers. He was empowered by the government to assign up to 100 acres per family and was granted personally 1200 acres which could be increased upon completion of the development of the settlement. In 1825 eighty-four settlers were met on their arrival by McNab and his piper. From there, they travelled by boat or walked through the bush for three weeks until they reached their new settlement at Chats Lake. Under McNab, they endured many hardships. Provisions were scarce, and had to be carried long distances for the first three years. The already impoverished Scots were hounded for interest payments required on any money spent on their behalf and then forbidden the right to work outside McNab's "serfdom". Young children in the settlement came close to starvation; meanwhile, the Laird gave lavish parties financed by the money flowing in as income from his large timber interests. Petitions were drawn up by the settlers and sent to public bodies but McNab's strong support of the Family Compact, the ruling oligarchy of the time in Upper Canada, caused their pleas to fall upon deaf ears. At the time of the Rebellion of 1837, McNab was appointed "Laird Colonel of the 20th Battalion of Carleton Light Infantry". But his own clansmen, fearing that McNab would gain even more power over them in a time of military service, refused to serve under his command. Finally, the Crown Lands Agent at Perth was appointed to investigate, and, after surveying the settlers, concluded that all charges against McNab were valid. McNab, sensing trouble ahead, quickly offered to sell his lands to government for 9000 pounds but in the end he settled for 2,500. The government began issuing Crown grants to the settlers, removing the Laird's feudal powers. His fortunes continued to dwindle, and though he tried suing his clansmen for his losses, he was unsuccessful, and returned to Europe. He died in 1860 in a small village in France. The township retains his name. Source: Tour of Darling Township.

Read the story of Henry Airth, 1786-1870, one of the settlers whom the Laird of McNab met at Montreal and settled on the Laird's estate near Arnprior.
May 8, 2003: The historic Auld Kirk and Cemetery near Almonte.
March 29, 2008: Here is part of an 1879 map showing Kenyon Township, Glengarry County, east of the City of Ottawa. As you can see by the surnames, these folks are all Scottish Highland immigrants. Loch Garry (not Garry Lake) is shown on the map. Map Source: Digital Map Collection at McGill University Photo Source: The Scottish Tradition in Canada, edited by W. Stanford Reid Loch Garry, Glengarry County, Kenyon Township Highland Scottish Bagpipes / Piper
April 29, 2008: We usually associate the logging and timber trade with the PreCambrian Shield areas to the north and west of the city of Ottawa. However, beginning in the early 1800's,Glengarry Scots and French Canadians operated a profitable logging industry as the following photo shows. The Scotch River is a tributary of the Nation River which flows into the Ottawa River at Plantagenet. The Scotch River was written about in 1901 by Ralph Connor in his book The Man from Glengarry. July 18, 2015: Some of the settlers, such as John Williamson, from Riceville later went to the shanties north of the Ottawa River to Lost River in Argenteuil County. The South Nation River was one of the tributaries of the Ottawa River inhabited by the Algonquin Nation before the Europeans came to this area. This group was contiguous with the Natives from La Petite Nation / the Lievre River, across the Ottawa River in Quebec. This sub-group of the Algonquins is called the Weskarini.
Loggers on the Scotch River, 1890's Photo Source: Reflections of the South Nation Watershed, page 31 Scotch River Loggers

June 23, 2010: A few years ago, I was in the village of Dunvegan (in Kenyon Township) in Glengarry County and picked up a book called "Historical Sketch of Kenyon Presbyterian Church" written in 1940. Here are the opening lines to this book:
Early Settlement From the lone scheiling of the misty island Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas- Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland, And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.
Remember to attend the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario, on July 30 and 31, 2010. Less than an hour's drive from Ottawa, there sre fun events for everyone. This year is CELEBRATING THE YEAR OF THE FIDDLE, with fiddlers from Scotland, the Maritimes and Canada.
June 26, 2010:
Map of Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada, in 1813 Photo Source: The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, page 45 Glengarry County Map, Ontario, Canada, in 1813

The following map was produced by Joseph Bouchette, Surveyor General of Canada: Map Source: The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, 1802, page 58 Survey of Western Quebec, Canada Townships
March 18, 2012: Archibald McLean of Murlaggan, Scotland, led a group of Highlanders to settle in Glengarry Township in 1802. It was difficult to have these folks all settle together in Glengarry Township because most of the land was already granted. A new township, Caledonia Township, was surveyed, to the North of Glengarry for the new families. However, they preferred to find whatever land they could in Glengarry to be with their friends and neighbours from Scotland. Archibald McMillan had originally planned to stay in Montreal and establish a business. However, by 1804, he was able to convince the government of Lower Canada to grant a large area of land in Lochaber Township, Quebec, and he was able to convince some of the Scottish settlers of 1802 to settle there.
November 16, 2010: Newspaper Article, Ottawa Journal, June 14, 1952 This article was sent in by George Brown -- read more on our John Brown page. John Brown Bagpipes Article
November 30, 2010:
Scottish Parish Maps
Hey Al Here is a site great for the Parish Maps in Scotland -- http://www.scotlandsfamily.com/parish-maps.htm The maps are good and you can follow the family through the census, where they were born, to final spot in the 1901 census. ... Taylor
December 1, 2010: Further to Taylor's posting above, he has now written an interesting case study for researchers who wish to trace their Canadian families back to Scotland in the 1800's.

December 21, 2010: In 1818, a few months before the disbanded soldiers from the 100th Regiment, arrived to take up their land grants in Goulbourn Township, a group of Scottish Highlanders settled in "The Derry", in nearby Beckwith Township.
Source: Ottawa Waterway: Gateway to a Continent, by Robert Legget, page 198
Keywords: Breadalbane, Scottish Highlands, James McArthur, John Robertson, Beckwith Township
January 22, 2011: Hi Al, Came across a couple of interesting websites while searching for background info on ancestors who migrated from Scotland in the 1830s and 1840s. The Statiscal Accounts of Scotland 1791 - 1845: The site contains images of the accounts prepared for each parish in Scotland by the local parish church minister. The reports include information on a variety of topics -- physical geography, antiquities, civil history, industrial reports including agriculture, population statistics and descriptions, poverty, emmigration, church and education, etc. The Accounts were published in two versions the original or Old Account was prepared in 1791 and the New one in the 1830s This sample page from the 1830s edition for the parish of Dull in Perthshire will give you an idea of the contents http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/link/1834-45/Perth/Dull/10/770/ The database is searchable by county or parish name at this link: http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp?action=public The second site makes a nice companion to the one above: The National Library of Scotland Maps Collection: http://maps.nls.uk/ Includes a wide variety of maps for all parts of Scotland. Of particular interest will be the early Ordnance Survey maps and the John Thompson's Atlas of Scotland 1832 as both of these generally show the names of the farms and houses which can often be married up to the addresses in the 1851 / 1861 / 1871 censuses and sometimes birth and marriage info in the OPR. Hope this is of some interest and use. ... Allan Craig
February 14, 2011:
Lacrosse Team of Maxville, Ontario, Canada in 1909 Source: Maxville: Its Centennial Story, 1991 Lacrosse Team of Maxville, Ontario, Canada in 1909
Surnames for search engine: McDougall, Merrick, Donat, Ward, Morrow, Irvine, McLean, Pearson, McDiarmid, Marjerison, Young, Sproul / Sproule, Loney
March 2, 2011: The Bytown or Bust Library now has a copy of The People of Glengarry, Highlanders in Transition, 1745-1820 by Marianne McLean, 285 pages. ... Al
May 17, 2011:
Angus MacRae, Trapping Beaver in Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada Photo Source: Maxville - Its Centennial Story, page 372 Note the hand-woven basket, probably made by the Mohawk People at St. Regis. Angus MacRae, Trapping Beaver in Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada

January 14, 2012: A London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a Glasgow copper. He thinks that he is smarter than the cop because he is a lawyer from London and is certain that he has a better education than any jock cop. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Glasgow cops expense: Glasgow cop says, "License and registration, please." London Lawyer says, "What for?" Glasgow cop says, "Ye didnae come to a complete stop at the stop sign." London Lawyer says, "I slowed down, and no one was coming." Glasgow cop says, "Ye still didnae come to a complete stop. License and registration, please" London Lawyer says, "What's the difference?" Glasgow cop says, "The difference is, ye huvte come to complete stop, that's the law. License and registration, please!" London Lawyer says, "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket." Glasgow cop says, "Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir." The London Lawyer exits his vehicle. The Glasgow cop takes out his baton and starts beating the living daylights out of the lawyer and says, "Nae..Dae ye want me to stop, or just slow doon?" Thanks to my sister-in-law, Irene, for this true story!
January 7, 2012: More from Irene! Some "Kilt Dancing" and Scottish music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ops26WODvVc&feature=channel
January 16, 2013: Here is another one from Irene. She's got a million of 'em! A Scotsman and his wife walked past a swanky new restaurant last night... "Did you smell that food?" she asked..."Incredible!" Being the 'Kind Hearted Scotsman', he thought, "What the heck, I'll treat her!" ....So they walked past it again...
January 19, 2013: Blair MacLaurin is researching his ancestor Alexander McLAREN / McLAURIN, who came from Scotland to Glengarry County in 1815, then on to Templeton, (Gatineau) Quebec, Canada.
June 30, 2016: There is a goldmine of emigration records at ancestry.ca in the Colonial Office files from the 1820's. This example shows the development of emigration policy for some Highland Scots to settle along the Ottawa River in Glengarry Township in Upper Canada and in Lochaber Township in Lower Canada. Many individual settlers' names are included. Immigration of Highland Scots along the Ottawa River, Canada July 1, 2016 The above Scottish emigration is well documented in the book The Lanark Society Settlers, 1820-21, by Carol Bennett, Juniper Books, 1991, ISBN 0-919137-24-5, available now from Global Genealogy, now located in Lanark County! ... Al
Lanark County, just west of Ottawa, was the centre of Canada's textile production during the last half of the 19th century. The Scots who came to Lanark and Renfrew County in the 1820's included many weavers who brought their hand looms with them from Scotland. Also, Scottish masons and stoneworkers built many stone bridges and buildings. Keyword: Almonte
Photo Source: Lanark Legacy, by Howard Morton Brown, ISBN 0-9690289-2-X, page 131. Stone bridge in Almonte, Ontario, Canada, built by Scottish masons

October 16, 2019:
Maclaren Family in Buckingham, Quebec in Scotland (1)
Maclaren Family in Buckingham, Quebec in Scotland (2)

E-mail Al Lewis Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area