Scottish Soldiers in Colonial America, Part Six by David Dobson: Book Review

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review and I have received other books from Genealogical Publishing Company, also for review. However, my opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources.

Scotsman David Dobson is a prolific compiler of names of Scots who settled in the American colonies or post-Revolutionary War to Civil War America.

For anyone and everyone whose early American colonial ancestry includes Scots, Dobson’s series is a thoroughly researched and well documented reference.

Scottish Soldiers in Colonial America, Part 6 is another intriguing list of men appearing in scattered American and Canadian record sources.

From This book, which identifies upwards of 2,000 Scottish combatants, their units, and places served in the Americas, is based on primary and published source material located in Scotland, London, Canada, the United States, and the West Indies, and likely marks the final installment in this series.

I can’t even begin to fathom how many years of research went into compiling all the detailed information.

Part Six, like the other volumes in the series, is very easy to use, as names are arranged alphabetically. There are 21 references covering the material and abbreviations for each are presented right after the introduction.

They include such varied sources as MOWAT-  ‘East Florida as a British Province,’ published in 1943 to TNA – The National Archives in London to GAA – Amsterdam Archives.

Here are samples of entries:

If the black hole of New York is the place where one is searching for a marriage record, we’d all be jumping in delight if this John Brown was our man:

Brown, John, Captain of the 60th Regiment married Molly Livingston, daughter of Peter Van Brugh Livingston in New York in June 1772.

Are you lacking a Scottish ancestral home? If Alex was in your family tree, you would hit the jackpot with this entry, as it includes not only a Perthshire origin, but also a death date in South Carolina, another black hole for early genealogical research:

Sinclair, Alexander, a merchant from Little Faudie, Perthshire, formerly the adjutant of the Breadalbane Fencibles, died in Charleston, South Carolina on 1 August 1838.

Lastly, while most of these Scotsmen have ties to what became America, there are numerous references to Canada:

Playfair, Andrew, a former lieutenant of the 104th Regiment, granted land in Yonge, Upper Canada, on 31 July 1817, in Bathurst, U.C. (Upper Canada), on 24 November 1819, and in Dalhousie, U.C., on 6 November 1820.

There are entries for which a wife’s name is included, a probate date in America, death at Bunker Hill, years of emigration and occupations (not all the same man!)

The entries make for really interesting reading even if a researcher is just browsing. Let’s just call it a genealogical BSO (bright shiny object) that will catch anyone’s attention.

If you already own other books in the series, you’ll want to complete the set. If David Dobson’s work is new to you, but you have Scottish ancestors who arrived early to North America, this is an excellent reference book/series to have in your personal library.

This book, along with David Dobson’s impressive line of works, can be ordered online from the Genealogical Publishing Company for $25.00.

Genealogical Publishing Company and its subsidiary, Clearfield Publishing Company, have been in the book business for a long time and have a reputation for selling high quality works pertaining to many facets of genealogy.

I love their books. As an aside, if you have Middle Atlantic family history ties, be sure to check out their website during the current sale, which ends on Monday, 8 November 2021.

There are lots of interesting books covering New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. There is even another David Dobson book, Scots in the Mid-Atlantic Colonies, 1635-1783, on sale for $10.46 (ebook) or $16.88 for a paper copy.

Now’s the perfect time to shop for a holiday gift for your favorite family genealogist!



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