Scottish emigration to North America

Data on the number of Scottish migrants arriving in North America for the period before the American Revolution is sparse. Estimates suggest that, prior to the mid-seventeenth century, around 200  Scottish settlers had made their way to English plantations. Several early ventures, for instance to South Carolina, ended in tragedy, and, overall, the number of Scots emigrating was Read More

The Scots in New Zealand

This time a decade ago I had just started packing. I had sold my car and a good number of other items. And all that because I was soon to head off to New Zealand to commence my PhD at Victoria University in Wellington, investigating the Scots in New Zealand. Coincidentally I’m back in New Read More

Waipu and its Scottish heritage

A few days ago the Waipu Caledonian Society in New Zealand held its 145th annual Highland Games – Games the Society has thus organised since its foundation in 1870, though the first Caledonian sports meet in Waipu took place even earlier than that. This does not make the Waipu Society New Zealand’s oldest Caledonian Society, Read More

Federated Caledonian Society of South Africa

While the South African War had a significant effect on the Scots in southern Africa in terms of their sense of imperial identity (see previous post), it also had a direct effect on Scottish ethnic associational culture there: it served to boost the idea of federation. First proposed in the early twentieth century, federation was framed as a unifying Read More

The role of testimonials for Scottish migrants

I recently wrote a post on Scottish emigrant letters from New Zealand, explaining at the end that post could get lost and that, obviously, it was less reliable in the nineteenth century. It was partly in response to the practical limitations of these communication flows that ethnic ties, be it through direct kith and kin or more Read More

Sporting Saint Andrew

As Scots all over the world come together to celebrate St Andrew’s Day it’s worth remembering how strong and diverse a tradtion it has been for centuries. Scottish migrants took it with them in their cultural baggage when making home around the globe – from San Francisco in the US to Invercargill in New Zealand. Read More

Gaelic societies in Scotland

Scots did not only settle in faraway climes or the near diaspora of England, Ireland and Wales. There was a significant internal movement within Scotland. This movement was particularly common amongst members of what we might suitably term the internal Highland diaspora, a diaspora comprised of Highland Scots who relocated further south. As Scots who Read More

The St Andrew’s Society of Adelaide and Scottish emigration to South Australia

The St Andrew’s Society of Adelaide was established in 1847. Though short-lived, the organization had a very immediate and wide impact in the community and beyond, revealing the degree to which Scottish ethnic associations could interact with local, national and international politics. The organization was set up at a meeting of ‘natives of Scotland’ at Read More

The St Andrew’s Home, Montreal

The St Andrew’s Society of Montreal offered accommodation for Scots in need from the late 1850s, catering for all Scottish immigrants and Scots without a permanent home who lived in or passed through Montreal. The idea for a home was ‘the result of an experiment made last Winter [1856]’. It was then that a house Read More

The Caledonian Society of Bristol

Bristol’s Caledonian Society was founded in the early nineteenth century ‘for the relief of unfortunate but deserving Scotchmen’, spending much of its time on the provision of aid akin to poor relief for Scots. By December 1822, the association had at least 40 members, a number of Englishmen among them, who were staunch supporters of Read More

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