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History of the Clan in North America

Documenting the history of the Clan in North America from the time of the Highland Clearances until the present should really be considered a collection of short stories. There were numerous ports of call in the Americas, most notably Prince Edward Island, St Johns, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, New York City, and many more which Scots made their entry.  

The Jacobite Risings forced the government of Great Britain to take harsh action against the Clan system of Scotland and in 1747 Parliament passed the Act of Proscription.  The Act prohibted the Gaelic language as well as highland clothing such as the kilt or any tartan used to make a coat or trowsers.  It also disarmed the highlanders of all weapons  - an action which would be remembered when the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution was drafted in March of 1789, as there were many of Scottish heritage at the convention.  There were other situations which changed the world of the Highlanders forever such as the Crofters Act which was passed after the period of the Highland Clearances.  

Many families made a stop in Northern Ireland for a period before moving into the vast Scottish diaspora in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These should not be confused with those people known in the United States as Ulster Scots or Scots-Irish, who were initially lowland Scots transplanted by the Crown into Ulster.  Regardless, the role of the Scottish emmigrant in the building of the New World has left many marks. Scots in the 13 Colonies supported the Revolutionary cause with great vigor. Many people within Appalachia are proud descendents of these Scottish settlers who claimed the hills and mountains from Pennsylvania to Alabama - a reminder of their once coveted highland home.

The Last of the Clan
Oil on canvas by Thomas Faed, 1865 
Source: MacDonald Family Letters 

In 1803, over 100 Nicolsons boarded one of three ships to make the voyage across the Atlantic.  Lord Selkirk's Highland settlers departed Portree Harbor in July 1803 and arrived at Orwell Bay, Prince Edward Island on 7 August 1803. Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk was responsible for establishing settlements as far West as Manitoba, while two voyagers, Duncan and Katherine McNicoll moved into Quebec. Clan member Guy McNicoll has provided a most excellent history concering Duncan and Katherine and their many descendents at the Clan McNicoll Québec site.  

 

 

Here are just a few articles, provided by Clan members which build the real story of Clan MacNicol in North America.