Here, I'm trying to discover any connections between the "Falmouth" passengers, the Montgomery papers and our Duncan McLaren. Do you have any information on these passengers? Any tidbit would be appreciated!

  • Auld, Brown, Dewar, Drummond (Reverend), Fissett, Jamieson, Lawson, Leitch,

  • McCallum, McEwen, McGregor, McIvor, McLaren, McLauchlan, McNab

  • McWhae (Captain), Miller, Robbins, Taylor

Had Duncan travelled with the others under the auspices of Montgomery of Stanhope and Stobo? James Montgomery purchased those estates in 1767,and in 1775 was appointed chief baron of the Exchequer of Scotland. Montgomery's main estate was in the county of Peebles, he also had property in the parish of Killearn in Stirlingshire and some in Kinross-shire. Could Duncan have come from either of those areas? Just another hypothetical!


According to David Dobson's books on Ships to America there were 140 people on board the Falmouth (his source being the Prince Edward Island records). TheFalmouth took settlers as well as servants. It is very likely that among those encouraged to go in 1770 would have been flaxdressers and weavers, among whom was D MCCALLUM, a weaver, along with farmers and farm servants. The terms of the servants was that they were to serve 4 years and then would get land and money in the form of 4 year bonds.

Should we try to find if any of these bonds were registered?


Montgomery in his Memorial states that DAVID LAWSON, who tenanted a farm in Scotland near Crieff took with him some servants from that part of the country where he resided, this points to Crieff. It was Montgomery's intention that Lawson was to arrange for flax to be grown on the island.

David Lawson was tenant of Mill of Callendar which has nothing to do with the parish of that name, but is part of the lands of Callendar just north of the town of Crieff and appears to be partly in the parish of Crieff and partly in Monzievaird (Monzie). The Falmouth article gives his wife's first name as Ellen and the Monzie parish register gives her name as Helen More, Ellen being a variation on Helen. The years in which their children were born are given in the Falmouth article, although there is a typographical error as far as Isabella's year of birth. All, but the baptism of William b.c.1744 have been located.

  • John baptised 30 August 1747 - Monzie
  • Isabella baptised 22 November 1751 - Monzie
  • Elizabeth baptised 8 August 1756 - Monzie
  • James baptised 13 April 1760 - Monzie

In 1760 when their son, James Lawson, was baptised, his parents were recorded as living at Milnfork in the parish of Monzie. This is confirmed in the kirk session minutes of Monzie, when he is recorded as living there when he paid his rent of a seat in the church (CH2/654/3). It is possible that he moved from there to Mill of Chon, for in the Forfeited Estate papers, in rentals of theEarl of Perth, a David Lawson is recorded in the rental of the parish of Muthill as having a feu of a piece of ground in Muthill. His brother-in-law, John Moir, married to his wife's eldest sister is also recorded as having a feu (E777/72). Finally in the Falmouth article, an agreement is referred to between Montgomery and David Lawson dated 30 October 1769 in which the latter is described as at Miln of Callender.

So, David Lawson appears to have had a connection with the parish of Monzieand also with the parish of Muthill which lies south of the village of Crieff. He also appears to have been living at mills and was apparently acquainted with "the culture and dressing of flax" therefore fitting in with Montgomery's idea of growing flax on PEI.

The interesting point about the lands belonging to the Earl of Perth, as did much of Crieff, was that his estates were forfeited after the 1745 Rising and there are a whole host of rentals, leases, petitions by tenants etc in theForfeited Estate papers in the Exchequer records, starting in 1748 and running right up to the 1780s. In the Report of the Annexed Estates, 1755-1769 printed by HMSO, p.13, is the account of the parish of Muthill. It is recorded that there was a "considerable quantitie of flax raised every year in this parish, which they spin into linen yarn and bring the yarn to market, and is the principal commodity for making money to pay their rents." The report stated that the people in the parish are "honest enough, but cannot be commended for their industry in any one thing but watering their grounds and spinning of linen yarn, and they are generally very poor."

It is therefore highly likely that many of his tenants were involved in the1745 Rising, but many have gone unrecorded, as only those who were at some rentals and some Petitions. There is some very interesting material in these papers, for example, there are several declarations signed by those tenants who remained true to the Crown. What is also of interest is that discharged soldiers and sailors were encouraged to settle on the lands, as were tradesmen, in particular weavers.

There was also encouragement given for young lads to train as hecklers and flax dressers. To give you an example, one of the Petitions was from a John McLaren, tenant in Auchleskine in Balquidder. He had been put out of part of his farm in 1759 and had gone to Edinburgh to learn flaxdressing. He had two children and was in great distress in Edinburgh and so had returned to the Callender/Balquidder area and was petitioning the Commissioners for a smallholding in Balquidder. There was also a Daniel McLaren, son of John McLaren at Bridgend of Bochastle, who had served his apprenticeship in Glasgow.

Perhaps our Duncan was in a similiar situation?

In the parish of Comrie immediately to the north of Muthill and also abutting onto the village of Crieff, the people tended to grow a little flax, but the emphasis there was more on wool from the sheep which they raised in the glens which did not lend themselves to cultivation. All the people in Monzie, Muthill and Comrie would have taken their goods to be sold at the markets in Crieff, it being the largest town in the area and it would be there that they learnt of Montgomery's intended scheme.



Because of the low number of passengers names reported out of the supposedly140 possible passengers it is possible there were more MacLarens onboard and that some of them may have been neighbors of the Rev William Drummond's family at Wester Cowden. Cowden was leased to his father, Donald Drummond, preacher ofthe Gospel at Wester Cowden. William's father was Donald Drummond aliasGallich, in the Comrie OPR, the father appears under Gallich and not Drummond and on one occasion he was recorded as Duncan Gallich and not Donald. ThePresbytery minutes show that Mr William Drummond was from Cowden and we know that it was in the parish of Comrie, but it appears to be very close to the border with the parish of Muthill. So that suggests 3 parishes to concentrateon. On the Ordnance Survey Map, Sheet 57, you will find Cowden south of thevillage of Comrie and near it are the farms of Cultybroggan and Auchingarrich.

The Auchterarder Presbytery Minutes, re. Mr William Drummond, accused him of 11 misdemeanours (dating back to November 1761) on the 20 November 1763. Mostly, he appears to have been too fond of the drink and given to squabbling and there was also some confusion as to whether he or his brother, David, had fathered a child by Mary Carmichael. He denied all and maintained that it was a plot by the kirk session of Comrie and the Supervisor of Excise, Mr Forrester. The latter had evidently said openly that he was going to make sure that MrWilliam Drummond never got 'a kirk'. Mr. William Drummond appears to have ministered to folk in the vicinity of West Cowden, one place being Blairinroar which is in the parish of Muthill. McLarens who gave evidence came from various places, one place was Blairinroar. All of the witnesses depositions maintained he was innocent of the charges and refused to say anything against him,therefore nothing could be proved against him conclusively, nevertheless his license to preach was suspended. A few of the McLarens witnesses were:

  • Laurence McLaren in Achingarrich, a widower aged 50
  • John McLaren smith in Comrie aged 50 and his wife, Christian Brown
  • Katherine McLaren in Croftross aged 45 (possibly CroftCroft)
  • Ann Mclaren who became the wife of John Clarke in Green of Cultibragan


Rev. James Barlas

Then there is Rev James Barlas who was ordained at Crieff 3 March 1767, he was the first minister of the Anti-Burgher congregation formed about 1763. His area also included Comrie. On the 11 March 1778, the congregations of Crieff and Comrie were united (Robert Small - History of the United Presbyterian Congregations). Unfortunately, the kirk session minutes have nothing for the 18th century apart from some sermons by James Barlas. It is a pity there are no parish registers.


"JOHN MILLER was a member of Mr Barlas's congregation in Crieff yet he was from Muthill, so confirmed in the Falmouth article. The memoirs of the Rev.George Paterson is given as the source and also mentioned are Lawson and McEwan and others.

If Duncan MacLaren was also a member of this congregation, his children would still have been baptised in the Church of Scotland, as the secession from it and the formation of the Anti-Burgher Church took place many years after the birth of his daughter, Jean, but no baptism appears on the IGI for a Jean baptised c.1750 to a Duncan McLaren in Perthshire. If the McLarens were from Muthill, Jean had obviously not been baptised in a Secession church and nor does her baptism appear in the Episcopal Records of Muthill (1697-1847) printed in in 1847 by the Rev.A.W.C.Hallen.

The absence of her baptism can, fairly convincingly, be explained by the fact that the Muthill parish registers were burnt for the period 3 August 1704 to November 1760. An attempt was made sometime thereafter to make up some of the records from people's memories, but there still remains a yawning gap in the register pre-1760. The IGI does record some McLaren baptisms for the missing years and among them are two baptisms of daughters of a Duncan McLaren and Mary McRobbie who had Mary baptised 22 August 1745 and Margaret baptised 7 January 1748. Given that families were large, they must have had other children. Interestingly, enough, the kirk session records of Muthill record an entry in their Accounts of a Duncan McLaren's marriage in October 1744.

Could entries in the Muthill register throw more light on where the familywas living then?



Jean McLaren appears to have married Duncan McEwan not many months after they arrived on PEI. This suggests that the couple may have known each other before leaving. The author of McEwen history states that Duncan McEwen was only 20 when they arrived according to the McEwen history quoted by the Falmouth article, although later his date of birth is given as c.1745. Either way, he was a youg man and would not have been old enough to rent land before he left Scotland.

William McEwen, who was killed by a log, was probably his brother and had probably been baptised at Crieff on the 10 January 1746. (So they probably did not come from Muthill, as in Donald Whyte's book on Emigrants to Canada) The interesting thing is that Duncan McEwen lived on Dollary Farm at Stanhope and this may have been named after Dollerie in the parish of Madderty in Perthshire.

The parishes of Crieff, Comrie and Madderty are all next to each other so maybe Duncan MacEwen courted his future bride in Madderty?


"Scottish Things"

In the 1700's many kinfolk were forced as prisoners and indentured servants to leave their homes in Scotland and migrate to the far corners of theworld. To connect with kin visit the "McLaurinClan Homepage". For genealogy information on Scotland visit "Cyndi's List of ScottishGenealogy" or for some interesting and exciting historical reading go to "Skyelander's Scottish and MedievalHistory Website".

Have you ever thought of trying your hand at the ancient language of Scotland, then you'll enjoy visiting the Bay Area "Scottish GaelicHomepage". If you're inspired when you hear the words, as one does when they hear the bagpipes for they speak to your heart, or the idea of reading a chapter on Scottish history in the original Gaelic or conversing with friends in Gaelic appeals to you, you should do it, simple as that. Trish, the leaderof the group said to me, "Let the music, the faint sounds of the ancient Gaelic language, that you hear in the sound of your mother's voice move you".

Somewhere between Gaelic and what you hear spoken today in Canada, Australiaand South Africa is best illustrated in a book called "TheNew Testament in Braid Scots" published in l924. My friends, Bill and Susan Stewart told me if I'd never read the scriptures in Braid Scot, what a treat I would have missed. They said, the language absolutely soars and one can't help but marvel at the man who decided to "translate" The New Testament into the way people really sounded when they spoke. His name was (Rev.) William Wye Smith and he lived in St. Catherines, Canada, but his version in Braid Scots was published in London and used as a church pew Bible for the congregations in Scotland.

Now if your up to it, you might try "Hiking the Highlands". But, I warn you, it might be best for you, at least, to learn this old gaelic phrase, Slainte Mhath, meaning, Good Health. Now, if I can only recall...was it pronounced "slighn-t* vah?" or "slen-t* vah"? This is an absolute must phrase for visiting the Highlands of Scotland, preceding more mundane phrases like,"No, I am not from England; please lower your shotgun" or "Help!"

On your way, drop by Mr. Cairney's cottage and listen to his "Clans and Families". He'll probably invite you in to share a wee dram by the warm hearth and hear stories of the origins of theMacLaren Clan from "information heretofore unavailable to the general public".His creative writing combines genealogical, historical and anthropological material and bridges the gap between Irish and Scottish Clan-Families. He'll have your mind travelling back to the era of the "Picts" and "Cruithe". You may go home feeling a wee bit more affectionate towards your Irish brothers and sisters, aye!

Pushing even further back in time brings you to their predecessor's the "Tuatha De Danann" (Tribe of Dan). Danites are a significant part of bible prophecy and end-time revelation regarding the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel". I can't quite explain my fixation, but as you might gather from my username, I've been drawn to the subject since 1985.

(Always in Construction)
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