The Survivors' Stories

The prisoners of war from the Battle of Dunbar were imprisoned in Durham Cathedral in late 1650. Although many died of disease, some survived and a small group of these men were transported to America to work in the English colony of New England aboard a ship called the Unity.

Who was transported to New England on the Unity and what became of them?

There is no passenger list for the voyage of the Unity from London to Boston in late 1650. The names of the men on board have been reconstructed from other records in New England. We can be confident about those who appear in the records of the Saugus or Hammersmith Iron Works, and a handful are identified as Dunbar prisoners in court records. The Unity men generally start to appear in the New England records between 1655 and 1660, after their period of servitude ended and when they begin to acquire land, to marry, or become a citizen of a town. Early membership of the Scots Charitable Society is also a pointer to possible Scots prisoners. Identification is made more complex when the name is a common one. For example, there were at least four Scots called James Grant in New England during this period.

Further information can be found in the book ‘Lost Lives, New Voices’ available here (opens external link)

If you know the stories of any other survivors please



The majority of the men on this list are among the 35 Scots present at the Saugus Ironworks in 1653 and valued there together at £350. A few appear in other documents after December 1650.


Said to be born in Carlisle (Cumbria) in c.1630, James Adams may have gone north in search of work or with the Scottish army. Once in New England, Adams served his indenture at Saugus or Hammersmith where he is listed in 1653. One of his duties was to manage the team of oxen on the farm belonging to the Ironworks. In a relatively isolated region, self-sufficiency was thought important for the smooth-running of the Iron Works operation. Space around the site was devoted to food production and ‘ye worke down on ye farme’, we are told, ‘was mostly donn by ye Scotts’. Presumably James had some prior experience with animals; six yokes for the oxen are recorded in the 1650 Iron Works inventory. The oxen not only ploughed the fields but also undertook heavy hauling and probably pulled wagons too. Once his indenture was complete, James married Priscilla Ramsdell/Ramesden in 1662 and a second time in 1690/91 with the daughter of Saugus man John Hawthorne. James was a founding member of the Scots Charitable Society in January 1657 and died at Concord (Middlesex), Massachusetts in 1707. Town histories claim that Adams was a farmer and a miller and that the town of Carlisle (Massachusetts), north-west of Boston, was named after his birthplace in England. His story appeared on a recent American edition of Who Do You Think You Are?, in which celebrities trace their family history.

Served his indenture at Saugus Ironworks where he was employed as a woodcutter and is listed as present in 1653. Afterwards John may have gone to the ironworks at New Haven in Connecticut where he died in 1690.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but little certain is known thereafter.

Present at Saugus Ironworks in 1653, Alexander probably worked his indenture as a woodcutter or collier and later became an agricultural labourer. When he died, not far away, at Wenham in Massachusetts in 1678, he left a jacket, breeches and an ‘old stuff Cloake’ to his friends Alexander Maxey and Robert MacClafflin, both fellow Dunbar men who lived nearby. He remained poor poor and lived simply.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but little more is known.

Not only was John Clarke at the Saugus Ironworks in 1653, he remained in the locality for the rest of his life. During his indenture he became a blacksmith (thicker cloth stockings had to be made for him) and afterwards seems to have purchased land nearby where continued to ply his trade. His first wife, Sarah, was the daughter of Francis Perry, a carpenter and general handyman at Saugus. Perry had himself arrived in Massachusetts in 1631 as an indentured servant and taken in John as a lodger, so it is easy to imagine how John and Sarah’s relationship might have blossomed. One observer noted: ‘At the Iron Works wee founde all the men wth smutty faces and bare armes working lustily…The headmen be of substance and godlie lives. But some of the workmen be young, and fond of frolicking, and sometimes doe frolicke to such purpose that they get before the magistrates. And it be said, m(u)ch to their discredit that one or two hath done naughtie workes with the maidens living thereabouts’ Two of John’s seven children married the children of other Dunbar prisoners and he was a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657. He served as a marshall’s deputy in 1662. John is mentioned in Arsbell Anderson’s inventory and described as a ‘loving friend’ in the will of James Moore; he clearly remained in close touch with other Dunbar men. John died at Lynn (Massachusetts) in 1685 and there is a surviving inventory of his goods.

James Danielson is listed at Saugus in 1653 and worked as a charcoal-burner or ‘collier’ there sub-contracted to a man called William Tingle. Charcoal was an essential ingredient of the iron-making process and James must have spent a great deal of time in the woodlands near the ironworks. He probably cut the wood as well as made the charcoal and delivered on carts. He may also be linked to the Braintree ironworks. Later someone of this name settled on Block Island with several other Dunbar men and served in King Philip’s War against the Native Americans after 1675. However, this James is easily confused with his son, also James, who founded the town of Danielson in Connecticut

George Darling is another Dunbar Scot listed at Saugus in 1653. He seems to have worked on the ironworks farm, marrying in 1657 once his indenture was finished. He and his Irish wife Katherine subsequently had 10 children. George initially worked as a labourer and tenant farmer before he was able to purchase at least 20 acres of land in Lynn in 1672 and became the owner of a tavern on that property on the boundary between Salem and Marblehead in 1676. Quite possibly the Darling establishment was popular with Dunbar families. George gave testimony in several court cases. The Darlings young servant, Ingram Moody, was probably the son of Dunbar man Ingraham Moody, a good friend of the family, and in 1684 George’s son John was charged with fornication with Sarah Paul, the daughter of John Paul, another Dunbar man. James Darling, who testified in the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, is thought to be another son. George died in Salem in 1693. His will and inventory survive.

Davison (his first name is not known) died en route from Boston to Saugus or shortly after arriving at Saugus early in 1651. The voyage on the Unity across the Atlantic had taken six weeks and, judging by descriptions of other crossings at this period, there would have been few comforts aboard. The men had nothing beyond the clothes on their backs, and on other voyages no beds or blankets were provided; food and water often ran short. The Unity was not a large vessel and similar to the two-masted vessels used for catches of cod along the New England shores. There might have been poor weather, seasickness certainly, and the men shared the cramped space with other cargo such as iron, lead and livestock. There can be little doubt that the Dunbar men were not in good shape when they arrived. Payments for medical assistance were still being recorded for the Dunbar men in April 1651, four months after the Scots arrived, and again on at least two further occasions.

Micum is another Dunbar Scot who remained in the ironworks industry all his life. He was present at Saugus in 1653 and may have worked at the blacksmith’s forge there for a time. Later Micum continued to work as a woodcutter and carter for colliers associated with other ironworks in Essex County. He was possibly at the Bromingum Forge in Rowley in 1673. Unusually, he seems to have married before his indenture was complete and went on to have two daughters with his wife Margaret. According to one account, when in 1678 the water dam at Saugus was finally dismantled, it breached so close to Micum’s house that ‘the water rushed out, and flowed into the house, without disturbing the inhabitants, who were asleep in a chamber. In the morning, Mrs Downing found a fine live fish ‘flouncing in her oven’. Micum died in 1683.

Alister was present at Saugus in 1653 and a founder member of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657. He never became wealthy, holding a two-acre land grant in 1688, enough land for a homestead and little more.

In 1659 Robert testified that he had been a domestic servant in Boston to Joshua Foote. Foote was from Essex in England, involved with ironworks in Ireland and a member of the London Ironmongers’ Company. Crucially, Foote was also an investor in The Company of Undertakers for the Iron Works in New England and therefore the operations at Saugus/Hammersmith and Braintree but died in 1655. Possibly Robert Dunbar had by this time been sent to Braintree to the Ironworks there. He died in Hingham (Massachusetts) in 1693 when he would have been about 59 years of age.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but no more is known.

James is listed at Saugus in 1653 and he worked there as a miner extracting bog ore, the most important ingredient in the iron-making process. This meant levering out the heavy ores, mainly from swamps or shallow water both near and far from the ironworks. Nothing is known of James in later life except that he settled in Exeter (New Hampshire).

Peter is listed at the Saugus ironworks in 1653. One of his tasks was to float timbers downstream and across ponds and perhaps it was this expertise which led to him being transferred north to the sawmills on the Oyster River. Once released from his indenture, in 1656 Peter was granted 50 acres of land in Kittery (now South Berwick) and in January 1657 his name is among those who established the Scots Charitable Society. Like many of the Dunbar Scots, in later life he seems to have been a smallholder; his will mentions a homestead, barns and a young orchard laid out for his son. Peter would have understood livestock and when to sow and harvest, but he probably also trekked out into the Oyster River woods to trap and returned home with wildfowl and fish from the river.

In July 1661 Peter was indicted together with James Grant, almost certainly a relative and perhaps his brother, for ‘not returneing home to his wife’; that is the wife he had left behind in Scotland a decade earlier. Dunbar wives back in Scotland were being advised that they could not marry unless they had clear evidence of their husband’s deaths or the sentence of a civil judge. However, in July 1664 Peter was back in court again for cohabiting with a young widow named Joane, ‘hee owneing of her as his wife and they being not married’. This may be his sister-in-law, his brother’s ‘widow’ - James Grant having being declared dead. To make matters worse, Joane was ‘bigg with Child’ and Peter’s Scottish wife was ‘yett alive for anything that is known to the Contrary’. For this Peter was sentenced to pay £10 or ten lashes on the bare skin and ordered to ‘mantayne the Child of the sd Joane Grant soe soone as shee is delivered’. Peter appealed his sentence with fellow Dunbar Scot Thomas Doughty providing support for the necessary bond. In September 1644 a compromise was reached which dictated that the couple should separate to prevent any ‘further evill... by there frequent unlawfull Comeing together’.

This measure was ineffective because the couple were married two months later and went on to have another seven children in all. Peter Grant's will refers to his children as ‘Them Seven’, omitting the first child (Elizabeth) who was perhaps his brother’s. Peter Grant held offices of minor responsibility: he served on a Grand Jury in 1687 and he was a Surveyor of Highways and Fences in 1693. In this role he would have taken teams out to mend and maintain the roads between towns. Service on the roads for two days a year under the terms of the 1650 Code of Laws was an unpopular obligation for all men and Peter would not have been paid to co-ordinate the work. In 1680 Peter was fined for ‘lying drunke in the high way’ and in 1691 and again in 1693 for profaning the Sabbath when he went out with several other Scots to shoot deer. Peter’s frightened neighbours assumed the shots signalled a Native American attack. Peter was clearly close with his countrymen, a Peter Grant is mentioned in the will and the inventory of Alexander Cooper and someone of that name acted as appraiser for James Warren's inventory. In 1686 Niven Agnew's will mentions his sword which Peter owed 10 shillings for. Peter died at Berwick, York Co, Maine with an estate inventoried in March 1712/13 at £216. The whereabouts of his grave is not known but there is a Grant cemetery on his old property with crude field stones carved with an occasional initial.

Listed at Saugus ironworks in 1653 but little more is known of Alister. Court records suggest he was ‘near of kin’ to Archibald Anderson and he seems to have continued his links with the iron industry but moved only the short distance to Salem where he served at one time as a hog reeve, taking custody of any wandering pigs which damaged crops and gardens. He died sometime after 1661.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but little more is known.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but little more is known.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, Alexander later went to Taunton Iron Works (Massachusetts) and married Catherine before 1656. Catherine was Irish and charged with adultery in Plymouth, Massachusetts from which there was a child (see William Paul below). It is easy to imagine how the Scottish Alexander and Irish Catherine might have clashed with the local Puritan community and why Alexander moved away, first to Portsmouth (Rhode Island) and later to Block Island (Rhode Island). Block Island lies about 13 miles south off the Rhode Island coast and 14 miles east of Long Island, New York. Only about 10 square miles in extent, it is now a popular recreation destination but at the time when Innes was there it had just been sold off by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to 16 settlers and there were more than 1000 Native Native Americans living there. Several other Scotsmen were among the early settlers, particularly those with Braintree links. There is a letter, probably addressed to him, from Robert Guthrie in the New Shoreham records inviting him to come to Block Island where he died in 1679. Although Alexander’s is an extreme case, it was typical of non-Puritan immigrants to move out to marginal areas geographically and to maintain strong links with occupational and national communities.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 and a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657. Little more is known.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 where he lodged with forge carpenter and fellow Lynn ironworker Nicholas Pinnion. Little more is known of him.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 where he was hired out to a collier and dug out bog ore so he probably worked his indenture in the woodlands around the ironworks like James Gourdan. He married Susanna in Boston by 1661, with whom he had several children, some of whom were born in Reading (Massachusetts). He died in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts in 1699 and is the subject of a recent historical fiction titled ‘The Saga of Thomas Kelton’.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but little more is known.

Duncan was indentured to John Hardy of Salem on 8th April 1652 when he has three quarters of his 6 years yet to serve. Like several other Dunbar men, Duncan probably acted as a general domestic servant. Hardy himself was originally a Dorset man and a wealthy citizen of Salem with property and shipping interests. There are still houses and streets there which bear the family name. Nothing is known of Duncan’s later life.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, James McCall did not live long after his indenture ended, dying in 1659×1661. Together with John Mackshane, he seems to have worked in the ironworks forge and a protective ‘stuffe suite’ was bought for him for this purpose. In the forge, pig iron was shaped into wrought iron, a more finished malleable semi-product which could be forged by a blacksmith. The pig iron was first melted in a ‘finery hearth’, and then beaten using a water-powered hammer. Afterwards, it was re-heated in a ‘chafery hearth’ and hammered again into a suitable form for re-working — usually an iron bar. Both hearths were blown mechanically. James would have been familiar with the sight and sounds of the four rotating water wheels, bellows, the anvils and the hammers, as well as the iron shovels and rakes, weights and wheel barrows for carting the charcoal to the two hearths. Under a roof pitched for snow, their working space was smoky and deliberately dimly lit so that workers could pick out the colours of the heated metals, with exposed timbers inside and a dirt floor. James married in Braintree in 1657, once his indenture ended.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 but little more is known.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 where he seems to have worked on the ironworks farm with James Adams, George Darling, Malcolm MacCallum, John Mackshane and John Pardee. Micum was a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657 and had probably married Martha by that date with whom he had 5 children. He continued to work as a woodcutter and carter for colliers associated with other ironworks in Essex County and may have been employed at Bromingum Forge in Rowley in 1673.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, Philip lived his later life in Reading (Massachusetts), married in 1666 and had 10 children. He died after 1688, possibly as late as 1719, making him one of the oldest Dunbar survivors.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, when he states his age as 24, making him 21 at the battle of Dunbar. Robert was hired out to furnace filler Thomas Wiggins and later worked for ironmaster John Gifford. He may have returned to Boston to work in the company’s warehouse. We do not know what became of him.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, little more is known of him.

Alester Mackmallen is not among the Scots listed at Saugus in 1653 and appears first in New England records in 1658 when he was charged with the offence of fornication with his wife Elizabeth before their marriage. He was not the only Dunbar man to be retrospectively accused in this way. In 1661 he was back in court to leave a deposition at the death of Arsbell Anderson as part of an investigation into the exact familial relationship between Anderson and Alister Grimes. The latter had laid claim to the former’s estate, claiming to be a relative. Mackmallen, then ‘aged about thirty years’, deposed that for many years, while he dwelt in his native Scotland, he knew Alister Grimes and his father and mother, who were neighbours to Mackmallen’s father's house. He was also acquanited with Arsbell Anderson and his mother, who lived about a mile and a half away, and confirmed that Arsbell Anderson’s mother and Grimes’ mother were ‘near of kin’. It seems therefore that Anderson and Grimes were related and, when they were in Scotland, Anderson had lived with his mother, while the Grimes family (father, mother, at least one son) lived next door to the Mackmallen family (at least a father and son). Unfortunately, Mackmallen does not say exactly where he was from in Scotland but, by his own testimony, he must have been about 19 years old at Dunbar. Familial and geographical linkages like these must have been widespread, not only within the Dunbar group but also between Dunbar and Worcester men. Reflecting back on the Palace Green human remains, some of the men found there could well have been enmeshed in extended family clusters in just the same way.

Alester died in April 1679 in Salem; both his will and inventory of goods survive. His eldest daughter Elizabeth Mackmallen married labourer Henry Bragg (Brage) in 1677 who was involved in the Salem witch trials in September 1692. He made a complaint that Salem Town residents Hannah Carroll and Sarah Cole did ‘severall times feloniously afflict torture and torment’ on Henry’s son, WIlliam ‘by that Diabollical art of witchcraft’. Hysteria and religious intolerance had created a volatile situation. A warrant was issued for their arrest. Carroll was imprisoned and later released while Cole was indicted, imprisoned, bailed by her husband and eventually acquitted of all charges. The two women were among the 150 men and women arrested, of whom 19 were hanged and one tortured to death.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, John was involved in the farming operation at Saugus and may have lived with farm manager Daniel Salmon together with other Dunbar men, Malcolm MacCallum among them, but also learnt aspects of forging and founding under John Turner. The pair of breeches made for him by Joseph Armitage were quite possibly to protect himself from sparks in the forge where he would have worked alongside James McCall. John was fined for making two oaths, both minor misdemeanours. Later he moved to Salem and seems to have continued his links with the iron industry, though he did serve as a soldier for a time. He died after 1676.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, little more is known of him.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657, but tracking him further is not easy because his name is relatively common.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, Richard was trained by carpenter Francis Perry with whom he also boarded. One of the few Scots who received a wage for his work there, nothing more is known of him.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, little more is known of him.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 and a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657, James Moore died in 1659 shortly after his indenture at the ironworks finished. He had married Ruth Pinnion the year before; she was the daughter of Hammersmith carpenter and ironworker Nicolas Pinnion. James’ will and inventory both survive.; the former mentions his ‘loving friend’ John Clarke. The Dunbar Scots, like many immigrants, found themselves distant from their blood relatives and placed great value on ‘fictive’ kin, good friends to whom they were bound through common experience and friendship. James’ inventory also lists ‘tools for colliers use’ so presumably he continued to work as he had done making charcoal in the woods around Saugus. He still had a ‘barr of iron’ in his possession when he died but did not own land, so presumably he remained a tenant or lived on ironworks land in exchange for work. A number of men seem to have done this.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, John was involved in the farming operation at Saugus. Little more is known of his life.

John is not listed at Saugus in 1653 but did work there. He appears in 1657, when his indenture would have finished and died sometime after 1675 in Maldon (Massachusetts). He was a carpenter and his ‘constant imployment was to repaire carts, coale carts, mine carts, and other working materials for his [Samuel Bennett’s] teemes, for he keept 4 or 5 teemes, and sometimes 6 teemes’. Paule’s carpentry must have been invaluable and perhaps he developed his skills before Dunbar. Little more is known of his life.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, John Steward was first employed as a domestic servant by John Gifford, the manager of the ironworks, but put out to work as a blacksmith when the ironworks’ investors learned of this irregular arrangement. This training served him well. Described at the end of the 19th century as a ‘thrifty and bustling Scotchman’, Steward was brought to Springfield (Massachusetts) by John Pynchon and given the blacksmith’s shop there in 1658. Steward promised to repay the £30 Pynchon had paid for him, with interest, while working in this new role. It seems to have been a successful arrangement for a town without a blacksmith and Steward appears there over the years ringing swine, making branding irons, hooks, hinges, eyes for a gate, locks, bots, lock plates, keys, cotter pins for the meeting house bell and mending the pound.

John Stewart is the only named individual with a documented connection to the battle at Dunbar. In a petition to Governor Andros on 19 Sept 1688 he stated that ‘your poor petitioner was in service in five battles under the noble Marquis of Montrose in Scotland, for His Majesty King Charles the First, and thereby suffered and received many dangerous wounds, having escaped with his life through mercy.. was afterwards taken by Lord Cromwell in the fight at Dunbar’. John died in Springfield in 1691.

Although he is listed at Saugus in 1653, James was given land at Kittery (South Berwick, Maine) in 1655/6 and must have moved north to the sawmills in the meantime to join Richard Leader, perhaps with Peter Grant (see above). He served as a constable and on Grand Juries. He married in c.1666 and died at Berwick after 1690 when his will was written.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 and a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657, George trained as a charcoal-maker with James Danielson under collier William Tingle. He died in Reading (Massachusetts) in 1674 by which time had six children. His widow, Sarah, married a Scottish prisoner from the battle of Worcester.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, James worked with Peter Grant and others ‘wheeling and floating woods’. Nothing more is known of him.

Listed at Saugus in 1653, John described his job as ‘to looke to the Carriors in there Comeing in with Coles and myne that they brought in good measure’. Effectively, he took care of the stock of ore and charcoal. 8¼ yards of kersey were required to make John Toish’s clothing, and gloves and aprons. Later in life John went to Block Island and died there in 1685.

Listed at Saugus in 1653 and a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657, Thomas is described as a ‘hammerman’ and must have worked in the forge with the crashing 500-pound trip hammer and enormous anvil bases. He continued to work in ironworks; in the 1660s he was making coal for the Concord ironworks and by the 1670s he was making charcoal for John Gifford, the former manager at Saugus, who had by that time opened up a bloomery in North Saugus, and then moved to the Bromingum forge at Rowley to work once again alongside the Leonard family who he had first known at Saugus. Thomas died in 1684.

John is an unusual case among the Scots on the Saugus list of 1653. He is referred to as ‘sometime of Hammersmith’ (ie. Saugus) in 1658 when he bought 40 acres of upland in Salem and the fact that he never joined a church might be consistent with a Scottish Presbyterian. That said, two of his children with his wife Eleanor Stuart were apparently born in Salem before 1656 so he cannot have served out his full indenture at the ironworks. It may be that his financial circumstances were different and, indeed, some descendants claim his birthplace in England. Whatever the case, by the time he died at Reading (Massachusetts) in 1699 he had accumulated a very substantial farm holding with upwards of 400 acres. Out of an estate worth £981, his landholdings totalled £813 in at least 16 parcels of land. His animal stock included 21 cattle, five horses and 11 pigs and this indicates commercial breeding. Among his recorded goods were quantities of sheets and linen, pewter and tablewares, and he had acquired a servant of his own. On the face of it, John Upton was the most successful of the Dunbar Scots.

Like Alester Mackmallen above, John Upton also has a link to the Salem witch trials which took place seven years before he died in 1692. One of his daughters, Ann Fraile/Frayll, signed a petition in defence of John Proctor and his third wife Elizabeth, who were accused of ‘sundry acts of witchcraft’ in Salem. Three of the Proctor’s children were also accused and arrested as was Elizabeth’s sister and sister-in-law. The relationship between the Uptons and the Proctors is perhaps telling because the Proctors were also wealthy. It did not save John Proctor, however; he was among those sentenced to death and hanged. Elizabeth’s execution was postponed because she was pregnant and she was later released, though she was still guilty in the eyes of the law.

American model and actress Kate Upton is claimed to be a descendant.


The following men first appear in New England records shortly after the likely end of the Dunbar indentures, or else have strong associations with other groups of Scots. They are not on the John and Sara passenger list.


Niven Agnew appears first in 1659 and probably served his indenture in the sawmills on the Oyster River. He seems to have worked later at one a sawmill at Salmon Falls owned by John Wincol who owed him money. He is linked with Dover (New Hampshire) and Kittery (now South Berwick, Maine) and closely tied to other Unity Scots, particularly John Barry whose estate Niven administered after Barry’s death in a Native American attach in 1675. Although he never married, when he died in 1687 Niven left all his property to the two daughters of fellow prisoners Peter Grant and John/James Taylor; a son of James Warren was also a witness. The lands he gave to John Taylor are subsequently mentioned in Taylor's own will.

Although Archibald is not listed in 1653 at Saugus, he died in Lynn near the ironworks in 1661 leaving a small estate worth £38. An inventory of his possessions at his death mentions John Cleark, Allester Greine and Macam Downing. His accumulation of money might suggest that Archibald was earning money before the end of his indenture. Thereafter he continued to chop wood, graze his cows and horses as a tenant farmer on ironworks land. Clearly he remained connected to the wider Scottish community. Tellingly, he had previously been found drunk and owed a debt to a tavern owned by John Hathorne, which was a gathering place for Saugus men. Hathorne also took the inventory of James Moore.

James was granted land at the same time as other likely Dunbar Scots who worked at the Great Works, appearing first in 1662 and dying in 1675/6 in the house of fellow Scot William Gowan following a Native American raid. Niven Agnew took possession of Barry’s farm below the Great Works and married his widow too.

First appears as a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657 but drowned in April 1674. He may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard and stayed in the area thereafter. His occupation is recorded as being a weaver.

First appears as a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657. He may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard and stayed in the area thereafter, serving as a hog reeve in Boston at one time. Alexander was wounded at the Great Swamp Fight in December 1675, one of the engagements of King Philip’s War. He died at Roxbury (Massachusetts) in March 1706.

Henry Brown was one of Valentine Hill’s Seven Scots on the Oyster River (New Hampshire). Later he lived with James Orr and together they owned and operated a sawmill, buying a farm at Bradboate Harbour at a place called ‘Scotchman’s Neck’ with 50 acres of upland in 1662. Both remained unmarried and they legally bound themselves to one another so that if one died the other would inherit. In the late 1670s Henry Brown and James Orr managed another mill on the Mousam River (now Kennebunk, Maine), then on the north-eastern frontier of English settlement. Here they added a blacksmith’s shop at the ‘Scotchman’s Brook’. One 19th century author wrote of Brown and Orr:

‘They were away from the haunts of civilised man, but... they enjoyed the activities of the day and the repose of the night; amusing each other in rehearsing stories of Scottish life beyond the water, and possibly with the sweet notes of the bagpipe... They had no wives or children... the wolf, undisturbed by the inroads of civilisation, still continued his nightly howlings; and the wild-cat, the bear and the moose still roamed freely through the forests... No woman would commit her destinies to the care of one who had thus chosen to make his life one of unceasing peril’

Henry died 1677x1692 near Wells (Maine).

George was indentured privately as a servant. He first appears in 1659 and died in 1692 and was one of at least three other Dunbar Scots in Woburn (Massachusetts).

John may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard and stayed in the area thereafter. Later he became a tailor, served as a soldier and when he died in 1713/14 aged 86 he left money for good new Bibles for all his grandchildren. He was clearly a devout man. His gravestone also survives.

Thought to have been born at Luss in Dumbartonshire about 1633 and indentured at the Braintree ironworks, William Cahoon later worked as an ironsmith, brick maker and boat builder and probably went initially to Taunton. After 1663 he lived on Block Island, just off Rhode Island, where his seven children were born. On 24 December 1673 William contracted with the town of Swansea to make all the bricks for the town (one of his bricks is in the Luther’s Museum in Swansea, Massachusetts). In June 1675 hostilities broke out with the local Native Americans. A group of settlers were attacked, injured or killed after prayers at a local Baptist Meeting House. When the wounded took shelter in a garrison house, William volunteered to find a doctor. He was ambushed and killed and almost every building in Swansea was burned to the ground. This was the start of ‘King Philip’s War’. Cahoon or Colquhoun descendants are now widely spread across America.

First appears 1657 and was killed by a falling tree in 1660. His inquest involved three other Scots.

James was indentured privately as a servant to Lt Bernard Lumbard, and married his daughter. He died in 1683.

Alexander first appears in 1662 and is associated with other Scots at the Great Works sawmills. He kept in close contact with fellow Dunbar men in the South Berwick (Maine) area. The witnesses to his will in 1683 were former Dunbar prisoners John Taylor and George Gray. His estate was left in trust to three men of wew-hom James Warrine Senior and Peter Grant were also Dunbar men. James Warren’s son acted as a witness. His daughter Sarah married a Dunbar prisoner George Gray in 1672.

Hercules may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard. He also had land in Charlestown after his period of indenture ended and was a Scots Charitable member. He died sometime after 1679.

Patrick first appears in Dover (New Hampshire) in 1664 as a married man and was closely associated with the Scots at Oyster River. He moved to Saco (Maine) after 1665 and in 1685 petitioned for land there. His wife was repeatedly in trouble for ‘fighting and scuffling’ and ‘sheding of blood’ and whipped and fined for her behaviour.

Thomas was one of Valentine Hill's seven indentured Scots and was received as an inhabitant of Dover (New Hampshire) in 1658. Afterwards Thomas was involved in forestry as a lumberman and in cutting roads, attempted to revive the sawmill at Great Works, and afterwards likely leased a large mill at Saco Falls in Maine belonging to the family of wealthy Major William Phillips who was originally from Hertfordshire. The Phillips family were land owners engaged in lumbering operations in Saco, an area very exposed to attacks on the frontier. Phillips’ mills were burned in 1675. By 1688 Thomas was Saco town treasurer. He married at Saco in 1669 to Elizabeth Bully and died at Salem in 1705 aged about 75, having bought land there. Throughout his life he kept in touch with fellow Dunbar men.

William is explicitly attested as Scot and first appears in 1659 when he first married in Malden (Massachusetts), near Charlestown. William’s wife, Ruth Hill, was the daughter of the tenant and operator of the Coytmore corn mill and William may have served his indenture there. By 1673 William and Ruth themselves had at least one servant, one of whom was taken to court when he threw Ruth ‘on to the fire’. She died in 1679; her headstone van be found in Cambridge (Massachusetts). William re-married and moved to Marlborough in Massachusetts about 1682 where he purchased plantations. He died in 1690. William was obviously a man of some standing and left 42 acres, house, barn, outhouse and other land to a value of £318. His will survives.

Explicitly attested as Scot, Daniel married at Dorchester (Massachusetts) in March 1666/7 and died Dorchester 1692. He was accused of trying ‘irregularly to draw away affections of deacon’s daughter, the court put him firmly in his place’.

William Furbush (perhaps originally Foirbeis in Gaelic, Anglicised as Forbes) may have been born in Aberdeenshire and fought at Dunbar aged about 19, alongside his brother Daniel. He probably served his indenture at the mill at Oyster River and was afterwards first taxed in Dover in 1659. Like other Dunbar men, he was soon in trouble for his outspoken contempt of English authority. In 1662 he rebuked the local pastor in Dover for laughing at the cruelty to three Quaker women who had been arrested and repeatedly whipped; William was put in the stocks. In 1674 William was prosecuted for drinking with two Native Indians, named Henry and Richard. It was illegal to sell liquor to Native Indians and illegal for an Indian to be intoxicated. In 1679 he and his wife Rebecca were involved in a fracas with a constable. Rebecca struck the constable and William "tooke up a dreadfull weapon and sayd that hee would dy before his Goods should bee Carried away." The couple were both fined. In 1681, William received 20 lashes on his bare skin for calling court officials ‘Divills and hell bound’. This would have been a public spectacle at the whipping post in town. In 1683 husband and wife were both fined for speaking against the government and in 1686 William was fined ten shillings for selling liquor to Native Indians ‘& making them drunke’. He admitted he had had a pint and given Richard the Indian a dram. Sometime after William’s death, one of his daughters, Hopewell, was abducted in May 1705 with her three sons and sold to the French in Sorel, Canada (300 miles away). Pregnant at the time, her baby was born in captivity but her husband was killed by Native Indians in April 1706. Hopewell and the children returned to Kittery and she re-married in 1711. Another daughter, Katherine, married a Dunbar man and kept slaves (a girl named Dillo and a man named Quash); having fathers who had been indentured servants did not make the children abolitionists. William was probably a farmer, though he was trading in beaver pelts in 1681. His 80 acres of property in Kittery was adjacent to another Dunbar prisoner, Daniel Ferguson, and not far from John Neal. Earthworks of the old cellar of his homestead were still to be seen in the 1890s with a family burying ground next to it. William died at Kittery, York, Maine, probably in winter 1694-95.

Very little is known of him. James appears in New England records in 1656 and dies in 1717. He was one of the longest-lived Dunbar Scots.

A founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657 and later its president in 1684, William may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard. He was a shoemaker in later life and died 1699×1702.

William Gowan may have been one of the younger prisoners of war. He claimed to be about age 51 in 1685 which would make him 16 years of age at Dunbar. The English often called him ‘Smith’ but this Scot was a carpenter by trade. He probably served his indenture on the Oyster River sawmills. Later he acquired land in Kittery (South Berwick, Maine) at about the same time as Scots likely to have been prisoners and died in 1686. William was frequently on the wrong side of the law. In 1659 he was convicted of ‘frequenting the taverns and being in a quarrell’ with fellow Dunbar Scot James Middleton, in 1668 he was fined ‘for fighting and bloodshed on ye Lord’s day after ye afternoon meeting’ and, in 1679 he was in court again for idling away time and drinking. Initially convicted of fathering Elizabeth Frost’s child, he subsequently married her in 1667 and had 8 children. Fellow Dunbar frontiersman James Barry died in his house after a Native American attack, and one of William’s sons was also killed. William himself died in 1686.

First appears in Kittery (South Berwick, Maine) in 1662, dies 1683. Left bequests to the children of Peter Grant and James (2) Grant.

First appears 1660 in York (Massachusetts), dies 1663. Associated with Peter Grant and indicted for not returning home to his wife in Scotland. A man with this name appears as a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657.

There are two men of this name, residing at Dorchester and Reheboth (both in Massachusetts) and dying 1681 and 1690 respectively. One came on the John and Sara, the other is probably from the Unity, but there is nothing to distinguish which is which.

George first appears in 1659 and acquires land in Kittery (South Berwick, Maine) at about the same time as other Scots likely to have been former prisoners, and is closely associated with them. He was possibly indentured at the Great Works sawmill. In 1672 George married Sarah Cooper with whom he had five children. They were soon charged with ‘liveing in fornication before they came into the bands of Wedlocke’. The couple were given the option of paying a fine of £3 and the officers' fees or receiving ten lashes apiece. Sarah was the daughter of Dunbar Scot Alexander Cooper, in whose will George is mentioned so there would have been at least a 30-year age gap between the pair and this may be one of the reasons they were exposed. When George died in 1693, his brother-in-law John Cooper took the inventory of his goods. He is probably buried near the family homestead. One of their sons was taken captive by Native Americans and in his will of 1692 George Gray was still wondering ‘if ever shall please god to deliver him out of captivity’. In fact, little George was still in Montreal a decade later

Robert Guthrie is closely associated with Tormut Rose and William Cahoon. He too may have been indentured at Braintree. His name and the date of his appearance in 1656 make him likely to be a Dunbar prisoner. In 1664 he wrote to Alexander Innes to invite him to settle on Block Island, 13 miles off the coast:

Countryman,
My kind love and respects remembered to you and to [your] wife hoping yt [that] you are in good health as we are at this present the cause of my writing to you at this present is concerning yr [your] coming to Block Island when I came off from the Island there was a meeting among ye [the] inhabitants and I was Desired to know yr mind If you are willing to come to settle upon ye Island If so be you doe come you may have five acres of land given you forever convenient for a house lott & forty acres you may bye If you see good & to bring you & what you have to ye Island for nothing this is ye agreement of ye inhabitants so I wold Intreat you to let me kno your mind within the fortnight by a letter and send it to Robert Carrs [house in Newport] & leave it there & I will call for it when I come from Taunton so I pray be mindfull to send yor mind what you will Does about it Robert Guthrie
Block Island ye tenth of August 1664.

Persuaded by Guthrie’s offer, Innes move out to the island brought him back into contact with other Dunbar men, the common link between them being an indenture in Braintree where presumably they continued to forge strong friendships. The sense of community this created seems to have been especially important to the Dunbar Scots and is clearest where landscapes took names with symbolic meaning such as the parishes of ‘Unity’ and ‘Scotland’ near York, Maine. These names deliberately echo the Dunbar and Scottish stories in a process which might be described as ‘place-making’ through which new landowners made their home and, through the occupation of a place, transformed the unfamiliar into the familiar.

John was probably on the Unity but a John Hanoman on the John and Sara might also be this man. John may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard. He stayed out of the courts during his indenture but appears in Charlestown in March 1658 in land records alongside Edward Wyer, Alexander Bow, James Grant and Hercules Corser. John drew lot #194 which included 4 acres of woodland and 3 of commons. He later moved to Concord (Massachusetts) and married Christian before 1668 and had two children. His inventory mentions a dwelling house at Elm Brook Meadow. John died at Concord before 1680.

Thomas was indentured to Essex-born mill-owner Henry Sayward who is said to have paid £30 for him. Thomas may have worked in Sayward’s sawmills in Hampton and York. Later he married and moved from York to Berwick, where Thomas managed the sawmill at Quamphegan (the site today of the Counting House Museum in South Berwick, Maine). His house and barn were burnt to the ground by French and Wabanaki raiders in the Salmon Falls Raid of 1690. Thomas died a year later. A spoon, thought to belong to Thomas Holmes, can be seen in the collections of the South Berwick Historical Society in South Berwick, Maine.

According to family history Robert was baptised in 1621 and spent his first 29 years in Brechin in Angus. Quite possibly one of Valentine Hill’s Scots, Robert appears at Oyster River in 1657 at the same time as other Scots likely to have been prisoners. He settled in York, Maine by 1661 as a farmer or ‘planter’ and built a garrison house at ‘Scotland’, overlooking the York river, which is now an earthwork but was still a standing structure in the early 1900s. Robert was therefore born in Scotland and died in another ‘Scotland’. He married Sarah Smythe before 1670 and they had three sons, one of whom was killed by Native Americans in 1711. What may be their cradle is in the Old Gaol Museum of the Old York Historic Society; it is difficult to date precisely. Some artefacts from his garrison home have been preserved and the site and cellar hole is currently under excavation. Robert died in 1699 and his will is dated in 1696. It was witnessed by John Hancock, grandfather of the John Hancock who signed the American Declaration of Independence. The current owner of the original Robert Junkins property is descendant Alan Junkins.

James received a land grant at Dover at the same time as other Scots in 1656, and is later associated with them. Probably an Oyster River Scot. He died before 1712 but otherwise little is known of him.

John may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard. He was a founding member of the Scots Charitable Society in 1657, married Mary by 1659 who was a member of the First Church of Boston. John is not recorded there and was probably not a Puritan. They had 7 children. John took the Oath of Allegiance in Boston in 1678 and died in 1691. Mary’s sister Ruth married Dunbar man John Marshall.

John may have served his indenture in the Boston area or in the Saugus Ironworks warehouse and shipping yard. He first appears in 1659 when he joined the Scots Charitable Society and dies after 1705

John was probably indentured privately as a servant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He married first in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1656 and again there in 1665. He died in October 1705, also in Cambridge, leaving money for the church. His inventory included cows, corn, hay, swine and lumber among other things.

The Magoon family is said to originate from Strathdern in the Highlands. Henry Magoon served his indenture working for Nicolas Lissen at his mill and married Elizabeth Lissen (Lisson), the second daughter of the mill-owner, before October 1661. When Nicolas died in 1714, aged 100, he had seen all his three daughters marry Dunbar and Worcester survivors. Henry himself married again after his Elizabeth was killed in a Native American raid in 1675 and had four children in all. He was credited for military service in October 1677. His grand-daughter married the son of a Dunbar Scot, Ingraham Moody. Henry acquired land in both Dover and Exeter, New Hampshire and was credited for military service in 1677 during King Philip’s War. He may have lived in west Exeter in an area called Pick Pocket woods near the Lissen mill. Henry died 1684-1701.

John was the brother of Henry Magoon but they seem to have been separated once they arrived in New England. We do not know where John was indentured, only that he appears in the town records of Hingham (Massachusetts) and then married Rebecca Palmer and had five children. One of his sons, Elias, married the daughter of a possible Dunbar man Purdie MacFarland in 1702. This couple were slave owners. John owned land in Hingham and was buried in Pembroke (Massachusetts) in 1709.

Many stories surround the life of Micum McIntire. He is said to have survived a near-execution on the Dunbar battlefield and once in New England he was probably indentured to Valentine Hill. Micum married the widow of Dunbar man Alexander Mackaneer in 1671. Later he managed the estate of his brother-in-law, John Curmuckhell, after he was killed in a Native American. John Carmeale’s lands are mentioned in his will. About 1707 the McIntire-Garrison house was built (otherwise known as the Alexander Maxwell House), said to be the oldest private house in the United States of America, now on State Route 91, Scotland, York County. This house is described as a colonial log garrison house to guard against attacks from Native American attacks. The house is two storey and the walls are constructed out of sawn logs 19cm thick and dovetailed together at the corners. The extant windows and the clapboards are later modifications. Micum himself died in 1705.

The McIntire-Garrison house.

Photograph by Christopher Gerrard

Although Robert Mackclafflin appears a little late in 1661, he was closely associated with other Scots in Wenham (Massachusetts), including as a legatee of Alexander Bravender. We do not know where he served his indenture, but it might have been as a domestic servant. Afterwards, Robert was granted land in Wenham in 1662 where he was accepted as a ‘townsman’ and later exchanged it for about 15 acres of land: he is described as a ‘husbandman’. The inventory of Robert’s goods at his death in 1690 survives and includes 18 sheep, 18lbs of sheep’s wool and cotton wool. He obviously kept his flock for its wool as much as for meat, and the size of the flock indicates something more than mere subsistence. Remarkably, the home of Robert Mackclafflin still stands, albeit much altered, in Wenham. Now called the Claflin-Gerrish-Richards House, it forms part of Wenham Museum. The house was originally a single-room dwelling for Robert, his wife Joanna and four of their children. Robert moved away in 1672 when the town purchased the building to house a new minister. Most of Robert’s children, as well as every subsequent generation, omitted the ‘Mack’ part of their surname. Robert himself was apparently illiterate, signing himself with a cross or the letter ‘R’.

Alexander first appears in 1666 in Scotland, York (Maine), seemingly lame, in poor health and unable to attend church. He was probably an Oyster River Scot and died in 1670. His widow, Dorothy, married Micum McIntire.

Alexander was in the service of Richard Kimball, a wealthy Suffolk Puritan who had arrived in 1634. Alexander was closely associated with the other Scots in Wenham (Massachusetts), including as a legatee of Alexander Bravender. Little is known about him. By his own deposition he was born in 1633, married in 1661 and had 9 children. He died before June 1684 in Wenham.

Together with John Taylor, Alexander Maxwell was one of George Leader’s servants at the Great Works in 1654 when relations between him and his English master turned violent. Maxwell received 30 lashes on his bare skin ‘for exobitant and abusive carage toward the master and his wife.’ The court decreed that if there were any more problems with Alexander, his master could sell him off to Virginia or Barbados or any other English plantation. He completed his indenture with no further incidents and then moved to York (Maine), to an area where other Scots had settled. Sadly, his violent temper got the best of him there also. He was in court again for striking and abusing fellow Dunbar Scotsman, Alexander Mackanur. Maxwell eventually became a surveyor of the highways for ‘Scotland’, a minor office, and later a tavern keeper. When in 1681 a surprise attack by Native Americans destroyed most of the dwellings in the area, Maxwell's Garrison survived. Alexander died in 1707 and his will survives.

Henry Merrow may have been an indentured servant in Woburn (Massachusetts) since Thomas Dudley is mentioned in his probate records. In that case he may have been indentured alongside John Rankin in Dudley’s Puritan household. Henry married in Woburn in 1661 and had 11 children. In 1662 he appeared in Middlesex County Court in Cambridge for the ‘cruell beating of John Wallis’. John Wallis was four years old and his wife’s child by a previous marriage. Henry was sentenced to pay a bond of £20 (extant), a very considerable sum, but was subsequently released from his bond for ‘good behaviour’. We do not know the precise circumstances but presumably he had redeemed himself as a step-parent. Henry died in 1685; his probate mentions Dunbar Scot John Upton as guardian of his youngest daughter.

James was originally indentured to mill-owner Valentine Hill and admitted as an inhabitant of Dover (New Hampshire) in 1658. The following year he was in court for frequenting taverns and quarrelling and fined £20 for fighting with two Englishmen and fellow Dunbar Scot William Gowen. Valentine Hill provided surety for his good behaviour. James seems to have gained employment in the home of the local medical doctor, Dr David Ludecas Edling, eventually administering the doctor’s estate. In 1676 he sold land to the same William Gowen he had fought with in earlier years. By this time he was resident of Great Island (now New Castle, New Hampshire). James died sometime after 1683.

This is a common name and difficult to trace. James was married by 1660 in Charlestown and died there in 1688. He was known as the ‘Scotchman’ and had one son.

Mathew appears in 1659 and dies 1692. He resided in Newbury (Massachusetts).

Closely associated with the Scots at Oyster River, James was killed by a falling tree in 1659.

A member of the Scots Charitable Society in 1659, dies after 1674.

John settled in a place that came to be called ‘Unity’ and endured attacks by the Wampanoags in 1675 and the Abenaki in 1690, and the capture of his grown daughter Amy in 1699. The Neal Garrison House became a place of refuge. About 1694 John Neal’s son Andrew married the daughter of his neighbour and fellow Unity Scot William Furbish. John died in 1704.

One of Valentine Hill's Seven Scots. James first appears 1658 and dies unmarried after 1692. James lived with fellow Scot Henry Brown (see above).

Said to be a servant to Robert? Andrews in Boston, Thomas first appears in 1658. He was a founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657.

Perhaps the most extraordinary story of all is that of William Paul. William had been at the ironworks at Saugus in Lynn but he seems to have moved to Taunton to the west of the Plymouth Colony when finances began to bite. There he married Mary Richmond immediately following the conclusion of his indenture in February 1657 and this is the first time he is documented in New England. His marital situation was somewhat complex, for William had had an affair with Catherine (Katheren), the Irish wife of Alexander Innes, a fellow Dunbar man who had also served at Saugus. She was probably another of Cromwell’s Irish deportees and may well have landed at nearby Marblehead. This affair between William and Catherine resulted in the birth of James Paul in the same year as William’s marriage to Mary. For this ‘unclean and filthy behaviour’, William was ‘publickly whipt’ and paid the court fees. Catherine, for her ‘unclean and laciviouse behaviour... and for the blasphemos words that shee hath spoken’ was likewise whipped and had the letter ‘B’ for ‘blasphemer... sowed to her upper garment on her right arme’ in a red cloth. However, in an unusual turn of events, Alexander Innes now found himself implicated. The court’s interpretation of events was that Innes had deserted his family and, by so doing, he had exposed his wife to temptation. For this, Innes, seemingly the innocent party, was placed in the stocks. The implication of the court’s verdict is that Catherine was considered to be ‘naturally sinful’ and Innes had contributed to her downfall by being absent from the household, and so they both had to be punished. Unsurprisingly, the couple left Taunton afterwards and Innes eventually made his way to Block Island where he would have met up again with William Cahoon. To add to this tangled web, Mary Richmond, William Paul’s wife, later confessed in June 1658 that she had been pregnant by another man before she married. William died in 1704.

John Rankin was a servant to Thomas Dudley in Roxbury (Massachusetts), now a neighbourhood of Boston. Dudley was an important political figure in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and served several spells as governor, building the first home in what is now Cambridge (Massachusetts) and signing Harvard’s charter in 1650. There is a plaque in his memory at the University. He was a strict Puritan with an overbearing temper who had arrived with his family in the New World in 1630 and died in 1653. John Rankin’s duties in what was known to be a ‘thrifty’ household are not recorded. John himself first appears in 1653 and died after 1663. Little is known about him.

Appears in 1661 and dies before 1713. Countryman to Micum McIntire, and lived on his land.

Tormut Rose was one of the Scottish servants of Essex-born Thomas Faxon of Braintree, one of the sixteen original purchasers of Block Island (Rhode Island). Tormut first appears in 1662 and marries Hannah George on Block Island in July 1676. He was clearly well acquainted with other Scots there. Tormut’s name appears on the original ‘settlers’ plaque’ erected in 1911 and is referred to as ‘Dormat’ a ‘Scotchman tenant’ in a deed of conveyance in 1662 . He died in 1684.

Gilchrist Ross was a servant to Essex-born Samuel Symonds in Ipswich (Massachusetts). Symonds was a town clerk, merchants and later a judge and deputy-governor of the colony who lived at Argilla Farm in Ipswich, a property he had purchased from John Winthrop (later Governor of Connecticut Colony) in 1637. ‘Killicross Ross’ can be linked to Symonds because Ross made a deposition to the court in 1661 in the case of two boys indentured to Symonds who had been kidnapped from Ireland and now demanded their freedom. Together they looked after the cattle, maintained the fencing and tended 10 acres of Indian corn on the family farm. Little more is known about Ross, who married Mart Galley in 1661 and died in 1683.

At least ten men with the name Ross are recorded between 1651 and 1661 in New England and, besides Gilchrist above, those listed below are Finlay/Fennel (of Ipswich), George and Thomas (of Cambridge who moved later to Billerica, Massachusetts). James Ross, who is first recorded in Old Falmouth in 1657, is another Dunbar candidate. He died in 1676.

Andrew was indentured to the Warwickshire-born Gregory Belcher of Braintree (now Quincy, Massachusetts) who had been in New England since at least 1639. Belcher seems to have been a farmer but in 1670 purchased the former ironworks at Braintree. Andrew, however, died in 1657, in the same year his indenture finished.

A founder of the Scots Charitable Society on 6th January 1657. Nothing more is known of James.

John was probably one of the seven men indentured to mill-owner Nicolas Lissen who owned saw mills on the Exeter and Oyster Rivers. The other six have been identified in the past as John Bean, John Barber, John Hudson, Alexander Gordon, John Thompson and Walter Jackson. Little more is known of John Sinclair other than that he was a free man by January 1659 when he purchased 10 acres in Exeter (New Hampshire) and that he later became embroiled in a boundary dispute. Family histories also link him to the battle of Worcester in 1651. He died in 1700 and his will survives.

Listed as a ‘Scottishman servant’ to Lt William Hudson when he died in 1652.

Duncan was a servant to Suffolk-born George Hadley. He married in Ipswich (Essex, Massachusetts) in April 1654, before the terms of his indenture ended. This was because he got his fellow servant, Ann Winchester, pregnant. He was whipped for this but later married his lover. They moved to Newbury in 1659 where they lived on a farm. The couple had 9 children before Duncan died in old age at Rowley (Essex, Massachusetts) in 1717. He is described as a ‘planter’ or smallholder. Possible a relative of Alexander Stuart, also on the Unity.

John was possibly at Saugus at the ironworks there but later moved to Berwick where he was indentured to Richard Leader. He was one of two Scots who worked as indentured servants there, the other being Alexander Maxwell. Certainly John was closely associated with other Scots at Kittery (South Berwick, Maine) and lived in Unity parish one house away from Peter Grant. He was a constable in 1665 and served on a Grand Jury in 1671 and 1672. He married Martha Redding about 1666 and had 5 daughters, dying in Berwick in 1690. John is mentioned in the will of Alexander Cooper. His will and inventory also survive; the latter mentions lands given to him by Dunbar Scot Niven Agnew.

Granted land in 1656 at the same time as Scots who worked at the Great Works and, like them, he seems to have been a small holder. However, there was a Thompson family was already living in the area, so he may not be a Scot. William married in Dover in 1658, had 6 children. He was presented at York Court in 1659 ‘for rebellion against his father and mother-in-law’. He died at Kittery (South Berwick, Maine) in 1676.

A Dunbar Scot who served his indenture with Richard Leader at the Great Works sawmill, James Warren is first recorded at South Berwick, then called Kittery, in 1650/1. In 1654, while he was still indentured, James married Margaret, a Catholic Irishwoman, and later he was ‘lotted’ land nearby. Here James built a dwelling house and a barn and lived for the next 46 years, eventually accumulating 140 acres and 10 acres of marsh. During his lifetime, James served in several public roles as a Commissioner, on juries and he signed several petitions. For all their good citizenship, however, in 1670 his wife Margaret and other Scots were cautioned for using profane language and four years later James was bound over for good behaviour for being insolent towards a militia captain. For this offence, James was ‘to be tyed Neck and Heels for one Hour or ride the Wooden Horse’. The ‘horse’ was a raised wooden saddle with a triangular section which the victim was forced to straddle, sometimes at gunpoint and with weights tied to their legs. As painful as it was humiliating, this torture was impossible to suffer for long.

The Warren family kept in close touch with their fellow Scots. Alexander Cooper, who had also been at the Great Works, picked out James and another Scot, Peter Grant, in his will of February 1683/84 to act as trustees for his young son. Peter Grant acted as an appraiser of James' inventory in 1702 while William Gowen’s son, Nicholas, and George Gray’s son, Robert, were both witnesses to his will. Cooper was Warren’s neighbour to the north, and Grant bordered Warren to the south. During the Cocheco Raid in June 1689 in nearby Dover, New Hampshire, one of James Warren’s daughters, Grizel, together with her baby Margaret, were taken by Native Americans after her husband was killed. Although James left money to Grizel in his will in February 1683/4, she never returned from Montreal and eventually had five children there, living to the age of 89. Later, one of Margaret’s children made the long journey south and in 1735 kept a public house in Dover, not far from Berwick, bringing the family story full circle.

The Warren burial ground. The broken gravestone poking through the pine needles has an incised letter 'J'.

Photograph by Richard Annis

A founding member of the Scots Charitable Society in Jan 1657. James married an Irish maid, Mary Hay in February 1658 and had 6 children. In 1663 he acted as a night watchman in Boston. He was buying land in Boston in 1676/77 and is referred to in land deeds as a ‘brewer’. James died in 1689.

Edward first appears in New England records in 1658 and dies in 1693 in Charlestown when he is referred to as ‘an aged Scotchman’. Charlestown seems to have been his residence for much of his life.


These men have weaker associations with the Dunbar Scots and may be migrants on the grounds that they appear slightly later in New England records.


Bane/Bean, Lewis
Barber, John
Bow/Bowe, Alexander
Bruce, James
Burgess, Robert
Chisholm/Jessum/Chessom/Chessmore, Duncan/Donken/Donkim
Cone, Daniel
Coombs/Comby, Allister
Daniel, Davey
Dill, Daniel
Fassett/McPherson/Mackfassy/Mackfarson, Patrick/Patriach
Ferguson, Daniel
Ferguson/Fargison, John
Forbes/Forbush/Farrabus/Farrabas/Forbysh/Fforbes/Ffarrabas/Fferebas/Furbush/Farrowbush/Farrabush, Daniel
Forbes/Forbish/Forbys, James
Forbes/Forbush, John
Forbes/Furbush/Farbish/Furbish/Farsbush/Farbuish, John
Forbes/Furbush/Farbush, Thomas
Frizzell/Frissell, Alexander
Frizzell/Fresell/Frissell, John
Frizzell/Frissell, John
Grant/Graunt, James (3) 'the Drummer'
Grant/Graunt, James (4)
Gregory, John
Grimes, Henry
Hobbs, Henry
Livingstone/Levingstone/Lewiston/Levestoon, Daniel
McClay, John
McCoy/Mecoy/Mocoy/Mokeny?/Muckroy?, John
MacDonald, Daniel
MacDonald/Mackdaniel/Mackneile/Daniel, Neil/Nelemake/Daniel
McDonald/Mackdaniel, Dennis
McDougal, Allan
McKay/McKey/Machee/Mackay/Macoy/Macooy/Mackie, Daniel
McRorie/Mackerory/Mackerwithey/McWithee, James
Marshall, John
Morey, Walter
Nock/Knox, Thomas
Patterson, Edward
Power [Tower?], Walter
Rankin/Rainking/Raynking/Raynkine, Andrew
Rose, Roger
Ross, Finlay/Fennel
Ross, George
Ross, Thomas
Stewart, Alexander
Stewart, Hugh
Stewart, James
Taylor, Robert
Williamson, Duncan
Wilson, Robert
Wilson, William

These men are sometimes named as Dunbar prisoners by other researchers but there are good reasons to question the evidence.


Bean/McBean/Baine, John
Bohannon/Buchanen/Buckanen/Bowhonon, John
Emery, William
Freeze/Frieze, James
Irwin/Erwin/Urin/Dulen/Duren/During/Dowreing/Eurin/Errin/Evrin, Edward
Key/Kye/Mackey/Kye/Keiay/Keays, John
McCallum/Mackalamy/Maccallum/Cullu/Callu/Callan/Mackallum/Mackhellin/Mackellam/Mackullum, John
MacDonaldMackDonel/Mackdonnell/Mcdannel, Alexander /Sander
McFarland/MacFarland/Macfarlo/Macvarlo/MagvarlowMackfarlo/Mcfarlin, Purdie/Purde/Purthe
Makiah/Machiah, Daniel
McLeod/Macklude, John
McLeod/McLoud/Mukload, Mordecai
McPherson/Maggafasset/Makefashion/Mackfarson/Make Farshon/Mackfashon/ Mackakaion/ Mackfation, Angus/Anguish/Ambrose/Anglish
Mark, Patrick
Ranney, Thomas
Roy/Boy, John
Smith, John
Stewart, Alexander
Stewart/Steward, Daniel
Stewart/Stuart, William

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