Our Scottish connection begins with Allan “Glenpean” McMillan (see a picture of him here) and his wife Margaret Cameron. Allan was born in the highlands of Lochaber in Scotland around 1752.
Earlier, many Scottish settlers had been brought over by Sir William Johnson (whom you may remember was the brother of our ancestor Ann Johnson) to settle in the Mohawk Valley. These settlers, being Loyalists, moved to Upper Canada in 1783 after the American Revolution. Allan’s brother, Alexander McMillan, had organized an emigration to the Glengarry area of Upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1792.
In 1802, Allan and his cousin Archibald McMillan organized a mass emigration known as the Lochaber Emigration to Glengarry . Kenneth J. McKenna, writing in the The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, edited by Rae Fleming says:
“Although economic considerations were the chief causes of emigration for the Lochaber people (rents were increasing two to fivefold), the erosion of their distinctive way of life, the reduction of their chief to a common and avaricious landlord, the arrival of great flocks of sheep and their Lowland shepherds and the devaluation of the clan, all tended to the destruction of their Highland pride. The ‘gentlemen of the clan,’ the tacksmen, foresaw what would eventually happen. They felt that they must leave before it was too late. Their foresight was uncannily correct. After the Napoleonic Wars when men were no longer needed to save Britain, the clearance of the Highland Scot began in earnest. But the Lochaber people were long gone.”
Over 400 people traveled on three ships, the Helen, the Jane, and the Friends. Allan and Margaret came with their 8 children, Ewan, John, Alex, James, Donald, Archibald, Helen, and Janet. (As an interesting aside…two of Allan’s brothers ended up in Trinidad, sigh).
Travel by ship at this time was not a luxurious affair, but these three ships were outfitted in such a way that fresh air was supplied to the hold. One assumes that was an appreciated luxury!
There is an historical plaque in Williamstown, Ontario that commemorates the emigration.
Allan McMillan obtained land in Finch township and settled there with some other families. 37 other settlers are named in his petition for land, each receiving 200 acres.
Here’s our descent from Allan McMillan to Pépère:
1-Allan “Glenpean” MCMILLAN (1752-1823)
+Margaret CAMERON (?-1806)
2-James MCMILLAN (1783-1858)
+Josephte BELISLE (1785-?)
3-William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
+Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
4-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
5-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)