Our Scottish Roots

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.

Photo by Alan L. Brown ontarioplaques.com

Photo by Alan L. Brown ontarioplaques.com

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.

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Finch settlers
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Allan built the first mill in the township. Margaret did not get to live long in her new country, as she died in 1806. Allan died in 1823.

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)

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4 thoughts on “Our Scottish Roots

  1. any idea what Glenpean meant?

  2. Glen Peane is an area of Lochaber in Scotland. I assume the moniker was to distinguish this Allan McMillan from others. His cousin Archibald was known as “Murlaggan”.

  3. Sunday Dawn Robinson-Moran

    I am wondering if you have any info on Allan and Margaret’s son, Ewen McMillan?
    sunday@flarenet.com

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. The only information I have for Ewan McMillan comes from the book The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, ed. by Rae Fleming. All it says is that Ewan was born in 1777 and resided in Finch, Stormont, Ontario. I did check on ancestry and see that someone has a tree posted that says Ewan married Jane McDonald 5 Feb 1811 at Williamstown Presbyterian Church. There is an online index to marriages at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Williamstown at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onglenga/StAndrewsWilliamstownM.htm There is a marriage for Jane and Ewan listed there, but I don’t know if that Ewan is the son of Allan and Margaret. Good luck with your research.

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