Tryon, Anne: My Scottish Relatives
My Scottish Relatives
presented by Anne Tryon
One half of my ancestors came from the area known as the Scottish Borders which was located along their border with England as of 1843. They survived the latter part of the period called "The Clearances" which started in 1785 and continued until the 1850's. The change in the ownership of the land and in the use of the highlands caused a movement of people toward the lowlands and the water's edge. The economy continued to change and collapse so that more people now without land or jobs moved to the cities. Here they became part of the poverty and social problems already plaguing the inhabitants of the recently urbanized areas. Many were without land and therefore could not even grow potatoes.
By the 1830's and 1840's the potato crops failed as well. Emigration seemed the only alternative to mass starvation and workhouses.
My ancestors traveled to the United States as well as to Canada, specifically Hamilton Township. Not all were lucky enough to settle on good farm land but the next generation improved their lot.
The first generation here settled in the 1840's. Their names were STEVENSON, AITCHISON, GIBSON, CARTER AND HOGG.
Google search "Highland Clearances" returns over 138,000 results with many passionate accounts of a tumultuous period for tens of thousands of Scottish families.