Over the past 25 years that I have been associated with Scottish heritage events I’ve witnessed a great deal of effort being expended on refining and defining everything associated with Scottish Clans.  However, with a couple of exceptions, little effort seems to have gone into giving the same amount of focus to the identification of surnames associated with Scotland who are not linked to a clan.  This has been a problem for those of us who are attempting to help every visitor attending these events find their Scottish connection. Until now there has been little detailed, quality reference materials to adequately help us.

A necessary distinction to remember and share is the fact that there is a misperception that Scotland’s people are centered strictly around the clan structure.  Clans represent less than one third of all the people of Scotland.  The non-clan families are city dwellers. They’ve not declared fealty to a clan chief, but provide goods, services, and labor in the regions in which they reside.

The information collected on this portion of Scotland’s people comes from various publicly available sources such as Scottish government, regional administration, church (birth, marriage, death), and transportation (deportation) records.  Regarding the latter source, there were no restrictions on the transportation of the subjects of England (English, Irish, Scots, Welsh) to the Americas, Caribbean, and Australia. Information extracted from these transportation records focused only on those transported prisoners specifically identified as Scottish.  Prisoner transportation records to the Americas spanned the period 1600-1776 while those sent to Australia spanned the period 1776-1830.