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Pointers to the Scots origin of The Ship Glasgow’s passengers

A monograph

Historians have completely ignored the Scot immigration of 17th century into Virginia and Barbados. According to Hillson in his “Discovering the Historic Lowlands”, lively trade existed between the “Port of Glasgow”, near the town of Greenock, and Virginia in the mid 1600s.

The entire subject of early Scotch immigration to Virginia has yet to be explored and documented. It can be assumed that they were mostly lower to middle class and included a few gentry. An excellent monograph of their migration to Ulster can be found in “The Scotch-Irish, a social history” by James Leyburn, University of North Carolina Press, 1962. He documents the causes of their migration exceptionally well. He does omit the movement to the Americas as that issue was completely outside of the scope of his work.

Moorman pointers

There are many coincidental facts which point to the Moorman and Clark families being of Scot origin.

1. The surname Moorman is Scot and refers to the occupation of a sheriff of the moor as found in an Encyclopedia of Scot Surnames.

2. The Oral Tradition of the Moorman Family, as interpreted from Linda Starr (lksstarr at rootsweb). It states in essence:

they emigrated with a Clark family (5 brothers) and one Terrell in 1669 on the ship “Glasgow” for Barbados. They (the Clarks) stayed there (Barbados) until the next year. In 1670, the Moorman family and the one Terrell set sail on the ship “Three Sisters” for Carolina. The Clark people remained in Barbados . The vessel was blown off course to the north by a storm. They made landfall on an Island in a river in Virginia where some disembarked. The ship then voyaged to Carolina.”

The author has confirmed that William Tirrell and Thomas Moreman arrived in early 1670. (Cavaliers and Pioneers, vol. 2, pp. 96 & 74). They were preceded by other Tirerells. As to the Quaker connection to the early Moremans, I refer you to the Blissland Vestry Records showing Thomas Moreman to be involved in the Anglican Church in the 1680s. It is also improbable that William and Thomas resided at Somerton Refuge as Bennett didn’t convert to Quaker until 1674.

My Comments RE: Ship Glasgow

An early comment (ca 2001) in my genealogy’s text. “They may have embarked from the Port of Glasgow (at Greenock and Renfreis), not necessarily on a ship of that name.”

My research of 5 Apr. 2002 at the New England Historical Genealogical Society Library generated the following quote from “Ships from Scotland to America” by David Dobson, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998, page 50:

“(Ship) Glasgow, Master George Dedan; from (Port of) Glasgow to the Plantations, 1670” Ref: RPCS.3.229 (Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. 3, page 229).

This document has not been personally examined , however it is believed to be in regard to this ship being used to “transport” exiles condemned by the Bishops of the newly re-established Church government for persons attending “conventicles” in western Scotland. The mention of a specific vessel by the King’s executive council would have concerned no idle issue. Their biggest worry, at the time, was the on going grass-roots responses to the Bishop.
It is beyond the scope of this short monograph to examine the events of 1667 through 1674 in detail. I can summarize that Charles II re-established Bishoprics in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, attempting to make it conform to the Episcopal model of the Church of England. That edict was met with force by many in the central & western lowland counties. They interpreted the King’s motives as an attempt at the re-establishment of Catholicism . The Privy Counsel of Scotland and King responded in kind. Some 13,000 Scots were fined, imprisoned, exiled and or “Transported” ( to Barbados and Virginia) between 1668 and 1670. You are referred to again to “The Scotch-Irish” (above) and to “Scotland” by Magnus Magnusson, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000 for better detail.

Comments from Doug RE: Ship Glasgow;

“ A cautionary comment regarding the vessel "Glasgow" which family legend says brought the Moormans and Clarks to Barbados. The paternal side on my family came from Devon and I have a list of the Devon vessels that were inventoried for possible military service by the Crown in 1664. This has nothing to do with the particular "Glasgow" that took the Moormans and Clarks to Barbados in 1669. However, in 1664 there were 16 vessels registered at Devon ports with the name "Glasgow" or a variation such as "City of Glasgow". Eleven of these are described as being "colonial traders". I suspect there were numerous other "Glasgows" scattered among other English ports. My point is that a vessel named "Glasgow" would not have been unique in the mid-17th century colonial trades -- I suspect there were many with that particular name. However, we have no knowledge that the particular "Glasgow" that carried the Moorman's to Barbados ever called at Virginia. All we know is that it reportedly sailed from Southampton to Barbados in 1669.Since it carried passengers, chances are there is a record of the voyage if not a passenger list. We should make an effort to track down the voyage record from the Southampton end where records are more likely to have been preserved.

By the way, the "Glasgow" part of the Moorman legend was in print long before either Lorand Johnson or Jesse Bryan did their genealogical research. I found an 1853 book on "The Quakers of South River" at the DAR library which presents the essential parts of the Moorman family legend, including the "Glasgow" and the Clark family. (This particular book had names and dates pretty mixed up, and seems to have been the beginning of the "Green Springs" confusion, but the "Glasgow" is there, with the Clarks, in black and white. The source of the Moorman legend material seems to have been interviews with Moorman descendants that were still living in the Lynchburg VA area in the 1850's.”

(The author has seen no such confirming report of the ship “Glasgow” leaving Southampton and believes it to be one of those human errors which encroach at every opportunity into genealogical works.)

  1. The Thomas 1Moorman Letter ~

Please note that there are several words and phrases, previously read-over, that give us an insight into the previous nationality of the writer. These indicate he was originally from South Central Scotland. The first mention of Thomas Moreman in Virginia was in 1670 as referenced above.

Comparison of the copy in A. D. Candler's 1902 edition of Colonel William Candler of Georgia, His Ancestry and Progeny, and the copy in Jones Library, Lynchburg, VA. provided by Doug of our correspondence group.

(A). A. D. Candler's Version:

In 1754, quite a 2muck of folk left the upper James River colony for a good country on the Yadkin River.

Among the motley gang, for some of them were 3skinners, was your cousin of the second remove, Micajah Clark, and your first cousin, Zack Moorman. After two years of very unprofitable living, they returned to Virginia ...

After two years more, these braggart bucks got up a 4stroun-bickle and again moved to North Carolina. Among the 5bickels were Mike Clark, Zack Moorman, Zed and Thomas Candler and mayhap Henry Candler. These Candlers were all related to our family by intermarriage back in Ireland.

They (the Candlers) first came to North Carolina, but soon moved to Virginia. These boys were all good surveyors, and the first time I saw William Candler, the oldest boy, he and Zed, some three years younger, were lining a royal charter for the Anthonys, an Italian people of no 6mickle good appearance.

This was in 1753, and Zed Candler, who afterward married our cousin, Ann Moorman, was a lad some 14 years old.

In 1756 I attended a great safety council held at Lynch's Crossing to jower over the Stamp Act, and there I met Zed Candler, who had returned and settled on a royal grant for fighting Indians.

... Zed Candler lived on Flat Branch five miles from Lynch's. His grant was for five thousand acres and was called by him 7Kilkenny. He was from home all the time fighting Indians and surveying and soon got another grant fifty miles distant, in the Pittsylvania belt.

Zed Candler married Ann Moorman, and with thirty slaves, moved to his new home which he called Callan.

(B) Jones Library Version:

In 1754, quite a much of folk left the upper James River Colony for a good country on the Yadkin River. They first came to North Carolina but some moved to Virginia, and the old man Zack settled below us on the river.

These boys were all good surveyors, and the first time I ever saw William Candler, the eldest boy, he and Zed, some three years younger, were 8lining a Royal charter for the Anthonys, an Italian people of no mickle good appearance.

After two years these braggart bucks got up a stroun-bickle and again moved to North Carolina. Among the bickles were Mike Clark, Zack Moorman, Zed and Thomas Candler, and mayhap Henry Candler and brother.

Among the motley gang, for some were skinners, was your cousin the second remove, Micajah Clark, and your first cousin Zack Moorman. After two years of very unprofitable living, they returned to Virginia where they could find a better field for their hilarious tempers and better rum.

These Candlers were all related in Ireland.

This was in 1753, and Zed Candler, who afterwards married our cousin, Ann Moorman, was a lad some fourteen years old.

In 1765 I attended a great Safety Council held at Lynch’s Crossing to jower over the stamp act, and here I met Zed Candler who had returned and settled upon a Royal Grant for fighting the Indians.

The Yadkin Colony had all been broken up some five or six years before, only lasting a short time, and the bickles had scattered to Wautauga River, the Ohio and the Carolinas."


  2. The writer uses several central lowland Scot dialect words.

  3. The term “Stroun-Bickle” could very well have been as I suggested above. The context fits the the translated paragraph and the written script characters “c” and “r” plus “l” and “I” are easy to misread.

  4. Many western Scot families had relatives in the “Ulster Plantation” where they inter-married with the native Irish. These folk were only separated by twenty or so miles of the Irish Sea.

1 A Scots lowland surname meaning “Keeper of the Moors”, similar to a sheriff

2Middle Scots dialect words (locale first used) from “The Concise SCOTS Dictionary”, Aberdeen University Press, 1985:

refuse or rubish (north east)

3 petty swindler (central)

4 Probably “strow”-“Birkie”: quarelsome (south central)- quick-tempered (east-central)

5 quick tempered persons

6 degree [of] (general use since 14th century)

7 an Ulster place name … indicating his original home-place.

8 Scots dialect: Trace out ( general use)

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