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This book identifies people resident in the adjacent counties of Perthshire and Kinross-shire, as well as people abroad who originated there, between 1800 and 1850. The two counties now form a unitary administrative unit, known as Perth and Kinross, centered on the city of Perth. The information found in this volume is derived from a wide range of archival sources such as court records, contemporary newspapers and journals, monumental inscriptions, and other documents. The entries connect emigrants, their destinations–especially in North America, the West Indies, and Australasia–with their kin who remained in Scotland. Following is one such entry:
“ANDERSON, ALEXANDER, born 1772, a labourer from Fortingall, with his wife Isobel born 1776, son John born 1798, daughter Ann born 1800, daughter Christian born 1802, and daughter Isabel born 1804, emigrated aboard the Clarendon of Hull bound for Prince Edward Island in August 1808. [NSARM] [TNA.CO226.23]”
The period covered in this volume was one of rapid change in Scottish society brought about by the agricultural revolution and Industrial revolution, The former led to the formation of larger farms causing the surplus rural population to drift to the rapidly expanding factory towns. For example, in Perthshire the land-loom weavers who produced textiles in their home were replaced by textile mills, in towns like Stanley. The population of the city of Perth grew by 19,000 between 1755 and 1821, while that of Blairgowrie increased almost tenfold in the same period. Genealogists possessing ancestors from this era are encouraged to consult the Statistical Report of Scotland (the O.S.A.) compiled between 1791 and 1799; and the New Statistical Report, researched between 1832 and 1845, to put their ancestors into historical context. Both sources are available on the website of the National Library of Scotland.