The People of Dundee and Angus at Home and Abroad, 1800-1850


This book identifies residents in the adjacent counties of Dundee and Angus, as well as emigrants from there, between 1800 and 1850. Dundee and Angus now form distinct Scottish administrative units but were formerly a single district known as Forfarshire. Angus, which is in the east of Scotland, is divided by a geological fault known as the Highland Line, with the Highlands to the north-west and the Lowlands to the south-east. From the medieval period to the Victorian era, Forfar was the administrative centre of Angus, or Forfarshire while Dundee, still within Angus, was fast becoming the main industrial and port city. By the late nineteenth century Dundee had become one of the biggest cities in Scotland, famous for its ‘jam, jute, and journalism’.

The late 18th and early 19the centuries marked a period of rapid changes in this part of Scotland. The Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution led to the formation of larger farms, forcing the surplus rural population to drift to the rapidly expanding factory towns. For example, in Angus the land-loom weavers, who produced textiles in their homes, were replaced by textile mills in Dundee or Arbroath. The textile industry, which produced linen and canvas, was dependent on imported flax which mainly came from Russia and the Baltic countries, and was supplied to markets in Britain, America, and the West Indies. Jute, brought from India, became the main raw material used in the local textile mills later in the century. For their part, Dundee, Arbroath, and Montrose were fishing and whaling ports and centres of shipbuilding.

This book contains references to people from Dundee and Angus, at home and abroad, between 1800 and 1850. The information is derived from a wide range of sources such as court records, contemporary newspapers and journals, monumental inscriptions, and documents found in archives. The entries bring together emigrants, their destinations– especially in North America, the West Indies, and Australasia– with their kin who remained in Scotland, and provide the resident’s name, specific location, a date, and the source. In many cases the abstracts also identifies the names of kin, occupations, and other pertinent facts.


David Dobson


ISBN: 9780806359397