The Passenger list of the Alexander, arrived P.E.I. May 22 1820

Recommend Me! Suggest This Page To A Friend!

The following is a partial reconstruction of the Alexander, 1820 passenger list with notes about a previous 1819 sailing. A letter, recently added to the Register's "Letters from/to P.E.I." page has shed new light on many of the passengers who arrived in P.E.I. from Scotland in 1820 on the Alexander, which, when combined with other existing information, made possible this reconstruction. This document is very much a works in progress, and thanks is given to the many who have assisted with additional information. Much of the confusion about these two sailings has been sorted out. It is very much a group effort.

Arrival Date M/D/Y





Capt. R. Lyon

Greenock, Scotland.

New Glasgow, P.E.I.


Capt. R. Lyon

Greenock, Scotland.

New Glasgow, P.E.I.

The Alexander arrived from Greenock on May 22, 1820. The Prince Edward Island Gazette for Monday, 22 May, 1820, page 4 reports: "CUSTOM-HOUSE Entered: May 22, Brig Alexander, Lyon, Greenock - 85 passengers."

Recent evidence presented to me by Michael Rennie, shows that the vessel Alexander was in all likelyhood the one owned by David Rennie who bought Lot 23 in 1810 and who's family owned a large portion of lot 23 until the 1870's. David Rennie died in 1823 and his estate lists him as 50% owner of the Alexander at that time.

From 1821 Lloyds Underwriter's Register:
Vessel: Alex.
Owner:D. Rennie
Brig 169 tons
Crew: 12
Capt. R. Lyon
Built New Carlisle, 1818
Sailings: Greenock to PEI & Greenock to Nfld.

The above information from Lloyds via Newfoundland's Keith Matthews files, passed along by Michael.

The following is an attempt at recreating of a list of passengers arriving in P.E.I. in 1819 & 1820 aboard the Alexander, from extant records:


Passengers Likely in the 1819 Sailing of the Alexander

Proof of an 1819 sailing, the one that Robert Orr (1774 - 1861) and Alexander Laird (1797 - 1873) arrived upon, comes from the Prince Edward Island Gazette for Wednesday, 9 June 1819, page 4, "CUSTOM-House - Entered, June 9, Brig Alexander, Lyon, Greenock".

Note 2: From Alexander's tombstone: "The Hon. Alexander Laird, died Apr 15, 1873, Ae 76. He was a native of Renfrewshire, Scotland and emigrated to this Island in 1819." Thanks to Alan G. MacPherson, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

# Original information added to/or by Gary Carroll

February 16, 1819 Edinburgh Advertiser P. 3: " FOR PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND The fine fast sailing Brigantine, ALEXANDER A new vessel of 170 tons, Will have good accommodations for passengers, and will be ready to sail from Greenock the beginning of April. To farmers or others who may be inclined to settle on Prince Edward Island, or in New Brunswick, this will be a favourable opportunity, at the best season of the year, and the owner having a large tract of good land near the capital of the Island to SELL or LET on large leases, will give good encouragement to farmers of experience and capital who may wish to emigrate. For terms, or freight or passage, apply to STUART and RENNIE, Greenock; or here, to DAVID REN- NIE, Bath Street. Glasgow, 12th Feb. 1819." Transcription from Michael Rennie.

If anyone has any more documentation for others who arrived aboard the Alexander in 1819 or 1820, please email me, Dave Hunter, so that they, too may be included in this listing.

Passengers Likely in the 1820 Sailing of the Alexander

Past & Present of P.E.I., Pg. 405 mentions:

A letter written by Margaret Anderson Stevenson, of Kilmalcolmshire, Scotland, mailed the 10th March, 1823 to her son, Robert, living near Fredericton, N.B., tells him of his brother John settling in New Glasgow, P.E.I., and of the 1820 Alexander, and many of its passengers from her area, compounded with later information, follows:

* Note: The Lease and Obituary of Robert Orr, suggest, despite Margaret Stevenson's assertion that he arrived in 1820, that indeed he arrived a year earlier, in 1819. His land lease is signed April 16, 1819. Ross's Weekly, Dec. 26, 1861, gave the following obituary for him - "ORR - At New Glasgow on the 17th, Robert Orr Sr. Ae 87. Native of Renfrewshire, Emig. 1819".

Robert Orr, and the Alexander Laird of the 1819 sailing are listed on the FenceViewer and Constable's list for 1820 under New Glasgow.

The farm names mentioned in the above listing, I believe to all be part of the Ducal Estate. Mrs. Stevenson mentions a lawsuit regarding the Ducal Estate which was settled in May, 1821. She later gives a list of all the farms from which tenants have gone or been "turned out" since 1818. Burnbrae, Midbranches, Burntbank, Greenside, Lukerton, Tounfoot, Hughnuton, Laighwood-head, High Hugh, Laigh Hugh, Hardridge, Horswand, Burnbank, Midtoun, Bridge-end, and finally, West Lawpark. She mentions there are six more sequestered on the estate. The full text of this letter may be seen on the Register's "Letters from/to P.E.I." page. See also: "New Glasgow as it was 100 Years Ago"

New Glasgow Bits and Pieces - Notes, Memoirs, and Diaries from New Glasgow

A Second 1820 Alexander:

About the time of our Alexander, there was another Alexander which has added to the confusion, one which sailed to Quebec in 1820. Gary Carroll, author of the Carroll lineage on our lineages page has pointed out that, in a newspaper account of the Quebec Alexander arrival (transcription following), it mentions that the following ship was much larger, weighing 333 tons, and her captain was Captain Young. Thankfully, this information ends the confusion over the two arrivals. For those of you who might be looking for this vessel, I leave the following information on the "second" Alexander, which went to Quebec City in 1820:

Quebec Gazette Mon., 8 June, 1820 p.2:
Port of Quebec: Arrived June 5 Ship Alexander, John Young, 45 days from Greenock, to order, ballast --- 95 settlers.

Also in later newspaper:

Quebec Gazette Mon., 19 June, 1820 p.1:
Freight and Passage to Grangemouth and Leith-- The fine first class coppered ship Alexander, burthen per Register 333 tons, John Young, master, is now loading for the above Ports, and is intended to be dispatched in about 25 days. Such Goods as may offer will be taken at a low rate of freight, and the Alexander has very superior accomodation for a few cabin passengers. For terms application may be made to Captain Young, on board off Diamond Harbour, or to 19th June, 1820, Irvine, MacNaught & Co.

From Bob Marshall, a passenger list of the Alexander when it arrived in Quebec City on June 4th, 1820, under Capt. Young, which he found in "The Sellars History, A History of the Chateaugay Valley" by Robert Sellar.The article starts on page 175 - chapter 8. The passenger list is on page 192.

The Vessel left Scotland April 21/1820, and arrived June 4/5, 1820 at Quebec City with 95 passengers. Captain Young.

Please do not copy this page, but it may be freely linked to.
Presented by: Dave Hunter & The Island Register.

Last Updated: 10/23/2006 10:18:49 PM
Return to Ship Database!
Return to Ship Index!
Return to Main Page!