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
New Glasgow, P.E.I.
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:
Brig 169 tons
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".
- Robert Orr (1774-1861), wife Margaret Crawford (1770-1849) and children, David (1800-1881), Janet (1802-1879), Margaret 1803-1891), Agnes (1805- ), Jean (1807-1860), Robert (1809-1878), James (1811-1869), William (1813-1894), and John (1815-1906) from Hardridge (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm)
- Alexander Laird (1797 - 1873) and family, from Nutton (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm). This is a different Alexander Laird from the one mentioned above in the 1820 sailing, but his father, James and sister, Margaret arrived on that sailing, one year later. This has caused much confusion over the years. See note 2. #
- John Park who later married Margaret Laird of the 1820 sailing of the Alexander, sister of Alexander Laird of this sailing, who arrived one year later with her father, James Laird. #
- William Eppes Cormack (1796-1868) agent for David Rennie. (Cormack's Power of Attorney signed in early 1819 in Scotland prior to his departure). #
- Robert Buntain (1793 - 1878). #
- John Stewart (1815 - 1896). Daily Patriot Thurs., 17 Dec., 1896, page 2: "DIED. At Dunstaffnage, on the 14th inst., Mr. John Stewart, aged 81 years. He emigrated from Perthshire, Scotland, to this country in 1819, on the same ship with the late Hon. Alexander Laird, father of Hon. David Laird. Mr. Stewart was emphatically an honest man, well and favorably known and died much regretted. For the widow and family the PATRIOT tenders its sincere sympathy". Due to his age the year the vessel sailed, he must have arrived with family or relatives. #
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, email@example.com 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:
- Donald Taylor of Argyleshire. He was born 1788 at Argyleshire and died 2 Jan., 1853 at Wood Islands; on 30 Jan., 1813, in Scotland he married Christina Murray born about 1795; she died 28 Jan., 1882, at Wood Islands; They settled first at Rustico but moved to Wood Islands by 1825. children Archibald (1815-1837); Neil (1816-1876) and John (1819-1905)#
PAPEI Taylor family file item 38.6
"It is hereby certified that the bearer, Donald Taylor and his wife Christian Murray, natives of this place have resided in this Parish mostly from their infancy. That they behaved themselves soberly and honestly and depart free of public scandal or grounds of Church censure known to us, to hinder them from partaking of Church priviledges in any Christian Society where God in his Providence may appoint their lot.
Skipness, the 4th day of April 1820
Hugh McLaurin, Minister of Skipness & Saddell
Colin Graham, Elder
Archibald Taylor, Elder"
- John Stevenson (1778-1862), wife Margaret Nisbet (1780-1852) and children, Charles (1802-1890), Catherine (1804-1877), John (1805-1893), Andrew (1807-1895), William James (1810-1900), Margaret (1812-1890), George (1815-1910), Jane (1816-1872), and Janet (1819-1880), from Paisley, Scotland, settled New Glasgow, P.E.I. #
- * See note:
Robert Orr (1774-1861), wife Margaret Crawford (1770-1849) and children, David (1800-1881), Janet (1802- ), Margaret 1803- ), Agnes (1805- ), Jean (1807- ), Robert (1809-1878), James (1811-1869), William (1813-1894), and John (1815- ) from Hardridge (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm)#
- James Arthur and wife, Mary Barr from Hurton (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm). Married at Houston, Renfrew 3 Jul 1818, had several children in New Glasgow, and in the 1840's moved to Goderich, C.W. (Ontario) #
- John Arthur who married Margaret Orr (b. 1803 so assume the daughter of Robert Orr); they resided in Lot 21. John's death notice reads "Lot 21 on the 11th AE 79, John Arthur Sr. Native of Renfrewshire. Emig. 1820. Leaves wife 5 sons 5 daughters"(S'side 21 April 1870). Thanks Carol Foster Stanish.
- Alexander Laird and wife, Agnes Laird (d. 1857), with sons John (1796-1870) and Alexander (1810-1902), from Burnbank (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm) This is a different Alexander from the one who is noted in the 1819 sailing. #
- James Laird (1767 - 1845), from Nutton (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm), father of the Alexander Laird who arrived in 1819, and daughter, Margaret Laird (1795 - 1873), who later married John Park, who also arrived in 1819. #
- James Houston, wife Janet Miller, children, James (1804-1866), Elizabeth Jane (1806-1837), Margaret (1810-1846), Grizel aka Grace (1811-1848), John (1815-1899), and Jane (1818-1903) from Woodend (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm) #
- James Semple (1787-1853), wife Mary Inglis (1793-) and two eldest children, James (1816-1875) and Jean (1818-1901) from Mount Blow (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm). #
- Alexander Lang Jr. and his new bride, from Botherickfield (farm name, likely in Kilmalcolm)
- George Nisbet, shoemaker, wife Martha Hart, children Andrew Nisbet (1804-1866), William Nisbet (1806-), Martha Nisbet (1811-), George Nisbet (1814-1894), and Catherine Nisbet (1817-1902) from Paisley, Scotland. "The old woman went along with them" (His Mother, Katherine Guild (1753-1846), widow of Andrew Nisbet of Edinburgh). #
- John Moffatt, bap. Feb 18, 1781, Culter, Lanarkshire (mentioned in Charles Dickieson's "New Glascow as it was 100 Years Ago").#
- James Dickieson (ca. 1800-1878) See Article New Glasgow 100 Years Ago.#
- William Fyfe (1794-1865) and wife Jean Arthur (1795-?) plus children Robert born 1816 and Elizabeth (1817-1877). [Likely passengers: Left Scotland April 1820 from Renfrewshite. Existing document: "That the bearer William Fyfe and spouse Jean Arthur resided in this parish from their infancy free from public scandal or any ground of church censure known to our session were communicants attached at Houston, Renfrewshire. Dated 2 April 1820. Signed by John Monteith, Minister and A. MacLean" These documents usually were issued just before a voyage. Document in posession of Alfred Fyfe of Stanley Bridge.] #
* 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.
- Robert Allan, Robert Barrie - New Monklands
- James Brown - Glasqow
- Thomas Brown - Campsie
- Thomas Brown - Glasgow
- Archibald Fleming - Paisley
- John Gillies - Ayrshire
- John Harper - Paisley
- William Hamilton & James Hamilton Motherwell
- Robert Higgins - Paisley
- Peter Horn - Campsie
- Thomas Marshall - Wishaw
- James McArthur & William McArthur - Paisley
- James Paul - New Monklands
- Rorison - Glasgow
- James Tannahill - Tinnock
- Hugh & John Wiley - Paisley
The Vessel left Scotland April 21/1820, and arrived June 4/5, 1820 at Quebec City with 95 passengers. Captain Young.