Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Argyll Colony of NC

Gabriel Johnston, was a lowland Scot who served as North Carolina's governor from 1734-1752. He wrote enthusiastic letters to friends and family back in Scotland encouraging them to migrate to the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. He offered them free land grants of two crops each year, and possible exemption from taxation for a time.

Most likely they landed at the port of Brunswick and then traveled up the Cape Fear Valley about 90 miles to what is now Fayetteville. They established a number of Presbyterian churches in the area, many of which are on the present-day property of Fort Bragg.

Gaelic was universally spoken throughout the area from about 1739 until around the 1860's during the Civil War. As with many Latino families today, most of these families were bilingual and spoke Gaelic at home and at church. Fayetteville had a Gaelic printing press in the early 19th century and some of their publications are preserved in the Presbyterian Historical Foundation in Montreat, NC.

For more information, visit:

Or read:
Carolina Scots by Douglas E. Kelly and Caroline Switzer Kelly
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  1. Is there a def. somewhere on here of what Scots-Irish is? I assume it's a mix of someone scottish and irish? LOL
    I'm wondering because my great-grandma and great-grandpa on my mom's side were scots-irish, but we didn't know it meant something diffferet. Or I should say, I didn't know. LOL

  2. Jessica,

    I wrote a post on this very question, when I reviewed the historical book The Scotch-Irish: A Social History. Scroll down on the right side to "Historical Book Reviews". Great question, by the way. And thanks for stopping by.

  3. Yep, I saw it. :-) I referred my mom to this blog because she loves to do research on her heritage, which is pretty much Scots-Irish and French Indian.

  4. I've created a website,, wherein I have researched a few of the men of the Argyll Colony who were my ancestors and some who were not. Please visit!

  5. Steve, I've provided a link to your site under our Genealogy drop down menu. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Wonderful! Argyll is such a beautiful place to visit. The countryside is amazing and there are sea trips that are fantastic too like watching the dolphins argyll in their natural habitat. It's surely one great thing to see.