(The photo, on the header above, was taken by Teresa Rust in June 2011. It is of tomb effigies on the the lids of Medieval knights’ sarcophagi. They are located in the little museum on the Isle of Iona in Western Scotland.)

Updated: 4 Jan 2015

You have found the web/blog site of the Scottish prisoners of war from the Battle of Dunbar on 3 Sep 1650 and the Battle of Worcester on 3 Sep 1651. No, that is not a mistake; the battles did take place on the same day, just one year apart. These are two battles of the Third English Civil War (1649-1651).

The Battle of Dunbar took place in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland. The Scottish army commanded by David Leslie fought against the English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell. The Scots were defeated and thousands of Scottish soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. Approximately 150 of them were deported from England in November 1650 to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving in Charlestown (now Boston) in December 1650. They were indentured into hard labor and after their six to eight year stint, the ones who survived, bought land, married, and settled down to rear families. Many of them have thousands of descendants now living throughout the United States.

The Battle of Worcester took place in Worcester, Worcestershire, England. It was the LAST battle of the English Civil Wars. The Scottish Royalists under “ Charles II attempted to forcefully regain the crown, in the fields a little to the west and south of the city, near the village of Powick,” from Wikipedia. The Scottish Royalists were defeated and thousands were taken prisoner. About 272 of them were exiled to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652. They also served six to eight years each and many of them lived to own land, marry and rear families. There are also thousands of their descendants living today in the US.

This web/blog site is an effort to bring together the known facts of these prisoners. They left their Scottish homes for war, never expecting that if they survived the battle, they would never see their homes again.

By working together, we hope to knock down some of our brick walls. One of our main goals is to discover the birthplaces of our Scottish ancestors in Scotland. We will be using the usual research practices to do so as well as a DNA study. It is essential that you also join us at our Scottish War Prisoners Yahoo Group where we can answer your questions, put you into contact with more information, and perhaps help you find a new cousin.

Administrators of this site:
~Teresa (Hamilton/Pepper) Rust, Founder/Owner and Super Admin
~Elizabeth (Bowe) Boggs, Administrator

Administrator of the DNA Study:
~John Cleary – Lead Administrator

45 Responses to Welcome!

  1. nancy bauer says:

    Teresa….the website geni,com “Scots Prisoners and their Relocation in the Colonies 1650-1654″
    included 3 men who worked at the Great Works sawmills who are not on your list….one, David Hamilton is on your John and Mary list and his family sheet at ancestry.com says that is how he arrived. The other two, however, James Barry and John Taylor are not on the J & M list. State. in their genealogies they came on the Unity.. They stayed on, settling in Berwick. Does that make your 150 Scots?. Check it out!
    Elnathan .Dunckley was not a Scottish prisoner as you note but must have come on the Unity either as a passenger as French concluded, or .possibly, a crew member who came on the Unity from London on its return trip and stayed,

    • We do have a James Taylor on the Unity list, he is #135 maybe he was this same John Taylor, James and John are common names that could have been easily mixed up by transcribers… By adding James Barry to the Unity list that would make 150…I need to check it out more. As to Elnathan Dunckley, I will pass this info. on to his descendant to further investigate. Thank you for your helpful information!! :)

      • Myron Smith says:

        I am also very interested in John Taylor – he is one of my ancestors. I strongly suspect that the “James” Taylor listed on the prisoners list at the Lynn Iron Works was actually John Taylor. On that 1653 list was also a Peter Grant. By 1655 John Taylor was living in Unity Parish (now Berwick) and just one house away was a Peter Grant. One final piece of very suggestive evidence is the fact that the Gen. Dict of ME and NH does not list any “James Taylor”, but it does well describe this John Taylor of Berwick.

  2. Jeanne Paxton Fisher says:

    What do you know about Duncan Stuart? Interesting! Thanks.

    • Jeanne, Are you a descendant of Duncan Stuart?
      Duncan Stuart died on 30 Aug 1717, about 100 years old; he married Ann Winchurst; she died 9 Jul 1729; they had TEN children; Four lasses and Six laddies; Duncan lived in Ipswich, Essex, MA in 1656, then moved to Newbury, MA in 1659 and then to Rowley, MA in 1680; he was a ship’s carpenter. Three of his sons had sons, so all surname descendants are though those sons: James b 1664 in Newbury, Samuel b 1672 in Newbury and Ebenezer (b 1676 in Newbury) Stuart/Stewart. SEE: Centennial History of Harrison, Maine

      • jane danforth says:

        hello Teresa..I am a descendant of Duncan Stuart and his son Ebenezer Stuart…I am trying to find out where in Scotland Duncan is from and his family..what would DNA studies show?..thank you Jane

      • Hi, Jane! My husband is also a descendant of Duncan Stewart. I don’t have that information yet, but I am hopeful someday to find it out. Please join us at: scottish_war_prisoners-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to learn more and make a connection to others who are also his descendants. Thanks! Teresa

      • Peg Plummer says:

        I’ve been trying to prove my family connection to Duncan Stewart for a while now. He was never a ship builder. He was a farmer who was a tenant of one of the Dummer Family when he lived in Newbury (the land is now the Caldwell Farm Estates). After he moved to Rowley he was able to buy and sell land in Massachusetts and in the Maine Province.

  3. Suggest you join this group if your father did DNA test. Only way you might find a match in Scotland and a guide to where in Scotland the family originated. Very very unlikely to find paper records of his parentage.



  4. jeanne p. fisher says:

    I am a descendant of Archibald Stuart who came to Va. in mid 1700s. There may be a connection to Duncan,but I am unaware of it.

  5. Laura says:

    If I’m reading correctly, you said your husband was a descendant of Duncan Stewart. Is he a Stewart (ie direct descendant)? Has he had a genealogy DNA test done? I’m interested to see if my Rowley Co Mass Stewarts match that line at all.

  6. jeanne p. fisher says:

    There must be some mistake here. I am a descendant of Archibald Stuart.

  7. Jeanne, I think we have two conversations going on here. To what mistake are you referring?

  8. Hi, I’m a descendant of Elnathan Dunkley, and would appreciate any information on him. I’ve been trying to figure out how he ended up on the Unity with Scottish Prisoners. Was he Scottish? If he was, where was he from? If he wasn’t, where was he from? I’ve dead ended on my research with him and anything from Britain would be appreciated.

    • Please email me offlist and I will be able to give you some information about this. Teresa Rust at read2befree@yahoo.com

    • sorrynameinuse says:

      I too am a decendantof Elnathan Dunckley. My records show that he was indentured in Dedham, Ma. to( Anthony Fisher, Sen.) I belive that he was a prisoner and will research further. Family history had said that Elnathan was put on the ship by an uncle so the uncle could inheirit the family estates in Scotland, but I have not found any thing to back this up.

      Nancy Bauer, what do you have that says he was not a prisoner?

  9. Joe Bissett says:

    I am the FTDNA administrator for the Bisset(t) surname. My line is from Aberdeen and we have 5 “cousins” identified through Y-DNA matching. One is a descendent of my GGF’s older brother.

    I also conduted some research for a friend on ELNATHAN Tarte. I believe that the overwhelming preponderance of given name use of Elnathan was in NW Shropshire, if that is any help.

  10. Dave Michnal says:

    I was looking at the Dunbar Prisoners list and comparing it to research re my ancestor Fennel Ross and I noticed a correlation. The Dunbar Prisoners list has a John Ross, Finlay Ross, and Gilchrist Ross…and research indicates that there were three possible brothers Ross called Fennel Ross, John Ross, and Killcross Ross living in Ipswich, MA as indentured servants in the 1650s….I think they must be the same men. Thoughts?

  11. LauraDove S says:

    My ancestor is John Neal. There is also an Andrew Neill and I’m wondering if they are related? John later had a son, Andrew, who married Catherine Furnish (undoubtedly dau. Of William Furnish, also a prisoner).
    Any information can help!
    I wld like to join the DNA project as well (I looked at their website), but will need to ask my brother for a sample. . .

  12. Robin Moore says:

    Hello to everyone…just found the site while looking up more info on my ancestor William Munro (Monroe). Even though no one can prove his name was on the passenger list, it is generally accepted that his was the one with the first name missing on the passenger list. I have done my Family Finder DNA test and would be glad to share those results even if they don’t help much. I would also be glad to share my genealogy and family history with anyone who is interested. I would also be interested in talking to any of the Stewart/Stuart descendants too as I am a Stewart as well! I do have a lot of data that I would be willing to share so if anyone is interested, let me know! I am SO glad I found this site! I am also related to John McCoon who was on the same ship as William Munro and can provide info on him. I believe I am blood related to John, but am still putting that part of my tree together after suffering two major computer crashes and losing much data….. its okay tho…. I am finding it again and more! So glad to be here!!

  13. Hello! I just found your blog. and the Scottish prisoners site. I am a descendant of John Maccoon, who is on the French List. He worked at the Saugus Iron Works and later owned land in MA and RI. Does anyone know if there is a group working on his history and descendants?
    I am also possibly a descendant of the John Clark on the list, and probably William Thompson. Those surnames intermarried in the next generation and I am working on sorting it out.

  14. Marion Belle Steele Gonzales, 11416 Parakeet Circle, Leesburg, FL 34788 says:

    I have traced my Moody ancestry back from my grandmother Addie Belle Moody to Clement Moody and am looking for more information on Clement Moody. Very interesting that his father may be Ingraham Moody and NOT Caleb Moody….

    My lineage from Clement, 1661-1729:
    Philip, 1697-1769 Kingston, NH.
    Daniel baptized in Kingston, NH 1727 and died in Unity, 1796.
    Josiah, 2nd born c 1755-1809, died Unity, NH.
    Elias born Unity, NH 1771-1856, buried Newport, NH.
    Jonathan, born in Unity, NH 1801 and moved and died in Claremont, NH 1883.
    George Washington Moody, born 1845 Claremont – died 1918 buried in Claremont.
    Addie Belle Moody, 1875-1940

  15. David Law says:

    I am a descendent of John Law (Born 1635 in Scotland) of Acton,MA he shows up there around 1655. We believe he was brought to the colonies as a prisoner of war from the Dunbar or Worcester battle. I cannot find any documentation proving or disapproving he was a prisoner of war. I am willing to become part of the DNA project to see if this belief is correct.

  16. Through ancestry.com, I’ve traced on my mother’s side (Furbush) to a William Furbush, born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1631, making him about 19 during the Battle of Dunbar. I’m having trouble finding family history before him but there seems to be record that he came to the colonies and settled, and passed away in Kittery, Maine. Any help would be great, thanks!

  17. Jim & Mary Way Gallivan says:

    Hi, Mary’s 9 G Grandfather is George DARLING b. abt 1615 bp East Lothain, Sct. d 1693 dp Salem, Essex Co. MA. He m. Katherine ? 31 Mar 1657 in Lynn, Essex Co. Ma. I do not have her death date. We have no info on when or how he came to MA Colony. Would love to be able to prove that he is the Geo. DARLING that you referenced.
    Please advise next step.
    Thank you

  18. Paul says:

    Hello, I am a descendant of Edward Grant b. 1632/37 . He is on several lists as a ship carpenter on the “John and Sarah” arrived in Boston 1652. I am looking for his kin and or ancestors. I have yet done DNA. My Grandfather was the last male Grant from my line to Edward.

  19. Ginny Laramee says:

    I am a descendent of Duncan Stewart and I am wondering if Alexander Stewart was Duncan`s brother. I believe they came over on the same ship. There also appears to be a question of Duncan`s wife`s maiden name. Is it Winchurst or Winchester? Does anyone know who of Duncan and Anne`s children relocated to Maine? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you,Ginny

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