Unity List Source Updated!

Updated/Edited: 23 Feb 2015

In October 2007, a four page document was found by the late, Dan Jenkins, of Weymouth, Massachusetts, at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society.

He was searching on the behalf of (myself) Teresa Rust, and Judy Clark, my aunt,  both descendants of John Hamilton of Scotland who was believed to be a passenger on the ship Unity.

These documents were handwritten lists compiled by George S. Stewart, a New England genealogist, in the early part of the 20th century. As I mention in another place on this web site, there is no actual original passenger list for the ship Unity.

George S. Stewart’s lists are compiled based on his understanding of who these men were. I have used these lists as a starting point to compile the 149 names on our possible or probable Unity list.

The first list has 112 names of the passengers he dubbed The Dunbar Prisoners and the second list is of the Iron Works Inventory, workers who came from the Battle of Dunbar.

The Battle of Dunbar POWs, about 150 Scotsmen, all arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts on the ship Unity, in December 1650.

Our group has recently retained the services of Diane Rapaport, a professional genealogist, to dig deeper into the George S. Stewart files. She is currently searching for more information which will help us to understand our Scottish immigrant ancestors’ origins in the New World.


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42 Responses to Unity List Source Updated!

  1. Doug Stewaerd says:

    Thank you for this post. #16, Robert Dunbar, and #101, Duncan Stewart are both ancestors of mine. A link to the Hamilton immigrant is possible, but not yet proven.

    • ELLA says:


      • Doug Stewaerd says:

        Some sources have suspected that Duncan and Alexander were related, but I have not seen anything that definitively proves kinship. I’ve not tracked any of Alexander’s descendants, so have no knowledge of his family.

      • Dorothy Hagerty says:

        I descend from Alexander Stewart. brother of Duncan. I’ve followed Alexander from 1650 to the present. Speculation is they were born in Kilmadock, Perthshire. The Stewart home base was Invernahyle in Argyle. Would appreciate communicating with any of that family. Dorothy

        • May I add you to the list as a descendant and researcher and a small bio of Alexander?   Teresa (Hamilton/Pepper) Rust Co-Moderator – Scottish War Prisoners Yahoo Group

          Genealogical Blogs and Web Pages:

          My Personal Family History Blog and Web Page – Gran’s Family History  My Direct Scottish POW ancestor’s Blog and Web Page – John Hamilton, Scottish Prisoner of War  My Husband’s Family History Blog and Web Page – Grandpa’s Family History  The Scottish Prisoners Exiled to the New World by Cromwell- Scottish Prisoners of War

  2. Hi, Doug! My husband is also a descendant of Duncan Stewart. Tell me more about how you may be related to John Hamilton. 🙂

    • Doug Steward says:

      My Hamilton line is a brick wall ending in Gray, Maine about 1798 with he birth of John Hamilton, parents unknown. He married Abigail Adams, and moved his family to Garland, Maine, where he died in 1847. Their daughter, Abigail, married my 3rd gr-grandfather, Abel H. Steward (the spelling changed from Stewart to Steward when they lived in Lunenburg, Massachusetts in the early 1740’s).

      Something I had read years ago had suggested that John was a descendant of a Scottish POW, but offered no proof. There were a number of Hamilton families in York and Cumberland Counties, Maine during the 18th century, and like many other settlers there, may have moved up from Massachusetts in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s.

      • I am part of a John Hamilton Yahoo group which you are welcome to join to learn further information about him and any possible connection you may have. Just let me know if you are interested.

        • Doug Steward says:

          Thanks for the invitation. As it happens, I already am a member of the John Hamilton, Scottish Prisoner of War group. I would be very happy to connect with any other person researching this particular line from Maine.

  3. Donna Burleaud says:

    This is indeed wonderful information! Thank you! There has been much speculation on how and when #24 Daniel Forbes/Forbush/Ffarrabas got to the colonies. I’ve been unable to access this information through NEGHS online. My line probably came through Elizabeth Forbush, daughter of Daniel Forbush and Rebeccah Perriman, who married Roger Bruce but is not proven. Your blog has given hope to this beginning researcher! I’ll be looking forward to future posts.

  4. Ron Webster says:

    Fascinating! It appears that my great x8 grandfather, James Webster, was on the Unity. He was also one of the original members of the Scots Charitable Society of Boston! I knew there was a reason I named my kids Duncan & Finley and also why I hate the Yankees! Thank you so much for posting this information!

    • Oh yes! You are absolutely Scottish! Your James Webster was on the same ship as my ancestor John Hamilton. I don’t hate the Yankees though because many of them are my ancestors too! 🙂 But I do love cheering on the Scots and I hope they get their independence from the English soon. 🙂

  5. Loretta says:


    I believe Duncan Stewart is a relative of mine, 9x GG.

    Duncan Stewart, Ebenezer 1674-1749, Richard 1704-1777, Joseph 1725-1831, Benjamin 1757-1861, Joseph 1775-1823, James 1810-1873, Jefferson 1837-1864, Alonzo 1859-1893, Walter B. 1886-1982, Walter A 1930-2006, Loretta

  6. chris uguccini says:

    I am a direct descendant of #89 Gilchrist Ross who went on to have 5 great grandchildren who served in the American revolution as minutemen, One of which was at the battle of Bunker Hill.

  7. James McIntyre Sweet says:

    Hi Teresa

    I’m a direct descendant of #63, Philip McIntire (though it has been spelled “McIntyre” for some generations.). Thanks for the great website. I was in Dunbar last year and it was quite an experience, knowing that my tenth generation ancestors had fought there.

    • Do you have any male relatives with the McIntyre surname. We have started a Scottish POW DNA Study and we would love to have the McIntyre clan involved.

      • James McIntyre Sweet says:

        Yes, my first cousin Harvey Haills McIntyre is an avid genealogist and was the individual who put me on to the McIntyre line in the first instance. I will send him a link to this page and have him respond directly.

  8. Harvey H. McIntyre says:

    Teresa: My thanks to Jim (McIntyre) Sweet for sending me this link. As Jim wrote, he and I are direct descendants of Philip McIntyre (#63 on the “Unity” list). I was born in 1933.I have two sons: Todd (b. 1964) who has two sons, one age 19 and the other age 14, and Ross (b. 1965) who has one son, age 20.

    I have one brother, Michael, born in 1941; he had no sons, only two daughters, but each of these girls has at least one son.

  9. Wonderful, James!!! We would love to have you involved!

  10. Kim says:

    Hi I believe I am a direct descendant to #106 James Webster. I’ve had my DNA tested from Ancestry.com would that be helpful? Sorry I have no male relatives that are direct descendants.

  11. Lynne Fassett says:

    Hello Teresa: I believe the Patrick Fassett I’m descended from is one and same as #23 on the Unity list. I am a direct descendant of his and have had DNA testing done to find out the Y haplogroup of Patrick’s male blood line. There has certaintly been a lot of mis-information flying around about this Patrick for years regarding his beginnings; it was nice to find your blog and actually see his name on the list. Thank you for posting the information.

  12. jabbajane says:

    There is still no sign of Robert Abernethy on any list anywhere.

  13. Joanne Roth says:

    This is so very wonderful. I have been researching my lines (at least five of them) from this event – the Battle of Dunbar and possibly exactly a year later, the battle of Worchester. My Henry Magoon (Magoun – Macgoun – Macgoune) was sold to the Kittery, ME Iron works, and once he left there he settled in Haverhill, MA area along with several of his fellow prisoners listed on this list. His brother, John Magoon (Magoun) also settled with several listed here. It is amazing how many of these listed prospered and helped to form a foundation for the building of this country. Henry (my g-grandfather) was very closely connected to the Ingraham Moody also listed here. Henry, along with Alexander Gordon, John Sinclair, married Nicholas Leeson’s daughters, and it is my contention that they all were reconnecting after all the POW separations from 1650 and 1651, in those battles. I have never found where they all originated from in Scotland, but I think it was possibly in the Dumfries, Scotland area. And there is a connection there that is a bit difficult to explain – because it is very strange. If anyone would like names and connections that I have found with this list I would be more than happy to search what I have collected.

  14. Joanne Roth says:

    I see that this one list is for Lynn’s Iron Works and that is where my Henry Magoon was and I have a map of where he was living there. I am sorry that I have not seen that list.

  15. I am a descendant of John Malckolm (Malcolm) He was sent to Boston in 1651 aboard the John and Sarah. But I really would like to see a List of prisoners from the “Battle of Dunbar” 1650

  16. Kirsten says:

    My 10x great-grandfather, James Mackall, was a POW of the Battle of Dunbar and a forge hand at Saugus Iron Works in MA.

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