Updated Information Regarding Durham Archaeology

I am truly apologetic for not keeping everyone up to date about the ongoing activities of the the Durham University Department of Archaeology and their Scottish Soldiers Project. I will include several links in this post so you can read about the exciting events which have taken place since August/September 2016. There are several VERY informative videos which you can also access on the following sites.

From the Project Research Blog:

Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project Team visit USA

Commemorating the Scottish soldiers



Posted in Department of Archaeology at Durham University, Dunbar Prisoners Remains, Durham Cathedral | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Durham University presents: From Dunbar to Saugus…

VIDEO at Vimeo!

Durham University presents: From Dunbar to Saugus: The Journey of the Scottish Prisoners of War in 1650, At Saugus Public Library on October 24, 2016

(Watch the video at Vimeo in the link above!)

Dr Pam Graves was one of the presenters and I felt she gave an excellent and concise description of the historical events leading up to the battle as well as an inspirational take on the matter.

It’s worth pausing to consider the voyages made by those ordinary men and boys, and they could probably never have anticipated the lands they would see and the new challenges they would face…the heartache of losing touch with their loved ones…the new families and loved ones they would embrace in the face of adversity…the new opportunities that they would create for themselves and you their descendants in this land…and that’s why we’re here and why we’d now like to tell you about the excavations that uncovered the remains of your ancestors’ comrades in arms and possible relatives.
~ Dr. Pam Graves

The video is nearly 54 minutes long but worth the time. You will be so much better informed afterwards!



Posted in Cromwell, Cromwell, Oliver, Dunbar Prisoners Remains, Durham Cathedral, Massachusetts, Prisoners from Battle of Dunbar, Saugus Iron Works, Scotland:, The Saugus Iron Works at Lynn, Massachusetts, Unity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Durham University Professor to Present Lecture on “Prisoners of War: Durham and the fate of the Scots in 1650”

Cari Quater, Development Director
Old Berwick Historical Society
207-451-7672 or cquater@comcast.net

Durham University Professor to Present Lecture on “Prisoners of War: Durham and the fate of the Scots in 1650”

Durham University,
North News and Pictures

andrew-2Photo: Dr. Andrew Millard during research on some of the remains of the 17th century Scottish soldiers.

New light has been shed on a centuries-old mystery surrounding the last resting place of Scottish soldiers who died after their capture at the brutal Battle of Dunbar in 1650.  A mass grave in Durham, England, unearthed in 2013, has revealed the skeletons of some of those soldiers—men whose battle comrades are buried an ocean away in New England.

On Wednesday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Art Center at Berwick Academy in South Berwick, Dr. Chris Gerrard, head of the department of archeology at Durham University, will present a pioneering lecture on the fate of soldiers imprisoned at Durham, who were caught in a religious war that catapulted them across Europe and America. The lecture is open to the public and is presented by the Old Berwick Historical Society, which is currently researching the lives of Scots prisoners who settled here in preparation for a major new exhibit, Forgotten Frontier: Untold Stories of the Piscataqua, opening at the Counting House Museum in South Berwick in May 2017.

On the morning of September 3, 1650, on the southeast border of Scotland near a town called Dunbar, the English army under the command of Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scottish royalist army in less than an hour. The Battle of Dunbar was one of the most fierce, bloody and short battles of the English civil wars, leaving up to 5,000 soldiers dead.

Around 3,000 Scottish soldiers were marched south from the Scottish border to the abandoned Durham Cathedral and Castle in northeast England, where they were imprisoned. An estimated 1,700 of those prisoners died of malnutrition, disease and cold and were buried at Durham.

What happened to their bodies has been a mystery for almost 400 years, but a team of researchers at Durham University in England now believes they have the answer.  During construction of a new café for the university’s library in 2013, human remains were uncovered by archaeologists testing the site.  Jumbled skeletons of at least 17 and up to 28 individuals were excavated from two burial pits.  The research team has concluded that the “only plausible explanation” of the scientific data, matched with historical accounts, is that the skeletal remains on their library site are those of the Dunbar prisoners.

Survivors from Dunbar were conscripted into the English army or sold into forced labor in mines, forges, mills and plantations in New England and elsewhere in the Americas. Of the 350 men destined for transport to New England, only about 100 arrived in Boston, where they were sold for between £20 and £30 each.   Some were sent to cut lumber at a remote sawmill on the Salmon Falls River in what is now South Berwick, Maine, and others were sold as indentured servants, for terms of six or seven years. Those who built lives here 400 years ago are remembered by local landmarks such as the McIntire Garrison and Scotland Bridge in York, and, of course, the town name of Berwick.  FMI visit www.oldberwick.org or call 207-384-0000.

Cari Quater, Development Director
Old Berwick Historical Society
207-451-7672 or cquater@comcast.net


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Updated Profile Pages!

Here are 13 recently updated profile pages for prisoners of war believed to be from the Battle of Dunbar in Scotland on 3 September 1650. If one of them is your ancestor and you have information or corrections to add please contact me at: Teresa@scottishprisonersofwar.com

James Adams
Niven Agnew
Archibald Anderson
John Bean
John Bennett
Alexander Bogle
John Bohannon
Alexander Bow
George Bruce
Alexander Brebner
Henry Brown
John Burbean/Burbeen
William Cahoon









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From Dunbar to Saugus! EVENT!!

Don’t miss this event!

If you plan to attend, please let Sophie know at scottish.soldiers@durham.ac.uk, so she can make sure she has enough handouts available! Thanks!


Posted in Dunbar Prisoners Remains, Durham Cathedral, Massachusetts, Prisoners from Battle of Dunbar, PRISONERS of WAR:, Saugus Iron Works, The Saugus Iron Works at Lynn, Massachusetts, Unity | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Battle of Dunbar Re-enactment weekend is here!


The Battle of Dunbar Re-enactment weekend is finally here!

We have several Scottish Prisoner of War descendants and researchers from America attending the festivities in Scotland this weekend.

Check out our re-enactment page for real-time updates from those attending this wonderful event.

Representatives of our Scottish Prisoners of War Society will be giving a chat about the transported prisoners on Sunday morning:

dpaBoundless thanks go to the Scottish Battlefield Trust, the English Civil War Society, Dr. Andrew Millard of Durham University Archaeology Department, John Cleary of Heriot-Watt University Languages & Culture Department, the Scottish Prisoners of War Society, and all behind-the-scenes people who worked to make the re-enactment a remarkable event.

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The decisions regarding reburial and commemoration…

Received: 1:51 AM, on 24 August 2016

Dear Ms Rust,

Thank you for your continued interest in the Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project and active participation in the consultation phase.

I am writing to let you know that, following extensive consultation, Durham University has concluded that the remains of the 17th century Scottish soldiers found in a mass grave on the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site in November 2013 will be reburied in Durham once research on the bones is completed.

It is intended that the soldiers will be laid to rest at the Elvet Hill Road Cemetery in Durham City, UK. They will also be permanently commemorated with a plaque near to the site where they were discovered.

The decisions regarding reburial and commemoration were taken following consideration of the extensive feedback received during consultation with professional bodies, academics, local government and councils, and interested individuals. The Team also took into account feedback received during the public meetings in Dunbar and Durham. The final decisions regarding reburial and commemoration have been approved by both the University’s Executive Committee and its Ethics Advisory Committee.

Your contribution to the consultation process was greatly appreciated, and we hope that you will continue to participate in discussions relating to commemoration and reburial. We will be in touch shortly in relation to these next steps.

The current programme of research on the remains, which is being led by the Department of Archaeology, is likely to be completed in late 2017 and you can follow the progress of the work via the research team’s blog.

The Project Team is also planning a trip to Massachusetts late in 2016, to visit sites where survivors from the Battle were sent as indentured servants, and to offer interested individuals the opportunity to meet with and discuss the project with the Team. You would be very welcome to attend any of the public meetings, details of which will be made available in due course.

More information on the project and the decisions announced today can be found on the Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project web pages.

If you have any questions relating to the announcement, please contact us via the dedicated project email addressScottish.soldiers@durham.ac.uk.

Kind regards,

Posted in Dunbar Prisoners Remains, Durham Castle, Durham Cathedral, UNITED KINGDOM: | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Battle of Dunbar Re-enactment Weekend of September 17-18, 2016

A really big and exciting weekend is taking place at Dunbar, Scotland on the weekend of September 17 + 18, 2016. There will be a re-enactment of the Battle of Dunbar, a special talk about the prisoners by Andrew Millard and another special presentation by Diane Rappaport about the Scots prisoners who were exiled to the New World. If you are in Scotland or Northern England, don’t miss these events!

Saturday, September 17, 2016:
This is a not-to-be missed event, so get the dates in the diary.
Battle displays and living history will be provided by the English Civil War Society: http://www.ecws.org.uk/

The Scottish Soldiers Project:
Prisoners from the Battle of Dunbar in Durham”
Dr. Andrew Millard
Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, & Associate Director of the Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies at Durham University

In November 2013 two mass graves of Scottish prisoners from the Battle of Dunbar were discovered at Palace Green, Durham.

This talk will discuss the scientific and historical work to identify them, and what we have learnt about the lives of these men and their fellow prisoners.

This talk is part of our DUNBAR 1650 weekend

Sunday, September 18, 2016:
Hello friends,
Thanks to the efforts of our John Cleary in Edinburgh and the generosity of Arran Johnston of the Scottish Battlefields Trust, a new event has been added to the schedule of the reenactment of the Battle of Dunbar weekend on September 17th and 18th in Dunbar, Scotland.

Diane Rapaport, historian, author, lawyer, and professional genealogist, will be offering her presentation of “Scots for Sale” at the Dunbar Town Museum, Sunday morning at 10:00 am. As many of you know, Diane has written extensively on the subject and has done research for this group. Her articles and research results are included in our files collection.

I am pleased to share with you all that I will accompany my partner Diane to Scotland. For those of you who are also planning to attend the reenactment, please contact me off list and we’ll find times to get together.

Best regards,
Dan Hamilton

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Weekly Updates!

This will be the last update until August! I will be busy doing summer-things for the month of July! ~ Teresa

Here are this week’s updates!

James Ross/Rosse, #219 or #220 on the John & Sara passenger list. Other surnames: Goodenow and Rudducke.

James Warren, #108 on ‘The Dunbar Prisoners’ List. Other surnames: Grant, Weymouth, Chadbourne, Goodwin, Fost, Otis, Thompson, and Stacpole [Stackpole]. James Warren’s daughter was captured by Indian’s and taken to Canada! Interesting story.

Thomas Kelton, #16 on the “Scots at Lynn 1653. Iron Works Inventory” Other surnames: Blake.



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Information About This Site

I’ve been meaning to get around to doing this for a while now and since I didn’t have any groundbreaking updates this week I decided the time was now…so here goes:

I just wanted to bring everyone up to speed about this site, its purpose, what I do and what you can do, too.

I started the blog on April 11, 2016, so a little over three years ago, as a way to gather together in one place all we know about the SPOW’s, specifically from the battles of Dunbar and Worcester. We had our Yahoo Group going since August 4, 2007, which was great, but we needed a site to gather our collective knowledge.

The website currently has 238 subscribers. We have 372 members in the Yahoo Group, but only 238 subscribers to the blog. If you go to the blog via Facebook or the Internet, you are not subscribed. Subscribers are the only ones guaranteed to receive blog posts. To subscribe one must enter their e-mail address at the website.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 12.08.30 PM

Under “Join 238 other subscribers” add your email address to be subscribed. 🙂










I spend about 10-15 hours a week adding to and updating our pages. I am attempting to create a page for each man listed on the George S. Stewart lists and the John and Sara passenger list. This is very time consuming but it has its benefits in that I become very familiar with the whole crew and their familial connections. In the first few generations many of the SPOW’s are living near each other and their children intermarry. I see patterns in the records and so on. I hope to have something at the site to help others discover their SPOW and to also be able to encourage them to join our efforts and share what they know about their Scottish ancestor. I also use the site as a way to find potential Y-DNA participants. 🙂

My goal right now is to have the first THREE generations of each SPOW recorded on this site.

What you can do: Search for your ancestor at the site and if you find him, please look the information over carefully and notify me of any errors or omissions. The whole site is searchable! There is a SEARCH window just below the header on the top right of the page. If you have information about your SPOW ancestor and do not see a page for him please contact me and let’s get a page started. Do contact me about adding your name as a desc./researcher, so cousins may contact you.

I do all of this as a hobby/passion but I am not a professionally trained genealogist. I currently do all of the writing and editing myself. I would LOVE to have a few other people to help with research or at the very least editing. If you ever see errors please let me know. I am also open to suggestions.

The best way to contact me is through e-mail at: teresa@scottishprisonersofwar.com.

Any questions?

Teresa (Hamilton/Pepper) Rust
A direct descendant of: John Hamilton, proven through DNA and paper trail.
A most likely descendant of: John Magoon (MacGown), through paper trail.
My husband and four children are direct descendants of: Duncan Stewart, through the paper trail.

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