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PEISSHS Alexander Committee

Glenalladale Settlers 1772: Scotland to St. John’s Island (PEI)—PEISSHS Alexander CommitteeThe PEI Scottish Settlers Historical Society (PEISSHS) Alexander Committee has announced the launch of its book, Glenalladale Settlers 1772: Scotland to St. John’s Island (PEI). This book will be of interest not only to genealogists exploring their Scottish roots but to anyone interested in life in Gaelic Scotland in the 1770s, trans-Atlantic passage in a sailing ship of that era, and the rigors of arriving and settling on Prince Edward Island. 

Thanks to the leadership of John MacDonald, 8th Laird of Glenalladale and 7th Laird of Glenfinnan (later Captain John MacDonald), Scotland, two hundred and fourteen men, women and children boarded the Brigantine Alexander to take passage from Scotland to St. John’s Island (now called Prince Edward Island). They arrived on the Hillsborough River at “Charlotte Town” on June 25, 1772 and, the following day, moved up the Hillsborough to “Portage” and disembarked. Many settled on long term leasehold properties in Captain John’s Lot 36 while others moved to other lots or townships.

Five chapters are devoted to life in Gaelic Scotland, the emigration leader, the preparation for the voyage, life during the voyage and arrival in St. John’s Island. Prior to the publication of this book, only the names of 47 male passengers were known. Thanks to nearly three years of very diligent work by the Alexander Committee, the list of men, women and children has been expanded to 183 names through research of written documents and collection of oral history. Glenalladale Settlers 1772 features biographical sketches in alphabetical order as well as the family “handles,” their origin in Scotland, where they settled on PEI and the children’s names where these were discovered. The book includes 65 photographs, copies of 12 historic maps pertinent to the emigration and a full bibliography. Dr. Ed MacDonald of UPEI provided the foreword and Ranald Alexander Macdonald, 24th Captain and Chief of Clanranald contributed a review of the book.

Society’s Alexander Committee members are Myrna (Pitcairn) Babineau, Patricia (MacDonald) Bradley, Adele Campbell, Mary Jeanette (MacDonald) Gallant, Genevieve (MacDonald) MacDonald, Aggi-Rose Reddin, Helen (MacDonald) Turner, and Ronalda (MacDonald) Whalen. Myrna served as the steady hand at the helm for this voyage of discovery.

Glenalladale Settlers 1772 will be officially launched at the Tracadie Community Centre on June 26 at 2 pm. The launch will include an illustrated Powerpoint presentation, an opportunity to talk with the researchers, and a chance to obtain autographs of the committee members. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. 

There is a limited press run. Pre-orders of Glenalladale Settlers 1772 are now being accepted through the PEI Scottish Settlers Historical Society at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. After the launch, copies can be obtained through the PEISSHS or at local bookstores.

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