Monday, 5 September 2011

Lord Selkirk Settlers

Many Scots came to Canada as part of Lord Selkirk's Settlers. These were highland crofters who were being displaced off their lands in the highlands of Scotland. Lord Selkirk came across some of these displaced farmers while studying at the University of Edinburgh and was eager to find a way to help them make a new life and a new beginning in the Colonies. Thomas Selkirk was the youngest of five sons. He had never anticipated becoming “Lord” Selkirk. However, his four elder brothers died (two of TB and two of yellow fever), leaving him the heir to the Selkirk estate. Thomas Douglas then became the 5th Earl of Selkirk and used his inheritance and his political connections to purchase land in Canada where the displaced crofters could emigrate. Lord Selkirk ended up with a number of land grants: the Red River Valley in Manitoba, Assiniboia Saskatchewan, the Hudson's Bay watershed area between Rainy River and Lake Winnipeg, and Belfast, Prince Edward Island.

It is estimated that 800 Scottish settlers arrived with Thomas Douglas, fifth Earl of Selkirk, in 1803 aboard the ships Polly, Dykes and Oughton
and settled in PEI, providing a strong Scottish tradition on PEI.  The Selkirk Settlement in PEI was designated a National Heritage Event.

Many of the settlers moved west and settled in the Hudson Bay Watershed, and Bruce County Ontario. Some moved further west to the Red River Valley in Manitoba and Assiniboia Saskatchewan.

For more info on the Manitoba Settlers:

1 comment:

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