Captain Dugald Campbell III, 7th Great-grandfather of James Alan Campbell immigrated from Scotland to America in 1693.
Campbell Tree #1
The ways that led from Scotland to North America were many and diverse, often circuitous and usually hazardous to some degree. Those Campbells and other Highlanders who came to the new world in the 17th and 18th centuries were, perhaps, more ready to adapt to a raw frontier and to cope with life in an absolute wilderness than most travelers from Edinburgh or London.
The Gaels who came from the lochs and glens of Argyll and Perthshire had already survived hardship and want, like as not, and they often came in groups when they could, families, kinsfolk and neighbors. Whether they came early or late it was very much a new world, with many adjustments to be made. Their shared memories of the scenes left behind must have been of great comfort. The legends they held in common and their mutual language were a strong support. Many a genealogical report begins with, "Three brothers left Argyll ..." or, "There were the four brothers who sailed from Glasgow in the company of local families bound for ...".
The stories of these Campbell immigrants are as varied as the individuals. The reasons they came and the routes they took make fascinating reading. Many went to Ireland first - particularly those who fought in the ill fated Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. Ireland was close; safety was near, and time was of the essence. But escape was of primary importance for those in political difficulties, so what then? America was farther and so safer and there was land for the winning.
While in the late 18th and early 19th centuries there would be some `clearances' or forced evictions of tenants from Breadalbane lands in Perthshire, there were very few in Argyll. The concept that most Campbells left Scotland due to clearances is a slight on their initiative and on the humanity of the Dukes of Argyll. Without a doubt most Campbells who left from Argyll left of their own free will and most often in search of land to own.
Some had no choice but to come, being deported or indentured for being on the wrong side in politics or the law. But most came with the glow of promise, with the hope of better times and of land enough for all. Land was the greatest motivating factor for Highland people who were used to a predominantly cattle economy and wealth being counted on the hoof. From the younger sons of landowning families to the tacksmen and tenants and their servants, North America meant that all had the chance to become landowners.
Some of the earliest Campbells in North America were likely privateers, traders and indentured servants working out their time until they were free to settle their own place. Then in the first part of the 18th century a large organized group from Argyll crossed the Atlantic to settle in the Cape Fear area of North Carolina. Their descendants spread down to Scotch Neck, the 96 District and over the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and Tennessee.
Later in the 18th century Captain Lachlan Campbell from Islay led several shiploads of people to New York State where some later gained their promised land in the Argyle Colony and others moved to New Jersey and further west. Those who came by Virginia and Philadelphia had descendants who crossed the hills into Pennsylvania and Ohio. Others still came to Boston and became New Englanders.