McLaurin Narrative – Overview

I have a lot of accumulated information on the history of the McLaurin family. In an effort to render it into some sort of approachable format, I’ve decided to take it in 10 year chunks. In a given chunk, I’ll talk about who was born and who died, if people moved or married and any other significant event that I know about. Along the way, I’ll provide links to other documents or pictures or other information located on the site. If anything appears incorrect or you have a question about any information, please let me know. The older information is based in large part on the information contained in G. G. McLaurin’s book on the McLaurin family. Our line and his line are the same during the 1600s. His information is gleaned from old letters he had from older family members. Unfortunately, some of the letters did not completely survive and some information we might have had was lost. On the other hand, we’re lucky to have it at all.

I will be starting with the decade beginning 1790. This was when our McLaurin family came to the US and we have the most information from that time and moving forward. I expect at some point in the late 1800s, I’ll stop and go back to earliest time that we have information about. That would be the year 1610. Rev. Daniel McLaurin was born then. We do note in the genealogies that there was a McLaurin born before 1590 that was his father, but we know this only because he must have been born in the normal way. So, we deduce that there was a father and mother McLaurin probably born before 1590. There is no hard evidence to support this notion beyond biology.

We have arrived at what Scottish genealogists call the “Wall of 1600.” We might as well discuss this now. As you are perhaps aware, Scottish history has been tumultuous. A short review of Scottish history of this time period will be illustrative. Queen Elizabeth I died without heir in 1603, prior to this time she had been in contact with James VI of Scotland, son of Mary, Queen of Scots. James, by virtue of his Tudor grandmother, Henry VIII’s sister Margret, was in line for the throne of England. These things were far from certain and another relative could be dug up if Elizabeth did not like James, but she did. So, Elizabeth selected James to be her heir and when she died, a rider was sent by parliament to inform James. This became known as the Union of the Crowns. James VI of Scotland became James I of England. Now James had an issue on the Stewart (Stuart is the French manner of spelling the name and there is no difference between the two) side of the family. The issue was religion. Many of the Stewarts remain Catholic. James’ mother was Catholic. James was raised protestant however, so this was not a problem in his reign. His son Charles I was another matter however. Without getting into the particulars, Charles found himself unpopular enough that a war started. This was the period of British civil wars. From the period of about 1640 to the mid-1650s, wars were fought in fits and starts with some of the main players switching sides in between. In the end, Charles was beheaded. Charles II was crowned, but then chased off by Oliver Cromwell (the villain of this story). Cromwell was made Lord Protector of the Realm and ruled for a period. During this time, he collected all the records in Scotland and had them transported to London. He intended that the entire island of Britain should be administered from London and so that’s where all the official records would be kept. Fine, except, when Charles II came back to power he sent the records back north to Scotland and the boat sank with all the records aboard. Hence, the Wall of 1600.

Moving forward from the period of the wall, we have a little information here and there, but as of yet, it is still very sketchy. We are missing parent names in some cases, but we have a good male line from Daniel in 1610 all the way forward to present. I did have some qualms about Christian, born circa 1690, at one point. This was remedied after I took my YDNA test. As part of the results, I had a cousin that matched me 66/67 markers. This is supposed to mean a near relative within 200 years. In our case, owing to both of us having decent genealogies, we determined that our Christian and his brother Duncan were siblings. There was an additional concern about Christian though. In all the genealogies I saw, it always referred to Christian as (Christian) which indicated a bit of uncertainty to me. But in G.G. McLaurin’s book he tells the story of getting this information from a letter and that Christian was clearly one of the names of the brothers. He did have trouble reading one name that began with a “D” which turned out to be Duncan although G.G. guessed it as Daniel.

The period 1720-1790 is where we have the least information. We know there was a Daniel, Sr. son of Christian. We know the birth dates and places of the children, but we know very little else at this point. It’s always on my radar to look for information in this period.

So that’s what I'm doing with these narratives. Hopefully, some of this background will answer some of your questions before you have them about why is 1610 as far back as we’re likely to go and how do we know this or that. Let me know if you do have questions along the way and happy exploring!