Information is fairly sketchy about what was happening with the McLaurins immediately before the emigration to America. The parents of our immigrant ancestors were Daniel McLaurin, Sr. and we don’t have a first name for his wife who was a McColl. You will see in the genealogy that I call her Mary. This is because of Scottish naming tradition. Many of the children named their daughters Mary and most of them in a position that would indicate that their mother’s name was Mary. But this is just a guess. I’ve found no information confirming it. The parents stayed in Scotland and all the children immigrated. The information I’ve seen indicates that the children did not emigrate because of poverty as was the case in many instances. Rather the stories are that they emigrated to avoid service in the British Army. The stories are that the boys graduated from the University of Edinburgh before emigrating. I’ve researched the records online from the University of Edinburgh and can find no indication of their attending. However, it may have been the University of Glasgow, which seems much more likely. It is clear from the letters we have from the children of our immigrant ancestors that they were well educated. Whether they went to one university or another or none at all may remain an open question however.
We know, or think we do, that the eldest child, Laughlin was married with two children prior to leaving. He and his wife Sarah Annie McColl lived at Cadderlie. So called because the houses were at the point where Cadderlie burn (creek) joins Lock Etive. Laughlin and Sarah’s two children were Laughlin, Jr., aged 5 at the time of the trip and Hugh C. (Red Hugh), aged 4. Sarah was pregnant with her third child, Margret when they set sail. Margret was born at sea.
The other immigrant ancestors were our immigrant grandfather Daniel McLaurin, Jr. born 1766, and aged 24 at the time of the voyage. Mary McLaurin, a year older than Daniel, born 1765, and 25 when they set sail. Hector McLaurin was born in 1768, and aged 22 at emigration. Abigail “Effie” McLaurin was born 1769 aged 21. Neill McLaurin was born 1771, aged 19. John Daniel was born 1775, aged 15. Duncan McLaurin was born 1777 and aged 13 at the time they left Scotland. Laughlin was the oldest at age 30.
The family left from Port Appin, Scotland, which is about 5 miles or so from the village of Appin, in the early fall of 1790. They arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina on November 15, 1790. From Wilmington, they traveled up the Cape Fear River and then to Laurinburg, North Carolina in Richmond county (now called Scotland county). Laurinburg was founded by McLaurins a few years before the emigration of our ancestors. From there, the family seems to have split. Some stayed in Laurinburg and its environs while other moved to Marlborough (Marlboro) District, South Carolina. The area now called Red Bluff, was called for a time Laurinton and was an active trading post. Regardless, Laughlin, Daniel and Neill moved to this area soon after they arrived. There are other friends and relations in the area. We know that the McIntyres are nearby. We have a letter sometime in the 1820s from one of these McIntyres that ends up in the effects of John C. McLaurin. The McIntyres are from the next glen over from Cadderlie.
We know that Daniel’s cousin Effie McLaurin, married to John Colquhon (Calhoun), is nearby. Daniel and their daughter Nancy get together and in 1795, their daughter Mary is born. It will be another 4 years until they get married. Nancy was 15 at the time of Mary’s birth. She will be 19, at the time of their marriage in 1799.
In the meantime, Laughlin and Sarah had the rest of their children during this time. They had Mary in 1793, Daniel Calhoun in 1795 and John Lowndes in 1799. Quoting from the History of Marlboro County:
…three brothers of excellent character, Daniel C., John L. and “Little Hugh” McLaurin, all of whom have left large and respectable families. Daniel C., who lived where the late J. W. Roper resided, kind-hearted, hospitable, and ever ready to serve his country in any position with conscientious fidelity, we all mourn his death as the loss of a valuable citizen. John L. McLaurin, who lived where his son, the late John B., lived, was not less useful, less loved, and perhaps more enterprising and successful. He, too, like his brother, served his people quite acceptably upon the district boards. A son of his, P. B. McLaurin, was returned to the Legislature before the war, and another son, John B., has been elected once since. The third brother, Hugh, spent most of his life in North Carolina, a few miles from Laurinburg, but his sons have several of them been for a longer or shorter period citizens of Marlboro. L. B., Jack, Duncan and the late Jas. R. Were sons of this old man. He and his brothers were sons of a native of Scotland. His name was Laughlin, and his wife was a Miss McColl, a sister of one of the John McColls mentioned on the previous page. So that it is not alone of late that the young McLaurins and the McColls fell in love with each other.
Before sailing for America, Mary McLaurin married John McKay in 1790. They lived in Richmond County, NC and had three children. Nancy was born in 1785, James in 1790 and Mary in 1793. Yes it looks as though Mary’s first preceded her marriage by a number of years as well.
Hector appear to be lost to time as we have no information about what happened to him after arriving in America.
Abigail “Effie” McLaurin married Alexander Fairley on 2 May 1791, soon after her arrival in America. They married in Richmond County, NC. They had 7 seven children together. Archibald, born 1792; Peter, born 1793; Nancy, born 1794; Margret , born 1795; Catherine, born 1799; John McLaurin, born 1805 and Daniel, born 1806.
Neill McLaurin married Katherine K. McMillan on 8 March 1802. They had seven children, Daniel A., born 1807; Margret, born 1809; Christian, born 1811; Effie, born 1813; Malcom, born 1815; Catherine, born 1816 and Sarah, born 1820.
John Daniel McLaurin married Sarah Sallie Cameron in 1791. They had 3 children Laughlin S., born 1793; John D., born 1795 and Jennett, born 1799. Sarah died in 1801 and J. D. married Mary C. McIntyre. They had seven children. For completeness, I will list them here even though they are outside of our time frame for this article. Mary, born 1804; Nancy, born 1809; Catherine, born 1812; John D., born 1813; Duncan Monroe; born 1816; Robert born 1820; Dougal Alexander, born 1824.
Duncan Major McLaurin married Nancy Carmichael in 1792 at age 15 in Richmond County, NC. They had seven children. Mary, born 1793; Nancy, born 1799; Margret, born 1802; Catherine, born 1803; John D., born 1804; Effie Jane, born 1809 and Christian, born 1812.
The 1790s saw the establishment of the McLaurins in both southern North Carolina and northern South Carolina in the Pee Dee River valley. Some of the immigrant ancestors settling on each side of the line and their children passing back and forth between them. Before long, new territory would open up out west and many of our ancestors would head to Mississippi to get the new land.