Life in Scotland
Move to Canada
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Move to Canada
Leaving Scotland for the New World
The identities of the people who took advantage of the government-supported emigration scheme are well documented. According to , the Public Record Office, London (Audit Office) lists the following family among the passengers:
The people with whom Peter and Catherine were traveling are described further in :
"The £16 deposit was a considerable amount of money at this time, and must have ensured that most prospective emigrants from the poorest ranks of society were barred. We can probably picture the emigrants who assembled at Glasgow in the spring of 1815 as being, by the usual standards of nineteenth-century emigration to this continent, a relatively elite group in economic terms. With perhaps a few among them who were, or once had been, well to do, they must have been predominantly sober and industrious folk from the lower middle class and the upper ranks of the poor. It is probably indicative of their standing as an elite that when they were forced to wait idly at Glasgow for the ships assigned to them, a group of 140 petitioned the government for a schoolmaster to teach their children.
According to , the Dorothy set sail on 12 July 1815 with 194 of the 699 emigrants. Of the 362 that settled in Glengarry, 98 percent traveled in family groups and 49 percent were children under the age of 13.
Arriving in Canada
The conditions that met the immigrant families upon their arrival are described in  as follows:
"It was about the beginning of October before the ships had all reached Quebec. The emigrants, who had already consumed their money and tried their patience through long delays, saw themselves faced with further months of inactivity. It was now far too late in the season to begin their new farms in the new world. The authorities found themselves faced with the task of providing for these people during the long Canadian winter which was now approaching. Unmarried men from the group were given employment on the King's Works at Kingston. The other settlers were lodged at Brockville, Cornwall, and other points on the St. Lawrence, including River Raisin (South Lancaster Village) where some of them occupied a barracks.
Another account of the voyage can be found in . In this case, the Peter McDougall family is mentioned specifically.
"In June of 1815, a number of Scottish emigrants left their homes in Breadalbane, the Loch Tay district of Perthshire, sailing from Greenock on the ship Dorothy, with Captain Dent. During the voyage, with the Captain's permission, they conducted public worship, the captain instructing the seamen that they should behave decorously during the service. They reached Montreal and came up the St. Lawrence to Glengarry, remaining in the southern portion until spring, when they settled near the northern boundary of Lochiel, calling their new home Breadalbane. There on the 2nd of August 1816, was organized the first Baptist Church in the Ottawa Valley with thirteen members: Allan McDiarmid, Janet McDiarmid, Margaret McDiarmid, Peter McDougal, Mrs. McDougal, John McDougal, Mrs. McDougal, Duncan Campbell, Mrs. Campbell, Donald R. McLaurin, Mrs. McLaurin, Peter Stewart and Mrs. J. McLaurin. Of these, eight were from the church at Killin and five from the church at Lawers. Allan McDiarmid and Peter McDougal were chosen elders, no minister being available. The two differed on the question of election and there were actually two churches for a time. However, they were later re-united. By 1829, they had about sixty members and in 1831, Rev. Wm. Fraser, then pastor of a church in Invernesshire, came to them as a missionary. ...In 1835, the first chapel was erected and a later one in 1865."
Building a home in Canada
Not much is known about life in Breadalbane in the early years. What records exist of that time are very sparse. I'm sure it was a hard life, however, especially for the first few years. Peter probably had it more difficult than most because he had not been a farmer in Scotland. He had been a shoemaker, but that trade had to be put aside so he could concentrate on the more immediate task of scratching out a subsistence living from wild and uncleared land. Some of the trials and difficulties of those early years are described in  as follows:
"Unfortunately for the new settlers, they had begun their farms at a most unpromising moment. A period of several years of hardship was begun by a poor harvest in 1815, and 1816 was the notorious Year without a Summer. The ensuing distress found voice in two Glengarry petitions of October 1816. One was from some of the settlers who had arrived from Scotland the previous year. Their crops of Indian corn and potatoes had been destroyed by the severe frosts of the summer and they asked for further aid in the form of government rations. In March of 1817, the provincial parliament considered a petition which had been sent from Glengarry to the Lieutenant Governor, and in which the petitioners spoke of the horrible prospect of approaching starvation. They alleged that no less than five hundred and fifty families within this County are sufferers, from the total failure of the crops, the greater part of whom have not at this moment provisions sufficient for the support of their families for one week, and that the early frosts which have unfortunately destroyed the crops in many other parts of the Province have entirely ruined the crops of every kind in the back parts of this County. They asked for assistance in the form of a loan rather than an outright gift, but the assembly refused their request. Conditions were again disastrous in Glengarry in 1820, when Bishop Macdonell twice referred in letters of July of that year to members of his parish at St. Raphaels as literally starving. ...Such conditions remind us how close to the subsistence level our Glengarry ancestors remained at this time."
Each settler was to receive 100 acre of land, and Peter McDougall received a Crown grant of the northern half of Lot 7 in the 8 th Concession of Lochiel Township in Glengarry County. By 1836, Peter McDougall moved to Clarence Township in Russell County and transferred his Lochiel property to the recently arrived Baptist Minister, Rev. William Fraser. Interestingly, the southern half of Lot 7 in the 8 th Concession, which was originally settled by fellow parishioner Duncan Campbell, was later transferred to two groups: half to the Baptist Congregation and half for a Presbyterian Burying Ground.
It appears that Peter McDougall died sometime before 1861, because the Clarence Township census of that year shows 73-year-old Catherine McDougall living in a household headed by her 47-year-old son, John C. McDougall. Ten years later, Catherine was no longer living with John, which suggests that she probably died sometime between 1861 and 1871. Peter and Catherine are probably both buried in Clarence Township, but I have found no records of their deaths.