Thousands of people left the Highlands to settle in Glengarry County in Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Similar stories can be heard all over Scotland. People travelled not only to Canada, but all over the world. Today, Scotland has strong connections to many countries through the descendants of these emigrants.


Some left Scotland in chains. In 1746, John MacDonald and John Kennedy of Daingean were transported to the West Indies as a punishment.

The Glengarry clan, the MacDonells, were supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The two Johns were among MacDonell clansmen who fought against the British government at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. They were captured, tried and sentenced to transportation.

Transportation as a punishment became common from the 17th century until the 19th century, in both Britain and Ireland.  People could be sent away for the smallest of crimes, while for larger crimes it was an alternative to execution.

Prisoners were sent to countries that were under British rule at the time and made to work on government projects, for example building roads. Some were sent for a few months, others for life. Once released, many made fresh starts in the countries they had been sent to.

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