Thursday, December 6, 2018

Was your ancestor a Scottish Prisoner of War from the Battle of Dunbar?

During the English Civil War the Scots were on the side of the monarchy, and fought against the Puritans.  At the Battle of Dunbar on 3 September 1650 hundreds of Scots prisoners of war were marched to Durham and imprisoned in the cathedral.  150 of these prisoners were sent on the ship Unity to the Massachusetts Bay Colony as indentured servants.   Exactly one year later, on 3 September 1651 at the Battle of Worcester, several hundred more Scots were taken prisoner, and 272 were sent to Massachusetts on the ship John and Sara.   There was a passenger list of the men sent from Worcester, and a recreated passenger list of 180 suggested names from the battle of Dunbar.

Was your ancestor a Scot living in New England at this time period?  Is his name on one of these lists?

Next fall the Battle of Dunbar will be re-created and commemorated in Dunbar, East Lothian Scotland. The flyer above has been circulating on social media, and more information will be announced soon.  At the SPOW (Scottish Prisoners of War) Facebook group, many descendants are planning to attend the events in Scotland.

Are you one of the descendants who might be attending?

For the truly curious:

The Scottish Prisoners of War Society - 

An alphabetized list of the Dunbar Prisoners:

An alphabetized list of the Worcester Prisoners: 

Durham University: Scottish Soldiers Project: 

Some other blog posts I have published on this subject:

September 2015 - The Discovery of the Scots Prisoners of War graves in Durham, England: 

October 2016 - University of Durham Team visits Descendants in Saugus, Massachusetts 

August 2011 - The Ship John and Sara Prisoners of War 1651


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Was your ancestor a Scottish Prisoner of War from the Battle of Dunbar?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 6, 2018 ( accessed [access date]).

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