In July 1803, three ships, the Dykes, the Polly, and the Oughton sailed to
Canada with eight hundred former highland crofters
and headed to .
The Polly arrived in the Prince Edward Island harbour
of Orwell Bay, on Sunday, August 7th,
1803, carrying 250 adults and 150 children. Most of these passengers were from
Skye. The Dykes, which also brought Lord Selkirk, arrived in Prince Edward Island two days after the Polly. Most
of the passengers on the Polly were from Charlottetown Mull.
The Oughton arrived on August 27th, 1803, carrying another 40 or 50 passengers,
this time from Uist.
The land given to these new settlers consisted primarily of evergreen forest. Each family was given between 50 and 150 acres for a nominal fee. The lots were laid out so that four or five families were grouped together. The new immigrants quickly cleared their lands, built their houses, and settled into their new lives. Being able to working the land once again became somewhat of a tonic for them. They were a self sufficient community within a year of the first settlers arriving. Later generations moved to the
area of Ontario, setting up communities along
the Saugeen River
near Paisley as well as along the coast of Lake Huron from Southampton
to Kincardine. Yet others moved to
and founded settlements in that area. Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
Having used his land on the southwest
of PEI for the initial settlers, Selkirk
was eager to continue to pursue his original desire to find land in . He was
eventually able to purchase land in Southern Ontario, near the junction of Lake
St. Clair and the Upper Canada , in what is now Wallaceburg.
Selkirk was able to purchase 116,000 square miles in the
Red River Valley
and along the Assiniboine River in Manitoba
and what is now Northern Dakota – an area five times the size of the whole of . Selkirk
purchased this land at a cost of 10/s ($26.50 in today’s currency). Scotland
If you have ancestors who were Selkirk Settlers, here are some resources to assist you in your genealogy research:
Passenger List reconstruction for ship Polly:
Passenger List reconstruction for ship Dykes:
Passenger List reconstruction for ship Oughton:
Passenger List reconstruction for ship Spencer: