NJMIDDLE-L ArchivesArchiver > NJMIDDLE > 2001-10 > 1004230752
From: " Suzanne Law Hawes" <>
Subject: [NJMID] New info on the Caledonia, Perth Amboy
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 20:59:12 -0400
THE EARLY HISTORY OF PERTH AMBOY, by William A. Whitehead. Appleton & Co.,
1856, p. 265-66.
Lying in shoal water, nearly in front of the brick-yard of Mr. Hall, are the
remains of a vessel which used to be much resorted to, and may still be, in
consequence of their harboring numbers of fine fish.
The vessel Caledonia, and her name has become very generally known, and it
may be said - reverentially spoken of, from her having borne to New Jersey
many Scotch families immigrating from Scotland during the troubles that
agitated that country in 1715. She was commanded by Robert Drummond, and, for
some cause not now known, the captain and crew deserted her while lying at the
wharf at Amboy, and, a storm rising, she broke from her moorings and drifted
to the spot mentioned. It is probably that she was an old vessel and
unseaworthy, which will account for no measures being adopted for her
This view of the case is confirmed by the fact that in a despatch of Lord
Bellamont to the Board of Trade, in the New York Colonial Papers, dated
October 20, 1699, a ship named Caledonia is mentioned as having made voyages
between Scotland and America
(He says that "When the two Scotch ships, called the Caledonia and the
Unicorn, came to New York, they were in miserable conditions, having lost
great number of people on their voyage from Caledonia by famine and sickness")
and, if she were the same vessel, of which there is every probability, it is
not surprising the laps of sixteen years should have rendered her no longer
serviceable. There are several relics of the old vessel in parts of the State,
in the possession of those who claim descent from those she brought to our
(There are many fabulous stories current relative to the vessel and her
as much foundation in truth as the assertion of an old negro
woman in Amboy; who was wont
to date the advent of a certain old citizen as corresponding with
the arrival of "Ham and Colombo
(Columbus) in the old Caledonia."
Suzanne Law Hawes
Southampton, NY 11968
631-287-4374 Fax 631-287-1009
>From: kirby heard <>
>Subject: PML Search Result matching McCoy, NJ
>Date: Sat, Oct 27, 2001, 8:46 PM
> A result of your requested PML search. To refine or cancel this
> search, please visit http://pml.rootsweb.com/
> Subject: Re: [NJMID] More on the Caledonia
> I, too, have ancestors associated with a ship named Caledonia which
> reportedly sank off Perth Amboy. in trying to research it further,
> among other researchers at least, we've all come up with the same
> basic story handed down, occasionally different captain is named, but
> no apparent passenger list, or other 'proof' of the tale has been
> I gladly share what I have gathered so far over time, since it's come
> up again recently. I also decided to list the names I've come across,
> being involved. sure hope someone out there has even more to bounce
> around! maybe we'll find something some day!
> got this from sue:
> THE EARLY HISTORY OF PERTH AMBOY, by William A. Whitehead. Appleton & Co.,
> 1856, p. 265-66.
> Lying in shoal water, nearly in front of the brick-yard of Mr. Hall, are the
> remains of a vessel which used to be much resorted to, and may still be, in
> consequence of their harboring numbers of fine fish.
> The vessel Caledonia, and her name has become very generally known, and it
> may be said - reverentially spoken of, from her having borne to New Jersey
> many Scotch families immigrating from Scotland during the troubles that
> agitated that country in 1715. She was commanded by Robert Drummond, and, for
> some cause not now known, the captain and crew deserted her while lying at the
> wharf at Amboy, and, a storm rising, she broke from her moorings and drifted
> to the spot mentioned. It is probably that she was an old vessel and
> unseaworthy, which will account for no measures being adopted for her
> This view of the case is confirmed by the fact that in a despatch of Lord
> Bellamont to the Board of Trade, in the New York Colonial Papers, dated
> October 20, 1699, a ship named Caledonia is mentioned as having made voyages
> between Scotland and America
> (He says that "When the two Scotch ships, called the Caledonia and the
> Unicorn, came to New York, they were in miserable conditions, having lost
> great number of people on their voyage from Caledonia by famine and sickness")
> and, if she were the same vessel, of which there is every probability, it is
> not surprising the laps of sixteen years should have rendered her no longer
> serviceable. There are several relics of the old vessel in parts of the State,
> in the possession of those who claim descent from those she brought to our
> got this from Richard:
> A number of Scots came over on the Henry & Francis, sailing from Leith
> on Sept 5, 1685. There is a passenger list for this voyage, as you
> probably know. The Caledonia is referenced in "History of the Old
> Tennent Church" (this church being a successor to the Old Scots Church
> founded by the Scottish exiles in Monmouth county NJ) as follows:
> "It is said that in 1855 in the Amboy bay might still have been seen
> the remains of an old ship named the 'Caledonia', which had been
> commanded by Robert Drummond. Ancestral tradition widely handed down in
> the Anderson family says that Capt. John Anderson commanded the
> "Dr Arch. Alexander says in his "Log College" p. 103, "This
> congregation owed its origin to some Scotch people who were cast on the
> Jersey shore; the vessel Caledonia, in which they sailed, having been
> stranded on our coast." Possibly because of the old and unserviceable
> condition the Caledonia was deserted presumably in 1715, and a storm
> breaking its moorings to the Amboy wharf, it drifted away to its
> wreck......It is supposed that this ship brought emigrants from Scotland
> as early as 1685, and it is a matter of history that it bore to New
> Jersey many Scotch families about 1715. Some of these possibly joined
> with the early worshipers in Old Scots Church......."
> While I have not found any passenger lists for the Caledonia, the book
> I mentioned has a great deal of information about the early church
> members, some of whom may have well been on the Caledonia. If you do
> not have the book, I recommend it highly for these early church
> memberships and histories. It is "History of the Old Tennent Church",
> Second Edition... [the book by Symmes]
> got this from Arthur [I think it's also posted in entirety on Roots-L]:
> John Gaston, emigrated from his native land to avoid religious
> persecution He went to Scotland and lived and then went to Ireland to
> live with his sons John,William, and Alexander. They sailed from
> Scotland with 4 other families The Gastons, Mounts, Rue and Rews, and
> Davidsons sailed from Inverness, Scotland, on the ship, Caledonia,
> Capt.John Anderson, in 1715. During the voyage the ship sprung a
> leak and they ran into Perth-Amboy, N.J. and landed there.They came
> to Monmounth, N.J. and bought a tract of land 8 miles Square. John
> Gaston had 645 Acres of land and a small grist and fulling mill on
> one corner of the land, which is now Perrineville. Upper Freehold,
> Monmouth county. New Jersey, pg 615. Taxables, Oct 1758. Mem. Taken
> from the notes of Ezekial Davidson, then about 90 yrs of age, living
> near Perrineville, Monmounth County, N.J." Notes by Elizabeth
> Gaston Allyn... [it goes on; this is the line I'm researching].
> from Rich & John:
>>b. Been through my ships rosters with no Caledonia. Scottish
>>immigrants of that time were mostly either prisoners or they
>>went to Canada. Methinks a trip to NEHGS might be the only
> Independent John McCollum research hints at the Caledonia in 1685.
> The Caledonia was essentially a prisoner's ship, i.e. they were
> shoved aboard, and told never to return!
> ...from the "Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County,
> New Jersey, 1899"....
> p. 48, Henry W. Young, "Descended from Scotch Ancestors ...
> During a period of persecution occurring in the reign of King
> Charles the second, about a hundred men that had been spared
> the sword were put on the Caledonia, an unseaworthy old craft
> that leaked so badly that it was evident expectation that all
> on board would go down, ere they were out of sight of land.
> But a competent man was chosen Captain, and by dint of
> constatnt bailing a kind of Providence brought the ship
> safely to Perth Amboy, NJ, in 1685."
> p 139/40, Rev. B. C. Megie, D.D., "His original progenitor
> in this country was John Megie, who came from Scotland to
> Perth Amboy in 1685." I note that the modern Scottish
> spelling for this surname is McGhee.
> So, I am left to wonder... When did the Caledonia sail? 1685?
> 1715? When did (some of) these folks come over?
> some surnames I've noticed in those corresponding about the Caledonia...
> GASTON, RUE/REW, McGEE/McGHEE/MEGIE, MOUNT, DAVIDSON, McCOY, ALLEN,
> TROUT McCOLLOM, more?
> I'm interested in corresponding with anyone else looking into this.
> kirby in NC
|[NJMID] New info on the Caledonia, Perth Amboy by " Suzanne Law Hawes" <>|