UNITED STATES of AMERICA
Back Row left to right.
James W Cleland, Ellen Jane Cleland Wight, Peter Robert Campbell Cleland, Isabella I Cleland, William Robert Cleland (see below), Mary Evalina Cleland Bortle.
Front Row left to right.
Orvillia Irene Cleland Peacock, James B Cleland, Mary Wilson Cleland, John Manley Cleland (John Manley Cleland homesteaded land in Vermillion, South Dakota where his son William Robert Cleland was born in 1881 and his son Marshall Robert Cleland in 1926.)
Golden Wedding 1837 – 1887
Originally migrated 1843.
Lloyd Cleland writes from New Zealand:
My great grandfather lived in Darvel in Ayrshire where he set up in partnership with a Mr Campbell, the firm of Cleland and Campbell manufacturing lace. In 1892 one of his sons James with a nephew also called James (Clelands don’t believe in making the work of a family researcher easy do they) went to the USA and set up the Columbia Lace Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania. The first James seems to have gone back and forth from Scotland at intervals but the nephew stayed in the States and managed the mill. I do not know what happened to the mill but James the nephew remained and some of his descendants are still there.
Mr Bob Lavine 3312 Rt.2. S.Paris, Maine USA 04281 is trying to make contact with any Clelands of Harltand, Vermont in the early 1900’s. This could be Hartland of course by our American cousins will know.
Mrs Nancy J Ellis (member) of 19191 Harvard Avenue, #254B, Irvine, CA, 92715 USA has advised she has just finished writing a book entitled. “Norman, Andrew and Selkirk Bruce of Maryland, their ancestors in Scotland and their descendants in America”
Their mother was Helen Cleland, daughter of James Cleland “merchant, Burgess and Dean of the Guilds of Edinburgh”. His spouse was Helen Selkirk.
I had some interesting correspondence from Bruce Sinkey in New Jersey, USA as he has made a major breakthrough in his research and is now well on the way to establishing a solid family tree. Not bad considering he like so many of ‘the family’ have their family name spelled differently. In Bruce’s case it is “CLEILAND”
These Cleilands come from Crail in Fife, just down the road from where I was raised. Crail would have to be the most photographed harbour in Scotland if not the U.K. We visited in 1988 as we followed the sand belt (links) golf courses from St Andrews to my home town of Rosyth. Crail is a must for all those that visit Scotland.
Bruce unearthed much valuable information on the early settlement of Charlestown South Carolina and the problems his ancestors had in establishing claim to the estate of William Cleiland as his son was sent back to Scotland, as a boy of twelve, to live with an uncle. Good luck with the rest of the research Bruce.
I have been advised by John R Neeland of Kansas City USA that the book “Seven Centuries in the Kneeland Family” by Stillman Foster Kneeland is available from Higgenson Genealogical Books, 14 Derby Square, Salem, Mass 01970, USA. The cost was US$ 90.00 and it is a hard bound book of 483 pages. It is a reprint from microfilm on acid proof paper and as John says ‘is probably as good as the original’.
If anyone wants to obtain one for the Society’s library then don’t be afraid to send one over. Please check first to see if you are going to be the second to send one as I would hate for 12 copies to turn up in the mail.
John has a great deal of information therefore you may wish to make contact with him at 2NW 41st Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64116-1759 USA. (816) 452 8983.
The following is courtesy of James Cleland of KS. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am a descendant of James and Thankful’s first son Thomas. I was born 8/23/36 and am a pharmacist in WaKeeney, Ks. located 1/2 way between KC & Denver on the 100th meridian. I have been actively researching and collecting family information for the last 30 years. Carrying on work that was passed on to me from my great grandfather. Over the past 10 years I have been, with the assistance of other family members, attempting to tie all the Clelands together in a single data base. To date I have some 5,000 tied in with probably 1/2 that many more yet to put into the base. I am still working full time in my pharmacy and unfortunately there is not enough hours in the day to devote as much time to the project as I would like. However bit by bit progress is being made. I am delighted to receive the information you forwarded on James Cleland Pease and if you have expanded information on this branch I would like to have that as well to add to the data base. I have the children and spouses of Thankful and Cummings but that is as far as I go on that branch until now.
James Cleland was the fifth child and third son of James Cleland and Helen Selkirk of Edinburgh. His father was Dean of Guild of Edinburgh. Being Dean of Guild was a very important position in Edinburgh at that time. As Dean of all the Guilds he was very influential in controlling the commerce and industry of the Royal Burgh. Many family members were merchants in Edinburgh and several were “Writers to the Signet” (lawyers). The family had been supporters and investors in the “Darien Adventure”. A close branch of the family in the late 1600’s went to Charlestown, S.C. and established themselves as merchant’s, rum traders, and plantation owners. Our James had a first cousin, (William, born in 1706) that went to the isle of Martinique.
So it was that on October of 1733, James Cleland, age 27, unmarried, schooled in Scottish Law, boarded the vessel “Hunter”, commanded by Andrew Davis, Captain, at Bristol, England and set sail for the colonies. The “Hunter” finally arrived at Windsor, Conn. in January of 1734. We don’t know yet what other if any ports of call they made, but believe the course like many voyages at that time were to the Islands first, then Charlestown then up to New England. At Windsor he set up shop and was referred to as a “shopkeeper” and also a “cooper”. He had a business partner in Windsor, Alexander Allyn, Jr. and they were referred to as “merchants joint in company”. In 1737 or perhaps the early part of 1738, James moved to Lyme, Conn. The collection of accounts receivable has always been a problem for merchants, for James filed a large number of suits for the partnership after his move to Lyme.
On February 22, 1738/9 the 33 year old James married the 24 year old Thankful. “Mr. James Cleland and Thankful Wilder” were married at Lancaster, Massachusetts. The intentions were recorded at Lancaster as “James Cleland of Lime [Conn.] and Thankfull Wilder of Bolton [Mass.]” on 4 Feb 1738/9. Thankful, was the daughter of John and Sarah (White) Wilder, Thankful was born in Lancaster 15 April 1715 [christened 22 May 1715 at the First Church, Lancaster, by John Prentice. Thankful died “7 October 1792, aged 77” at Vernon, Conn.
After his move to Lyme, James dealt in real-estate, practised law, and evidently was a merchant as well. James was bound over to the court in June of 1745 with a bond of 20 Pounds, “that he should not sell or vend strong drink by retail without license and be of good behaviour”.
On 8 August 1739 his name appears as a purchaser of “57 acres and a half and twenty seven rods of land” in the North Society of Lyme. An additional seven purchases are recorded in the land records of the town over the period of 1739 to 1748, all of which had apparently been sold by 1762. James and Thankful remained in Lyme, except for a period of a year or so, 1741-2, when they lived in New London, back to Lyme then moved to Colchester, Conn. in 1759 or 1760. On 25 Nov 1760 (and again 18 Jan 1762) “James Cleland of Colchester in the Co. of Hartford” appears as a land seller in the Lyme books.
James is referred to in the diary of Joshua Hempstead of New London. Hempstead mentioned “a child of Mr. Cleland Bap. Thos.” by Rev. Eliphalet Adams of the New London Church on Sunday, 15 Nov 1741. Hempstead paid James on 17 Jan. 1756 for serving a writ on “Dodge and Hamilton [John Dodge of Colchester, Conn.]. Hempstead also refers on 19 July 1758 to an “Execution James Cleland had in favour of Ja Thomson a North Britton…….” James Cleland appears as plaintiff in a large number of lawsuits in the New London Co. court records.
James and Thankful had ten children, only one the seventh child John, b. 1749/50, died young. The births of the “Children of James Clealand & Thankfull Cleland of Lyme in Connecticook” are recorded in the records of Lancaster, Mass. All of the children were evidently born in Lyme, except perhaps Thomas in New London.
James himself never held membership in a church in the colonies. He is mentioned in the church records of the New London church as having entered into the covenant somewhere else. That somewhere else, no doubt was in Scotland. The branch of the family that James (the immigrant) comes from \par had strong covenanting ties in Scotland. James’ father had an uncle James Cleland of Pitdinnes. This James Cleland was married to Janet Henderson. This Janet Henderson evidently was a daughter or some other very close tie to Alexander Henderson. For James Cleland and Janet Henderson, most of their children and many of their grandchildren are buried in the Alexander Henderson tomb in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh.
Alexander Henderson was the minister of Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh and was the co-author of the National Covenant that was signed in the Greyfriars Kirkyard in 1638. It was the signing of this covenant that lead to the rebellion, the “killing times” civil war and the eventual fall of the Stuart monarchy and the establishment of William .of Orange. So with this background and connections it is understandable why our James once he had signed a covenant with the Church in Scotland could never join a church over here.
After James reaches the age of about 60 no further mention of him has been found in the public record until his death, a death notice is recorded in the Hartford [Conn.] Courant of 25 April 1791 “James Cleland of North Bolton aged 85”. His tombstone record notes 11 April 1791. Hannah Cleland, the second daughter and third child, of James and Thankful, married John Sparks of Hartford, Conn. 20 Aug. 1767. They lived in that part of Bolton, Conn., which is now the town of Vernon. Most likely, James and Thankful were living with Hannah and John in their old age.
[Note. The double date refers to the calendar used in early colonial records. The English calendar of that time began the year on March 25. Dates between January 1 and March 25 with the double date should be read with the second year given to correspond to our present calendar. Thus James birth date of 10 Feb 1705/6 would correspond to 10 Feb 1706 by our present calendar)