In 1684, a small group of Scottish families left their homeland to seek their fortune in the New World. Since the venture was funded by James Drummond, the fabulously wealthy Lord Chancellor of Scotland, it was known as the Earl of Perth Expedition. Three Sutherland brothers were part of those settlers. One of them, William Sutherland, may have been our ancestor.
Patrick McGregorie and his brother-in-law, David Tosheoch, were leaders of this group of Covenanters. Although many Scottish Presbyterians left their homeland to escape religious persecution, others were motivated by economic interests as well. The Earl of Perth needed tradesmen and farmers to generate goods and services within his land grant from Queen Anne.
The Tosheoch of Monzievaird had held their land for 500 years. The family name is derived from the gaelic ‘toiseach’, meaning chief or leader. MacIntosh also comes from the same root word, in this case via ‘Mac-an-Toisich’. For a time, Tosheoch was chief to a sept of the MacIntosh clan.
By 1684, the family had fallen on hard times. The 7th Laird of Monzievaird, David Tosheoch, inherited a large debt from his father and grandfather. He sold his property to a neighbor shortly before leaving for the Americas.
The last remaining part of Monzievaird was said to have been sold by the then laird [David Toschach] to Lady Murray, who did the negotiation unbeknowst to her husband, Sir Patrick Murray. Sir Patrick evicted the tenants from the castle and outbuildings, and at some latter stage either Sir Patrick or a descendent had the castle razed. The Toschochs of Monzievaird and Environs
Major Patrick McGregorie served in France under Charles II. The MacGregor name was outlawed in Scotland during this period. Patrick may have been granted permission to use his family surname as a result of his service to the Crown. He was married to Margaret Tosheoch, youngest sister of David.
There were a number of ships which transported Scottish passengers during the 1680’s. Dissidents (both political and religious) made their way to North America. Some, like the Covenanters, went voluntarily and others were transported as a condition of prison release.
In fact, by 1683, the New World was gaining a reputation as something of a prison colony. A printed advertisement for the Earl of Perth Expedition contained glowing descriptions of a country that was “the Garden of the World, and the Terrestrial Paradise”. The advertisement (or broadside) went out of its way to describe North America as a country that was well suited for families. David Tosheoch and Patrick McGregorie are named not only as organizers but also listed as examples of respected community leaders who went “not out of necessity but choice”. (Full text of the advertisement)
The name of the ship that carried settlers bound for the Earl of Perth colony in New Jersey is unknown. There is reason to believe that the ship set sail from Glasgow.
The ship arrived not in New Jersey but Virginia. Apparently the captain decided to deliver cargo before passengers. The ship probably went up the Chesapeake Bay to what is now northern Virginia or Maryland. The Scots disembarked and made their way to New Jersey. Patrick MacGregorie later wrote to investors in Scotland describing the journey.
We (praised be God) all of us arrived safely without loss of any one Passenger scarcely any of them was ever sick only we had much trouble coming from Maryland by land our Skipper having for his oavu advantage put in first at the Capes of Verginia but we have had a brave Prospect of the Countrey and all the way as well as in this place where now we are, we found plenty of Corn and all kinds of Fruit, Venison and wild Fowls in such abundance that a Deer may be had for 2 shilling Countrey money and Turkies for 6 pence which will be at least as big as any 2 Turkies in Scotland and are really Turkies only blacker than tame Turkies that you have seen.
At this point, the Sutherland brothers parted company. Robert Sutherland went south to the area that would later be known as Richmond, VA. Alexander and William Sutherland went north with the original group.