Ker Family Genealogy Forum
Only what is found on the internet. The Caledonia was purchased in Holland by the Scottish China and West Indies Trading Company, also known as the Scottish Company, about 1697. It had been launched in 1651, in Hamburg, I believe, and was used along with the St. Andrew, Unicorn, Dolphin, and Endeavor to transport Scottish settlers to the Darien Penninsula where it was their intention to establish a Fort (St. Andrew) and establish a road from the Atlantic side to the Pacific Side. The Darien Penninsula is part of what we now know as Panama. The Caledonia was commanded by Robert Drummond. The settlement lasted less than 8 months, hundreds of the 1200 original settlers died from the fevers and pestilence of that area. They finally headed north arriving in New York about Aug/Sept of 1699 where they were given the barest of supplies, just enough to get back to Scotland. At that time a note was made in the harbor masters log that the ship was a floating wreck. Other voyages may have been made from Scotland to America, perhaps before 1699. There is one account where the ship started to come apart in a storm but made it to Perth Amboy, many lives were lost on that voyage, I'll have to go back and look at the date of that voyage. The last voyage of the Caledonia was made in 1715 when she transported prisoners from Inverness Scotland to Perth Amboy. These prisoners were from the Jacobite Revolution of that same time period. The ship evidently was deserted by her crew as she laid anchored off Perth Amboy, after the passengers/cargo were removed. She drifted ashore in a gale shortly thereafter and was never attempted to be refitted. Supposely the ships log books and papers are in a New York library/museum. There is no record that I have yet found telling of her passengers by name, perhaps in the log books or papers something might be found.
I find it real interesting that you have some indication of your ancestor coming over on a ship that wrecks. Would you mind sharing what your source on that is. Mine is an old family letter that tells of the family members coming in on a ship that later wrecks, but it does not tell the names of those family members, or the ship, just that they were Taylors, but I have wondered if perhaps it could also have been the Kers. The letter though is specific as to it being Taylors. Yet if both the Kers and Taylors were on the same ship, it might explain a little about the marriage of John Taylor and Lydia Ker. We are pretty sure that Walter Ker arrives in 1685 from NJ records of that era, and other genealogical research.
Any insight or help? Oh, through whom from Walter do you descend? If you don't mind my asking.
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