Spencer 1806 – Passage of Time

I have been doing some research recently and taking a look at the list of passengers on the Spencer 1806, the voyage that brought my Darrach ancestors to PEI from Colonsay, Scotland. The family names are common to us in Clyde River, but many of these families settled in the Wood Islands area. The Darrachs and MacPhees (McDuff/Duffie) settled in the Clyde River and Dunedin area. We already know of Darrach descendants that went to Florida, New England states, Washington state and New Zealand.

In the age of the internet, I would be curious to determine where descendants of these families are living just over 200 years later. We invite descendants of the Spencer 1806 to connect with us either by adding a comment to this article or by emailing vivian@eastlink.ca. Please include the passenger name(s) you are a descendant of, where you live and, as Islanders, we like to hear a little interesting news. We know that we have a broad geographic audience, so this might be a good chance to hear from you. Also, if anyone knows where these ancestors on the passenger list were laid to rest, please add that as well. Feel free to forward this article to those who would have an interest in this project.

Spencer 1806 Passenger List – Names and ages at the time of passage from Colonsay to PEI:

  1. Bell, Angus 24 – son of Malcolm and Flora (McPhee) Bell
  2. Bell, Archibald 25 – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  3. Bell, Catherine 10
  4. Bell, Dougald 25 – married to Catherine McEacharn
  5. Bell, Duncan 7 – (1797-1877) – son of Dougald and Catherine (MacEachern) Bell
  6. Bell, Duncan 78 – married to Mary McDuff (MacPhee)
  7. Bell, Flora 9 – daughter of Dougald and Catherine (MacEachern) Bell
  8. Bell, Janet 18 – son of Malcolm and Flora (McPhee) Bell
  9. Bell, Janet 5 – daughter of John and Grace Bell
  10. Bell, John 3 – son of John and Grace Bell – married Sarah Darrach, Malcolm’s daughter
  11. Bell, John 40 – son of Malcolm and Flora (McPhee) Bell – married Marion Grace McCannel)
  12. Bell, Malcolm 65 – married to Flora McDuffie (McPhee) – 4 children
  13. Bell, Margaret 1.5 – daughter of John and Grace Bell
  14. Bell, Marion 34 – daughter of Duncan Bell – married to Donald McNeil
  15. Bell, Mary 13 – daughter of John and Grace Bell
  16. Bell, Mary 26 – married Hector MacMillan
  17. Bell, Nelly 12
  18. Brown, Flora 58 – married to Duncan Munn
  19. Brown, Nancy 23
  20. Buchanan, Flora 52 – married to Malcolm McEachern
  21. Campbell, Hector 30
  22. Campbell, John 1
  23. Campbell, Neil 3
  24. Currie, Catharine 22
  25. Currie, Catherine 26
  26. Currie, James 2 – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  27. Currie, James 25
  28. Currie, James 30
  29. Currie, Jane 21 – married to Dougald MacLean
  30. Currie, Janet 55
  31. Currie, Mary 7 mos. – daughter of Nancy (MacPhee) and James Currie
  32. Darroch, Angus 60 – Duncan and Malcolm’s father. Owned property on St. Peters Road – Old Protestant Burying Ground, University Ave., plot 42 – Descendants
  33. Darroch, Archibald 20 – Duncan’s brother – Married Jane McPhee – children were Angus (St Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery) and Neil.
  34. Darroch, Catherine 30 – Duncan’s sister – married to Gilbert McAldridge (McAlder) – 4 children passengers
  35. Darroch, Duncan 28 – (1775-1853) – married Margaret MacMillan, oldest child of Malcolm and Grace MacMillan – first lived on Colville Road and then moved to Clyde River –  St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery – Descendants
  36. Darroch, James 32 – Duncan’s brother
  37. Darroch, John 3 – Clyde River Presbyterian Cemetery – son of Duncan Darrach and Margaret McMillan – see note #3 below – Descendants
  38. Darroch, Malcolm 20 – (1786-1864) Covehead – see note #7 & #8 below – Descendants
  39. Darroch, Rachael 37 – Duncan’s sister
  40. Livingston, Margaret 32
  41. Livingston, Mary 32 – married to Malcolm McNeil – 4 children
  42. McAldridge, Alexander 5 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  43. McAldridge, Gilbert 38 – married to Catherine Darroch
  44. McAldridge, John 1 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  45. McAldridge, John 7 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  46. McAldridge, Peter 3 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  47. McAlister, Effy 60 – married to Angus Darroch – Old Protestant Burying Ground, University Ave.
  48. McDonald, Christian 36
  49. McDougald, Peter 33
  50. McDuff, Catherine 9 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  51. McDuff, Donald 2.5 – son of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  52. McDuff, Dougald 17 – son of Donald and Sarah McPhee – later married Flora Shaw and had 11 children – lived in West River – son Donald had a shipbuilding business – McPhee’s Creek runs through property
  53. McDuff, Duncan 54 – aka Donald McPhee – married to Mary aka Sarah McNeil – 7 children, also passengers – settled in West River (Dunedin), PEI
  54. McDuff, Effy 5 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  55. McDuff, Jane 14 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee – married Archibald Darrach
  56. McDuff, Margaret 20 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  57. McDuff, Mary 72 – Duncan (Donald) McPhee’s mother
  58. McDuff, Nancy 19 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee – married to James Currie
  59. McDuffie, Flora 41
  60. McEacharn, Ann 19 – daughter of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern – married to Hector McNeill
  61. McEacharn, Archibald 30 – son of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern
  62. McEacharn, Catherine 27 – married to Dougald Bell – two children
  63. McEacharn, Donald 22 – son of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern
  64. McEacharn, Malcolm 58 – married to Flora Buchanan
  65. McEacharn, Malcolm 3
  66. McEacharn, Mary 28
  67. McEachern, Angus 12 – Cornwall United Church Cemetery?
  68. McEachern, Angus 32 – son of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern
  69. McEachern, James 1.5
  70. McEachern, Neil 7
  71. McLean, Alexander 2 – son of Dougald and Jane (Currie) McLean – Settled in Lot 16
  72. McLean, Allan 6.5 – son of Dougald and Jane (Currie) McLean – Settled in Lot 16
  73. McLean, Catherine 35
  74. McLean, Dougald 32 – married to Jane Currie
  75. McLean, Gilbert 3 mos. – son of Dougald and Jane (Currie) McLean
  76. McMillan, Alexander 14 – married Janet Bell
  77. McMillan, Betty 18 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married James Munn
  78. McMillan, Catherine 1 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Malcolm Smith
  79. McMillan, Duncan 4 – son of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Mary Shaw
  80. McMillan, Flora 51
  81. McMillan, Flora 8 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Magnus MacDonald – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  82. McMillan, Hector 13 – son of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Mary Bell
  83. McMillan, James 19 – son of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married to Ann Munn – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  84. McMillan, Malcolm Hector 48 – aka Calum Eachan – married to Grisael (Grace) (McNeil) McMillan – 11 children
  85. McMillan, Malcolm 10 – married Christena Currie – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  86. McMillan, Margaret 26 – (1781-1853) – St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery
  87. McMillan, Murdoch 55 – Malcolm’s brother – 1st person to be buried in Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery – 1807
  88. McMillan, Sophia 3.5 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – later married Donald Blue
  89. McMunn, Angus 31
  90. McNeil Malcolm 51 – married to Mary Livingston
  91. McNeil, Alex 26 – (1779-1863) – son of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil –  married Margaret McPhee (McDuff)
  92. McNeil, Charles 15 – son of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil –  St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery
  93. McNeil, Donald 2 – son of Donald and Marion (Bell) McNeil – later married Mary McMillan – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  94. McNeil, Dougald, 60 – married to Flora McMillan
  95. McNeil, Grisael 40 – married to Malcolm McMillan – parents of Margaret McMillan Darrach
  96. McNeil, Hector 27 – (1779-1838) – married to Ann McEachern
  97. McNeil, Isabella 7 – daughter of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil
  98. McNeil, John 14 – son of Hector and Ann (McEachern) McNeil – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  99. McNeil, Malcolm 5 – son of Donald and Mary (Livingston) McNeil
  100. McNeil, Mary 40
  101. McNiel, Donald 34 – son of Malcolm and Mary (Livingston) McNeil – married to Marion Bell
  102. McNiel, Dougald 12
  103. McNiel, Jennet – daughter of Hector and Ann (McEachern) McNeil
  104. McNiel, Margaret 21 – daughter of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil – married to Angus Munn
  105. McPhaden, Christine 27
  106. Munn, Ann 17 – daughter of Duncan and Flora (Brown) Munn – later married to James McMillan
  107. Munn, Catherine 7 mos.
  108. Munn, Duncan 60 –  married to Flora Brown – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  109. Munn, Effy 15 – daughter of Duncan and Flora (Brown) Munn
  110. Munn, James 20 – married to Betty McMillan – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  111. Munn, Malcolm 23
  112. Munn, Neil 28 – married to Catherine Currie – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  113. Patterson, Dolly 70
  114. Shaw, Donald 30 – married Angus Darroch’s daughter, Nancy

References and notes:

  1. They landed at Pinette on September 22, 1806 and stayed for the winter in quarters provided by Lord Selkirk. The following Spring, they moved to Wood Islands. They camped near the shore below where the pioneer cemetery was later located. Murdoch MacMillan was the first person to be buried there in 1807. – Genealogy of MacMillan Family
  2. History of Clan MacMillan
  3. More details at Colonsay Register
  4. McDuff’s and Mcduffee’s are McPhee’s
  5. Island Register – Duncan Darrach Family
  6. Could be Duncan Bell (Jr.) genealogy
  7. Malcolm Darrach’s son was a shipbuilder, built brig “Pakeha” and in December 1864, along with a crew and 32 passengers including his wife and family set sail for New Zealand. PEI Archives – Passenger List for Pakeha
  8. Darrach and sons of Prince Edward Island – story of Darrachs who later left Prince Edward Island and went to New Zealand, appeared in Mahurangi Magazine.
  9. Wood Island’s Pioneer Cemetery
  10. Voyage of the Spencer, by Hector John Munn
  11. The Americans, the Earl of Selkirk, and Colony’s 1806 Emigrants to Prince Edward Island, John W. Sheets

Editor’s Note: Check back regularly to this article, as I will update information on passengers when I receive it from descendants. We are already receiving high interest in this project.

If this little social experiment works well, we can try this again with other ship passenger lists that have connections to Clyde River.

No Comments

  1. Martha on January 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I’m descended from Bells who settled in the Tryon/Augustine Cove area. My descendants came over in the mid 1700’s …no idea if they are related to yours. Haven’t finished the Bell side yet.

  2. shdaviNancy Wood on January 24, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I am a descendant of the McLeans/MacLeans . Alexander and Alan settled in Lot 16

  3. Marlene Bolger on January 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

    My great great grandfather was Neil Munn and he born about 1798 in Colonsay, Argyleshire, Scotland, and died October 29, 1869 Mermaid, PEI. However he was not the Neil Munn listed here as he only emigrated from Colonsay, Argyllshire, Scotland about 1818. The Neil Munn listed here with other family members are what we refer to as the Wood Island Munns and are believed to be cousins of my great great grandfather.

    • Wendelyn Munn on May 12, 2018 at 4:53 am

      He was also my great great grandfather; his son Charles, and then his son William was my grandfather. Over the years, I have found this all fascinating, especially now living in New Zealand there are a lot of Munn’s.

  4. Kevin Byrne on February 22, 2016 at 4:34 am

    A wonderful project and clearly the result of a lot of work. This was the first properly arranged migration from Colonsay, following less happy ones to N. Carolina and Pictou.

  5. duncfmac on February 23, 2016 at 5:50 am

    My gggf was from Colonsay. I believe my ancestors had a link through marriage with the” Mc Aldridge” family -Mc Calder, McCaldrick. Great information.

  6. Deborah Smith on May 23, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I am a descendant of Dougald MacNeill who is listed on the passenger list. Thank you for all your hard work…this is amazing!

  7. Charlene MacNeill on November 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    My husband is a descendant of Dougald McNeill and Flora McMillan. I am putting together his family tree. This list is a gold mine. Thanks for all the effort. I do have a question that I will email.

  8. clyderiver on November 17, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    You are welcome, Charlene. You can email me at vivian@eastlink.ca.

  9. Stephen Bennett on December 10, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Verified descendant of Family 52 & 53 – West River MacPhee bloodline of Dr. Earle Douglas MacPhee. Donald McPhee – Sarah McNeill (shown as Duncan McDuff and Mary McNeill on manifest) – Dougald (Dugald) McPhee born 1788 married Flora Mary Shaw from Mull born 1794 – married Aug 18, 1812 Covehead PEI (actually Island of St. John previous to it being named PEI). Can provide family tree via email. For those that may not be aware Dr. Earle Douglas MacPhee was the first Worldwide Clan Commander of the Clan MacPhee (the closest equivalent to being our actual hereditary Clan Chief). There are reasons for this – our Clan has an incredible history. I can be contacted via bennettsj@rocketmail.com – Ontario, Canada.

  10. Marilyn Hofmann on January 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I am descended from Family 32 & 35 and contributed info towards the 1806 Darrach genealogy on Island Register, compiled by my cousin Angus Beck.
    I live in Richmond, BC, was born and lived in PEI until age 23…return for annual visits.This is an interesting project!

  11. clyderiver on March 6, 2017 at 11:53 am

    We received an email from Stuart Mellen with this note on his connection to the Spencer 1806 passengers – Alexander McMillan and Janet Bell had:
    Son: Hector McMillan b. 1820,  m. Nancy McDonald (South River), resided in Pictou, NS
    They had: Daughter Mary McMillan b.1841, m. David Fraser Turnbull (Pictou native) resided in Boston, MA
    Their children: Frank Turnbull, David Fraser Turnbull, Henry Thomas Turnball and Nancy Gldys Turnbull.
    Frank Turnbull m. Mary Sibell Cobb and had daughter, Dorothy Sibell Turnbull in Boston MA.
    Dorothy Turnbull married Ralph Atwood Luce and had my mother Martha Sibell Luce in Lowell, MA.
    My mother married John Thomas Mellen and had me Stuart Ralph Mellen in Burlington, MA.

  12. Melissa on May 7, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    32 Darroch, Angus
    35 Darroch, Duncan
    47 Effy McAlister
    86 Margaret P MacMillan
    95 Grisael McNeil
    84 Malcolm Hector MacMillan

    While doing this research, we have now planned a trip to return to Colonsay in the coming weeks.
    My extended family went via Tyne Valley, PEI and we are now in southern Ontario.

  13. clyderiver on May 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Email sent to us by Susan Daly:

    I am a descendant of James McMillan (passenger #83) and Ann Munn (passenger #106).

    I visited Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery in August 2015. James McMillan’s grave stone states he died in 1861 Aged 78 years. This would make him 23 years old, not 19 when the Spencer sailed. In Hector Munn’s book “Voyage of the Spencer”, he cleared up some of the confusion. Some of the passengers stated their age according to their date of baptism.

    I will be visiting Colonsay this September while on a 5 week trip of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. My husband and I are looking forward to this trip of a lifetime as we have roots in all 4 countries.

    OK, now 200 years later, this descendant is in the Bay Area of Texas which is 25 miles south of Houston and 25 miles north of Galveston. John Cook McMillan, my Great Grandfather, was a grandson of James and Ann. John left Prince Edward Island and was married in Ontario. I was born in Welland, Ontario in 1948, baptized at St John’s Anglican Church in Whitby, Ontario then moved to the States in 1961. We married in 1969 and made our permanent home in Friendswood, Texas in 1980. Sincerely, Susan Daly (maiden name: Blow)

  14. Alan Rich on November 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    My ggggGrandfather was 32. Angus Darrach

    The direct line is;
    32. Angus Darrach
    38.Malcolm Darrach
    John Darrach (1817-1897)
    Malcolm Shaw Darrach (1848-1911)
    Norman Angus Darrach (1882??-1961)
    Ethel Marshall Rich (Darrach) (1932-2000)
    Alan Rich (Me) (1958 – )

    John & son Malcolm S emigrated to NZ on the “Pakeha” arriving Auckland 26th May 1864. Malcolm S seems to have moved from New Zealand to Australia by 1889. He left his wife behind in NZ. By 1903 he was living in Condobolin NSW where his son, Norman A, was also living. Both their occupations were listed as “Miner”, although I have no evidence that they were living in the same residence. Malcolm S died at Conobolin NSW and there is no record that he ever returned to his wife in NZ.

    The mystery I have yet to solve is the apparent separation of Malcolm S and his wife Jessie for 16 years prior to her death in 1905 in NZ. Jessie’s burial records Jessie as “beloved wife of Malcolm S Darrach”. Maybe a relative living in NZ can shed some light on this for me?

    I have just started the journey of the “hunt” for my family roots but already I have found it fascinating. I will be visiting Canada next year on holiday in September and now have decided to extend my time and visit PEI in search of some more information and visit this area of my family history.

    I would very much like to hear from any descendants of 32.Angus Darrach who have information or documents relative to this line of the Darrachs, either in NZ or in PEI.

    I can be contacted by email a.rich213@yahoo.com

    I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    • Melissa on November 14, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      I recently traveled back to Colonsay to track down the roots of Angus Darrach. I would highly suggest this adventure. Pay attention to the spring arts festival for timing. The island has a population today of 124 ppl. I am more than eager to return!

      Imagine therefore not being able to find accommodations and we eventually reached out to a resident to house us. We got a fireside chat about the history of the Darrach family, from this local historian. The Darrach’s were Druids, residing on the island as a means to displace themselves from the mainland and the scourge there to eliminate them.

      • Debbie James on December 12, 2018 at 9:57 pm

        I would LOVe to hear more about this!!

  15. Debbie James on December 12, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    My name is Debbie James and I am the youngest daughter of Annie Pearl Darrach. Her mother was Sophia father Angas. Our ancestor that came to Canada on the Spencer was Archibald Darrach.
    I have 7 siblings spread across Canada and I am in south western Ontario! I’m a mom to one daughter, Katherine Ann Witty.
    I have always been fascinated with Scottish history and culture and part of me was always so drawn to it! The sound of bagpipes and drums. Have always resonated in my very soul and I always said if I could choose my history it would be to be Scottish! I am SO excited to have found my roots!! I cried when I found out! Tears of joy!!
    I’m excited to come to PEI next yet and visit cemeteries of all our descendants and just celebrate my AMAZING heritage.

    • VB on December 12, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Debbie; Great to hear from you. I am a descendant of Archibald’s brother Duncan. Vivian

    • Alan Rich on December 12, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      Hi Debbie
      I traveled to PEI in October this year to have a look at where my GGF John Darrach (1817-1897) was born. My wife and I had a great time exploring the island, finding the original farm of GGGF Malcolm and researching the family history in the Public Archives in Charlottetown.
      We met up with Vivian (who also just replied to your post, my 5th Cousin I believe – Hi Vivian!!). It was the best 7 days of our Canadian trip.

      I recommend you go. You will have a great time I am sure.

      Alan Rich
      Brisbane, Australia

      PS, I also recommend the PEI Lobster Rolls.

  16. Kerry Blackwell on October 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Thank you for putting this project together.

    36. James Darroch (Darrach) is my 4th ggf.

    His son Archibald Darrach 1823 – 1899 is my 3rd ggf.
    His son Duncan Darrach 1853 – 1927 is my 2nd ggf.
    His son Neil Darrach 1895 – 1982 is my ggf.
    His daughter Velma Darrach (Moreash) is my grandmother.
    Her daughter Judy Morrissey (Moreash) is my mother.

    All of lot 65 Canoe Cove. 2 years ago, my mother retired back to the farm on lot 65 after more than 50 years living in London, Ontario, where my family currently resides. We’ve been back to the island two summers in a row and hope to retire there in the future.

    Kerry (Morrissey) Blackwell
    London, Ontario

  17. Patricia de Weever on December 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

    In the tree, D.9.5.n., Curtis Milligan, was my grandfather through his daughter, Marjorie Isabelle Milligan, my mother.

    I’m a direct descendant of Angus and Duncan Darrach. Born on Prince Edward Island, raised in New Jersey, relocated back to Prince Edward Island.

    The ancestral pull of the land is strong. 😊

  18. Steven MacNeil on January 12, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Hitting a brick wall, believe my ancestors were on the Ship Spencer (Malcolm McNeil and Mary Livingston) Wondering if any McNeil’s have done any DNA test…looking into this soon. thanks

    • Patti on January 12, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      I have. I’m PU7259646 in GEDmatch.

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