One of the Most Unique Migration Stories in the World

At the beginning of our drive over the Cabot Trail we stopped at the Gaelic College, situated on the site of Norman MacLeod’s farm. This was a very interesting Museum.

And he was a very talented Bag Pipe musician.

He was powerful leader, preacher, teacher and magistrate. He lead the group of farmers and ship builders for over 50 years. Norman MacLeod decided to depart Scotland because he sought religious freedom that his country and Church of his day denied him. These widespread evictions were known as Highland Clearance.

July 1817 the ‘Frances Anne” set sail for Nova Scotia, already a thriving Highland community, mostly emigrants from Loch Broom. As the Highland Clearances were under way, another 150 followed Norman to Nova Scotia the following year.

During the Potato Famine, a huge split in the community occurred. In October 1851, 100 Gaelic Scots set sail out of St Anne’s Bay Nova Scotia. First to Australia and then on to New Zealand. When we visited New Zealand we came across an area called Nova Scotia. We saw Cape Breton Tartan in gift shops.


  1. I vaguely remember driving on the Cabot Trail as a youngster with my parents. It was the late ’70’s and they were freaking out because the car brakes were smoking due to overuse.


  2. This is very interesting . We are all Scottish and Irish . I never was able play the bagpipes but I learned how to do the Highland Fling . Thanks and have a great day . Anita


  3. Thank you for sharing!!… when I were in the USMC I had the good fortune of meeting some of the Black Watch.. they got me interested in the bagpipes and over time I purchase a set and learned to play to some degree… the pipe makers were MacLeod.. I don’t play them anymore but I have a grandson that is interested…. 🙂

    Circa 1979…. 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)


  4. Interesting information, but I’m puzzled by the reference to the Potato Famine – that was Irish surely, not Scottish, unless there was one in Scotland as well that I’m not aware of?


  5. Great post. I did wonder where their bairn were in the photo but I guess just the adults would have been hard enough to wrangle for a photo. Someone who plays Bagpipes is a Piper FYI Picky aren’t I!!!


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