John; Arrol Arrol.

The Arrol, Arroll and Arrell families online

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the Arrol/Arrolls left the Highlands in the 1700's they settled in the urban areas and
became coal miners, craftsmen, weavers, gardeners, house painters, schoolmasters,
shoemakers and brewers.


There were several historical events that occurred during the 1600's and 1700's in
Scotland that could have led to the migration of Arrol/ArroU and Arrells out of the
Highland Glens. The first of these was the plantation of Ulster (Northern Ireland) at the
beginning of the seventeenth century (1608-10). James VI of Scotland, I of England,
undertook the plantation of Ulster. There was a concerted effort made to settle Ulster
with Scots. There were many large estates formed at the time of the plantation which
have long passed into other hands Many other estates were created by land grants
between 1641 and 1703 after the 1641 Rebellion in Northern Ireland. (46) There had
been close links between Ulster and Scotland for centuries. Lowland Protestants had
settled in Ulster in numbers after 1603. Highland Catholics, especially MacDonalds, had
conquered the glens of Antrim several decades before. In 1641 the religious tensions in
this complex and unstable society erupted in a great Catholic rising marked by massacres
of the Protestants. (47) During these times many indigenous Irish were declared traitors,
and their lands were confiscated and regranted, primarily to Protestant Scottish
Undertakers. The Scottish Undertakers, as part of their land grants, undertook to plant
the land with settlers (or undertenants) whom they brought over from Scotland. It was
mainly these tenants who became the ancestors of the ethnic group known as the
Scotch-Irish. Today this group is usually referred to as the Ulster Scots.

Brown's A History of Scotland summarizes the plantation of Ulster noting:

When in the autumn of 1610 the Plantation actually began. ..8 1,000 acres were to
be put at their disposal. ..The colonists did not at once proceed in a body to their
possessions, and it was only gradually that their enterprise bore its full effect. But
the coimection between the two countries was established; and the condition of
Ulster to-day,. in large degree its direct and notable result. (48)

There are a number of Arrell families to be found in Ulster (Northern Ireland) today,
primarily in counties Londonderry and Antrim. Research has been conducted into the
possibility that these Arrells may have come to Ulster from Scotland as the result of the
Plantation of Ulster in the 17th Century. The closest connection that we were able to be
make was located in the study, "An Historical Account of the Plantation in Ulster at the
Commencement of the Seventeenth Century - 1608-1920." This study was written by the
Rev. George Hill, (Belfast, McCaw, Stevenson & Orr, 1877) page 547.


This reference notes that ..."Sir Robert, (Heybome), who was styled of Killaman, in the
county of Tyrone, demised the balliboes of Derryherke and Aghauereske, on the 10th of
May, 1620, to Thomas Averell, gent. ... This undertaker had parted with all the lands in
his proportion before 1629."

The interesting point to this author is that the name Averell exists alongside the name
Arrell, and to a lesser extent the name Arrol, in the same parishes in County Londonderry
when formal record keeping began m the mid-1800's. Sir Robert Heybome, Knight, had
1,800 acres called O'Carragan. There were 10 Tittle' houses standmg together on this
land which were inhabited with British Families'. (See above reference, page 547)

Many Arrells in Northern Ireland today feel that their heritage is Scottish, and every
indication is that this is no doubt true. However, the author was unable to establish a
direct relationship between the Arrols and Arrells in Northern Ireland m the 1 7th and 1 8th
centuries to the Arrols and Arrells of Scotland.

A significant event in Scottish history that occurred during this period was the turmoil
created by the period of the Covenanters and The Bishop's Wars'. Documentation of two
Arrols involved during this period has been found. A John Arrol(l) was involved in the
burgh council of Dumbarton during this period and had to take an oath of allegiance to
the King. Also a Captain Arrol was killed when fighting the Covenanters. A short
summary of this tragic period in Scotland's history will give the reader some idea of the
conditions that existed in the Highlands at the time.

Charles I was crowned King of Scotland in 1663. He had left his native land as an
infant, was raised in England, and knew little of the art of Government - less of Scotland.
His early encounter with the constitutional spirit of England confirmed in him that the
monarchy should be absolute and that the King should be the head of the church. In
1668 Charles I required that the representatives of all of the shires and burghs of Scotland
sign a "Covenant with God" upon which they gave their solemn oath whereby they were
bound to support the King "in the defence and preservation of the aforsaid true religion,
liberties, and laws of the kingdom". They were also bound to their own mutual defense
"in the case of maintaining true religion and his Majesty's authority" and likewise each
one in his own conduct to behave "as beseemeth Christians who have renewed their
covenant with God". The covenant was punishable by severe penalties. There was a
fierce attack upon witches and a fresh crusade against the "monuments of idolatry" which
survived in some churches.

The Covenant appealed to deep-seated religious conviction, to real fear of popery, and
to a national determination not to surrender Scottish institutions into the hands of the
English who were forcing the Covenant upon Scotland. The result was a series of battles
and wars between the Covenanters and various Scottish armies. There were major
excesses committed in the religious fervour that ensued by both sides. The strife and
struggles set off by the requirement to agree to the Covenant lasted for over fifty years.
The entire country was in turmoil during this period and there were massacres, pillages.



10 Oct 1681 (Test and Oath)

John Arroll, Dumbarton burgh counsellor took the test and oath, that
the counsel members "subscribed to conform to the Act of
Parliament." John Earll of Glencaime, witnessed the administration
of the oath to 13 magistrates and counsellors, including Johne Arroll.

26 Nov 1681

Johne Arroll was one of 14 counsellors of the Burgh of
Dumbartonshire who convened in counsell session and passed a
ordnance to "exact, uplift, and receive from each stranger and
unfreeman ... resorting to any fair at this burgh, and making merchant
thereat, for the whole space of the fair, the soume of four shillmgs
Scots money..."

26 Nov 1681 (Gift from James Duke of York)

Johne Arroll ordamed to make payment to John Ewing, Present
treasurer, "the sum of twentie-four pund Scottis in lieu of two chinyes
of gold 26 Nov 1681 the said Johne receaved from his royal highness
when his royal highness was made burgess."

16 Oct 1684

"John Earle of Breadalbane, Mungow Haldane of Gleneagles, and
others. Commissioners of Justiciary for the Highlands, now sitting in
this burgh, are made burgesses."



12 Sept 1685 (Refusal to go to church with the magistrates)

"William Mackie having refused, for sex (sic) or seven Sabboths
together, to gang to the kirk with the magistrates, is fined in the
former sum (20 shillings) and expelled for q is to come of the year.
William MacFarlane protests against the affair going to a vote, in
respect of said William has not been present and voted in counsell
severall dayes since his transgression and was not questioned
thairupon. Robert Duncanson answers that the delaying of ane action
does not discharge the same."

20 Dec 1687

"William Craig, late bailie, produces an act of his majesties Privy
Counsell, bearing date fifteen December, whereby, in virtue of his
Majasties commands, ... did nominate and appoint the persons under
named to be majistrates and counsell of the burgh of Dumbarton,
"they being such persons as his Majesty judged most loyall and ready
to promote his service, and most forward to support the good and
interest of the said burgh." The document then lists the names of
sixteen individuals as provost, baillies, counsellors and a clerk John
Arroll was named one of the counsellors.

23 Sept 1689

The Dumbartonshire and burgh counsellors signed an oath of
allegiance to King William and Queen Mary: "We doe seuerlie
promiss and swear. That wee will be faithful and bear true
alledgeance to thair Mat King William and Queen Mary. So help us
God." John Arrol was one of the 17 provosts, baillies, counsellors
and clerks to sign the oath.

(The History of Dumbartonshire, pp. 207-224 and 552-561).


and dire consequences, from one side or the other, for either signing or not
signing the covenant. These included the death penalty for those who
preached at a field Coventicle, or a fine for missing church on three
successive Sundays. (49)

This short quotation summarizes the events that took place during this period:

King Charles II was restored to the British Throne in 1660... He immediately
repudiated his signing of The Covenant - The Declaration that Presbyterianism was
the official religion of Scotland. Instead, he restored Episcopalian worship and
banned all others. The ultra-Protestants, called Covenanters, held secret services in
the hills and moors of the Lowlands. These conventicles were outlawed and broken
up by dragoons if discovered. The worshippers were killed or captured, the latter
being transported to the American colonies ... over eighteen thousand perished
during Scotland's "Killing Time". (50)

When Charles II landed at Dover on 20 May 1660 after a nine year exile, the Scots, for
a time, were almost as extravagant in their demonstrations of joy as their southern
neighbors in England. To escape any implication of being disloyal, they got carried away
and uttered expressions which they bitterly lived to regret. In Dumbarton, where a
number of Arrols resided, Charles was proclaimed with extraordinary rejoicings.

During the sitting of the Parliament, which met in January of 1661, all doubt was
removed as to the course Charles intended to pursue towards the Church of Scotland.
Parliament declared it illegal for the people to enter into any convention having for its
object the altering of the civil or ecclesiastical policy of the kingdom. The Solemn
League and Covenant was annuHed, Synods were prohibited from meeting, and the
Recissory Act swept from the statute-book all that had been done in the years between
1633 and 1661 towards establishing liberty in civil matters and Presbyterianism in things

Parliament granted a yearly subsidy of forty thousand pounds to the King. Of this subsidy
the proportion borne by Dumbarton amounted to 194 pounds. The burgh council was
divided on whether or not to pay their share of the subsidy. Those who voted against the
subsidy were taken to trial for the part they had taken in public affairs during the Kings
exile. One of the council members who became a victim as a result of his opposition to
the demands of Parliament was executed and his head fixed upon the Tolbooth in
Dumbarton, "but his body being delivered up to his friends was conveyed to Kilpatrick,
in Dumbartonshire..."

The Council of Dumbarton made a submissive answer to Parliament and Episcopacy was
restored and Presbyterianism fell The author of the History of Dumbartonshire writes:


This opened up that terrible chapter in Scottish history when the worst of men stand
out in strong and almost appalling contrast to the humility, the long-suffering, and
the consistency of those who contended for the truth... Everything was tried that
could be devised to torture a people into Episcopacy or rebellion. (51)

To prevent the people in Dumbartonshire from attending outlawed covenicles, the sheriff
employed spies to mix with the Covenanters and to then send soldiers to disrupt and
disband the meetings. The records of the burgh of Dumbartonshire document the
persecution and sufferings of those whose offence was no "more grievous than that of
worshipping God according to the dictates of his conscience." (52)

The specific part played by John Arrol, the council member of Dumbarton, is related in
these and subsequent events in a following chapter.

It was during this later period that the death of Captain Arrol was recorded. Captain
Arrol fought at the Battle of Drumclog against theCovenanters and was killed by
"Brownlee the Laird of Torfoot on 1 June 1679.' (53)

Another event which one author believes lead to some Arrols leaving the Highlands was
Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion in 1744-45. The author. Sir Robert Purvis, states that
some Arrols from Dumbartonshire were involved in the rebellion that took place in
1745-1746. After Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat at Culloden, it was not safe for his
followers to return to their native glens. As a result, the Arrols, who had joined the
rebellion, left the glens for the safety of the lowlands and the south side of the Clyde
after the collapse of the rebellion in the battle of Culloden. These Arrols migrated to the
Johnstone and Paisley area of Renfrewshire. This tale is told in the biography of Sir
William Arrol. (54) Whether the story is true or not is difficult to confirm. A review
of the muster roll of Prince Charlie's Army reveals that no Arrols/ArroU/Arrells are listed
as serving in his army. However, the compiler of the rolls makes it clear that the listing
is not necessarily complete. (55)

We do not know the full extent to which the related events led the Arrol/Arrolls to leave
the Highlands There can be no doubt, however, that the greatest impetus to migrate to
the urban centers was the abysmal economic conditions in the Highlands, combined with
the Industrial Revolution. The economic situation during the early decades of the
nineteenth century in the Highlands was distressing. This resulted in mass migration
from the Highlands and major emigration from Scotland, and tragically, for the Highland
population, the 'Clearances'.

The Highland Clearances took place during the period 1790 and 1850. The Scottish
Chiefs and lairds (landowners) preferred the great cheviot sheep to their clansmen, the
tenants on the land. The uprooting of the Highlanders, and the final destruction of their
society in favor of wool and mutton, was actively supported by the law in Scotland and
by the established Church. The majority of those uprooted went to the slums of Glasgow
or died from fever or smallpox on their way to Upper Canada and Australia. The


counties most affected by "The Clearances' were Caithness, Sutherland and Ross - all in
the far north of Scotland. (55) These counties are located considerably north of
Stirlingshire and Dumbartonshire, where the Arrols, Arrolls and Arrells resided during
that time. Many of the Highlanders emigrated to Upper Canada, Nova Scotia and the
United States during this period, both as a result of The Clearances' and because of
famine conditions in the Highlands. In 1831, 58,000 people left Britam for Canada, and
in the following year the figure was above 66,000. In many mstances The Clearances'
involved forced eviction from the land as well as the burning of the highlander's
"wretched crofts'. The highlanders were driven from the homes where their ancestors had
lived for centuries by the landowners m order to utilize the land for the raising of sheep.

There are Arrolls in the Boston area of Massachusetts who trace their ancestry to Robert
R. Arroll who emigrated from Scotland via St. John's, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia
in the 1850's, and who ultimately settled m Nevvbur>'port, Massachusetts. In addition,
there are Arrells in Minnesota and Oregon who trace their ancestry to the Sorel and
Yamaska area of Quebec. The ancestry of these Arrells is France, not Northern Ireland
or Scotland. (See Part IV, Pages 407-438.)

This brief historical summary' should ser\'e as an overview of the period during which the
Arrol/Arroll/Arrells resided in the glens and the Highland areas before their migration to
the urban areas. Although the Arrols migrated from the Highlands during the 1600's and
1700's, they do not appear to have left Scotland for Canada or the United States as many
Highlanders did during these times. A possible exception may have been Arrols or
Arrells who may have been involved in the Plantation of Ulster. Fairly extensive
research, however, failed to find specific evidence to indicate that this was the case. (See
Part III, Pages 345-406.)

In the late 1600's and early 1700's the records show that Arrol/Arrolls were living
principally in the three counties of Dumbartonshire, Lanarkshire, and Renfrewshire The
spelling Arrell is seldom to be found in the records at this time in Scotland, but it can
only be a matter of conjecture as to whether this is because those individuals with that
spelling migrated to Northern Ireland as a result of the Plantation of Ulster.

Many Arrols and Arrolls migrated from Stirlingshire to Helensburgh and then to Glasgow
and the surrounding areas. Other Arrol/Arrolls migrated directly from the glens near
Loch Lomond (where records show that they resided from the 1300's through the I600's)
directly to Renfrewshire, including the communities of Johnstone, Kilbarchin, Houston
and Paisley.

In the late 1700's and early 1800's there were a number of Arrol and Arroll families
residing in Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire as well as Dumbartonshire The microfiche
records of the Church of the Latter Day Saints lists about 50 names in Dumbartonshire
and Renfrewshire for births and marriages during the approximate period 1710 to 1855.
There are 140 names listed for Lanarkshire for births and marriages in these records for
the same period.


I Dumbartonshire

The earhest written records of the Arrols and Arrolls in the lowlands occur in
Dumbartonshire. There were many reasons for the Arrol, Arroll and Arrell families to
leave the highlands. The dominant reason was the dire economic circumstances of the

John Arrol was a council member of the burgh of Dumbarton. This John Arrol was
believed to have been bom circa 1625/1640 in Cashell, Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire,
and the son of Walter Arrol of Caldervan, also in the Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire.
John Arrol married Janet Buchanan and they had six children between 1649 and 1655.

The records of the burgh of Dumbarton document the activities of John Arrol on the
burgh council during the period 1681 through 1689. In 1681, "James, Duke of York,
during a trip to Dumbarton to revive the fading loyalty of the population, was made on
the 4th of October a burgess and guild brother of the burgh, along with many gentlemen
of his suite." A test oath was submitted to the council by the Duke of York which stated
that the signers would conform to the Act of Parliment of January, 1661 which, as
outlined in the previous chapter, annulled the Covenant, prohibited Synods from meeting
and made it illegal to alter the civil or ecclesiastical policy of the kingdom. The test oath
"appoint(ed) all persons of public trust, and particulalie magistrates, counsellors, and
clerks of burghs royall to take the test." John Arrol, as a council member, signed the

In December 1687 the King superseded the ordinary election by nominating such person
as he "judged most loyal and ready to promote his service." John Arrol was one of those
nominated and reappointed to be a council member by the King's proclamation.

In 1688 the burgh of Dumbarton was threatened by a number of broken Highlandmen
(men without or separated from a clan) who were seen in the vicinity of the burgh. The
danger from the Highlanders was dealt with by a force which, concentrating at
Dumbarton, spread itself over the disaffected districts in the north of the county. The
revolution was successful and, in 1689, the "blessings accruing from the Revolution were
not long in being felt, particularly in the lower or southern part of the county of
Dumbarton. Presbyterian ism was substituted for Prelacy as the established religion.
...ministers were restored... and oaths and tests of the old government were abolished,
trade revived, and to royal Burghs like Dumbarton was given the entire import and export
foreign trade of the country." In the north and northeastern parts of the county,
"unfortunately, there still lingered remnants of the turbulent clans, whose excesses had
led to so many conflicts." The last entry wherein John Arrol's name appears in the


Dumbarton Burgh records is dated 23 September 1689 when he signed an oath of
allegiance to King William and Queen Mary. (1)

Relationship between the Arrols to the Smollet and McAulav Families of Dumbartonshire

Two historical families of Dumbartonshire were the Smollet family and the McAuley
family. Records of these families are found in Dumbartonshire from the late 1400's
through the 1800's. It is during this period that the family name Arrol is found in
Dumbartonshire - the Arrols migrated the short distance from the southeast side of Loch
Lomond in Stirlingshire to Helensbourgh and Row in Dumbartonshire. The Smollet
family was found primarily in the Bonhill Parish of Dumbartonshire and they were active
in commerce and politics. They were shipowners, landowners, merchants, and burgesses.
There was also a renown novelist James Smollet was bom circa 1648. He married Jane
McAuley of Ardincaple. James Smollet was the Provost of Dumbarton in 1683 and filled
that office until 1686 when the ordinary election was superseded by the King's command.
In 1685 he was chosen Commissioner for the burgh to the Parliament which then met in
Edinburgh. Between that date and 1706, the year of the Union with England, he was
elected Commissioner to twelve successive Parliaments from Dumbarton. He was
frequently chosen ruling elder for the representatives in the Assembly and was even
appointed as Deputy-Lieutenant of the County in 1715. Toward the end of Melville's
Parliament he was made a Judge of the Commissary Court of Edinburgh. In 1698 he was
knighted by King William. Sir James Smollet died in 1731. (2)

The McAulays resided mainly in the Parish of Row. Sir Aulay McAulay was the head
of the McAulays. He first entered into alliances with the Clan Gregor, but, after they
were outlawed by edict, his alliances were directed against them. The McAulays were
land owners. In the mid 1600's Aulay McAulay exhibited an extravagance which
commenced the decline of this family and their holdings. His son, Archibald McAulay,
was a member of the same council in Dumbarton as John Arrol. Later he was succeeded
by his son, Aulay McAulay. (3)

During the years from 1681 to 1689 John Arrol was a councillor (spelled counsellor in
The History of Dumbartonshire) on the burgh council for Dumbarton. Alexander
McAulay and Archibald McAulay were also council members during this same period.
In addition, the Smollets were active as council members in Dumbarton from circa 1656
through the early 1700's. This included George Smollet, John Smollet, James Smollet
and Tobias Smollet. Tobias Smollet was provost of the council in 1696. John Arrol was
servitor to Commissary Smollet in Edinburgh circa 1 690's and early 1 700's. John married
Helen Currie on 19 April 1698 in Edinburgh. Helen was the daughter of William Currie,
a mariner, of Dumbarton. This was during the time when James Smollet was in the
Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and before the Union of Scotland with England in 1706.
Another John Arrol, baptized 22 May 1709, and who was later the parochial schoolmaster
in Row, married Janet McAulay, daughter of John McAulay. (4)


Although the line of descent of all of the above Arrols has not been determined, it is
more than likely that they were related to the Arrols of Helensburgh and Row who were
so prevalent in the area during this time.

The John Arrol who was the council member between 1681 and 1689 may have been
John Arrol, bom circa 1625/1640, the son of Walter Arrol of Caldervan, Stirlingshire.
John Arrol was bom in Cashell, Parish of Buchanan. His sister, Janet Arrol, is known
to have married Patrick McAuley of Row, Dumbartonshire, in 1667. It was his nephew,
John Arrol, baptized in 1 709 in Row, who became the parochial schoolmaster in Row.

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