Research documents for Isobel Douglas

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names

This page is a stub.  You can help improve it.


Isabel?  Isobel? Isabela? Isabella? Isabelle?


This is a Working File. More to follow.


Who was Isabel Douglas?  There are several stories about how she came to be in America, and much research has been carried out to find out her true roots.


Which of these is her true story? Are any of them true?

•  Lord Archibald DOUGLAS, of Bothwell Castle, Scotland, whose only daughter, Isabella, having a desire to see this continent, prevailed upon her father to consent to her coming to America, in company with a lady friend

•  In the year 1707, as near as can be told, a daughter was born to Sir Charles and Lady Douglas, in Scotland, who was destined to become the progenitor of one of the old New Jersey families.

•  ..a great, great grandchild of old Lord Sholto Douglas, according to whose decree made when his daughter Isabel ran away to America in 1647.

•  In 1647, according to the story told by the records in possession of the Garrison family, Lady Isabel Douglas ran away from the Bonjedward Castle, Scotland, to America because of her new stepmother, whom she hated.

•  Lady Douglas, the daughter of the Earl of Douglas, fell in love with a young man whom the Earl forbade her to marry. The couple sailed for America in separate ships and Lady Douglas arrived safely in New York, but never heard of her lover again.

•  Lord Archibald DOUGLAS, of Bothwell Castle, Scotland, whose only daughter, Isabella, having a desire to see this continent, prevailed upon her father to consent to her coming to America, in company with a lady friend... they were was seized by a piratical crew of Algiers and robbed of all their effects.

•  Isabelle Douglass, was a daughter of Lord Archibald Douglass (a son of James Douglass), born in 1691, at Bothwell Castle, Scotland and died in 1781, at Glasgow. Her coming to America and subsequent experiences before her marriage were very trying.

•  Isabel quarreled with her stepmother and ran away from home in the year 1742, and having a desire to see America sailed with a lady friend for this country, and while on the way over the vessel she was on was seized by Algerian pirates and they were robbed of all their effects and were landed in this country destitute.



Contents of a folder containing documents related to the search for the origins of Isobel Douglas



Research by Bonnie Jean Everhart, who was commissioned by Reuben Freeman, of Gettysburg, USA


Note:  This research includes much useful information, but also contains some basic errors.  The document should be used for background information and not be taken at face value.

    •  Page 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as images.  Complete letter as a pdf.

    •  A follow-up letter with notes. [pdf]

    •  Attachments A, B, C and D. [pdfs]

    •  Listing of photographs, with descriptions, which themselves were not supplied to the Douglas Archives.

Several, if not all, of these subjects are included elsewhere in the Douglas Archives and can be located using the search function on this page.


Further research documents

  • Benjamin and Isobel baptism certificate - full page - extract
  • Church of Scotland records as a source reference [pdf]
  • Fortner/Douglas depositions [pdf]
  • Old Parish Register (OPR) index with maps [pdf]
  • Notes on St Conan's Church [pdf]

Handwritten letters from descendants




  • The 1641 map of Glasgow is important as it puts Blythswood north of the river Clyde, which flows through the present day city.  Past research has focused on Blythswood being in Renfrewshire, south of the river, where there are houses/farms named 'Mains', as shown on the Renfrewshire maps.  The Douglas links between the Douglas of Mains family and the Douglas/Campbell (they frequently changed names!) of Blythswood, who were to inherit Mains (more name changing), are important to one version of the Isabella story.
  • In Attachment C, there is a suggestion the the Douglas of Mains family originates in Mains, located close to the later site of Douglas Castle.  For more on this, see Parkhall.
  • Margaret Ward's letter refers to 'Lord Douglas, Sir Charles Sholto Douglas'.  He would either be a Lord, or a knight (Sir) - not both.

See also:






Sources for this article include:
  • William W. Anderson, Ventura, California

  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted


    Back to top


    The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

    The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

    As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

    Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

    Contact Us

    Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024