Page last updated at 00:45 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Scots link to Native American tribe celebrated

By Laura Seawright
Digging Up Your Roots

Adrian Grant
Adrian Grant has been researching Ludovick's story

An extraordinary link between Scotland and a Native American Indian tribe is set to take centre stage at an International Clan gathering.

It is believed that up to a half of the Cherokee Nation could be descendants of Ludovick Grant, who was a laird's son from Creichie in Aberdeenshire.

A delegation from the tribe are planning a visit to the Clan Grant International Meeting this summer to discover the roots of their celebrated ancestor.

Ludovick Grant was captured while fighting for the Jacobite army in the battle of Preston in 1715 and was due to be hanged.

However, he escaped death and instead was transported to South Carolina, where he was an indentured servant.

Following his release from his seven years of servitude, he began working as a trader for the Cherokee people.

According to Marjorie Lowe, a descendent of Ludovick, the fact that he was the son of a Scottish laird would have been meaningless to the Cherokees.

Many of our Cherokee leaders were descended from this one intermarriage
Marjorie Lowe
Descendent of Ludovick

"Each person was judged on his own merits and they did not recognise any kind of social hierarchy except their matriarchal clan system," she told BBC Radio Scotland's Digging Up Your Roots programme.

"So Grant, no doubt, was accepted as a peaceful person who brought trade goods which they desired.

"Since Ludovick lived among the Cherokees for more than thirty years and intermarried we can surmise that he was accepted fully as an adopted Cherokee citizen."

Ludovick met a Cherokee girl known as Eughioote, and according to the Clan Grant, they had a daughter named Mary.

Seannachie Adrian Grant said: "Although Ludovick only had the one daughter with his Cherokee wife, nevertheless she went on to be the ancestress of so many Cherokees that a huge proportion - something like a third or a half - of all Cherokees now count Ludovick Grant as one of their ancestors."

Ms Lowe added: "Many of our Cherokee leaders were descended from this one intermarriage, others too numerous to mention, would include justices of the Cherokee supreme court and many council members."

Marjorie Lowe
Marjorie Lowe believes the Cherokees would have welcomed Ludovick

However, while creating a legacy with the Cherokees it also appears that Ludovick had left a wife behind in Scotland.

The laird's son had married a woman called Margaret Redwood in Edinburgh in 1710 - five years before he was captured and sent abroad.

In 1736 she sought a court order requiring Ludovick to act as a proper husband. This document, known as a Process of Adherence, was viewed as a first stage in seeking a divorce.

But Adrian Grant still has some sympathy for Ludovick.

"I think it's quite poignant that Margaret's daughter [from a previous marriage] was called Mary, and Ludovick called his own daughter Mary," he said.

"So one can't help feeling that he did have some regrets about the situation he found himself in.

"But then he was lucky to be alive, he really should have been hanged for his pains."

You can hear more about Ludovick Grant and his Cherokee connections by listening to Digging Up Your Roots, BBC Radio Scotland's family history programme, at 1200 GMT on Sunday, 10 January.

Print Sponsor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific