Letters of Alexander McAllister, North Carolina, 1770–1775
Alexander McAllister [? – 1797] was descended from the family of McAllister of Loup, which originated with Alastair Mor, a younger son of Donald of Islay, Lord of the Isles, who died in 1299. The estate of Loup was the seat of the main branch of the Kintyre McAllisters to which Alexander belonged and was situated on West Loch Tarbert, Kintyre, Argyleshire, two miles north of Clachan. One of the letters in the McAllister papers was from Angus McAllister, IIth of Loup, the chief of the clan. Other McAllister estates not far from Clachan were Ballinakill, Alexander's home and the residence of his cousin John Boyd, and Ronachan, where James McAllister, one of Alexander's correspondents, lived.
In the late 1730s, a group of Highlanders, among whom was Alexander's father, Coll McAllister, decided to emigrate to North Carolina with their families, hoping to find a better life than the one that post-Union Scotland had offered them. Most of the families, if not all, were related to each other in one way or another, and most had substantial assets in property. Coll McAllister was the fiar of Ballinakill, which had been in the family since 1717. He sold his lands to pay for his emigration and that of his wife, Janet McNeill (a sister of another of the emigrators, Dugald McNeill of Losset), and his children, Hector, Alexander, Mary, Grisella, and Isabella.