Clan Little Society (New Zealand & Australia) welcomes your visit. Since 1991 we have operated in this region and recently formed a Charitable Trust which was registered on 11-12-2013. Living throughout the Southern Hemisphere there are descendants of Scottish migrants who are proud of their ancestry. Scottish ANZACs are New Zealanders and Australians who choose to celebrate their heritage and culture in the new lands they learned to call home. If you are connected or interested in your heritage please send us a message.
Scottish migration to New Zealand and Australia dates back to the earliest period of European colonisation. In New Zealand a large proportion of Pākehā New Zealanders are of Scottish descent. However, identification as “British” or “European” New Zealanders can sometimes obscure their origin. Many Scottish New Zealanders have Māori or other non-European ancestry.
The majority of Scottish immigrants settled in the South Island. All over New Zealand, the Scots developed different means to bridge the old homeland and the new. Many Caledonian societies were formed, well over 100 by the early twentieth century, who helped maintain Scottish culture and traditions. From the 1860s, these societies organized annual Caledonian Games throughout New Zealand. The Games were sports meets that brought together Scottish settlers and the wider New Zealand public. The Games gave Scots settlers a path to cultural integration as Scottish New Zealanders.
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The Official Census reported that In 2006, the number of people born in Scotland was recorded as 29,016, making it the eighth most common place of birth. In 1956, the figure was 46,401, making Scotland the second most common place of birth. These figures only include people born in Scotland, not those New Zealanders who claim a Scottish identity through their parents, grandparents, or even further back. In addition, many New Zealanders come from mixed origins, with Scottish New Zealanders co-identifying as Māori or another ethnic group. Over the Tasman in Australia, Scottish Australians are residents of Australia who are of Scottish ancestry. According to the 2011 Australian census 130,204 Australian residents were born in Scotland, while 1,792,600 claimed Scottish ancestry, either alone or in combination with another ancestry. This is the fourth most commonly nominated ancestry and represents 8.9% of the total population of Australia.
The links between Scotland and Australia are long and stretch back to the first British expedition of the Endeavour under command of Lieutenant James Cook (himself the son of a Scottish ploughman), who navigated and charted the east coast of Australia, making first landfall at Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. The first Scottish settlers arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, including three of the first six Governors of New South Wales: John Hunter, Lachlan Macquarie (often referred to as the father of Australia) and Thomas Brisbane. The majority of Scots arriving in the early colonial period were convicts: 8,207 Scottish convicts, of the total 150,000 transported to Australia, made up about 5% of the convict population. The Scottish courts were unwilling to punish crimes deemed to be lesser offences in Scots Law by deportation to Australia. Scottish law was considered more humane for lesser offences than the English and Irish legal systems.
From 1793-1795 a group of political prisoners, later called the Scottish Martyrs, were transported to the colonies. They were not all Scots, but had been tried in Scotland. Their plight as victims of oppression was widely reported and the subsequent escape of one of them, Thomas Muir, in 1796 caused a sensation and inspired the poetry of Robert Burns. The majority of immigrants, ‘free settlers’, in the late 18th century were Lowlanders from prominent wealthy families. Engineers like Andrew McDougall and John Bowman arrived with experience in building corn mills, while others were drawn to Australia by the prospects of trade. William Douglas Campbell, Robert Campbell, Charles Hook, Alexander Berry Laird of the Shoalhaven, were some of the first merchants drawn to the colonies.
The links between New Zealand and Australia are strong and in modern times there is a freedom of movement over borders much as between Scotland and England.
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