Lydia Robertson

What do you know about the reasons for emigration from Scotland?

Scottish lines emigrated after the Jacobite rebellion by way of transportation, then almost 100 and 200 years later to seek their fortune to escape poverty and famine, in short to escape English tyranny.

If you live overseas yourself, where do you live and can you say a few words about your personal Scottish diaspora story?

I live in Brooklyn NY.

Have any of your ancestors or members of your family emigrated? If so, where to? And do you know anything about their story overseas?

My most recent Scottish family members, my paternal grandfather and his parents, emigrated to Massachusetts in the early 20th century from Glasgow, Paisley and Aberdeen. My maternal great, great great… grandparents in the late 18th century were moved to Ireland first and then to the New Haven area in CT. There they helped build the Erie Canal, moved to Ohio and became famous politicians and then on to Texas where they started a major hardware chain, owned the railroad north and helped build Galveston, TX.

What do you think is the legacy of the Scots abroad?

Scotland has always produced incredible scholars, builders, artists and philanthropists. You can’t throw a stone without hitting something built, designed or improved upon by a Scot or a person of Scottish decent.

Ending with something light-hearted: what did you think when first looking at the image called ‘Piper Kerr and Emperor penguin’?

Whose toes are colder and why isn’t the penguin clapping?

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