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Women in History of Scots Descent

Terry Cochrane

Where we tell you our aims for this section.

  1. Frances Wright, Woman's Advocate
    Frances Wright was born in 1795 in Scotland but had an early interest in America. After educating herself from a college library, she visited the United States when she was 23. During her travels, she wrote Views of Society and Manners in America. This travelogue hails American life as progressive in contrast to the backwardness of the Old World.
  2. Mary Lyon, First Woman Principle in America
    Mary Lyon was born on February 28, 1797, in Buckland, Massachusetts. She started teaching school in 1814.
  3. Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman
    Whistle-stopping in 1948, President Harry Truman often ended his campaign talk by introducing his wife as "the Boss" and his daughter, Margaret, as "the Boss's Boss," and they smiled and waved as the train picked up steam.
  4. Flora MacDonald
    Flora was a heroine to Prince Charles Stewart but also to many highlanders.
  5. Elizabeth Mure
    The 1st wife (though never queen) of Robert II, is a shadowy figure of whom little is known.
  6. Mary Seton
    Mary Seton was the only one of the Maries not to marry. She remained in service to the queen and shared her captivity in England for 15 years.
  7. Mary Beaton
    She was called Beaton because it rhymed with Seton. The Beatons of Fife were one of the most powerful clans in Scotland in the 16th century.
  8. Mary, Queen of Scots
    There has always been a fascination about   Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Her life has been romanticized in novels and in the movies. However, the story of Mary is a great tragedy in history.
  9. Margaret Tudor
    Margaret Tudor was the first daughter born to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was married to James IV of Scotland on 8 August, 1503 at Holyrood House.
  10. Winifred Maxwell
    Countess of Nithsdale, d. at Rome, May, 1749. She was the daughter of William, first Marquis of Powis, who followed James II into exile. She is famous in history for the heroic deliverance of her husband from the Tower on 23 Feb., 1716.
  11. Sheena Easton
    She is the youngest of six children (two brothers -- Robert and Alex and three sisters -- Marilyn, Annessa, and Morag). Underwent  formal vocal training before launching her career in 1979 with EMI Records. Her eponymous 1981 debut album spawned several U.K. Top 10 singles, while in the U.S. "Morning Train" reached No. 1, lifting Sheena Easton into the Top 30.
  12. Earl of Nithsdale's Daughter and Wife
    The Fourth Earl, Charles, married the beautiful daughter of the Fourth Earl of Nithsdale, Lady Mary Maxwell (see Caerlaverock Castle, and the new biography mentioned below). She bore 17 children between 1695 an 1711. In the winter of 1715 her sister-in-law, Lady Nithsdale, rode to London where she successfully organised Charles's escape from the notorious Tower where he had been sentenced to death for his part in the Jacobite Rising.
  13. Mary Fairfax Greig Sommerville
    Mary became one of the leading minds in mathematics and physical science. She published several books demonstrating her exceptional grasp of the science.
  14. Mary Macarthur
    Mary decided to pursue a career instead, and in 1903 moved to London where she became Secretary of the Women's Trade Union League.
  15. Cicely Hamilton
    On 23rd December, 1909, the newspaper of the Women's Freedom League, The Vote, wrote an account of how Cicely Hamilton and Bessie Hatton formed the Women Writers Suffrage League.
  16. Rachel & Margaret McMillan
    Rachel and Margaret helped the workers during the London Dock Strike. The continued to be involved in spreading the word of Christian Socialism to industrial workers.
  17. Ethel Mary Steuart
    Only daughter of John A. Stewart, a founder-member of The Stewart Society.
  18. Elizabeth Mackintosh
    Josephine Tey is a pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh, b. 1896, Inverness, Scotland; d. 1952,  London.
  19. Greer Garson
    Greer Garson, born to an Ulster Scot family and a receiver of the Wallace award.
  20. Elizabeth Taylor
    This great actress was born in London in 1932.  She was the daughter of an Art dealer that is of Scottish Descent that lived in Kansas City Missouri.  Elizabeth's mother was a Rosemond, also of American-Scots descent.
  21. Grandma Moses
    The Mark of the Scots has this famous painter listed as an American Scot.

  22. Elizabeth Arden
    She opened her first beauty salon in New York in 1907, forming the cornerstone of an international empire of salons, beauty products, and chic image. Elizabeth was a Canadian Scot.
  23. Dame Joan Sutherland
    She was born in Sydney, Australia on 7 November 1926; of Australian Scots ancestry. Her mother taught her until she was nineteen, when she trained formally in Sydney with John and Aida Dickens. She sang in concerts, oratorios and broadcasts throughout Australia.
  24. Marie L. McLaughlin
    In publishing these "Myths of the Sioux," I deem it proper to state that I am of one-fourth Sioux blood. My maternal grandfather, Captain Duncan Graham, a Scotchman by birth, who had seen service in the British Army, was one of a party of Scotch Highlanders who in 1811 arrived in the British Northwest by way of York Factory, Hudson Bay, to found what was known as the Selkirk Colony
  25. Lady Nairn
    Lady Nairne was an astute collector of song and wrote some of Scotland's best-known songs, yet today there are few people that are familiar with her work. It doesn't help that some of her songs and prose have have been attributed to Robert Burns, James Hogg or Walter Scott.
  26. St. Margaret of Scotland
    Margaret at last consented to be wed, and when the first primroses were beginning to star the woods, and spring hastened to breathe a softer welcome to the English bride, the royal marriage took place at Dunfermline in the happy Eastertide.
  27. Lady MacBeth was Upholding Her Rights
    Kenneth MacAlpin, King of the Scots and Pics united the two races. According to MacAlpin's law of Tanistry, the Kings of Scotland were to marry the Pictish princesses whom held the lands of Scotland. The First Born daughter princess was intended to inherit her father's estate. This was not the case in Lady MacBeth's case.
  28. Martha Graham and Modern American Dance
    The 1930's are very often seen as the `historical period' of Modern American Dance. In these years modern theatre dance came to be accepted as an art form. There are a few pioneers in modern dance at the beginning of the century. Of them, dancer and choreographer Martha Graham had the most lasting influence.
  29. Juliette Gordon Low
    Juliette Gordon Low, second generation Scot, founder of Girl Scouts in the United States.
  30. Marjory Bruce
    Marjory Bruce, Princess of Scotland, was the only child of the 1st marriage of Robert I, The Bruce. She was born probably in December 1296, the same eventful month that Edward I of England, the self-styled 'Hammer of the Scots', invaded Scotland and laid siege to Berwick.
  31. Euphemia Ross
    The 2nd wife and only queen of Robert II, was the daughter of Hugh de Ross, 4th Earl of Ross. She was probably born between about 1325 and 1330, but this is very uncertain.
  32. Mary Fleming
    This Mary's ancestry was not only noble but royal as well. James IV was her grandfather, as well as Mary Stuart's grandfather.
  33. Mary Livingstone
    She was very robust and athletic and the others called her Lust. Her father was one of Mary Stuart's guardians and sailed wither her to France.
  34. Mary of Guise
    1515–60, queen consort of James V of Scotland and regent for her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots.
  35. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, the present British sovereign, and the widow of the late King George VI.
  36. Co-operative Women's Guild
    An Early Benevolent Ladies Group for Scotland and N. England is founded.
  37. Dr Winifred Rushforth OBE
    In 1978 Winifred, now 93, was instrumental in setting up the Wellspring as a successor to the Davidson Clinic.
  38. Helen Gynne-Vaughan
    Helen Fraser was born into a Scottish aristocratic family in 1879. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College her parents were shocked when she asked to study science at university.
  39. Jennie Lee
    Lee was appointed arts minister and was responsible for what Harold Wilson later called the greatest achievement of his Labour Government, the setting up of the Open University.

Quaker Women | “Ahead of Their Time”:
A Talk in Celebration of International Women’s Day
In the mid-nineteenth century, The Edinburgh Ladies' Emancipation Society were one of the leading groups in Scotland who protested to abolish the slave trade. In this four-part series, writer, comedian and broadcaster Susan Morrison shines a light on several Scottish women from the 1700s to 1900s who, against all odds, achieved great things for the many. This online lecture was produced in collaboration with the Scottish History Society in celebration of International Women’s Day 2021. Find out more:

  1. Chrystal Macmillan
    In 1908 she became the first woman to plead before the House of Lords when she advocated that women graduates should be given the vote.
  2. Countess Isabella of Mar
    Isabella was born to the tenth Earl of Mar, Lord Donald MacGylocher and Helen of Wales.  Isabella was a wealthy young woman at the time of her marriage to Robert Bruce the Earl of Carrick.  Her lands were most of the northeastern section of Inverness.
  3. Princess Kaiulani
    The haunting story of the Scottish-Hawaiian Princess Victoria Kaiulani; the fragile beauty who, as heir-apparent was groomed all her life to be the future Queen of Hawaii.
  4. Norma Jeane
    Born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles General Hospital, her mother, Gladys, listed the fathers address as unknown. Marilyn would never know the true identity of her father. Duncan Bruce that states that her Mother's side was Monroe from Scotland and related to President Monroe.
  5. Sharon Christa McAuliffe
    1948. McAuliffe is from Ulster Scot descent. Her goal as the first teacher in space was to "humanize the Space Age by giving a perspective from a non-Astronaut."
  6. Katherine Hepburn
    Katharine Hepburn was born in 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut. Her father was a doctor and the family was very well off financially.  Dr. Hepburn was a direct descendent of James Hepburn 4th Earl of Boswell.
  7. Stewart, Elinore Pruitt
    Letters of a Woman Homesteader.
  8. Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid
    Poet and author of "TO THE COUNTESS OF LOUDOUN"
  9. Anna Howard Shaw
    My father's ancestors were the Shaws of Rothiemurchus, in Scotland, and the ruins of their castle may still be seen on the island of Loch-an-Eilan, in the northern Highlands.
  10. Margaret Oliphant
    By the time of her death, Margaret Oliphant had produced over 100 novels, almost 30 works of non-fiction and other articles for Blackwood's Magazine.
  11. Martha "Mittie" Bulloch Roosevelt
    The entire household had worked for days to prepare for the Thursday evening in 1853 when Mittie Bulloch, the youngest daughter in the family, married Theodore Roosevelt of New York City.
  12. Lady Aberdeen
    This is a link to an archive of "The Canadian journal of Lady Aberdeen, 1893-1898". Aberdeen and Temair, Ishbel Gordon, Marchioness of, 1857-1939.
  13. Judy Garland
    From the moment she stepped on to the stage, at the Edinburgh Empire the diminutive singer was eager to please and was quick to tell the audience she felt at home in Scotland and that her Grandfather's people were called Milne originally from Aberdeen.
  14. Helen Walker
    A brave person who got a pardon from the King for her sister.
  15. Song Writers
    Here we list some of Scotland's most significant female song writers. Lady Grizel Baillie, Miss Alison Rutherford, Miss Jean Elliot, Lady Anne Lindsay and Caroline, Baroness Nairne.
  16. Mary Slessor
    The Pioneer Missionary of Calabar.
  17. Rhona Martin
    Team leader of Scotland's Gold medal Curling team at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.
  18. Women of Covenanting Times
    Margaret Wilson and Lady Grizel Baillie.
  19. Barbara Dickson
    A great singer and actress.
  20. J K Rowling
    The author of the Harry Potter books.
  21. Elsie Maud Inglis
    Ministered to the stricken people in Serbia.
  22. Ladies of the Covenant
    Memoirs of Distinguished Scottish Female Characters by Rev. James Anderson
  23. Elizabeth Melville
    Lady Culross, the daughter of the statesman and courtier Sir James Melville of Halhill, was a fervent religious radical who died in 1640.
  24. Betsy Miller
    Scotland first woman Ship Captain.
  25. Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh
    SHE'S a Bollywood actress, a high-flying lawyer and is now bidding to be the first Asian MEP for Scotland.
  26. Marjory Kennedy Fraser
    One of the most important collectors and popularisers of Gaelic song at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  27. Ladies of the Reformation in Scotland
  28. Margaret Sheila Mackellar
    A great role model in terms of charity work and contributions to nursing during wartime
  29. Mary Somerville
  30. Catherine Sinclair
  31. Isabella MacPherson
    A Devoted Life by John MacPherson (pdf)
  32. Katie Liu Leung
  33. The James Hutton Institute
    Women in Science (pdf)
  34. Lisa Milne
    Soprano (pdf)
  35. Devorgilla
    Countess of Balliol, Foundress of Balliol College, etc.
  36. Eunice Guthrie Murray
    She was the first woman to stand for election in Scotland.
  37. A New Trumpet? The History of Women in Scotland 1300–1700
    By Elizabeth Ewan, University of Guelph (2009) (pdf)
  38. Winnie Drinkwater
  39. Lady Charlotte Susan Maria Bury
  40. Jessie Cadell
    Novelist and Orientalist
  41. Margaret Calderwood
    Diarist, was a daughter of Sir James Steuart of Coltness, bart., and sometime solicitor-general for Scotland.
    A keen observer of men and things, and her remarks are shrewd and pointed, while her writings have additional value as preserving the Scottish words and idioms prevalent in her time in educated society.
  42. Mrs. John Elder of Govan
    Public Benefactor
  43. Susan Boyle

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