Scottish Weavers Come to Thompsonville

In April of 2007 I traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to attend the New England Regional Conference.  This was an opportunity to do research on my Barclay and Goss families. 

Enfield Historical Society

I visited The Enfield Historical Society and talked with Mr. Anthony Secondo the President.  Mr. Secondo recommended the book about the carpet industry in Enfield and Thompsonville. 

After our talk I wandered the Enfield Museum looking at the displays.  I did review the names of the Shaker cemetery listing they had posted but did not see any Barclay names.

Mr. Secondo told me about some houses built by the Scottish weavers and told me where to go to see these houses.  He remembered the name Barclay and said it was the name of a street that was now nonexistent due to development.  I did find the area and the houses.

He suggested this book: 

Broadlooms and Businessmen: A History of the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Company (Harvard Studies in Business History), by John S. Ewing and Nancy P. Norton. 

The background and company material for this book is housed at the Harvard Business School.  They do not allow outside researchers and genealogists to do research at the school.  The chances that I might find the names of John and Margaret Barclay among the papers is a long shot. I am hoping for a list of workers which is not given in the book.    

Apparently the carpet company would recruit weavers from Scotland and then bring them over to the U.S. to work in the carpet factories.  The Scottish company that did the recruiting of the weavers is the Gregory, Thomson & Co. (page 46.) .   These Scottish weavers were brought over in about 1829. 

The Enfield Historical Society Website has this article about the Thompsonville Carpet Factory:

I find this idea of the Scottish weavers very interesting.  Does it have anything to do with my Barclay family, I don’t know at this time.

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