Several events had taken place in the life of George and Alexander’s father before the Civil War began. John Barclay naturalized as a citizen in 1855. This document was found in the records of the Territory of Minnesota, Scott Co., Declarations of Intent #118 at the Scott County Historical Society:
Here is the best interpretation of the handwriting:
Territory of Minnesota, County of Scott – I John Barclay do and on my oath declare that I first arrived in the United States about the fifteen day of November in the year 1833. That I have since that time continued to reside in the United Sates, and that it is bona fide my intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to denounce forever all allegiance and fidelity which I’m _____ to any foreign ___, Potentate, State or Sovereignty and particularly all allegiance and fidelity which I have to Victoria I, Queen of Great Britain of whom I have heretofore been a Subject. Subscribed and sworn to this 12th day of June A.D. 1855 before Mr. G. Ab_____dorf, Clerk. – Territory of Minnesota, Scott Co., Sign by John Barclay.
I find this document to be both wonderful and frustrating.
So far I have not been able to find anything that fits the date of November 15, 1833 for John Barclay coming into the U.S. I still have more researching to do regarding John’s immigration. The possibility that he came in through Canada is not something to ignore. There were weavers in the area around Ottawa who came to homestead. If he was connected to the Scottish weavers that came to Thompsonville, Connecticut to work in the carpet factory that adds a little more of a challenge to this puzzle. Thompsonville is part of Enfield, Connecticut.
The vague reference to Queen Victoria without specifically mentioning Scotland is frustrating. This is however typical of most naturalizations done through the courts. The other possibility is that John was in England for a while before he immigrated to the US. This document catalogued under Declaration of Intention so that implies there is another document finalizing it but I have not been able to locate one.
I attended a lecture in April 2010 at the National Genealogical Society Conference by John Philip Colletta. John stated that people would frequently forget 20 years later the exact date of their arrival in the United States. They might remember the day but the year could be wrong, so broaden your search.
If he immigrated in 1833 that means he has been in this country 20 years by the time I pick up his trail if he truly was born in 1801 and he appears in Eagle Creek, Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota. According to his son Alexander’s probate file the first son John A. Barclay would have been born about 1836 if the age given is correct. The Minnesota census have the son John Barclay living in Sibley Co., Minnesota as born in Scotland.
So I have a puzzle and it will be a very good day when I finally figure all this out. Meanwhile lets take a look at John Barclay’s patent for his land in Shakopee, Minnesota.