Like most McMickings living in Canada I grew up with the
understanding that Thomas McMicking returned to Scotland in
1787 to marry and bring back a wife. That was the story I
heard and that is what is written in many family records.
However, the truth does not seem to conform to this belief.
Last month I was provided with information from a contact in
Scotland that Isabel Gass whom Thomas reportedly married in
Scotland was actually living in Greene County, New York, in
1787 having moved there as a young girl with her family in 1773. Interestingly, I already had this information in my own files but confess I did not give it much notice until, of course, I was confronted with different facts.
Needless to say this revelation caused some concern regarding what is displayed on the website and with the information we published online. However, with the help of several fellow McMickings we did arrive at a consesus that seems reasonable and likely.
It is the consensus that Thomas left Stamford in 1787 on route to Scotland on "family business". He was actually following his brother John who had left only a couple months earlier for the same purpose. We don't know what kind of business was transpired or about any interaction with their older brother William who we assume was still living in New Luce. But we do feel that both Thomas and John left together for the return trip home departing from Stranraer sometime after August of 1787.
They both would have taken a route to New York, as trips to PEI and New Brunswick did not make the voyage at that time of year. Upon landing in New York, they then made their way through familiar territory up the Delaware river to their old homestead in Tryon County, New York of some 8 years earlier. It is in this region that Thomas met and married Isabel Gass who was living not far from the Catskills on the farm of her father William. It is even possible that Thomas may have known her from when he lived in proximity to her 8-14 years earlier.
John also married, but did not return to Stamford. He initally settled in Albany County with his new bride and then moved his wife and young children to Bay Michigan near Detroit, which was part of Quebec Province until 1791, where he died around the age of 100.
Thomas returned to Stamford and introduced Isabella as his new bride to his sister Janet, uncle Peter, nieces and nephews and friends. Thomas probably told his children that he "left Stamford for Scotland and came back with a wife" which would be correct. But his children and their children could have easily interpreted that as "he left Stamford for Scotland to bring back a wife" which would not be entirely accurate - but which was passed down from one generation to another.
The aforementioned can not be positively proven. But that's okay. Most of what we know of the past is based on "probable" deduction. In this case we do know that both Thomas and John left for Scotland in 1787; we know that John married and did not return to Stamford; we know that Isabel Gass emmigrated to New York in 1773 and was living in Greene County in 1787; we know that Thomas and John almost certainly would have had to return to Upper Canada (Quebec Province) via New York; and finally, we do know that Thomas did marry Isabel and bring her back to Stamford as his new wife.