Alison Templeton Binnie, was born in Airdrie Scotland in 1776. This is her story as given to me by Barb Norbie her gr-gr-granddaughter.
I became the wife of John Binnie in 1803 and our life together was blessed with 10 wee bairn. The boys grew into fine young men. My son David left for America in 1847 and settled in the county of Kane. He was so delighted with the prospects here finding the soil so perfect for growing crops and he persuaded his brothers Robert, Henry and Alexander to make the journey here "for t' take advantage of the opportunities available to any one willin to come to this great land."
My darlin husband John had passed on (he was in his 100th yer) and so at the age of 74, I packed my belongins and embarked on the great journey. Along with my 3 sons, Robert's wife Agnes, and 6 of their children. We boarded the boat that would bring us across the sea to this grand country. It was in 1849 that our little clan sailed on the ship Khatadin for Dundee, Illinois.
Many families from our homeland had come here to settle. The Aberdeen North American Investment and Loan Co. had bought up large tracts of land in the northern portion of the state and Scottish banks in Chicago and Milwaukee financed immigrants. This financing made it possible for many of our countrymen to purchase land.
My son Alexander was able to acquire land on the west side of the river. That would be on Sleepy Hollow road between Higgin's road and the Huntly road. Alexander developed a farm there and I have lived with him and his family all this time.
It was not an easy in the beginning. For so many of us had so little. We tried to time our arrival in the spring so there would be time to plant and harvest before the first winter. For once winter arrived, it was more difficult to hunt and fish. We could bring only the bare necessities with us from home. A few tools, a Bible, a few pictures, a plow if there was room and most important a rifle. We brought as much money we could. Some of the women brought cuttins from shrubs and plants and seeds. The provisions we brought were just enough to keep us from starving.