The Diaspora

under construction

How many Lobbans emigrated?

I have used the index of Lobban/Loban individuals in the Syd Lobban Collection of Trees to estimate what fraction emigrated. To do this I used the places of birth and death, and where these were indicated with doubt I looked at Syd’s notes in order to classify them. I separated people not born in Scotland (almost all descendants of the emigrants) and the people for whom death place was not known. The results are shown in the chart below, and of a total of about 2400 people, 11% emigrated, and they generated as offspring about 18% of the total. But given that 22% of the people have unknown death places, I then calculated the percent who emigrated out of the percent born in Scotland with known deaths (subset of 1442 people, 260 emigrated*), and the bottom line is 18% emigrated. As a point of comparison, The Scotsman stated, “A significant proportion of people born in Scotland – at least 20 per cent – live elsewhere in the UK or overseas, according to a 2009 Scottish Government report. ”

Diaspora statistics based on Lobban/Loban individuals in Syd Lobban’s Collection of Trees (total 2410). Data in the middle column shown in pie chart below.
Fate of Lobban and Loban individuals in Syd Lobban’s Collection of Trees, based on my index. Numbers in percentages of 2410 total. “Born outside Scotland” implies that they also died there and distinguishes them from Emigrated who were born in Scotland but left. Click to enlarge

* To be clear, this is not the total number of Lobbans+Lobans who emigrated, as there would likely have been a similar fraction of those with unknown places of death. In addition there are founders known overseas who are not in any of Syd’s trees.


I also coded those who were soldiers killed in wars (mostly World War 1 and 2, but one in the Spanish Civil War). More about them under the WW1 and WW2 pages (see tabs).

More to come: I am still working on where they went (mostly England, Canada, US, and Australia) and when, but I now have a list of who emigrated.  There are 260 individuals, but many emigrated as families.  I will use a cut off date of AD 1920 for privacy reasons, and also because in the 20th Century migration became much more common. (Look at the 1881 distribution map to see that in that year most of the Lobbans and Lobans were still in Scotland.)

Where did they go?


United States (and former British colonies)



New Zealand


Streets named after a Lobban/Loban may give clues as to where the families went, but we have not been able to do much more than locate the streets and  guess which immigrant family the streets commemorate (see Trivia)

When did they leave?


The bigger picture of the Scottish Diaspora

References for exploration:
Edinburgh U. Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies
Angela McCarthy, 2012. The Scottish Diaspora since 1815, Oxford.
Tanja Bueltmann, Andrew Hinson, Graeme Morton, 2013. The Scottish Diaspora. Edinburgh.



Page created by Chris S. Lobban,  27 Nov 2018, last revised  28 Jan 2019.