Emigrants to USA

United States of America (and the former British colonies)


There are records in Syd Lobban’s trees of some 50 people named Lobban or Loban emigrating to the USA before 1920, some via Canada. The number includes two Lobban women already married before they emigrated — because they are in the database by their maiden names.  However, this represents only 27 events when we group families (husband+wife+children or siblings or cousins). The earliest was before 1759, most were in the 1880s, 1900s and 1910s.

A disclaimer:  Since I tracked emigrations by where people died, modified when possible by any actual emigration information, I had some problems because many going to US went in via Canada, or lived mostly in Canada but happened to die in US (e.g., because children went there). Thus some people in the list may be incorrectly categorized as USA or Canada. This only affects the numbers; the stories below are clearly emigrants to the USA.

If your family’s story is not here and you think it should be, or if you want to correct or add to what is here, please contact me lobban (at) one-name.org.

Below is a brief sketch of some of the 18th and 19th Century arrivals.

Before 1850

The earliest Lobban to establish in the US, seems to have been John Lobban (1734–1822). Apparently born 7 Jun 1734 in Longside Parish, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire; we have not found a birth/baptism record in Scottish files and this date may have been calculated from his very explicit gravestone (image below). No plausible connection to earlier Lobbans is known from records but we have recently established with Y DNA that the ancestry of this branch is with the Urquhart Lobbans, of the Moray Lobbans.  His story has been told in The Garth Family: Descendants of John Garth of Virginia, 1734-1986 by Rosalie E.R. Davis, and printed by Thomson-Shore, Inc., Dexter, Michigan, summarized on this website in Malcolm Lobban’s book, pp. 44–47. John is said to have run away from home at age 12 (i.e., in 1746) and emigrated as an indentured servant to the Northern Neck of Virginia, whence he removed to Culpeper before his term of service expired. He was in Albemarle County, Virginia, August 1759, when he witnessed a deed there. He married Mary Ann Garth of Virginia in 1764 and they had 10 children. Among these, two daughters, Sarah and Mary Garth, married Murrell brothers, Jesse and John respectively, descendants of a Quaker settler in Virginia, George Murrell (1652–1710). After Mary Ann died in 1785, John married  Elizabeth Copeland.  He bought 99 acres of land in Amherst for 10 pounds in  1784. His great grandson Gabriel Alexander Lobban (1839–1926) settled in Missouri. The business tycoon and automobile designer  Errett Lobban Cord (1894–1974) was Gabriel’s grandson. (Virginia Lobbans of Urquhart Line)

The following except from Jesse L. Murrell’s Journal, Book 1, June 16, 1885 to December 7, 1912 (contributed to http://www.kykinfolk.com/adair/Murrell_Journal.htm by Mark Murrell and to Ancestry.com by David Allen Murrell), gives the following story, which, despite the unusual spellings, clearly is about John Lobban (1734–1822), m. Mary Ann Garth:

My great, great grandparents on the Lobbin side were John Lobbin and Mary Ann Gath. Great great grandpa Lobbin was born in 1733 in Aberdeen, Scotland. When at the age of eleven years his stepmother whipped him for letting a cow step on his half-sister’s foot, and he decided to leave home for it: so he promised a steamship company to shovel coal for them for his ride, which he did but soon became very blue when of course it was too late. He arrived in America alright and settled in Louisa County, Virginia, where at the age of twenty-eight he married Mary Ann Gath, who was hardly twelve. After they were married, he came in for his dinner one day and found her playing with the little Negroes without any dinner prepared. He corrected her for it but never had to again. Their children were Peggie or Margarett, Nancy, Betsy and Jesse who were twins, Bill, Mary, Patsy, John, and James.

The connection to the Murrells of Kentucky is through John and Mary Ann’s daughter Sarah Elizabeth (1775–1864), m. Jesse Murrell (1774–1842).

John Lobban of Virginia gravestone in Allen-Duncan Cemetery, Woods Mill, Nelson County, Virginia. Inscription reads: “John Lobban. Dec’d July the 15, 1822 aged 88 yr one month and 8 days.” Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92972919.


But even earlier, George Logan (1669–1720)–whose grandfather was John Loban (1615–1661), m. Margaret Watt (1614–1668)–arrived in South Carolina in 1693. The grandfather had moved to Aberdeen where the children’s names were recorded as Logan.  George’s father Patrick Logan moved to London about 1667 and George and William  were born there. George was a merchant and factor for people in Charleston but did not live there himself.  He was a Colonel in the militia. His mother also died in Charleston (1700);  she joined him there after her second husband died in 1696 but not because of it. George Logan is listed in Dobson, D. The Original Scots Colonists of Early America Supplement: 1607-1707. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1998. 185p. (search in Ancestry); there is no Lobban or Loban in that book. (Logan Line of Urquart Lobbans)

In 1835, the Alexander Lobban family of Turriff, Aberdeenshire, emigrated to Atlas, Michigan. Alexander (1784–1868) married Elizabeth Paterson in 1809. On 4 May 1835 they sailed on the Arkwright from Aberdeen to the USA, along with seven of their eight children, aged 5–23 (the oldest, William, was not on the passenger list but also emigrated to Michigan).     (tree)

Sometime between 1829 and 1846 Thomas Loban (b. 1779),  m. Mary Minty emigrated to Marengo, Illinois with their six children. Tom was a weaver in Huntly. He had three sons: Alexander (1815-1888), Thomas (1818-1849), and Andrew (1829-1895), each had many descendants. His grandchildren moved around the US, South Dakota, Minnesota, and especially to Iowa, where Abraham Lincoln Loban was born in 1865, later moved to Colorado. Thomas’s son Thomas Elliot Loban (1848–1928) joined the Union Army when he was 16 (though the Army thought he was 18) and proudly fought with the Illinois Cavalry for 8 months before the war ended, as testified on his gravestone. He married Annette Manzer in 1870 and they moved through Nebraska to Oregon, where their children settled.   (tree; and Glass Area Lobbans)

Abraham Lincoln Loban Headstone, Boulder, Colorado, USA. Courtesy of Joyce Olson Buchli. [President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated 15 Apr. 1865.]
Thomas Elliot Loban military gravestone in McMinnville, Yamhill, OR. (ALABAMA may refer to where he mustered out– Selma.)

After 1850

The next Lobban emigrants we know of were in 1883, when several people crossed the Atlantic. John Lobban (1845–1909) and his family from Boginspro, Huntly, Aberdeenshire established in Massachusetts. The family at that time comprised wife Clementine G. Andrews (married in Forgue, Aberdeenshire),  three sons and one daughter, one daughter having died young. John had inherited the Boginspro farm from his father John. In Milton, MA, they added a son and two more daughters, the last one named for her mother.  John died in an elevator accident, where he was employed in a chocolate factory. (Tree; and Rothiemay Area Lobbans)

A few people from the Labans of Tholen emigrated to the US. Pieter Laban (1835–?) married Wilhelmina Hoogerhuis in Brouwershaven in 1867 and they emigrated to Albany, NY.  between the birth of their first daughter and their first son, about 1870.  Adriaan Laban (1837–1915) from Nieuwerkerke, Schouwen-Duiveland, Zeeland, m. Helena de Jonge,  emigrated to Pessper, Michigan, USA in 1872 with one child, and were followed by his brother Jan Laban (1835–1921), m. Fransijna P. van IJsseldijk and nine children who settled in Grand Rapids, MI in 1881. Jan was a farmer, Adriaan a laborer.  Fransijna died in 1889 and Jan married another Dutch immigrant, Wilhelmina (“Minnie”) Kort.
Marinus (“Martin”) Laban (1843–1923) emigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1872, and in 1882 married Elizabeth Neighbors, whose family had been in Ohio for several generations.  He was a cabinetmaker.
Anthony Laban (1875–1943), born in Tholen town, emigrated to Weston, MA, in the suburbs of Boston in 1892 and there in 1908 married Mary Magdalen Sharkey from Prince Edward Island, Canada. She had migrated from PEI to Boston in 1900. Her grandparents were born in County Monaghan (Faltagh), Ireland and her father and mother immigrated to CA in the 1840s. The US Censuses note that Anthony was a steward/butler (1910) and gardener (1930) to private families; at the time of his registration for WW1 service (1918) and a city directory (1918) he was employed by Edward Peirce. He rose to be the estate manager.

Anthony Laban & Mary Sharkey. Photo posted by enmmc1 on Ancestry.com
Anthony Laban at Sebec Lake, Maine, Nov. 1940. Courtesy of his grandson, George Laban.

The Peirce estate, which straddled the Weston-Wellesley line, was once one of the largest in the area, encompassing almost 325 acres in the two towns at the time the Tudor-style mansion was constructed in the mid-1920s.  The history of the property goes back to the turn of the century, when Boston rubber manufacturer Arthur Winship Clapp purchased land in Weston. In 1902, he constructed a Tudor mansion on the dramatic hillside site known as Mt. Penal. This house burned to the ground in 1925, but is important because of its strong similarity in style and plan to the present house. [Source of text and photo: https://weston.wickedlocal.com/article/20140519/news/140517876.]

Aerial view of the 1927 Edward Peirce House, where Anthony Laban worked, rising to estate manager. Source Weston Historical Society.


Three related Lobbans from Rothiemay emigrated between 1883 and 1885: Andrew Burnett Lobban (b. 1863 in Keith)  in 1883, his cousin Joseph Lobban (b. 1857 at Knabbygates, Rothiemay) in 1885, and Joseph’s sister Isabella Lobban (b. 1856 at Knabbygates, married William Howatt in 1874) in 1884. Andrew Burnett was born out of wedlock to Agnes Burnett, and no father was recorded on the birth certificate. However, a Roots Web contact claims that the father was William Lobban who was born to William Lobban & Isobel Reid on the 20 Aug 1815 at Rothiemay, and an Andrew Burnett was recorded in the 1881 census at Thornton, Grange as an 18 year old Apprentice Carpenter, living as a ‘Nephew’ of George Lobban & Grace Mary Lobban, he was a Master Carpenter. He apparently decided to change his surname to Lobban.  Furthermore,  Joseph  turns up in the 1900 census, sharing a home with his cousin Andrew Burnett Lobban & his family at Pulaski, Missouri USA; Joseph was then a single farmer aged 43. The  1895 census at West Albany Township, Wabasha, Minnesota, recorded the family of John Howatt, Isabella’s brother-in-law and included Joseph Lobban. One of Isabella and William’s great-great grandsons is proud to be a 4th-generation farmer on the land the family originally settled.
Joseph and Isabella were my 2nd great uncle and aunt.    (Tree; and Rothiemay Area Lobbans)

Also in 1883, Helen Lobban (b. 1837, Boharm) emigrated to Steele, North Dakota with husband James Simpson, when he was 54, and most of the children; oldest son George Simpson & wife followed in 1900. The family appears in the 1881 Census (UK) at ‘Denhead Farm’, Alvah, Banff, and in the 1900 US Census, when it was noted that Helen was mother of 10 living children.  (tree)

In 1885 the Peter Lobban (1844–1901) family of Newhills, Aberdeenshire emigrated to Southwick, Massachussetts. Peter’s wife, Margaret Burnett, had died in 1881; the emigrants included Peter, his three living children, his sister Jane Rae Lobban and her husband Alex Aitken, and two brothers William Lobban and George Lobban. The deaths of the siblings are unknown, but presumed to be in the US because George married Mary Mackie in 1890 in Manhattan, New York,  and the 1920 census at Washington, Rhode Island, recorded William aged 62, unmarried, from Scotland, living with his sister Jane and brother-in-law Alex.  (tree)

William Christie Cameron Lobban (1886–1929) was born in Old Machar, Aberdeen and emigrated to Colorado Springs, where he married an English emigrant,  Sarah Ann Parr, on Christmas Eve, 1909.  His parents William Alexander Lobban (1849–1931) and Ann Merchant are annotated in the Marnoch Lobbans tree.


Page by Christopher S. Lobban, created 29 Nov.-5 Dec. 2018, updated 12 June 2021.