Abbotsford to Zion The Story of Scottish Place-names Around the World by Elspeth Wills

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Over the centuries countless Scots have travelled to every conceivable corner of the globe – some to start a new life, others as entrepreneurs, explorers, missionaries, colonial administrators, soldiers and in a multitude of other contexts.

This book takes the reader on a journey from the wastes of Antarctica to the South African Highlands, from Canada’s prairies to Australia’s vineyards. It visits cities and deserted villages, scales mountain peaks and calls in at far-flung islands. All these places have one thing in common – the fact that they were named by, or after, Scots. The places named and the people they honoured provide a different way of looking at the influence of Scots overseas, whether railroad engineer, pioneer farmer, displaced crofter or multi-millionaire.

Abbotsford to Zion also highlights the curious and the accidental – the Gretna Greens and the Xenias. It tells how Scots-born innkeepers and postmen who happened to be in the right place at the right time gained immortality. It looks at why developers used Scotland’s image to sell real estate and how homesick emigrants recalled the land they had left.

From Abbotsford to Zion, each place has its unique story and identity.

After graduating from St Andrews University in history in 1970, Elspeth Willshas spent her career as a researcher, interpreter and writer within advertising, marketing, economic development and visitor attraction environments. She has written over a dozen books on subjects as varied as natural history, new town development and Scottish innovation.

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