Kimberly’s current project is her PhD thesis at the University of St Andrews, “Making An Atlantic North Carolina: Scottish Networks in the Eighteenth Century.” Her thesis examines how intimate networks based on kinship aided Scots who migrated around the Atlantic, and specifically to North Carolina, during the eighteenth century and within the broader fields of Atlantic history, family history, and migration history.
Based on archival research in both North Carolina and the United Kingdom, the project begins by surveying the geo-political state of the colony at the transition from proprietary to royal colony in 1729. The thesis examines the reasons why migrants chose to leave Scotland for North Carolina, but more importantly, demonstrates how they were able to do this. Through a networks-based approach to her subject, Kimberly explores how Scots created and sustained transatlantic and regional networks based on kinship, ethnicity, and patronage to serve their interests in the eighteenth century Atlantic world.
At the same time, Scottish-Americans found themselves embroiled in conflict with the onset of the American Revolution. Thus, the thesis assesses how Scottish intimate networks were both splintered and strengthened by the strain of war and to what extent their transatlantic networks endured through the early Republic.