Ian McQuiston was a native of Scotland, a part of the state known as Great Britain on Terra and the son of a man who owned a merchant-shipping company. During the Exodus from Terra in the years following the Demarcation Declaration, many of Terra's best and brightest left the strife and intolerance present on Terra behind and took passage on JumpShips destined for colonies outside the boundaries of the diminished Terran Alliance, and Ian was one such person.
Ian's departure from Terra wasn't entirely voluntary; forced to leave because of a combination of his outspoken nature and his aggressive trade dealings, Ian made for the world known as Skye because he heard that Skye of all the colonies most resembled his homeland, Scotland. After arriving on Skye Ian began his own trading company and worked to acquire three of the largest trading companies on the planet; his mercantile efforts were so successful that in 2282, the population of Skye elected him President of Skye, despite him not having sought political office.
Ian continued to expand his trade empire until he had managed to combine and consolidate several disparate interplanetary merchant fleets into a single company, Skye Traders, which went on to become the dominant trade company in the region of space demarcated by the border of the Terran Alliance and the worlds of Ford, Clinton and Sakhalin by 2296. Ian continued to build on his political and mercantile success by announcing his intention to form an interstellar government in 2299, a nation known as the Federation of Skye.
Ian was also indirectly responsible for the founding of a second interstellar state, the Protectorate of Donegal. Ian's most trusted adviser was a man named Seth Marsden, who in 2301 quarreled with Ian, and whatever the reasons for their quarrel - some believed that Marsden had deliberately initiated the argument, to give himself a pretext to leave - Marsden departed Skye for the world of Donegal. Marsden planned on establishing his own realm in a fashion similar to that of his former employer. Beginning with the Donegal Freights and Goods company, Marsden took Donegal - a generally pleasant world with abundant resources and an amiable climate - and followed in Ian's footsteps, founding the Protectorate of Donegal a little over a decade later.
- McQuiston's descendant, Thomas McQuiston, was one of the founders of the Lyran Commonwealth. 
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 10, "Founding Fathers"