This final volume of Some Early Scots in Maritime Canada identifies thousands of Scots who immigrated to Maritime Canada in the years between the 1770s and the 1870s–most of them located by the author in a variety of obscure and out-of-the-way records. In fact, the variety of source records consulted is one of the volume’s strengths. From shipping records to passenger lists, from land petitions to census records, then from newspaper columns, vital records, church registers, and a host of fugitive sources, the sources utilized provide a rich trove of genealogical data. This volume differs from the previous volumes in the series in that explanatory material and brief essays accompany many of the articles.
As a convenient reference point, the book opens with maps of Ayrshire, Dumfries-shire, and Perthshire, the three Scottish shires that contributed significantly to Scots immigration into Maritime Canada. Next there is a comprehensive list of the 1,200 ships that are known to have sailed from Scotland to the Maritimes between 1770 and 1852. If a passenger list has been published for any of these voyages, it is indicated in the footnotes, but otherwise the ports of departure and arrival and the dates of the voyage provide significant clues to an immigrant’s place of origin in Scotland and place of settlement in Canada. Names that suddenly make their appearance in Canadian records can then be matched with shipping records.
Two lists in particular may prove of special value; they are Cape Breton land petitions, 1821-1836, and newspaper announcements, 1854-1863. The former gives marital status and number of dependents, while the latter shows that not all Scots immigrants lived in rural areas but were just as likely to live in cities.
The volume closes with a tale of human drama, and the author expresses the hope, here as in other volumes, that the reader will catch a glimpse of the very real drama behind the raw data.
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