The book marks the first volume in a series of records pertaining to the inhabitants of Scottish towns and cities in the 17th and 18th centuries, any number of whom or whose progeny ultimately made contact with the New World. As such, Dr. David Dobson offers it as an aid to local historians and genealogists. The volumes in this series are based overwhelmingly on primary sources, such as the records of the High Court of the Admiralty of Scotland, the Commissary Court of Brechin, the Customs and Excise, the Services of Heirs, monumental inscriptions, and so on.
Dundee in the 17th century was a major port and market town. As a Royal Burgh it was authorized to conduct overseas trade and had developed important economic links with Scandinavia and the Baltic lands, as well as with the Netherlands, France, and Iberia. It was also the earliest Scottish port to trade with North America, specifically with Newfoundland in 1600 and Virginia in 1627.
Many, though not all, of the individuals named in this work were merchants or tradesmen. Although they do not comprise a complete list of Dundee inhabitants during these two centuries, these burghers are nonetheless representative of the city’s population elements and of the town sources available to family historians for Dundee. Dr. Dobson has arranged the burghers alphabetically and for each has unfailingly given the individual’s occupation, an identifying date, and his source. In numerous instances he has also extracted supplementary information variously consisting of date of birth; name of spouse, children, and/or parents; name of ship traveled on; date of will; and more. Any person researching his ancestors in the town of Dundee between 1600 and 1799 can be grateful for Mr. Dobson’s efforts in amassing this significant cache of leads for that endeavor.