Happy Haggis will help you trace your Scottish family tree.

Emigration from Scotland.

Emigration to Canada 1925.

www.findmypast.co.uk is possibly the best passenger list site on the web, with over 24 million records from ships sailing to destinations worldwide. This site, in association with The National Archives, presents a database featuring BT27 Outward Passenger Lists for long-distance voyages leaving the British Isles from 1960 right back to 1890. Search for passenger list records of individuals or groups of people leaving for destinations including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and USA featuring ports such as Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Passengers include not only immigrants and emigrants, but also businessmen, diplomats and tourists. Images of the passenger lists are available to download, view, save and print.

Many thousands of new immigrants to Upper Canada (western part of the British Colony of Quebec) had their passage paid for by local governments eager to unburden themselves of their poor. Three of the largest such schemes have been well documented. The first involved approximately 4,000 out-of-work weavers and artisans from the greater Glasgow area who arrived in Lanark County, Upper Canada, in 1820-21. They joined a group of military emigrants who had arrived in 1816 to form a large, stable, loyal population of mostly Scottish protestant settlers. A good reference on the subject is Carol Bennett's The Lanark Society Settlers.

  • Cape Breton, now part of Nova Scotia in Canada was the destination of more Hebridean Scots than any other part of the then British Empire. There were to be emigrants from England and Ireland in Gabarus and Margaree, and Acadian settlers in Cheticamp and Isle Madame, but otherwise, Cape Breton was to become another Hebrides, on the other side of the Atlantic. (part one) and (part two).
  • In 1772 the first organised emigration from the Hebrides to Canada took place, not on the 'Hector' to Pictou in Nova Scotia as is usually assumed, but on the 'Alexander' to Prince Edward Island. For more information please CLICK HERE.
  • Children sent to Canada - a guide to help find home children ancestors sent overseas, 100,000 of whom were sent to Canada between 1870-1948.
  • Immigrants to Canada - a detailed website covering all aspects of emigration in the 19th c.
  • Nanaimo Family History Society Passenger Lists Indexing Project - the manifests of ships arriving at Canadian Ports listing passengers have been preserved on microfilm at Library and Archives Canada. The aim is to index arrivals at Halifax and Quebec (Montreal is included in the Port of Quebec) from 1900 to about 1921 when the passenger lists were discontinued for a time in favour of the form 30A. Quebec Ports for the periods 10 Nov 1907 listings from to 13 Oct 1910 has been completed and the index, comprising of 319,015 listings from 656 ship arrivals, are shown on these pages. Currently the project is indexing Quebec arrivals from 1907 and is working back to 1900. Quebec City and Montreal were used April-November, but in winter, when the St.Lawrence River froze, the ports of St John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, were used.
  • www.lostcousins.com - claims to be the only family history site able to match you with others researching the same ancestors. Enter your ancestors and other relatives from the Canada 1881, British 1881 or US 1880 Census - then click the search button.
  • Young Immigrants to Canada - a website specialising in all organisations which brought children and yound women to Canada between 1833 and 1939.
  • British Home Children - dedicated to the 100,000+ orphaned British Home Children who were sent to Canada between 1870 and the 1940's. There are over 50,000 names on their searchable database.

    ORPHANS TO CANADA (Important dates)

  • 10TH August 1882 - The first 'organised and personally conducted' party of 51 boys leave for Canada in the SS Parisian.
  • 14th July 1883 - The first party of 72 girls leave for Canada in the SS Sardinia.
  • November 1883 - Hazel Brae at Peterborough, Canada, was opened. This was a resident home and distribution centre for girls, loaned by Mr & Mrs George Cox.
  • 17th July 1884 - Dr Barnardo's first visit to Canada on the SS Parisian.
  • 1887 - Industrial farm at Russell, Manitoba was opened. This was a farm home for youths deafted from Labour House.
  • 1887 - Chief Canadian Office and distributing home for boys at 214 Farley Avenue, Toronto was opened.
  • 1895 - 'Up's and Downs', a magazine record of the Canadian work of the homes, was started.
  • 1896 - Distributing Home for younger boys opened at 115 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg, Canada.
  • 1901 - Barnardo's Old Boy's Society formed in Canada.
  • 1903 - Barnardo's Girl's League formed in Canada.
  • 1915-1919 - Emigration to Canada ceased furing World War 1.
  • 11th March 1920 - Emigration recommenced with the first post-war movement.
  • 1926 - Prohibition of emigration to Canada of children under 14 years of age.
  • 1930 - Last organised and supervised emigration party, due to economic depression in Canada.
  • 8th July 1939 - Final emigration party of 21 boys and seven girls departed for Canada.
  • It is though around 30,000 children emigrated to Canada until the last party left in 1939. Copies of Barnardo's passenger lists are available at a charge from Library and Archives Canada.


  • Large Scale Emigration to Australia after 1832


  • The earliest major emigration from the Western Isles of Scotland was to Virginia and the Carolinas, but this was not, as it is often pictured, the flight of impoverished and demoralised peasantry, forced to leave their land. On the contrary, it was a well-prepared move by some of the wealthier classes in the Highlands and Islands to set up a New Highlands in a New World. For more information please CLICK HERE.
  • The first migration to the New England Colonies - in 1718, the first organized migration of Scots and Irish-born Presbyterian people left the north of Ireland on their way to a new life in the New England colonies in North America. The website has sections on genealogy, as well as links to further information on travel and on Ulster and Scots heritage.
  • CarolinaScots.com - an historical and genealogical study of over 100 years of emigration to the Carolinas.
  • EllisIsland.org - very useful for tracing Scots who emigrated to the USA.
  • For New York ship arrivals from 1851 check the New York Times archives at www.nytimes.com. Enter the ship name and select 'NYT Archive 1851-1980'. When the results appear, you may click 'start from oldest' to read in reverse date order. Alternatively, ship movements into and out of New York harbour are listed under 'Maritime Intelligence' in the search box. Also include the port name if known or 'Scotland' to reduce the number of results.
  • www.lostcousins.com - claims to be the only family history site able to match you with others researching the same ancestors. Enter your ancestors and other relatives from the Canada 1881, British 1881 or US 1880 Census - then click the search button.
  • Database of servants sent to foreign plantations 1654-1686 - search the registers of servants sent to foreign plantations 1654-1686. This database of indenture contracts includes over 10,000 indentured servants contracts from four different registers.
  • Without doubt the most large-scale attempt at kidnapping and selling Scots in America occurred in 1739 on the Isle of Skye. A couple of local lairds organised that a group of their tenants, around 100 in all, was rounded up and put aboard ship at Loch Bracadale to be taken to Pennsylvania or New England for sale as indentured servants. Fortunately for the Highlanders the ship, the William of Donaghadee, Captain Davison, went ashore near Donaghadee in Ulster and the 'passengers' escaped. There are some papers relevant to this case in The National Archives at Kew.
  • www.1718migration.org.uk - In 1718, the first organized migration of Scots and Irish-born Presbyterian people left the north of Ireland on their way to a new life in the New England colonies in north America. The website has sections on genealogy, as well as links to further information on travel and on Ulster and Scots heritage.


  • Most movement between the two countries was from Ireland to Scotland. Although not strictly emigration, we have a page with inscriptions from the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bundoran and the Old Abbey Cemetery, Donegal Town, both in Country Donegal. HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, about a third of migrants from Ireland to Scotland were Protestant. Anti-Irish sentiment in Scotland reached a peak in the Twenties and Thirties, when a political party was formed on sectarian lines to defend the Protestant working class.
  • 17th. century Scottish Settlers in Armagh - details can be found at these two BBC links by clicking here and here.

    First Cemetery of Athens (Protestant section)
    Athens' First Cemetery or Municipal Cemetery, is a peaceful spot in the city filled with many large olive and pine trees as well as the smell of incense burning from the well-tended tombs. Although not strictly a park as such, the green cemetery is filled with numerous plants and trees and does resemble a garden. There are many interesting tombs and some are real works of art in their own right. Locals tending the graves often make this a family outing and it is not unusual to find small groups of people having a picnic in the cemetery. The cemetery is a very large and very well maintained area deserving a walk or two. Cremation is not allowed by the Greek Orthodox Church. You are only allowed three years in your grave then they dig you up and put your bones in an ossuary to make room for the next guy. Unless you have your own mausoleum that is. Text thanks to www.athensinfoguide.com.
    Norman Hunter, Hunterstown, Ayrshire 16/2/1810, Athens 10/2/1836.
    Thomas McMillan Dorbie, Cumnock, Ayrshire 3/4/1921, Athens 10/9/1972.
    George F.A. Webster, Scotland, 21/5/1905, Athens 12/11/1980.
    Thomas C. Kinloch, Rosewell, Scotland 13/3/1931, 26 years.
    Sacred to the memory of Marion Thomson Muir, born 23 April 1836(?) in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, died August 13 1898 Athens.

    During the late 17th century a family of merchants, the Trents, based in Leith and Inverness, who had connections in Barbados, Philadelphia and New Jersey, are believed to have been engaged in transporting children for sale in the colonies. records on Pennsylvania reveal several shiploads of children being brought from Scotland and disposed of as indentured servants by the Trents during the 1690's. The Court of Quarter Sessions of Chester County, Pennsylvania, records a number of consignments of children having their indentures registered. This source provides the name of the immigrant servant and his or her term of service. As these children were all to be freed once they reached the age of 21 years, it is possible to estimate their ages and year of birth, most were in their early teens. Those who had been taught to read and write had their period of indenture increased.

    Probably the most famous case of kidnapping of children in Scotland, for sale in the colonies, happened in Aberdeen in the 1740's. This practice was exposed by a Peter Williamson, who had been kidnapped as a child in Aberdeen, transported and sold as an indentured servant in Pennsylvania and, after several adventures, returned home to Scotland. En route to Aberdeen, Peter published his memoirs in York in which he implicated the merchants, magistrates and shipmasters of Aberdeen who had been for several years shanghaiing children in and around Aberdeen and shipping them for sale in America. When Peter arrived in Aberdeen in 1760 he was prompty jailed, his stock of books burnt and he was driven out of town. In Edinburgh he met a lawyer who advised him to take legal action in the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court. Among the evidence presented to the court was an account book which revealed the mechanics of the trade. Peter won his case and settled in Edinburgh. Peter Williamson's case was well reported in contempory newspapers, as well as in the Records of the Court of Sessions now in the National Archives of Scotland.
    (Extracted from Family Tree Magazine November 2007)


  • National Archives of Scotland - emigration and links.
  • Genealogy in The Outer Hebrides - Over the last three centuries many thousands of people emigrated from the Western Isles or Hebrides of Scotland, and a large part of the work at Co Leis Thu? involves trying to trace the earlier history of these emigrants, and making the attempt to link them to families presently in the Hebrides.
  • www.ambaile.org.uk - the Highland Council's bilingual website. Covers the history and culture of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
  • Highlands and Islands Emigration Society - information on the society and their searchable 1852-1857 passenger lists as well as a Highlands and Islands map of 1847.
  • Scots-Irish And the Clearances - the movement of people between Scotland and Ireland and onward emigration to North America, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Scottish Emigrants - the Scottish Archive Network assists genealogists access the online written history of Scotland.
  • GENUKI pages on British and Irish emigration and immigration
  • The Ships List - has more than 1800 pages devoted to passenger lists. Most relate to voyages to the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The site is fully searchable and definitely worth a view.
  • The Scottish Emigration Database - currently contains the records of over 21,000 passengers who embarked at Glasgow and Greenock for non-European ports between 1 January and 30 April 1923, and at other Scottish ports between 1890 and 1960.
  • Scottish Emigration history
  • Reasons for Scottish Emigration to Eastern Europe - from BBC's Who Do You Think You Are Magazine August 2009.


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