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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Scots in the USA and Canada, 1825-1875 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Dobson, David. Scots in the USA and Canada, 1825–1875. n.p.: Clearfield Company, Inc., 1998.

About Scots in the USA and Canada, 1825-1875

What You Can Find in the Records

David Dobson’s Scots in the USA and Canada records details about Scottish immigrants who came to the U.S. and Canada during the mid- to later-19th century. Dobson extracted the information primarily from newspaper accounts, as well as archival documents such as passenger records.

Entries vary widely, depending on details given in the original source, but they may include the following:

  • name
  • year or date of birth
  • place of birth or residence
  • father’s name
  • spouse’s name
  • year or date of death
  • place of death
  • occupation

Entries may include other details about family members and relationships, marriage places, religious or professional affiliations, ship names, and similar facts. Dobson provides a list of abbreviations used for sources throughout the book on page iv.

Historical Background

Dobson notes that many of the Scottish immigrants of this period were “skilled, educated workers from urban industrial backgrounds whose expertise was in great demand in the rapidly industrialising cities of North America.” While pointing out that emigration numbers are hard to accurately pin down, Dobson does record that “between 1835 and 1838 over 60,000 emigrants left Scotland bound for North America; from 1840 to 1853 nearly 30,000 emigrated there; and in 1881 alone 38,000 left for the USA and 3,000 left for Canada, mostly via Greenock.”

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