Notes on Passenger Ship Lists
Pictou County, Nova Scotia GenWeb
for an ancestor arrival via passenger ship can be a frustrating exercise
as few passenger lists have survived to this day. In J.M. Bumsted's book,
The People's Clearance, an appendix was drawn up listing the known ships
sailing to North America containing Scots between 1770 and 1815. The following
statistics are derived from the appendix:
Number of known
passenger ships carrying Scots to British North America: 113
Many lists were drawn up for the purpose of determining passenger fares. For that reason, some lists are organized by age of passenger, and not by familial linkage.
Some lists were drawn up from memory. In the case of the Hector which arrived in 1773, the passenger list was drawn up from memory years after the voyage.
The quality of information recorded can also be questionable as it depended largely on the education level of the individual recording passenger names. Misspellings occur as the recorder may have misspelled names or the passenger did not know how to spell his or her own name.
in tracing ancestors on ship passenger lists is that families may not
have sailed to North America all at once. A husband may have arrived
first to establish a home and then sent for remaining family. In this
case you will see a name on a passenger list, but you can't be sure
if it is your ancestor as there are no other family member names to
assure the association.
of Scottish Emigrants to Canada
Vol. 1 ISBN 0-920036-09-0
arriving in North America, check your local reference library for the
Supplemental volumes of additional passenger lists
have been produced annually.
As at February, 1999 there are 23 volumes in the set.
"Passenger and Immigration Lists Index"
A Guide to Published Records of More Than 3,049,000 Immigrants Who Came to the New World Between the Sixteenth and Mid-Twentieth Centuries.
Edited by: P. William Filby and Frank V. Castronova
to the Scottish presence in North America.
of Manitoba Press, 1982