Some Notes on Passenger Ship Lists
Pictou County, Nova Scotia GenWeb
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Searching 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
Number of those 113 passsenger ships arriving at Pictou: 30
Number of those 30 passenger ships for which the ship's name is unknown: 11
Number of those 30 ships for which a passenger list is known to exist: 4

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.

Another difficulty 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. 
 

This book includes with each entry the known family members of Scottish immigrants arriving in Canada before Confederation. 

"A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada 
Before Confederation"
by Donald Whyte

Vol. 1 ISBN 0-920036-09-0
Vol. 2 ISBN 0-7779-0919-9
Published by 
The Ontario Genealogical Society,
40 Orchard View Boulevard, Suite 102,
Toronto, Ontario Canada M4R 1B9

If you wish to consult a comprehensive list of emigrant passenger ships 
arriving in North America, check your local reference library for the 
following publication.
 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

Gale Research
645 Griswold St.,
Detroit MI 48226-4094
ISBN 0-7876-1936-1

For a historical perspective of Scottish emigration to the New World, the following book provides an excellent accounting of events leading 
to the Scottish presence in North America.

"The People's Clearance"
Highland Emigration to North America
1770-1815

The University of  Manitoba Press, 1982
Winnipeg, Manitoba

ISBN 0-88755-127-0


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