A Directory of Scots in Australasia, 1788-1900 by David Dobson. Published by Willow Bend Books, 65 E. Main St., Westminster MD 21157-5026. 1998. 49, 42, 47 pp. Softcover. $13.50 plus $3 p & h.

This volume was originally published in three parts in Scotland in 1997. This book binds together the original three books but there is no apparent difference between the parts. The book begins with a brief one page introduction to Scottish emigration highlighting that Australasia received very few Scottish convicts, the most prominent of what it did receive were the Scottish Martyrs of 1793-1794. The 1830's saw a steady migrant flow encouraged by groups such as the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society. Gold discoveries in the 1850's increased settlement.

The settlement of New Zealand was a generation or two behind Australia. The majority of the early settlers went under the auspices of the New Zealand Company, but by the 1840's churches were assisting in the organized settlement, examples include the Free Church of Scotland settlers at Otaga and the followers of Reverend Norman McLeod who arrived via Nova Scotia.

The entries about individuals are derived from sources in Great Britain. The content can vary greatly often providing the maiden name for women, a date of birth and death, and place of residence in Australasia.

A typical entry reads:

CLARK, JEMIMA, born 1799, wife of Robert Craig, died in Papanui, Auckland, New Zealand, 6.6.1884 (Biggar g/s) [g/s=gravestone]

Readers need to remember that this is a book created from Scottish sources and is not a complete listing of Scots in the area. For example, Norman McLeod who led his people to New Zealand, via Cape Breton Island who is mentioned in the introduction is not included in the list, even though he died in New Zealand in March 1866.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.7 no.1, 2000