Friday, April 04, 2008

Scottish Emigration Database

I came across another helpful database that is user friendly and free, the Scottish Emigration Database.

The Scottish Emigration Database contains over 21,000 passenger records 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. This site was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is based at the University of Aberdeen's AHRC Center for Scottish and Irish Studies.

The search page consists of simple form that you type in the search terms which include first and last name, occupation, sex, village, port of departure, destination country and others. You can place the bare minimum of a surname to begin your search gradually more information to narrow your search. If you know the ship that your immigrant ancestor embarked upon, you can also search by the name of the search.

The information contained in the database is extracted information and you are unable to view the original document. However the information that is provided in the extracted documents are valuable in your research. The information extracted includes many of the following items depending upon whether or not the information was provided on the original records. Below is a list of the important items including but not limited to:

First and Last Name
Date of Birth
Type of Passenger
Marital Status
House Street
Village or District
Country of Origin
Destination Port and Country
The Name of the Group with which the individual emigrated
Departure Date
Ship Name

The search engine allows you to search for an individual even if you only know the first or last name. While exploring this site I also noted that even if I only placed one letter of the person's last name, the search engine will retrieve all the surnames that have the letter that you requested in the search. Obviously this is not the ideal way to search as you will have a large number of hits on the results page requiring further information to narrow the search. I also discovered that the search engine does not do wild card searches with *. This necessitates that you search for a specific name by typing in the spelling variants or utilizing the less in more attitude when searching.

A user guide is provided for your convience explaining the website design and how to best utilize the site. One last feature of the site is the ability to contribute information to the database by clicking on "Your Input" button at the top of the page.

Overall this site is easily navigated and user friendly. I would recommend it to anyone searching for the immigrant ancestors. If you would like to search this database, go to Scottish Emigration Database. Have fun searching!

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