Browse through rare early emigration documents from 1636 to 1815.
In this browse-only search, you can navigate through each piece in its entirety. There are a variety of records included in this collection. Depending on the record type, you can discover different information about your ancestor.
You may be able to discover when and where your ancestor departed from, the ship’s name and intended destination, and your ancestor’s occupation, former residence, and age.
You may even discover, for example, that your ancestor was part of a company of strolling comedians, who left their country to "follow their calling." This company departed from Arundel in 1774 for "the Island of Zealand" on the ship Ranger. Ralph Todd was the shipmaster. There were 19 members in their group with two marked as children. From the last names, we can infer that some in the group were related. For instance, Frederick Fisher, aged 48, and Maria Fisher, aged 30, were likely the parents of Frederick Fisher, 10, and Paul Fisher, 3.
Please note that those traveling to the Americas were emigrating; most of those traveling to the near continent were on business or leisure trips.
Included in this collection are the following pieces from The National Archives (TNA):
AO 3/144 – List of settlers enrolled for Canada under the government regulations at Edinburgh, 1815
CO 1/8 – America and West Indies, colonial papers, 1634-1635: early passenger list to New England – "Francis" of Ipswich at folios 100-102, "Elizabeth" of Ipswich at folios 103-105, and "James" of London at folios 184-185
CO 1/9 – Privy Council and related bodies: America and West Indies, colonial papers – Early passenger lists to New England 1636-1638
CO 324/55 – Persons naturalised in American colonies 1740-1761 – Described by the TNA catalogue as "Colonial Office and Predecessors: General Entry Books, Series I. Entry Books, Series I: Commissions, Instructions, Petitions, Grants, Orders in Council, Warrants, Letters, etc. Names of persons naturalised in the American colonies."
CO 324/56 – Persons naturalised in American colonies 1761 – Described by the TNA catalogue as "Colonial Office and Predecessors: General Entry Books, Series I. Entry Books, Series I: Commissions, Instructions, Petitions, Grants, Orders in Council, Warrants, Letters, etc. Names of persons naturalised in the American colonies."
E 140/167/6 – Gravesend register: list of passengers who passed through port of London from March to October 1669
T 47/9 – Weekly emigration returns to New World 1773-1774
T 47/10 – Weekly emigration returns to New World 1774-1775
T 47/11 – Weekly emigration returns to New World 1775-1776
T 47/12 – Emigration returns from Scotland to America 1774-1775
If you have a general idea as to when your ancestor would have emigrated, you can search by a year. You can also narrow your search by piece description and archive reference.
If you are interested in search by other fields, try the indexed search located in Useful links and resources.