Papers of David Dobson

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 227 msdep74
  • Dates of Creation
      ca. 1970-[ongoing] (copies of originals from 1575-1990)
  • Name of Creator
  • Physical Description
      3 boxes Microfilm, photocopies, cassette tapes, printed and original material.

Scope and Content

The papers are copies of original sources gathered during genealogical research. There are genealogies and copies of documents relating to emigration to Canada, 1763-1818; West Indies, 1678-1827; Australasia 1852-1860; America, 1724-1918; and miscellaneous, 1706-93.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Dobson is a Scottish historian, researcher and author who undertakes commissions on behalf of those wishing to source information on their Scottish roots prior to 1850. He holds an M.Phil from the University of St Andrews and specialises in early emigration of Scots to North America and the West Indies.

His particular expertise lies in his familiarity with the pattern and historical background to the movement of Scottish people, 1600-1800. He is the author of The Original Scots Colonists of Early America 1612-1783, (Baltimore, 1989), which is the standard source of reference on early Scottish emigrants, and Scottish Emigration to Colonial America, 1607-1785, (University of Georgia Press, 1994).


The papers are held in order of deposit.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Hand list compiled by the depositor.

Alternative Form Available

Much of the material is copies of document held elsewhere.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

The collection has been deposited on permanent loan in small batches since 1991.




David Dobson's works include: Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625-1825 (7 Volumes); Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations, 1650-1775 ;Directory of Scots in the Carolinas, 1680-1830; Scots on the Chesapeake, 1607-1830; The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783; Ships from Scotland to America, 1628-1828; Irish Emigrants in North America, Parts I, II and III; Ships from Ireland to Early America, 1623-1850; Scottish Quakers and Early America, 1650-1700; Jacobites of Angus, 1689-1746, Parts 1 and 2; Scottish Maritime Records, 1600-1850; American Data from the Records of the High Court of the Admiralty of Scotland, 1675-1800