Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Scottish HIES emigration records added to ScotlandsPeople

ScotlandsPeople ( has added emigration records from the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society from 1852-1857. Here's the announcement from its website:

The departure of many Scottish families from the Highlands and Islands in the 1850s can be traced in fascinating records released on ScotlandsPeople in February 2019.

Almost 5,000 people who left Scotland to make a new life in Australia between 1852 and 1857 are recorded in the archive of the Highland and Island Emigration Society in National Records of Scotland.

The Society assisted would-be emigrants in taking passage on ships sailing to Australia from British ports. Their journeys to a better life were often dangerous and sometimes fatal. Among the thousands who left Scotland were the McKinnon family from Snizort on Skye and the McQueen family from St Kilda.

The HIES offered to emigrants the opportunity of a new life in Australia. This new resource offers people across the world who are interested in the Scottish diaspora the opportunity to search the enhanced database of the emigrants and to see images of the original documents. The all-new database supersedes the transcript that has been available through the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) website. The entries and images are all free to search and view.


NB: The last paragraph is interesting. The SCAN website ( is a project that is well and truly out of date on the cataloguing front, and it had been the intention of the SCAN board and partners (including the NRS) to try to replace it with a new catalogue project called Scotland Online - leaving the question of what to do with the data resources available. I stood down as a director from SCAN a couple of years ago, so am not up to date on where this project now lies, but the fact that this collection (albeit a new presentation) is being hosted on ScotlandsPeople may indicate there is finally some progress on this. Here's hoping we will see more material soon - note the name of the category on ScotlandsPeople into which the material has been deposited: Poor relief and migration records.

The emigration records can be accessed directly at{%22category%22:%22poor-relief%22} - the results returns include free to access digitised copies of the original records.


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  1. how do folks in the U.S. get a memebership in Scotland's People or SCottish Genealogy Society, as we don't have Euros here, only $$$
    mary lou grant peterson

  2. We don't have Euros here either, we use Sterling! I would imagine when you go to pay, your bank will convert the equivalent amount, possibly the sites may even display the fees in $ (Sorry, can't check from here!). Any problems, you would need to contact the relevant agencies themselves to sort.