• Emigrant Voyages

    Emigrant ships sailed from Stornoway from at least the 1770s, though it was also common for emigrants to travel to Glasgow, Liverpool or other centres before embarking on the Atlantic crossing.  The following list of ships sailing from Stornoway or Loch Roag (on the west side of the island) has been compiled from a variety of sources, notably Lucille H Campey’s  books (including Les Ecossais and After the Hector) and website; Jim Wilkie’s Metagama ; Hebridean Connections and other local sources.

    Many ships that carried Lewis emigrants also called at other ports; where the Lewis vs general passenger numbers are known, they are given as a fraction (260/315).  Some ships may not have called at Stornoway, but rather collected a large group of Lewis passengers who had made their way to another west coast port. The list is incomplete and in part unreliable, and contributions are always welcome.  We focus here on Lewis emigrants; for other Hebridean emigrant ships, try the Scots to Canada site.

    For illustrations of the rigging, see barques, brigs, snows, sloops, schooners and ships at The Ships List.

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    * The early summer of 1851 was a key period in Lewis emigration, when, with James Matheson’s assistance, some 1770 poor tenants went to Canada. These several ships are named as having carried families from Lewis to Canada but from the Chamberlain’s diary of that year, it appears that of these vessels only the Marquis of Stafford and the Barlow collected the emigrants in Lewis, while the Islay was a coastal steamer which may have taken a group away to board a ship elsewhere.  The Wolfville is mentioned as having been engaged for Lewis emigrants in the Clyde but appears not to have sailed from Stornoway.  Much useful detail about the arranging of the passages, selecting and loading of passengers and their possessions and final goodbyes is given in John Munro Mackenzie’s 1851 Diary (pub Acair).

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