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Virtually no official European passenger records exist for the 17th century. Fortunately, scholars like Peter Wilson Coldham have been able to reconstruct English passenger lists from shipping records in various British archives and libraries. Although the nations of northwestern Europe established shipping links with North America and the West Indies as early as the 1600s, records of those voyages are fragmented and scattered throughout archives on both sides of the Atlantic.
The new book by colonial immigration authority David Dobson brings together evidence of voyages from Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Channel Islands to North America and the West Indies during the 17th century. Using primary and secondary sources in Europe and America, Mr. Dobson has compiled evidence of voyages between the aforementioned countries and America--in either direction--from 1600 through 1699. We know that many of the vessels cited were in fact the ones taken by early European settlers of colonial America. The ports of origin in Europe identified by the compiler may well indicate the localities whence the first emigrants originated and, therefore, places where genealogical research may be conducted. The record entries are arranged alphabetically and give the name of the ship and its captain, ports of embarkation and/or arrival, dates, the source of the information, and a few high seas anecdotes.
Since the publication of the first edition of Transatlantic Voyages in 2004, Mr. Dobson has uncovered many more voyages and vessels. This expanded edition lists nearly 1,400 transatlantic voyages--20% more than in the original.