Kinsearching March 2, 2008




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Although the nations of northwestern Europe had established shipping links with the New World by the early seventeenth century, records of these voyages are fragmented since they are scattered throughout archives on both sides of the Atlantic. Virtually no "official" passenger lists exist for that era. While individuals like Peter Wilson Coldham have gleaned names of English passengers from materials in British archives and libraries, little has been done to gather similar data from other European countries for this period of North American colonization. To help remedy the situation, David Dobson has compiled TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGES, 1600 - 1699, SECOND EDITION.

     As he did in the first edition, Dobson brings together evidence of trips from the Channel Islands, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Scotland, and Wales to the North American continent and the West Indies and back during the seventeenth century. Using primary and secondary sources in Europe and America, he provides details about ships, many of which brought settlers to the New World. Knowing the port of origin may help genealogists narrow down the locality from which their immigrant forebears came.

     Though facts may vary about each ship, entries usually furnish the name of the ship master, port or ports of embarkation and/or port of arrival, dates, and documentation of the information. Some accounts also supply anecdotes about happenings on the high seas. For example, the 300-ton vessel Alexander, under ship master William WATSON, sailed from "Cork, Ireland, to the York River, Virginia in 1654." In 1670 the Hirondelle left "from La Rochelle, France, with soldiers to Canada...." Under master Adriaen BLOOMAERT, the ship Het Hoff Van Cleeff left in May, 1652, "from Amsterdam, Holland, with passengers to the Nieuw Nederland...." Peder Erichsen HENSING was master of the Haabet, which set sail "from Denmark to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in November 1689."

     Uncovering new material since the book was first published, Dobson expands his data to include approximately 1,400 trips between Europe and North America during the seventeenth century. TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGES, 1600 - 1699, SECOND EDITION is a valuable reference work for genealogists and historians alike.

     The 138-page paperback has an attractive cover, an introduction, maps, interesting illustrations, and a list of sources. Names of the vessels appear in alphabetical order. For ships with similar names, the entries are arranged chronologically by date of the voyage. One drawback for genealogists whose ancestors were ship masters is the lack of an index to names of the men commanding the vessels.

     To the book's price of $18.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.00 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9854) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     In the past, newspapers often reprinted data found in other papers. This item, copied from a Boston newspaper, appears on page 2, column 3, of the 22 July 1835 issue (vol. 1, no. 95) of The Landmark, published in Salem, MA: "...Rev. Nathaniel HALL, Jr., of Medford, was on Thursday last ordained colleague with the Rev. Dr. HARRIS over the First Congregational Parish in Dorchester. Sermon by the Brother of the candidate, Rev. E. B. HALL, of Providence.---Bost. Daily Adv."

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