This could be your object

Do you have an object that tells the story of your or your family’s migration? Then share it with us as part of this digital museum of the Scottish diaspora and its history. It is very easy to contribute. All you need to do is take a photograph of your object, and tell us a…

Betty Molison’s sampler

Betty Molison, born in the parish of Lethnot, Forfarshire in 1824, worked this sampler in wool as a child. It also bears the name of her sister Agnes. Betty brought the sampler with her to Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1872, when she migrated with her husband David Stewart and some of their large family. Now…

Shipboard diary of Mary Ann McCrystal

This extract comes from the brief diary written on board the Tintern Abbey en route from Gravesend to Christchurch, December 1874 to May 1875. The diary was written by Mary Ann McCrystal (née Patterson), who came to New Zealand from Ayr in Scotland, with her husband John Wilson McCrystal and their infant daughter Sarah Ann….

Mrs Ogilvie’s dress, Montreal, 1860

This dress was worn by Mrs Ogilvie at the ball given in Montreal, Canada, in honour of the Prince of Wales after the inauguration of the Victoria Bridge in 1860. A number of members of Montreal’s industrial middle class were in attendance. Mrs Ogilvie attended with her husband, who was one of those who contributed…

Mr Graham’s transit card

Card issued to passengers when disembarking en route at stopover ports. It was collected by Daniel and Christina Graham when they migrated to Victoria from Scotland in 1957. They arrived in Melbourne on the ‘Strathmore’ on 12 February 1957. They had three children, and settled in Moe where Daniel found work with the SEC. For…

Ram’s Head Snuff Mull

This Ram’s Head Snuff Mull was produced in Edinburgh in 1875 for the Mosgiel Woollen Company in New Zealand. That Company was founded, in 1871, on the western outskirts of Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island, by Arthur John Burns. Originally from Ayrshire, Burns had arrived in New Zealand in 1848 together with his parents….

Gentleman in Scottish kilt

A good supply of clothes was important for migrants to take – primarily because they needed to have something to wear, of course, but also because new places of settlement could be remote and not have the kinds of supplies people were used to (at least not initially). At the same time clothes could be…

Girl performing Scottish dance in a kilt

All over the world children with Scottish heritage – though also an increasing number now who we might describe as affinity Scots – continued Scottish traditions overseas. Activities such as dancing Scottish reels and taking part in dancing competitions at Caledonian Gatherings continue to be one way in which many express their Scottish heritage. This…

Wooden trunk, brought from Scotland to Melbourne

Large wooden trunk brought out to Melbourne from Scotland by Charles Anderson Grant. Charles Anderson Grant was born in 1837 in Greyfriars Parish, Edinburgh to James and Ann Grant. His father was a tailor and clothier and was known to be ‘tyrannical’. A family story says there was tuberculosis in the family and as a…

Cup presented to George Smeaton at Caledonian Games, 1859

This engraved silver cup was presented to George Smeaton at the Ballarat Caledonian Games in 1859. The Cup is engraved with shield, engraved above shield within a banner: Caledonian Society of Ballarat.  Within the shield it says: 1st Annual Gathering, 1st January 1859,​ George Smeaton, 1st Prize for Tilting on Horseback. Click here for a…