Saturday, April 18, 2015

Scots in Medieval England

england's immigrants, scotland, report, paper, emigration, diaspora
England's Immigrants 1330-1550, a recently completed  research project, has created a database of immigrants to England. This database is available to the public and requires no university affiliation or login. You can read more about the project in the April 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine; read an article from the BBC; or listen to an interview with Dr. Mark Ormrod, the project manager, on a recent episode the History Extra Podcast.

It turns out that this project is actually a great source for learning about emigrants from Scotland. A search for people born in Scotland returned 3,389 results. It does appear if most of the entries come from mid-15th century documents. The first person in the list is Gilbert de Abbatia who was recorded at Sawtry, Normancross hundred, Huntingdonshire in 1453. The last named individual is Thomas Yoole who was recorded at Haisthorpe, Dickering wapentake, Yorkshire East Riding in 1451. For each person on the list one has the choice to view a summary which lists the place of residence, place or origin, full person record number, and a link to the original record. The full records adds fields for gender, occupation, relationships, notes, and biographical notes.

Although the database has abstracted data from the original records, it would still be useful to use in the classroom or for a research project. The dynamic search feature allows one to search for immigrants to England from as near as Ireland and as far as the Middle East. The individuals found could be used as a case study for a research paper or lecture. It might even be possible to create a comparative study by researching the experience of migrants to England in different time periods, different places of origins, or different places of settlement.

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