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Emigration

Throughout the UK's history there has been several waves of emigration. Emigration occurs for many reasons - for some people they might have been fleeing religious persecution, simply seeking a better life or have been transported against their will.

Key Emmigration Dates to America

  • Emmigration to the Americas started in 1585, but the first successful settlement was established at Jamestown in 1607. In 1620 the "Mayflower" arrived from Plymouth carrying, amongst others, Puritan refugees.
  • Thousands of emigrants went to work on the tobacco plantations of Virginia. Emigrants were granted 50 acres of land, but the land went to whoever paid the fair, so most traveled as indentured servants of plantation owners who were able to claim their servants' land.
  • Scots started to emigrate in large numbers from 1710, three years after the Act of Union.
  • In the 17th and 18th centuries, men, women and children from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were sentenced to transportation. Sentences were usually for 7 or 14 years, but many never returned to their homeland.
  • Millions of people from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland continued to emigrate to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries until US immigration controls were tightened in 1918.
  • More than a million people left Ireland for North America as a result of the Great Famine in the period 1845-1851.
 
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