One of the most difficult challenges facing genealogists is establishing where and when their immigrant ancestors arrived from Scotland. This is particularly true for the 17th and 18th centuries, periods for which records are far from complete. If the vessel the immigrant sailed on can be identified, then the ports of departure and arrival may also follow, and in turn this may indicate the locality from which the immigrant originated, thus narrowing the search.
Like other volumes in the Ships from Scotland to America series, designed to identify ships trading between Scotland and North America carrying small numbers of passengers, Volume III provides the ship's name, the master's name, and the dates and ports of departure and arrival. It differs from the other volumes, however, in that it includes a large number of vessels bound from Scotland to the West Indies, from which point the majority of ships carried on up the Atlantic seaboard unloading cargoes and disembarking passengers.