Scots have sought new life abroad for many centuries. The impressions and experiences of those who left their homeland are vividly captured in diary extracts, and letters. By the end of the 19th century, emigrants could also send photographs documenting their life and environment.

Here are six stories of individuals and families who left Scotland between the 1770s and the 1880s. Some were voluntary emigrants who sought adventure. Others were fleeing poverty in Scotland. Some achieved success and contentment. Others endured hardship, and some eventually returned to Scotland. Each unique story explore aspects of what it was like to leave Scotland and embark on a new life.