The earliest known document detailing the first ship to sail from Scotland to North America has been found, revealing Scots travelled there four years earlier than previously thought. Researcher Thomas Brochard discovered the William of Aberdeen vessel sailed across the Atlantic in 1596 – a voyage that has remained a mystery for the last 422 years. Previously the earliest documented Scottish ship to make the trip was a Dundee-built vessel named Gift Of God, which sailed from Portugal in 1600. But now the William has been identified as the first Scottish ship to cross the Atlantic to North America, carrying a crew of Caledonian traders to the New World.

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