The UK National Archives has announced that everyone can now access the first comprehensive database of passenger lists from ships departing the UK on long-distance voyages to destinations including North America, Australia, India and South Africa between 1890 and 1960
The following is an extract from the National Archives' announcement:
This new online resource has been developed by one of the leading UK-based family history websites findmypast.com in association with The National Archives. The passenger record series BT 27 covering 1890 - 1899 will go live from today, followed by the remaining decades between 1900 and 1960 over the next six months.
The database will enable would-be genealogists and family historians alike to view digitised images of the original ship passenger records online, which contain over 1.5 million pages, listing the 30 million passengers who travelled on long-distance journeys from UK ports.
The new resource includes passenger records from the period of mass migration between 1890 and 1914 when an estimated average of 131,000 people emigrated from Great Britain to other parts of the globe every year.
These invaluable records will also provide a new avenue of research for people who have come to a ´brick wall´ in their family tree research using UK records. As well as every ship passenger record containing the names of each passenger, the name of the ship, the date and UK port of departure and the destination port, the records may also include the address, age, marital status, occupation and nationality of each passenger, providing invaluable details that could help uncover more branches of a family tree and further insights into a family's history.
The passenger lists also open up new insights into family history and social trends. For example, the lists reveal the story of the Jewish migrants who fled persecution and poverty in Russia to escape to South Africa in search of a new life via British ports.