Details of millions of Britons who traveled to Australia in the late 19th and early 20th century in search of economic success were released online Wednesday. Ancestry.co.uk has compiled the details of 8.9 million so-called "free settlers", or economic migrants to Australia, which the website says gives the average Briton a 25 percent chance of having a free settler ancestor.
"Australia's free settler heritage is often overlooked in favour of its more colourful convict past," the website's managing director Simon Harper said.
"However, it should be remembered that free settlers were brave and ambitious, making the choice to leave their homes and travel by ship for many months to the other side of the world for the chance of a new life."
Australia's population rose more than 100 times between 1826 and 1922, largely due to immigration, as well as a rapidly-growing economy.
The website's collection shows that Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Sydney in 1893, a year before he died, and that actress Nicole Kidman is a descendant of Irish settlers Bridget and James Callacher.