Category Archives: Passenger Lists

New BT27 Passenger Lists go online for the 1930s decade

The latest release from TheGenealogist comes out today:

Queen Mary 1936 from TheGenealogist Image Archive
Queen Mary 1936 from TheGenealogist Image Archive

TheGenealogist has just released over 2.7 million BT27 records for the 1930s. These Outbound Passenger Lists are part of an expanding immigration and emigration record set on TheGenealogist that feature the historical records of passengers who sailed out of United Kingdom ports in the years between 1930 and 1939. With the release of this decade of records, the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist have been expanded again.  

The fully searchable BT27 records from The National Archives released today will allow researchers to:

  • Discover potential family members travelling together using TheGenealogist’s SmartSearch. This unique system is able to recognise family members together on the same voyage. In this situation it will display a family icon which allows you to view the entire family with one click.
  • Find people travelling to America, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere in the Passenger lists of people departing by sea from the United Kingdom.
  • View images of the original passenger list documents that had been kept by the Board of Trade’s Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.
  • Discover the ages, last address and where the passenger intended to make their permanent residence.
  • These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination.

Those with ancestors who sailed from Britain in the 1930’s will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist, which adds to their current Emigration records, now totalling over 19 million and dating back to 1896.

See our article: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/passenger-lists-from-the-1930s-record-the-voyages-of-our-ancestors-699/

TheGenealogist Adds New Passenger Lists for the 1920s era

Departure of the RMS Campania from Liverpool
Departure of the RMS Campania from Liverpool

 

TheGenealogist has just released four and a half million BT27 records for the 1920s. These Outbound Passenger Lists are part of the growing immigration and emigration record sets on TheGenealogist and contain the historical records of passengers who departed by sea from U.K. ports in the years between 1920 and 1929. With the addition of this decade of records, the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist have been significantly expanded.  

The fully searchable records released today will allow researchers to:

  • Identify potential family members travelling together with SmartSearch. TheGenealogist’s unique system can recognise family members together on the same voyage. In this case it will display a family icon which allows you to view the entire family with one click.
  • Find people travelling to America, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere in the Passenger lists of people leaving from the United Kingdom by sea.
  • See images of the original documents which were kept by the Board of Trade’s Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.
  • Discover the ages, last address and where the passenger intended to make their permanent residence.
  • These fully indexed records enable family historians to search by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination.

Those with ancestors who travelled out of Britain will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist that adds to their Immigration and Emigration records which already includes passenger lists from as far back as 1896 and the valuable Naturalisation and Denization records.

 

Ancestral voyages 

by Nick Thorne

The 1920s decade of Outbound Passenger Lists reveal our ancestors’ travels, as well as those of many famous individuals.

Records that chart our ancestors international journeys can be really useful for building the stories of their lives. The documents can help explain where an ancestor has gone when we can’t find them in the records at home, and it was certainly not just the top echelons of society that will appear in passenger lists. In the past all sorts of people booked passages on ships for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they were emigrating for a better life or travelling abroad on business? For this reason we can find the voyages of our ancestors ranging from Labourers to Lords and Artisans to Authors.

TheGenealogist has just added another decade of the always intriguing BT27 records to its growing number of Passenger Lists. These fully searchable records were originally kept by the Board of Trade and listed the details of outbound passengers from U.K. ports. With this release we can now find voyages going across the Atlantic to North America and to the countries of the Empire and beyond. A search of these records can reveal our forebears departing from this country and in amongst their numbers are also included a large number of famous names from the past.

This new release has the likes of Master Douglas Fairbanks Jr, aged 13, who became a famous film star, returning to the United States from a visit to England and travelling on the White Star Line’s ship the Celtic. He is travelling with James and Betty Sally Evans. This appears to be a misrecording of his mother’s name, Anna Beth Sully Evans and James is his stepfather. They were on a 21 day passage to New York departing from Liverpool on the 11th June 1921. We can glean from the passenger lists the ages of passengers, who they were travelling with, and the country of their intended permanent residence – all of which can be useful to our family history research when we find an ancestor in the results.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr in the passenger lists on TheGenealogist
Douglas Fairbanks Jr travelling with his mother and stepfather 11 June 1921

Researching in the passenger lists of this 1920s period of sea travel throws up many other famous names of the times. The 25 year old Harry G. Selfridge Jr, son of the founder of the London department store Selfridges, is one. We can also find the war poet Siegfried L. Sassoon and from the top ranks of the British Army there is Field Marshal Haig and Lt General Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. Turning to the world of politics we come across David Lloyd George, the Liberal politician who became the wartime Prime Minister. Here he is travelling with his wife, Dame Margaret and their daughter Megan who would herself go on to become the first female M.P. for a Welsh constituency. By using TheGenealogist’s unique SmartSearch feature we can identify the family members travelling together on a voyage by clicking on the family icon.

On a voyage to Gibraltar in April 1927 we can find the 63 year old widow, Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, the one time leader of the Suffragette movement. Without Mrs Pankhurst and her fellow suffragettes campaigning for the right for women to have the vote, then Megan Lloyd George would not have even been able to cast her ballot, let alone have had the right to stand for election to the House of Commons.

David Lloyd George MP in the Passenger Lists on TheGenealogist
David Lloyd George MP travelling with his wife, Dame Margaret and daughter, Megan, to Rio De Janeiro 21st December 1927
Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst London to Gibraltar 8th April 1927 in the Passenger Lists on TheGenealogist.co.uk
Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst London to Gibraltar 8th April 1927 on the P&O ship Naldera

There are numerous authors to be found in these records. In February 1926 Hilaire Belloc, who was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century, made the short hop across the channel from Southampton to Cherbourg. The 55 year old was onboard the Orduna, a vessel of The Royal Mail Steam Packet company on its way to New York. Belloc gave his address as The Reform Club SW1, but for others the passenger lists can reveal the details of an ancestor’s home address before they travelled – information which can be very useful when there is no census to consult for the time period in question. For example, the entry for the 21 year old Noel Coward, travelling on the Southampton to New York run of Cunard’s Aquitania that left on the 4th June 1921 – Coward gave his address as 111 Ebury Street London. This was the premises that his parents ran as a lodging house and it was where he kept a room while he travelled abroad. It was also the address where he wrote The Vortex, his first notable successful play. His occupation on the passenger list for June 1921 was that of an Actor. In later transatlantic crossings, however, he is sometimes recorded as a Dramatist, an Author and as a Playwright.

Noel Coward in the Outbound Passenger Lists on TheGenealogist
Noel Coward’s home address was 111 Elbury Street, London

Searching for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s sea voyages in this decade of BT27 Passenger Lists released by TheGenealogist, we see that the creator of Sherlock Holmes gives his address as 15 Buckingham Palace Mansions. This was actually the flat that the famous author and his second wife kept opposite the entrance to Victoria Station, although their main home was in Sussex and in other trips that address is recorded in the passenger lists.

Browsing the names of his fellow first class passengers we can see that the Literary agent Eric Seabrooke Pinker was also onboard and we can wonder if the two men mixed on the voyage. The arts were well represented on this trip as also travelling on the same ship was the artist Augustus John. John was a Welsh painter, draughtsman and etcher who had been an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom for a short time around 1910 and by the 1920s Augustus John was Britain’s leading portrait painter.

Arthur Conan Doyle and family from TheGenealogist's Passenger List collection
Arthur Conan Doyle and family travelling on the Olympic to New York 28 March 1923

Passenger lists are certainly fascinating documents that can reveal our ancestors overseas voyages and so help add detail to the stories of their lives. They can also be used to clarify where people have gone when we can’t find them in the records at home, as it is all levels of society that can be found in these records. This particular decade seems also to be very rich in the names of the famous as they departed from U.K. ports on their overseas travels.

See these and many more fascinating family history records at TheGenealogist.

Australian NSW Passenger Lists launched on TheGenealogist

 

TheGenealogist have just released over 190,000 records of passengers who departed Britain on early Migrant ships to New South Wales 1828 – 1896

These new records expand TheGenealogist’s Immigration, Emigration and Naturalisation and passenger list records.

The transcripts of the latest release uniquely give a family link so you can see spouses and children setting out on their new life. They also reveal details such as which ship they had sailed on, where they were landing, the passenger’s occupation and in the case where the migrant has been assisted to travel out to a job, their employer’s name.

Some records are more detailed than others and can divulge how much the emigrant was to be paid, whether rations were included in their employment. In some cases the immigrants Native Place, or where they had come from is also disclosed. A number of these settlers may have bought their own passages, while others travelled with assistance from one of the public or private programmes that existed at the time. With the discovery of gold in 1851 mass migration to New South Wales of a wider cross section of people took place.

The NSW passenger lists will allow researchers to

  • Discover ancestors travelling to New South Wales from Britain and Ireland between 1828 and 1896 in the shipping lists of the era
  • These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name together with country and port of embarkation, as well as country or port of destination
  • Find ancestors on “bounty scheme” voyages in which free immigrants to Australia were recruited by agents in Britain, who were paid a monetary reward for finding suitable skilled labour and tradespeople willing to sail out to the new colony
  • Locate families travelling together with a single click
  • See linked images and records on the New South Wales Government Website

These records can be found within the Immigration, Emigration and Travel collection on TheGenealogist and add significantly to the resources already available for researchers to use when looking for ancestors who left Britain. TheGenealogist’s extensive British & International Immigration and Emigration records, already include Naturalisation and Denization records, convict registers and early New Zealand settlers.

Search the records now at: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/advanced/overseas/passenger-lists/

 

An example from the records follows below…

By selecting Immigration, Emigration and Travel on TheGenealogist’s main search page and then choosing Passenger Lists from the dropdown menu, we are able to look for William Fortune and his young wife who set out for a new life in New South Wales departing from London on the 13th February 1841 on board the ship the Jane Gifford.

The detailed records confirm the departure date, the ship’s name and much much more. For example we are able to discover that William was from Newbridge, that he was a labourer aged 28 and a Roman Catholic. We can see that he was heading for Sydney, Australia and that William had been engaged by one Captain Flint at a wage of £19 a year.

TheGenealogist NSW passenger lists

Presumably William’s prospective employer, Captain Flint, was not the template for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Piratical character of the same name, who would appear in print forty years later. As the shipping records also reveals to us that William Fortune could neither read nor write, this fictional person with the same name as his boss may well have passed him by in the years to come.

An extremely powerful feature, of searching the passenger lists on TheGenealogist’s website, is the ability to look for a family travelling together. One click on the family group icon, next to William’s results, returns potential family members. We can see that his 19 year old wife, Susan, was also travelling with him. Her occupation is noted as a House Maid and she too was a Roman Catholic from Newbridge.

Another charming nugget of family history information revealed, by the Potential Family Members search, is that on the voyage William and Susan were delivered of a baby girl. Their child, Jane Fortune, was born at sea with her native place being prosaically listed simply as “Sea” on the passenger list. Jane is recorded as being aged 2 months and has then been pedantically noted in the records as being “under age”.

New South Wales passenger lists on TheGenealogist

The passenger lists available on TheGenealogist can reveal a significant amount of information about ancestors that have emigrated to New South Wales in the 19th century. As we can see, from the example above, the unique ability to search for relatives travelling together is a compelling reason to use TheGenealogist to research for immigrants down under.

 

New Passenger lists go online with unique search facilities

New Passenger lists go online with unique search facilities

Departure of the RMS Campania from Liverpool

RMS Campania, one of the ships included in the passenger lists.

TheGenealogist has just released five million Emigration BT27 records as part of their growing immigration and emigration record set. Uniquely TheGenealogist allows you to track transmigration of people across countries routing through British ports on their way to America. TheGenealogist is the only website with the facility to discover families travelling together on the same voyage using our SmartSearch technology.

The new records, with original images, contain the historical records of passengers who departed by sea from Britain in the years between 1896 and 1909. These new records significantly boosts the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist has further revealed that these records will be shortly followed by the release of many more unique migration records.

The searchable records released today will allow researchers to

  • Find people using British shipping lines and travelling to places such as America, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia in the Passenger lists of people leaving from, or passing through the United Kingdom, by sea which were kept by the Board of Trade’s Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.

  • The Homestead Act of 1862 in America gave free land to settlers who developed it for at least five years, and became a particular magnet for Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes, who arrived in their millions. To reach America, it was necessary to travel initially to England in order to then board one of the large transatlantic passenger ships and this preliminary journey has been recorded for many transmigrant passengers within the BT27 records. For the first time these can be easily found using the unique transmigration button.

  • SmartSearch identifies potential family members travelling together. When our system recognises groups of people on the same voyage as a potential family it displays a family icon. This then allows you to easily view the family.

  • Family SmartSearch

  • These fully indexed records enable family historians to search by name, port of embarkation, port of destination, country of departure, country arrival and nationality.

This release adds to TheGenealogist’s Immigration and Emigration records that already include the useful Naturalisation and Denization records.

Those with ancestors who travelled out of Britain will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist that reveal the details of the coming and going of passengers and is a precursor of a set of unique records joining the collection shortly.

Nigel Bayley, MD of TheGenealogist said: “We intend to make researching migrating ancestors easier with our new smarter interfaces and adding more records covering a growing range of countries.”

An example from the passenger list records:

Within the passenger lists, on TheGenealogist, we can find the passage of the Dunottar Castle from Southampton to Cape Town in South Africa on the 14th October 1899. One of the passengers was the young Winston Churchill who, at that time, was a member of the Press and was going out to report on the start of the Second Boer War.

Two days before his ship’s departure the war had broken out between Britain and the Boer Republic. At the news of this conflict Mr Churchill had obtained a commission to act as a war correspondent for The Morning Post newspaper. In return he was to be paid £250 a month for his services.

After spending a number of weeks in the Colony he managed to get himself onto an armoured train, loaded with British soldiers, performing a reconnoitre between Frere and Chieveley in the British Natal Colony during November 1899. A Boer commando force, however, had placed a big boulder on the track and the train crashed into it. The Boers, having succeeded in stopping the train, then opened up with their field guns and rifle fire from a vantage position.

After a fight a number of the British were taken prisoner, but the locomotive, decoupled from the carriages and ladened with men, managed to escape. Churchill, unfortunately for him, was not one of those on-board the loco. Without his sidearm, which he had left on the train, he had no option but to surrender to the Boers. Churchill was then imprisoned in a POW camp in Pretoria. After being held captive for about four weeks Churchill escaped on the evening of 12th December 1899. He did this by vaulting over the wall to the neighbouring property and taking flight.

Churchill passenger

If we look at Churchill’s travelling companions on the ship out to Cape Town, scheduled to take 65 days, we can see that he was sailing with a mixture of merchants, a jeweller, an actor, a Peer of the Realm (Lord Gerard), an optician and a couple of lawyers. The Hon A. Campbell was also listed, he was another member of the press corps who had made it on to that particular Castle Line sailing to the war zone with Churchill.