So that is where they went: using BT27 passenger lists to break down brick walls

Thomas was born in 1885 in his home town and I had found him marrying his wife Lucy in 1904 and having two children, Onslow and Lucy, born there in 1904 and 1906 respectively. But, after that, no trace: no evidence of his or of his wife’s death, or of the marriages or deaths of his children. Thomas’s branch on my family tree was left hanging there, like a loose thread. If you are anything like most family historians, there will be one or more of these loose threads hanging from your tree too and you will know how frustrating it is, and how every now and then you pick at and puzzle over it again.

But now I know what became of Thomas and his family. I have found him in London in 1906, boarding the SS Sarmatian for a new life in Quebec. He must have gone out in advance of his family, as many men did, as I have also found his wife Lucy and their two children two years later, in 1908, on the passenger list for the Empress of Ireland’s sailing to Quebec.

I then started looking at other brick walls on my family tree. I’ve found my great grandfather’s brother John also heading to Quebec in 1906 on the Kensington, with his three infant children but, for a reason as yet unknown to me, without his wife Elizabeth. Did she follow later? Had she died? One puzzle solved but another question posed: such is family history.

The passenger lists mentioned above are all contained within the second decade of BT27, the years 1900-1909, which will be published shortly here on Ancestors On Board.


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