New decade added to the Passenger Lists 1940 to 1949

January 31, 2008

Findmypast.com has added another decade of records to the UK Outbound Passenger Lists currently available. Records now include 20 million names within 137,000 passenger lists spanning 1890 to 1949.

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1940s – Horrors, Hitler and the aftermath

The first half of the 1940s was one of the darkest periods in history, with global war causing millions of casualties and the horrors of the Holocaust. Buoyed by the USA’s entry following the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Allies eventually secured victory in Europe. Victory in Japan came only after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Following Armistice the world looked once again to rebuild: the ‘Iron Curtain’ descended in the East leading to the beginnings of the Cold War. Thousands of women left their families and homes to start a new life in Canada, America and Australia with the soldiers they had met and married. ‘Home Children’ were sent away to Canada for a better life, with mixed results. Commercial travel increased, as did the possibility of travelling for business, to compete in sports and other events.

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Notable passengers on board in the 1940s

One man whose influence on the decade cannot be overestimated appears in the passenger lists, travelling to America in 1946. Winston Churchill M P, following defeat in the 1945 election as the nation looked toward the social reforms of Attlee’s Labour Party, can be seen with his wife, valet and maid on board the Queen Elizabeth:

Passenger Lists - Churchill

The American film star Spencer Tracy may be seen on the Queen Mary:

Passenger Lists - Spencer Tracy

Whilst the famous sculptor Henry Moore can be found travelling to New York:

Passenger Lists - Henry Moore

Other notable names include Walt Disney, Elia Kazan, Benjamin Britten and Joan Fontaine.

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Find your ancestors in the Passenger Lists

Search by person or by ship name alone. You can now also narrow your search with the name of a travelling companion. A comprehensive guide to searching the passenger lists can be viewed here.

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Roger Casement – Reports and Republicanism

October 12, 2007

Sir Roger Casement was a British diplomat, lauded for his influential reports on human rights violations in Congo and Peru. So groundbreaking and revelatory was his work in exposing the ill-treatment of natives in these countries, he was knighted in 1911.

The Casement Report of 1904 led to the removal of King Leopold II of Belgium from his position of corrupt primacy in Congo.

Casement can be seen in the Passenger Lists travelling to Africa:

 Passenger List - Roger Casement

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His name has become synonymous not with his diplomatic work, however, but with the events of 1916.

Dublin-born Casement, partly as a result of a growing abhorrence of imperialism caused by his experiences in Congo and Peru, developed fervent republican sympathies. In 1916 he visited Germany in order to acquire arms and men to fight against British influence in Ireland.

Casement can be seen travelling to America in 1911, his ‘Sir’ appendage now in place:

 Passenger List - Sir Roger Casement

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The trip to Germany was not a great success, he was promised far fewer arms than he had hoped, and gained little in the way of reinforcements for the nationalist cause. The arms were intercepted en route to Ireland.

On his return to Ireland, Casement was arrested, three days before the Easter Rising occurred. He was stripped of his knighthood and tried for treason, sabotage and espionage against the Crown.

Casement was ‘hanged by a comma’, British treason law was seemingly powerless to convict him on the basis that he had been on foreign soil when he negotiated with the Germans. Nonetheless a suitable application of the law was found and, coupled with the outcry surrounding his infamous ‘Black Diaries’ he was sentenced to death.

Roger Casement was executed at Pentonville Prison in London on 3 August 1916.

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 His death record can be viewed on findmypast.com

 Death record - Roger Casement

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John McCormack – a long way from Tipperary

September 20, 2007

John McCormack was one of the most highly acclaimed singers of his generation, recording and releasing hundreds of classical, traditional and popular songs.

Born in Athlone, Ireland, McCormack won the gold medal for tenors at the Irish National Music Festival (Feis Ceoil) in 1903, at the age of 19. Following this he travelled to Italy to be trained by Vincenzo Sabatini, a noted singing coach.

Success and accolades followed; McCormack was soon singing with the Royal Opera, their youngest ever principal tenor at that time, and releasing records which sold in great numbers.

His repertoire included traditional and nationalist Irish songs such as ‘The Wearing of the Green’, ‘The Rose of Tralee’ and ‘Macushla’; he was a keen supporter of Home Rule for Ireland.  McCormack was the first singer to record ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ which was the biggest hit of 1915 and a popular marching song with soldiers on the Western Front.

McCormack travelled extensively to perform, visiting America, Australia and even Japan, becoming an American citizen in 1917.

He can be seen in the new decade of the Passenger Lists, travelling with his wife to the States in 1934. He is listed as Count John McCormack and she as Countess. The ‘Count’ appendage refers to a Papal title given to him by Pope Pius XI to recognise his generosity towards Catholic charities.

John McCormack

It is worth noting that, although Irish born, the McCormacks are both noted as being citizens of the U.S.A. in the Passenger List entry, due to their naturalisation there.

Visit the website of the John McCormack Society here.


New decade added to the Passenger lists – 1930-1939

September 18, 2007

Findmypast.com has added another decade of records to the UK Outbound Passenger Lists currently available. Records now include 18.4 million names within 125,000 passenger lists spanning 1890 to 1939.

The 1930s – an era of depression and despots

The 1930s were a decade that began with the Great Depression, in the wake of the Wall Street Crash, and ended in war. The global economic crisis saw the rise of extreme politics, the birth of fascism and the end of the prosperity and liberalism of the previous decade.

People were still travelling for work, and pleasure, but from 1933 the rise to power of Hitler saw thousands of people beginning to flee the Nazi regime. These migrants weren’t offered a great deal of help; Canada, for example, claimed that it could offer entry only to “certain classes of agriculturalists’, whilst Australia proclaimed that it would be unfair to give one class of non-British subjects preferential treatment.

Notable passengers on board in the 1930s

A great many recognisable figures from sport, entertainment and the arts can be found in the 1930s passenger lists.
Arthur “Harpo” Marx can be seen travelling to New York in 1931

Harpo

Whilst the British tennis legend Fred Perry is found aboard the Queen Mary in 1937

Perry

Other notable passengers include Laurel and Hardy, Somerset Maugham, Bob Hope, Cecil Beaton and Helen Keller.
A key figure in the 1930s was the American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose New Deal helped to pull the States out of Depression. His son, Franklin Delano Jr. can also be found

Find your ancestors in the Passenger Lists

Search by person or by ship name alone. You can now also narrow your search with the name of a travelling companion. A comprehensive guide to searching the passenger lists can be viewed here.

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Our premium Explorer Subscription offers you unlimited access to over 500 million records on findmypast, including the passenger lists, and costs £89.95 for 12 months – the equivalent of just £7.50 a month. The Voyager Subscription gives you 30 days’ unlimited searching of all the Passenger Lists for only £14.95.

You can also view the Passenger Lists on a pay-per-view basis. It costs 10 units to view a transcription and 30 units to view, print and save the full-colour digital images.

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Another decade added to the UK Outbound Passenger Lists 1920 – 1929

July 2, 2007

Ancestorsonboard.com has added another decade of records to the UK Outbound Passenger Lists currently available. Records now include an incredible 15,749,960 names within 97,614 passenger lists spanning 1890 to 1929.

There’s more information available on the original images than in previous decades, such as each passenger’s last address in the UK, making it easier than ever to fill in the gaps in your research. 

The 1920s – bright young things and abdicating kings

It was the era of decadence and glamour. The Jazz Age in America, epitomised by the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, in Europe it was The Golden Twenties. With music, entertainment and art people looked to purge themselves of the horrors of The Great War; modernism flourished in both literature and an embracing of technological advances.

In this decade people were beginning to travel not purely out of necessity, but for its own sake. People still emigrated and travelled on business but were now also able to visit their family abroad, enjoy cruises and participate in international sporting events. Immigration to the USA began to tail off as, in 1922, the States looked to close their borders. This led to a growth in people looking to make Canada and, increasingly, Australia their new home.

Famous Names

Amongst the passengers recorded in this new decade are those from the burgeoning world of entertainment and sport. 

Noel Coward, Cary Grant, under his real name Archibald Leach

Cary Grant Passenger ListCary Grant Passenger List

Albert Warner of the Warner Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford can all be found in the 1920’s passenger lists, as can the Third Lanark Football team.

The now defunct Third Lanark AC’s trip was to raise funds for Scottish exiles in Argentina; a copy of the letter negotiating costs can be viewed here.

Third Lanark Passenger ListThird Lanark Passenger List

Find your ancestors in the Passenger Lists

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The Voyager Package gives you 30 days’ unlimited searching of all the Passenger Lists for only £15. Our premium Explorer Package offers you unlimited access to over 500 million records on findmypast, including the passenger lists, and costs £125 for 12 months – the equivalent of just £10.50 a month. You can also view the Passenger Lists on a pay-per-view basis. It costs 10 units to view a transcription and 30 units to view, print and save the full-colour digital images.


Thousands are sailing

February 28, 2007

“Thousands are sailing / Across the western ocean / To a land of opportunity / That some of them will never see” (The Pogues, “Thousands are Sailing”).

By the time the Board of Trade began in 1890 to systematically collect details of all passengers on outward-bound long-haul sailings from Britain and Ireland – the records which now make up the BT27 passenger list record series – emigration from Ireland already had a long history. While emigration in the 1890s may have lacked the urgency of the famine years in the 1840s and 1850s, tens of thousands of ordinary Irish men, women and children were still leaving the country in the 1890s and 1900s. Most were bound for USA and were responding more to the “pull” of the New World rather than any “push” from the Old. Irish immigrants and their first and second generation descendants were making their fortunes and gaining positions of power in cities such as New York and Boston, and news of their success was constantly filtering back to family, friends and the wider community back in Ireland. Of course, numerically far more Irish immigrants in USA lived inner-city lives in poverty or on modest means than made it rich. As Shane MacGowan also sang on “Thousands are Sailing”: “Postcards we’re mailing / Of sky-blue skies and oceans / From rooms the daylight never sees”. However, it was the success stories which were heard and which continually re-stimulated emigration. Perhaps, after all, it is the hope of living with dignity, and the possibility, rather than any likelihood, of becoming wealthy, which provided the real draw.

To give an idea of the volume of Irish emigration, within the years from 1890 to 1909 inclusive, at present count there were 4,341 transatlantic sailings from the port of Queenstown (Cobh of Cork), 2,406 from Londonderry, 118 from Galway and 80 from Belfast.