Passenger Lists now complete with launch of the final decade

March 18, 2008

Search for ancestors from 1890-1960

The last decade of the Passenger Lists has now been added, allowing you to search from 1890 all the way up to 1960, for ancestors leaving the UK. There are now more than 24 million passengers, across 164,000 exclusive passenger lists.

The 1950s – Elvis, Egypt and Emigration

The 1950s is often seen as a conservative period, in relation to the more radical 60s. Despite this it saw the birth of the teenager, with Rock ‘n’ Roll music emerging from America, the ‘Beat’ writers and the seeds of the Civil Rights movement. The intensifying Cold War between the USA and the USSR was played out in a race for Space: by the decade’s end Sputnik I had been launched.

Britain’s prestige was dealt a blow with the Suez Crisis, in 1956. Rationing was slowly ending, National Service was in place, wide-scale rebuilding after the devastations of World War Two were bearing fruit and thousands of ‘Ten Pound Poms’ took the opportunity to start afresh in Australia. Commercial sea travel was in its last days, with air travel becoming more affordable and prevalent from the 1960s on.

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Notable passengers on board in the 1950s

There are lots of famous faces and notable names in the final decade of the Passenger Lists. One of Hollywood’s greatest stars, Gregory Peck, can be seen aboard the Queen Elizabeth in 1950:

Passenger Lists - Gregory Peck

Matt Busby, the manager of Manchester United for many years can be found travelling with his team in May 1950, where Manchester United undertook their first tour of the States. Busby, whose tragic ‘Busby Babes’ died in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, led the club to success in the European Cup in 1968.

Passenger Lists - Matt Busby

Other notable passengers in the 1950s include Max Factor, Gloria Swanson, Cecil Beaton, Jack Buchanan and Bill Haley.

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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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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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Jewish refugees

February 11, 2008

As the Nazi Party’s anti-Semitic agenda became clearer and more brutal, thousands of Jews fled Germany and its neighbouring countries. Following Kristallnacht in November 1938, the need to emigrate in order to avoid persecution became more urgent.

The 1940s Passenger Lists contain many Jewish individuals fleeing Europe for America and Australia. One example is a voyage made by the Brittanic on 3 May 1940 to New York. The ‘alien’ section of the Passenger List reveals a large number of Jewish passengers, many of them merchants. Most are from Germany and Austria.

Passenger Lists - Jewish refugees

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Some of the passengers are described as having their last UK address as the Council for German Jewry’s Kitchener Camp, in Richborough, Kent:

Passenger Lists - Kitchener Camp

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The Kitchener Camp provided accommodation for almost 15,000 Jewish men, despite it having been designed to house only a fifth of that number. The camp was disbanded in June 1940 as, following the evacuation of Dunkirk, German and Austrian nationals were viewed as ‘enemy aliens’ and were subject to internment.

8,000 of the ‘enemy aliens’ were deported to Australia and Canada as the threat of German invasion increased, to ensure that they couldn’t pose any threat to national security.


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.

Start Searching Now

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.

Search the Passenger Lists now


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.

Start Searching Now

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.

Search the Passenger Lists now.


Why we should be thankful for the Merchant Shipping Act 1906

January 17, 2007

BT27 records details of many types of traveller: emigrant, businessman, tourist, diplomat and so on. A significant proportion of the emigrants within these passenger lists did not begin their journey in the British Isles, however. These emigrants are known as trans-migrants or, in the charming terminology of the time, alien trans-migrants. Typical of these are the men, women and children who had embarked from ports in Scandinavia and the lands bordering the Baltic Sea for a British sea port, typically Hull, Leith, London or West Hartlepool. From their port of entry into Britain they would cross the country to a west coast port: for instance, travel by train from Hull to Liverpool, or from Leith to Glasgow. From Glasgow or Liverpool these trans-migrants would then board the great ocean liners bound for Canada and USA.

As the numbers of these migrants increased during the 1890s and 1900s, the British authorities reacted. In 1906 Lloyd George, the then President of the Board of Trade, passed a Merchant Shipping Act which, while largely focused on improving conditions for merchant seamen, required shipping lines to record basic details of the first leg of such trans-migrants’ journeys. This is good news for researchers, in that it provides evidence of the Baltic or North Sea route taken by Nordic emigrants. For example, a passenger list may indicate that a Finnish emigrant arrived at Hull on a Good & Co ship, or a Norwegian landed at Hull on board a Wilson Line boat.

For more on Norwegian emigration, visit Børge Solem’s excellent www.norwayheritage.com. You do not need to be blessed with Norwegian forebears to find Norway Heritage interesting, as the articles (which are written in impeccable English) are of value to anyone interested in transatlantic emigration.

Click on the link below for an image taken from a 1910 passenger list, which shows Danes, Norwegians and Finns bound for St John NB in Canada.

Images