Tuesday, September 25, 2007

UK Inbound Passengers 1878-1960

80 Years of UK Immigration Records to launch online

The records of 18 million UK immigrants to ber made available online for the first time - Ancestry.co.uk

Ancestry.co.uk today announced that The National Archives has awarded it a license to digitise, index and host online the UK Inbound Passenger Lists, 1878 to 1960.

Launching on Ancestry.co.uk in mid-2008, it is the first time that this important collection, known also as the Board of Trade Passenger Lists, Inwards 1878 to 1960 or BT26, will be available online.

The UK Inbound Passenger Lists contains the names of 18 million immigrants and tourists who arrived in the United Kingdom over the course of almost a century from destinations outside Europe and the Mediterranean, providing a unique insight into immigration patterns at a time of great change and decline in the life of the British Empire.

The one million pages that comprise the UK Inbound Passenger Lists are organised by port of arrival and may include information such as name, age, occupation and intended address in the UK. Also included may be the purpose of the journey, the name of the ship, its owner and port of origin.

A number of famous voyages are contained in the UK Inbound Passenger Lists, including that of the S.S. Empire Windrush, which arrivedin June 1948 carrying the first large group of West Indian immigrants to the UK. Its arrival became an important historical landmark heralding the true beginning of the UK’s multi-cultural society as from 1948 and 1960 hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the Caribbean arrived in the UK.

The UK Inbound Passenger Lists will complement Ancestry’s already comprehensive international collection of passenger lists, which includes the names of 100 million UK and European immigrants who travelled to America between 1820 and 1960, and also a variety of immigration and emigration records for Canada, Australia and Germany.

Ancestry.co.uk Managing Director Simon Harper comments: “As the subject of immigration has long been of interest, the UK Inbound Passenger Lists will provide both family and social history researchers with an opportunity to explore important records which reflect an exciting period of change.

“Ancestry.co.uk is delighted to have the opportunity to continue its partnership with The National Archives to extend our ever-growing historical record collection and provide online access to yet another fantastic TNA collection.”

The National Archives’ head of business development Dan Jones comments: “Migration records can provide a fascinating insight into not just family history, but also the development of the Nation during a period of intense social change. Working with Ancestry.co.uk to make this collection searchable by name, ship and place of origin will unlock this potential and represents another significant step in our mission to provide access to our most popular records online.

“We will look for further opportunities to work with Ancestry.co.uk and other commercial partners in the future to enable more people to gain access to the wealth of information that exists with The National Archives.”

For source information please contact the Press Office on 0208 846 3638.

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