Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 on Ancestry

A new database on Ancestry may useful to family history researchers researching their UK connections: UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960.

This database is an index to the Board of Trade’s passenger lists of ships arriving in the United Kingdom from foreign ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean, including Australia. Exceptions to this are vessels that originated outside of these areas but then picked up passengers in European or Mediterranean ports en route. The UK port of arrival was not necessarily the final destination of the ship. In addition, the names found in the index are linked to actual images of the passenger lists, copied from The National Archives (TNA) collection series BT26.
The passenger lists date from 1878 to 1888 and 1890 to 1960. However, many of the pre-1890 lists were irregularly destroyed by the Board of Trade in 1900. Therefore, there are not many lists included in this database that date from these earlier years.
Separate lists were kept for British (and Commonwealth) passengers and Alien passengers. In addition, there was a variety of form types used throughout the years. These differences in forms may result in a variety of information recorded for different passengers.
When it is available, the following information is included in this index:
Name of passenger
Birth date or age
Arrival date
Port of departure
Port of arrival*
Ports of voyage, if recorded
Vessel name
Shipping line, if recorded
Official number, if recorded
Source information (TNA collection number, piece, and item numbers)
*The Ports of Arrival listed are the final destinations of the ship. However, if the ship had a stopover in the UK en route to another destination, it still had to have a passenger list filled out.
Additional information such as the passenger’s occupation and intended address in the United Kingdom may also be listed on some forms. From the 1930s entries included the abbreviation, “T”, if the visit was for the purpose of tourism. Be sure to view the image of the original passenger list for any additional information relating to a passenger. Keep in mind that some passenger lists were several pages long – you may need to use the “Previous” and “Next” buttons in the image viewer in order to see all of the images relating to a particular list.

This database can be accessed on Ancestry on any library computer at any branch via the "list of databases" link on our website.

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