Debbie Beavis

Passenger List Research

1878 - 1960

ALL ships carrying passengers in or out of any British port were required by law to deposit an
official passenger list with the relevant port authorities; migrants, tourists, business travellers - men, women and children. All were carefully recorded. The records for all these ship passengers travelling between 1890 and 1960 still survives within the collection of original British Board of Trade passenger lists.
These are original documents, fragile and difficult to handle. The only place they can be seen is at the Public Record Office in Kew, England.

The lists are NOT filmed, NOT indexed and they are NOT available on-line.

Searching for the list you need is very time consuming. They are large documents, filed in no particular order in heavy boxes. They are very difficult to search and with no useful finding aids at Kew. For fifteen years I have specialised in British passenger list research. I have created my own databases and other finding aids, and can find your passenger quickly and easily. I can provide you with a photocopy showing the name of the passenger you are seeking.

Your passenger's name could already be on the database - we have every passenger who sailed to Australia in the year 1910, or who disembarked at ports en route. We are adding names for other voyages between 1909 and 1915.

Databases of ship sailings help us find your passengers travelling to new appointments in the British colonies, in South Africa, the Middle East, Far East and onwards to New Zealand.

We have many entries for child emigration schemes to Australia and Canada. We have helped Australian immigrants, who may have arrived in Australia as children believing themselves to be without family, to trace their arrival into Australia, finally allowing them to cut through the red tape and prove just who they really are. Using the information contained in the British lists we have reunited families who had lost touch for many years.

We have growing databases of GI and Canadian War Brides and their children, sailing out of the UK following WWll. These often give addresses of families in the UK and in the US and Canada. We have identified sailing details of Warbrides destined to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and our associated mailing list revives tired memories for those who may have forgotten the name of the ship carrying them to their new home. If YOU are a Warbride, or you have a special interest in War Brides, do join the Warbrides mailing list - renew old contacts, make new friends, share memories!

We can find sailing details for aid workers or service families travelling to and from Malta, Gibraltar, Aden, and other British Military stations overseas often within the Mediterranean Sea. Records of these passengers should not have been kept as they break all the rules but they do exist and we can often locate them.

There are NO American or Canadian outbound lists. British lists DO record these passengers returning to Britain and represent the only hope of tracing those homeward voyages. For those travelling to or from South Africa, New Zealand or South America, for those whose passengers travelled to or from a hundred tiny locations around the world, the British lists may be the only record. Thomas Cook carried passengers on round-the-world trips more than 100 years ago. Throughout the late 19th and the 20th Centuries, the urge to travel and explore means that many of these tourists appear on the British lists!

Many thousands of eastern and northern Europeans left their homes, some by choice and some driven out, in the late 19th and the 20th Centuries. Some stayed in Britain. Most travelled on to destinations in America, Canada, Australia and South Africa or beyond. Inbound lists showing them arriving into Britain from their homelands, do NOT exist!  Those who travelled on, however, especially those who travelled after 1906, may have left a paper trail allowing their descendants to trace their arrival into the UK. It is often possible to discover the name of the elusive unknown ship which brought them to the UK en route to their new life overseas.

The British list may be the final evidence of your ancestors leaving the home country, or mark a vital stage in their momentous voyage to a new life. The British lists are unique - let us help you find YOUR family!

Special Lists
 Lists On-Line

Copyright DataMarine 2001
References PRO - BT26; BT27 Statistical Department Board of Trade.