Find your ancestors in Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960

Only found on findmypast

This outbound passenger list collection is published in association with the UK National Archives and cannot be found anywhere else online. The 30 million-plus record collection holds many key discoveries for those researching their ancestors’ immigration to the US and Canada.

Find Eastern European immigrants

Many immigrants from European countries such as Germany, Poland, Russia relayed over an English port, such as Liverpool and Southampton, on their migration to the US and Canada. Information about these immigrants and their voyage can be found in these outbound passenger lists.

Find Irish immigrants

UK passenger lists are full of English, Scottish and Welsh immigrants but what is often overlooked is the number of immigrants from Ireland. Irish immigrants typically left for North America from either a port in Ireland or England, as in Liverpool and Southampton.

Our exclusive passenger list collection contains all long-haul voyages that left Irish and English ports from 1890 to 1922. From 1922 to 1960, we have all the passenger lists leaving from Northern Ireland and England.

Voyages to all corners of the world

These outbound passenger lists include voyages to other destinations than North America. All continents are covered. You will find passengers on ships sailing to Asia, South America, Australia and West Africa.

These voyages often called en route at additional ports, including those in Europe, and any passengers disembarking at these stops are included.

There are no domestic British or purely European voyages in these passenger lists as they are not considered long-haul trips.

British passengers on the Titanic
British passengers on the Titanic

What a passenger list contains

There is no single, standard format for passenger lists. Some record only minimal detail, others include a wealth of information down to exact address and ultimate destination. Details often found are the passenger’s age, relationships and occupation.

Each passenger list varies in size and length and most changed format over time. They span from pre-printed templates to handmade forms, from beautifully decorated to mostly functional, typed and handwritten. A typical passenger list can be divided into three parts: A header, providing details about the ship and its voyage; the body of the list, giving details of the passengers travelling on board; and the summary section, statistical detail on the number of passengers and usually a signature and stamp from the Board of Trade (BT).

The three parts of a list may be on a single page or spread over two or more pages.

Narrow results by ship name, port of departure and destination port

On the results display screen, you can filter the results by ship name, port of departure, and destination port to narrow your search. Below are some tips on these three key elements.

Ship Names

While the ships listed in the Passenger Lists records are all departing from ports in the UK, not all of the ships themselves are British.

• With the inclusion of Dutch, German, Swedish, Portuguese and other foreign vessels, some ship names initially look mistranscribed. Variations of spelling have been standardized as far as possible to avoid confusion and to ease searching.

For example, the Dutch ship Damsterdijk, also spelled Damsterdyk, only one version of the name has been selected, allowing you to view passenger lists for both spellings with one search.

• Names have also been standardized where they appear variously as one or two words, e.g., Ionic Star and Ionicstar.

Port of departure

Researchers should note that there is no strict geographical relation between, for example, a passenger's last address within the British Isles and the port from which they embarked overseas. For instance, a person living in Scotland is more likely to have sailed from Glasgow or another Scottish port. However, they will not have sailed from Glasgow if their destination overseas is not served by a shipping line operating out of that port.

Destination ports

Passenger lists are not always clear or precise as to their exact routes and any ports of call on their way to their final destination. It is important to note that wherever a voyage has one or more ports of call prior to its final destination. There may be a difference between where the ship is going and where a passenger on board is going.

For instance, the ship may be sailing to Sydney, Australia but passengers may disembark at Bombay in India if that is one of the ports of call en route.

Wherever possible, given destination ports are those of the passenger not of the ship. However, where this is unclear or not stated, the destination of the ship is given for the passenger instead.

We have constructed the database in such a way so that, where a port has had two names, the ports are joined together in the drop-down list and are searched together.