Boon for family tree buffs as shipping logs put online

LONDON - New Zealand and Australian family-tree buffs can avoid dusty boxes of documents and now go online to discover information on the emigration of their ancestors from Britain.

The records of all long-haul ships leaving Britain and Ireland for Australia have been transferred from paper documents at the UK National Archives and put on www.ancestorsonboard.com.

The site has all passenger lists for vessels leaving the UK and Ireland between 1890 and 1909, with full lists reaching up to 1960 to be uploaded in the coming six months.

A basic initial search is free, with a cost levied for more detailed searches if an ancestor shows up in the basic data.

The site will be a resource not only for those of British and Irish ancestry but also those from continental Europe -- particularly post-war -- as many went through UK ports en route to Australia.

There are more than 1.5 million pages of information on the site, covering 30 million passengers, transferred from paper records at an estimated cost of A$6.2 million ($7.12 million).

It covers emigration to long-haul destinations such as North and South America, Africa, Asia Australia and New Zealand.

- AAP

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