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Genealogy project launched

Image - Simon Galloway

The SS Great Britain has launched a genealogy project to discover the details of women who travelled on board the ship.

The SS Great Britain’s working life stretched from her launch in 1843 to 1886. During this time, she carried around 33,000 passengers and it is estimated that as many as 500,000 people in Australia could be descended from those who travelled on board.

During the SS Great Britain’s working life as a passenger ship, married couples and families often travelled under one ticket which recorded the name, profession and age of the male passenger. Married women often didn’t have their names recorded, which means that many of our female passengers are simply recorded by their husbands’ surnames.

The SS Great Britain Trust has launched a genealogy project that aims to research these passengers. Working with a team of volunteers based within the Brunel Institute, we hope to discover more information on these women – such as their full names - and update the Global Stories database, which charts passengers on every voyage made by the SS Great Britain.

This genealogy project will not only allow us to better tell the stories of approximately 1,700 women, but it is also hoped to help future family researchers discover their ancestors.

With so many names to research, we know that this project isn’t going to be quick and we may not be able to identify every name, but we want to try.

We will continue to update our blog site with results as the project goes on.