Did an Ancestor Transit Through Liverpool?

Up until the early 1970s there’s a good chance someone in the family travelling to Canada transited through the port of Liverpool. I did. Knowing the ship, you don’t forget the name of the ship, and approximate date, you may only remember it approximately, records of the movement of ships in and out of the port in local newspapers will likely add detail about the journey.  

The major Liverpool newspapers available through the British Newspaper Archive, and on Findmypast, are

Title Issues Years
Liverpool Echo 35887 1879 – 1999
Liverpool Journal of Commerce 21610 1861-1862, 1864-1867, 1869-1887, 1889-1892, 1894, 1896-1897, 1899-1940
Liverpool Daily Post 17262 1855-1873, 1875-1877, 1881-1883, 1885-1890, 1892, 1894-1897, 1899-1920, 1939-1945
Liverpool Mercury 15294 1811-1835, 1837-1871, 1873-1897, 1899-1900

The Post and Mercury are also digitized on newspapers.com. Check both, I found the OCR of one was different from the other.

From 1958 there’s a regular column Merseyside Shipping in the Liverpool Echo listing the name of the ship, whether it left or leaves (L), arrived (A), due (D), called (C), berthed (B), for (F), passed (P) or sailed (S), the port and the date. I found L and D entries for the ship I sailed on along with an article about a local Liverpool person, a widow leaving for Ontario to live with her daughter. It mentioned there were 1,000 passengers. From memory, it didn’t seem like that many.

Liverpool newspapers are good sources for maritime news in general; the Liverpool Journal of Commerce is especially strong.

2 Replies to “Did an Ancestor Transit Through Liverpool?”

  1. John,
    Looking at the dates in those newspapers you mentioned, they don’t include the year 1948 when I arrived in Canada after shipping out of Liverpool in October, a rather rough crossing.

  2. Now I’m trying to remember if my parents left through Liverpool … will have to check 🙂 They came from England six months apart in 1958, having lived about 15 miles apart there, but not meeting until they’d both moved to Ottawa.

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