Millions of Emigrants’ Records to Go Online

They set sail for the other side of the world in search of fortune and freedom. For the millions of free settlers, Australia was a country of hope and promise — a chance to escape class systems, poverty and overcrowding. This week, more than 150 years on, their stories will be available online for the first time, giving their descendants the chance to trace their journeys. The collection will allow people to search 8.9 million names of passengers and crew who arrived in New South Wales as free settlers between 1826 and 1922. It follows the launch of the records of 160,000 convicts on the site last year. Ancestry.com.au spokesman Brad Argent said about seven million Australians were related to early settlers, giving the average Aussie a one-in-three chance of having a free-settler ancestor

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