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Immigration

Like many people tracing their family history you may sooner or later stumble upon an ancestor who was born abroad but came to live in the United Kingdom. This may be an exciting discovery as it opens up a wealth of new avenues for you to explore.

Throughout history, overseas visitors have decided to make their home in the UK, some have been victims of persecution in their own countries, others have come in search of a new life.

There are a number of significant entries into the UK from one place at one time include:

  • Huguenots from France in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the greatest numbers arriving in 1572 and 1685
  • Jews fleeing religious persecution in Eastern Europe towards the end of the 19th century, and again from Germany and other countries in the 1930s
  • British citizens from the commonwealth answered the call for skilled workers needed in the UK in the post WW2 period and the 1950s
  • The 18th and 19th centuries saw Indian and Chinese seamen (lascars) serving on East Indiamen and other merchant ships. Many of them found themselves stranded in the UK and decided to stay on in Britain and established communities in the main ports especially London.
 
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