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London was the major port of departure for ships carrying emigrants abroad from the 1500s to modern times. Ships traveled up and down the River Thames. Those leaving the realm cleared at Gravesend.
A list of emigrants leaving London in 1636 survives. Other lists dated 1773 to 1776 also survive.
Tens of thousands of records of indentured servants and transported convicts leaving London for America exist. They have been published by Peter Wilson Coldham and others. A master index is available on Ancestry ($). Examples of Coldham's publications include:
Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills identify many Londoners voyaging abroad.
A list of ship's departing from London for the United States in the mid-1800s has been reconstructed using sources stored in the arrival country:
- The London Compass. Digital versions at Family History Archive: Vol. 2.
- Births, Marriages and Deaths Overseas (London Metropolitan Archives Information Leaflet)
- Black Caribbean Community Archives at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA Information Leaflet)
- Chinese Community Archives at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA Information Leaflet)
- East India Company Ships (1600-1834)
- The German Community in London (LMA Information Leaflet)