Top Picks for Looking at Migration

Where ever we live the in the world there is a huge amount of migration and emigration. That is not new. Whereas now we travel many miles by plane our ancestors and forebears travelled those many miles by boat.

Where ever they came from migrants bought with them bits of their culture, whether that was a recipe from another land, a bag of spices or an object or the passing down or a tradition. We now live in a true multi cultural world.

The United Kingdom is in an extraordinary position, it sits within the confines of Europe, whilst has historical links to many, many parts of the world under the then umbrella of the British Empire.

Therefore there was always going to be movement from parts of the former British Empire to the shores of the UK, but we also attracted people from all over Europe escaping persecution from their native lands.

Here is my top 10 of fascinating sites looking at migration.


  1. Website - Moving Here – Explores why there was so much migration to the UK over the last 200 years.  Look at the links page – lots of fascinating sites to explore.
  2. Book - The Last Pink Bits by Harry Richie is a fascinating account of the British Empire, which covered a quarter of the globe and a million people when it was at its. Book published in 1998 by Hodder & Stoughton - ISBN - 978-0340666838
  3. Website Windrush was the name of the ship which brought immigrants from the Caribbean to Tilbury Docks in England.
  4. Video  - Windrush video  located at the UK’s only digital on line TV channel
  5. Website & Society - Hugenot Society – Exploring the migration of Protestants from 16th Century France to Great Britain and Ireland – Pay particular attention to the  n  Family History section.
  6. Website - Moroccan Memories in Britain
  7. Podcasts – A really valuable and varied set of podcasts provided by The National Archives including how immigrants were treated during periods of War, Migration from 16th – 20th Century.
  8. Website – BBC - The story of the Italians in Britain during WWII
  9. Book - Italian Immigrants in Nineteenth Century Britain: Reality and Images, Leicester University Press, 1988, by Lucio Sponza – This is a fascinating account of migration from Italy to Britain. The period is a bit early for my family history, but it gives a great amount of detail and is a great read.
  10. Family History Societies 


Have fun exploring all these fascinating migratory sources, of course there are many, many more. If you have one you recommend, why not leave a comment?



About Julie Goucher

Genealogist Julie Goucher sets to explore all aspects of researching ancestry and the lives of our ancestors in the United Kingdom in her monthly column for IDG, “Across the Pond.” Each month we will explore the lives of our forebears and seek to understand the Society they lived in through the obvious and not so obvious research opportunities. You can find Julie blogging at Anglers Rest:

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