Happy Windrush Day 2022
- 22nd June 2022
Happy Windrush Day 2022! This is the fifth national celebration and marks 74 years since the SS Empire Windrush carried the first Caribbean migrants to the UK to help re-build Britain after WWII.
Ancestors From Overseas
Worcestershire Archive has two books of relevance in our reference library. These provide some useful background information and pointers to help those tracing family roots. Currently on display with some others on our ‘cube stand’, they can usually be found at shelf location 364.68, Level 2, The Hive in Worcester. The Local Studies collection of books is very broad but all themed around local history to help folk understand Worcestershire’s past. So focusing on just one book for Windrush Day is an absolute pleasure.
Immigrants and Aliens is a book for people whose ancestors came from overseas as opposed to just those coming from the West Indies. It is by Roger Kershaw and Mark Pearsall of The Public Record Office (now The National Archives due to it merging with Historical Manuscripts Commission). It covers the many waves of non-UK immigrants, also information about citizenship policy, in section 2.
Please be aware it may be distressing for people affected by the immigration legislation scandal to read section 2. After all, individuals have been left to prove their right to stay in the UK, due to not being supplied paperwork or paperwork being destroyed by previous governments. With this in mind, we are very keen to receive comments into our post-box in self-service level 2, so please share your views if you’d like to.
These websites may also be helpful:
- Windrush Help Team – Our schemes can help you confirm your legal status in the UK and claim the compensation you may be entitled to.
- New free legal advice for Windrush victims | Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (jcwi.org.uk)
Useful Records Series
Immigrants and Aliens details the main series of records at The National Archives (TNA) and where those outside NTA can be found. Some extracts are:
- Indexes to the Registration of British Citizenship documents 1948-69 are held by the Immigration and Nationality Department in Liverpool.
- A reference number from the above indexes are required for access to certificates held at The National Archives that enabled colonial workers and families to migrate with ease to Britain between 1948-1962. Duplicate Home Office copies of the certificates are at HO 334. N.B. The Commonwealth Immigration Act 1962 put end to easy immigration from the colonies after WWII, after West Indians having carried out wartime services.
- British Government Working Party Committee papers at LAB 26/226: covering recommendations for recruitment of female workers from the colonies into the Health Service and textile industries in the UK due to domestic shortages. Also papers that lead to the Commonwealth Immigration Act 1962.
- Inward ship passenger lists of colonial immigrants in BT 26 are at The National Archives up to and including 1960. These name all passengers where the ships voyage began at a port outside of Europe. Also available to search on Ancestry: UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 | Ancestry® accessible for free via Ancestry Institution at Worcestershire libraries.
N.B. many colonial immigrants arrived by plane or train as they and travelled on ships at ports on the Continent and the PRO does not have records of these migrants.
Migration Records by Roger Kershaw A Guide for Family Historians the other book on our cube stand and is also by Roger Kershaw. This book offers practical tips on searching and information about online releases of records up to 2009.
More Links to External Resources:
Collections at WAAS
7 days notice for access applies for these uncatalogued archives. Access may be restricted depending on personal data within the records and permission may therefore need to be sought for research purposes.
BA14523 Worcestershire Record Office. Black History Month. No date. Photographs, programme and roll of signatures created as part of a cultural celebration for Black History Month in Redditch, jointly hosted by Worcestershire County Council and the Descendants of Windrush.
506.2 BA14958 WCC. Chief Executive. Media and Public Relations. c1998. Windrush 1998 correspondence and public relations material. (With other material included in deposit).
BA16598. CIGT Partnership and Participation. Commissioning Files. 2006-2008. Descendents of Windrush. (With other material included in deposit).