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Beginners => Family History Beginners Board => Topic started by: PeterProg on Saturday 02 September 17 14:54 BST (UK)

Title: Channel Crossing Records for the early 20th Century
Post by: PeterProg on Saturday 02 September 17 14:54 BST (UK)
Hi all

I am researching a distant forebear who had what might be referred to as a 'colourful' life in the first decades of last century.  Not to put too fine a point on it, he was a petty fraudster, with a practised line in card game and horse racing swindles.  He died in the 1950s and as far as I can tell, he led a reasonably respectable life later on.  But in his younger days, he was evidently quite the operator.

He was not always, or even all that often, successful.  I understand that he did some prison time in France fo his misdemeanours - a year or a bit less, sometime between about 1910 and 1915.  I would love to know more about that, but that brickwall has proved impenetrable so far.

But I do know that he plied his trade on both sides of the Channel.  Going on newspaper reports from the time, he operated mainly in London, the South of England and Wales in the UK, and the big summer season resorts in France.  To try and get a better handle on his movements between say 1900 and 1925, and also to try and narrow the window in which he might have been imprisoned in France, it would be really useful if there were any kinds of records, specifically passenger lists or similar, for the main Channel Crossing routes back then.

Can anyone suggest a possible data source?  Were passport records kept for those early decades of last century.  Were passports even required or in use?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Title: Re: Channel Crossing Records for the early 20th Century
Post by: KGarrad on Saturday 02 September 17 15:23 BST (UK)
There were no records of passengers traveling to/from the Continent, unless they were traveling on a long-haul boat.

Generally speaking passports were not required until after WW1, following an International Agreement in 1920.
Title: Re: Channel Crossing Records for the early 20th Century
Post by: MaxD on Saturday 02 September 17 15:27 BST (UK)
Support for KG's point about passports (produced by Canada but referring to Europe) http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/games/teachers-corner/history-passports.asp

MaxD
Title: Re: Channel Crossing Records for the early 20th Century
Post by: jorose on Saturday 02 September 17 21:50 BST (UK)
Some old French newspapers are searchable at Gallica:
http://gallica.bnf.fr

There are at least a few hits for "escroc anglais" ;)
Title: Re: Channel Crossing Records for the early 20th Century
Post by: PeterProg on Sunday 03 September 17 04:43 BST (UK)
Thank you all for your responses - all are very helpful.

I will have a good look through the French Newspapers at Gallica. 

Thank you again for the advice and guidance.