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Titanic documents go online to mark centenary


The Titanic

The Titanic

The Titanic

THOUSANDS of documents detailing victims and survivors of the Titanic disaster have gone online to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

More than 200,000 records have been gathered by family history website Ancestry.co.uk and the collection is free to view until May 31.

It includes lists of the dead and information about survivors as well as the wills of the Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, and American tycoons Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor. All three were among the 1,500 passengers who died.

Other records now online include images of grave headstones of 121 Titanic passengers, more than 329 coroner inquest files, and records of 330 bodies that were recovered at sea.

The new website also has a passenger list from the vessel Carpathia, whose crew bravely battled through the ice-strewn Atlantic to rescue more than 700 survivors.

Ancestry.co.uk content manager Miriam Silverman said: "Over the generations, many families may have heard rumours that they had an ancestor aboard the Titanic, or even lost the evidence proving it.

"We're very pleased to be able to offer access to these valuable records for free, enabling thousands to uncover the story of their ancestor's tragic voyage."

Meanwhile a memorial cruise to the site of the wreck is taking place with descendants of some of those who died on board.

The same number of 1,309 passengers - not including crew - are aboard the MS Balmoral as on the ill-fated ship with around 50 having a direct family connection to the sinking. A service will take place at the time it sank.

People from 28 different countries have booked to travel and retrace the liner's original route.

Many turned up in Southampton for the start of the voyage in period costume dressed as first class passengers, crew or steerage passengers.

There is due to be a special memorial service for passengers above the wreck site on April 14 starting at 11.40pm, when the ship hit the iceberg and another at 2.20am on April 15 when it sank.