The genealogy Web site "Ancestry.co.uk" said Friday that it will post 3 million
names of slaves held across the British Empire in the early 19th century,
putting hundreds of thousands of pages of searchable information online to help
slaves' descendants research their past.
The project will use registers that the British government created between 1813
and 1834 in an effort to stamp out the slave trade by ensuring plantation owners
did not buy new slaves. Britain abolished the trade in 1807. Slavery was
outlawed in the colonies 17 years later.
Information from about 700 registers from 23 British territories and
dependencies will be made available online, free of charge, within the next 12
Simon Ziviani, a spokesman for Ancestry.co.uk. The database will be searchable
by first and last name, island, plantation, age and sex, he said.