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UK slave register published online

By Peter Sorel-Cameron for CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A genealogy Web site has taken a bold step in exposing the details of the British slave trade by publishing a list of Barbados slaves. is a site that allows users to research their family history. This new list will allow descendants of slaves taken to Barbados to trace their ancestors back to their enslavement.

The list, known as the Barbados Slave Register for 1834, has almost 100,000 names of slaves and their owners who worked in the former British colonial dependency.

Simon Harper, a spokesperson for said: "With few relevant collections online, it has not been easy for those with ancestors from former British colonies or territories to research their black family history."

It is the site's hope that this new collection will help people to fill in the missing facts in their ancestors' histories.

Barbados was a key location for sugar production in the 18th and 19th centuries, and as such was the destination of many slaves brought from Africa to harvest the cane. There are therefore a great number of people descended from these generations of slaves.

This is the first in a series of additions to the site's database that will fill in some missing facts about the lives of British owned slaves.

Over the course of the next 12 months will publish records from a total of 23 of the UK's dependencies and colonies, which will give details of approximately 3 million slaves from across the British Empire.

The full set of records, known as the "Former British Colonial Dependencies' Slave Register Collection, 1812-1834" gives an indication of the number of slaves working in various parts of the empire.

Mia Morris, founder of the Web site responded the publication, calling it "terrific", saying that the records "provide a much needed piece in the puzzle for those of us wanting to find the truth about our ancestors."

Over the next year, details of about 3 million slaves will be added to the web site.


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