Top five genealogy websites for finding war brides and their families

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23 June 2017
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Do you have a family member who emigrated from the UK after falling in love with a Canadian or US serviceman? Explore their story with our guide to five top genealogy websites for tracing GI war brides and their families.

Do you have a family member who emigrated from the UK after falling in love with a Canadian or US serviceman? Explore their story with our guide to five top genealogy websites for tracing GI war brides and their families.

1. World War I brides

Thousands of young women left British shores for Canada from 1917 onwards. Through her war brides blog, researcher Annette Fulford specialises in the history of World War I Canadian war brides in order to preserve this lesser-known aspect of the Great War. Find her blog at World War I war brides.

2. Canadian WW2 soldier connections

During World War Two, British brides were to fall in love with Canadian soldiers – 47,783 of them, accompanied by more than 20,000 war babies and children. Canadian War Brides is a useful starting point for research with FAQs, advice and stories

3. Canadian Roots
Check out the Canadian Roots website which is the online home of Canadian Roots – an organisation to help children trace Canadian soldier fathers, and vice versa

4. Setting foot on Pier 21

Many war brides arrived in Canada at Pier21. Read about their memories of arriving in Canada and being a war bride – see the ‘English War Bride’ entries at Pier 21’s website.  

5. Your GI connections

The American GIs first landed in the UK on 26 January 1942 – and in June 1944 the American Army swarming the country disappeared from British shores for Normandy in the top secret D-Day Landings.

During this time, they’d charmed thousands of young women and an estimated 70,000 women left the British Isles after World War Two following their American husbands back to the States. And, of course, bearing in mind sweethearts, the number of women who became involved with GIs but never married, this total would be even higher.

If you think you might have a GI soldier, bride or baby on your family tree, start your research at G I Trace

And now for your family love stories…

Following the First and Second World Wars, thousands and thousands of young women upped sticks and left their homelands (and not just the British Isles) following their soldier sweetheart to take up a new life over the seas. If you have such a story in your family, do be sure to record this adventure of your ancestors. Not all of the tales are happy, but they’re ones to be treasured for sure.

Explore passenger lists, a crucial resource for finding emigrant ancestors, in Family Tree's special feature.