British genealogy Web site traces roots of well-known Americans including Cruise, Trump, Berry

Published 9:07 pm Friday, November 10, 2006

The ancestry of some famous Americans, including Tom Cruise, Halle Berry and Donald Trump, is revealed in immigration records released Thursday by a British genealogy Web site.

The Web site launched over 100 million U.S. immigration records from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, showing a list of passengers on voyages from the British Isles to the United States between 1820 and 1960.

“Without question, the millions of names in the Ancestry passenger lists represent brave and colorful individuals who played a significant role in shaping what has become modern America,” said Simon Harper, the Web site’s managing director.

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The records show date, departure port, destination, age, nationality, occupation, accompanying family members and purpose of travel, among other criteria.

Cruise’s great-great-grandfather, Dylan Henry Mapother, emigrated to Louisville, Ky., in 1850 from Flint, Wales.

Berry’s grandmother, Nellie Dicken, was 9 months old when she sailed with her family from Liverpool, England, in 1912 onboard the Merion to settle in Philadelphia.

And Trump’s mother, Mary MacLeod, traveled from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, to America onboard The Transylvania in 1935.

The lists also reveal the journeys of Scottish men who became symbols of success in American business, including the founders of Buick, Campbell’s soup and Forbes magazine.

Liverpool became the most popular departure point for Irish and British immigrants in 1818, according to records from Ellis Island, the historic immigrant portal in New York harbor.

The Ancestry Web site is part of a global network of genealogy sites providing over 5 billion records to the public.

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