Paddington Bear was a polite immigrant bear from darkest Peru, with his old hat, battered suitcase (complete with a secret compartment, enabling it to hold far more items than it would at first appear) and duffle coat. His love of marmalade sandwiches is legendary and he – thanks to author Michael Bond – has become a classic character in English children’s literature.
Unfortunately though, there are no records of Paddington’s immigration to England and it is currently unknown what ship he arrived on or indeed, what year. There are immigration records available via the commercial sites of Ancestry and Findmypast and they do include immigrants from Peru and many other South American countries but Paddington is not listed.
A number of databases of emigrants and immigrants to Peru have been located online which are freely available. Large numbers of Jews, for example, emigrated to Latin America, in particular to Argentina and Brazil, though a smaller number went to virtually every country, including Peru.
La Inmigración Judía al Perú 1848-1948 – A Documentary History of the Immigration of German Jews, by León Trahtemberg Siederer, offers a history of Jews in Peru, including community organisation, going back to the early nineteenth century. Despite its subtitle, information is provided on Jews from anywhere in the world, not just Germany.
The book has a variety of birth, confirmation and death lists in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century (separate lists) but the primary emphasis is on arrivals during the 1930’s and early 1940’s, which provide more information on individuals, such as profession. The database has been made accessible by JewishGen Inc. and is searchable via JewishGen’s Holocaust Database and the JewishGen Germany Database. It contains the names of 671 Jews who emigrated to Peru from the early 1800’s through to 1947.
Unfortunately, Paddington was not Jewish, so he doesn’t feature in the database.