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ENGLISH & WELSH ROOTS - Maritime Records & Resources, Part 2
Article posted: March 10, 2000
By: Fawne Stratford-Devai Biography & Archived Articles
This issue of English and Welsh Roots continues the discussion of maritime resources begun in the last column. Part 2 examines resources for researching seamen by focusing on records unique to apprentices, masters and mates. In addition, a listing of repositories and institutions with naval and maritime records is also provided. A later article will cover records and resources available for researching ships and shipping companies.
Whether you are researching English and Welsh maritime records from a distance or from the United Kingdom itself, modern researchers have a variety of resources available to them. While the main archival records are housed in the Public Record Office (PRO) in England, many more records are available in maritime museums and other repositories. A number of these critical archival records have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) and are available on loan to local Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). As outlined in part 1, many helpful references and guides to assist researchers are available on the internet. Increasingly, transcriptions and indexes to original records are also becoming available online.
Apprentices were often young men and boys bound by an indenture (agreement or contract) to serve a master of a ship for a particular period of time (usually between 7 to 9 years). From 1704 until about 1804, there was a tax on apprenticeship indentures. This tax is actually good news for modern researchers as it usually means that a record of some kind was required to be kept to properly record the collection of the tax. The majority of records related to the apprenticeship tax are held by the PRO in IR 1 (an index to the records is found in IR 17). The apprenticeship books usually list the name, address and trace of the master, the name of the apprentice and the date of their indenture. Between 1704 and the early 1750s, the names of an apprentice's parent are often listed. Unfortunately, parents names are not usually listed after this time.
Researchers trying to locate apprentices to ships may be surprised to learn that as early as 1704 parish churches could require pauper boys to serve a ships master for up to nine years. Unfortunately, the tax on apprentice indentures was not required when the indenture was connected with a public charge of a parish or of any public charity. Some indentures for apprentices have been found with parish records which are often held by a county record office.
A register of seamen apprentices at Colchester for the years 1704-1757 and 1804 to 1844 is held by the Public Record Office (PRO) in England in BT 167.
Beginning in 1823, merchant ships over 80 tons were required to carry apprentices. Consequently, an index of merchant navy apprentices from 1824-1953 exists and is held by the PRO. The index includes the date, age of the apprentice, the master's name, ship's name and port and are filed in BT 150 at the PRO.
A sample of apprentice indentures for every fifth year are also held by the PRO in BT 151 and BT 152. The Corporation of Trinity House also hold some apprentice records and papers. The contact information for Trinity House is provided in the listing of repositories below.
In 1756, Jonas Hanway set up a chartable society to train men and boys for maritime service. The Marine Society trained and provided clothing for tens of thousands of men and young boys who were then recruited by masters and owners of merchant ships or by the navy. For example, between 1815 and 1854, 15,000 boys were recruited, trained and clothed by the society to serve on merchant ships. From their founding until 1805, the Society had recruited and trained some 25,000 boys and more than 30,000 men for maritime service. The National Maritime Museum Greenwich, London has the registers of the Marine Society for apprentices sent to ships from the 1770s to 1950. In addition, the Museum holds a variety of other apprentice records. The National Maritime Museum has an excellent and informative website at: http://www.port.nmm.ac.uk.
In the September 1995 issue of the Genealogists' Magazine P. Horn writes about poor children at Grimsby who served as apprentices on fishing boats. The registers of Grimsby apprentices for the period 1879 to 1937 include some 6,500 boys who were apprenticed to Grimsby boats. As the article explains, the boys listed in the Grimsby registers may have been local poor children, but also included boys from poor law unions and parishes around the country (e.g. from Birkenhead, Bethnal Green and Dover). A register of apprentices for fishing boats in south-east England for the period 1639 to 1664 is held by the PRO in HCA 30/897.
Finding Masters & Mates
As detailed in part 1 of this series, in 1835, Britain introduced a central registration system for all British merchant seamen, regardless of rank based on Tickets. As a result, the records of masters and mates active between 1835 and 1857 can be found with the register of ticket records for all seamen.
Beginning in 1845 the Board of Trade (BT) introduced voluntary examinations for masters and mates on foreign-going merchant ships to encourage better navigation and seamanship. Prior to 1845, no specific qualifications were needed and there are no separate records of masters and mates. Records in BT 115 at the Public Record Office (PRO) include a Register of Masters' Tickets - an alphabetical register of masters, compiled from the register of seamen's tickets, 1845-1854.
In 1850, examinations were compulsory for all prospective masters and mates in the foreign trade (ships trading in foreign waters and ports). Beginning in 1854, these same examinations were made compulsory for prospective master and mates in the home trade (ships trading in UK coastal waters and with north European ports). Starting in 1861, examinations became compulsory for all engineers also. As a result of compulsory examinations, certificates of competency for masters and mates were created.
Since the system of examinations did not formally begin until 1850, it was necessary in the early period to have two different types of certificates. The first type is known as a Certificate of Service which was issued to men who already had proof of experience as officers prior to 1850. The second and more common certificate found after the 1850s, is known as a Certificate of Competency which was issued following a Board of Trade examination from 1850 onwards. There were specific Board of Trade exams for Master, First Mate, Second Mate, etc.
For engineers, a similar situation arose in 1861, when examinations became compulsory. Certificates in the early years for engineers included both Certificates of Service and Certificates of Competency.
Often found with the "office copy" of the certificate is the actual application form for an examination. The application form usually provides more personal details about the officer and his career, such as his date and place of birth, home address, whether he already held a certificate, whether previous applications for a certificate had failed and why, and details of voyages. In the majority of cases, applications also provide a record of every ship on which the applicant served. The amount of detail varies, but may include also each ship's rig, tonnage, port of registry and official number, as well as the applicant's rating on board and the dates of his service. For men applying for a Second Mate's examination, the application will often list his career before he started gaining qualifications. Subsequent applications for promotion to First Mate and/or Master will have the same number on the later certificate(s).
For the period 1845-1927: All surviving Board of Trade "office copies" of certificates (which usually include the application for a certificate) are held by the National Maritime Museum. Researchers must write to the Research Enquiries Section to see a certificate held by the Museum or to have a certificate researched or copied. There is a charge for this service, details of which can be found on the Museum's website at: http://www.nmm.ac.uk/rcs/enquire/
If a seaman lost his certificate and applied for a new one, the new certificate would have a new number. The copy of the new certificate usually has an affidavit with it explaining why the previous certificate had been lost.
Both Certificates of Service and Certificates of Competency are filed at the PRO up to 1921 in BT 122 to BT 127. Specifically, the records at the PRO are broken down as follows:
Please note: Certificates are often filed by number, not by surname. While an overall index to the PRO held certificates is available in BT 127, researchers should be aware of, and make use of the following resources to locate the certificate number for a master or mate.
Lloyd's Captains' Registers, 1851 to 1947: Lloyd's Captains' Registers list Masters in the foreign trade, showing which ship they served on and when. The captain's registers were compiled from the record of certificates of competency issued to masters, kept by the Registrar General of shipping and seamen from 1851. Although called Captains Registers, the volumes strictly relate to holders of foreign-trade masters' certificates, including some who served only as mates. For the years 1869-1911 and 1932-47 there are also details of holders of masters' certificates who did not serve at all as master or mate. The registers usually exclude masters of coasters, ferries, fishing vessels or yachts.
The registers list for each person the name, place and year of birth; the date, number and place of issue of the master's certificate; any other special qualifications; the name and number of each ship on which he served and dates of engagement and discharge; the destination of each voyage; casualties; and special awards. Note: Although dated from 1851, Lloyd's registers were actually compiled and printed beginning in 1869. As a result, only Masters still active in 1869 are listed for the preceding years.
Lloyd's Captains' Registers are held at the Guildhall Library but are also available on microfilm at the National Maritime Museum and the Maritime History Collection at Memorial University in Newfoundland.
The Mercantile Navy List, published by the Board of Trade, lists masters and mates alphabetically and by certificate number between 1857 and 1864. Occasionally, the list includes obituaries as well. The Mercantile Navy List are held by the National Maritime Museum, the Guildhall Library, Merseyside Maritime Museum and some other museums and main city libraries. The Mercantile Navy List for 1863 contains an alphabetical list of masters and mates, 1845-1862. The 1863 list also included a list of those certificates which were cancelled between 1857 and 1863.
Lloyds Register of Shipping published a supplement between 1846 and 1852, giving the names of those who passed examinations. But as the examinations were voluntary for part of this period, it is not a comprehensive list and represents only a small minority of masters and mates active at this time. Copies are held in the same archives as the Mercantile Navy List.
Researchers should remember that most Masters and Mates will have seen service as ordinary seamen or apprentices before gaining their certificate and the various Indexes and Registers of Seamen and Seamen's Tickets should be also be searched together with Registers of Apprentices. While certain sources will replicate information found in others, you are wise to check all possible sources.
Royal Naval Reserve
With the introduction of the Royal Naval Reserve Act in 1859, the Admiralty was able to maintain a reserve of up to 30,000 men who were recruited from merchant seamen and fishermen. Members of the reserve were usually recruited through local shipping officers. Those listed in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) could be called to serve in the Royal Navy during times of emergency.
RNR - Records of Officers: Officers in the RNR were first included in the Navy List in 1862. The Navy List provided information on name, rank, date of commission, and seniority for Officers of the RNR. Records of RNR officers who served between 1862 and 1909 (and honorary officers for 1862-1960) are found at the PRO in Admiralty Records (ADM 240) - Royal Naval Reserve: Records of Officers' Services. The records provide information about merchant and naval service.
RNR - Records of Ratings: A selection of records of service of ratings who served between 1860 and 1913 are in the class Royal Naval Reserve: Representative Records of Service (BT 164). They consist of volumes and cards, each page or card representing five years' service in the RNR. Any individual reservist may therefore be entered in several volumes or cards. Letters (A, B, etc) were given to successive five year terms. The entries are in numerical order of enrollment.
The document ADM 23/170 gives information on Admiralty pensions granted to RNR ratings from 1922 to 1925.
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) The RNVR was a force of officers and ratings who took naval training in their spare time but were not professionally employed like the RNR. However, during World War I and II, a primary way officers entered the Royal Navy was through the RNVR. In 1958 the Volunteer Reserve was amalgamated with the Royal Naval Reserve.
Additional information about the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and the Royal Naval Reserve is available in the book Naval Records for Genealogists (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06028073) by N A M Rogers - Public Record Office Handbook No. 22, 1998, 230 pages. The PRO also provides a more detailed explanation of the various records associated with the RNVR and RNR in their online information leaflet: Merchant Seamen: Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) http://www.pro.gov.uk/leaflets/ri2037.htm.
CORPORATION OF TRINITY HOUSE RECORDS
The Corporation of Trinity House was incorporated by royal charter in 1514. The Corporation of Trinity House performed three main functions for most of its history - each of which is important to understand when looking for maritime resources: 1) General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar which made it responsible for providing lighthouses, light vessels, buoys and beacons. As a result of this first function, the archives of Trinity House hold some records of lighthouses; (2) Trinity house was also the Principal Pilotage Authority for London and forty other districts (known as outports) including Southampton but excluding Liverpool, Bristol and several ports in the North-East of England. Until the Corporation lost its role as a pilotage authority in 1988, it licensed but did not employ pilots who were all self-employed. Even today, Trinity House remains the licensing authority for deep sea pilots. The third (3) and most important function for this discussion is the work of Trinity House as a charitable organisation for the relief of mariners and their dependants. In 1815, for example, it supported 144 almspeople and 7,012 out- pensioners.
The Corporation of Trinity House has served many other functions, but it is interesting to note that the main board of Elder Brethren which run Trinity House are elected (for life) from a group of some 300 Younger Brethren who are primarily Merchant Navy captains (with a few Royal Navy officers). The work of the Brethren and Trinity house also includes the supply of ballast to ships in the Thames; sitting in the Admiralty Court to hear collision cases and the examination of Royal Naval navigation officers in pilotage.
The various archival records of the Corporation have suffered from fire in 1666 and 1714 and from bombing in 1940. Because of the many ways in which the Corporation of Trinity House has touched on maritime life, the records which survive are extremely varied but most relevant to family historians in search of maritime information. For example, collections include:
Copyright notice: The PRO Records Information Leaflets and Fact Sheets are subject to Crown Copyright. Whilst you are welcome to print copies of leaflets for your own use you may not copy them for commercial purposes or republish them in any form, including electronically.
LDS FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY CATALOG©
While many maritime records are only available directly from the PRO in England or other repositories, a great many primary records have been microfilmed by the LDS and are available in their main Family History Library Catalog. An sample of entries from the online LDS Family History Library Catalog are listed below to illustrate what is available to those researching from a distance:
Merchant Navy list of vessels and their masters and mates. Great Britain. Board of Trade (main Author). Microfilm of original records at the London Record Office. Includes index. Subject: England – Merchant marine. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm FHL BRITISH Film 847934.
The Navy list. Great Britain. Admiralty (main author). Monthly with a quarterly number for the issues of March, June, September and December. Imprint varies. - Date on cover is one month later than date of correction, i.e. January 1884 for the list corrected to December 1883, etc. Subject: England – Military records. Film Notes: Also on microfilm. Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976-1978. 18 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
Apr. 1851 - Jan. 1854 - Jan. 1856 - Apr. 1857
FHL BRITISH Film 918928
Jan. 1858 - Jan. 1860 - Jan. 1861 - Jan 1862, FHL BRITISH Film 918929
Jan. 1863 - Jan. 1864 - Jan. 1865 - Jan. 1866, FHL BRITISH Film 918930
Jan. 1867 - Jan 1869 - Oct. 1870, FHL BRITISH Film 918931
Jan. 1872 - Jan. 1873 - Apr. 1874, FHL BRITISH Film 918932
etc, ........... The last film is: Apr. 1881 - July 1886 - Apr. 1872, FHL BRITISH Film 990326
Alphabetical register of masters, 1845-1854. Microfilm copy of original records at Public Record Office in London (filed in BT 115/1-12). Register of Masters was compiled from the registers of seamen tickets, and gives the master's age and birthplace. The register is arranged alphabetically. A master is the captain of a merchant vessel. Subject: Great Britain - Merchant marine. Available on 9 reels of microfilm beginning with BT 115/1: Master's names, Aar-Blo pgs. 1-500 on FHL BRITISH Film 1562758.
Alphabetical register of seamen, 1835-1844. Microfilm copy of original records at the Public Record Office, London (BT 119/1-28 - index to BT 112). BT 119 is an index to the Register of Seamen (BT 112). Entries in this register index is not in exact alphabetical sequence. Available on 10 reels of microfilm beginning with BT 119/1 Register of Seamen index A's BT 119/2 Register of Seamen index B-Bro on FHL BRITISH Film 1483304.
Agreements, crew lists and muster rolls of British merchant vessels, compiled at English sea ports, including names of ships and service records of crew members, 1747-1856. Author: Great Britain. Board of Trade. Mercantile Marine Department (main author); Subjects: England – Merchant marine, Great Britain – Merchant marine, England – Military records; Microfilm of original records in the Public Record Office. Includes some information as to the county of crew member's birth, crew member's age, and place of death. Arranged according to ports of registration until 1857. From 1857-1860 arranged by ship number. Available on 5,076 reels of 35 mm. microfilm reels. Beginning with BT 98/1 Aberdeen 1841 BT 98/1 Barnstaple 1800-1834 on BRITISH Film 870059.
Agreements and crew lists of British merchant vessels, compiled at English sea ports, including names of ships and service records of crew members : with alphabetical and numerical index to ships, 1857-1860 Author: Great Britain. Board of Trade. Mercantile Marine Department (main author); Subjects: England – Merchant marine, Great Britain – Merchant marine, England – Military records; Format: Manuscript (On Film) Language: English Publication: Ashridge Park, Hertford : Genealogical Society, 1970-1974
Family History Library Catalog Film Notes list 1,749 films for this collection.
Almshouse applications, ca. 1780-1880. Author: Trinity House (London) (Main Author) Trinity House (Deptford, Kent) (Added Author). Microfilm of original records in the possession of the Society of Genealogists, London. Contains miscellaneous documents including marriage and baptism certificates, A-L, K, J, I. Subject: England – Merchant Marine and England - Occupations. 1 reel of microfilm - FHL BRITISH Film 950869
Trinity House - Petitions, ca. 1765-1854. Trinity House (London) main author. Microfilm of original records (11 vols.) in the possession of the Society of Genealogists, London. Subject(s): England – Merchant marine and England – Occupations. Collection located on 6 microfilm reels ; 35 mm. Film notes list the following information:
Trinity House - Civil records, 1780, 1818-1845. Trinity House (London) (Main Author). Microfilm of original records at the Society of Genealogists in London. Note: Trinity House was a fraternity of seamen chartered originally in 1514 by Henry VII as the Shipmen of Mariners of England. In 1685 James II granted the present charter to the "Guild, Fraternity, or Brotherhood of the Most Glorious and Undivided Trinity and of St. Clement in the Parish of Deptford Stronde in the County of Kent." The original home of the corporation was at Deptford, but in the seventeenth century it was moved to London. It is now the general lighthouse authority for England and Wales. Index in the Genealogists Magazine, v. 16, no. 8. Subject: England – Merchant marine and England – Occupations. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm - FHL BRITISH Film 950870. Note: The Corporation of Trinity House records, 1609-1950 are held by the Guildhall Library, London and are available on 24 reels of microfilm from the LDS . The film listing begins with Court minutes, v. 3 (cont.)-v. 7 1670-1692 Court minutes, v. 8-10 1705-1747 on FHL BRITISH Film 1966899
Births, marriages and deaths at sea, 1854-1890 . Microfilm of original at the Public Record Office, Surrey. Includes indexes to ships and passenger names. Also includes additional indexes at the front of some volumes. Public Record Office no.: BT 158/1-9. Subject: England – Merchant marine and Great Britain – Merchant marine. 4 reels of microfilm:
Births 1854-1871 Deaths 1854-1869 Marriages 1854-1865 FHL BRITISH Film 1419469 Births 1870-1882 Deaths 1869-1883 Marriages 1865-1907 FHL BRITISH Film 1419470 Births 1883-1887 Deaths 1883-1890 Index to births and deaths. passenger 1870-1888 Index to births, ship, A-T 1870-1888 FHL BRITISH Film 1419471 Index to births, ship, U-Z 1870-1888 Index to deaths, ship 1870-1888 Index to births and deaths, ship 1889-1890 Index to births and deaths, passenger 1889-1890 Index to births and deaths, ship, by 1885-1888 date FHL BRITISH Film 1419472
Admiralty records -- Seamen's effect papers (PRO-ADM 44), 1757-1850. Great Britain. Admiralty (main author). Microfilm copy of originals at the London Public Record Office, England. Public Record Office call nos.: ADM44/A1-10, ADM44/B1-10. Wills are arranged in alphabetical order of the writers' names and by the date of making the will. Dates of records range from 1757 to 1850. Subject: Great Britain – Military records – Navy. 29 microfilm reels ; 35 mm. Film notes for the 29 reels begin with the following microfilm: Seamen's effects papers, A1, pages 1-645 (Surnames begin with A) cases 1-250, 1767-1827. VAULT BRITISH Film 1942131 and Seamen's effects papers, A1, pages 645-830 (Surnames begin with A), 1781-1847. VAULT BRITISH Film 1942132, etc.... check the LDS Family History Library Catalog for more detailed listings of microfilm numbers.
Records of Merchant Shipping and Seamen by Kelvin Smith, Christopher T Watts and Michael J Watts. This is the most important reference work you could have for understanding and locating merchant shipping and seamen's records. This long awaited guide is useful in listing sources at the PRO, and mentioning those elsewhere that can be invaluable in tracing seamen. 1998, 132 pages (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06021993)
Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History by Mark D. Herber. First published 1997 and republished 1998 (USA). This exceptional book includes an extensive chapter on records of shipping and seamen with illustrations and examples of PRO records. The author carefully explains the research process within the record groups using step by step examples to provide as much information as possible. This 674 page reference book is invaluable for anyone researching their English and Welsh Roots and is most helpful when working through maritime resources and records of shipping and seamen. (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #2182691)
Tracing Your Ancestors in the Public Record Office (5th edition) Edited by Amanda Bevan. 1999, 304 pages. ISBN 1 873162 61 8. This book is important to using and understanding the primary records held at the PRO whether you live in England or at a great distance. The book offers detailed information about a variety of records with illustrations, examples and cautionary notes for researchers. Even if you are using the PRO records on microfilm through the LDS, this book is an important resource to understand exactly what you are researching and what you may be missing that is only available directly from the PRO. The book includes detailed information about the availability of and information contained in various records of Merchant seamen. Click here for more information about this book.
A Guide to the Lloyd's Marine Collection and Related Marine Sources At Guildhall Library by D T Barriskill. This Guildhall library guide is a very helpful resource for those tracing marine ancestors. 2nd edition 1994, 60 pages (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #0602925)
Maritime Sources In The Library of The Society of Genealogists by: John Hailey. The Library of the Society of Genealogists contains much information about maritime history, although it is not always easy to find, as it is incorporated into many parts of the library. This guide is not a complete record of the library's holdings, but provides a starting point for those seeking their seafaring ancestors. 32pp., Soft Cover, 6" x 9",1999, ISBN 1-85951-069-8. Click here for more information about this book.
National Maritime Museum: the CollectionsThis work provides an illustrated guide to the collections of the National Maritime Museum, mainly dealing with the extensive collection of artworks pertinent to Naval history. 1990, 128 pages. (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06021397)
Basic Facts About Using Merchant Ship Records for Family Historians by Peter L Hogg This work is a very small and very basic guide to merchant ship records. 1st edition 1997, 16 pages (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06021387)
Every man will do his duty: An Anthology of firsthand accounts from the age of Nelson 1793-1815, edited by Dean King. This book offers a collection of firsthand accounts of battles, and voyages from Nelson's era. Illustrated with some diagrams, maps and charts. Hardback. 1st edition 1997, 424 pages (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06028444)
Victorian Sailor by David Marcombe. This book is an illustrated guide to the life of the Victorian sailor. (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #0602721)
Liverpool Docks compiled by Michael Stammers. This work offers invaluable images of the Liverpool Docks both in their heyday, and in more recent times. 1st edition 1999, 128 pages. (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06022392m)
Britain's Maritime Memorials & Mementoes by David Saunders. This book is geographically arranged in A-Z and offers a survey of more than 1400 memorials to those lost at sea. Gives a fascinating aspect into Britains's maritime past. Illustrated. Hardback. 1st edition 1996, 178 pages (available from GlobalGenealogy.com catalog #06028416)
United Kingdom and Ireland Merchant Marine at GenUKI: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/MerchantMarine.html
National Maritime Museum - Centre for maritime research http://www.nmm.ac.uk/cmr/index.html This site is a must visit destination. Filled with scanned images of priceless artwork and helpful guides to their extensive art, manuscript and library collections. In particular do not miss the Museum's detailed and helpful online research guides at: http://www.port.nmm.ac.uk/research/research.html
Lloyd's Register of Shipping site: http://www.lr.org/ Lloyd's Register (LR) is the world's premier ship classification society, founded in 1760. The concept of 'ship classification' originated in the eighteenth century, when the practice began of awarding different classes to ships according to their condition. For sources of historical information, held by Lloyd's Register and by other organisations (e.g. shipping; crew lists of British merchant ships; ships logs; passenger lists of British registered merchant ships; births and deaths on British registered merchant ships; and shipwrecks) visit the historical Maritime Information page of Lloyd's Register at : http://www.lr.org/information/index.html.
British Mariners Information: http://www.lr.org/information/index.html
Records of Merchant Seaman are explained at Christopher T. Watts website which also highlights his book My Ancestor was a Merchant Seaman: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/CT_Watts/merchsea.htm
Maritime History Virtual Archives by Lars Bruzelius is an informative source for all matters nautical. http://pc-78-120.udac.se:8001/WWW/Nautica/Nautica.html
Maritime History and Naval Heritage Website: http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/marit.htm includes many links to articles and resources.
British Naval and Maritime History Historic Newspaper Reports: http://www.ships.co.uk/oldpapers/index.html
Mariners Research Links is a rich website with links to indexes and research guides as well as explanations and lists of various resources for those tracing a mariner ancestor. http://www.angelfire.com/de/BobSanders/Site.html
DataMarine - UK's premier source for Maritime Databases: http://www.beavis.co.uk/dm.htm The site also offers commercial research services.
The Historical Maritime Society: http://www.btinternet.com/~pjehome/hms.htm
Merchant Marine and Maritime Information: http://home.pacifier.com/~rboggs/
Merchant Ships and Fleet Profiles: http://www.ships.co.uk/merchant/index.html
Merchant Seamen in WWII: http://home.onet.co.uk/~canonesa/can5.html
Merchant Navy Association: http://www.btinternet.com/~mna/
Merchant Navy Veterans: The Mission of the Merchant Navy Veterans is to bring to the general public, the little known history of the men and women who sailed in the Allied Merchant Navies during World War 11 and the Korean War and to enable these veterans to have access to the Internet. Dedicated to issues for Canadian Veterans. U.S., UK. and other International Vets as info becomes available. http://merchantnavyveterans.hypermart.net/
Merchant Navy Veterans Rendezvous: http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/merch.htm
The Jersey Merchant Seamen's Benefit Society: The Jersey Merchant Seamen's Benefit Society was created by the States of Jersey in 1835 when the English compulsory levy of sixpence per month from every Merchant Seaman's pay was abolished. The contribution was 71/2d. per month, beginning on July 1 1835. The ship's Master was authorised to collect the contributions by direct deduction from pay. Learn more about the society at their website: http://www.societe-jersiaise.org/alexgle/JMSBS.html The actual books can be found at the Société Jersiaise Library http://www.societe-jersiaise.org/pages/library.html.
Robert Dafydd CADWALADER's Maritime Database: The database contains information relating to the maritime history of North Wales particularly the area of Gwynedd: http://freespace.virgin.net/r.cadwalader/maritime/maritime.htm#topmar
Channel Islands Maritime Miscellany: http://freespace.virgin.net/sg.foote/crewlinks.htm
Research in the Channel Islands includes links to Merchant Seamen's resources: http://user.super.net.uk/~glen/CIResearch.html
Fantastic Maritime Index: http://community-1.webtv.net/NeptuneGrpLLC/FANTASTICMARITIME/
A Guide to Maritime History Information on the Internet includes an extensive listing of electronic maritime resources: http://ruby.ils.unc.edu/maritime/home.html
Maritime dictionary provides excerpts from Capt. Heinrich Paasch's 1908 marine dictionary, with terms cross-linked by language (German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian) and by their relation to other terms: http://www.refer.fr/termisti/data/vergues/index.htm
The enumeration of people not in normal households on census night - includes information about the Merchant Navy: http://www.gendocs.demon.co.uk/census2.html
Royal Navy and Merchant Navy Catalogue - Leeds University Library: Special Collections: Liddle Collection: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/library/spcoll/liddle/rnintro.htm
The Marine Society: The Society was influential in the formation of The Seamen's Hospital Society, King George's Fund for Sailors, Sea Cadet Corps, Outward Bound Sea Schools, Sail Training Association, Nautical Institute, and the Annual National Service for Seafarers. http://www.marine-society.org.uk/history.html
Merchant Navy Magazine: A newsletter for the British Merchant Navy http://www.welcome.to/gbmerchantnavymag
Nautical Research Guild, Inc.- Sources of Naval Information: http://www.naut-res-guild.org/sour-nav.html
Maritime and Naval Museums in Britain and Ireland : http://www.cus.cam.ac.uk/~mhe1000/intro.htm
Imperial War Museum: http://www.iwm.org.uk/ The Museum has a small permanent display illustrating some of the remarkable accounts of courage and survival by men of the Merchant Navy.
Don't miss the Rootsweb Mariners E-mail Discussion List. Researchers with an interest in searching for merchant shipping and seaman ancestors would do well to give this email list a try. For additional information visit Debbie Beavis's website at: http://www.beavis.co.uk/mailist.htm
REPOSITORIES FOR NAVAL & MARITIME RECORDS
Public Record Office (PRO)
Ruskin Avenue, Kew
Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
Tel: (+44) 020 8876 3444, Tel: (+44) 020 8392 5200 (Records Enquiries)
Fax: (+44) 020 8392 5286
The PRO holds apprenticeship records from 1824; registers of seamen's service 1835-57; registers of certificates of competency and service from 1845-1921; all surviving muster rolls and crew agreements for British merchant ships up to 1860 and 10% for all years 1861-1938 and 1951-76; with much other unique material.
National Maritime Museum
Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Telephone: (+44) 020 8858 4422
Fax: (+44) 020 8312 6632
E-mail enquiries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The National Maritime Museum website is a must visit destination. Filled with scanned images of priceless artwork and helpful guides to their extensive art, manuscript and library collections. In particular do not miss the Museum's detailed and helpful online research guides at: http://www.port.nmm.ac.uk/research/research.html
Ministry of Defence (MOD)
CSR (2) - Navy Search
Bourne Avenue, Hayes
Middlesex, UB3 1RF
This office controls all service records for the years 1892-1939 which have not yet been passed to the PRO. Please note that information can only be given to next of kin.
Grange Road, Gosport
Hampshire, PO13 9XA
This office controls service records for the period after 1939. Please note that information can only be provided to next of kin.
The Admiralty Library
3-5 Great Scotland Yard
London SW1A 2HW
Tel: (+44) 020 7218 5446
This library in Whitehall also has material housed with the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth and in the Hydrographic Office at Taunton, but initial enquiries should be made to the main Admiralty Library address shown above.
Royal Naval Museum Library
No 12 Store, Semaphore Tower Road
HM Naval Base, Portsmouth
Hampshire PO1 3NH
Tel: (+44) 01705 725490
Royal Navy Submarine Museum
Haslar Jetty, Gosport
Hampshire, PO12 2AS
Tel: (+44) 01705 510354
Fax: (+44) 01705 511349
Royal Marines Museum Southsea, Portsmouth
Hampshire, PO4 9PX
Tel: (+44) 01705 819385
Fax: (+44) 01705 838420
The Royal Marines Museum provides the public and researchers with the history of Britain's sea soldiers from 1664 to the present.
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Box D6, RNAS Yeovilton
Near Ilchester, Somerset BA22 8HT
Tel: (+44) 01935 840565
Fax: (+44) 01935 840181
The Fleet Air Arm Museum is the repository for the history of the Royal Naval Air Service and Naval aviation as well as the Fleet Air Arm.
Royal Naval Hospital Haslar
Hampshire PO12 2AA
Tel: (+44) 01705 584255
The centre for the Royal Naval Medical Library Service, Ministry Of Defense (MOD).
Imperial War Museum
London SE1 6HZ
Tel: (+44) 020 7416 5000
Fax: (+44) 020 7416 5374
Collection covers 20th century naval history and warfare only.
Imperial War Museum
Department of Photographs
All Saints Annexe, Austral Street
Tel: (+44) 020 7416 5333
Fax: (+44) 020 7416 5379
Includes the official photographic record of the Royal and merchant navies during the First and Second World Wars.
Room 1027, HMS Centurion
Grange Road, Gosport
Hampshire, PO13 9XA
Other repositories containing resources of the Merchant Navy and other maritime resources include:
Oriental and India Office Collections
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Telephone: (+44) 020 7412 7873
website: http://www.bl.uk/collections/oriental E-mail: email@example.com
The British Library holdings include the surviving archives of the East India Company.
British Library Newspaper Library
Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HE
Telephone: (+44) 020 7412 7353
The holdings of the Newspaper Library include national and provincial newspapers, maritime and trade papers.
H M Customs & Excise Departmental Records Unit
Ralli Quays, 3 Stanley Street
Salford, Manchester M60 9LA
Telephone: (+44) 0161 827 0475/6
Fax: (+44) 0161 827 0401
HM Customs and Exciste can advise researchers on the locations of Custom House archives.
Department of Transport
Marine Information Centre
Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road
Southampton SO1 0ZD
Telephone: (+44) 01703 329295
The department of Transport has the official files of Board of Trade inquiries from 1876 onwards.
Register of Seamen and Shipping
Anchor House, Unit 12
Cheviot Close, Parc Ty Glas
Llanishen Cardiff CF4 5JA
Telephone: (+44) 01222 747333
Fax: (+44) 01222 586206
Anchor House holds crew agreements 1939-50; records of certificated officers from c.1921; central register of seamen from about 1920.
The Family Record Centre
1 Myddleton Street
London EC1R 1UW
Telephone: (+44) 020 8392 5300 (general enquiries) or (+44) 0151 471 4800 (certificate enquiries)
The FRC has records of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales from 1837, with a separate Marine Register for events at sea. Note: registers of events at sea were not recorded with any regularity before about 1852.
Aldermanbury London EC2P 2EJ
Telephone: (+44) 020 7332 1868/1870 (printed books) or (+44) 020 7332 1862/1863 (manuscripts)
E-mail (manuscripts): Guildhall@ms.corpoflondon.gov.uk
The Guildhall Library collections include the Lloyd's Marine Collection, which offers researchers a variety of information about shipping movements and casualties and the Lloyd's Captains' Registers (Guildhall MSS. 18567-71); also archives of Trinity House and the Watermen and Lightermen's Company; and many other valuable historical sources. Researchers should note that records of the Commissary Court of London (London Division) at the Guildhall Library include naval and merchant seamen's wills from the late 17th century.
Maritime History Research Collection
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St John's, Newfoundland, Canada. A1B 3Y1
Maritime History Archive
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. A1C 5S7
Holds between 70% and 80% of crew agreements and logs for British merchant ships between 1863-1938, and 1951-1976 as well as microform collections of maritime resources from repositories around the world. The Maritime History Archive collects and preserves original documents and copies of documents relating to the history of sea based activities in the north Atlantic region. The Maritime History Archive will research the records in its custody and provide reports and/or copies of documents on request. They are not able to construct detailed family trees or determine family relationships. Further details about genealogical research at the MHA can be found on their website: http://www.mun.ca/mha/genealog.html
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AA
Telephone: (+44) 0151 207 0001
The Merseyside Maritime Museum has the records of Liverpool and area shipping, trade and emigration (emigration records do not include passenger lists.)
Welsh Industrial & Maritime Museum
now at Bute Street
Cardiff, CF1 6AN
(South-Glamorgan), South Wales
Tel: +44 (0)29 20480755, 20464734
Fax: +44 (0)29 20487252
The old Bute Street Chandler's Shop now displays items showing Cardiff's maritime history: Cardiff Docks, nautical instruments, ship models. Archives from the former Welsh Industrial & Maritime Museum
Caernarfon (Seiont II) Maritime Museum
Victoria Dock, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales
Correspondence should be addressed to:
Caernarfon Maritime Museum, c/o Anne Venables, Anglesey County Record Office, Shire Hall, Llangefni, Ynys Mon, Wales LL77 7TW
Tel: +44 (0)1248 752083; (0)1286 675269
Maritime & industrial history of port & town of Caernarfon shown through photos, maps, ship models & things made or used by local seamen. Includes small archival collection.
National Library of Wales- Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for general Inquiries
A Guide to Genealogical Sources at National Library of Wales:
National Register of Archives
Quality House, Quality Court
Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1TT
Telephone: (+44) 020 7242 1198
The National Register of Archives has some 41,000 unpublished lists of major manuscript collections, approximately 5,000 published finding aids and repositories' annual reports. Indexes to lists available online, arranged archivally rather than thematically. Information sheets are also available.
Society of Genealogists
14 Charterhouse Buildings
Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
Telephone: (+44) 020 7250 0291 (library) or (+44) 020 7251 8799 (Society)
Note: The SOG has the Trinity House Petitions 1780-1854. Many officers' deaths were noted in the Naval Chronicle, a full set of which is held in the Society of Genealogists' Library.
Tyne & Wear Museums and Archives Service
Blandford House, Blandford Square
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE1 4JA
Telephone: (+44) 0191 232 6789
The Museum holdings include many archival records shipbuilding and shipping companies and industries of the area.
Black Country Living Museum
Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4SQ
Tel: +44 (0)121 557 9643
Fax: +44 (0)121 557 4242
Museum includes a working boat dock, with blacksmith, 8 canal boats, boat-builder's tools, photos & documents. Dudley Canal Tunnel nearby.
Brighton Fishing Museum
201 King's Road Arches, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1NB
Tel: +44 (0)1273 723064
Fax: +44 (0)1273 723064
Paintings, prints, photos & models show the Sussex fishing and pleasure-boat business. Several fishing boats. Working fishermen on-site (fresh catches on sale nearby). Museum has a database of fishing families.
Bristol Industrial Museum Princes Wharf, Prince Street, City Docks, Bristol BS1 4RN;
Tel: +44 (0)117 9251470, 9223571
Fax: +44 (0)117 9297318
The museum with archives for information about the Port of Bristol: industrial, maritime & transport history.
Bristol Maritime Heritage Centre
Wapping Wharf, Gasferry Road, Bristol BS1 6TY
Correspondence should be addressed to:
Museums Manager, Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery
Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RL
Tel: +44 (0)117 9260680 (business); 9291843 (info).
Website: http://www.plus44.com/local/avon/fzbristol.html Story of Bristol shipbuilding, since 18th century.
New Road, Brixham, Devon TQ5 8LZ
Tel: +44 (0)1803 856267
Museum of local history, with much maritime material.
St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Correspondence should be addressed to:
Guernsey Museums & Galleries, Candie Gardens,
St Peter Port, Guernsey, C.I. GY1 1UG Tel: (01481) 726518
Tel: +44 (0)1481 721657, 726518; Edu: 723688
Fax: +44 (0)1481 715177
Castle Cornet is a newly refurbished maritime gallery, in a fort dating to 13C. Ship models, tools, diving gear & navigation instruments, illustrate 'Maritime Guernsey' theme. Smuggling, privateering, shipbuilding, shipwrecks and the Royal Navy. Military collections nearby.
Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust - World Naval Base
Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TZ
Tel: +44 (0)1634 823800
Fax: +44 (0)1634 823801
Website: http://www.worldnavalbase.org.uk and
Ex-naval dockyard buildings now house "Wooden Walls" shipbuilding display. Includes archives onsite and library and archives of the Historical Society Museum.
Cornwall Maritime Museum
2 Bell's Court, Market Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 2AZ
Tel: +44 (0)1326 316745 or (0)1841 520413
Displays cover Cornwall & the Sea. Falmouth Packet Service. Ship models, artefacts, paintings. Shipbuilding & navigation. Wrecks & lifesaving. Archives onsite and database of Cornish-built vessels 1786 - 1914.
Cotehele Quay Museum
Cotehele Quay, St Dominick, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 6TA
Tel: +44 (0)1579 350830
Small quayside museum tells story of Shamrock, & trade on West Country rivers & coast. This museum is a branch of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich & National Trust.
Queens Terrace, Fleetwood, Lancashire FY8 5BT
(Part of the Museum of Lancashire, County Museums Service)
Tel: +44 (0)1253 876621
Fax: +44 (0)1253 878088
Museum in 1838 Custom House shows a model of the docks, a replica trawler bridge, ship models & pictures. Inshore & deep-sea fishing displays. Trawlers in wartime. History of Fleetwood. Archives onsite.
Holyhead Maritime Museum
Newry Beach, Holyhead, Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Mon, North Wales
Correspondence should be addressed to:
8 Llanfain Estate, Holyhead, Anglesey LL65 1NF, Wales
Tel: +44 (0)1407 769745
Fax: +44 (0)1407 769745
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Ship models, tools, photographs & artefacts illustrate history of Holyhead, its ships & seamen, in peace & war, from Roman times to its present importance as a ferry terminal. Archives onsite.
Margaret Street, Immingham, [North-East-] Lincolnshire
DN40 1LE (ex-South Humberside)
Tel: +44 (0)1469 577066
Collection covers the relationship between the port and the railway at Immingham. Archives of Humber Graving Dock stored.
Isles of Scilly Museum Association
Church Street, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly TR21 0JT
(The southernmost maritime museum in the UK proper)
Tel: +44 (0)1720 422337
Shipwrecks: photos & salvage. Wool pictures by local seamen. Shipbuilding on Scilly: tools, pictures & half-hulls. Archives onsite and library with logs of local ships.
Lancaster Maritime Museum
Custom House, St George's Quay, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1RB
Tel: +44 (0)1524 64637
Fax: +44 (0)1524 841692
History of the port, with real boats, ship models, displays of catching local shellfish, whammel boat & inshore fishing. Ship-building, trade with library and archives onsite.
Museum of London
London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Tel: +44 (0)20 76003699
Fax: +44 (0)20 76001058
The Museum is devoted to all aspects of London's society & culture. Some exhibits show evidence of ships & artefacts from London's trade & docklands, from Roman times onwards. Archives and library onsite.
The Maritime Museum
New North Quay Street, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Send correspondence to:
Jersey Museums Service
Weighbridge, St. Helier
Jersey JE2 3NF, Channel Islands (Tel: +44 (0)1534 633300)
Tel: +44 (0)1534 811043
Fax: +44 (0)1534 633301
This new museum has a number of with innovative displays on all aspects of Jersey's maritime heritage: shipbuilding, maritime trade, sea-life, etc. Paintings & photos, ships' fittings, interactive effects. (Most of the material was previously in The Jersey Museum)
National Fishing Heritage Centre Alexandra Dock, [Great] Grimsby,
Lincolnshire DN31 1UZ (ex-South Humberside)
Tel: +44 (0)1472 323345
Fax: +44 (0)1472 323555
Artefacts illustrate the life & social history of one of Britains' biggest fishing ports. Archives and library onsite.
Scott Polar Research Institute
Lensfield Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Direct correspondence to Keeper of Collections & Librarian, Scott Polar Research Instit., University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER
Tel: +44 (0)1223 336540, Librarian: 336557, Archivist: 336555
Fax: +44 (0)1223 336549
Material related to exploration and research in polar regions, including Franklin expeditions & searches, Capt Scott's antarctic expeditions. Archives and library onsite.
Southampton Maritime Museum Wool House, Bugle Street, Southampton SO14 2AR (Hampshire)
Direct all correspondence to:
Southampton City Cultural Services, Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LP Tel: +44 (0)23 80635904; 80237584 for archive enquiries.
Fax: +44 (0)23 80339601
Website: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/leisure/heritage/maritime.htm or http://www.intent.co.uk/southampton/Heritage.html
Ship models & paintings recall Southampton's maritime past, of sail & steam, dockyards, ship-building & transatlantic liners. Museum houses and extensive Archives.
For additional listings of Maritime Museums and resources visit the National Maritime Museum http://www.port.nmm.ac.uk and the website for Maritime and Naval Museums in Britain and Ireland http://www.cus.cam.ac.uk/~mhe1000/marmus.htm
The discussion of resources for conducting maritime research as well as topics such as the Royal Airforce, Royal Marines, using online catalogues and finding aids, researching English and Welsh wills and many other topics will continue in future issues of English and Welsh Roots. Until then, whether you are searching for records online, in published sources or in other electronic products, please remember there is absolutely NO substitute for verifying all information with original and other supporting records to ensure the accuracy of your research.
Please remember, your research is the legacy you leave to others - verify all information you find!
UK Parish Locator Program has been updated: ParLoc version 1.8 January 2000 http://www.dmbennett.freeserve.co.uk/ParLoc.htm Download this freeware program for Windows95/98 or NT based on a database originally created by Gerald Lawson. It enables you to locate any one of over 15,000 UK parishes. It will produce a list of parishes in any County or a list of parishes within a given radius of any other parish and also allows Import and Export via "csv" files. In this new version it is now possible to plot the location of parishes to either the screen or the printer and the search facility has been improved. This version also includes a number of corrections to errors found by users and the Roman Catholic parishes for three more Irish Counties. Users of versions earlier than 1.7 should note that the eastings have all been reduced so that they should now agree with the Ordance Survey (OS) maps. There is also a function to indicate which OS map(s) a parish can be found on.
FREE BMD MAKES ITS FIRST MILLION: target="_blank">http://FreeBMD.RootsWeb.com/ On 3 February 2000, FreeBMD announced that, as of 1 February 2000, there are more than one million entries in its database of transcribed vital records of England and Wales that are more than 100 years old. To learn more about the Free BMD project, visit their website at: target="_blank">http://FreeBMD.RootsWeb.com/
NEWSPLAN is a collaborative project between the British Library, the national libraries of Scotland and Wales and the public libraries of the United Kingdom. It's main objectives are the microfilming and preservation of local newspapers and for making them accessible to users. Last year it was awarded £5 million by the (UK) Heritage Lottery Fund to further these objectives - the largest ever preservation award in the UK. Microfilm remains the only proven method of preservation for newspapers which, more often than not, are in poor condition. It is also cost-effective and practical to do so, particularly when a national library has an obligation to retain the original. Digitization from the microfilm is the ideal for the provision of access. For more information see the British Library's website at: http://www.bl.uk/collections/newspaper/nplan.html.
London Canal Museum: At London Canal Museum you can see inside a narrowboat cabin, learn about the history of London's canals, about the cargoes carried, the people who lived and worked on the waterways, and the horses that pulled their boats. Peer down into a huge Victorian ice well used to store ice imported from Norway and brought by ship and canal boat to be stored. The museum is housed in a former ice warehouse built in about 1862-3 for Carlo Gatti, the famous ice cream maker, and features the history of the ice trade and ice cream as well as the canals. This is the only London museum of inland waterways and is situated at King's Cross. http://www.canalmuseum.org.uk
About Fawne Stratford-Devai
Fawne Stratford-Devai's work on Land Records and early Ontario records is well known in the genealogy community. A published author of several Canadian and UK research books, she has also contributed articles to the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter "Families" as well as writing for the online family history newsletter the "Global Gazette". Biography