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Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2007-06 > 1180952840

From: "Jenny De Angelis" <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] pamphlet "my ancestor was a mariner...."
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 12:32:28 +0200
References: <01a701c7a62c$41408df0$22f7d7cd@yourw04gtxld67>


I don't have the booklet on researching Mariners but have managed to
research my 3 John Smith who were all mariners and I have managed to obtain
copies of their Master Mariner certificates by finding them in the census,
the crew lists of a ship or two on which they sailed in order to get their
certificate numbers. I have also found them in the censuses at home and
also at sea on board their ships in the various censuses, as well as having
one of them listed in Lloyds registers of seamen for his voyages on a
particular ship during 1881/82 up until he was lost at sea from that same
vessel in October 1882 in the Atlantic Ocean when she ran into a cyclone.

When was your mariner ancestor born and what was his name? You might find
him in the censuses from 1881 going backwards in time either on dry land on
at sea of a ship, on a ship at sea only back as far as the 1861, if he was
sailing on British Registered ships. If he happened to be on a ship in a
British port on a census night, regardless of where the ship was registered,
he might be shown as having slept on board on census night.

Have you found him in any census? you didn't say whether you have looked for
him there or not.

If he was an ordinary seaman then he will be more difficult to trace with
regard to his seaman career than if he had become a Master Mariner, an
Engineer 1st or 2nd. class, or a Boatswain (Bosun), or some other class
qualified mariner, then you might have more chance of finding out more
about him as he would have had to pass exams to gain the relevant
certificates. Such certificates are held at the National Maritime Museum and
not the Nat. Archives.

If you knew the name of a ship that he sailed on then you might have a
chance of finding that ship's crew lists and find him listed as singing on
as part of the crew, but seaman changed ships regularly according to where
they could get signed on for a voyage so the time line would be very fine
between finding him in the census on a particular ship and then finding a
crew list for that same ship. Many crew lists were going to be destroyed by
the PRO and they were only going to keep a sample, selecting those lists for
years ending in 5, or something like that. The Maritime History Archive
Newfoundland, bought up many, if not all, the crew
lists that were to be destroyed and they have them available for copies.
But you need the Registration number of the ship in order to find the right
crew lists and order a copy. Looking for your man in crew lists would be a
bit like a needle in a haystack if he was an ordinary seaman simply because
he would likely have signed on as crew for various ships in any any given
year. You may not find a crew list for the same ship as you might have
found him on in a census. If you do find a crew list for that ship then it
might be one for a voyage which your man did not sign on for as part of her
crew at that time. All a bit hit and miss.

If he was a qualified seaman, such as a Master Mariner, Bosun, Engineer then
he might have stayed with one ship for a length of time, changing ship less
frequently than ordinay seaman tended to do.

You could look at the Mariners website, where
you can find help on researching mariners both Merchant & Royal Navy. There
is also a mailing list for Marners linked from the Mariners website, this
list only deal with Ships and the men that sailed them not Passsengers.

Let us have his name and a year of birth for him and maybe we can help do a
bit of digging for him.
Jenny DeAngelis.

I have a Mariner ancestor who was born foreign (Poland or Russia), said to
have been raised in England, certainly is found leaving Liverpool for
unknown reasons in 1883 for New York, U.S.A. on the Ethiopia, claiming
himself as an American citizen. (assume he had papers he was required to
show). that is my earliest documented record for him.

question #1, if he isn't listed in Lloyds records as a mariner in England,
would there be other seaman's records available?

question #2, would there be any record at Liverpool for his departure from

question #3, would he, as an American citizen, be recorded in any manner in
England? such a record might clue me in to where his relatives were living
in 1883-if they were still there, or perhaps I could be so lucky as just to
find out what he was doing in England that year.

many thanks,

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