More than 157,000 records with images have been added to an existing database of Merchant Navy Crew Lists from 1861-1913.
Findmypast has added these records to its database, which now contains over 570,000 records in total. Findmypast says: “The records consist of crew lists and agreements from a number of depositories across England and Wales, including The National Archives, National Maritime Museum, various local archives and county record offices.
“Crew lists and agreements were first introduced in 1835. Agreements were effectively an employment contract between the ship’s master and each member of his crew, signed by both parties before the ship sailed. A ship that sailed in British waters would have completed a crew list every six months. If a vessel sailed outside of British waters then a document called a crew agreement was completed for each voyage. Crew members include a wide variety of professions, such as deckhands, engine staff, stewards, nurses and maids.
“As the records come from such a wide variety of sources and archives, the amount of information contained can vary significantly. Each record consists of a transcript of the original source material and the newly added 157,000 records also include images of original documents. A section of these records was created from the ongoing Crew List Index Project (CLIP), which aims to improve access to the records of British merchant seamen for the late nineteenth century by indexing records from local record offices throughout the UK.”