Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DocumentsOnline UK

The National Archives Kew UK | DocumentsOnline | Royal Navy Service Records

Royal Naval Seamen (1873 - 1923)

You can now search and download the service registers of more than 500,000 seamen who joined the Royal Navy between 1873 and 1923.

and lots more including:-

Certificates of service from 1802 to 1894

For men who served before 1894, it may be worth checking the certificates of service (for example, if they went on to apply for a pension). These certificates of service are held at The National Archives, Kew, in the series ADM 29.


Having discovered which ship(s) your ancestor served on you will be able to look up specific ship logs. Captains' Logs, 1669-1852, are informative and sometimes include crew lists. These logs are held in the series ADM 51, available at The National Archives.

Another possible source of information is in the series ADM 101, Surgeons' Logs, 1785-1963. Again, these records can be seen at The National Archives.


Since 1861, officer and crew details were listed in special naval schedules, recording servicemen and any passengers. Vessels were enumerated in home and foreign waters. The schedules note the name, rank or rating, marital status, age, and birthplace, as well as location at the time of the census. In the later schedules of 1891 and 1901 name, relation to vessel (whether a member of the crew, etc.), marital status, age last birthday, occupation, birthplace, and "whether blind, deaf or dumb" were noted, along with the location. You can search the census returns by going to Census records and following the links. If you are visiting The National Archives, Kew, or the Family Records Centre, Islington, you can view the census 1861 - 1891 free of charge.

The Battle of Trafalgar

If you are researching the Battle of Trafalgar you might be interested in The National Archives Trafalgar online exhibition, the Trafalgar ancestors database and the DocumentsOnline French Muster Rolls collection.

World War One

If your rating was awarded any campaign medals in the First World War you will find his entitlement in the medal rolls held in ADM 171, pieces 94 to 119. You can view these records at The National Archives.


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