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WW1 Merchant Navy Crew Lists Go Online

July 5, 2015 0 Comments

Merchant Navy Crew Lists 1915Piecing together the career of a WW1 Merchant Navy ancestor without knowing which ships they served on has been virtually impossible up until now.

Crew lists for Merchant Navy ships are held by several different archives and there is no index to the names listed.

But thanks to an exciting new record release things got a little bit easier this week…

The National Maritime Museum and The National Archives have been working in partnership to make the crew lists for the year 1915 available online for the first time.

Around 39,000 crew lists have been scanned and transcribed by volunteers from all over the world to mark the First World War centenary.

The searchable database went live this week and contains the names of 750,000 people…

Crew Lists of the British Merchant Navy – 1915

Once you have found a record of your ancestor on a ship you can view a scanned image of the original crew list which reveals…

  • Name and Official Number of Ship
  • Name
  • Year of Birth or Age
  • Address
  • Last Ship Served On and Year of Discharge
  • Date and Place Agreement Signed
  • Rank or Rating
  • Date To Be On Board
  • Details of Wages Paid
  • Date, Place and Cause of Discharge

If you are tracing the career of a Merchant Navy man during the First World War this could provide a massive breakthrough in your research.

I was actually planning a trip to the National Maritime Museum in a couple of weeks to look up a crew list for my Great Grandfather. I’d finally found the name of a ship on a WW1 medal roll and had tracked down the crew list to the National Maritime Museum.

But thanks to this new release I found not only the record I was looking for but also the names of three other ships I knew nothing about. I have now traced all of his voyages for the year 1915…

…and thanks to the Last Ship Served On information I now also have the name of a ship he served on previously in 1914. The crew list for that ship is at The National Archives which is my next port of call…

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