Sunday, May 1, 2016

A-Z Naval Records Digest and Thankyous

James Vernon Cook - my 2nd great-grandfather

As promised, I thought I would present a digest or summary of all my Blogging from A-Z posts as a kind of cheat-sheet for anyone wanting some hints for researching ancestors with a naval background. As previously stated, this is from a very Anglo/Australian point of view, so apologies to researchers with heritage from other countries. Finally, this is not meant to be a definitive digest to all the resources available....just a digest of where my research took me and what I found.

As with any new topic of knowledge, you will encounter unfamiliar words or is just a sample of what you may encounter...

ADM - the acronym for Admiralty and the call sign as it were for The National Archives collection of records from Admiralty.

Fathom - equals 6 feet or 1.8 metres.

Flagship - a ship carrying an Admiral

HMS Pembroke - the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham 

Jackspeak - a sailor's dictionary

Lean's Navy Lists - 1878 - 1916 - short biographies of Officers in the Royal Navy

Protected cruiser



Remittance Registers 

Wavy Navy - the Naval Reserve

X-Craft - miniature subs

Yardarm - the outer quarters of a yard, that part which lies outboard of the lifts, on eitehr side of the ship, i.e. the port and starboard yardarms.  They were the positions in a square-rigged ship where most of the flag signals were hoisted, and in the older days of sail, when the disciplinary code on board included punishments of death by hanging, were the traditional points from which men were hanged on board.(from The Oxford Dictionary of Ships and the Sea)

The web is a wonderful thing to be sure but books/libraries are really where it's at.  Here is a selection that should get you on the right path, answer queries you might have or build a picture for order of author's surname....

J.J. Colledge's Ships of the Royal Navy

Justin Corfield's The Australian Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the Boxer Uprising 1899-1901

Conrad Dixon's Ships of the Victorian Navy

Simon Fowler's Tracing your Naval Ancestors - a guide for Family Historians 

Angus Konstam's Yangtze River Gunboats 1900-1949 

Ian Nicholson's Log of Logs 

Bruno Pappalardo's Tracing Your Naval Ancestors

N.A.M. Rodger's Naval Records for Genealogists

Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea

And don't forget leisure reading or reading fiction. Historic Naval Fiction will guide you. Joseph Conrad's Youth is a good read too.

Part of the fun of family history is exploring...that means getting off your bottom and getting out and about.  Is there a naval or maritime museum near you?  Go and check it out.  Perhaps it is time to book a flight and visit old Blighty.....

Admiralty Library National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

British Library 

Caird Library and Archive 

Haslar Heritage Group 

Kew or The National Archives

Keyham where Engineering Officers were trained.

London Metropolitan Archives

Malta Family History

The National Maritime Museum 

R.A.N. Heritage Centre

Royal Geographical Society

Royal Greenwich Hospital 

Royal Greenwich Hospital School  

Royal Naval Asylum 

Royal Naval College

Trinity House

Zeebrugge Churchyard and Cemetery

Dockyards (ones in bold are Royal Navy)
Cadiz (or Mediterranean)
Cork or Haulbowline
Jamaica or Kingston
Minorca (or Port Mahon)
Nelson's at Antigua
Penang (or Prince of Wales Island)
Plymouth or Devonport
York (or Lake Ontario)


Australian War Memorial

Bodleian Library

CLIP or the Crew List Index Project

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


50 researchers 

Genuki's Military Records page 

Gun Plot


Gilbert Provost's Register of Ships

Internet Archive

National Archives of Australia

National Library of Scotland

Navy Records Society

Paul Benyon's Late 18th, 19th and early 20th Century Naval and Naval Social History

Paul's Index of 19th Century Naval

Project Gutenberg

Rum Ration

San Francisco National Maritime National Historical park.


UK Mariners 


Vaughan Evans Library at the Australian National Maritime Museum


You Tube

TNA Guides

Royal Naval Dockyards

Royal Navy Ratings' Service Records 1853-1928

TNA Records

Hospital musters from 1740-1860 ADM 102 

Prize Money Lists ADM 238 

Ships Logs are located in ADM 53

Ships' musters can be found from 1667-1878 in ADM 36ADM 37ADM 38ADM 39 and ADM 41.

Yard Pay Books for dockyard workers can be found in ADM 42. They cover the years 1660-1857. 

Thank you/Shout Out!

Last but not least, a big shout out and thank you to everyone who commented on my blog.  I blog because I want to record my research but I also blog because I love interaction...people encouraging me or enlightening me ..or finding new cousins....thank you all for your support along the way.  Check out their blogs won't you...what an amazing bunch of people from all over the world. I call them my Mates given the nautical theme and my Strine (Australian) background. Mate meaning friend.

Old Bloggy Mates

Adventure before dementia - Diane B
Bob's Home for Writing - Bob Scotney
Family History Across the Seas - Pauleen Cass
Family History Fun - ScotSue
Finding Eliza - Kristin
Geniaus - Jill Ball 
GenieQ - Helen Connor
Jollett etc - Wendy
Library currants Carmel R Galvin
Strong Foundations - Sharon
That Moment in Time - Crissouli
Travel Genee - Fran Kitto
Twigs of Yore - Shelley Crawford

New Bloggy Mates

A Bit to read - I.L. Wolf
A Postcard A Day - Sheila
Ancestor Chasing - Kerryn Taylor
Confessions of a Part-time working Mum - J Lenni Dorner
Family Reunion Keepsake Book - Sue
History RoundAbout - Kathrynf
How to Tell A Great Story Aneeta Sundararaj
Kathleen Valentine's Blog - Kathleen Valentine
Life as a Potpourri - Sneha Sasi Kumar
Life Spoken Through Fingers -  Renee
Lori Henriksen - Lori
Molly's Canopy - Molly Charbonneau
My Genealogy Challenges - Dianne Nolin
Other Worlds -  Liz
P.S. Annie - Suzanne McClendon
Ragtag giggagon - Richard Gibney
The Squirrel Nutwork - Nutmeg
The Nimble Mime - Manisha Awasthi
The Old Shelter - Sarah Zama
Zulu Delta 45 


Jill Ball said...

Do you ever sleep?

You've given me a long lists of blogs to check out .... and I'm supposed to be concentrating on my Irish research.

You are a Geneastar.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

So much to read!! You haven't mentioned the merchant seamen guidebook...would you like the details?

Alex Daw said...

Dear Jill - just occasionally! Dear Pauleen - yes please !

Lissa Johnston said...

I'm working my way through as many A-Z Challenge bloggers as I can, and I've seen a handful of genealogy blogs in the process. As a recovering family tree researcher, I must say I really like the idea of blogging about the research rather than just posting the dry data on Ancestry somewhere.

It is very generous (and clever!) of you to provide this summary of resources all in one post. Must remember to steal this idea from time to time.

Speaking of, I'm collecting A-Z Challenge recap posts like yours over at Listly. Very interesting seeing the similarities and differences in everyone's experience this year. Enjoy!

Molly Charboneau said...

Thanks for the shout out! Great meeting you during the challenge. Hope to check back in the future...once I get some rest :-) Molly