Merchant Seamen Records
Tracing British merchant seamen can be difficult because records are dispersed between a number of different archives. You need to know:
Records of Crew Lists & Agreements are divided between a number of archives. All surviving records (they are incomplete) for 1747-1860 are held at the National Archives, Kew. From 1861 onwards the records are divided between the National Archives, Kew, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, various county record offices and archives across Britain, and some archives abroad with the bulk held in the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada.
The Register of Seamen's Tickets, which covers the period 1845-1854, is held at the National Archives, Kew. It records information such as previous occupation, height, hair colour, eye colour and complexion that is not available in crew lists. However some birth dates that are recorded are suspect, and some tickets were issued with few or no identification details entered in the register.
To download Records of Tiree Mariners, a searchable spreadsheet of Tiree-born seamen recorded in Crew Lists & Agreements and other sources, click here .
To download a searchable spreadsheet of Tiree-born seamen recorded in the Register of Seamen's Service & Tickets 1845-1854, click here .