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Seamen

Sources held elsewhere

The seamen's trade union records held at the Modern Records Centre do not readily lend themselves to tracing the careers of individual seamen, so it is probably best to start with one of the guides to shipping records produced by the National Archives.

Sources held at the Modern Records Centre

National Union of Seamen (MSS.175)

NB This archive does not contain membership records.

Finance/finance and general purposes committee minutes, 1911-1972

Need: Evidence and exact date of receiving incapacity or old age benefit.

The Seaman, 1908, 1911-1939, 1943-1993

Need: specific dates of going missing, injuries, involvement in shipping disasters, death (only if prominent member, post-1927).Up until 1927 (inclusive), The Seaman included monthly lists of deceased members and members receiving accident and shipwreck benefits.

Minutes

British Seafarers’ Union

The records of the British Seafarers’ Union form part of the National Union of Seamen archive.

British Seafarer, 1913-21

Need: specific dates of going missing, injuries, involvement in shipping disasters, death (if prominent member).

Minutes, 1911-1921

Need: evidence of prominence within the union, positions held and dates.

The National Union of Seamen archive has archives of the following unions but none of them include membership records. Only union officials and prominent members are therefore likely to feature in these archives:

Grimsby Steam and Diesel Fishing Vessels’ Engineers’ and Firemen’s Union (Grimsby Steam Fishing Vessels’ Engineers’ and Firemen’s Union up to 1961)

NB This archive does not contain membership records

Need: evidence of prominence in the union (ie positions held and dates).

Minutes, 1900-1, 1912-87; press cuttings, 1930s, 1950s-1980s

NB prior permission needed from the Transport and General Workers’ Union before access to unpublished material in this archive. Details are available from the Modern Records Centre.

Reference

Maritime Information: a guide to libraries and sources of information in the United Kingdom (Maritime Information Association, 2004);

Records of Merchant Shipping and Seamen by Kelvin Smith, Christopher T Watts and Michael J Watts

My Ancestor was a Merchant Seaman by Christopher T Watts and Michael J Watts.

Len Barnett, maritime researcher: http://www.barnettmaritime.co.uk/