Friday 31 May 2024

Find your Irish ancestors in FindMyPast's newest maritime records

Whether they worked principally at sea or on shore, your Irish ancestors might have just sailed into the FindMyPast database.

More than 313,000 new records across two collections are now available, both sourced from The National Archives (TNA) in Kew, London, and they feature sizeable contingents of Irish-born men.

Among them are some of my extended paternal family, and while I knew from earlier discoveries that they were employed in maritime services, these new records have provided new information about their careers and lives. In one case, a pre-civil registration death-by-drowning register entry was a surprise.

Some details of the new records:

Coastguards 1801-1952: As far as I'm aware, this collection has previously been available only via TNA. It holds 212,426 images and transcripts of men who worked as a coastguard between 1801 to 1952. If your ancestor appears in the records, you'll probably find several entries in the index. Some may provide duplicate information while others may be one-offs showing particular journeys with multiple stops enroute. I'd expected coastguards to have been based principally at one station but these records suggest otherwise, unless some of these voyages had more of a policing purpose. I shall have to investigate.

British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service And Pension Records, 1704-1939: Some 101,555 transcriptions have been added to this existing wide-ranging collection. The new arrivals comprise series ADM 139, a record-set holding service records dating from 1853 to 1872. Again, one of the records looks very exciting, allowing me (if I can confirm it) to drop back another generation on a close branch of my 4xGGF's brother, born 1786. Busy weekend ahead!

Women's Royal Naval Service Officer Records, 1917–1919: Images of more than 59,000 records have been linked to existing transcripts from the series ADM 318. These records can't be searched by place, so I can't tell if any Irish women are included in the database. Given the dates, I think it unlikely, but I include a link for those who may wish to check it out.

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