Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Register of Seamen, Series II
This series contains the second series of the Register of Seamen kept by the General Registry and Record Office of Seamen.
The Register incorporates all the British merchant seamen already registered in the first series contained in BT 120. The series also includes some portions of the alphabetical index of seamen which would otherwise be found in BT 119.
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The register consists of two distinct parts covering 1835 to February 1840 (Part 1) and December 1841 to 1844 (Part 2); there appears to be no material covering the gap.
- Part 1, consisted of some 19 volumes, wherein the entries were arranged according to a numeric scheme within alphabetical segments (initial two letters of a seaman's surname).
- Part 2 consisted of some 71 volumes arranged essentially alphabetically.
At some stage during its administrative use, the volumes of Part 1 and Part 2 were disassembled and an attempt was made to recombine them in a single alphabetical series. This resulted in 79 volumes, of which 78 survive today. Some pages from the indexes to registers have also become embedded in these volumes.
Registration of merchant seamen was provided for in the 1835 Merchant Shipping Act to create a means of manning the Royal Navy in wartime. Seamen were engaged by the voyage at this period, and there was no permanent merchant service. The registers were made up from the new returns of agreements and crew lists for each voyage. They were difficult to keep up and to index, and the transcription of names was often haphazard and inaccurate. The system was replaced by the register tickets in 1844.
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- BT Records of the Board of Trade and of successor and related bodies
- Records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen and successor
- BT 112 Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Register of Seamen, Series II