This series contains registers of births at sea of British nationals kept by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen.
From 1874, the RGSS was required to report births and deaths at sea, aboard all ships registered in Britain or its colonies and on foreign-registered ships carrying passengers to or from the UK, to the Registrars General of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland (the General Register Offices). The name of this series is misleading as it includes events related to persons of any nationality, not just British nationals. It should also cover events on foreign-registered passenger ships travelling to or from an UK port, but there is little evidence of this in the registers themselves.
There are separate volumes for England, Scotland and Ireland corresponding to the GRO to whom the details were to be reported. The registers for Scotland and Ireland contain details where the father of the child (or mother if it was a bastard) was a 'Scotch or Irish subject of Her Majesty'. The registers for England include all events not reported to the GROs for Scotland and Ireland and thus contain entries for foreign nationals as well as those for English and Welsh subjects.
Electronic images of these records can be searched online through our partner website.