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Tracing Your Merchant Navy Ancestors
     

Tracing Your Merchant Navy Ancestors

by Simon Wills
 

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What was a merchant seaman’s life like in the past, what experiences would he have had, what were the ships like that he sailed in, and what risks did he run? Was he shipwrecked, rewarded for bravery, or punished? And how can you find out about an ancestor who was a member of the long British maritime tradition? Simon Wills’ concise and informative

Overview

What was a merchant seaman’s life like in the past, what experiences would he have had, what were the ships like that he sailed in, and what risks did he run? Was he shipwrecked, rewarded for bravery, or punished? And how can you find out about an ancestor who was a member of the long British maritime tradition? Simon Wills’ concise and informative historical guide takes the reader and researcher through the fascinating story of Britain’s merchant service, and he shows you how to trace individual men and women and gain an insight into their lives.

In a series of short, information-packed chapters, he explains the expansion of Britain’s global maritime trade and the fleets of merchant ships that sustained it in peace and war. He describes the lives, duties and tribulations of the generations of crews who sailed in these ships, whether as ordinary seamen or as officers, stewards, engineers and a myriad of other roles. In addition, he identifies the websites you can explore, the archives, records and books you can read, and the places you can visit in order to gain an understanding of what your seagoing ancestor did and the world he knew.

Simon Wills’ practical handbook will be essential reading and reference for anyone who is keen to discover for themselves the secrets of our maritime past and of the crewmembers and ships that were part of it.

REVIEWS

Pen & Sword continues its excellent Family History book series with this guide to researching your Merchant Navy ancestors, a common occupation for many British ancestors, yet they can be difficult to trace. This guide book puts your ancestors into social context and provides guidance on where to find specifics on the men, and the ships on which they sailed... full of fascinating helpful facts that put your ancestors and the research issues into context. ...
The book is not just for those who served as ships masters, mates and seamen, but also includes all the other occupations you may find at sea such as carpenters, cooks, donkeymen, engineers, firemen, greasers, gunners, medical officers, pursers, stewards, storekeepers, telegraphers, and trimmers. The role of women is also highlighted. Each chapter has numerous illustrations of ships, crew and the documents they used or those created by officials. There are numerous finding aids, and references suggested and where you may also find material online the web addresses are provided. I was actually surprised at how much may now be online, making the search process from outside the British Isles a little easier. If you have Merchant Navy ancestors you will certainly want to have a look at this up to date research guide.
Paul Milner Genealogy

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781848846517
Publisher:
Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date:
08/02/2014
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Simon Wills is an experienced family historian and genealogist.

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