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Census on Ships

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Jayrcee Report 25 Apr 2013 11:08

A lot of my family are master mariners from as far as I've been able to get back the 1800. Is there any way of finding out which ships or ports they were in during any census taking.
Any thoughts would be gratefully appreciated


Reggie Report 25 Apr 2013 11:15

Look at the censuses would be the obvious answer...........

Only if they are on them will you get any info


MarieCeleste Report 26 Apr 2013 20:43

Hello Jayrcee - welcome to the boards!

This link, although a little out of date and refers to census records being held on fiche, and doesn't mention 1901 & 1911 census explains what the census arrangements were for seamen:

This is the gist of it:

1841 Seamen on shore on census night were enumerated in the same way as the general public, in the place where they spent that night. There was no provision made for recording seamen at sea on census night.

1851 Seamen on board ships in port or docked on rivers were recorded for the first time. They were enumerated by the Master and collected by the local Officer of Customs whose duty it was to submit the records. The RGSS had similar responsibility for the enumeration of ships at sea within territorial waters. Survival rate for these records is poor.

1861 Seamen on board all ships in port or docked in rivers were recorded and returns submitted to the Officer of Customs. The RGSS assumed responsibility for those at sea in territorial waters and for the first time, those 'on the high seas.'

1871 - 1891 Returns filed as above, following the ordinary census records for the port at which the ship was docked on census night, or to which it returned following its voyage.

So, why not give us an example of someone you're looking for and we'll try to help. Just give us their name and when/where born and we'll see what we can find.


Cynthia Report 26 Apr 2013 22:07

New poster - friendly message sent on how to return to thread :-)