Debbie Beavis 21/04/2002
Note that up until the Merchant Shipping (Fishing Boats) Act of 1883, the records for general merchant seamen include records of fishermen. You will normally find the Master/Captain of a fishing vessel referred to as Skipper. The Mate may be referred to as Second Hand.
BT129 - Registers of Certificates of Competency, Skippers & Mates
BT130 - Registers of Certificates of Service, Skippers & Mates
BT138 - Indexes to Registers of Certificates of Competency and Service, Skippers & Mates 1880-1917
The indexes give name, place and year of birth, and certificate number.
Certificates beginning with a 0 (zero) indicate Certificates of Service.
All others are Certificates of Competency.
Certificates of Competency give relatively brief information, largely repeating the information shown in the Indexes. The Certificates of Service include date when the Certificate was granted, and a note of voyages to date as found in registers of ordinary seamen's service which has been the subject of an earlier posting.
There is an overlapping source of information in BT352 recently prepared for release at the National Archives in Kew, England. National Archives »».
BT352 - Index to Certificates of Competency, Masters, Mates, Engineers and Fishing Officers, Home & Foreign Trade 1910-1930
Records of crew of fishing vessels may often be located in BT348, 349 and 350, the Fourth Register of Seamen covering dates 1913-1941.
Records of Apprentices from 1824-1953 are held with the regular Merchant Navy Apprentice records in BT150. Indentures for most years have been destroyed. However, those for every fifth year have been filed as follows:
BT152 - Apprentice Indentures, Fishing.
Agreements and Crew Lists for fishing vessels were filed as follows: Before 1884, Agreements and Crew Lists are filed with the main series.
BT98 - Agreements and Crew Lists Series l: 1835-1860.
BT99 - Agreements and Crew Lists Series ll: 1861-1938 and 1951-1989
From 1884-1929 10 percent of Fishing Agreements and Crew Lists are held at the National Archives in:
BT144 - Agreements and Crew Lists: Series lV (Fishing Agreements)
Please see the Guide to Agreements & Crew Lists for a full explanation of the various locations for these records.
Fishing vessels were given official numbers, but from 1894 (following the Merchant Shipping Act 1894) fishing vessels were required to be lettered and numbered according to their port of registry. Each port had a letter (or letters) assigned to it along with the fishing register number allotted to the vessel. The letters used by each port - a full list may be obtained via the National Archive website - usually were related to the port name... Grimsby = GY; Folkestone = FE, Ramsgate = R (originally RE) Certificate details and the vessel's letter and fishing number were entered into registers by the Customs Officers at each port. Returns were sent to the RGSS annually, but the original registers are all being transferred to relevant local County Record Offices, a process now almost complete.
The RGSS entered details into Statistical Registers of Fishing Vessels, now held at the National Archive in BT145. The first series covers the dates from 1893-1898, but thenceforth each form includes statistics for a five year period. These registers include the Fishing register number and letter; name, date of registration and reference, official number, tonnage etc along with a description of the kind of fishing in which the vessel was normally employed.... trawling, dredging, shrimping, cockling, musseling.
There was an indication of the number of crew normally employed but there is NO note of the names of any crew nor officer. These registers do however make it a simple matter to compile a list of all fishing vessels working out of a port at any particular time, and a systematic search may then be made of all crew agreements in order to compile records of a fisherman's service.
This is a brief overview of the records available for tracing British fishermen and records of fishing vessels. Other records may be held in local maritime museums and record offices and it is always worth while contacting the nearest archive to the port to enquire about any locally held records. The Public Record Office has recently revised their series of online leaflets and the latest version is available at their website National Archives »». They have also placed their catalogue on line from which you may ascertain the records you require.
|Date||Name||Age||Name Of Smack||Particulars Of Death|
|May 5th||Geo. KENNEDY||-||Apprentice||KATE AND POLLY|
|May 17th||- . THOMPSON||-||A.B.||HOPEFUL|
|May 24th||Jas. KEENE||-||Master||KATE|
|Jun. ?||Fred BRADSHAW||-||Man||LOTTERY|
|Oct.3rd||J. AMOS||-||Apprentice||JAS. THORPE|
|Oct.5th||J. L. HILL||-||Deck Hand||CHAMPION|
|Oct.8th||Benj. SCOTT||-||Deck Hand||COVENTRY|
|Oct.10th||Thos. MELOY||-||Mate||JOHN ROBERT|
|Oct.28th||J. MANN||-||3rd Hand||WILLIE (YH)|
|Oct.28th||John SIMPSON||-||Apprentice||WILLIE (YH)|
|Oct.28th||John BROCK||-||Apprentice||WILLIE (YH)|
|Oct.29th||Jas. WHITTAKER||-||Deck Hand||ELIJAH|
|Oct.29th||Jas. HAINES||-||3rd Hand||TRENT|
|Oct.29th||John PECK||-||Master||PRIDE OF ESSEX (HH)|
|Jan.22nd||H. CUTTS||-||Cook||BEN MORE (DH)|
|Feb.5th||Arch. SMITH||-||Mate||GEORGE AND MARY|
|Feb.5th||J. ALDRED||-||Seaman||GEORGE AND MARY|
|Feb.18th||J. T. LONGDEN||-||Apprentice||FRANK|
|Feb.26th||H. GUNSTABLE||18||Apprentice||HAWTHORN (HH)|
|Mar.3rd||L. S. WEST||18||Seaman||LIBERTY (YH)|
|Mar.5th||G. W. BILTON||30||Mate||SILVERY WAVE|
|Mar.6th||C. DUGGINS||17||Apprentice||GREAT SURPRISE|
|Mar.6th||E. SPRATLING||20||3rd Hand||ELIJAH|
|Jun.30th||Geo STUBBS||19||Seaman||GEO. STEVENSON|
|Jul.8-9th||R. W. ATKINSON||18||Apprentice||GEM|
|Jul.10th||Ch. WATMOUGH||23||Seaman||ED. HENEAGH|
|Aug.26th||Geo. CORNHILL||17||Apprentice||TWO BROTHERS|
|Oct.14th||Geo. PRIDMORE||-||4th Hand||CONTENT|
|Oct.15th||W. DRIVER||-||Apprentice||REGULUS (H)|
|Oct.28th||Thos WALKER||-||Mate||MAID OF KENT|
|Oct.28th||W. GILLETT||-||3rd Hand||MAID OF KENT|
|Oct.28th||C. CALL||-||Apprentice||MAID OF KENT|
|Oct.28th||G. BISCOE||-||Deck Hand||TORNADO|
|Oct.31st||J. G. ROBINSON||-||3rd Hand||ANDREW MARVEL|
|Nov.26th||Jas. TOBY||-||Master||MONARCH (YH)|
|Dec.13th||J. W. GODDARD||14||Apprentice||WILLIAM AND MARY|
|Dec.22nd||T. CLOW||-||Man||DAWN O'DAY|
|Dec.30th||H. TILDIN||-||Apprentice||WILLIAM HOOD|
|Jan.6th||E. A. PETTERSON||29||Seaman||JOHN ELLIS|
|Jan.6th||N. ANDERSON||24||Seaman||BETSY CAMPBELL|
|Jan.17th||H. J. SPINKS||21||Mate||FORWARD|
|Feb.1st||D. J. DUNCAN||34||Master||ELIZABETH BAINBRIDGE|
|Feb.1st||W. WATSON||-||Mate||ELIZABETH BAINBRIDGE|
|Feb.1st||W. C. BLACKMOOR||24||3rd Hand||ELIZABETH BAINBRIDGE|
|Feb.1st||W. E. ROBINSON||16||Deck hand||ELIZABETH BAINBRIDGE|
|Feb.11th||H. HILLMAN||19||3rd Hand||WILLIE|
|Feb.11th||J. P. JAMES||19||Deck hand||WILLIE|
|Feb.13th||J. WALLIS or KELLY||24||Seaman||BEN DEARG (DH)|
|Feb.16th||Geo. JOLLY||21||3rd Hand||ED HENEAGE|
|Feb.18th||Richard TAYLOR||-||3rd Hand||MELBORNE|
|Feb.18th||C. NEEDHAM||32||Deck hand||MELBORNE|
|Feb.18th||D. EDMUNDS||23||Seaman||TUBAL CAIN|
|Feb.18th||Thos. ATKINSON||19||3rd Hand||TWILIGHT|
|Feb.19th||W. GOWER||22||Deck hand||WHITE STAR|
|Feb.19th||John BURINSTON||18||Deck hand||JUPITER|
|Feb.19th||G. J. EATWELL||20||Deck hand||BALAKLAVA|
|Feb.28th||Rob't. ELWOODS||28||Deck hand||DAUNTLESS|
|Mar.16th||J. BRANAN||23||Deck hand||LADY PLIMSOLL|
|Apr.5th||J. H. PEARSON||19||Cook||NEPTUNE|
|Apr.5th||John DAWSON||19||Apprentice||WILLIAM BRASEY|
|Apr.26th||Isaac SMITH||20||3rd Hand||WILLIAM AND REBECCA|
|Apr.26th||J. COOK||19||Deck hand||WILLIAM AND REBECCA|
|May 6th||A. CHRISTIAN||23||Seaman||PEARL|
|May 13th||H. HORNE||19||Apprentice||WHITE STAR|
|Jun.15th||D. GILBERT||14||Apprentice||T. CHARLTON|
|Jul.9th||F. BARNES||17||Apprentice||SIR Wd. LAWSON|
|Jul.17th||C. SIMPSON||21||3rd Hand||ENERGY|
|Aug.17th||J. H. MARTIN||56||Man||ADVENTURE|
|Aug.17th||A. A. FROST||15||Apprentice||ADVENTURE|
|Sep.19th||J. H. COOPER||-||Man||NEW ADMIRAL (YH)|
|Sep.20th||D. JOHNSON||-||3rd Hand||ANNIE|