How to look for records of... Officers in the Merchant Navy
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to researching records of officers in the Merchant Navy. Until 1845 there was no system of registration of merchant navy officers, so records which might incidentally make mention of them must be used to trace them. After 1845, there are alphabetical registers and registers of certificates which might help. You might also find information about the officer by searching the records of ordinary merchant seamen.
What do I need to know before I start?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
In the merchant navy the term ‘officer’ can refer to a master, mate, engineer, fishing boat skipper, second hand or cook.
Officers were certificated either on passing an examination (a certificate of competency), or through long service (a certificate of service).