Service records 1756-1931
Search Royal Naval officers’ service records (ADM 196) on our website by name for records of most of the warrant officers who joined the Royal Navy between 1756 and 1931, though there are far fewer records before 1830.
Warrant officers would have served as ratings before being awarded a warrant so it may also be worth searching ratings’ service records for career and basic biographical details.
Royal Navy First World War Lives at Sea database
Search the Royal Navy First World War Lives at Sea database by name, service number and other criteria for free-to-access information relating to all the Royal Navy officers and ratings that served in the First World War.
The database is compiled largely from records held at The National Archives and is a joint project between The National Archives, The National Maritime Museum and the Crew List Index Project.
Certificates of service 1802-1894
Search at Ancestry.co.uk (£) by name for certificates of service 1802-1894 (ADM 29) issued to warrant officers who applied for a pension, gratuity or medal. The date range covers the dates of issue of the certificates rather than the dates of service (the certificate may have been issued many years after a seaman finished his service).
Pensioners’ admission papers 1790-1865
Search for pensioners’ admission papers 1790-1865 (ADM 73/1-35) among the Royal Navy service and pension records on Findmypast.co.uk (£). These papers supported warrant officers’ applications for admissions as in-pensioners to the Royal Greenwich Hospital. Some applications include details of service dating from the mid 18th century, 40 years or more prior to the application. They provide the officer’s age on joining and leaving the navy, the name of the last ship served on, details of character and sometimes the date of admission to Royal Greenwich Hospital.
Search our own catalogue listings of this series by name to obtain transcriptions, for free, of the dates of service and of admission to the hospital.
Navy lists contain seniority lists of officers and the ships to which each officer was assigned.
Published Navy Lists (a set of which is available at The National Archives at Kew) date back to 1782 but shorter spans of the lists are available online at Ancestry.co.uk (£) for 1888-1970 and at Findmypast.co.uk (£) for 1827-1945.
First and Second World War Confidential Navy Lists
Browse through the range of Confidential Navy Lists from the First and Second World Wars (ADM 177) in our catalogue and select lists by date for download (£). These lists were, at the time, for official use only and indicate where individual officers were serving, with the names of ships and establishments.
Medal rolls 1793-1972
Search by name for information about the award of campaign, long service and good conduct medals in the Royal Navy medal rolls (ADM 171) using Ancestry.co.uk (£). These rolls do not usually contain biographical information. Digital microfilm copies of these records are also available to download from our website and browse free of charge.
Battle of Trafalgar database, 1805
Search the Trafalgar ancestors database by name for transcripts of the records of Royal Navy seamen of all ranks who served in the Battle of Trafalgar.