Tracing Your Merchant Navy Ancestors

Simon Wills

 
Date Published :
July 2014
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Series :
Tracing your Ancestors
Illustration :
40 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781848846517
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$29.95

Overview
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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 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.

About The Author
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Simon Wills is a history journalist and genealogist who writes regularly for magazines such as _Family Tree_ and _Discover your Ancestors_. He advises and has appeared in the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? and contributes to the magazine of the same name. Simon gives history presentations and interviews at national and local events all around the UK for organisations such as The National Archives, Chalke Valley History Festival, National Trust, and the BBC. He is also a dedicated wildlife and nature photographer, and all the photographs in this book were taken by him.

REVIEWS
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"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

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