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England Ship Master and Ship Captain Records (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course English: Occupation Records-Professions and Trades and English: Occupations-Military & Services  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).



Officers[edit | edit source]

Certificates of Competency and Service[edit | edit source]

Certificates of Competency and Service for Masters, Mates and Engineers The earliest masters’ and mates’ certificates date from 1845 but since registration only applied then to foreign-going vessels and did not become compulsory for all vessels until 1850 there are few before this date. The chart below shows the details of what is available, but they have not yet been microfilmed.

Masters' and Mates' Certificates[edit | edit source]

CHART: Masters’ and Mates’ Certificates

Type
Trade
Dates
Class
Index to registers
Home and Foreign
1845-1894
BT 127
Competency
Foreign
1845-1906
BT 122
Competency Steamships
Foreign
1881-1921
BT 123
Service
Foreign
1850-1888
BT 124
Competency
Home
1854-1921
BT 125
Service
Home
1854-1888
BT 126
Competency
Colonial
1870-1921
BT 128
Alpha register of Masters
All
1845-1854
BT 115

The Home Trade included the coasts of the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and the Continent of Europe between the River Elbe (on which Hamburg is situated, west of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany) and Brest on the NW tip of France.

The rest of the world was divided into Foreign and Colonial. Cooks could obtain certification by examination (Competency) or by long service (Service) from 1906. These records are at the National Maritime Museum for 1915-1958. Certificates for Engineers are at The National Archives (TNA) and are shown below.

Engineers' Certificates[edit | edit source]

CHART: Engineers’ Certificates

Type
Dates
Class
Index to registers
1862-1921
BT 141
Competency
1863-1921
BT 139
Competency-colonial service
1870-1921
BT 140
Service
1862-1921
BT 142
Miscellaneous Competency and Service, voluntary examinations, with index
1845-1849
BT 143

Below is what is recorded on an application for a Master Mariner’s Certificate, and on the certificate itself. Masters’ and mates’ certificates contain less personal information than corresponding registers for ordinary seamen. However, most masters and mates held a register ticket before applying for their certificate so this should also be sought.

Master Mariner's Certificate[edit | edit source]

CHART: Application for Master Mariner’s Certificate
Page 1

Port of Aberdeen — Rotation No. 31 — Stamped Received 4 Feb 1867 APPLICATION TO BE EXAMINED FOR A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY AS MASTER OR MATE AT A PORT WHERE THERE IS A LOCAL MARINE BOARD

APPLICANT John Thom of No 18 Queen Street, Peterhead
Born 2 Nov 1840 in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

PREVIOUS CERTIFICATES
No 24817 Competency Ordinary Mate

CERTIFICATE NOW REQUIRED AND WHERE TO BE SENT
Ordinary Master Peterhead Signed by the applicant 31 Jul 1867 in Aberdeen John Thom SUPERINTENDENT’S RECEIPT FOR FEE
£2 received on 31 Jan 1867 in Aberdeen. James F. Kellas

Page 2

LIST OF TESTIMONIALS AND STATEMENT OF SERVICE FROM FIRST GOING TO SEA The testimonials are from each period of service in each ship and give the Ship’s name; Port of registry and official number; Service of applicant given as rank, dates of commencement and termination, and length of service in years, months and days; Remarks; Initials of verifiers at Mercantile Marine Office and Registry Office. [Columns summarized here, spelling as original]
#
Ship
Rank
Time
1
Resolution of Peterhead
Apprentice
Jan 1856-Jan 1860 (4 yrs)
2
Duke of Argile of [S] Shields #8755
AB
Sep-27 Jan 1860 (4m 1day)
3
Columbia of PH [Peterhead} #19533
AB
8 Feb-21 Aug 1860 (6m 13days)
4
Reliance of Whitby #19533
AB
7 Sep-28 Nov 1860 (2m 22days)
5
Collumbia of PH {Peterhead} #19533
AB
9 Feb-19 Oct 1861 (8m 10days)
6
Sir Colin Campbell of PH #19563
AB
28 Feb-12 Nov 1862 (8m 13days)
7
Edith Mary of Sunderland #44508
AB
13 Dec 1862-20 Jun 1383 (6m 8days)
8
Unison of Sunderland #45647
AB
2 Jul 1863-13 Jun 1864 (6m 17days)
9
Perseverance of Peterhead #19548
Mate
9 Feb-23 Jun 1864 (4m 15days)
10
Perseverance of Peterhead #19548
Mate
2 Jul 1864- 2 Jan 1865 (6m 1day)
11
Agostina of Peterhead #19538
Mate
10 Apr-14 Dec 1865 (8m 5 days)
12
Agostina of Peterhead #19538
Mate
2 Apr-15 Oct 1866 (6m 14days)
Total service at sea
9 yrs 7m 29days
Time served for which certificates are now produced
9 yrs 7m 29days
Time served for which no certificates are produced


CERTIFICATE OF EXAMINER

Date of examination
2nd Feb 1866

Whether passed or failed
Navigation P
Seamanship P
Rank for which passed
Master

Signatures of examiners
Robert A. Gray
Geo Brock

Master Mariner’s Certificate

By The Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade
Certificate of Competency
As
MASTER To John Thom
Whereas it has been reported to us that you have been found duly qualified to fulfil the duties of Master in the Merchant Service we do hereby in the pursuance of the Merchant Shipping Act 1854 grant you this Certificate of Competencey.
Given under the Seal of The Board of Trade
This Fourth day of February 1867
By order of the Board [Signed by Officers of the Marine Department]
Registered AEP
Entered at the General Register and Record Office of Seamen on the Fifth day of February 1867.

Lloyd’s Captains’ Register[edit | edit source]

Contains names, birth date and place, certificate number, examination date and place, and services on different ships of those certified masters and mates active at the time.

CHART: Extract from Lloyd’s Captains’ Registers 1901-1948
John McCALLUM
Born Glasgow 1878, passed Glasgow 1900 certificate # 029751.
Each appointment and reappointment to each vessel is listed as well as the class of the voyage, summarized here for convenience:

Vessel and Official #
Starting Date and Number of Appointments
Class of Voyage
Hebridean (s) 844322
19 Jul 1903 (1)
Baltic
Jarnac (s) 97750
13 Jul 1904 (10)
France, Portugal and Spain
Cognac (s) 115320•
1 Jan 1909 (25)
France, Portugal and Spain
Student (s) 138024
18 Sep 1910 (14)
Foreign, USA (east and gulf), S. America, W. Africa, W. Indies and Gulf of Mexico, Cape Colonies
Senator (s) 137537
4 May 1922 (10)
W. Indies and Gulf of Mexico, S. America and Cape Colonies
Scholar (s) 145931
25 Sep 1924 (5)
W. Indies and Gulf of Mexico, Cape Colonies
Architect (s) 135428
13 Oct 1925 (8)
E. Indies, W. Indies and Gulf of Mexico, Cape Colonies and W. Africa
Rancher (s) 149653
19 Apr 1928 (25)
W. Indies and Gulf of Mexico, E. Indies, USA (east and gulf), W.Africa and Cape Colonies
British Prince (s) 147474
18 Feb 1935 (1)
Foreign
Statesman ex British Prince (s) 147474#
10 Jun 1935 (22)
Cape Colonies, and Foreign

*Collision 17 Jun 1918 with Wandle, the latter being to blame.
#Bombed by aircraft and sunk 19 May 1941


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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses English: Occupation Records-Professions and Trades and English: Occupations-Military and Services offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

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