Crew lists for official number 39874

Crew lists for British registered ships for the period after 1855 are scattered over more than 40 archives around the British Isles and elsewhere and are usually filed by the ship's official number.

This page is an index of the crew lists held in archives, including data from The National Archives (TNA) and the Maritime History Archive (MHA). The information has been drawn from the CLIP transcriptions or the archive catalogues.

If you do not know the ship's official number, you can search for ships by name or by port using our other search pages. The results they provide will link you back to this page.

The data covers all the archives known to hold crew lists for the period from 1845 to the 1950s. It is not complete, but contains over 1.15 million entries for the period 1860 to 1945, together with details of more than 6000 boxes of documents at TNA holding records for the period before 1860.

Please see the CLIP data page for more details on sources, the abbreviations we have used, and acknowledgements.

How to search for crew lists by official number

On the search form, enter the official number as digits between 1 and 199,500. There is no provision for wild-card or fuzzy searches.

Then click

If you have linked to this page from other CLIP search pages, the appropriate official number will be part of the link.

Reading the results

Since official numbers are the main reference after 1860, the results for that period are presented first, followed by details of the TNA holdings for 1857 to 1860 which are also referenced by official numbers. There are also notes below about how to search for documents in the period before 1857.

Crew lists after 1860

The search returns the vessel's name, the archives holding the documents, the years for which they hold records and, if possible, the archive reference for the documents. If no years are shown against an archive, there are crew lists for that vessel but we do not have the dates. The index includes the log books held at TNA in BT 165.

If a transcript of the document(s) is available on this site, there will be a link against that year, but for most documents, you will need to contact the archives concerned to arrange to buy copies of the documents.

Where possible, the archive reference provides a link to the archive catalogue so that you can see the details of their holdings and how to order copies of the documents. Unfortunately, many archives use a catalogue system driven by software called DServe/CalmView which, when it is actually working, must be the most user-hostile software ever. Please see our further cautions below.

To contact archives where we have not been able to provide a catalogue link, please see our data page Documents by archive The heading for each archive provides a link to their web site.

Beware! CLIP data is far from complete and we are still adding to it. The absence of a record in our list does not mean that it isn't there in the archive.

Please use our index in conjunction with the MHA Crew List Index and the archive catalogue.

There are further snags to look out for:

  • Archive catalogues are compiled from hand-written documents and are usually unchecked so errors in names and official numbers are frequent. Within the archives, this may not seem important, but it makes remote searching that bit harder. Where possible, we check the data against other sources and correct errors where it will impact on searching, or at least add a note of dubious entries.
  • The dates that archives record for the list should be treated with caution. The lists were all originally stored by the year in which the voyage ended, but many archives seem to be unaware of this and use the start date for voyages and/or do not make clear which date they are using. Crew returns for the second half of a year often show a date stamp early in the next year and may be catalogued using that, rather than the half-year to which the return refers. Search lists for the years around your target.
  • 10% of the lists, those for 1861, 1862 and the years ending in 5 are held at the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Having held them for 50 years, they have not felt the need to catalogue them, arguing that since they hold all the lists for those years there is no need for a detailed catalogue. Even if that was true, which it is not, it means that the only way to find out if a document is there is by direct communication with the library.

Crew lists before 1860 in BT 98 at TNA

All the crew lists for British registered ships for the period before 1860 are held at TNA in BT 98 - there are none elsewhere. They are stored in thousands of boxes (pieces), each holding dozens of documents.

From 1857 onwards, the crew lists are boxed by year and the ship's official number; for earlier lists the sorting is by port, year and then the ship's name.

This is TNA's research guide for their holdings of crew lists and their catalogue for BT 98.

You can order copies of a document from TNA, working from the BT 98 catalogue. However, we provide some tools below which will make it easy to identify the reference to the box you want, with a link to the correct place in TNA's catalogue.

Be aware Bear in mind that there is no guarantee that documents for a particular ship are actually in the box they would be expected to be in - the documents may never have existed, or they may have been lost, destroyed, or simply mis-filed (it happens, often) in the years since 1860.

There is an alternative and perhaps more convenient way to access these documents. The LDS Church filmed the records back in the 1970s and the images are available online on FamilySearch. The only snag is that they are only available at a FamilySearch Centre or a FamilySearch Affilate Library unless you are a member of the LDS Church.

Our general guide to how to find FamilySearch Centres and FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries and use the films is here: Finding FamilySearch films

Crew lists from 1857 to 1860

From 1855, ships were allocated a unique official number, so the crew lists for the period 1857 to 1860 are boxed by year, then by official number. Documents for an official number may be in more than one box. Each box has a reference number and the catalogue shows the range of official numbers in each box so, for example, the crew lists for 1858 for the vessel Albion, with official number 1000 is likely to be in BT 98/5107, which holds official numbers 991 to 1050.

To find the appropriate reference number, you can consult TNA's catalogue, or (simpler) use the CLIP crew list tool in this section.

To obtain a copy of a document, you will have to visit TNA, employ a researcher to do so, or order a copy via TNA's catalogue page. Alternatively, you can use the FamilySearch films.

The catalogue page for the FamilySearch films of the 1857-1860 crew lists is here: FamilySearch films of BT 98 . Scroll down their page to see the list of films.

 Crew lists in BT 98, 1857-1860

Please enter an official number and click GO.

ON:   Lookup crew lists in BT 98

Crew lists from 1845 to 1856

The crew lists are boxed by year, then by port of registry, and then in alphabetic order. There may be several boxes for one year and port, covering a range of ships names. For example, Aberystwyth ships with names starting D-H for 1851 are in BT 98/2382.

To find the appropriate reference number, you can consult TNA's catalogue, or (simpler) use the CLIP crew list tool in this section.

If you have found an entry for a seafarer in the registers of seamen, you can find details of the ship from the records of voyages. The ship may be named: if not it involves cracking the port rotation number/port codes using the CLIP port rotation number search page. If that is successful in finding the ship, it will also provide you with the BT 98 reference and a link to the FamilySearch images.

It may be possible to get an image by ordering via the TNA catalogue page, though you would need to bear in mind that the foreign-going lists in BT 98 often involve many documents for just one voyage. We have no experience of ordering documents in this way.

The FamilySearch catalogue page for the pre-1857 crew lists is here: FamilySearch films of BT 98  Scroll down the page to see the list of films.

Crew lists for British ports in BT 98, 1845-1856

Please choose a port number or port, and the year.

Port number :   

Port :    

Year :     

Navigation up arrow

Crew lists from 1861 onwards

Ship Year Port Archive Archives reference/link Transcript
ANDOVER 1862 National Maritime Museum RSS/CL/1862/1199
  1861 National Maritime Museum ?  
1863 Maritime History Archive MHA  
1864 Maritime History Archive MHA  
ANDOVER 1865 National Maritime Museum RSS/CL/1865/1525
ANDOVER 1866 Cork National Archives of Ireland
1867 Maritime History Archive MHA  
1868 Maritime History Archive MHA  
1869 Maritime History Archive MHA  
1870 Maritime History Archive MHA  
ANDOVER 1871 Cork National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1872 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1873 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1874 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1875 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1876 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1877 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1878 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1879 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
ANDOVER 1880 Dublin National Archives of Ireland
1881 The National Archives BT 99/1305
1882 The National Archives BT 99/1342
ANDOVER 1883 Belfast Public Record Office of Northern Ireland TRANS/2A/19/171
ANDOVER 1884 Belfast Public Record Office of Northern Ireland TRANS/2A/20/127
  1885 National Maritime Museum ?  

NMM have catalogued their holdings for 1861, 1862, 1865, 1875 and 1915 and our list includes that information. Apart from those years, they have no catalogue of their holdings.

If there are no documents at TNA (or elsewhere) for years ending in 5, 1861 or 1862, and there are crew lists for a following year, we have shown that there may be documents at NMM.

However, this is only a guess and you will need to check with NMM directly.

For documents held at TNA and MHA and some archives, click the archives reference button to look up their catalogue for that reference. This will give details of how to order copies of the documents.

For documents held at local archives, if we have a transcript of the document, there will be a link to the right.

Crew lists 1857 to 1860 in BT 98 at TNA

Year ON Range TNA reference
1857 39816-40474 BT98/5089
1858 39746-39980 BT98/5525
1859 39597-39980 BT98/6218
1860 39591-39980 BT98/6924

Please bear in mind that these are official number ranges - there is no guarantee that a particular official number is included in that box.

Click the TNA reference to look up the TNA catalogue for that year. This will give details of how to order copies of the documents they hold.

Images of these documents are also available online on FamilySearch, though only at FamilySearch Centres or FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries. For details of how to do this, please see our page: FamilySearch images

Crew lists 1837 to 1856 in BT 98 at TNA

Crew documents from 1837 to 1856 are held in BT98 at TNA. The notes for this page provide more detail and further links.

Search the Maritime History Archive crew list index for official number 39874

The Maritime History Archive (MHA) Crew List Index shows the documents they hold (70% of the total) and their index also has much more extensive coverage of holdings in local archives in the United Kingdom.