Records of masters and mates in BT 124 at The National Archives

  Search icon Site index  

This is an index of the records of masters and mates in the BT 124 series of documents held at The National Archives (TNA). These are the registers of certificates of service for the masters and mates of British registered vessels engaged in the foreign trade.

These certificates were granted in respect of long service as master or mate. They were awarded during the early 1850s and record the officer's service during the 1850s and 1860s.

The data provides access to images of these documents.

For more detailed notes on BT 124, please see Detailed notes on BT124

For general information on the records of masters and mates, please see Masters, mates, engineers and cooks

How to search for a master's name

Use the search form to enter the master's surname or part of the surname, entering at least three letters. Do not use wild-cards, such as '?', '%'.

Choose whether to search for an 'Exact match' or search for the surname which 'Starts with this', 'Includes this' or 'Ends with this'. If you wish, you can add a forename and a year of birth (the search covers 5 years either side).

Then click

Reading the results

The results are displayed in a table, sorted by Surname, Forename and Year of birth. You can move through the pages using the page-select bar above the results.

Against each entry, we show its source in BT 124 and provide links to TNA's site or our own image viewer so that you can see the entry.

The icon links to the TNA web site so that you see their original images. On TNA's catalogue page, choose the link 'Preview an image of this record' and use the page number and row information from our page to find the image quickly.

The icon links to the CLIP image viewer, which will show you the page, but at a lower resolution.

Be aware The images show the man's career and this is sometimes continued on the images after the one which records his details, and in some cases, we suspect, the images before that one. It is not always easy to see which men an image relates to, and a small number appear to be out of order. This applies to BT 124/2, BT 124/4, BT 124/6, BT 124/8, BT 124/9. BT 124/11, BT 124/13, BT 124/15 onwards but not BT 124/23. There are also occasional blank pages in all the volumes.

Using the results

The master's career is listed against his name and the details provide a means of tracking down the names of the ships and the crew lists from which the master's record is taken.

We have explained how to do this in the full notes about BT 124, here Detailed notes on BT 124

Data sources

This data was transcribed from images of the BT 124 series of documents held at TNA. The database is now complete and contains 57,319 entries.

The data was transcribed by a small team of transcribers and we are glad to acknowledge their help and offer our thanks Acknowledgements

Don't use wild cards such as *, % or ?.

Use the search choices to make fuzzy searches.

Please choose how to match your surname text:
Then click here: