Friday 2 April 2021

Browsing the Board of Trade - AJCP

B for Browsing

B for Browsing, a starting point for examining how the records are presented and arranged.
What to choose for B?

In PRO series of the AJCP

  • Board of Customs 
  • Board of Longitude
  • Board of Trade 
  • British Transport Commission 

In the M Series

The choice ranges from records of the British Museum to the company of Bryant and May. Perhaps you may be interested in the records of the Bedfordshire or Berkshire Record Offices or the Brynmor Jones Library or one of the dozens of other Bs listed.

Let's jump into the records of the Board Of Trade from the PRO records.

The first thing seen is a Finding Aid or Guide for the available online records. On the left is a Table of Contents and the right side of the screen lists the contents of each digitised microfilm in further detail.
Additional historical information is often provided here in the guides.

These records range from 1784 - 1952. The majority of these records are handwritten, no OCR (Optical Character Recognition) has been applied. Browsing this collection however may reveal some details about our ancestors.

Finding Aid - Board of Trade

I have chosen to open the Fonds: Records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, 1826 - 1921, Under this heading I find:
  • Certificates of registration of vessels registered at ports in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Prince of Wales Island. Certificates are grouped by year and then by port of registration
  • Registers of certificates of competency. Masters and mates: colonial trade, 1870 - 1921 (issued to masters and mates employed on colonial vessels) as well as
  • Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. Registers of certificates of competency. Engineers: colonial, 1877 - 1921
Scroll down to see the list of films
  • Choose the icon to the left of the file name to display the microfilm images. They will be displayed on the right of the screen.
  • Choose any image to view in full detail.
  • On the image now displayed there are options to magnify, go to full screen and navigate to the next image
  • The option to Go Up a Level provides a Browse button that then displays the first 20 images on a microfilm

Finding your ancestor

If you had an ancestor who was a seaman perhaps you will find him in the Certificates of Competency where details include place and year of birth as well as the place and date of the granting of the appropriate certificate. 

He may not have migrated to Australia or New Zealand but his certificate of competency may be in these records.

Some examples clipped from the hundreds of pages available.

Just a reminder: these records are not indexed  - by browsing these records you may find the "old salts" in your families.

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  1. This is interesting Carmel. One of my ancestors was a seaman who we are told jumped ship in Australia. I have been able to find any records as yet. Hadn’t thought to check AJCP. Thanks for the tip

  2. I need to have a really good look at these for my George Kunkel. I can see spending myriad hours lost in AJCP.

  3. Fantastic Carmel. I am now adding to my list of Genealogical Goals for this year, browsing AJCP :)

  4. This is a great help for those researching in Australia!

  5. Yes Jennifer and Pauleen, I am still looking for one of my husband's ancestors in these crew lists, not found yet! Thanks for commenting Alex and Jeanne.

  6. Interesting, we had many seamen in the family, I’ll add to my notes to search for them here.

  7. You're opening up a whole new world, thanks.


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