View Full Version : Mariner ancestors - info gathering from afar

22-05-2007, 2:20 PM
My ggg grandfather Robert COWEY of Sunderland was listed on 1891 census as a Master Mariner. Where can I find out more information about his career (e.g. ships he was on, where they sailed to, cargos, etc) online?? Also, is it possible that personal details may have been registered in these records such as DOB, parents, etc?

30-10-2007, 11:54 PM
Hi, I've found Bob Sanders' site useful; URL = http://www.angelfire.com/de/BobSanders/Site.html

31-10-2007, 12:21 AM
These are the sort of details found on earlier records of mariners at Kew Record Office.

Christine :)

born Harwich 14 August 1830
Capacity - apprentice
Height - 4 ft 7
Complexion - light
Hair - dark brown
Eyes - brown
Marks - none
First went to sea as apprentice in 1844, aged 14 when first Ticketed
Write - no
Served in Royal Navy or Foreign Service - no
When unemployed resides at Harwich
Issued Harwich 7 December 1844
Only 1845-46 voyages reported

31-10-2007, 12:35 AM
me again :D


There are documents online that can be downloaded for a fee. Seamans records and Royal navy. There is extensive information on the records held.

I could not see your chap, but there was a Robert Cowie, ordinary seaman, in the Navy records.


31-10-2007, 8:29 AM
He appears to be mentioned in 'Lloyd's Captains Register' which is indexed online.

Click on http://www.history.ac.uk/gh/capintro.htm
scroll down to 'Indexes' and click on 'C'

He appears on Page 209 of 276.

I don't know if the register has been copied and available in your country.

Try the 'Mercantile Navy List' which was a puiblication similar to the 'Navy List' (for the RN) and the 'Army List' - you may possibly find partial runs of this publication in larger research libraries - though I understand that it is rare.

This research guide on The National Maritime Museum web-site may help to show you what documents exist.
TNA has resarch guides on its site

04-08-2008, 6:39 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions and help re Robert Cowey, my ggg grandfather. With the info given and also info read in other threads, I've been able to get copies of Robert Cowey's applications and certificates for "Only Mate" and "Master" from the NMM. I have been able to find out his birthdate, see his writing and signature and the ships he served on and what years! I'm very happy and this has opened up a completely new avenue to explore in my family history. From Robert's father George's marriage certs I've also found out his father James Cowey was a Mariner also, so I hope I can find out more about him too! Thanks to all involved, and I hope this inspires people to ask, even if they think the question is dumb!! (as I sometimes do, being relatively new to this).

04-08-2008, 7:36 AM
Forgot to mention:
If anyone would like the email of someone who was very helpful to me at the NMM, please PM me. I emailed that person with Robert's cert number and they were able to tell me what records were available including his year and place of birth, and basically told me everything that was in the file so I knew what I would get before I paid my money. I thought it was good, so passing it on.....