Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default Understanding MN records

    I've found records for a mariner in my tree Peter Axton
    I don't know how to upload an image but anyone with access to FMP can see the original by searching the main page for Peter Axton born 1818 and the first result should relate to an entry in the Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1835-1857 record set.

    I've got M as Mate and S as Seaman for abbreviations and information on how to interpret the records from here: and

    But when I search for the port rotation numbers only 1 ship comes up even though it says for 1845-1851 the coverage is 90% of records

    I'm using this search: port rotation search:

    As far as I can see the voyage details are as follows
    Voyage home: M - 917.64.4 - 64.22.8
    = Ship ID 917, reg port London (64); Arrived at London (64) on 22nd August 1845

    Voyage out: M- 174.92.2 - 64.9,5
    = Ship ID 174, reg port Sunderland(92); Arrived at London (64) on 9th May 1846
    Home: S - 113764.2 - 80.7.8 - Discharged Quebec 26/6/46
    = Ship ID 1137, reg port London(64); Ship arrived in Portsmouth(80) on 7th August 1846 but poor Pete left in Quebec in June.

    Voyage out: M 2032.62.11 - 64.8.2
    = Ship ID 2032, reg port Liverpool(62); Arrived at London (64) on 8th Feb 1847
    Home: 2032.62.11 - 64.17.12
    = Ship ID 2032, reg port Liverpool(62); Arrived at London (64) on 17th Dec 1847

    THIS LAST ONE (7032) is the ALEXANDER BARING of Liverpool, but I cannot find data for any of the others. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks very much!!

    I also wanted to add that the pinned post about abbreviations seems to have an expired link and I assume it should go to this one?
    Last edited by Pam Downes; 26-11-2022 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Link to commercial site removed as per our T&Cs.

  2. #2


    First, a very, very warm welcome to Britgen.

    Always enjoy shipping queries even tho' reading Merchant Seamen's records is a nightmare. The explanation of port registration numbers you have provided was very welcome - and what a great piece of work to find the "key".

    Newspapers confirm the arrival on 17 Dec 1847 of the "Alexander Baring, Wilson,, from Bengal, London Docks, and sailed on Aug 19th".

    Lloyds list 9 Feb 1847 has "London, cleared outwards February 8th, Calcutta, Alex. Baring, Wilson, B505LB, broker Lindsay"

    Had you considered not finding your other entries means they are still part of the 10% work in progress?

    As an aside was his father in law Cap'n J J Riches of the Imaum of Muscat?
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  3. #3
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Hello fumblina,

    As helachau has already said, welcome to British-Genealogy.

    I have removed the live link to Peter's record on FMP as it is in breach of our T&Cs. (There's a link to them at the bottom of every page of the forum.)

    Thank you for pointing out the link to the TNA abbreviations is no longer active. Hopefully I can sprinkle some fairy dust in the right direction and update it.

    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  4. #4


    Thank you for the welcome and sorry to Pam about the link.

    I agree that they are probably in the 10% but it seemed bad luck that none of them were in there - I only got the hit for Alex. Baring as I was typing the post out as I had been looking for 7032 and 1032 before due to the handwriting.

    Thank you for the confirmation from the Lloyds register, I've not had a chance to dig into that yet.

    His FIL was indeed Capt James Isaac Riches from the Imaum of Muscat. I'm doing a deep dive on that ship, and also the Glenalvon which Peter sailed on in 1844 (that's another record where the port rotations aren't showing anything!) James Isaac's father was Capt Isaac Riches who was Master of the Bristol and both are mentioned in the book 'The Modern History and Condition of Egypt' (available to read on google books) which details the author's voyage on the Bristol to Alexandria and describes the ship and her master and even conversations with Capt Riches (possibly embellished for style!)

    To be honest I am pretty jealous that this is from my husband's tree, but he has no interest at all. It is a very rewarding area to research as there is no other occupation in any of my trees where I can exact information about where they were on a given day for much of their life. I'm also getting sucked into finding out more information about ships and trade routes and other information about the period like what is Yellow Metal and why sheathing boats seemed to be a terrible waste of time.

    This means the Findagrave memorial for James Isaac Riches (died 1851) in Hong Kong cemetery has some inaccuracies but hopefully with some work I can find out definitively which were his ships and which were his father.

    Peter's older brother Benjamin Davies was also a mariner - from memory he was admitted to the Dreadnought hospital with an STD but I can't find the record to hand at the moment.

    I'm just looking into WikiTree to see if this is a viable way to get my wider notes available, or just get the experimental WP site working instead.

  5. #5


    Thanks for confirming J I Riches - I had him as J J Riches from an 1840 marriage notice in a newspaper. Tracked the Imaum of Muscat, Riches 'til 1851 ("In China waters, Sep 28, Im of Muscat, Riches, for Singapore") - fits the YoD you have provided.
    Had also checked the Glenalvon, 1844 having seen it on FMP. Looks like only one ship of that name around at that time (Lloyds' Register) - which greatly helps searching.
    Also, have you details of a Peter Axton bankruptcy, 1849?
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  6. #6


    No, I'd not seen the bankruptcy, where can I find that please?

    There were 3 glenalvons but not at the same time.

    There were two other ships named Glenalvon built in later years. The first had ship ID 37886 was a barque with a tonnage of 457 and was built in Aberystwyth. It seems as though this was terrible damaged in stormy weather in 1872 and the crew met a miserable end which was reported at the time.

    The second had ship ID 93787 and was built in 1888 by Russell & Co in Greenock. She was a steel hulled sailing ship and had a tonnage of 2146. This last Glenalvon sunk in 1913 after a collision with another ship

  7. #7


    The London Gazette is on line and can be searched free.
    There are also newspaper reports (British Newspaper Archive/FindMyPast).
    Note - I described it as "a Peter Axton bankruptcy" - I'm not assuming it's "your Peter" but it's a good fit.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Select a file: