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  1. #1
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    Default "Customs Boarder"?

    Isaac John MURRAY, formerly in the Royal Navy, appears in the 1881 census in Leith, Scotland, as a "Customs Boarder". What would this job entail? Going aboard ships to get a declaration from the captain? Or would he search for smuggled goods?

    At his death in 1894, he is described as "Customs House Pensioner". Does anyone know where records of those pensioners can be searched?

    Thanks--
    Jane E

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    A Boarding Officer would have boarded the ship to check the ship’s manifest for dutiable goods and would also have searched (as a part of a team) for smuggled goods not declared, eg by the crew. It was also normal to seal the ships bond, where duty free drink and tobacco were kept, so that they couldn’t be used whilst the ship was in port.

    I think Customs records are kept at the National Archives, Kew. See:

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/r...ms-officer.htm
    ELWYN

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    Hello Jane

    As is usualy the case when public servants are involved the National Archives Research Guides are a good place to start; this guide is the one that refers:
    http://www.
    nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/customs-officer.htm

    Because your man was working Scottish ports the TNA guide leads you on to the National Archives of Scotland:
    http://www.
    nas.gov.uk/guides/customs.asp

    Good luck

    Colin

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    Thank you Elwyn and Colin for advice.
    Now that I've discovered a Customs House ancestor, I'll also study the posts on this sub-forum. There are bound to be some exciting tidbits in the discussions.
    --Jane E

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