This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 157,000 England & Wales Merchant Navy records, over a million new historic Irish newspaper articles and new additions to our collection of North West Kent parish records.

England & Wales Merchant Navy Crew Lists 1861-1913

Over 157,000 records with images have been added to the England & Wales Merchant Navy Crew Lists, 1861-1913, which now contain over 570,000 records. They consist of crew lists and agreements from a number of depositories across England & Wales, including The National Archives, National Maritime Museum, various local archives and county record offices. Crew lists and agreements were first introduced in 1835. Agreements were effectively an employment contract between the ship's master and each member of his crew, signed by both parties before the ship sailed. A ship that sailed in British waters would have completed a crew list every six months. If a vessel sailed outside of British waters then a document called a crew agreement was completed for each voyage. Crew members include a wide variety of professions, such as deckhands, engine staff, stewards, nurses and maids.

As the records come from such a wide variety of sources and archives, the amount of information contained can vary significantly. Each record consists of a transcript of the original source material and the newly added 157,000 records also include images of original documents. A section of these records was created from the ongoing Crew List Index Project (CLIP), which aims to improve access to the records of British merchant seamen for the late nineteenth century by indexing records from local record offices throughout the UK.

Irish Newspaper Update

Over 1.1 million new articles have recently been added to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers. The new articles have been added to 8 existing titles; The Cork Examiner, Derry Journal, Freeman’s Journal, Saunders’s News-Letter, Ulster Gazette, Waterford Chronicle, Waterford Mail and the Roscommon Journal and Western Impartial Reporter. The entire collection now contains over 8.8 million searchable articles, 72 different publications from every province in Ireland and covers over 230 years of Irish History from 1719 to 1950.

North West Kent records Baptisms

Nearly 900 new Baptisms and 2,500 new Burials have been added to our collection of North West Kent parish records. The new additions were transcribed by the North West Kent Family History Society and cover the parish of North Cray spanning the years 1783 to 1879. The term, North West Kent, is used to describe areas within the London boroughs which were historically part of Kent.


Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.