Thursday, 27 August 2015

Scottish seafarers deaths added to ScotlandsPeople

ScotlandsPeople ( has added 14000 new death records for Scottish seafarers, as recorded by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen:

Deaths of Seamen and other Marine Returns of Deaths go online

A complete record of the deaths of Scottish seafarers from late Victorian times until 1974 is being made available online for the first time through ScotlandsPeople.

Among the 14,000 new records available through ScotlandsPeople are monthly returns of the Deaths of Seamen, which list Scots along with other crew members of all nationalities who were serving on British-registered vessels between 1897-1974.

The records were compiled by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. Only the Scots can be searched for by name.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

"Scotland is a maritime nation with fascinating stories and an important seafaring history and these new online registers will provide wider access to this heritage. I welcome the addition of this new resource that NRS is making available, which is part of the story of Scotland and will encourage people from across the world and at home to find out more about Scotland's seafaring heritage".

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The Returns of Deaths of Seamen and Deaths at Sea open a window into the lives of Scots seafarers in the first half of the twentieth century. They reveal the dangers experienced by seamen and passengers alike, and provide useful information for anyone wishing to discover more about their ancestors. Our commitment at National Records of Scotland is to continue to extend digital access to the key records that researchers want.”

For more on the story, including how to access the records, visit

COMMENT: For more on the responsibilities of the English based Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, and his responsibilities to the General Register Office of Scotland, the areas that he was responsible for, and those that he wasn't, consult my book Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, available in print or as an e-book (please see my Books section at for distributors in England, Australia, and Canada). As this illustrates, not everything concerning the civil registration of Scots' vital records is on ScotlandsPeople - a lot of it isn't even in Scotland!

(With thanks to ScotlandsPeople via Facebook)


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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