Data updates Archives


Did your ancestor die at sea or abroad in the 18th century?

If so then he may be mentioned in the latest set of records to be added to the Society of Genealogists Members’ Area http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php

When a person died without making a will, a relative or creditor could apply for letters of Administration (or Admon). They become known as the Administrator or Administratrix of the estate, the latter often being the widow of the deceased.

Admons include the name, address and occupation of the deceased and administrator, along with the date and place of death and the relationship between them. The identity of beneficiaries is not noted, nor any details of how the estate is distributed.

Letters of administration could be granted in other cases, such as where a will is made but no executors are mentioned. Alternatively a testator might appoint executors who died before the testator or who “renounced” or refused to act in such capacity. In such cases the court granted letters of administration with “Will attached” or “Will annexed”.

The records that have been added to the Members Area are the Admons granted by The Prerogative Court of Canterbury for the period 1750-1800. They are particularly useful to family historians as the court had jurisdiction over the estates of those who died at sea or abroad.

Indeed a third of all the records relate to these 2 categories, reflecting the large number of sailors and soldiers killed in battle during this period (which included the Seven Years War with France (1754-1763), the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802).

The serviceman’s dependents would have been entitled to pay or prize money owed to the deceased, and thus an admon may survive for a person who would not otherwise have appeared in probate records.

The Society is grateful to Anthony Camp and the team of dedicated volunteers (listed on the Members Area) who have made this valuable index available to researchers. The original documents can be consulted at the National Archives at Kew.

Non-members can carry out a free surname search on these records by going to http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php but to view any records found you will need to join the Society.

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Members’ Area update

The Society of Genealogists has recently added many more family history records to the Members Area of its website (http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php)  More than 600,000 people are now listed, ranging from railway workers to nuns, and you may well find reference to your ancestors amongst them.

To celebrate the addition of the new records an article will appear here each Friday describing them in more detail, starting tomorrow with an exciting collection that lists many people who died at sea.

Non-members can carry out a free surname search on the site but to view any records found you will need to join. New records are being added all the time so check back regularly – you may just find a reference to that elusive ancestor.

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New Family Relatives Navy Dataset available free at Society of Genealogists

Family Relatives tell us they just digitised the most comprehensive online collection of Royal Navy Lists  covering intermittent years from 1847- 49, 1882 and 1913-1945.

More than 2 million names are included in the Lists which date from the mid – 19th Century (or the Eleventh Period in Navy History) when Britain was involved in a number of conflicts.  Regular readers at the SoG will be familiar with the Navy Lists of Officers as the Society’s run of these books goes back to 1756. These records of commissioned officers of the Royal Navy dating back 163 years have been published online for the first time by Familyrelatives.com

The Royal Navy has played a central role in Britain ’s history for centuries. It is the oldest of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and is the Senior of the three Services. Founded by Henry VIII a professional and national naval force was in existence when King Charles II came to the throne in 1660.  At the time he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships and it was the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

British ships and sailors were symbols of the nation’s dominance until the 20th Century but this dominance was driven not only by great naval supremacy and naval leaders but by Britain ’s industrial advance and technology which helped to shape the future of warfare. From the beginning of the 19th century until well into the 20th century it was the most powerful navy in the world at a time when Great Britain was the world’s only superpower.

The Navy List runs like a catalogue of history – The Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the occupation of Beijing and Egypt all of which involved the supply of troops and the protection of troop transports and much later conflicts such as the Boer War and the forcing of the Dardanelles in the First World War.

The Navy Lists contain the details of all Royal Navy and Royal Marine commissioned officers on the Active List of those serving at the time of publication. It was said that every Captain in the Navy had a copy of the list as he was always anxious to know the exact status and seniority of other officers he met.

The information covers every aspect of both Royal Navy and Royal Marine officers whether Active, Retired or on the Reserve Lists, from the date they entered the Service. The List of appointments range from navy and marine cadets to Admirals of the Fleet. Masters and Commanders are featured alongside Physicians, Paymasters and even wounded officers. There is even a section on officers dress regulations, awards and decorations. An important part of the records is the Lists of Ships in the Navy with their Commanders and Officers names as well as Commissioned Packet Ships and Revenue Vessels, together with captured prize ships and their bounties.

For example the 1934 List of Ships and Vessels includes Submarines of the Royal Navy, also the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy arranged in their various classes, their Officers and present Stations. The lists also include RAF Units for Naval Cooperation which was extensive at the time.

The following detailed information is also disclosed:

The type of ship and where deployed, the Displacement Tonnage, the indicated horse power or shaft horse power and the main armament.  (This excludes field guns and machine guns used by the navy as an auxiliary land force as in the siege of Ladysmith).

The Name and first names of Officers is shown with an initial denoting his qualification for duties i.e. G for Gunnery duties, T for Torpedo duties, N for Navigating duties, S for Signalling Duties, W/T for Wireless Telegraphy duties, or I paid as an Interpreter. The dates shown are the dates of first appointment to a ship and where two dates are shown for a Marine Officer, the date in brackets indicates when his current sea time commenced.

 

An example of the search results screen for the Navy List search on Family Relatives can be seen below

FamilyRelativesNavyListsearch1934 thumb New Family Relatives Navy Dataset available free at Society of Genealogists

Family Relatives is one of the free genealogy websites available in the Society’s Library

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