Mynegai Morwyr Cymru

Welsh Mariners Index


The natural geography of Wales' coast, its remoteness and the country's natural resources allowed the development of a great Welsh maritime heritage. In the first half of the 19th century the majority of the men were involved in the coastal trade around Great Britain, Ireland and the near continent. With the development of larger vessels and the massive expansion of world trade in the second half of the 19th century the Welsh mariner sailed to the four corners of the globe. Even following the demise of the sailing ship the South Walian tramp steamers exported coal worldwide thus still providing sailing opportunities to the Welsh mariner.

Who were these men?

They are not easy to track down as they will usually be away at sea during census enumeration and thus not be recorded. They will almost invariably have very common surnames such as Davies, Evans, Jones, Thomas and Williams although the index holds almost 500 different surnames. This website is the beginnings of an index to the men and women, their vessels and some of their experiences which will allow family and local historians the opportunity to research their maritime ancestors and localities.

Where did they come from?

My work shows that the majority of the masters and mates were born in the coastal villages and towns of West Wales between Amlwch in Anglesey and Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire. Marine engineers on the other hand came from industrial South Wales and Holyhead.

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