Mynegai Morwyr Cymru

Welsh Mariners Index

Where can I go next for further information about the certificated men?

By writing to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF, England and quoting the certificate numbers they will be able to tell you where you can buy copies of the men's original applications for certificates. These documents will include the man's full date and place of birth and details of his early seafaring career. As a mariner's early career may well have been on vessels belonging to his relatives you may be able to take your family history even further back. See my article “Certificates of British Registry of Vessels” in Family Tree Magazine, pages 21-2, September 1993.

Mariners or their families who fell on hard times may have made applications (called Trinity House Petitions) for pensions. Surviving petitions (1780 -1854) can hold a wealth of genealogical information and are kept at the Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London, EC1M 7 BA. You may find a description of your mariner if he held a Register Ticket issued during the period 1845-1852. See my article in Dyfed Family History Journal, vol 4, no 1, pages 19-21, 1991.

Further reading.

To understand the variety of records that exist for mariners, do study “My Ancestor was a Merchant Seaman” by C T and M J Watts (ISBN 1 903462 51 7, Second Edition, 2002) published by the Society of Genealogists, or ”Records of Merchant Shipping and Seamen” by Kelvin Smith et al. (ISBN 1 873162 49 9) available from the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. The PRO web site at will have helpful leaflets to help trace mariners.

Other Sites of Welsh maritime interest.

The National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Collections Centre, Department of Industry, Heol Crochendy, Parc Nantgarw, CF15 7QT, hold a collection of images of vessels / ships. Try them at e-mail:

Local maritime museums can be visited at Nefyn, Holyhead, Caernarfon and Porthmadog in Gwynedd. The Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau, Abertawe / National Waterfront Museum Swansea opened on 18 October 2005. The industrial and maritime section of the library is housed at the Collections Centre, Nantgarw.

If your mariner was associated with a particular location try the appropriate site shown below:

Amlwch, AGY, try Neil Summers' site at

Bristol Channel Pilots, try Phil Roderick's site at

Cardiff, GLA, and much else try Bob Sanders' Maritime Research Website at

Gwynedd, North Wales try Robert Cadwalader's site at

Swansea, GLA try Bryan Richards' expanding website at

North West of England try Tim Latham's site at, he has many links to other sites.

Rhiw a village on the Lleyn peninsula, CAE try

For more general help with researching mariners try Len Barnett's site at

Many useful free databases can be found at Steve van Dulken's site at

And subscribe to the excellent mariners list at run by Debbie Beavis and Ted Finch whose wide ranging mariners website is at

My ancestor is not there!

Send me all the details you have about him or her and they will be included in the future. I welcome further details about any of the men already included, and any anecdotes.

Are you visiting Wales and want to find out more about our seafaring past ?

Why not visit the maritime museum at Swansea or the local maritime museums at Nefyn, Holyhead, Caernarfon and Porthmadog in Gwynedd. A new Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum is expected to open in Swansea in the spring of 2005.


No doubt some errors will have crept into this index. If you intend to carry out further research you are advised to get copies of the original documents.

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