RECORD ROUND-UP

What’s avail­able on­line and in the ar­chives

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What records are avail­able for pas­sen­gers in­volved in ship­wrecks, and how can you get the most out of them? No sin­gle source is likely to tell you ev­ery­thing that you want to know, and you of­ten need to look at a few dif­fer­ent ones to build up the com­plete story of a ship that was lost at sea.

Reg­is­ters of deaths at sea

Four sets of reg­is­ters at The Na­tional Ar­chives have been digi­tised and can be searched by pas­sen­ger name. BT158 to BT160 cov­ers 1854-1908 and are on bm­dreg­is­ters.co.uk and the­ge­neal­o­gist.co.uk, whereas BT334 has deaths from 1891 to 1972 and can be searched via find­my­past. co.uk, along with other se­ries in­clud­ing from the Colo­nial Of­fice. The reg­is­ters dif­fer in in­for­ma­tion they pro­vide, but gen­er­ally in­clude pas­sen­gers’ names, their ship, cause and date of death. Oc­ca­sion­ally other de­tails are pro­vided such as age and ad­dress. They are in­com­plete as many ship losses were not doc­u­mented.

Pas­sen­ger lists

more de­tailed. Don’t for­get this might in­clude for­eign ports, in which case you mustn’t over­look news­pa­pers from over­seas. Try the Bri­tish News­pa­per Ar­chive at british­news­pa­per­ar­chive.co.uk which is also on find­my­past. co.uk. For over­seas news­pa­pers, go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Wikipedia: List_of_on­line_ news­pa­per_ ar­chives.

Deaths abroad

lost, and from 1876 they have been digi­tised ( www.plim­soll. org/ Wreck­sAndAc­ci­dents/ wreck­re­ports). Each year’s in­quiries are in­dexed by ves­sel name. There is of­ten a wealth of de­tail on the cir­cum­stances of the loss, as well as lists of sur­vivors and vic­tims.

Ship sources

A Board of Trade in­quiry doc­u­ment into the SS

sink­ing

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