Scottish maritime records online
Records of 14,000 Scottish seafarers who died between 1897 and 1974 have been uploaded to scotlandspeople.gov.uk.
The bulk of the collection comprises the Returns of Deaths of Seamen, which was compiled by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen and covered British-registered vessels.
Although browsing through the document scans reveals people of all nationalities, each Scottish entry in the collection has been made searchable, meaning it is possible to type in names and quickly identify all Scottish crew on board certain boats.
In the case of the ill-fated Lusitania, which was sunk by a German torpedo in May 1915, the records show that out of the 405 crew members killed, 17 hailed from north of the border.
Also added to ScotlandsPeople are the Returns of Deaths at Sea, which spans 1902-1905 and lists both seamen and civilian passengers reported to the Scottish authorities as having died while on board a vessel – in some cases, fishermen who drowned after falling or being accidentally knocked overboard.
“The collection opens a window into the lives of Scots seafarers in the first half of the 20th century,” said Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland. “They reveal the dangers experienced by seamen and passengers alike, and provide useful information for anyone wishing to discover more about their ancestors.”
The new release provides details of men
and women who perished at sea in accidents or during active military service