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Balk Surname Ancestry Results

Our indexes 1000-1999 include entries for the spelling 'balk'. In the period you have requested, we have the following 17 records (displaying 1 to 10): 

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National ArchivesBritish merchant seamen (1835-1836)
At this period, the foreign trade of ships plying to and from the British isles involved about 150,000 men on 15,000 ships; and the coasting trade about a quarter as many more. A large proportion of the seamen on these ships were British subjects, and so liable to be pressed for service in the Royal Navy; but there was no general register by which to identify them, so in 1835 parliament passed a Merchant Seamen's Registration Bill. Under this act this large register of British seamen was compiled, based on ships' crew lists gathered in British and Irish ports, and passed up to the registry in London. Each seaman was assigned a number, and the names were arranged in the register by first two letters of the surname (our sample scan shows one of the pages for 'Sm'); in addition, an attempt was made to separate out namesakes by giving the first instance of a name (a), the second (b), and so on. But no effective method was devised to prevent the same man being registered twice as he appeared in a second crew list; moreover, the original crew lists were clearly difficult for the registry clerks to copy, and some of the surname spellings appear to be corrupted. A parliamentary committee decided that the system devised did not answer the original problem, and this register was abandoned after less than two years: but it is an apparently comprehensive source for British merchant seamen in 1835 to 1836. The register records the number assigned to each man; his name; age; birthplace; quality (master, captain, mate, 2nd mate, mariner, seaman, fisherman, cook, carpenter, boy &c.); and the name and home port of his ship, with the date of the crew list (usually at the end of a voyage). Most of the men recorded were born in the British Isles, but not all (for instance, Charleston and Stockholm appear in the sample scan). The final column 'How disposed of' is rarely used, and indicates those instances where a man died, was discharged, or deserted his ship during the voyage.

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British merchant seamen
 (1835-1836)
Insolvents (1837)
Insolvency notices for England and Wales: insolvency often caused people to restart their lives elsewhere, so these are an important source for lost links

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Insolvents
 (1837)
National ArchivesBritish merchant seamen (1835-1840)
At this period, the foreign trade of ships plying to and from the British isles involved about 150,000 men on 15,000 ships; and the coasting trade about a quarter as many more. A large proportion of the seamen on these ships were British subjects, and so liable to be pressed for service in the Royal Navy; but there was no general register by which to identify them, so in 1835 parliament passed a Merchant Seamen's Registration Bill. Under this act a large register of British seamen was compiled, based on ships' crew lists gathered in British and Irish ports, and passed up to the registry in London. A parliamentary committee decided that the system devised did not answer the original problem, and the original register was abandoned after less than two years: the system was then restarted in this form, with a systematic attempt to attribute the seamen's (ticket) numbers, and to record successive voyages. The register records the number assigned to each man; his name; age; birthplace; quality (S = seaman, &c.); and the name and official number of his ship, with the date of the crew list (usually at the end of a voyage). Most of the men recorded were born in the British Isles, but not all. The system was still very cumbersome, because the names were amassed merely under the first two letters of surname; an attempt was made to separate out namesakes by giving the first instance of a name (a), the second (b), and so on. This section of the register (BT 112/2) covers numbers 1 to 2952 and 20200 to 23034, 5786 different entries, of men whose surnames began with the letters Ba. During 1840 this series of ledgers was abandoned, and a new set started with names grouped together by surname.

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British merchant seamen
 (1835-1840)
National ArchivesMerchant Seamen (1840-1844)
The Registry of Merchant Seamen, including fishermen, sought to identify individuals securely in this series of registers by assigning to each man a unique number, grouped together by surname, and then by christian name, whereas in previous registers names had been jumbled together under the first two letters of the surname. Each man's age and birthplace was recorded, together with any number brought forwards from previous registration, i. e. the number assigned to the man in the registers for 1835 to 1840. Then each voyage is listed, with his status (e. g. S for seaman, M for mate, &c.) on that trip, the identification number of the ship, the date, and then the name of the ship. In the event of it becoming known that a man had died during the course of a voyage, that information is written across the remaining empty columns. BT 112/3.

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Merchant Seamen
 (1840-1844)
Masters of Merchantmen (1852-1853)
Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping was issued annually, listing ships that had been surveyed preparatory to being insured. This is the register issued 1 July 1852 and then annotated as ships were re-surveyed through to 30 June 1853. The ships were numbered by the first letter of their name, and then by number alphabetically through the ships' names and within ships of the same name alphabetically by surname of the master. After the name of the ship there is the type of vessel (Bk, barque; Bg, brig; Bn, brigantine; Cr, cutter; Dr, dogger; G, galliott; H, hoy; K, ketch; Lr, lugger; Pol, polacre; S, ship; Sk, smack; Sp, sloop; Sr, schooner; St, schoot; Stm, steamer; Sw, snow; Yt, yacht), master's name (as at the time of the last survey); tonnage; place and year of build; owners; port belonging to; destined voyage; number of years first assigned; and character for hull and stores (e. g., A 1), with the year or month (e. g., 50 for 1850, or 2 for February 1852) of inspection. Underneath some entries details were given of construction and repair, with year - s., sheathed; d., doubled; C., coppered; I. B., iron bolts; c. f., copper fastened; M., sheathed with marine metal; Y. M., sheathed with yellow metal; G., sheathed with galvanised iron; Z., sheathed with zinc; F., felt; C. lm., coppered to light water or ballast mark; C. T., copper bolts substituted for treenails; Cl., clincher; len., lengthened; lrp., large repairs; trp., thorough repairs; Drp., damage repaired; ND., new deck; N TSds., new top-sides; W. C., wales cased; NW., new wales; NB., new bottom; NK., new keel; plk, Plank; N Klsn, new kelson; alm. rb., almost rebuilt; pt O. M., part old materials (timbers or plank); Srprs, some repairs - and, in italics, the timber of the ship is described - A, ash; B B, black birch; Bh, beech; C, cedar; E, elm; F, fir; G, gum; Ght, greenheart; Hk, hackmatack; Hm, hemlock; L, locust; Lh, larch; L O, live oak; M, mahogany; P, pine; P P, pitch pine; R P, red pine; Y P, yellow pine; S, spruce; T, teak; Tam, tamarac; W H, witch hazel; W O, white oak. The sample scan is from the main list. The third column, reserved for masters' names, is not particularly wide; with short surnames, an initial will be given; but longer surnames omit the initials, and even longer surnames are abbreviated. This is the index to masters in the main list. Often new masters had been appointed by the time of re-survey, and their names are added in slightly smaller type under the original master's names in the third column. These new masters are also included in this index. It should be borne in mind that the masters in the main list are those at the time of the respective previous survey for each ship, not necessarily as of 1 July 1852.

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Masters of Merchantmen
 (1852-1853)
Dissolutions of Partnerships (1854)
Trade partnerships dissolved, or the removal of one partner from a partnership of several traders: in England and Wales

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Dissolutions of Partnerships
 (1854)
Patentees of New Inventions (1854)
Abstracts of British patents for new inventions applied for and granted from 1 January to 31 December 1854: giving date, name and address, and short description of the invention. It is then stated whether 'Letters patent sealed' or 'Provisional protection only'.

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Patentees of New Inventions
 (1854)
Patentees of New Inventions (1855)
Abstracts of British patents for new inventions applied for and granted from 1 January to 31 December 1855: giving date, name and address, and short description of the invention. It is then stated whether 'Letters patent sealed' or 'Provisional protection only'.

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Patentees of New Inventions
 (1855)
National ArchivesSailors and marines on H. M. S. Curacoa in the Crimean War (1854-1856)
Sebastopol in the Crimea was the great Russian naval arsenal on the Black Sea. A combined assault by British, French and Turkish troops resulted in the reduction of Sebastopol and led to the Treaty of Paris of 27 April 1856, guaranteeing the independence of the Ottoman Empire. By Admiralty Order the Crimea Medal was awarded to sailors and marines present during the campaign, between 17 September 1854 (the first landing at Eupatoria) and 9 September 1855 (when the allies secured Sebastopol). The sailors' medals were mostly delivered to them on board ship in the course of 1856; the marines' medals were sent to their respective headquarters for distribution. The remarks as to distribution in this medal roll therefore give more specific information as to the whereabouts of the sailor recipients in 1856 than about the marines. Her Majesty's Ship Curacoa, a screw steamer, took part in the assault. Four clasps to this medal were awarded to the men present in the actions at Sebastopol itself, Inkerman, Balaklave (Balaclava) and (the sea of) Azoff, but the recipients of these clasps are recorded on separate rolls, not part of this index, but indexed on this site.

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Sailors and marines on H. M. S. Curacoa in the Crimean War
 (1854-1856)
Masters and Mates of Merchantmen: Certificates of Competency (1857)
The Mercantile Navy List and Annual Appendage to the Commercial Code of Signals for All Nations, edited by J. H. Brown, was published By Authority in 1857. It includes this full list of 'Masters and Mates who have passed their examination and obtained Certificates of Competency', from number 1 to number 15816, except for those whose certificates had been cancelled. The first column gives the number of certificate; the second column full name, surname first (an asterisk before the name denotes those who are found qualified to act in fore and aft-rigged vessels only; two vertical lines denotes in North Wales fishery only; a double dagger, passed the examination in steam; and a dagger refers to honorary testimonials, details of which are printed at the end of the section. A B C D are the distinguishing letters for the four classes of Meteorological Observers); third column, class examined (1 ex, 1, 2 and 3 denote First Extra, First, Second and Third Class Master's Certificate, granted under the Voluntary Examination, by Order in Council dated August 1845; Ex C, Master Extra; O C, Master Ordinary; 1 M, First Mate; O M, Only Mate; 2 M, Second Mate; L. R. N., Lieutenant Royal Navy; M. R. N., Master Royal Navy; E. I. C., East India Company; M. I. N., Master Indian Navy.); fourth column, year of certificate (where there are two dots, this is to represent a 'ditto' to the year next above); fifth column, Examining Board (Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cork, Dublin, Dundee, Glasgow, Greenock, Hull, Leith, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Plymouth, Shields or Sunderland).

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Masters and Mates of Merchantmen: Certificates of Competency
 (1857)
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