Bign Surname Ancestry Results
Our indexes 1000-1999 include entries for the spelling 'bign'. In the period you have requested, we have the following 1 record (displaying 1 to 1):
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|British merchant seamen
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. During 1840 this series of ledgers was abandoned, and a new set started with names grouped together by surname. BT 112/6
BIGN. Cost: £8.00.
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