Offern Surname Ancestry Results
Our indexes 1000-1999 include entries for the spelling 'offern'. 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 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.
OFFERN. Cost: £8.00.
|Sample scan, click to enlarge|
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