In this half-day course Penny Allen and Kevin Brown cover two topics:
Session 1: Tracing Merchant Navy Ancestors with Penny Allen of the Caird Library
Discover your merchant navy ancestors at the Caird Library, National Maritime Museum.
- How to access information on Masters and Mates certificates, crew lists, Greenwich Hospital Records, Lloyd’s registers, maps and charts;
- The subjects that support the Museum’s remit - Sea, Stars and Sky!
- How to register and tips for ordering;
- A look at a variety of records available to the family history researcher interested in anything maritime.
Session 2: Poxed and Scurvied - Sickness and Health at Sea with Kevin Brown of the Imperial College Healthcare Trust and the Alexander Fleming Laboratory
Kevin explains how the well-being of ships’ crews became increasingly important. When European sailors began to explore the world, it was difficult to keep them healthy. Malnourishment and crowded conditions bred disease. These diseases could decimate the indigenous populations in other parts of the world. Plus new diseases could be brought back to Europe.
The well-being of crews became a dominant factor in the success of naval operations. The Royal Navy led the way in shipboard medical provision. It sponsored many of the advances in diet and hygiene, giving them a significant advantage during the Napoleonic Wars. The improvements trickled down to the merchant service.
Eventually, the struggle to improve the fitness of seamen became a national concern. It resulted in a series of far-reaching, and sometimes bizarre, public health measures, generally directed against the effects of drunkenness and the pox. In this way, as in many others, the attempts to address the specific needs of the seafarer developed into wider implications for society as a whole.
Please note this course takes place at the Society of Genealogists.