Friday, November 27, 2015


The Findmypast Friday record collections release for 27Nov focuses on 'watermen", an
occupation not familiar to we Americans. According to Wikipedia, "A waterman is a river worker
who transfers passengers across and along city centre rivers and estuaries in the United Kingdom
and its colonies. Most notable are those on the River Thames and River Medway, but other rivers such as the River Tyne and River Dee, Wales also had their watermen who formed guilds in medieval times."

 Here's the list of collections:

An important and surprisingly common profession from centuries past is being showcased this week as we release a variety of London watermen collections. These fascinating new resources include birth registers, Navy records, a royal petition and more. Plus, explore our latest round-up of Irish newspapers which saw 16 new titles added recently.

We're bringing you over 2 million new records and newspaper articles including:

Irish Newspapers
We've added 16 new titles to our Irish newspapers collection recently, increasing our numbers by 2 million fully searchable articles.
See what’s new on the blog » 

London, Watermen in Royal Navy, 1803-1809
This collection holds lists of Watermen impressed into the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars - several on the HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Discover how they served »

London, List of Free Watermen, 1827
This "mini-census" of watermen from 1827 details 5,400 names of watermen in London. See if one of your relatives had this very common occupation.
Search the list »

London, Watermen, Birth Register of Contracted Men, 1865-1921
This register lists over 1,400 apprentices of the Worshipful Company of Waterman and Lighterman. You'll discover their birth or baptism date and place of birth.
Find your family's apprentice »

If you're unsure of your London ancestors occupations, these new watermen records are worth exploring - we now have more than 100,000 online. Who knows, you may discover that your family member was an essential part of early London society!

If you have any queries or comments, or discoveries you'd like to share, get in touch here. We love hearing your stories.

Have a great weekend,

Jen Baldwin

You can see fuller descriptions of the collections here at

 Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

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