If you think you had an ancestor who worked aboard a whaling ship, you now have a means of checking for him online, at least if he signed out from New Bedford. Volunteers at the New Bedford Whaling Museum have created a database with information on all the mariners who signed onto whaling ships leaving the port of New Bedford from 1840 to the last whaler in 1927. The information comes from records kept by the chaplains of the New Bedford Port Society. When this was completed it was combined with previous work done at the New Bedford Free Public Library that brought the time covered back 31 years to 1809. This combined work covers 127,531 seamen.
Although these men came from all over the world, they were only listed if they signed on from the port of New Bedford. Those picked up along the way from places like the Azores were not listed unless they subsequently left on another voyage from New Bedford. For more information check the Boston Herald article “Did Your Ancestor Hunt Whales?” and the Whaling Museum’s website.
Keeping with this nautical theme, my next posting will focus on a key website covering ship passenger lists from the 1600s to the 1900s.
vea/4 August 2016
Newton Free Library
Library website: http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog: https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide: http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy