Ships' Journals

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The British Library holds Ships' Journals in series IOR/L/MAR/A-B 1605-1856. Read about these records. The various ships are listed alphabetically, following the order in Catalogue of East India Company Ships' Journals and Logs 1600-1834 by Anthony J.Farrington (London, 1999). Although the records continue until 1856, they effectively end at 1834.

If you know the ship your research interest travelled on (for instance, from Arrival and Departure lists in directories), these journals may provide interesting information. In the daily deck log of occurrences onboard, alongside more minimal entries recording weather and landmarks, one can find details of births and deaths at sea (and baptisms and burials), offences and punishments for sailors and other interesting genealogical tidbits. A passenger list is often included for each journey.[1]

Browse the records by ship name:

FIBIS resources

External links

  • This India List post in a PS refers to the ships' records as a 'treasure trove'. The author of the post found out the name of a child travelling, and some of the circumstances, [on an earlier voyage] of the death of the child’s father.
  • Terrible conditions described in a Letter home from a soldier’s wife on a voyage to India 1859 Details conditions on the ship Acrington which resulted in the murder of the captain.


  1. Note however, a researcher was advised by the British Library that neither the ship’s log for the Anson (1774/1776), nor the ledger contain a passenger list - although the latter contains a crew listing.