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] A researcher, who refers to the ships' records as a 'treasure trove', 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[2]

The catalogue of the British Library can be searched by ship's name to determine the material held.

If you cannot find the ship’s name you are looking for, confirm the name from the Ships Search from Andrea Cordani’s "East India Company Ships" . As an example, the ship whose name was thought to be the 'Lushington' was in fact the 'Sir Stephen Lushington', to be found in the lists above under S (not L).

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich holds some ships' logs in its collection, some of which may not be held by the British Library, with catalogue entries: Merchant Shipping: Logs East India Company LOG/C and LOG/M

Also see

FIBIS resources

External links

Historical books online


  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.
  2. Frances. Yorrick Rootsweb India Mailing List 20 September 2010. See particularly the P S. Retrieved 9 March 2019.