Maine and Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Maine & Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, 1837-1965 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Maine, Massachusetts, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Records of Seamen
Record Group RG 21: Records of District Courts of the United States
Collection years 1837-1965
National Archives Identifier 107971610773871096743
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains three NARA collections from Record Group 21 Records of District Courts of the United States:

  • Southern Division of the District of Maine:Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, compiled 1912 - 1965 NAID 1079716. The collection is numerical to 1937 then alphabetical to 1965.
  • U.S.Circuit Court for the District of Maine:Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, compiled 1873 - 1911 NAID 1077387. The collection is numerical by case number.
  • District of Massachusetts:Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen compiled 1909-1951 NAID 1096743.The collection is numerical by case number.

The collections were filmed at the NARA Regional Facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. For the most part, the records are arranged numerically by case number and contain an assortment of details including personal information, death details, wages etc. about deceased and deserted sailors and others who worked on board ships.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maine & Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, 1837-1965.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records may contain any of the following information:

  • Name of seaman
  • Death date and place
  • Burial date and place
  • Names of family members or next of kin
  • Financial statements
  • Dates of service

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know:

  • Name
  • Identifying information such as death date


View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "ARC Number and Title"
⇒ Select the "Case Number or Last Name" category which takes you to the images.

What Do I Do Next?

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

  • If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct.
  • Continue to search the passenger lists to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have immigrated at the same time.
  • If your ancestor has an uncommon surname, you may want to obtain the passenger list of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors.


I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes of other port cities.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

“Maine & Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, 1837-1965.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA collection ARC 1079716; ARC 1077387; ARC 1096743. NARA Regional Facility, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maine & Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, 1837-1965.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.