Today, 09 April 2016, over 911,000 records of British Royal Navy pensions have been published online for the first time at Findmypast.
The publication, released in association with The National Archives, consists of an assortment of documents kept by the Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Hospital Chelsea to record the details of Greenwich Pensioners.
The British Royal Navy & Royal Marines service and pension records span over 230 years of British naval history from to 1704 to 1934 and contain over 270,000 scanned colour images. The collection will allow family historians to uncover fascinating details of their ancestor’s career with the Royal Navy, such as their period of service, where they served, when they joined and if they were wounded in the line of duty.
Since 1804, The Royal Greenwich Hospital has paid small out-pensions to large numbers of deserving applicants who had served in either the Navy or Marines, as well as admitting a fixed number to live as in-pensioners of the hospital. This is the first time that records relating to these payments have been made available online, allowing more people than ever before to learn about the lives of their naval ancestors.
The collection includes:
- Registers of Greenwich Hospital out-pensioners and candidates
- Service records of both officers’ & ratings’ between 1802 and 1919
- Indexes of Greenwich Hospital pensioners and out-pensioners
- Royal Hospital Chelsea payment returns for England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey
- Royal Hospital Chelsea admission books, registers and papers
To coincide with the upcoming centenary of the Battle of Jutland, Findmypast has also released over 40,000 records of Royal Navy & Royal Marines personnel who served at Jutland. The Battle, which took place off the coast of Denmark between the 31st May and 1st June 1916, was the largest naval engagement of the First World War and cost the lives of nearly 7,000 British sailors.
Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says:
“As an island nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served Great Britain at sea. These naval pension records, indexed and published online for the first time, shed new light on our naval ancestors and will open up fresh lines of enquiry for thousands of people. This release cements Findmypast’s reputation for having the most comprehensive online collection of British naval records.”
Bruno Pappalardo, Principal Maritime Records Specialist at The National Archives, said:
“The complexity, diversity and nature of eighteenth and nineteenth century Royal Navy pension records has previously made the searching of such documents speculative and difficult to undertake. The release of these key pension records will be an essential contribution to opening up these records for research purposes.”
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.
Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.
In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.
About The National Archives
The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.
Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk www.legislation.gov.uk