Year of the Sea 2018 is a campaign by the Welsh Government to celebrate Wales’ outstanding coastline. For Glamorgan Archives it is an opportunity to celebrate and promote one of our volunteer projects which we undertake in partnership with the Crew List Index Project http://www.crewlist.org.uk/.
Since 2012 two groups of volunteers have worked enthusiastically to clean, and then to transcribe details of the crew provided within crew agreements held for the Port of Cardiff. So far they have completed 1901 and have almost finished 1911. The Glamorgan Family History Society had already provided a database recording crew detailed within agreements for the years 1863, 1871, 1881 and 1891. At present these databases are only available in house and can be searched on request, however once editing is complete they will be available for all to view online.
Crew agreements had to be kept on board by the master, completed by him and handed to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen at the end of the voyage. They record details of every crew member on board including place of birth, occupation, the last ship they served on, date of joining the crew and reason for leaving if they did so before the voyage was completed. In addition the destination of the ship and its cargo are recorded. Glamorgan Archives holds crew agreements for Cardiff registered ships (1863-1913) although many of the master mariners and crew in these agreements were not local men. In some cases these men eventually made their homes in Cardiff, whilst others were passing through.
The crew agreements will tell you:
- name of the crew member
- town of birth
- name of the last ship and its port of registration
- date of joining ship
- occupation and wages
- names of apprentices on board
- particulars of discharge, date and place
- signature of crew member
- births, deaths and marriages (if any) on board.
The agreement also bears the dated stamps of consulates in the ports of call on the voyage, enabling the course and the duration of the voyage to be plotted.
More information about the crew agreements (DCA) is available on the Glamorgan Archives catalogue Canfod http://calmview.cardiff.gov.uk/.