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 .
This article describes a collection of records at
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
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?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person who died
  • The death date

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the ARC Number and Title
  2. Select the Case Number or Last Name which takes you to the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person 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 the Person 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

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Maine & Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, 1837-1965." Images. FamilySearch. : 26 August 2016. Citing NARA NAID 1079716, 1077387, and 1096743. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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