British nationals died at sea 1854-1890
About the British nationals died at sea records
This search allows you to view the original records of the registers in which details of deaths on board ships were compiled. These records were completed by the captain of the ship, or another member of the crew.
When you search the deaths at sea records, you will be presented with a list of individual names. This means you should be able to tell if your ancestor is in the list just by viewing their name although we always advise you to double check the original image, especially the volume and page numbers, before you order any certificates.
When you view the record you will see any combination of the following information: title, name, sex, date of death, cause of death, age at death, occupation, place of birth, ship's name and any additional notes. Please note that the amount of information in each record varies; not all of these fields will be completed for every death record.
Find out more about these records in our knowledge base.
How to search the death records
We only need the last name of an ancestor to start searching these records for you. This is the only required piece of information, everything else is optional.
It's always best to start searching with basic information, like your ancestor's first and last name. If there are too many results, you can refine your search and add more detail.
You can click the 'refine search' button on the search results page to return to this search box and add more information.
What a death record will tell you
These records will usually give you the following information, but please be aware that not all the fields are completed in all records:
- Your ancestor's name
- Date of death
- Cause of death
- Place of birth
- Ship's name
Can't find who you're looking for?
- Don't select a year range, or make the year range wider. The year you think your ancestor died may not be accurate, so you could be excluding relevant results.
- Keep the 'include variants' boxes underneath the name fields ticked. This means your search results will include spelling variations of the names you've entered.
- If your ancestor's name could be easily misspelled, try using a wildcard search. Just use a * symbol in place of a letter or multiple letters. For example, instead of searching for Jennings you could search for Je*ngs or *enning*.