The declarations will reveal your ancestor’s next of kin, your ancestor’s rank, and the name of the vessel where your ancestor served.

Every result will give you an image of the original document and a transcript of the vital details. Some documents include more than one page; use the next arrow to the right of the image to view the second page. The detail in each transcript will vary depending on the document and its legibility. You will find a combination of the following details:

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Year
  • Rank
  • Vessel
  • Pay book number
  • Relationship
  • Remarks
  • Country
  • Description
  • Archive and reference


The images will reveal even further details about your ancestor such as

  • Where and when married
  • Child’s name and age, as well as where the child was baptised
  • Allotted individual’s residence
  • Allotment date
  • Where payable

Discover more about these records

The original records are retained by The National Archives, England, in their series ADM 27 - Navy board, and admiralty, accountant general's department: registers of allotments and allotment declarations.

A naval act of 1795 allowed petty officers, seamen, non-commissioned officers, and marines to remit part of their wages for the maintenance of their mothers, wives, or families. In order to achieve an allotment, the individual needed to complete an allotment declaration, and then their payments were entered into a register of allotments. Both documents can be found in this collection.

The sum would be paid to the designated person every 28 days. The practice was open to all ranks within the navy. The new act took effect on 1 May 1795. Each rank could allot up to a specific amount of their wages:

  • Petty officers and non-commissioned officers of marines could allot half of his wages
  • Able bodied seaman may allot five pence per day
  • Ordinary seamen and landsmen could allot four pence per day
  • Every marine may allot three pence per day

The allotment declarations are an excellent resource to trace your naval ancestor. Prior to 1853, men joined the navy on a short-term basis. Service records were not created until permanent or long-term service was introduced after 1853. Therefore, the allotment books along with the British Royal Navy, Ships’ Musters are the best sources for finding your ancestors.