The following announcement was written by Findmypast:
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.”