Archives Search

Search only: Library, Archives Advanced Search, Ancestors, Images, Search All

To submit a comment, contact

Search Help

Warning: Descriptive record is in process. These materials may not yet be available for consultation.

Description found in Archives

Central registry of seamen [textual record (some microform)]. 

Series consists of



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

40.05 m of textual records
12,699 microjackets
104 microfilm reels

Scope and content

Series consists of records of sea service for Canadian merchant seamen and officers . Most of this material was maintained in the Central Registry of Seamen. Responsibility for the engagement of seamen on Canadian home trade and foreign sea-going ships was first outlined in the SHIPPING OF SEAMEN ACT (36 Vic., c.129) which came into effect on 27 March 1874. Essentially derived from similar British legislation, especially the MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT of 1854, the regulations obliged the master of a ship to enter into contractual arrangements with his crew and to keep records of sea service under the ultimate supervision of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. In brief, each master of a Canadian-registered ship was required to enter into a written agreement with every seaman engaged as a crew member. This contractual record (article of agreement) described the nature and probable duration of each voyage, the number of the crew and the duties of each crew member, the precise starting time of the engagement, the amount of wages, the scale of provisions for each seaman, and any regulations affecting conduct and discipline during the voyage. Similarly, the masters were bound by the legislation to keep ships' logs. These documents list information on the crew, and all other activities on board. In effect, the ship's log is a watch to watch record of meteorological conditions, courses, speeds, drills, rescues, punishments, injuries, deaths, etc. Although the regulations governing the engagement of seamen have been modified from time to time, the contractual nature of the engagement document remains the same as it was during the late nineteenth century. Since 1937, the Central Registry of Seamen has maintained the records of sea service for Canadian merchant seamen and officers for the purpose of providing qualification and certification. The Central Registry of Seamen is presently administered by the Ship Safety Branch, Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, and falls within the purview of the CANADA SHIPPING ACT, S-9-1970, Nos. 263-276.

Textual records: microform
32: Restricted by law
Textual records
32: Restricted by law
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown.

Additional information

Source of title
Title is based on the contents of the series.

Further accruals are expected.


Related control no.

1. 1989-90/011 GAD
2. 1992-93/182 GAD
3. 1995-96/324 GAD
4. 117-000011-7
5. 120-000181-8
6. 123-000324-X
7. RG12
8. RG12-B-14