Maine & Massachusetts, Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen, 1873-1965 is a free collection at FamilySearch with images of sailors case files including personal information such as names, wages, & death details.


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What Can I Learn from Maine & Massachusetts Sailor Records?


These Sailor case files may include:

  • Name of seaman
  • Death date and place
  • Burial date and place
  • Names of family members or next of kin
  • Financial statements
  • Dates of service


“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.”



How Can Sailor Records Help Me Find Other Records?


With information from these records you can:

  • 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


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