British Ancestry

Question: I am trying to find the birth date of my ancestor John Clark who was from St Mary's Whitechapel & married Jan 16th,1812 to Sarah Penelope Gardner Harrison from St Batholomew the Great. His profession was listed as Captain. His age was not indicated on the marriage certificate or the marriage licence. I thought I would try the Alphabetical register of seamen 1835-1844 & 1845-54 at the LDS library. Would this be a good choice or do you have a better suggestion?

Answer: You might get somewhere looking in the Alphabetical Register of Seamen, but one has to determine what the word "Captain" may mean. If he were commissioned in the Army or the Navy, John CLARK would be in the appropriate lists which have been published for the period. His records could then be examined in the National Archives at Kew for Naval or Military Discharge papers, which would give a description of him and an outline of his career. If, however, the word signifies the chief officer of a merchant or private ship, then there is very little likelihood of finding out much more about him than from the Register of Seamen, if he happens to be recorded in that.

Presumably, you know something of his children (where and when they were born) and could possibly find some clues to where and when he himself died. There might be a will. There might be Census enumerators' returns to assist. For professional assistance in British records (on not for profit basis) look at

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