Research Collections Team

Naval Genealogoical Sources
in the Royal Naval Museum Library

The following are a variety of sources that can be used for tracing relatives by surname who were naval officers.

Please note that all those listed are secondary sources. For primary sources of personnel records for both officers and ratings, please consult Factsheet 47.

Items marked * are available on open access in the Reading Room.

    Personnel lists

    Navy lists: 1797-current edition*

    Sea Officers lists: 1807-1846

    Collective biographies: naval

    Campbell, John Lives of the British Admirals. 8 vols. 1817*

    Charnock, John Biographia Navalis 6 vols. 1798
       (coverage of naval personnel from 1600)
       (index in each volume – special cumulative index being prepared) *

    Marshall, John Royal Naval Biography 12 vols. 1823-1830
       (coverage from 1760-1820) (with index)*

    O’Byrne, William Naval Biography 2 vols. (reprint) Originally published 1848
       (coverage 1800-1861 of naval officers still living in 1845)*

    Ralfe, J Naval Biography of Great Britain 4 vols.
        (coverage of naval personnel during the reign of George III 1760-1820)*

    Syrett, David & Di Nardo R L Commissioned Sea Officers 1660-1815*

    Collective biographies: general

    Dictionary of National Biography*

    Dictionary of National Biography, Twentieth Century 1912-1958*

    Concise Dictionary of National Biography 1901-1985*


    Gentleman’s Magazine 1731-1865 (index in each volume)

    London Gazettes 1776-1986

    Naval Chronicle 1799-1818 (with index)*

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Created on the 19 March 2003
Last modified on the 15 December 2003