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To commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War 1, we show you how to find your ancestors in our Royal Navy records, the most comprehensive collection online.

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AT A GLANCE

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HOW TO TRACE
YOUR MILITARY ANCESTORS

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In this video, our resident expert Paul Nixon explains how to find your Royal Navy and other military ancestors.

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THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN
TRACING SEAFARING ANCESTORS

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  If your ancestor's naval record includes the word "Run" it means he deserted and ran (or swam) away
 
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  During World War 1, The Royal Navy's minimum joining age was just 15. The British Army's was 19; later reduced to 18
 
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  Royal Navy sailors who were at sea when the 1911 census was taken, were enumerated and can be found on Findmypast
 
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LIFE ON THE OPEN SEA

Was your ancestor a Merchant Navy Seaman?
 
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The Royal Navy's brutal WW1 battles
 
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IN OUR RECORDS

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  Archie Kerr is the youngest seaman we've found in the records, at just 12 years old. He was born in Beith and worked as an ordinary seaman on the Glaisdale from 1835.
 
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