|Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, Royal Museums Greenwich website|
Recently I came across several interesting-looking websites with a nautical theme, so if you have ancestors who served in the navy – and there are some American resources here too – perhaps one or two of these sites will help with your research or some background information.
Online collections of historical artefacts with a naval connection, as well as the Caird Library & Archive, which includes hundreds of thousands of books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, and maps, covering every aspect of maritime history. Was your ancestor a mutineer, a navigator, shipwrecked, or in the Royal Navy? (hopefully not all four). Register in advance of your visit and ask the archivists’ advice.
A significant collection of archives and photographs is held by the museum. These include over 2 million individual items, with personnel records from key branches of the Royal Navy, as well as journals, letters and diaries dating from the American War of Independence to Afghanistan in 2003, plus rich photographic resources. Many of these have been donated by members of the public.
The National Archives, Kew
Use TNA's online guides to learn what records they hold for tracing merchant and royal navy personnel. Tick the appropriate boxes on the left of the page to narrow down the results - there are dozens of record categories to choose from. Some are only available at the archives, while others can be accessed online. Currently, those that can be downloaded direct from TNA are included in their free record service - diverse records such as those from the Battle of Trafalgar or WW2 merchant shipping movement cards.
This website's highlights include transcriptions of Royal Navy WWI ships’ log books, and United States Revenue Cutter Service/Coast Guard and Geodetic survey ships’ logs.
Brush up your historical naval knowledge with articles on historical topics and regular online seminars, free to non-society members.