P&O ships have employed many thousands of
crew and shore staff across the world
Merchant Seamen Research - P&O
The following information relates only to former staff members of P&O and its subsidiary companies. Before you begin your research, it is advisable that you have some information to hand about the merchant seaman or the crew member you are researching, starting with the name, rank and an approximate service date range (if known). If you are not in possession of the above information, or if you are not certain the person worked for P&O or its subsidiary companies, please consult our research guide entitled Merchant Seamen – General, which explains in detail how to locate specific information on the merchant seaman including their ticket number, a list of ships they served on and rank.
The P&O Archive contains a reasonable amount of information for researchers and genealogists attempting to locate past P&O crew, however not all records were retained and some years are incomplete. P&O and their subsidiary companies’ archives are on permanent loan at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.
To assess whether or not the appropriate records exist to aid in your research, please use the links below. If you know in what capacity the crew member served with P&O, click on the relevant job title. If you do not know or are unsure of their rank, it is suggested you start by following the Seniority Lists and Crew List links. If the crew member worked for a subsidiary company of P&O, please select the relevant company. Once you have identified the existence of sources, please consult the National Maritime Museum’s online catalogue and arrange directly with them should you wish to view any of the material.
Who are you looking for?
P&O Archives crew records for the following ranks: Deck Officers & Engineers, Surgeons, Pursers, Stewards, Petty Officers (Boatswains, Gunners, Carpenters, etc), Oridinary European Seamen and Asian Seamen.
Information regarding Seniority Lists, Crew Lists and Sea Staff Deaths is also included.
The archives also contain personnel files for some of our subsidiary companies including British India Steam Navigation Company, James Nourse Line, New Zealand Shipping Company, Orient Line and General Steam Navigation Company.
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