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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree July 2019 > A master mariner in the family

A master mariner in the family

When Keith Gregson was given a unique collection of family documents relating to the life of a Victorian master mariner, he embarked on his own voyage of discovery…


Master mariner Joseph Scrafton. An incredible collection of records survived in his family, which Keith Gregson was lucky enough to be able to study

Thirty years ago I gave a talk on researching master mariners to a family history group in County Durham. The talk was based on the research I had been carrying out on my Shetland ancestors who had come to the north-east of England to study and become shipmasters during the mid and late Victorian periods. After the talk a lady called Eileen Hopper approached me and said she had a set of documents from her husband’s family relating to a Victorian master mariner called Joseph Scrafton and was happy to give them to me to research. These documents alone were pure gold dust but that was not the end of it.

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About Family Tree

We're all busy in today's 24/7 world - but we've got solutions to help you make the most of that precious time and take your family history to the next level... 1. Discover how to transform your approach to your ancestral research in our 20-minute read by professional genealogist Susie Douglas. 2. Make that dream of writing up your family history a reality with our simple strategy for writing up your family history in #1,000words". 3. And never overlook the value of those core vital records. This issue we're exploring 500 years of marriage records and showing you how to use them on your family quest. Plus more than 25 websites to transform your Irish genealogy, memories of the moon landings in this 50th anniversary year, and so much more... Enjoy!