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OF COASTGUARDS AND ALLOTMENTS: LESSER KNOWN RESOURCES

Richard Scantlebury describes his experience with some Coastguard and naval resources and found a Ruby or two.  Richard's blog illustrates another benefit of this Ruby studyProject volunteers not only visit new corners of the world but also new corners of genealogical data with the result that as they share these new sources, the Guild's entire membership can benefit. 

Ever since the early days of my family history research which prompted my One Name Study of Scantlebury I’ve had more than a passing interest in the Royal Navy and Coastguards mainly because both my Great-grandfather John Bartley Scantlebury & his father John were Coastguards. Sometime after I volunteered with the Ruby one name study I had a look to see if any Rubys were Coastguards using  the following site: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Coastguards Basically it has used occupations from various censuses to create a coastguard listing. I found Reuben Ruby in the 1861 Census in Hound Hampshire, so I decided to follow Reuben’s career as a coastguard. Using Family Historian, I started to get hints from Find My Past for a military source I was unfamiliar with, so I investigated.

Basically, what I found is that The Navy Act of 1795 established a mechanism for Royal Navy crews to be allocated a portion of their pay to a named relative, which could be claimed at monthly intervals even if the ship had not been paid. Men desiring to allot their pay had to sign an order specifying where, to whom, and from what date.
This taken from one of the allotment declaration books sums it up :

This is the front page for the declaration book for HMS Ranger upon which Simeon Ruby served from Jun 1849 till Oct 1851 as a Boatswain: 2


If the allotment was to be paid to the ratings wife her name with her place and date of marriage are included or if to a child, then the child’s name and place of baptism are given.
This is the entry for Simeon Ruby a boatswain on the HMS Ranger: 3

It’s worth remembering that prior to the 1861 Census, crews of the Royal Navy Fleet were not included in either the 1841 or 1851 unless they were not on board a ship. Prior to June 1853 ratings were employed on a casual basis usually for the duration of the ships commission which tended to be a period of 4 to 5 years probably something similar todays gig economy; this changed when the Admiralty introduced continuous service engagements so that ratings could sign on for periods of 10 years, perhaps with a view to serve continuously for 20 years thus becoming entitled to a long-service pension.  Prior to Find My Past transcribing these allotments,  finding Royal Navy ratings careers could prove difficult,  almost impossible as one had to find the ship in which the rating would have been included the muster roll but now with these allotments plus any medal rolls that task has become a little easier.

Richard Scantlebury and the Ruby Team.
1.  British Royal Navy Allotment Declarations 1795 - 1852. National Archives of England. ADM 27 - Navy board, and admiralty, accountant general's department: registers of allotments and allotment declarations.  Accessed at Find My Past: https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/british-royal-navy-allotment-declarations-1795-1852

2. A List of Persons. British Royal Navy Allotment Declarations 1795 - 1852. National Archives of England. ADM 27 - Navy board, and admiralty, accountant general's department: registers of allotments and allotment declarations.  Accessed at Find My Past. https://search.findmypast.com/record/browse?id=s2%2fgbm%2fadm27%2f102089247%2f00374

3. Simeon Ruby. 1849. British Royal Navy Allotment Declarations 1795 - 1852. National Archives of England. ADM 27 - Navy board, and admiralty, accountant general's department: registers of allotments and allotment declarations.  Accessed at Find My Past: https://search.findmypast.com/record?id=S2%2FGBM%2FADM27%2F102089247%2F00375&parentid=GBM%2FADM27%2F000041516

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