Records for the port of Bideford

This page provides details of the documents for a port, split into Crew lists and Shipping registers. We have not attempted to list other maritime documents relating to a port.

For background details of these documents, please see: Crew lists Registration of shipping

How to search for documents by port

Select the initial letter for the port, then click on the name of the port.

Reading and using the results

The results are displayed in two sections: Crew lists and Shipping registers.

Where possible, we link to the archive catalogue or The National Archive (TNA) catalogue.

Beware. Several archives have catalogues driven by software called DServe, or the ironically named CalmView, which is best described as 'user hostile'. It needs considerable patience to use, is often slow, or just locks up. Worse, the links often change as the archives try to make it work.

Crew lists

For crew lists, we list the archives which hold documents for the port, and the years covered.

Where we have further details of the holdings at an archive, we provide a link which provides a list of ships.

The lists are in alphabetic order sorted by ships name and show the ship's official number. Use the alphabet list at the top of the results to select by initial letter.

In some cases, stray documents for a port are held in other archives. To obtain a more complete list including these documents for a port it is worth using the link at the top-right of the table.

Be aware! Some crew list documents for each port will be held at TNA (a 10% sample) and at the National Maritime Museum (NMM) (years ending in 5 and 1861 and 1862) and possibly the Maritime History Archive (MHA). Even in cases where the local archive obtained a large proportion of their documents, some were missed and made their way to MHA. Many archives only took a sample of the documents for their local ports and the remainder are at MHA. For other ports, including London, Norfolk and the Scottish ports, virtually all the crew lists are at MHA.

Documents at TNA, NMM and MHA are not included in the lists for the port.

However, the known holdings for individual ships in all archives can be tracked down. Against the name of each ship are two links: the link shows their index page for that official number, which includes details of the MHA holdings and those at archives in Britain, but not TNA or NMM. The button shows our information on archive holdings for that official number, which includes the MHA, TNA and (some of) NMM holdings. There are further notes on that page.

A further link to the right links to the CLIP data page for the ship with that official number, including records in the Mercantile Navy List.

Shipping registers

For shipping registers, we list the archives which hold documents, and the years covered. Where documents are held at more than one archive, you can see the list of registers for an archive by clicking the link or to see all the registers for that port, click

For some registers, we are able to provide further links to an index of the ships recorded in that register. This is accessed by clicking the against that register. This will list the entries in Folio order or they can be sorted by ship's name or by official number. Further notes are available on the index pages.

For a few archives, including Manx National Heritage Library, National Archives of Australia, and Library and Archives Canada, further links are available to images and/or transcripts of the register entries.

For the Isle of Man ports, we are able to provide a transcript of each folio, including the names of individual owners, masters and builders. These names of individuals can be found by using the CLIP search page, here: People named in shipping registers

Data sources

The sources of this information are:

We are glad to acknowledge the work of Robert R Le Maistre who compiled a complete index to the shipping registers for Australian ports. This used to be available on the National Archives of Australia (NAA) site. We used it as the basis for the index available on this site, with corrections against CLIP data and added links to the images to the NAA site.

Crew lists for Bideford DetailDetails for all archives

Archive Years Reference Notes Our information source Links
Devon Archives and Local Studies, Exeter 1863 - 1913 1976 Small sample for most Devon vessels and photocopies of documents for vessels with a Devon connection held at MHA. Index at RO includes masters and owners. CLIP seafarer's name index has been completed for all documents. TNA Discovery, archive catalogue and CLIP data. DetailDetails TNA Discovery

Shipping registers for Bideford

Archive Years Reference Notes Our information source Links
North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple 1824 - 1908 DSR/BID Register list