If you are unable to visit the Museum, please see our list of independent researchers who can carry out the research for you


The National Maritime Museum accepts no responsibility for any arrangement made with independent researchers. Such arrangements, including the nature and extent of the work commissioned, is a purely private matter between the enquirer and the independent researcher. The National Maritime Museum cannot arbitrate on matters of conflict between enquirers and independent researchers.


As the fees charged by researchers vary greatly the Museum cannot offer any estimate of cost. Please note that some researchers make a charge for preliminary research in advance of accepting a commission.

Writing to a researcher

If you are writing from within the United Kingdom please ensure that you enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope when writing to a researcher. If you are writing from overseas, please ensure that you enclose a self-addressed envelope and a sufficient number of International Reply Coupons.

List of researchers

Len Barnett, MA

E-mail: len@barnettmaritime.co.uk

Website: www.barnettmaritime.co.uk

Intro: As well as tracing mariners’ careers, I am well versed in deeper investigation. On the military side I routinely deal with operational aspects (especially of the twentieth century wars). On the civil side, I have not inconsiderable experience of business records. Seamanship and social matters are also important elements of my expertise.

Subjects: Civilian mariners in British service (mercantile, whaling, fishing & pilotage): c.1835 to c.1972; Royal Navy and Royal Marines: c.1793 to c.1945; all the R.N.’s and RM’s Reserves from the R.N.R. and R.N.V.R. and Coastguard to the decidedly esoteric, as appropriate; British Mariners in India, both the United East India Company (Maritime Service and ‘Bombay Marine’); and subsequently the multifarious organisations in armed service during the Raj period from H.M. Indian Navy to the Royal Indian Navy and their Reserves: c.1760 to 1947 as appropriate.

Dr Stuart C. Blank

Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society

Address: Military Archive Research, PO Box 356, Paignton, Devon, UK, TQ3 1WZ

E-mail: enquiries@MilitaryArchiveResearch.com

Website: www.MilitaryArchiveResearch.com

Research interests and specialisations - The Royal Navy and its associated forces (RNR, RNVR etc) – genealogy and operations; The Royal Marines – genealogy and operations; The Merchant Navy – genealogy and operations; Indian Navy / (Honourable) East India Company – genealogy and operations; General naval research; Other military research (e.g. medals); Nautical Archaeology

Publications - Researching British Military History on the Internet (2007)

Nicholas Dixon, BA (Hons), MPhil, PhD

Genealogist and House Historian

Email: mail@drnicholasdixon.com

Website: drnicholasdixon.com

Intro: I am a professional genealogist with a particular interest in maritime records, including those predating the registration of merchant seamen from 1835. I can utilise a vast range of sources in investigating British mariners and their ships. The list of subjects is intended to give an idea of my specialisms but is not exhaustive. Please see my website for more information.

Subjects: Careers of British merchant sea captains and mariners; Royal Navy personnel; British merchant ships and their voyages; British ship-owners; maritime families in London, East Anglia and Yorkshire; records of apprenticeships; records in the National Archives; nautical connections with royalty; Royal Navy chaplains; the Napoleonic wars; War of 1812.

Brian Horton

Address: 3 St. Ambrose Green, Oxenturn Road, Wye, Ashford, Kent TN25 5AG

Tel: 01233 812463

Mobile: 07969 466445

Email: horton1805@hotmail.com

Subjects: Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force; Merchant Navy; Medal research; Genealogy.

Andy Macdonald

As a south-east London based family history researcher, I live locally to the National Maritime Museum and within easy transport to the National Archives in west London.

Email: enquiries@mypastfamily.co.uk

Website: mypastfamily.co.uk

I am available to undertake a wide range of commissions:

  • Ancestor Searches - researching a specific person
  • Document Searches - finding a certain document
  • Armed Forces Records - locating and interpreting historical military records
  • Maritime Crew Records - (includes Merchant Navy and Royal Navy) - locating individuals on vessels
  • DNA test reviews - helping you understand your results and matches
  • Family Tree Creation - tracing your lineage
  • Helping You - assisting with your research

Research can be conducted at the National Maritime Museum, the National Archives in Kew and various archives and libraries in London. 

Joe Saunders, MA (Hons), MPhil

Email: joseph6.saunders@outlook.com

Website: www.josephsaundershistory.co.uk

Intro: I am a freelance historian carrying out British history research c.1500-present assisting private clients, authors, academics, and organisations. My own family history includes members of the Merchant and Royal Navies. All enquires considered from detailed projects to document photography. Please get in touch for a chat.

Subjects: I am happy to discuss research on a variety of topics, though I am especially experienced in genealogical, biographical, social and local history research, including pre-19th century palaeography.

Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA)

A professional organisation which provides a list of researchers (for those seeking help with family history or professional research) with varying areas of specialities. Please see the right hand column on their page under the heading 'Find A Researcher'.