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Sources of information for sailing barge research are mainly official records, and others where events in the life of the barge or crew are recorded.

There are no offical records exclusive to sailing barges, and as they come under Merchant Shipping, a useful gude to those available has been published by the PRO - "Records of Merchant Shipping and Seamen" by Kelvin Smith, Christopher T Watts and Michael J Watts, ISBN 1 873 162 49 9. (see also their website)

The main centre for relevant documents are the PRO* at Kew, The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich , some County Record Offices in the relevant areas, and the Guildhall Library, London, also holds useful records (e.g. Lloyd's "Captains Registers" (1869-1948) relating to the careers of master mariners)

Other information about the barges often only occurs if something particular happens that is subsequently recorded. Newspaper archives can therefore often be a source in information, especially if you know of an event, the date it occurred and the area where it happened.

See Bibliography for list of recognised books published about sailing barges. Many of them may be out of print, but some of them can be obtained through second hand outlets ( also, contact SSBR/TBST or Dolphin Yard Museum Trust contacts for a list of their current holdings).
For some of the books, I have been able to provide a list of sailing barges mentioned derived either from their indexes, or by trawling the text. This will be added to as and when time allows.

Other sources of published information are the journals of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust and the Society for Sailing Barge Research, and anyone interested may find it useful to join one or other of these groups and take part in the exchange of information through their publications.

The BARGEMEN website has details of ancestors associated with narrow boats, Thames barges, Waterman and Lightermen.

London Canal Museum information.

The Vandervord Barges

If you have found sources of relevant information that could be of use to other people, please email the details.

*I am reliably informed that the documents most relevant to sailing barges, held at Kew are:
BT 98 Crew records before 1856
BT108 Transcripts of registers of barges up to 1890
BT110 Vessels closing register up to 1955
BT999 Samples of Crew Records 1856-1970's

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