Navy loss 1845


Hi all,

While looking into my family tree I have come across another issue that the experts here may be able to help with.

I am looking for information on the death of John GRAHAM who according to birth and marriage certificate of his son he was noted as a Mariner/Seaman. On the birth certificate of the son, who was born in September 1845 in Devonport, it states that his father was deceased. This gives me a window of 9 months previos to the birth when John Graham could have died. I can find no obvious death record on ancestry sites so my questions are this...

If a seaman died at sea where would his death be registered if at all? Are there any records for a John Graham who were in the Navy at this time? John Graham's wifes name was Elizabeth if that helps any.

I dont yet have his birth date but I am working on this as I know it will help greatly.

Any advice appreciated.



War Hero
Hi afcbsimon,

Yes, from the latter end of 1837 when a seaman died at sea his death should be registered. You may find John Grahams death listed in the Overseas Deaths Index on the Findmypast website
Link: Search birth, marriage and death records 1837-2006 | Overseas BMDs, parish records from 1538 | Or you could order Johns death certificate from the GRO. (Don't forget to mention his death may be recorded in the Overseas Index. Unfortunately if it is an Overseas Death the certificate will cost you more, I think they charge £11.50 now!).

It is possible that on his death his widow Elizabeth may have been entitled to part of Johns RN pension.
Link to RN Pension Records:
Royal Navy: ratings' pension records | The National Archives

John Graham may have left a Will.
LINK: The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Search Results

Admiralty: Service Records, Registers, Returns and Certificates:
The National Archives Search Results

Admiralty Sick List.
The National Archives Search Results

I hope the above information is helpful to you. =D

Last edited: