Author Topic: Deciphering Naval service records  (Read 327 times)

Offline Kipsanoi

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Deciphering Naval service records
« on: Tuesday 23 October 18 19:19 BST (UK) »
I am helping my partner to research some of his family history, and we have a naval record for great grandfather from the National Archives at Kew for his naval career between 1890 & 1920.

Throughout the record there appears to be written V.G.I or V.G or even G.G - what do these abbreviations stand for? I'm guessing VG might be very good - but I'm struggling with the others.

Also on his record are coded reference numbers - some beginning with CW and a number, or S206 (?) maybe or others that start with A followed by a number. Any ideas what these refer to?

Many thanks.

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Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 23 October 18 19:58 BST (UK) »
Welcome to Rootschat!

Always best to see the hieroglyphics in the original, the context is an important help.  Can you post the offending record or, if it is on line, give the name/number etc so it can be looked up?

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

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Offline Kipsanoi

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 08:11 BST (UK) »
Fair point... here is the document in question... any help with the abbreviations on the remarks side of the page would be great.

Also, taking the next step in researching this ancestor - where can I find colonial office records online? or the change of name deed poll? Any pointers would be really useful.. thanks!!

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 08:37 BST (UK) »
A Deed Poll wasn't (and isn't!) necessary for a change of name ;D

Under the Laws of England & Wales (Scotland too, I think) a person has the right to call themselves anything they like - just as long as there is no intention to deceive or defraud.

If there was a Deed Poll, it will have been published in The London Gazette - www.thegazette.co.uk.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 08:44 BST (UK) »
Only a small proportion of Deeds Poll are published in the Gazette. These are the ones for which the person changing their name has paid to have the deed enrolled in the court books.  See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/changes-of-name/
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Offline Mckha489

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 09:42 BST (UK) »
in this case there IS a deed poll recorded on the document posted

July 1923 Changed name by Deed Poll CW 7516/23  - I don't see anything in the Times or the London Gazette re the deed poll, but his promotions (matching the record) are in the Gazette and the marriage of his youngest son in 1945 is in the Times

re the document -
 S-206 is, according to one naval site I found, are officer fitness reports. Not physical fitness, but fitness as an officer I think.

https://www.nmrn.org.uk/research/service-record-abbreviations   Yours are not listed, but perhaps they could help?
currently concentrating on NUTCHER & MARSHALL families, Hampshire.
and family of Thomas ANDERSON a Tailor of Perth, Scotland

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 10:07 BST (UK) »
He was in Nigeria when he changed his name so it may have been gazetted locally. .

Here he is as Smith in the 1922 Blue Book:  https://goo.gl/myMRgw
And as Seton in 1923: https://goo.gl/XaA1F4

There are quite a few mentions of District Officer R S Seton in Google Books
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Offline Mckha489

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 10:09 BST (UK) »
i wonder why he chose SETON. Not his mother's maiden name, which was MINTER.
Did his siblings change theirs too?

And who was Mary Smith in Louth?   His mother was Alice and his wife Lydia.
currently concentrating on NUTCHER & MARSHALL families, Hampshire.
and family of Thomas ANDERSON a Tailor of Perth, Scotland

Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering Naval service records
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 24 October 18 10:38 BST (UK) »
RN personnel were assessed annually for character (conduct) and ability in his trade.  Very good as you have guessed and good.  You'll note that there is a lack of consistency about the way it is recorded.
The CW/ and similar hieroglyphics are simply the references of the official administrative documents that recorded whatever they are related to.  They can be safely ignored.  As said, S 206 is an Officer's Fitness report.

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia