2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 6, 2019 3:05 PM by Ronald Bennett

    Locating commercial ships officer certifications


      My great-grandfather, Walter C Bennett, worked both as captain and marine engineer on commercial (non-wartime) vessels operating out of the Puget Sound (Seattle, WA) area between 1898 (when he was discharged after serving in the Spanish War) until before his death in 1935.  His sailings were likely sometimes local, but may very well have included trips to west coast Canadian ports and beyond.  I would very much like to learn more about this period of his working life.


      My son-in-law currently is in the coast guard and he advised me that the coast guard keeps records of commercially licensed ship's officers and might still have records from this time period.  I contacted the National Maritime Center, but they advised me that they only have Coast Guard records since 1937, so too recent to be helpful to me.


      I have found a single census record and ship manifest for the ship F. H. Marvin, operated by Puget Sound Freight Lines out of Seattle that lists Walter Bennett as the assistant engineer, still working at the age of 71 years old, on April 1, 1930.  This document is part of the 1930 US Census of "Crews of Vessels" and it lists 13 total crew members.


      Can someone help to determine if I am able to find out which certifications Walter held, when he got them, and any information about other ships on which he worked and when and where he may have sailed?