Sunbeam crew heaving a line, photo by Clifford W. Ashley

In March of 2018 the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum launched Whaling History.org. That site incorporates this crew list database with six other databases, three of these related to American offshore whaling. This crew list database was first created and posted by the New Bedford Free Public Library (NBFPL). It used records kept by the chaplains of the New Bedford Port Society and delivered the names and physical descriptions of men leaving the port of New Bedford on whaling voyages from 1840 to the end of whaling in 1927. In the meantime New Bedford Whaling Museum staff and volunteers, under the guidance Advisory Curator Judith Lund, continue to augment the initial work completed at the NBFPL transcribing crew list from other ports, including Fall River, and Salem, Massachusetts, and New London, Connecticut. Records now span the years 1809 to 1927.

This site is useful to a wide range of people, from family historians searching for ancestors, to scholars of the whaling industry, to teachers and their students. Currently there are 168,367 entries. To connect all things whaling, including our list of sources, head over to www.whalinghistory.org.

The Crew List Database will be updated once a year, send comments to research@whalingmuseum.org.

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