15 October 2013

Seamen’s Certificates of Protection

While searching various records for my STILL line, I am looking for some specific information regarding my Margaret Still, her parents and the father of her children. Margaret's father is Charles Still (1760 - 1820). One of her brothers is a Charles (1779-1889).

Upon searching for her father, I came across a US Seamen's Protection Certificate for a Charles Still born in 1779. I have never seen one of these before so I was very excited at the prospect of a "new" record. The year fit her brother so it would be related just not a lineal relationship.

Well ... I do not think this Charles is her brother Charles. In this 1807 document, this Charles Still is described as "Charles Still, a free Black five feet four 1/4 inches high" man. The document records his scars and states he was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

Margaret's brother was born in Chester County, PA.

Now on the bright side, this gave me an idea for another line! My husband's grandfather - Morgan Gramelia DEYOE - was supposedly a tugboat captain. He was born on 27 August 1877 in New York but settled down in Philadelphia, PA. The database on Ancestry.com is the "U.S., Seamen's Protection Certificates, 1792-1869" so obviously Morgan will not be there. However ...

I found a William H. Deyoe. He is from Kingston, NY, where many Deyoes are known to have lived. In this 1860 document he describes himself as a 30 year old five feet seven 3/4 inches tall, light complexion, light hair and blue eyes. He notes he has a scar over his right eye.

While we do have a William H Deyoe, this is not him. The dates are simply off but the reference seems to be an interesting one to keep ahold of for future use.

The Seamen’s Certificates of Protection were issued to protect U.S. sailors from being pressed into service on British ships. Ancestry.com includes in its repository a database from six ports. Each port could require additional requirements for the Certificate. The ports are: Bath, Maine; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.