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Vessel Documents

Updated January 29, 2007

Table of Contents

Introduction

Certificates of registration, enrollment, and license are collectively known as vessel documents. These certificates were issued by collectors of customs, with one copy collected and maintained by the Treasury Department's Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, and its predecessors. These records are part of the Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Record Group 41.

Laws Regarding Vessel Documentation

Systems for registering and measuring vessels date back to the English Navigation Laws of Charles II in 1660. These laws required vessels to be measured and registered to determine their national character, provide a basis for taxation, and protect against foreign shipping and shipbuilding. After the American Revolution, several states adopted the English laws regarding navigation, but there was no uniformity until the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, in which Article I, section 8, clause 3, vested in the Federal Government the exclusive power "[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States."

The importance of maritime matters to the new republic is shown by the attention given to them by the First Congress. Its third act on July 20, 1789 (1 Stat. 27), imposed a duty on the tonnage of vessels. An act of September 1, 1789 (1 Stat. 55), provided for the registering and clearing of vessels and regulation of coastwise trade. Under this law, only American-built vessels were permitted to be registered, which had the effect of encouraging the nascent U.S. shipbuilding industry by reducing foreign competition.

The September 1, 1789, act, as amended by acts of December 31, 1792 (1 Stat. 287); February 18, 1793 (1 Stat. 305); and March 1, 1817 (3 Stat. 35), was the foundation of the navigation laws and marine policy of the United States until 1912, when foreign-built ships were admitted to American registry. An act of June 7, 1918 (40 Stat. 602), extended the registration system by requiring the numbering and recording of every undocumented vessel propelled in whole or in part by machinery, except vessels under 16 feet using outboard motors.

Administration of Laws Regarding Vessel Documentation and Statistics

The early administration of navigation laws was placed under the control of the Secretary of the Treasury, who delegated their enforcement to customs officials. On January 22, 1793, supervision of the issuance and filing of marine documents and the preparation of navigation and tonnage statistics was turned over to the Office of the Register of the Treasury, which retained these functions until 1866, except for the short period between March 29 and April 27, 1793.

The preparation of statistics by the Office of the Register of the Treasury was modified and improved by an act of February 10, 1820 (3 Stat. 541), which also provided for the publication of an annual volume on statistics and navigation. An act of July 28, 1866 (14 Stat. 31), created a Bureau of Statistics in the Treasury Department, to which was transferred responsibility for the collection and publication of statistics and the publication of an annual list of American merchant vessels. The act also transferred to the Bureau the duty of assigning official numbers to all documented merchant vessels of American registry and signal letters to such of these vessels as were seagoing. The Office of the Register of the Treasury, however, still retained custody of the surrendered marine documents and supervised the issuance by collectors of customs of replacement documents.

The Bureau of Navigation was created by an act of July 5, 1884 (23 Stat. 118), and placed within the Department of the Treasury. The reason for the Bureau's creation was to consolidate responsibility for administration of the navigation laws into a distinct service. (Administration of laws relating to lighthouses, lifesaving, collection of revenue, and inspection of steam vessels remained outside the Bureau's jurisdiction.) The Bureau was under the immediate charge of a Commissioner of Navigation, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. It was composed of the Register and Tonnage Division of the Office of the Register of the Treasury; the Internal Revenue and Navigation Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury; all of the shipping commissioners' offices; and employees from the Bureau of Statistics concerned with the numbering of merchant vessels. The Bureau itself and all jurisdiction over enforcement of the navigation laws was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor by an act of February 14, 1903 (32 Stat. 826), and to the Department of Commerce by an act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 736). The secretaries of the new departments continued to assign to the Bureau the powers of the Secretary of the Treasury with regard to the administration of navigation laws.

Customs officials were directed by law to act as the Bureau's field service in the enforcement of navigation and inspection laws. Beginning in 1911 appropriation acts authorized the Secretary of Commerce and Labor (the Secretary of Labor after 1913) to employ small vessels and inspectors to enforce motorboat laws and assure that appropriate motorboat numbers had been assigned. Supervision of these vessels and inspectors was assigned to the Bureau.

In accord with the Appropriation Act of June 30, 1932 (47 Stat. 415), the Bureau of Navigation was consolidated in August 1932 with the Steamboat Inspection Service under the title of Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, but the records of the two agencies were not integrated until 1935. This bureau was later renamed Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation by an act of May 27, 1936 (49 Stat. 1380).

Records Description

Certificates of registration, enrollment, or license were known collectively as vessel documents. They were issued to managing owners or masters, after proper measurement and proof of place and date of construction were provided as evidence that vessels of 5-ton or greater capacity were entitled to rights and privileges of American-documented vessels. Until 1912, with few exceptions, American-documented vessels were required to be built in the United States; even now (2001), only American-built vessels can be documented to engage in coastwise trade.

Vessels engaged in foreign trade were required to obtain a certificate of registration. Vessels of 20-tons and greater capacity in the coastal or fishing trades were required to get enrollments and licenses while those of 5- to less than 20-tons capacity needed only licenses. Copies of licenses were renewed yearly and filed in customhouses until 1906, when a single form for enrollment and license was issued.

Both certificates of enrollment and registration were permanent or temporary depending on whether they were issued at home ports or elsewhere. A new certificate was issued and the old certificate surrendered to the collector of customs at the nearest port if there was a change in the type of trade, ownership, rig, tonnage, dimensions, name, or home port of a vessel. Certificates of registration and enrollment were made in triplicate. The master kept one copy aboard the vessel. The issuing collector of customs kept the second copy. The third ("reference") copy was sent to Washington, DC, to the Office of the Register of the Treasury (or his successors, the Commissioner of Navigation, 1884-1932; the Director of the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, 1932-42; the Commissioner of Customs, 1942-67; and the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, 1967- ). When a master surrendered his copy to the collector of customs at the nearest port, the collector endorsed this copy and his own with the date, place, and reason for surrender and the number of the new document, if any, that was issued. The collector then cancelled the master's copy and sent the surrendered copy to Washington. If the port of surrender was different from the port of issuance, the other collector was informed of the surrender.

Surrendered and reference copies issued before 1815 are presumed to have been among the records lost in the burning of Washington in 1814. In 1913, the Bureau of Navigation destroyed reference copies for the period 1815-1913. Reference copies for the period since 1913 have not been retained.

Surrendered copies of certificates of registration were bound chronologically in volumes until 1867. Subsequently, documents were folded and filed by year and port until 1919. At that time the filing system was changed again so that documents issued to a vessel were filed together by official vessel number, and thereunder chronologically. In 1921 some of the bound volumes were damaged by fire and water. In 1933 the remnants were removed from many volumes and were arranged by port, and thereunder chronologically. If a vessel was lost at sea, or the certificate was lost before it was surrendered, a copy was not always made for the Washington files.

The content of vessel documents varies, but a certificate usually contains the following information:

  1. Certificate number.
  2. After 1866, the vessel's official number and call letters.
  3. Names and addresses of owners (usually by city and state). After 1850, each owner's fraction of ownership is included.
  4. Name of vessel and home port.
  5. Name of master of vessel on the date of issue.
  6. Date and place of construction.
  7. Name of builder (often on the first certificate issued for a vessel).
  8. Number, place, and date of issue of the previous certificate.
  9. Number of decks and masts.
  10. Dimensions and tonnage (capacity). The capacity formula was changed in 1864. By an act of 1882, deductions were allowed for fuel space, machinery space, and so forth, with a stated difference between gross and net tonnage.
  11. Type of stern, gallery (seldom after 1865), and figurehead.
  12. Type of rig.
  13. Place and date of issue of certificate.
  14. On the reverse side of the certificate, an endorsement giving the place, date, and reason for surrender of certificate. Sometimes, endorsements of changes of master, renewal of license, or other information.

It is frequently possible to trace a vessel's history through the entire chain of the vessel documents with the aid of citations and endorsements on the documents themselves and from the information contained in abstracts and official number books. The first certificate for a particular vessel often cites a builder's, carpenter's, surveyor's, or admeasurer's certificate rather than a certificate of enrollment or registration. The reverse side of many certificates contains endorsements of surrender that either indicate where and when the succeeding certificate was issued or state the fate of the vessel. The master abstracts, mentioned below, are also useful in tracing the chain of documentation. It is not always possible, however, to determine with certainty the names of all the masters of a given vessel or the tenure of a particular master's service, even though the certificate indicates the master's name at the time of issuance and endorsements may indicate changes of masters.

Some of the certificates were lost by fire, accident at sea, or other hazards. Additional certificates for the years after 1871 may have been withdrawn from the "port" file and might now be found among those documents arranged by official numbers assigned to individual vessels.

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Finding Aids and Closely Related Records

There are four major additional sources of information which may assist researchers in locating records relating to a specific vessel. The first three are available at the National Archives and Records Administration.

  1. The master abstract of enrollments, registers, and licenses, kept in the Office of the Register of the Treasury (Commissioner of Navigation after 1884). These abstracts, dated 1815 to 1911, are arranged chronologically and thereunder by port of issue, and contain the following information: number and date of document; rig and name of vessel; name of managing owner or ship's husband; name of master at the time the document was issued; the reason the previous document was surrendered (or "new" if it was a new vessel); the date, type, number, and place the previous document was issued; the vessel's measured tonnage; the date and place that the current document was surrendered; and the reason for the surrender.

  2. The official number books kept in the same office. These books were used to update the List of Merchant Vessels of the United States, published annually since 1868. (After 1925 it was entitled Merchant Vessels of the United States). These books are often available at U.S. Government depository libraries or large university or maritime libraries.

  3. The abstracts and indexes prepared in the offices of the local collectors of customs. These records contain the same information as the master abstracts.

  4. The Record of American and Foreign Shipping ("American Lloyds") (New York: American Bureau of Shipping). This publication can be found at maritime libraries or the Library of Congress.

There are also other series, such as listings of losses and changes in vessel name, that either aid in the use of vessel documents or supplement information contained therein.

A variety of other records were created by the collectors of customs in the performance of the vessel documentation function, such as master carpenter certificates, certificates of tonnage admeasurement, bonds and oaths of owners and masters of vessels, and bills of sale, mortgages, and certificates of conveyance.

Other Records

The Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation and its predecessors had responsibility for the enforcement of various other laws relating to marine safety, the welfare of seamen and passengers, and related matters. For more information about records created in the performance of these functions, see Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States (National Archives and Records Administration, 1995), or Douglas Stein, American Maritime Documents, 1776-1860 (Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1992).

Official number files for vessels issued such numbers after February 1942 and removed from documentation by June 1958 are in Record Group 36, Records of the Bureau of Customs. Official number files for vessels issued such numbers, July 1958 to the mid-1970s are in RG 26, Records of the U.S. Coast Guard. Official number files for vessels issued such numbers after the mid-1970s are currently (2001) in the custody of the U.S. Coast Guard. Access to these records may be obtained by contacting the U.S. Coast Guard, National Vessel Documentation Center, 2039 Stonewall Jackson Drive, Falling Water, WV 25419-9502.

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Vessel Documents Available on Microfilm

Thirteen NARA microfilm publications reproduce vessel documents:

CALIFORNIA

M1867. Indexes to Certificates of Registration and Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at San Francisco, California, 1850-1877 (1 roll).

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ILLINOIS

M1800, Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Chicago, Illinois, 1847-1866, and Related Master Abstracts of Enrollments, 1847-1911. (5 rolls).

RollContents
1Certificates of Enrollment, 1847-1854
2 Certificates of Enrollment, 1855-1861
3 Certificates of Enrollment, 1862-1864
4 Certificates of Enrollment, 1865
5 Certificates of Enrollment, 1866
Master Abstracts of Enrollments, 1847-1911

M2099, Cetificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Great Lakes Ports, 1815-1872, and Related Master Abstracts of Registers, 1815-1910 (3 rolls) includes the Illinois-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
1Certificates of Registration Issued at Chicago, 1856, 1860-61, 1863-69, 1871-72.
3Master Abstracts of Registers for Great Lakes Ports, 1815-31, 1849, 1855-80, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1894-1910.

MARYLAND

M1873, Selected Vessel Documents Issued for Merchant Vessels at Baltimore, Maryland, 1789-1912. (11 rolls).

RollContents
1Certificates of Registration, 1789-1796
2 Certificates of Registration, 1797-1799
Partial Abstract of Registers, 1800
Certificates of Registration, 1801
3 Certificates of Registration, 1802-1805
4 Certificates of Registration, 1806-1809
5 Certificates of Registration, 1810-1814
6 Master Abstracts of Registers, Jan. 1815-June 1911
7 Certificates of Enrollment, 1791 and June 1793-July 5, 1800
8 Certificates of Enrollment, July 7, 1800-May 1807
9 Certificates of Enrollment, June 1807-Dec. 1814
10 Master Abstracts of Enrollments, Jan. 1815-June 1911
11 Master Abstracts of Licenses for Vessels Under 20 Tons, 1876-1912
Yacht Licenses, 1883-1912

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MASSACHUSETTS


M1866. Indexes to Certificates of Registration and Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1827-1868. (1 roll).

Indexes to Certificates of Enrollment

  • Volume 1, Certificates Issued from 1836 to 1849, plus entries for those certificates still valid in January 1836
  • Volume 2, Certificates issued from 1850 to 1868, plus entries for those certificates still valid in January 1850

Indexes to Certificates of Registration

  • Volume 1, Certificates Issued from 1836 to 1849, plus entries for those certificates still valid in January 1836
  • Volume 2, Certificates issued from 1850 to 1868, plus entries for those certificates still valid in January 1850

M130. Certificates of Registry, Enrollment, and License Issued at Edgartown, Massachusetts, 1815-1913. (9 rolls).

RollType of certificate, inclusive years
1Registration, 1815-1842
2 Registration, 1843-1856
3 Registration, 1857-1913
4 Enrollment, 1815-1838
5 Enrollment, 1839-1860
6 Enrollment, 1861-1913
7 Licenses, 1853-1889
8 Licenses, 1890-1899
9 Licenses, 1900-1913

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MICHIGAN

M2099, Cetificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Great Lakes Ports, 1815-1872, and Related Master Abstracts of Registers, 1815-1910 (3 rolls) includes the Michigan-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
Roll 1Certificates of Registration Issued at Detroit, 1815-29 and 1858-66.
2Certificates of Registration Issued at Marquette, 1869 and 1871; Michilimackinac, 1869 and 1871; and Port Huron, 1867-72.
3Master Abstracts of Registers for Great Lakes Ports, 1815-31, 1849, 1855-80, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1894-1910.

M2101, Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Detroit, Michilimackinac, and Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, 1818-1898, and Certificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Detroit, Michigan, 1818-1831 (8 rolls). These records are partially indexed; for more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
1Detroit: Certificates of Registration, May 22, 1818-June 16, 1831
Certificates of Enrollment, Aug. 21, 1818-Sept. 22, 1851 (#46)
2 Detroit: Certificates of Enrollment, Sept. 22, 1851 (#47)-Apr. 12, 1858
3 Detroit: Certificates of Enrollment, Apr. 13, 1858-Mar. 20, 1861 (#8)
Certificates of Registration, 1858-1861
Certificates of Enrollment, Mar. 20, 1861 (#9)-Apr. 25, 1863 (#65)
Certificate of Registration, 1863 (one)
Certificates of Enrollment, Apr. 25, 1863 (#66)-May 5, 1864 (#99)
4 Detroit: Certificates of Enrollment, May 5, 1864 (#100)-May 8, 1868
5 Detroit: Certificates of Enrollment, May 9, 1868-May 28, 1877 (#85)
6 Detroit: Certificates of Enrollment, May 28, 1877 (#86)-Sept. 22, 1887 (#20)
7 Detroit: Certificates of Enrollment, Oct. 4, 1887 (#21)-June 8, 1898 (#66)
8 Michilimackinac: Certificates of Enrollment, 1831-1863
Sault Sainte Marie: Certificates of Enrollment, 1847-48, 1853-54, 1860, 1863-68

MISSOURI

M1340, Vessel Licenses and Enrollments from the Port of St. Louis, Missouri, 1835-1944. (26 rolls).

RollContents
1 Licenses of Vessels Over 20 Tons
2 Copies of Licenses of Vessels Over 20 Tons
Vols. B52-B57: Jan. 3, 1844 - Dec. 31, 1852
3 Vols. B58-B61: Jan. 10, 1853 - Dec. 2, 1857
4 Vols. B62-B63: Dec. 2, 1857 - Sept. 8, 1862
5 Vols. B64-B66: Sept. 19, 1862 - Dec. 1, 1865
6 Vol. B67: Aug. 3, 1867 - Mar. 17, 1869
7 Vol. B68: Mar. 20, 1869 - Dec. 14, 1870
8 Vol. B69-B70: Dec. 19, 1870 - Sept. 2, 1872
9 Vol. B71-B72: Sept. 4, 1872 - July 23, 1874
10 Vol. B73-B75: July 23, 1874 - June 29, 1876
11 Vol. B76-B78: July 3, 1876 - Nov. 13, 1878
12 Vols. 1-2: Nov. 13, 1878 - June 29, 1886
13 Vols. 3-4: July 1, 1886 - June 25, 1890
14 Vols. 5-6: July 2, 1890 - Oct. 15, 1894
15 Vols. 7-8: Oct. 15, 1894 - Apr. 22, 1899
16 Vols. 9-10: Apr. 25, 1899 - Mar. 14, 1905
17 Vol. 11: Mar. 22, 1905 - Dec. 10, 1907
18Copies of Licenses of Vessels Under 20 Tons:
Vols. 1-2: Sept. 12, 1893 - Apr. 8, 1907
Vols. B80-B81: Jan. 28, 1907 - May 12, 1914
19 Vols. B82-B83: May 12, 1914 - June 22, 1918
20 Vol. B84: July 2, 1918 - May 15, 1931
21 Copies of Licenses of Yachts
Enrollments:
Vols. B90-B92: May 1, 1835 - Dec. 24, 1901
22 Vol. B93: Jan. 2, 1902 - July 7, 1911
23 Combined Certificates of Enrollment and License
24 Accident Reports
25 Report of Vessel Construction, Destruction,
and Legal or Physical Alteration
26 Quarterly Abstracts of the Status of Vessels
Annual Listings of Vessels
Annual Vessel Recapitulations


M2106. Master Abstracts of Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Saint Louis, Missouri, 1846-1870 (1 roll). 35mm.

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NEW YORK

M1861. Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Buffalo, New York, May 1816-November 1896 (13 rolls).

RollContents
1 Volumes without a letter desigation:
Enrollments: May 26, 1816-June 22, 1831
Index: Aug. 7, 1831-Nov. 14, 1836
Enrollments: Aug. 7, 1831-Nov. 14, 1836
Index: 1837-1857
Enrollments, Vol. A: Apr. 27, 1837-Oct. 17, 1842
2 Enrollments, Vols. B-C: Apr. 27, 1843-Sept. 19, 1850
3 Enrollments, Vols. D-E: Oct. 8, 1850-Aug. 22, 1853
4 Enrollments, Vols. F-G: July 17, 1855-Sept. 26, 1859
5 Enrollments, Vols. H-I: Sept. 28, 1859-Mar. 21, 1864
6 Enrollments, Vols. J-K: Mar. 29, 1864-May 31, 1866
7 Enrollments, Vols. L-M: May 31, 1866-May 3, 1869
8 Enrollments, Vols. N-O: May 3, 1869-July 16, 1872
9 Enrollments, Vols. P-Q-R: July 18, 1872-Apr. 16, 1875
10 Enrollments, Vols. S-T: Apr. 23, 1875-May 12, 1881
11 Enrollments, Vols. U-V: May 16, 1881-Apr. 26, 1887
12 Enrollments, Vols. W-X: Apr. 26, 1887-Mar. 12, 1892
13 Enrollments, Vols. Y-Z: Mar. 19, 1892-Nov. 17, 1896


M1864. Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Oswego, New York, 1815-1911 (6 rolls).
RollContents
1 1815-1818, 1835, 1842-1855
2 1856-1867
3 1868-May 26, 1870
4 May 27, 1870-June 1873
5 July 1873-June 1899
6 July 1899-June 1911

M2099, Cetificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Great Lakes Ports, 1815-1872, and Related Master Abstracts of Registers, 1815-1910 (3 rolls) includes the New York-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
1Certificates of Registration Issued at Cape Vincent, 1821 and 1825-30; Genesee, 1820; Niagara District, 1815-30; and Pultneyville, 1827.
2 Certificates of Registraton Issued at Genesee, 1815 and 1818-31; Ogdensburg and Oswego, 1816-17; Ogdensburg, 1819-21, 1825-26, 1828-29; Oswego, 1815-16, 1818-30, 1864; and Sackets Harbor, 1815-31.

3 Master Abstracts of Registers for Great Lakes Ports, 1815-31, 1849, 1855-80, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1894-1910.

M2105. Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Cape Vincent, Dunkirk, French Creek, Genesee, Lewiston, Ogdensburg, Pultneyville, Rochester, Sackets Harbor, and Suspension Bridge (Niagara Falls), New York, 1816-1867 (3 rolls).

RollContents
1Cape Vincent and French Creek: 1826-27, 1829-31, 1835-36, 1838, 1843-1859, 1861-62, 1864-67

Alexandria Bay: 1866 (one)

Dunkirk: 1855-66

Lewiston: 1830-32, 1848-63

Suspension Bridge (Niagara Falls): 1863-67

2 Genesee: 1821-32, 1834-36

Pultneyville: 1841

Rochester: 1849, 1851, 1853-67

Odgensburg: 1838-39, 1843-67

3 Sackets Harbor: 1816-63, 1866-67

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NORTH CAROLINA

M1863. Master Abstracts of Registers and Enrollments Issued for Merchant Vessels at North Carolina Ports, January 1815-June 1911 (2 rolls) serves as the finding aid for records reproduced in M2034.

RollContents
1 Abstracts of Registers 1815-1819. Arranged by port, then chronologically. 1820-1830. Arranged by port, then chronologically. 1831-1836, with a few as late as 1838. Arranged by port, then chronologically. 1837-1911. Arranged by year (fiscal year after June 1876), then by port.
2 Abstracts of Enrollments 1815-1911. Arranged by year (fiscal year after June 1876), then by port.


M2034. Certificates of Registration and Enrollment Issued at Beaufort, Edenton, Elizabeth City, New Bern, Ocracoke, Plymouth, Washington, and Wilmington, North Carolina, 1815-1902 (31 rolls). In addition, there is one certificate of enrollment issued at New Bern, North Carolina, in 1809.

RollPort, Type of Certificate, Inclusive Years
1 Beaufort, Registration, 1815, 1817-1822, 1826-1829, 1832-1836, 1838-1841, 1843-1853, 1855-1875, 1877-1879, 1890-1891, and 1894
2 Beaufort, Enrollment, 1816-September 1857
3 Beaufort, Enrollment, September 1857-June 1900
4 Edenton, Registration, 1815-1856, 1858-1861, 1866, 1868-1876, 1878-1879, 1881, and 1893-1895
5 Edenton, Enrollment, 1815-1852
6 Edenton, Enrollment, 1853-1860 and 1867-June 1900
7 Elizabeth City, Registration, 1815-1831
8 Elizabeth City, Registration, 1832-1867
9 Elizabeth City, Enrollment, 1815-1839
10 Elizabeth City, Enrollment, 1840-1852
11 Elizabeth City, Enrollment, 1852-1861, 1866, and 1870
12 New Bern, Registration, 1815-1836
13 New Bern, Registration, 1837-1861, 1865-1894, 1896, 1899-1900, and 1902
14 New Bern, Enrollment, 1809, 1815-1850, including a separate group of steam enrollments at the beginning of 1850
15 New Bern, Enrollment, 1851-1861, 1865-June 1901
16 Ocracoke, Registration, 1816-1844, 1846, 1854-1855, 1858, and 1866
17 Ocracoke, Enrollment, 1815-1837, 1839-1861, and 1865-1866
18 Plymouth, Registration, 1815-1829, 1831-1842, 1852-1861, and 1868
19 Plymouth, Enrollment, 1815-1837, 1846-1861, and 1865-1868
20 Washington, Registration, 1815-1816 and 1818-1843
21 Washington, Registration, 1844-1861, 1865-1868
Wilmington, Registration, 1839 (Nos. 31-38, 40-47, 50-53, and 55-64)
22 Washington, Enrollment, 1815-1845
23 Washington, Enrollment, 1846-1861 and 1865-1867
24 Wilmington, Registration, 1815-1825
25 Wilmington, Registration, 1826-1841
26 Wilmington, Registration, 1842-1851
27 Wilmington, Registration, 1852-1861 and 1865-1872
28 Wilmington, Registration, 1873-June 1892
29 Wilmington, Registration, July 1892-June 1900
30 Wilmington, Enrollment, 1815-1831, 1833-1839, 1841-1843, 1847-1848, 1850, 1852-1861, and 1866-June 1881
31 Wilmington, Enrollment, July 1881-June 1900

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NORTH DAKOTA

M1339. Vessel Documentation Records from the Port of Pembina, North Dakota, 1885-1959 (10 rolls).

RollType of record, inclusive years
1 Register of Enrollments and Licenses, Apr. 7, 1902-Mar. 31, 1921. 1 volume.

Arranged by type of document, then chronologically in quarter-year segments, then by type of vessel, and then chronologically. The register indicates the name, number, tonnage, and type of vessel, as well as the number and nature (temporary or permanent) of the document and the reason for the surrender of an old document or the issuance of a new one. The number of vessels outstanding at the end of each quarter is stated, as is the place and date of issuance of surrendered documents. There are only two entries dated after Oct. 20, 1910. The licenses and enrollments to which this register refers have not been located.

Bills of Sale of Vessels Over 20 Tons, June 8, 1885-June 17, 1917. 2 volumes.

Arranged chonologically. These are fair copies of notarized bills of sale. The copies provide the name of the vessel, the names of the parties to the sale, and the purchase price. There are usually details of the circumstances of the sale and of the legal status of the vessel. In, addition, specifications of the vessel's construction, weight and dimensions are usually cited, including the number of decks, masts, cabins and crew members, the material used in the hull, the date and place of the vessel's construction, and the vessel type. A copy of the vessel's certificate of enrollment is included. There are gaps one or more years in these records, and there are no documents dated Sept. 2, 1887 to Oct. 16, 1907.

Mortgages of Vessels Over 20 Tons, Nov. 19, 1900-ca. 1921. 1 volume.

Arranged chronologically. These are fair copies of notarized mortgages. The copies provide the name of the vessel, the names of parties to the mortgage, and the amount of mortgage. There are usually details of the circumstances of the transaction and of the license and enrollment status of the vessel. In addition, specifications of the vessel's construction, weight and dimensions are usually cited, includingthe number of decks, masts, cabins and crew members, the material used in the hull, the date and place of construction, and the vessel type. Insurance stipulations and terms of repayment are noted. A copy of the vessel's certificate of enrollment is included. There is a vessel name index. Only four mortgages are dated later than April 17, 1901.

Licenses of Vessels Under 20 Tons, Apr. 17, 1918-Aug. 30, 1957. 1 volume.

Licenses of Yachts Under 20 Tons. 1 volume.

Arranged chronologically. There is a vessel name index. There are gaps of one year or more in the records, and after 1942 there are only a few licenses. The latest recorded date of a renewal or surrender is Aug. 30, 1957.

Combined Certificates of Enrollment and License, June 26, 1912-June 4, 1948. 2 volumes.

Arranged chronologically. Both volumes include a vessel name index. There are no certificates dated 1939, and only two after Apr. 21, 1942.
2Vessel Documentation Folders, 1899-1957
Anna Mae - City of Sanish
3 Vessel Documentation Folders, City of Springfield - Deapolis
4 Vessel Documentation Folders, Dolla B. - Fawn
5 Vessel Documentation Folders, Ferro - Iowa
6 Vessel Documentation Folders, Jim - Melvin H.
7 Vessel Documentation Folders, Minot - Nodak
8 Vessel Documentation Folders, Odessa - Rosebud
9 Vessel Documentation Folders, Ruth Clarno - Unidentified Vessel
10 Vessel Documentation Folders, Vivian - Yo

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OHIO

M1862. Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Cleveland, Ohio, April 1829-May 1915 (14 rolls).

RollContents
1 1821 (one), Apr. 1829 - 1846
2 1847 - 1854
3 1855 - 1860
4 1861 - 1865
5 1866 - 1870
6 1871 - June 1876
7 July 1876 - June 1882
8 July 1882- June 1888
9 July 1888 - June 1892
10 July 1892 - June 1895
11 July 1895 - June 1899
12 July 1899 - June 1903
13 July 1903 - June 1911
14 June 1911 - May 1915

M2099, Cetificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Great Lakes Ports, 1815-1872, and Related Master Abstracts of Registers, 1815-1910 (3 rolls) includes the Ohio-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
1Certificates of Registration Issued at Cleveland, 1815, 1829, 1857-60, 1862, 1864-72; Sandusky District, 1817-20 and 1821-30; and Cuyahoga District, 1815.
2Certificates of Registration Issued at Sandusky, 1859, 1863-69, 1871-72; and Toledo, 1868-72.
3Master Abstracts of Registers for Great Lakes Ports, 1815-31, 1849, 1855-80, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1894-1910.

PENNSYLVANIA

M2099, Cetificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Great Lakes Ports, 1815-1872, and Related Master Abstracts of Registers, 1815-1910 (3 rolls) includes the Pennsylvania-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
1 Certificates of Registration Issued at Presque Isle District (Erie), 1819.
2 Certificates of Registration Issued at Presque Isle District, 1815-18, 1820, 1827-29, 1866-72.
3 Master Abstracts of Registers for Great Lakes Ports, 1815-31, 1849, 1855-80, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1894-1910.

TEXAS

M1857. Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Galveston, Texas, 1846-1860 and 1865-1870, and Master Abstracts of Enrollments Issued for Merchant Vessels at All Texas Ports, 1846-1860 and 1865-June 1911 (2 rolls).

RollContents
1 Master abstracts of enrollments issued for merchant vessels at all Texas ports, 1846-1860 and 1865-June 1911
A majority of enrollments were issued at Galveston; others were issued at Brownsville, Corpus Christie, Eagle Pass, Houston, Indianola, Point (Port) Isabel, La Salle, Lavaca, Port Arthur, Rockport, and Saluria.
2Master abstracts of enrollments issued for merchant vessels at Galveston, Texas, 1846-1860 and 1865-1870

Certificates of enrollment issued for merchant vessels at Galveston, Texas, 1846-1860 and 1865-1870

WISCONSIN

M2099, Cetificates of Registration Issued for Merchant Vessels at Great Lakes Ports, 1815-1872, and Related Master Abstracts of Registers, 1815-1910 (3 rolls) includes the Wisconsin-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

RollContents
2 Certificates of Registration Issued at Milwaukee, 1864-65, 1871-72.
3 Master Abstracts of Registers for Great Lakes Ports, 1815-31, 1849, 1855-80, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1894-1910.

M2100, Certificates of Enrollment Issued for Merchant Vessels at Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1851-1868 (1 roll) includes the Wisconsin-related records listed below. For more details, read the free online descriptive pamphlet available in the Microfilm Catalog online.

Green Bay, 1858-1862
Manitowoc, 1863
Milwaukee: Washington Office copies, Apr. 12, 1851-May 27, 1853
Milwaukee: Customhouse copies, June 10, 1853-Sept. 4, 1868

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