Finding a relation on the web site.
The first thing to remember is that the number quoted by Mars boys is usually their ship number, this was to become the name they were known and called by for their entire time aboard. For the first intake, up to 616, the registration number and ship number were the same until they began to rotate the numbering system from 1 - 400. There is no logic in research terms to this, as the boy, with say number 10, the next boy to enter the ship could be given the number 389. The registration number follows sequentially from boy 1 in 1869 to boy 6562 in 1929. The boys name and all his personal details is another problem, this was given to the secretary on his admission, and ill-educated frightened 'wee souls' may have made mistakes and miss-spelled the family name, religion, address, date of birth; they may not be as we now know them now. The court which has charged him does not need to be the boy's home town, as many boys were charged with 'wandering and destitute.' The legibility of some of the entries in the admission books is also up to interpretation, and while I have attempted to transcribe exactly what is written there is always an element of dubiety. Some names, especially surnames, I have attempted to write them as I read them and not to turn them into a recognisable modern version. There will be the odd mistake that is down to human error, as I am only too human, for that I apologise, (not for being human) but I hope they will be sorted before too long.
Searching at the Blyth Hall.
Should you have the pleasure of visiting the Blyth Hall in Newport-on-Tay please remember to get in touch with them first so that the room is open for your visit. In the room you will be shown a wooden cabinet with glass fronted doors, in here are the books saved from a skip on their way to be destroyed! Fortunately they have been rebound and preserved as they are worth their weight in gold. The first one to make your way to is the Admission Book for the years that you are interested in, remember if you have a boy's ship number, for example 61, there may be 10 boys with the same number throughout its 60 year history so don't give up! If you find the person you're looking for it may have some of their discharge details on it, but you are not finished yet. If it doesn't have their discharge details in the Admission Book remember you can work out the date of their discharge as they would have been released by the time they reached the age of 16. With that information and their registration number you will now have (under their ship number top left of page) you look for the discharge book that covers those years. The ship by law had to follow the boy's progress for three/four years after his discharge that is in another book. Discharge Books - These will have crucial information such as their home address or employment gone to on his discharge. There may be more than one of these books so please check you have all the information. Allow yourselves enough time to search fully especially if you don't live in this area. Some pages contain interesting details, sometimes they list the boy's brothers and sisters, some have the new boy's signature. There is also a book of contemporary newspaper cuttings well worth looking through. Good hunting!
Let us search for you.
If you can't make the trip to this beautiful part of the World and would like myself or one of my associates to do the leg work for you, fill out the form and wait for our reply. Given a perfect world I would love to do this for free but as I've been out of work for six years …well you get the picture. For a donation of £20 (this research donation helps to cover expenses and keep the project progress)and a Mars boys name and date of admission (if you have it) we will search for you no matter the amount of information we find. Some boys have much more detailed coverage than others and if there is any knowledge I have found during my research (prize winners, Leng medal, swimming competitions etc.,) that will be added to your page as a bonus. From the time we receive your payment we will hope to get you results within two weeks providing access to the Mars books is available.
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