Plymouth Artificers (Alphabetical) 1779
National Archives ADM 106/2979
© Crown Copright
These (double) pages, bound into a single volume, provide details of approximately three thousand workers at the Plymouth Dock Yard (now Devonport Royal Dockyard). Some pages list as many as thirty workers, others just a few, or are blank. The transcription of this volume was started in December 2005 and had, thanks to the help of some sixteen volunteers, been completed by March 2006.
The volume was evidently produced by "calendaring" some original documents, so that details of workers with names starting with a given letter (or in some cases either of a pair of letters) are listed together, though not in alphabetical order. It is evident that on occasion not enough pages were initially set aside for a given initial letter, so that a further page or pages are allocated to it later in the volume. Where possible these pages are brought together in this set of transcriptionss.
In these transcriptions ditto marks have been replaced with the applicable actual wording. Lines that have been completely struck out are not transcribed. First Name and Surname appear in one combined column in the original, but are separated here. Surnames are given here in uppercase. Names that are duplicated appear to be marked with a sequence number after the surname. All column titles are typeset, except that on some pages the column titles With Leave, Without Leave, and Sick are inserted by hand. This would appear to be mainly associated with pages which have had extra information lines added to the entries for some workmen, apparently in 1782, describing each as a "Sober Man" and giving additional amended details about his career. The information in such columns and inserted lines is often rather illegible. (Note that browsers might introduce extra line breaks within cells in an attempt to reduce the overall width of the web page. As always therefore, it is recommended that interested researchers check the original, rather than rely solely on the transcription.)
The 'Time of Service' does not include the apprentice time, but the men in trades that have served an apprenticeship typically have done so for seven years. Adding seven to the time of service in such cases therefore usually produces a date that is consistent with the 'Time of Entry' date. It is believed that the code "DD" signifies "Discharged Died", with "D" standing just for "Discharged", and "R" for "Retired".
A few pages are missing from the volume, and in a number of cases no details, such as name, age, etc., are given on the LH of the double page corresponding to the information that appears on the RH page, presumably as a result of copying errors when the volume was created. However Jeffery Mance has pointed out that it would appear that such RH pages contain largely a duplicate copy of records entered two pages earlier so that little information is actually missing; he has provided the following analysis of these pages:
A Page 9 RH copy of the two records on Page 7, but significant differences. D Page 36 The bottom records are a RH copy of Page 34 Quarter Boys, and Ocham Boys. E Page 40 RH copy of Page 38 Caulkers, House Carpenters, and Bricklayers E Page 45 RH copy of Page 43 Ocham Boys and Sawyers F Page 51 RH copy of Page 49 First four Labourers with more detail, Quarter Boys, and Ocham Boys, G Page 59 RH copy of page 57 Ocham Boys and Sawyers, (plus one original record) H Page 68 RH copy of Page 66 Some of Sawyers, including last three, (plus some original records) IJ Page 76 RH copy of Page 74 Quarter Boys, Ocham Boys, and Sawyers K Page 82 RH copy of Page 80 Labourers, Ocham Boys and Sawyers L Page 91 RH copy of Page 89 Ocham Boys, and Sawyers - Last record - details differ. M Page 101 RH copy of Page 99 Sawyers, but with mis-match on complexion, and detail. PQ Page 120 RH copy of Page 118 Sawyers in different sequence, and one Labourer, (plus some original records) S Page 140 RH copy of Page 138 Sawyers - details differ, (plus some original records) TV Page 149 RH copy of Page 147 Ocham Boys and Sawyers, (plus some original records) W Page 159 RH copy of Page 157 Ocham Boys, Pitch Heater, and Sawyers