Masters and Mates Certificates for Great Britain 1850 – 1927

One of the reasons I was keen to renew my Ancestry membership was because the organisation has just released a new collection of Masters and Mates certificates for Great Britain from 1850-1927, as sourced from The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

Some years ago I went to London to seek out the Register entries for my CUMPSTON relatives who were all Master Mariners.  I was able to abstract all their register of sailing entries, including ships and dates. but never got to see their actual certificates – so what joy this evening to be able to download them.  I found 2 certificates for my 2 x great  grandfather Watson CUMPSTON – the first certificate showed him aged 24 born in 1833 in Hull, with a certificate of competency as ‘Only Mate’ dated 30th October 1857.  The second dated 1861 was as a ‘Master’.

The certificates are beautiful and well worth framing – but I now have so many – so maybe my Ancestry subscription has been worthwhile in its first day!  These are the others I found there:

English: National Maritime museum, Greenwich

English: National Maritime museum, Greenwich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Francis CUMPSTON

and his father Charles West CUMPSTON (Watson’s brother),

Joseph Watson CUMPSTON

and Thomas Cumpston dated 1851 – a beautiful Mate’s certificate showing that he had worked for 25 years in the British Merchant Service in the ‘Foreign Trade’.

The collection is available at

There were also a couple of surprising ones for James COMPSTON born in 1841 in Kendal issued in Liverpool in 1867 when he was 26 years old.  He is recorded as ‘Second Mate’.

Do let me know if you are related to any of these people.

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Ancestry membership – important tip

This month my Ancestry membership is due, and I found the new cost of world-wide membership just a bit steep at £155!  Because my CUMPSTON research is world- wide I need this level of membership too so there is no way to avoid the stark reality – I needed to find a cheaper way of renewing.  (See the link below about Ancestry’s profits and buy out proposals).

English: picture by Mike Cumpston
English: picture by Mike Cumpston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A quick google and I found that the UK National Trust is offering 25% off ancestry annual membership!  A quick phone call to 0800 404 9723 and this offer was confirmed.  Next year I will look out for other offers but if you know of any do tell me and I will include them here.

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Back with renewed energy!

After a break this summer we have finally moved home, had a holiday and entertained our friends from New Zealand.  All this surrounded by an amazing Olympic and Paralympic summer.

So after all this activity I am once more connected to the internet and ready to start adding to my CUMPSTON genealogy blog, and hopefully will be able to add a few things of interest to all genealogists.

Thanks for following my entries!


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This site advertises that it is ‘The World’s Largest Online Newspaper featuring over 120 million newspaper pages. The newspaper archive dates back from 1609 to the present. Plus the database expands by one newspaper page per second for a total of around 2.5 million pages per month.  ‘

Much new material has been added to this useful website.  You can still see 3 newspapers free of charge per day, but registration is no longer required. Some of the newspapers are in the Burney collection, but it is always useful to have another index to search.

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‘We of the West Riding’ film

Town Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.

Town Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you want 21 minutes of sheer delight watch this You Tube film called ‘We of the West Riding.’
It also covers the Dales and Skipton and is an absolute gem filmed in 1945. Watch for the 3 dales girls at around 10 minutes – who were they?

It also shows the inside of the mills in Halifax and shows various members of a family who left the dales with their various hobbies.

There are also 120 more videos from the 1940s to enjoy!

Do watch it to the end, and for those who have never visited Yorkshire,

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What’s New at Durham Records Online

Durham Records Online consistently gives one of the best updates to their holdings.  The latest offering includes:

Auckland St. Andrew baptisms 1820-1851 & burials 1821-1850

  • a large data set from Auckland St. Andrew
    5,815 baptisms covering 1820 through June 1851
  • 4,295 burials covering 1821-1850

1841 Census, Auckland – Bishop Auckland – Fore Bondgate (HO 107 307/10 – Folio 9 – Page 11 & 12)

Hartlepool Old Cemetery (Spion Kop) burials 1870-1889

7,047 burials at Hartlepool Old Cemetery, also known as Borough Cemetery, Hart Warren, and Spion Kop), covering 1870-1889.

Sunderland: Robinson’s Lane Presbyterian Chapel baptisms 1727-1797 modified

Modified the earlier transcription of 2,258 baptisms at Robinson’s Lane Presbyterian Chapel in Sunderland covering 1727-1797.

Bishop Auckland Wesleyan Methodist Circuit baptisms 1838-1975

8,366 baptisms on the Bishop Auckland Wesleyan Methodist Circuit from November 1838 to March 1975.

Marriage bonds 1765-1769 updated with full details

Replaced the index to marriage bonds in the years 1765-1769 with full details, so those 2,073 records are now instantly available, including 2 new bonds that missed the first time around.

Marriage bonds often provide ages, occupations, and place of residence for the bride and groom (and sometimes a parent of a minor) during a period when marriage registers did not provide that information. Please read the Marriage Bonds section of the Transcription Samples page for a description of what information is found in bonds, allegations, and associated documents, and how they present that information.

Marriage bonds cover the entire Diocese of Durham i.e. Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire. There are a few licences in the collection that were issued by the Diocese of York. Because bonds cover the whole diocese, there is no way to limit your search of bonds to a single district. If you select a district from the District menu, your selection will be ignored when the marriage bonds database is searched.

Jarrow marriage witnesses added 1816-1817

Added 471 witnesses to 228 marriages at Jarrow St. Paul in South Shields district, covering 1816-1817 plus the first 3 months of 1818, and corrected a few minor errors.


  • 4 May 1816 George Huntley, of this parish married Anne Bell, of      this parish, by licence
    Witnesses: Robert Bell, Susan Bell

Coming soon:

  • Penshaw baptisms & burials 1831-1835
  • South Shields burials 1763-1797 and 1816-1819
  • Washington baptisms 1600-1767
  • Wallsend baptisms 1901-1930

Courtesy of

Holly Cochran, Site Manager of Durham Records Online

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Mary Jane COMPSTON married Rev George KERRY in India in 1895

The Rossendale Way This cross was restored by ...

The Rossendale Way This cross was restored by Alderman Samuel Compston in 1902 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Serampore Convocation
Serampore Convocation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2012-03-31 I was pleased to hear from Marc Kerry   about his relative Mary Jane Compston who is a member of the Lancashire family tree 1 on my website at

Message: Mary married the Rev George Kerry at Serampore, India in 1895.  Do you have more information about their time in India?  Mary was working with a Indian women’s Baptist group since she gave a report about this in New York at a Baptist World Congress.

Mary Jane COMPSTON  was the daughter of John Milton COMPSTON and Catherine Dean recorded in my archive as the Lancashire 1 tree and I have a number of entries (30) in their tree   I can take them back to the following and I have another researcher interested in Samuel who we think came from North Yorkshire: 1824 Lancashire 1 Rochdale Providence Chapel High St Independent Rochdale  Compston Francis Samuel and Sarah Christened IGI 8 Dec 1824.

Do take a look at her new page and let me know if you have any further information about her or her husband.

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Charles Hartwell Compston Kendal and Lancashire

Flo Brookes wrote to me in March about her relatives.  Check them out at :
‘I am related to Charles Hartwell Compston, and thereby, his ancestors, Charles Robert Compston – Auctioneer in Lancaster but born in Kendal with his wife, Isabella Brookes, also from Kendal. Charles R’s father was John Compston of Kendal (a builder) and mother was Sarah Hartwell.  John Compston’s family all originate from this area in the records I have fund, but Sarah’s family came from Staffordshire – Fisherwick near Lichfield.

Edward, son of CRC, went to live in Canada and there are family there whom my mother used to keep in touch with. Helena, daughter of CRC, had a daughter Muriel who married a John Cairns and moved to Australia.’

Flo wrote again with a ‘photo of Charles Robert Compston with his wife Isabella, nee Brookes, with their children – Charles Hartwell, Helena Nary, Royden Martindale, William Sidney and Edward Douglas.  I believe Charles Robert died in 1899 but have not found the record of this.

Charles R was an Auctioneer and Valuer, Sheriff’s officer and Insurance agent, with a property in Market Street, Lancaster.  The business seems to have lasted well beyond the life of Charles, with Royden running it after Charles Hartwell became an Engineer.

John Compston, the father of Charles, was a builder and had an address in Highgate, Kendal, as a joiner, as did Samuel and Thomas Compston with an address of Captain French lane.’

As a result of Flo’s information I have been able to put together a new family tree.  Many thanks Flo especially for the lovely photos.


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Glenn R. Cumpston Obituary 1994 Greene County PA

I have a number of pages about CUMPSTONs in Greene County.  Does anyone recognise this family – if so please contact me.

A picture of Allegheny College in 1909; a digi...

A picture of Allegheny College in 1909; a digital image was taken in 2008, and uploaded by (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Native of Greene County, 79, of 675 Cullum Street, Meadville, who died Monday, December 19, 1994, in Meadville Medical Center. He was born July 18, 1915, in Greene County, a son of Albert and Anna Cumpston. Mr. Cumpston was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U. S. Army. He was employed in the maintenance department of Allegheny College until his retirement. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Gary (Christine) Terwilliger Jr. of Sandy Lake; two sons, Douglas Cumpston of Dayton, Ohio, and Noel Myers Cumpston of Wilmore, Ky.; a stepson, David Meyer of Conneault Lake; three sisters, Louise Morris o Washington, Peg Wilson of Waynesburg and Anna Mae Whitehill of Pittsburgh; five brothers, Earl Cumpston of Lynnwood, Wash., Paul Cumpston of Imperial, Charles Cumpston of Amit, La., Allan Cumpston of Pittsburgh, and Wayne Cumpston of Upland, Calif; seven grandchildren, a great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews. Deceased are a son, a daughter, a sister and brother. Services and interment were held in Mercer County. Newspaper obituary, date and source unknown (Greene County, PA)

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Frances W Cumpston Sacramento County, Elk Grove, California

Gail Lee (Cumpston) Brokaw also wrote to me about her family.  You can now see a page on William Henry junior and her mother Frances:  and a  page on William Henry Senior and his wife Sarah:

Frances is Gail’s mother, who was married to William Henry Cumpston, brother of Jessie Emma Cumpston, son of Ivah and Royal Frank Cumpston.

Many thanks Gail and I hope you enjoy the new web-pages for them.  Do send me photos to add if you have them.

Old Town of Elk Grove, California (2007)

Old Town of Elk Grove, California (2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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