Charles W. Morgan Crew Lists


Name Charles W. Morgan
Rig Ship
Tonage 351
Built 1841
Builder Hillman Brothers Shipyard
State Massachusetts
Town New Bedford
ID s352

The names of crew and officers who sailed aboard the Charles W. Morgan have been compiled from customs documents kept by the National Archives; Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation. These documents include outgoing Crewlists, discharge certificates, crewlist certifications, and consular documents. Copies of these reside at the G. W. Blunt White Library. Unfortunately not all the records of these voyages have been preserved. Voyages 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 37 for the years 1901-1906 and 1920 and 1921 are missing. Crew information for the ‘missing’ voyages was supplied from John Leavitt’s book, “The Charles W. Morgan”.

Transcription notes

The process of transcribing historical documents has often been refered to an art as much as a science. Documents were kept by hand and handwriting then, as now, is often hard to read. In addition, spelling is not consistant. Often individuals had no idea how their own names were spelled and document keepers guessed. In addition the spelling of names has changed over time and what appears incorrect now would have been correct at the time the documents were official. Foreign names added additional complexities.

All possible attempts were made in the process of transcribing these crewlists to record the correct name. Guesses, however have been made. When available, additional documents were consulted including the crew lists transcribed by the New Bedford Public Library and those recorded in John Leavitt’s book, “The Charles W. Morgan”.


1. Customs Records, National Archives, Waltham, MA
2. Leavitt, John F., The Charles W. Morgan, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. 2003


The Charles W. Morgan completed 37 whaling voyages between 1841 and 1921.

To view the crew list for a single voyage, tap or click on that voyage in the Voyage list. The Crew list will then be filtered to show just that voyage.

Use the “Clear Selection button to return to viewing all crew lists.

Voyage 3
Destination Pacific Ocean
Departure 6/4/1849
Return 5/27/1853
Port New Bedford
ID v365


Over 1600 men lived and sailed aboard the Morgan on her whaling voyages.

To search for a name, use the “Search” box at the top right of the Crew list.

For easy browsing, tap or click on any column heading to sort by that column. Shift-click to add a secondary sort column.

Last Griffin
First William
Position 2nd Mate
Birthplace Waterloo, NY
Residence New Bedford
Country ~
Age 29
Complexion Light
Note Deserted at Tahiti
ID c5055
Voyage Destination Departure Return Port ID Vessel Source
Crew Last First Middle Voyage Position Birthplace Residence Country Age Complexion Destination Departure Return Vessel Note Voyage Vessel Hair Feet Inches Eyes Source
Crew Last First Middle Voyage Position Birthplace Residence Country Age Complexion Destination Departure Return Vessel Note Voyage Vessel Hair Feet Inches Eyes Source

Synopsis of the Voyages of the Charles W. Morgan

Notes on Position entries

  • Boatheader: The man who steers the boat in going on a whale, and afterwards kills it. Generally a mate, but sometimes an experience whaleman with no ship duties save masthead and cutting-stage, whose only title is boat-header.
  • Boatsteerer: Harponeer. The man who pulls the harpoon oar, darts the iron into the whale, and then steers while the mate or boat-hander lances him.
  • Greenhand: Inexperienced man on his first whaling voyage.
  • Preventer Boatsteerer: A substitute boatsteerer. The foremast hand who is next in line for promotion. He pulls bow oar.
  • Shipkeeper: Usually the cooper, who acts as sailing master while the boats are away.