Maritime family archives

Two of the most notable collections of maritime family papers relate to Liverpool's involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. The Cropper and Earle families represent the two opposing sides of the slavery issue, the Croppers worked for its abolition, and the Earle family actively participating in the trade during the mid 18th century. Since few records of Liverpool ship-owning and mercantile partnerships survive for the 18th century, the Earle collection is of great importance. Both collections are notable for their bulk of correspondence and other papers relating to their family, business and social affairs, and both contain family estate deeds and papers dating from the 17th through to the 19th centuries.

Another collection which contains a large amount of genealogical and family material is the Crosbie-Oates archive, an outstanding family and maritime collection relating to early 19th century trade in palm oil with West Africa, life in Ireland, privateering and emigration to America. The largest collection of family papers held in the Archives department is that relating to the Danson family which comprises more than 216 boxes and volumes. The Danson family archive is an outstanding record of a professional middle-class dynasty, which combined the practice of law and marine insurance with wide public interests in both Liverpool and national affairs.

See our online information sheets for further information on the collections described above.