I was told my birth father is from the Seattle WA area. He was adopted and is of American Indian descent. I know his name but am not publishing it here as he is less than 100 years old.

In 1967 he was in the Merchant Marine, and a letter I found said something like he couldn't wait to see my mom when his ship comes into Frisco. I think he was a little older than my mom and she was born in 1950. How can I search the merchant marine records; and what other avenues should I explore?

  • 2
    Hi, Heidi, I've removed your father's name as it is against our rules to the name of a living (or possibly living) person: see genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic
    – user6485
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 15:15
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    @sean007 The purpose of the site is to answer questions -- to share research tips and strategies. It's not a query board where people can gain rep simply by doing lookups.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 19:25
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    @sean007 You don't need a name to identify methods and record sources that might help the OP AND OTHERS
    – user6485
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 19:46
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    @sean007 Please familiarize yourself with the privacy policy, which can be found here. genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic Someone who has already done research in this topic should be able to write an answer without having the name of the questioner's research subject.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 19:50
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    Hi, Heidi -- do you have the name of the ship he served on?
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


It appears that you can obtain Merchant Marine records from the Coast Guard (see Mariner Record Requests and Request Information). Though it sounds like you may not have enough information to be able to complete the request.

Their website says:

Merchant Mariners, or their next-of-kin, may obtain copies of their
records, but the National Maritime Center (NMC) may not disclose an
individual’s personal record without:

  • Written and/or notarized consent of the mariner,
  • Power of Attorney, or
  • by providing a certified copy of a Death Certificate.


You must include the required information in writing in order for us to process your request:

  • Nature of the request,
  • Requester and mariner’s full name,
  • Reference or social security number,
  • Mariner’s date of birth,
  • Contact information address and phone number.

Without knowing what you're trying to do, I can't suggest any other avenues to explore.

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