Ancestry.com. Register of Seamen's Protection Certificates from the Providence, Rhode Island Customs District, 1796-1870 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data: Rhode Island Historical Society. Register of Seamen's Protection Certificates from the Providence, Rhode Island Customs District, 1796-1870. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.
This book, which is based on a typescript of a handwritten card index created from registers of Seaman's Protection Certificates for the port of Providence, Rhode Island, lists nearly 10,000 seamen. The arrangement of the data is alphabetical by the seaman's surname and indicates his date of certification, age, complexion, city and state of birth, and the source of the entry. Since seamen were unlikely to own land and often were missed at census time, genealogists will appreciate that the SPC application may be the only surviving record for many 19th-century persons who served in the merchant marine.