We have recently unearthed my great-grandfather's "Continuous Certificate of Discharge" -- a little book with a Board of Trade emblem and his record number stamped on it. Inside -- along with many other rules and details -- it says to return to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, Carlisle Place, Westminster, London, SW.
My great-grandfather, Carl Emil Hjelte, was Swedish: born there and lived there until he immigrated to America in 1905. Or so we thought...
This book records 3 journeys he made on 3 different ships during the 1904-1905 time frame: to Cape Hatteras, to the Black Sea, and to Rio (and the USA, on this trip). The dates and places of discharge are all centered around Cardiff or Barry. There are a few more details (ship names, captains' names, Carl Emil's jobs, etc.).
Can anyone tell me what this is? How would he have hooked up to a UK Merchant Marine while living in Stockholm? What was being in the Merchant Marine all about? Is this how he could've earned his passage to America? And is there anywhere that I can do further research about Carl Emil Hjelte, specifically, and his time in the Merchant Marine?
This is a big surprise to the family! I am very excited to learn more about what it all means. I am grateful for any information or suggestions for further investigation.