Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Just when I thought there was nothing more to be found on my great-grandfather, Percy Henry Daniels, I made the biggest find yet!
Percy was a sailor and several ship manifests attest to his various positions from 3rd mate to Captain of commercial ships traveling around the world. Each record provides little clues about Percy's life. For instance, he had an address at South Street Seaport in New York City in 1907 and in New Orleans in 1920. These appear to be the places he stayed in between voyages. Soon after, he settled in Cortland County, New York, where he died in 1940. His daughter, Ethel, married Robert Leonard.
One of the ship manifests indicates his "Seaman's ID" was "12857". Several years ago I tried to figure out what this meant, to no avail. Was he in the Navy, which had been rumored among the family?
Recently, I decided to try Google again to see what I could find. My search brought me to Ancestry.com, which I use regularly, yet did not realize they have copies of the Applications for Seaman's Protection Certificates from 1916-1940. I entered his name and was thrilled to see the first two results.
As you can see, this application was filed in New Orleans, Louisiana, in March of 1918. Percy was 37, stood 5' 10" tall, and had brown eyes, black hair, and fair complexion. On his left fore arm he had a tattoo of an eagle and on his right fore arm he had a tattoo of a cross and a heart.
The second application was filed in 1919 and his address was "N.Y.C". His photo and left thumb print were included.
Considering that prior to these finds, the only photo the family had to remember Percy was a poor copy of one of him in his latter years, these additions to our family album are most treasured.
See the Daniels page for more about Percy's family.