Author Topic: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872  (Read 1387 times)

Offline CheshireSteve

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 01 November 17 16:57 GMT (UK) »
There was a George Roberts auctioning his entire house contents and then his house on March 20th 1873. The Barque Windermere arrived from Liverpool in July, so maybe he came back on that, though I have been unable to find a sailing date or destination. The list of the house contents is fascinating, and you also see the vital link the barques provided, and while the papers could advertise what was expected they didn't know with any certainty when the barque would arrive. Once it arrived the adverts changed to 'just arrived' for example ex-Windermere July 1873 :

100 tons Liverpool salt
25 Barrells India Pale Ale (McEwans)
Cases India Pale Ale (ditto)
Cases XXX stout (ditto)
10 Quarter Casks Martells fine brandy
10 Quarter Casks Henessey fine brandy
80 Cases of Hennesey one, two and three star brandy
118 cases of Finest Scotch Whisky
etc etc for the drink, it even included Australian wine

also sewing machines, small steam engine, silk handkerchiefs, blotting paper and stationery, blacksmiths coal, cloth of all descriptions, saddles, spurs, horse blankets, galvanised iron, water filters .. it is incredible to see the details of this British outpost on the other side of the world - I had no idea we even had a footprint there.

The only other mention I have found of George Roberts is that he played a key role in rescuing the Steamer Kilauea, which was the steamer that did the inter-island service. He was presented a gold chronometer watch by the government for "services rendered to the steamer Kilauea on the evening of April 12th, 1871." and at the time he was Chief Engineer of the steamer. Of course there may have been another George Roberts, but as an engineer it wouldn't be a big jump to manage a steamship engine.

Steve

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Online ShaunJ

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 01 November 17 18:06 GMT (UK) »
From the PCA, 4 January 1873:
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Offline CheshireSteve

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 02 November 17 07:59 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for posting that. Another bit of the jigsaw.

I may be mistaken in that his trade of engineer/fitter in the beer trade appears in census entries after he returned home, before then he might have been an engine fitter. Although his father was a publican it could be that he went out as an engineer direct to the steamship.

I  notice that the Kilauea was mentioned in Mark Twain's notebooks - it was built in Boston and transferred to the "Sandwich Islands" in 1860 to provide the inter-island ferry service. A combination of mechanical failures, accidents, and the financial difficulties of its various owners made for an intermittent service. It was incapacitated for a major part of Mark Twain's visit because in Jan 1866 it had run aground on a reef and didn't go back into service until 4th June after salvage, repair and sale. It did carry Mark Twain back to Honolulu on 16th June at the end of his tour of the islands.

It must have been quite a shock for George Roberts to come home to Manchester (and for his children who had been born in Hawaii), but I have just realised his father, Elias Roberts, died in Q2 1873. That could explain why he sold up and returned home.

I am still surprised to find that we had a British community in Hawaii operating just the same as in other colonies around the world, with regular large sailing vessels transferring good and passengers from Liverpool. I am now wondering whether other members of the Roberts family came out to join him there for a holiday or for their health. George's uncle Noah Roberts b1817, a grocer, and his wife Alice have also proved elusive at the time of the 1871 census. I now know that they didn't go out with him, but maybe they went out later. Still amazed you could go to Liverpool and buy a ticket to Hawaii in the 1860s on what was effectively a regular service to the other side of the world.

Steve

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 02 November 17 08:31 GMT (UK) »
Elias was a fairly wealthy man by the standards of the time. I see that he was a proprietor of houses in the 1851 census.
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Offline CheshireSteve

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #13 on: Thursday 02 November 17 09:12 GMT (UK) »
Yes, he ran the Wellington Hotel, 202 Stretford Rd, Hulme - maybe he had other financial interests. 1871 census he was in Sale, Cheshire.

Sadly I am descended from his brother Noah, the grocer !

I have just found the entry for the arrival of the Mercia in Honolulu on 13 Feb 1865. The journey from Liverpool took 147 days ! One heck of a journey for a young family. I still don't know which way round the world the ship went, but after Hawaii its next destination was Hong Kong.

Steve

Offline CheshireSteve

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 02 November 17 09:21 GMT (UK) »
Elias was a fairly wealthy man by the standards of the time. I see that he was a proprietor of houses in the 1851 census.

Just realised that this means his wife Ann was still around, I have rather a gap in my records for her and her other sons John b1841 and Elias b1842. Maybe they had a family home in Cheshire and I have missed them that way. Ann was 10 years older than Elias according to the 1851 census.

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #15 on: Thursday 02 November 17 10:33 GMT (UK) »
I wondered if this was Ann's death in Beaumaris in 1874 ("late of Sale").

There are newspaper mentions of George Roberts of the Hermitage, Beaumaris:

Owner of the steam yacht Wyvern, flagship at the Menai Bridge Regatta in August 1876
http://newspapers.library.wales/view/4514952/4514959/68/menai%20regatta (column 1)

Moving residence and auctioning house contents in May 1877 http://newspapers.library.wales/view/4515303/4515311/70/  (final column)
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Offline CheshireSteve

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #16 on: Thursday 02 November 17 11:55 GMT (UK) »
I don't know how the devil you spotted those, but the combination of a widow Ann Roberts from Sale, and George auctioning off the house, plus a steam yacht too - which would obviously be very attractive to a man who was chief engineer on a steamer in Hawaii and returned home sometime late in 1873 after his father had died leaving his mother a large inheritance. If its not my relative then its a lot of coincidences.

The steam yacht Wyvern must have been the one built in 1869 by Thomas Brassey of Birkenhead. I'll have to try and find some history of her as he may well have kept her.

Sounds like there certainly was a few bob in that part of the family.

Is there anything you can tell me about the address he was at in later censuses. That was 159 Ashton New Rd, Manchester. When I put it in Google maps I got a chip shop and the Manchester City football stadium. He variously described himself as a Beerhouse Keeper (1881), engineer (1884), fitter and beer retailer (1891), publican (1895), beer retailer (1901) all at the same address. If he was a publican then you think the address would be a pub - but maybe he had a works too.

Thanks, Steve

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Manchester to Hawaii c1865 returning to Manchester c1872
« Reply #17 on: Thursday 02 November 17 12:20 GMT (UK) »
Quote
Is there anything you can tell me about the address he was at in later censuses. That was 159 Ashton New Rd, Manchester.

I checked a few directories and he is listed simply as "beer retailer".

http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16445coll4
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk