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Messages - Westoe

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Occupation Interests / Re: Merchant Mariner help deciphering record
« on: Wednesday 28 November 18 01:25 GMT (UK)  »
Hello again, siptree,

In the image that you have posted, I cannot read the details. I'm pretty sure that I can explain the notations, but I want to see them clearly first. Though I'm on the road right now, I know that I have some printout pages from BT 112 in my "samples" book at home. If no one else has answered you before then, I'll post again next week after checking my printouts.


Occupation Interests / Re: Merchant Mariner help deciphering record
« on: Tuesday 27 November 18 03:49 GMT (UK)  »
Hello siptree,

Have you read through the pertinent TNA finding aids?


Canada / Re: Unfamiliar Destination
« on: Thursday 01 November 18 16:28 GMT (UK)  »
Please give some context for this last question as there are plenty of ONEIDAs in Canada, that name being one of the tribes of the Six Nations.


Northumberland / Re: sea trading from Blyth
« on: Wednesday 10 October 18 21:23 BST (UK)  »
Erm ... last post from me this go-round.

Tricia, was your John Knott born at Bridlington in 1830?

If yes, his masters' certificate number was 22,223 issued at Newcastle in 1863. Certificates were mandatory after 1850.

Ancestry has the "U.K. Masters and Mates" database. Have a look there both by name and certificate number, then be sure to use both the backward and forward scroll arrows to see all the pages in his file. It may include his "Record of Service" listing all his previous ships, dates aboard and ranks aboard. Sometimes it also includes letters of reference from previous masters and (very) occasionally a baptismal certifcate as proof of age.


Northumberland / Re: sea trading from Blyth
« on: Wednesday 10 October 18 20:44 BST (UK)  »
A bit more for you TriciaK,

MESSENGER's Commercial Code Signal was T. P. S. H.

That means that she flew those 4 letter flags in that order which allowed her to be visually identified even from a distance through a telescope. Just as the Official Number was a unique identifier of her hull, this was a unique visual identifier of her. If ever you find a painting of her, it should include that string of letter flags.

Here's a link to signal code flags:

Here is her code given in one of many, free online, volumes of The Mercantile Navy List:

However ... she was not totally wrecked in 1882. She simply left the Tyne (Keys' book deals only with Tyne-registered vessels) and was re-registered elsewhere. The 1930 Mercantile Navy List has her registered as a barge in Liverpool under her same Official Number.
Here's the link:

Her 1879 Crew Agreement (the year that Keys mentions the master's name as Knott) is at the Maritime History Archive at Memorial University in Newfoundland, CANADA. You can buy images from them tho' they are not cheap. It is a Type E2 agreement and this is what page 1 will look like:

It would be worth your while to spend a few hours noodling around this source:


Northumberland / Re: sea trading from Blyth
« on: Wednesday 10 October 18 15:07 BST (UK)  »
Hello again, TriciaK,

I've found a "possible-probable" for you on page 516 of Richard Keys' massive reference book "Dictionary of Tyne Sailing Ships". Leastways, it's a Captain Knott on a MESSENGER and it gives you a lot of information:
 - build date and place and builder's name
 - rigging (as a snow, which term you can Google) and burthen (tonnage)
 - dimensions
 - Official Number (O/N) which was unique to this vessel and necessary to know to trace her history

EDIT: For example, if you Google for "MESSENGER 43641 Blyth" (without those quotation marks) you'll get a hit for Tyne and Wear Archives who have a crew list for her from 6 June 1872 to 15 November 1872. IF your man was aboard her then, you'll see his signature and possibly more of his own handwriting. You'll also glean a lot of information about voyage conditions.

 - some owners
 - a reference date (albeit with a typo - should be 1879, not 1979) for a voyage under Captain Knott.

2nd EDIT: Ooops. I've just reread Phodgetts' post and see that I have repeated some of his information.

That last gives you a starting point for checking for references in the newspapers at FindMyPast or British Newspaper Archive. Though both are subscription sites, at BNA you can search for free and get the thumbnails which, altho' full of OCR gobbledy-gook, will be clear enow to let you see if it is one you want to pay for.

The usual format in the shipping news columns is "vessel name COMMA master's surname" i.e. "MESSENGER, Knott" or "BLYTH, Knott" with those quotation marks around it.

Example: Lloyd's List weekly newspaper for 29 November 1870 shows BLYTH with Knott as master arriving somewhere on 23rd November.

IF, you further discover that you had mariner ancestors named James Knott or Matthew Knott, come back to me and I will look again.


Northumberland / Re: sea trading from Blyth
« on: Monday 08 October 18 03:42 BST (UK)  »
Hello TriciaK,

Who were your ancestor-masters of the BLYTH and the MESSENGER and during what time periods?

Details of 100's of 1,000's of Baltic cargoes are available free online but only by date, masters' names and home port. Ship names are not given.

Here is the link:

The records are in Danish but not difficult to negotiate and you can use Google Translate.


Hello Lynda,

Please identify your source for this image.

WHICH? William Baird on this list is your person of interest? The numbers refer to his age at the time the record was made. The place names are reported places of birth.

The next columns give rank aboard e.g. cook, as (=able seaman), s (=seaman) etc. plus identifying the specific vessel by home port number and vessel rotation number.

Port Numbers are easy to interpret. There is a key to them here:

Rotation Numbers are NOT EASY. To interpret them you need access to the Customs House Registers for that particular port for that particular year so best you forget about them.


Occupation Interests / Re: Mariner - British Oak - Garston
« on: Thursday 26 July 18 15:25 BST (UK)  »

Erm ... you are not giving much information to "help the helpers".

There were several vessels named BRITISH OAK. What was her Official Number? Was she sail or steam? To which port was she registered? That should all be on the census. But I am not going to hunt up that basic information for you. You should be giving that to us so we can check the less available sources for you.

Or was she the unregistered collier totally lost off Canada Dock in the River Mersey, 7 September 1892, owned by W. Newall OF Garston (Lancs.?)

Or is "Garston" the surname of your mariner of interest? If yes, was he James born Irvine ~1824 or William E. born Chester ~1879 or someone else?


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