Author Topic: Frustration re: Merchant Navy  (Read 6400 times)

Offline Candolim_Imp

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Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« on: Thursday 07 April 05 21:31 BST (UK) »
My partner's family has 2, maybe 3, different merchant seamen who arrived in Liverpool between about 1870 & 1956... and I've reached a brick wall in my research.

Liverpool record office have advised me that they hold few records for the merchant navy, and it would require travel down south to obtain the records... which isn't really a viable option at this time (in terms of mobility and finances).

The most recent individual is the most sought after... my partner's father, Morris Small, who settled here before 1956 from Barbados. All we know is that HIS father was called Brandforde Small (or Branford/Brandford etc). Brandforde was also a Merchant Seaman, and apparently did the West Indies-American routes. We believe that the family were from St Michael's area of Barbados, and that Morris had a sister who ran a Rum shack on the beach.... as you can see, very little to go on!

We have no age or parents for Brandforde. I have read that the Barbadian authorities will issue certificates quite cheaply, but I find it hard to believe that they would run a Seach on Brandforde Small, birthdate, parents & birthplace unknown... even the spelling is vague.

The next most wanted Seaman is Henry Williams, married in Liverpool 1915, from Sierra Leone.... age, parents, exact birthplace unknown. Family anecdotes claim that he also had a connection to Liberia... possibly holding dual nationality.

The third West Indian sailor isn't positively identified, so no point in detailing him.

Does anyone have any useful advice about tracing these men, particularly any resources I can access from home or Liverpool libraries/museums etc?

We plan to visit Barbados next February, and desperately want to research the family as much as possible before we go, so that we can visit any places of family interest, and spend any research time on the information that can ONLY be accessed in person in Barbados, rather than waste time doing things we might achieve beforehand.
Hodge; Southport, Lancs
Pugh; Salop, Liverpool
Hulm; Bootle, Southport
Guildford; Liverpool
Clausen; Denmark, Liverpool
Yapp/Yopp; Salop
Marshall, Rimmer, Howard, Johnson, Jackson; Southport
Bury; Heref, Herts
Dady; Norfolk, Southport
Colebourne; Liverpool
Small; Barbados, Liverpool
Murray; West Indies, Liverpool
Williams; Africa, Liverpool
Jenner; Glos

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Offline sharren1837

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 07 April 05 22:06 BST (UK) »
hi Candolim Imp,

what i can tell you is that there are 2 HENRY WILLIAMS that married in 1915 @ Liverpool

AMJ 1915 Henry B Williams & Mary A Kelly L'pool 8b 47

JAS 1915 Henry Williams & Catherine Colebourne L'pool 8b 53

hope this proves to be of some help

Good luck Sharren   :-* :-*
BALDRIDGE: Yorks, BARNWELL: Warwicks & Yorks, CARASS: Yorks, DENT: Durham, Lewisham & Yorks, GIBSON: Pontefract & Yorks, SAWBRIDGE: Leicester & Yorks, WALTON: Yorks, WEBSTER: Yorks, YOUNG: Yorks.

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Offline sjsbc

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 07 April 05 23:20 BST (UK) »
Hi,

I'm not sure if you have found this website before but it has records from various ethnic groups that moved to the UK.

http://www.movinghere.org.uk/galleries/roots/default.htm

Hope you find something.  I was able to pick up on Jewish families in my tree by searching with surname only.

Sue
SCOTLAND: Scotland, Morrison, Bonnella, Third,
LINCOLNSHIRE: Bell, King, Emerson, Leesing, Canty, Cutting, Fox,
GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Antill, Onslow, Crook, Jenkins,
LANCASHIRE: Hall, Mayson, Dearden,
WILTSHIRE: Sloper, King, Willis, Stockwell,
ESSEX: Stone, Webb, Smith, Hawkins, Frye,
SOMERSET: Harrison, Jones,

Offline Candolim_Imp

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #3 on: Friday 08 April 05 09:38 BST (UK) »
Sharren,

Yes... he is the Henry who married Catherine Colebourn. I have that marriage and have viewed the original registers. The Colebourn's are a nightmare in themselves, but have managed to trace them at least back to 1891... and probably to the 1700's...  The problem is Henry Williams himself. He died many years ago, before my partner's birth, and very few people remember much about his life details... possibly he was one of these people who didn't talk about his life much.

Although he was my partner's grandfather, he was much older than one might expect, as my partner's mother was such a late child (born about 30 years after their marriage).

I do have a little on Henry... he was a fireman on the ships, and according to his marriage entry he was 23 in 1915. His father was John Williams, a carpenter.

There are some Williams details on IGI which could be this family, but I have no means of establishing proof at present.

Our reading up on Sierra Leone has explained early confusion about why a native African would have a name like Williams, but this is because of Sierra Leone being a place of repatriation for former slaves and their descendants, primarily from British colonies.... so Henry Williams family will also have been on the plantations.

I did find an interesting advert from an American newspaper in wanted ads for lost relatives, 1865-1867:

SAMUEL WILLIAMS of Nashville, TN - Looking for SYLVIA WILLIAMS, my mother, formerly belonged to JAMES MAXWELL of Augusta, Georgia. Before him, she was owned by DR. DeGARR. I formerly belonged to JAMES MAXWELL. My father is HENRY WILLIAMS, now in Liberia.

This would bear out the Liberia connection, and it's quite possible that our Henry Williams was named after his grandfather. I also found some Liberian census returns for the same period, and found a couple of possible Henry Williams'... but it's all conjecture.

I have checked out the Moving Here pages, and, although they contain some interesting information, they haven't led to any positive internet links to either family.
Hodge; Southport, Lancs
Pugh; Salop, Liverpool
Hulm; Bootle, Southport
Guildford; Liverpool
Clausen; Denmark, Liverpool
Yapp/Yopp; Salop
Marshall, Rimmer, Howard, Johnson, Jackson; Southport
Bury; Heref, Herts
Dady; Norfolk, Southport
Colebourne; Liverpool
Small; Barbados, Liverpool
Murray; West Indies, Liverpool
Williams; Africa, Liverpool
Jenner; Glos

Offline goggy

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 03 May 05 06:39 BST (UK) »
Candolin-Imp,not sure which records youve checked,was it Merchant Navy seamens records?
                        Just asking,Goggy

Offline liverpool annie

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 02 June 05 20:51 BST (UK) »

Imp

Apparently this site has some info you might find interesting

http://www.candoo.com/surnames/caribbean_k.txt

Annie
Cooper : Muels : Howarth : Every : Price : King

http://web.archive.org/web/20130407030702/http://www.freewebs.com/liverpoolannie

http://web.archive.org/web/20130407191115/http://manchestersoldiers.webs.com

http://web.archive.org/web/20130807102055/http://www.powv.webs.com/
Be who you are and say what you feel -  because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind ! Dr. Seuss

Erect no gravestone .... let the Rose every year bloom for his sake ! Rilke Sonnets to Orpheus, I

Offline Candolim_Imp

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #6 on: Friday 03 June 05 15:35 BST (UK) »
Hi

Goggy... sorry I didn't reply sooner... I haven't been able to find any way of accessing merchant seamen's records... they all seem to be held in Southern England, and mobility & finance restrictions make this inaccessible. Sadly, there are no records held in Liverpool, despite the fact that these men lived and worked from here.

I've found this area of research extremely frustrating, especially compared with the marvellous online resources for general genealogical research we have for England & Wales. I don't mind paying for online records, but I can't find any!

Liverpool Annie, many thanks for that link... I've contacted all those researching the same names, at the very least to see if anyone has a little more on the plantations the ancestors came from.

I can positively identify the 3rd West Indian ancestor... Charles Frederick, a west indian sailor born about 1840. He was the natural father of Catherine Lyon (illegitimate) who lived with her mother & stepfather, John Murray, in 1881... just a few doors down from Charles Frederick. John Murray was also a West Indian sailor about the same age as Charles Frederick.

Catherine Lyon married Robert Henry Colebourn, who are the parents of Catherine Colebourn who married Henry Williams of Sierra Leone. Catherine Lyon didn't name Charles on her first marriage record (she gave her grandfather, James Lyon, presumably to hide her illegitimacy)... but when she bigamously married Thomas King in 1914, she did name Charles as her father.

(Robert Colebourn had abandoned her and the kids because she was a drunk, when he returned some years later he found her married to Thomas, so he let things stand and moved in with his daughter)

Anyway, that's an aside...

Anyone know how I can get hold of these sailors' details without going to Kew or wherever they keep them?

Impy

Hodge; Southport, Lancs
Pugh; Salop, Liverpool
Hulm; Bootle, Southport
Guildford; Liverpool
Clausen; Denmark, Liverpool
Yapp/Yopp; Salop
Marshall, Rimmer, Howard, Johnson, Jackson; Southport
Bury; Heref, Herts
Dady; Norfolk, Southport
Colebourne; Liverpool
Small; Barbados, Liverpool
Murray; West Indies, Liverpool
Williams; Africa, Liverpool
Jenner; Glos

Offline liverpool annie

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #7 on: Friday 03 June 05 16:24 BST (UK) »

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=62599.new;topicseen#new

This is just a quickie -  the June challenge is going into Barbados - maybe you could give a few tips   :P

Maybe pick up a few tips... ::)

Annie

PS Found this too - don't know if this is what you want.. :P

http://www.gwpda.org/naval/sdata001.htm
Cooper : Muels : Howarth : Every : Price : King

http://web.archive.org/web/20130407030702/http://www.freewebs.com/liverpoolannie

http://web.archive.org/web/20130407191115/http://manchestersoldiers.webs.com

http://web.archive.org/web/20130807102055/http://www.powv.webs.com/
Be who you are and say what you feel -  because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind ! Dr. Seuss

Erect no gravestone .... let the Rose every year bloom for his sake ! Rilke Sonnets to Orpheus, I

Offline carol8353

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Re: Frustration re: Merchant Navy
« Reply #8 on: Friday 03 June 05 23:17 BST (UK) »
Hello Impy

Do you know that you can hire a researcher to look stuff up at Kew for you?
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/research/paid_research.htm?source=ddmenu_research8

A friend of mine paid 40(cheaper than a trip down plus overnight stay ;D)to an experienced researcher.For that, this chap found all my pals' grandfathers RMLI records and copied and posted them to him.

They also do look ups themselves (at a price) but of course they know where to look and have it done in a fraction of the time it would take us mere mortals  ::)

Just a few suggestions there.....good luck.

Carol
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk