Author Topic: bargemen boaters boatmen watermen Wainfleet  (Read 130 times)

Offline searchr

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bargemen boaters boatmen watermen Wainfleet
« on: Tuesday 16 April 19 23:01 BST (UK) »
Hi,
My ancestor was variously called a bargeman, boater, boatman or waterman in Wainfleet All Saints from 1840 to 1846. By 1847 he was called a labourer. He was born in Wainfleet All Saints possibly somewhere between 1806 & 1811 so he probably started before that (Thomas Markwell son of Bartholomew Markwell, tailor, & Sarah Jeffreys) (see e.g. http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,320939.0.html ). His older siblings had been born in Horncastle. I'm wondering if he changed occupations because of the railways and some kind of economic pressure that meant water people from then on tended to live on their boats.
From what I've been reading, I can't work out on which waterways he would have operated, what he would have carried and what his boat would have been like. I can't even tell if it would have been his or not. Wainfleet was, well before that from what I can gather, an important port known as Wainfleet Haven. However it wasn't then & most of what I can find out seems to talk about other waterways e.g. River Witham or Witham Drainage Channels. Canal junction talked about barges like Yorkshire Keels being used on River Witham, but I don't think that would be applicable to Wainfleet. I can't work out what actually connected to Wainfleet. I'm trying to do this by internet as I'm in Australia. Would his boat have had decorations? How would it have been powered? Would there have been a horse involved? Was there a difference between bargemen, boaters, boatmen and watermen? Could he then have worked for someone else as a labourer?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Offline tonepad

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Re: bargemen boaters boatmen watermen Wainfleet
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 17 April 19 18:43 BST (UK) »
According to the link below commercial use of the river in Wainfleet by boats ceased in the 1920s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Lymn



Tony
Aucock/Aukett~Kent/Sussex, Broadway~Oxfordshire, Danks~Warwickshire, Fenn~Kent/Norfolk, Goatham~Kent, Hunt~Kent, Parker~Middlesex/Gloucestershire, Sellers~Kent/Yorkshire, Sladden~Kent, Wright~Kent/Essex

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Offline searchr

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Re: bargemen boaters boatmen watermen Wainfleet
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 18 April 19 03:58 BST (UK) »
Thanks. I was getting confused and still am a bit. That same site says that in the mediaeval period Wainfleet, on the Lymn (& the Steeping), was a thriving port and used to extract salt from seawater, and that the town was closer to the sea then. It silted up though and the port died and Boston took over. The part I missed and you saw was that even though the port died the channel known as Wainfleet Haven kept going for shipping until the 1920s. It also says that after the port died larger ships unloaded their cargo into river barges close to Gibraltar Point. Maybe that's what he did! It talks about the 1920s here too: http://www.ports.org.uk/port.asp?id=992

I couldn't see the connection from Wainfleet to most of the inland waterways on various canal sites & maps like https://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/transport/onlineatlas/waterways.html and throughout https://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/transport/onlineatlas/waterways.pdf e.g. map 8 on p. 27/ 39. where it's pretty tricky to guess where Wainfleet is, for me who's never been in the area, or the country.

That helps make it a bit clearer for me. He probably didn't work on canals but on the Lymn. Does anyone know what the boats that did that would be like? I'd still love to know about cargoes and power and decorations. There probably weren't any decorations, or horses involved. Does Wainfleet get counted as in the Wolds or the Fens, or neither?

Thanks again.