Author Topic: Tracing a ship's voyages  (Read 523 times)

Offline stewpot72

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Tracing a ship's voyages
« on: Friday 10 September 21 15:31 BST (UK) »
I am trying to verify whether or not my GGGrandfather was on the ship Royal Charter when it sank in 1859. I have contacted National Archives about crew lists (long story) but in the meantime wondered if it is possible to trace the dates when ships left port. I know the ship left Melbourne in August 1859 but I would like to find the embarkation date when it left Liverpool beforehand. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #1 on: Friday 10 September 21 15:56 BST (UK) »
I researched a doctor who had been surgeon on the Royal Charter on previous voyages and testified for the inquiry. Here are a few extracts-
Royal Charter – built at Sandycroft ironworks on the River Dee, in Flintshire, and was launched in 1855.  The firm which had ordered her, Charles Moore & Co., of Liverpool, sold her while she was still under construction to another Liverpool shipping business, Gibbs, Bright & co.
"Having been surgeon of the unfortunate vessel during four voyages from Liverpool to Australia and back, I feel myself called upon to pen? a few reminiscences of the ill-fated ship and her late officers who are now no more."
The ship had been sailing for Liverpool from Melbourne, Australia, with a cargo of gold and over 400 passengers on-board when she was caught in a great storm and blown onto the rocks. The Royal Charter was an iron hulled hybrid steam ship over 300ft long.

Lots in British & Australian newspapers of the time. Like this article-
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/65729246?searchTerm=%22Royal%20Charter%22
"The steamship Royal Charter arrived in Hobson's Bay last evening, after a passage of sixty-four days from Liverpool."
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline Drosybont

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #2 on: Friday 10 September 21 16:02 BST (UK) »
Putting together listings in English and Australian newspapers, it looks as though the Royal Charter sailed from Liverpool on 21 May 1859 and arrived at Port Phillip Heads (near Melbourne) on 22 July 1859. 

Drosybont
Hotham, Guilliatt, Brown, Winter, Buck, Webster, Mortimore
Richards, Meredith, Gower, Davies, Todd, Westmacott, Hill
Mid C19 Cardiff and Haverfordwest, the Marychurch family.


Offline Ray T

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #3 on: Friday 10 September 21 17:52 BST (UK) »
The traditional way of doing it is by reference to Lloyd’s List - I remember following my grandfathers travels some years ago.

If things are the same now as then, you’ll first need to find a convenient archive which holds copies of it and you might also need to refer to ships by their official number rather than name.

Offline stewpot72

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #4 on: Friday 10 September 21 18:57 BST (UK) »
Many thanks for the guidance.
Drosybont, May 21st looks like the right date as it fits with the ship sinking in October on the return from Australia. Could you tell me which newspaper you found this in? I have a subscription to British Newspapers online and I might be able to look up the details.

Offline stewpot72

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #5 on: Friday 10 September 21 19:10 BST (UK) »
Eureka! Many thanks again. I found a record of the ship sailing from Liverpool in the Daily Post on May 21st

Offline spendlove

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #6 on: Friday 10 September 21 21:07 BST (UK) »
Hi,

From replies to your previous posts, you know that a Patrick Doyle died on the Royal Charter in 1859.

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=851470.0

He had signed up 16.5.1859 is recorded as having died on the Royal Charter £12.9s 6d was paid out (presumable to his wife) on the 11th November 1859.

The Royal Charter left Liverpool 21.5.1859.

So do you think this is not the correct Patrick Doyle, or are you trying to discover what other ships he may have worked on?

Spendlove

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Spendlove, Strutt in London & Middlesex.

Offline stewpot72

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 11 September 21 07:56 BST (UK) »
I am looking for anything that would help confirm that it is my relative who was on the ship. Everything points to it being him, including the date he sailed and the birth date of his youngest son (born November 1859), but it's quite a common name so any supporting info would be really useful.
Drosybont, Going back to the sailing dates, how did you find them? I had looked at the British Newspapers online but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Offline Drosybont

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Re: Tracing a ship's voyages
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 11 September 21 10:56 BST (UK) »
I worked back through the dates, using Royal Charter as the search term, "Royal Charter" on Trove.  You said the Royal Charter left Melbourne in August 1859, so I looked in newspapers on Trove for its arrival there.  Once I had that I focused the UK search around the beginning of April and the last couple of weeks of May.  I looked specifically in Liverpool papers, assuming those were most likely to give accurate details about the sailing.  To make it a bit easier by reducing the number of results I selected 'Articles'.   

Drosybont
Hotham, Guilliatt, Brown, Winter, Buck, Webster, Mortimore
Richards, Meredith, Gower, Davies, Todd, Westmacott, Hill
Mid C19 Cardiff and Haverfordwest, the Marychurch family.