Monday 27 May 2013

Connecting Thomas Elstob, Master Mariner with the rest of the family

I have been aware for a while of a Thomas Elstob, Master Mariner, in the Sunderland census returns, but had been unable until now to positively connect him to my Elstob family.  Last night, thanks to a DVD I bought at the Yesterday Belongs to You event I attended in Durham last week I found proof which links him to the family.

Elstob is a popular middle name in my Hutton line and originates when Ann Elstob (1768-1827 and previously married to George Donkin) marries Robert Hutton, the ropemaker, in 1797.

Ann was one of four siblings, but her three brothers, Thomas, John and Reuben were all dead by 1811, leaving a number of grandchildren who were mentioned in the 1816 will of John Elstob, Common Brewer, their father, which I had obtained from Durham University's Probate Records collection.

A handwritten section of a will naming numerous grandchildren, transcript below in body.
A snip from the will of John Elsbob, Common Brewer, 1816 (from North East Inheritance)
The section of John Elstob's will reproduced above reads:

"In trust for my grandson Thomas Elstob the only child of my late son Thomas Elstob his executors administrators and assigns.  And as to one other equal fourth part of the same residue or overplus in trust for my grandchildren Thomas Wilson Elstob, Ann Elstob, Catharine Elstob and William Hodson Elstob the children of my late son John Elstob in equal shares and proportions to take the same as tenants in common and not as joint tenants their respective executors administrators and assigns.  And as to one other equal fourth part of the same residue or overplus money In trust for my grandchildren William Thompson Elstob and Isabella Elstob the children of my late son Reuben Elstob in equal shares ..."

As you can see the will mentions Thomas Elstob, the son of Thomas Elstob and I had long suspected that the Master Mariner I had found on the census returns was this man, but I had no proof.

Last night, investigating the DVD "Where did my ancestors live? Sunderland" that I had bought last week, for the first time (I've been washing and gardening since we got back on Friday) I found an entry in a trade directory section for 1846.

Trade directory entry listing Jane Elstob, Confectioner, 9 High Street, Thomas Elstob, Master Mariner, 13 Sunderland Street and William Hodgson Elstob, ship owner also 13 Sunderland Street.
1846 Trade Directory Elstob entries in Sunderland (Sunderland Antiquarian Society disk)
Thomas Elstob is shown living at 13 Sunderland Street, Bishopwearmouth and at the same address is William Hodgson Elstob.  This is a very distinctive name and if you check back in the will snip you will see that he is one of John Elstob's grandsons (although it is spelt Hodson here).  I mentioned William Hodgson Elsbob in a post just a couple of weeks ago, the brother of Catherine Elstob (also mentioned in the will above, who marries Robert Elstob Hutton her cousin); he commits suicide in Hartlepool in 1860.

1851 census snip showing Thomas Elstob, his wife Ann and daughter Catherine
1851 census for 13 Sunderland Street, Bishopwearmouth (from Ancestry)
Thomas Elstob, Master Mariner, is living at 13 Sunderland Street in the 1851 census return, with his wife Ann and daughter Catherine.  They have one young female servant.
Large scale map snip showing Sunderland Street, East Cross Street and William Street in 1857.
1857 map snip showing Sunderland Street (from Sunderland Antiquarian Society Maps)
This map snip from 1857 shows Sunderland Street on the right and some nearby streets including East Cross Street, to the west of Sunderland Street, which is the address at which Thomas can be found in earlier trade directories.  The houses are quite large and that coupled with the servant found in the census return suggests a comfortable lifestyle.
Thomas Elstob at East Cross Street, Ship's Master and Ship Owner
1827 Pigot's Directory showing Thomas Elstob in the Ship's Masters Category,
 the asterisk indicates he is a Ship Owner too (from Sunderland Antiquarian Society disk)
Searching my family tree in Family Historian using one of the new plug in facilities I found that Sunderland Street was mentioned as the address from which Ann Hutton (nee Elstob) Thomas's aunt, was buried in 1827 although no house number is mentioned.  Does this hint that the orphaned Thomas Elstob and William Hodgson Elstob lived with the Huttons after their parents' deaths?  However I cannot find the Thomas Elstob family or William Hodgson Elstob in the 1841 census in Sunderland Street or anywhere else for that matter!

Now knowing that this Thomas is a member of my family I back tracked to look up his Master Mariner records on Ancestry and Merchant Seaman's Records on Find My Past.  He has entries in both record sets. 

Thomas Elstob's claim for a Master's certifcate of service showing service on the Frederick, May, Sarah and Wm Lees all from Sunderland between 1821 and 1850, the date of the document.
Thomas Elstob's Claim for a Master's Certificate of Service (from Ancestry)
Thomas claims for a Master's Certificate of Service in 1850 listing service from 1821 to the present on four different ships from Sunderland.  He serves on the Frederick from 1821 to 1822 as Mate and returns as the ship's master in 1823.  He has a long stretch on the Sarah from 1825 to 1838 and then by 1838 he has settled on the William Lees as Master.  This is the ship I mentioned as owned by William Hodgson Elstob and Robert Elstob Hutton in my previous post.  All in the family then!

Thomas's birth place and date of birth is noted at the top of this claim form - Sunderland 12th Janry 1801.  I notice that on the certificate he is issued, which is also available on Ancestry this has been copied across as 12th June 1801.  The entry I have for his baptism on Family Search states that he was born on 7th January 1800, son of Thomas Elstob and Eleanor Reay and this is supported by the image from the Durham Bishop's Transcripts also on Family Search.

Baptism Entry 28: Thomas Elstob [born] 7th Jan 1800 [bap] 8th Apr 1800 1st Son of Thomas Elstob native of this parish [Sunderland] by his wife Eleanor Reay native of this parish.
1800 baptism entry for Thomas Elstob (from Family Search)
The entry reads: "Thomas Elstob [born] 7th Jan 1800 [bap] 8th Apr 1800 1st Son of Thomas Elstob native of this parish [Sunderland] by his wife Eleanor Reay native of this parish."

Either the transcription is wrong (and BT's are not always accurate) or Thomas didn't know his birthday! 

Newspapers are another fruitful source now we have more clues about Thomas.
Newcastle Journal 21 September 1833 (from Find My Past - Newspapers)
Here we have a snip from the Newcastle Journal in 1833 relating how the brig Sarah, captain by the name of Elstob, barely escaped from a storm on her journey from Sunderland to Schiedam in Holland.

Thomas, now a widower, and Catherine appear in the 1861 census still at 13 Sunderland Street.  He is a 61 year old Dock Gate Man and Catherine is a teacher.  In an 1865 directory on the disk I bought, Catherine is listed at the same address, running a Seminary. 

I'm sure I remember a mention of a Captain Elstob working as a Dock Gate Man in something I've read ... but I can't lay my hands on the source today.  It does sound like a good land based job for a retired ship's captain.

By 1871 Thomas is alone but for a lodging teacher (a friend of Catherine's maybe?), Catherine herself having died in 1866.  He is still working as a Dock Gate Man and he is 70 years old.

Thomas dies in 1872 and is buried from Sunderland Street in Sunderland Cemetery. His branch of the Elstob line dies with him.

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