Monday, 16 September 2013

Maritime Monday - The Sunderland Hutton Family - a Seafaring Dynasty

I haven't visited my Sunderland Hutton Mariner ancestors for a while, but today while trying to work out how Pinterest works (it won't pin a page where it can't find an image) I 'followed' Geneablogger's Maritime Monday board.  I think it might be fairly new, as there are only twelve posts pinned to it as of today, so I thought I might help out!

Back in January I posted an edited family tree snip that showed the sailors in my Sunderland Hutton family, all descendants of Robert Hutton (1772-1840) the ropemaker and my 4x great grandfather, and his wife Ann (maiden name Elstob).  He had a total of his seventeen grandsons, two die in infancy and of the eight sailor grandsons shown on the diagram below, five die at sea.  Since posting this diagram I have found out more about some of the men featured.
The ancestors highlighted in blue became sailors

I've written about Robert Elstob Hutton (1804-1858), Robert the ropemaker's eldest son, he moved to Hartlepool and after twenty years at sea retired to the shore as a ship owner.  Two of his sons go to sea, and thanks to Billion Graves I now know that Robert (1829-1857) his eldest son, died in Havana, Cuba.  Thomas Wilson Hutton (1844-1916) his sixth son, appears to lead a fairly uneventful life as a sailor dying in South Shields unmarried leaving just £200 in in his will and although £200 in 1916 would have been worth about £8,500 in today's money that's barely enough to buy a small car so it doesn't suggest he became a ship owner like his father.  One of Robert Elstob's sons runs off with the money from the Insurance Company he worked for, and the other four (yes he had seven(!) sons) appear to take admin jobs keeping well away from the sea.

Robert Elstob Hutton's grave in Hartlepool, also
commemorating his eldest son who died in Havana aged 27

Frederick Elstob Hutton (1808-1882) is my bigamist ancestor, he apparently abandons his Sunderland family for the 'other woman' and his boys all go to sea from a very early age to earn their living.  One lad, Thomas Mordey Hutton, is particularly unlucky, he is shipwrecked twice.  Another dies at sea aged only fourteen years old.  My own great great grandfather, William Satchell Hutton has been the subject of at least three blog posts, his early years, his homes and his later life.  His sons do not go to sea, my own great grandfather is apprenticed to the Co-op as a Grocer.  I could actually now add another man to the diagram above, Fred's youngest son Charles Reuben Hutton whom I have now confirmed was also a mariner for a while.  Fred has two further sons by his 'second' wife - one dies young and the other becomes a Painter and Plumber. 

I have not yet touched upon the descendants of Robert the ropemaker's middle son, John Reuben Hutton.  In a complete change of direction he became a solicitor in Sunderland. He has three sons, one dies young but the other two both go to sea.  I find it odd that the sons of a respectable middle class professional like John Reuben Hutton leave home at an early age and go to sea ... did they not get on with their father?  Were they bored with school work and studies and wanted the more exciting life of a sailor?  It's an interesting question.

Thomas Nesbitt Hutton's Seaman's Ticket recording his death at sea (from Find My Past)

Thomas Nesbitt Hutton dies aged sixteen according to his Merchant Seaman's ticket. Further details in the Maritime Deaths records confirm that he died of a 'Fever at Sea' along with at least six other men on the same ship.  Was this a common occurrence at the time, or might it have made a newspaper report?  John Reuben's surviving son, Robert Nesbitt Hutton makes Master Mariner in 1869 aged twenty nine years old.  He marries and has two children; he does not die until 1910 but never seems to be at home for the census!  His son becomes a Master Grocer - so the seafaring urge died out in that branch just like it did in my own.

There may be much more to find out about this last sailor cousin, therefore reviewing my progress on the Maritime Huttons has been a useful exercise.  I can see the gaps in my research and know what to put on my 'to do' list.  It has also provided a useful post full of links to my previous stories about the same family, which will save a lot of hunting about for anyone interested in the Huttons.

Now I'm off to play on Pinterest a bit more ...

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