Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Mariner Ancestors - the Sunderland Huttons

Hopefully my internet problems are now resolved and I can return to more regular blogs about my various ancestors. 

My friend GB asked me last week how many sailor ancestors I had as I seemed to be talking about them a lot at the moment.  In Family Historian you can create diagrams with selected branches or individuals hidden, so I produced the image below to illustrate one branch of my mariner ancestors.
An edited version of my Hutton tree showing sailors in BLUE (other children have been hidden)
The little flags show that I have records for various census returns and some BMDs for people.

In just the one family, the Huttons (my maternal grandfather's line) from Sunderland I have nine 19th century sailors.  The patriarch, Robert Hutton was a Ropemaker, a maritime related trade of course, as was his son Frederick Elstob Hutton, who deserted his family probably leading to most if not all of his sons going to sea.  I have already written the story of Thomas Mordey Hutton (1834-1858).  John Reuben Hutton was a solicitor, but both his surviving sons went to sea.   Robert Elstob Hutton has seven sons, but only two appear to go to sea.  There are other sailors in related branches, for example the Elstobs, the Nesbitts and the Douglas families. It is interesting to note that as yet I have found no members of the later generations of these families still at sea.  My grandfather's sister marries into a family of sailors in the 20th century but that, as they say, is another story.

At the beginning of January I wrote the first part of a story about my 2x Great Grandfather William Satchell Hutton (1838-1887).  I am attempting to link together the multiplicity of resources I have found for him into a coherent account of his life both at sea and with his family.

I had reached the birth of his first daughter Annie in 1862 which co-incided with a nearly three year stretch of service on a sailing ship in the Mediterranean trade.  Based on the newspaper reports of his ship, the Lebanon, it seems to take around two and a half months to get from the UK to Constantinople, so in the course of his service on her he must have sailed back and forth quite a few times.

William submitted his claim for a Master Mariner's certificate in April 1865.  The applicant has to submit a list of the ships he has sailed on with supporting documentation in the form of testimonials. 

Part of William Satchell Hutton's 1865 submission for a Master's Certificate (from Ancestry)
As you can see William's service on the Lebanon is separated into two periods, one of 8 and a half months where he was the Mate and then a further 2 years and a bit. Unfortunately there is another ship called the Lebanon in the same period, a smaller ship from Dundee sailing to the Baltic so unless newspapers specify the master, Hutchinson, I'm not sure which one I'm looking at in the papers on Find My Past. 

Ships called Lebanon in Lloyd's Register of Shipping for 1863 (from Google Books)

William notes that he was the Master of the Margaret in 1860 for a month, but there are so many ships of that name that it is impossible to pick out which ship this might have been.

Referring back to my notes from the Lloyd's Captains' register I see that William's next ship was the Clarinda another snow (two masted sailing ship) which was in the Baltic trade.  Then he swapped to the Juliana, a coaster operating from Newquay.  This voyage may have been an attempt to get back to Sunderland as he then took up a longer post on the Mount Carmel from 1865 to 1867.  The Mount Carmel was a barque (a three masted ship) which appears to have sailed from the Clyde to similar ports the Mediterranean as he visited on the Lebanon, such as Constantinople, Alexandria and the Black Sea.

We can only hope that he was in Sunderland in time for the birth of his first son, Thomas in December 1865.  Ann, his wife, would have needed his support as little Thomas died almost immediately and was buried three days after his birth in Sunderland Cemetery. 

In 1868 William changed ships again, serving first on the Hallyards, a coaster from Whiby before joining the Leader, another barque, sailing from Sunderland to the West Indies.  I don't know when he joined the Leader as the records are very sparse for the period from 1865 to 1870, but there is a newspaper report of the ship arriving in Ipswich in October of 1868 carrying cotton seed from Alexandria.  This seems like a logical cargo to carry to the West Indies so maybe this is the point that William joined this ship.  His second daughter Jane was born in the fourth quarter of 1868 so he may have served on the coaster knowing that would mean he would be nearby when the new baby was due.  We can only assume that he takes the longer post after she has safely arrived.

The Leader is reported at Deal on the way to Cape de Verde (islands off West Africa) on the 2nd January 1869, and seen heading inwards to Bristol from Trinidad on 18th June, six months later.  The Lloyd's Captains' becomes more specific at this point and shows him leaving the Leader in June, only to rejoin on 9th July.  A report in the Shields Daily Gazette notes that the Leader, master Parsons, leaves Cardiff for Malta on Tuesday 13th July.  That doesn't really leave him much time to get back to Sunderland to see the family, maybe three weeks at the most, although there were trains and it's only a bit over 300 miles.  Otherwise I suppose Ann may have read that his ship was back in the papers and hoped for a letter or telegram to confirm that he was safe.  He must have had some way of getting money to her, remember she's in Sunderland (or so we suppose) with two little girls to look after so she couldn't have been earning her own keep.

Shields Daily Gazette Saturday 2 Jan 1869

Western Daily Press Friday 18 June 1869

Shields Daily Gazette Thursday 15 July 1869

(all the above from Find My Past - Newspaper Collection)
He stays with the Leader until June 1870 then appears to take a break until 1873.  William Satchell jnr would have been conceived in the middle of August 1870, so maybe our William thought he should stay nearby this time to support his wife. 

This is quite hard ... how do you put yourself in the shoes of a 19th century sailor and his family?  What did Ann do whilst he was away?  Did he write?  Did she sit and stare at his photo wondering when he'd be home?  What support did she have from her family?  William had no-one close left in Sunderland, some middling aunts and uncles but would they have looked out for a poor relative's wife?  Most of her own family were in Walker, up in Northumberland, although a married sister lived in Monkwearmouth until 1873 at least and that wasn't far away. 

As I said last time, this could go on for a while, but I must finish for this evening, I've got the tea dishes to wash!

Posting Comments on Blogs

In the last couple of days I've noticed that I am having trouble posting comments on other people's blogs.  Other blogs don't seem to recognise that I'm logged into Google/Blogger and won't let me publish the comments.  I found some advice on the Tech Zone blog.

It seems that my 'favourite' thing - cookies, could be to blame once more.  I toddled off and checked my Internet settings but I had already set Internet Explorer to accept 3rd party cookies (probably during the trial and error of trying to get Blogger not to count my own page views), so I'm not preventing people commenting on my blogs - it didn't help with the problem of commenting on other people's though.

I also note that I am not alone in having this problem, in fact when I Googled the topic I got a page full of relevant hits. 

Trying another suggested angle I have just investigated OpenID - apparently I have one already - well fancy that! 

So off I went back to  A Family Tapestry, where I'd already tried several times to get the page to recognise me as a Blogger user with my Google password, and retyped my comment (I knew I should have copied it to Notepad, but you only think of these things afterwards) and this time I selected OpenID from Select profile drop down.  I had to paste in my Blogger URL ( another page asked me for some confirmation and then it took me back to A Family Tapestry.  But ... (fanfare) ... this time when I clicked Publish it worked.

My comment on A Family Tapestry today
So it wasn't straightforward but it did work. 

Trying to comment on another blog I follow, Olive Tree Genealogy, (I've never been this chatty!) I hit on the CAPCHA problem.  That's where no matter how many times you try entering the mystery word it won't recognise that you've got it right.  The site knew I was BarnsleyHistorian this time (unlike A Family Tapestry) but trying to publish my comment with that option selected it just kept telling me I was wrong.  So I tried the OpenID option ... and again ... success.  Though comments are moderated on this blog so I'll need to check back later to see if my posting was truly successful.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Response from Find My Past re Newspapers

A marketing person from Find My Past found my blog a couple of days ago and emailed me to ask if I wanted to be sent some blogger specific updates about their new resources, I replied in the affirmative as it might be useful (and wasn't going to cost anything!) and while I was writing I asked (again!) about the search funtionality regarding their new Newspaper collection.  You will find my original blog on this topic here.  I have not, to date, received any response to my initial query.

This was the marketing person's reply (I couldn't determine their gender from their name, hence my rather stilted references, sorry):

"I can answer that one definitely, basically as we’ve got to re-engineer everything to fit into our own site and platform we pretty much have to rebuild everything from scratch – We’ve made great strides in the newspapers since they’ve first gone on line at FMP but I agree there’s still a lot still to be done. It’s just quite a resource and we figured that giving people access to something usable but not perfect rather than hold off until things were as good as they were going to get was preferable. We’re definitely rebuilding and developing all the time. We’ve got some great functionality on the way, such as search results through the main “search all” for newspapers with your birth and death dates and already those searches are more accurate than they were and have added ability to refine results."

So, it's just a matter of waiting then, but who knows for how long?

Meanwhile today I'm at my mum's again and have been tracking down yet another of our Master Mariner ancestors (well, ancestors' relatives) Robert Nesbitt Hutton.  It's a good job they went in for naming their children with surnames for middle names or I wouldn't be able to keep all these sailor Robert Hutton's straight in my head.

This time he's the captain of a steam ship, and seems to have a proclivity for bumping into things and the occasional dramatic rescue.  He married the daughter of a local artist, Mark Thompson (1812-1875), and that has set me off on another tangent (as you do) looking at paintings on the BBC arts website and various auction sites. 

Opening of the South Dock Sunderland - painted 1853
(c) Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Lovely isn't it - and somehow even more so when you can say that your first cousin 4x removed wife's father painted it.  (Or not, if you're not as sad about these things as I am!)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandad Hutton's tin box

A year or so ago I bought a slide scanner for copying my mum and dad's collection of holiday snaps.  Using the scanner at my mum's has led to other collections coming out of hiding, last summer she produced a square tin, the sort that would have had biscuits in I suppose, which was full of papers and oddments relating to my grandparents.

The treasures inside included my grandad's Home Guard badges which I mentioned in a previous post and some accompanying papers. 

Badges for the 11th Battalion Durham Home Guard
Here's a wonderful piece listing the various code words that could be used by the Home Guard:

Home Guard Military Signs
I particularly like 'Caterpillars' for 'Enemy is landing Tanks at  ...'

When he was younger grandad was in the Scouts, Boy Scouts as they would have been in those days. 
William Satchell Hutton (b.1905 so a guess at this photo - 1918-1920 ish?)
In 1924 he attended the Britsh Empire Exhibition on a Boy Scouts' Jamboree Pass.  He'd have been 19 years old, I bet it was a great experience.

Boy Scouts Jamboree Pass for the British Empire Exhibition
Later in his Scouting career he became a leader and we have a painting of a lovely woodland scene that was given to him by the scouts when he retired, dedicated to "Skip".

Grandad was a coal miner - one of the earliest pieces I have relating to this is his notice  to quit his house when he lost his job in the 1930s.  My mum says he refers to this as a 'wedding present' as it arrived just a few days after he married my grandma on 22nd August 1931.
Notice to quit the colliery house on termination of employment 1931
Grandad continued as a miner and eventually became a colliery manager at Sherburn Hill Colliery - I have found details of his career on the Durham Mining Museum's website.

One final picture - Grandad in mines' rescue equipment - I hope he never had to use it.  Casual pose - hands in his pockets!
W S Hutton in mines' rescue equipment

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

News Flash: Black Sheep found in Bristol

At the beginning of December last year I wrote a post about my 1st cousin 4x removed, John Elstob Hutton, who absconded with the funds from the insurance company he was secretary of in Hartlepool, Durham in 1866.  At the time it was reported in various newspapers that it was thought he'd taken around £300 to £500 and left the country.

Last night I found him in Bristol.  I had tried a search on FreeBMD with *Elstob in the Firstname(s) field and Hutton in the Surname.  I was looking for someone entirely different, but was happily surprised to see a marriage and a death for John Elstob Hutton listed in the results.  The registration area for the marriage was Clifton, which I know is Bristol so I then tried a Google search for Bristol Parish Records and found a helpful post from the Bristol and Avon Family History Society.  They were recommending a relatively new set of records on Family Search, parish register transcripts from the Bristol area from 1538 to 1900.    I duly nipped off to try them.

John Elstob Hutton married Jane Susannah Evans at Christchurch, Clifton on 27th January 1869.  He gives his father as Robert Ellstob Hutton (why the double 'el'?  Transcription error or written down wrong by the minister maybe?). 

I've been to Clifton - it's very nice and has lots of historic buildings dating back to the area's heyday as a spa and very busy port.  I found a document about the conservation of the area on Bristol council's website - look under Clifton and Hotwells.  There are some maps in the document too, and lots of historical information. 

In the 1871 census John and Jane were living at 8 Dover Place, Clifton.  I managed to get a picture of the house John was probably living in from Google Maps. Sorry about the funny angle and the cars - but trying to get no.8 straight on was impossible!

Dover Place, Clifton, Bristol, nos 6, 7, 8 (from Google Maps)
It looks like a very nice house for a Commercial Clerk - his declared occupation on the census return - I wonder if his ill gotten gains helped fund it?  They have a 14 year old general servant girl and two lodgers, a dressmaker and a French teacher (I mean he was from France, but yes, he was teaching French as well!) so they weren't that well off. 

John and Jane had two daughters, Caroline Vaughan Hutton, born in late 1869 and Catherine Elizabeth Hutton, born 1873.  There may be more children who died young between census returns, but I could only find one baptism on the Family Search Bristol site - for Caroline at the Holy Trinity church at Westbury on Trym.  By 1881 he has moved to Langton Street in Bedminister, and if Langton Park is the same road the houses are a lot smaller.  He now gives his occupation as Comm Clerk and Watchmaker!

John dies in the last quarter of 1889, still in Bristol.  Jane and Catherine are at Napier Road, Eastville, Bristol in 1891.  Jane is working as a Schoolmistress and Needlewoman, with Catherine as her assistant.  They have three rooms of the small terraced house with two other people as a separate household in two other rooms.  Caroline is not at home, but I found her working and living in as a waitress in a pub on the eponymously named Adam and Eve Passage, off Wine Street, Bristol. There is a baptism record on Family Search for a boy called William Hexham Vaughan Hutton in St Simon's church, Bristol, in June 1890 with the mother's name given as Caroline Hutton - the co-incidence of the Vaughan name suggests this is Caroline's illegitimate son, however I can find no further sign of him or a death entry in that name on FreeBMD.

In fact, on the basis of last night's search the whole of the family goes missing after the 1891 census - there are some deaths which may be them, but nothing conclusive and after 1901, so where are they all in that census?

So I've cleared up the mystery of where John Elstob Hutton went when he fled Hartlepool with his ill gotten gains, he probably took a ship and made his way from one port to another making his way to Bristol.  He appears to have started off fairly well, marrying and starting a family in a nice area, but his fortunes appear to decline and after his death his wife and daughters have to find work to support themselves. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

What's all the fuss about a bit of snow?

Now I know I'm old ... the BBC had a special programme last week about the snow, yet at the time only 10cm (that's about 4 inches in old money) had fallen anywhere.  The news reporters were there in their wellies and big padded coats and you could still see the grass behind them.  One of them even mentioned that the local pub was closing early - why on earth?  It would have been the perfect place for people to go and get warm and cheer up.

What's this current fuss all about?  When I was a child ....
OK I was very small, but the snow was so deep that we had to dig our way out of the house.  There are pictures on internet of snowdrifts 22 feet deep from that winter.  Other people are commenting that rivers and the sea froze that year.

My mum used walk a mile to take me to school - she'd have my brother in one of those big wheeled prams and me sitting on the back edge with my feet keeping warm inside. 

The pram in 1961 with me inside, but the same one was used four years later for my brother
My dad still had to go to work at the pit - well, it was warm down there.  But he had to get to the pit top and we had no car in those days - so it would have been 4 miles (or more) on his motor bike in all weathers. 

So, will everyone please stop being complete wusses!!  Here in Barnsley the snow is currently about 4 inches deep.  Schools are closed, firms are sending people home early, even the history group I attend didn't meet this morning. 

The year before last I had to dig our car out twice from more snow than this.  And picking a few veg for tea involved wading through nearly a foot of snow.  Look - here's the proof!
I'm going into town tomorrow for a nice lunch in the pub - I expect the buses will be running and that the pubs will be open.  Or I'll be having another go at modern life on here.

Rant over ... see you all in the thaw!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Newspapers on Find My Past

With my Christmas money I bought a year's subscription to Find My Past purely with the intention of looking up my ancestors in the newspaper collection.  They had sent me a 10% off voucher so it seemed a reasonable step to take as I had used several (well more than several actually!) two day packages at the British Newspaper Archive at £6.95 last year. And I had bought some credits on Find My Past to look up Merchant Navy Records and Teacher Registration Records. 

The only problem is that as we currently have a 10Gb cap on our broadband I am limited to searching newspapers at the end of the month if we have lots of broadband left.  Or using my mum's broadband when we visit her.  It was a cost cutting measure when we moved house to change from unlimited Virgin broadband, phone and TV to a limited BT account. 

However BT has just offered us an unlimited broadband contract for 12 months with Infinity (that's the fibre optic version)  for just a fiver more than we pay now ... hmmm, £5 is what they will charge us each month if we go over the 10Gb cap and that would only be for another 5Gb.  So ... we've ordered it.  I guess it will go up in a year, but we'll cross that bridge then. In a week's time I may be able to browse as many newspapers, maps, old parish records (new collection from Essex Record office announced today) as I want! Yay!!

I have found that the search on Find My Past is not as good as the one on the British Newspaper Archive. 

British Newspaper Archive search
Find My Past Newspaper Search
As you can see the options in the Find My Past search are very limited.  On the BNA and the 19th Century Newspapers site (the free limited version that is available through some libraries) you can select Publication Places and Titles, a specific date and use logic in the search boxes (AND, OR etc).  You can also choose to browse a publication on the BNA site, that is you choose a newspaper title and read all the pages - useful when the OCR has been less than good on the older papers.  I have written to Find My Past about this as their parent company BrightSolid also provide the service on the BNA site.  I haven't had an answer yet.

Find My Past do provide a filter on the results page which lets you reduce your hits to areas or specific papers, however I haven't yet found a way to, say, look at the Shipping OR Maritime Intelligence for a specific ship for a specific week, which is the kind of search I was doing on the 19th century site searching for shipwrecks. 

My best tip so far is put all your search terms in the keywords box - even the names.  And bear in mind that the results are ordered by relevance, so only the first few may contain ALL your key words.

To finish - here's a cutting of my 5x great grandfather's brewery  - Elstob & Co, in Bishopwearmouth (Sunderland, Co. Durham) celebrating the installation of a new brewing vessel in some style.  I've visited a few breweries in my time but never seen one this big! 

Newcastle Courant 4 Oct 1800 (from Find My Past)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Normal service will be resumed ...

This is just a quick note to let anyone who reads my blogs know that the reason I haven't posted anything recently is that BT seems to think the OH and I are using up our (capped at 10Gb) broadband at a rate of knots this month.  Half a Gb on the 1st of Jan and nearly half our normal usage in the first three or four days?  Hopefully we will find out what's doing it and I'll be able to get back to blogging soon.

Helpful suggestions welcome!!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Whichever Way You Turn, falling over Ancestors in Walker, Northumberland

This morning the cat would not let me sleep – she woke me at 3am and wanted more food, then once she had eaten she wanted company.  Sitting on my chest she purred, but if I dared to fall asleep she stuck her face on mine or pawed me insistently on the neck – I did find this a little intimidating.  The OH always says just ignore her – fine for him, he can sleep through a thunderstorm, hurricane or as he often says “on the back of a galloping hedgehog”!!!  If I ignore the cat she goes and scratches the chest of drawers at the foot of our bed and it’s one of those blackboard/fingernails type sounds – there really isn’t any way for me to ignore it. 

So by 6am I had decided to give up and turn on the laptop.  Last week I split my family tree, which was getting far too big to work efficiently, into separate families – one for my ancestors, one for the OH’s and one for my children’s father, my first husband.  I have done this before and regretted it as something usually gets lost.  In Family Historian you create a copy of the original tree and then using the wizard supplied (that’s a pre-written programme for those who don’t follow techno jargon) delete the items you don’t want.  Unfortunately if, once you have tidied up the people, you then tell it to delete all sources, notes and images without links to people and it can remove something you want to keep because you didn’t link it in to a person in the first place.  Yes, yes, I know that makes it my fault for not using the programme properly and citing all my sources thoroughly dah, di, dah, di, dah … but many, many years ago when I first started family history I didn’t know the importance of recording sources and my own family tree is one of the older bits of my research so the facts often have no citations and sources such as maps and pictures are just floating around unattached.  I'm working on it ...

William Satchell Hutton, the master mariner, married Ann Bormond Smith in Walker, Northumberland in 1861.  Her family had lived in Haswell, Durham up to at least 1855 as that was the birth place of her youngest sibling.  But by the April of 1861 in the census they are in Walker on Church Lane, later Church Street, and that is the parish in which Ann marries.   

I have a map of Walker from 1864 and another from 1897 from the Old Maps site – I take screen shots of the bits I’m interested in and stitch them together in Photoshop – the more recent one have the Old Maps imprint on them (I guess they caught on to what people were doing!) but they are fine for reference.
Walker in 1864 (from Old Maps)
Family Historian allows you to add an image and then link it to a person – you can link the whole image or use a tool to outline a section specific to the person – great for family group pictures, you can draw the outlines around each face and attach them to the people in your tree and the little sections then appear on the person’s individual record and in any reports you produce.  For maps I draw around the relevant street, if the image is larger than the window on the screen when you click on the person’s name it automatically moves the image until the bit you want is on the screen – very clever – and great for maps.  You can add a fair sized piece of map and select streets or even individual houses if the map is large scale enough.  You can attach sources to an image – it sounds a bit backwards – but imagine adding the map, with the church highlighted, to the source record for the marriage certificate for William and Ann …
A screen shot of Family Historian showing a highlighting box around Church Lane, Walker
This was the address of Thomas Smith in 1861
A lot of the way that I set up Family Historian is dictated by the way in which Gedmill processes the records when it creates my familyhistory web pages.  I learnt early on not to just have one source for multiple records with images, that related to many different people – an example was the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website – yes, of course cite the main site, with some relevant text, but then I create a separate source for each image so that on the web site you see the right screen shot for a casualty, not every single image I’ve ever captured from the CWGC site.   

Back in Walker - with my two map sections on the screen I decided to add some other ancestors that I knew lived in the same area.  Family Historian has a new feature called Plugins, they are like apps I suppose, other people can write them to work along with Family Historian to do small tasks.  I have downloaded a plugin which searches your whole tree for a specified word and presents you with a list – handy if you are looking for a particular place across a number of different types of events – census, birth, death, marriage etc.  I entered Walker and was surprised at the number of results.  There were a lot of duplicates, where people had remained in Walker over more than one census return they had been listed each time, and of course each child of a family was listed so in my typical large 19th century families there were sometimes eight or nine entries for one family on the list.  Even so some names appeared that I hadn’t recalled as having any connection with Walker.

On my mother’s paternal side there were the Smiths, with whom I started, the family of William S Hutton’s bride, Ann Bormond Smith, who were there from around 1861 with a brother of Ann’s remaining there until sometime in the middle of 1891.  A cousin from that side of the family turned up as well, Joseph Bormond, a nephew of Ann’s mother.  My family seems particularly fond of using family surnames as middle names – which comes in very useful when they are unusual.  Sorting out Smiths is a thankless task, but throw in a Bormond and there are no problems working out which Ann Smith you are after!

On my mother’s maternal grandparents’ side, my 3x great grandfather John Gibson lived there from before 1841, his son, another John Gibson,  moved to Byker, a few miles to the west, but his son Thomas Harle Gibson (my great grandfather) was in Walker in 1881 living with his widowed mother whose Harle family had been in Walker since around 1851.  Harle branches persisted in Walker for as long as I’ve been able to trace them.  The wonderfully named Elizabeth Decima Harle (so you know how many children were in that family!), who was my half second cousin twice removed, was born in Walker in 1901. Her family appear in the 1911 census for Walker where I see the family has been added to, now 11 children, all surviving to the census at least.

On my father’s maternal side my 3x great grandfather James Russell died in Walker in 1888, he had been living his son George who was still there in the 1911 census.  George’s grandchildren, Russells and Oswalds, more of my second cousins twice removed, are being born in the Walker area up to 1922 and possibly beyond.  One of George’s nephews, a George Deacon, passes through between 1898 and 1908 judging by his children’s birthplaces.

My father’s paternal side seem to steer clear of Walker – although there are some Dixons and Robsons who come very close (Newcastle upon Tyne) in the early 19th century!

I commented some time ago that researching my OH’s family tree here in Barnsley in great depth has led to me finding out that his lines cross and interlink and that all kinds of people are related to each other.  It may be that if only I had all the resources and time to do the same for Walker I might discover that my branches do the same, as it does seem that wherever you turned in Walker in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century you were likely to bump into my relatives!


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Master Mariner's travels

A couple of days ago I wrote about a relative who had a short but adventurous live at sea.  Thomas Mordey Hutton was involved in not one but two shipwrecks and unfortunately lost his life in the second.  His brother, my own 2x Great Grandfather, William Satchell Hutton (b.1836) was more fortunate.  I have found records of him serving on at least 21 different ships, some for only a few months others for several years. 

Possibly a photo of William S Hutton (b.1836)
The photo above is from an album that belonged to my great, great aunt Jane Bormond Moses (nee Hutton) William's daughter.  Some of the pictures have names written beneath them, but not all.  I think that it is a likely identification as this picture was taken abroad (the back of the card gives details of an Italian photographer) and William was a sailor.  I have been unable to find any information on the photographer on the internet - the firm appears to have been established after 1874 (look in the wreath at the upper right) and the style of photo is a carte de visite with square corners, dating it to the late 1870s / early 1880s.  The oval of the image is raised.  These dates would make William in his late 30s to early 40s, I'm tending towards the latter although the beard may be making him look older.  The album itself may date to the 1860s as it is small and plain, resembling a leather bound bible with a brass fastener.  (See this website for help on dating photos.) 

William and his wife Ann had five children, although one son died in infancy.  Neither of his two surviving sons followed him to sea, possibly because they were fairly young when he died and probably because he left them comfortably off in a complete contrast to the previous generation.  William died in 1887 at the age of 48 from cancer of the stomach, Ann survived him living until she was 88 years old.  The only sign that she had to take up work to support the family is in the 1901 census when she is listed as a Monthly nurse. 

Joseph (b.1873) my own great grandfather was only 13 when William snr died.  By 1871 he was a Grocer's apprentice aged 17 and his brother, another William (b. 1872) who was 15 when his father died worked his way up on the railways from messenger to fireman.  The girls also worked, Annie (b. 1863) as a dressmaker and Jane (b.1868 and owner of the photo album) as a school teacher.

We always knew that William snr had been a sailor because my grandmother had a framed copy of his Master Mariner's certificate on the wall of her spare bedroom.  My uncle has this now, but copies were recently released on Ancestry in the Masters and Mates Certificates, 1850-1927 collection.
William S Hutton's Master Mariner's certificate (from Ancestry)
On the reverse of the certificate were his seaman's number and the number of his master's certificate.  His seaman's number is 578285 (although I have him with a different number when he first went to sea which is annotated "Cancelled when wrecked"!) and his certificate number is 18653. 

Reverse of William S Hutton's Master Mariner's certificate (from Ancestry)

These enabled me to look his records in the Guildhall in London in August 1997 (such a long time ago!) quite easily. They used to keep the Lloyd's Captains Registers there, but I believe they have been moved to the London Metropolitan Archives. There is a partial index to the records online now but the letter H is not included. You would still need to go to London to consult the actual registers.

The records listed each ship he sailed on, the official number of the ship, when he served on it (details vary, sometimes just the year, sometimes full dates of engagement and discharge) and an abbreviation for the proposed destination of the ship.  For example, FPS for France, Portugal, Spain and the Azores or B for Baltic, Norway, White Sea, and Gulf of Finland.

Here's an example of an entry for William:

1870 Leader 53122 M Jan 3 (in red ink) Feb 5 (in black ink) WI June 21 (red ink)

The ship's name "Leader" underlined means he was the Mate, and on 3rd Jan 1870 he returned from the Mediterranean, red ink indicates a discharge.  On 5th Feb 1870 he was re-engaged for a voyage to the West Indies, from which he returned on 21st June.  

Yesterday I was trying to fit all his periods of service into the family tree in order - I was curious as to how much time William snr was able to spend at home with his family and whether I could find out if he was at home when his children were born.

I recently purchased some timeline software that works with family tree Gedcom files - Genelines and I hoped that by entering all the data into my tree the timeline would show how events fitted together. 

William S Hutton's Timeline (created with Genelines) Click to enlarge
Well, there's a little gap around the time he married Ann on 16th December 1861 - checking back on his claim for a Master Mariner's certificate I see he took a break from 20th November 1861 to the 19th Februrary 1862.  So that was his honeymoon! He married Ann in Walker, Northumberland, which is where her family lived at the time.  However he may have met her in Sunderland as in the 1861 census she is a servant in Bishopwearmouth which merges into Sunderland to the west. 

William appears to be at sea during the time of his eldest child, Annie's birth.  The large block from 1862 to 1865 represents his service on the Lebanon, a snow (a two masted square rigged type of ship) in the Mediterranean trade.  I think I've picked out a couple of mentions of the correct ship from the Shipping & Maritime Intelligence pages of the 19th Century Newspapers online (free online from Newcastle Library and others), Alexandria is mentioned and Constantinople.  He was probably backwards and forwards on a regular basis. 

From the Glasgow Herald, 26 Jun 1863. 
The Lebanon, master Hutchinon, set sail from Troon to Constantinople on 22nd.
(from 19th Century British Library Newspapers)
Despite Annie stating her place of birth is Sunderland on later census returns I can't find a registration of her birth there - however there are two possible births in 1862 in the Tynemouth district, which includes Walker, so maybe Ann stayed with her parents for the birth as William was away so much.

This topic could grow and grow so I'll end it here for now and sort out some more information for another day.