Posts Tagged ‘ passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960 ’
Our resident expert Stephen Rigden, pictured below, answers your queries.
From Bob Andrews:
‘On the marriage certificate of my great grandfather (George Thomas Andrews, married at Plymouth on 28 April 1867) his father’s (Thomas Ebenezer Andrews, born on 8 June 1833) occupation is recorded as ‘Engineer Peruvian Navy’. I have been unable to discover any details to support this fact. I would like to know if Royal Navy personnel were seconded to the Peruvian Navy in the 19th century. I have found George’s service with the Royal Navy but not his father Thomas Ebenezer Andrews. I have also been unable to find a death date for Thomas Ebenezer, although I suspect it to be between 1867 and 1871. I would be most grateful for any help on this subject.’
Thanks for writing in with a copy of your great grandfather’s marriage certificate. His father’s stated occupation of ‘Engineer, Peruvian Navy’ is remarkable but isn’t perhaps as improbable as it may at first appear. I wouldn’t claim to have any knowledge of the history of the Peruvian navy, although the British signed various treaties with Peru following its 1821 independence from Spain – for example, in 1837 and 1850, touching upon commerce and navigation.
British commercial interests in Peru included mining and bird guano (used for fertilizer), and I expect also the construction of railways later in the 19th century. Moreover, the British Royal Navy and merchant marine were everywhere – take a look at the dropdown list of ports at which British (and other) ships were calling in an admittedly more modern period (1890-1960) in the outward-bound passenger lists of record series BT27.
I expect that your great-great-grandfather Thomas was in, or attached to, the Peruvian Navy for a relatively short period of time, perhaps restricted to all or part of the Chincha Islands War of 1865-1868 during which Peru (and Chile) fought against the Spaniards. I imagine it would not have been at all uncommon for British mariners to take up posts in the Peruvian Navy at that time.
Note that, strictly speaking, this would be in breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act. This was enacted in 1819 to stem the flow of British men eager to support the cause of South American nations against the Spanish – as Richard Cobden observed in 1863, the British ‘generally sympathise with everybody’s rebels but our own’. The 1819 Act was probably not rigorously observed, therefore, it is likely that Thomas was not officially seconded, but volunteered for political or financial reasons to serve with the Peruvian Navy.
Official Foreign Office correspondence of the time may refer to British subjects joining up with the Peruvians, or of the activities of the Peruvian Navy circa 1867. If you have the opportunity, and are sufficiently interested, you could try browsing through the surviving files that The National Archives holds in Kew – for example, pieces within FO177, FO 178 and FO855. TNA’s Catalogue entry for Home Office piece HO45/7800 also refers to material which may be of relevance and interest. Such materials would almost certainly only supply you with background context, however, and not with any details specifically about Thomas, so you would need to manage your own expectations.
By the way, if George was indeed 21 years at marriage in 1867, as the marriage certificate records, then he would have been born circa 1845/46 and, therefore, it seems unlikely that his father Thomas was born in 1833 as per your email – that would have made Thomas only 12 or 13 years of age when he fathered him.
Finally, for those readers who are not aware, the General Register Office’s overseas BMDs are online on findmypast.co.uk and include returns of births, marriages and deaths despatched to England from British embassies, high commissions and consulates in South America, as from elsewhere overseas. If you search the deaths for last name Smith and region South America, for example, you will receive three and a half pages of search results.’
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Did you know that six traditional sailor superstitions were ignored on the Titanic’s maiden voyage to New York? Take a look at the evidence we’ve uncovered in our collection of Titanic records. Prepare yourself, some of the superstitions may seem a bit silly…
Sailor superstition #1: Women on board a ship make the sea angry
The header pages from the ship’s passenger list reveal that there were 353 female passengers travelling on the Titanic. The passenger list records the people who boarded at Southampton and Queenstown, but the list of those who boarded at Cherbourg does not survive.
Sailor superstition #2: It’s unlucky to have a priest on board
A list of the passengers and crew who were supposed drowned can be found in our maritime death records. These record the occupation of each victim, revealing that four of the Titanic’s passengers were Ministers of Religion.
Sailor superstition #3: Cutting your hair at sea is bad luck
The list of those who perished in the disaster also shows that there were three Barbers travelling on the Titanic. Two of these were crew members who would have practised their trade on the ship.
Sailor superstition #4: A dog seen near fishing tackle is bad luck
We’ve uncovered this article in The British Newspaper Archive which states that there were dogs (and a pig!) on board the Titanic:
Sailor superstition #5: People with red hair bring bad luck to a ship
You can find many of the Titanic’s surviving crew members listed in our Merchant Navy seamen records. You’ll often find a physical description or a photograph included, as is the case with John Alexander Podesta. Podesta worked as a Fireman on the Titanic and his Merchant Navy index card describes his hair colour as being ‘auburn’.
Sailor superstition #6: Flowers are unlucky on board a ship
Another of the Titanic’s Firemen, Charles Rice, also survived and appears in the Merchant Navy records. He was recorded as having a tattoo on his right forearm depicting a basket of flowers.
Do you think there’s any truth behind superstitions like these? Is there anything you do or avoid doing to bring you luck?
Today marks the launch of two fascinating sets of records, which include information about the Titanic: Maritime births, marriages and deaths and White Star Line Officers’ books. We’re thrilled to offer you the most comprehensive collection of Titanic records anywhere online.
Maritime births, marriages and deaths
Search for your ancestors in vivid full colour scans of the original birth, marriage and death records of those associated with maritime occupations, not just ones which took place at sea. These include all Titanic crew members and all Titanic passengers who died at sea.
Until now there has never been a mandatory single centralised register of births, marriages and deaths at sea. Some records were deposited with the General Register Office, some with The National Archives and others elsewhere. Our online collection is published in association with The National Archives and brings together 30 different record types from 10 different record series held at The National Archives.
White Star Line Officers’ books
View full colour scans of the original service records of White Star Line officers and commanders, including all the officers on board the Titanic.
The records include an original colour scan of Captain Edward Smith‘s employment record listing all the ships he served on and when. You can see the red ink on his record which tells us he was ‘Lost in “Titanic” April 15th, 1912′. View Edward’s record below – click on the image to enlarge it.
The information for each officer includes: date and place of birth, address, details of his apprenticeship, the names and dates of the ships served upon and the date he left the company.
Search other Titanic records on findmypast.co.uk
As well as these two brilliant sets of records, you can also search for your Titanic ancestors in our passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960 and our Merchant Navy Seamen records. You won’t find a more comprehensive set of Titanic records anywhere else.