Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Titanic 105 Years Anniversary 15 April 1912

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

I asked for ice, but this is ridiculoussaid John Jacob Astor IV, according to legend ...

1. The RMS Titanic was the world’s largest passenger ship when it entered service, measuring 269 metres (882 feet) in length, and the largest man-made moving object on Earth. The largest passenger vessel is now Harmony of the Seas, at 362.12 metres.
2. The ship burned around 600 tonnes of coal a day – hand shovelled into its furnaces by a team of 176 men. Almost 100 tonnes of ash were ejected into the sea every 24 hours.
3. The ship's interiors were loosely inspired by those at the Ritz Hotel in London. Facilities on board included a gym, pool, Turkish bath, a kennel for first class dogs, and a squash court. It even had its own on board newspaper – the Atlantic Daily Bulletin.
4. There were 20,000 bottles of beer on board, 1,500 bottles of wine and 8,000 cigars – all for the use of first-class passengers.
5. The Grand Staircase on board descended down seven of the ship’s 10 decks and featured oak panelling, bronze cherubs and paintings. Replicas can be found at the Titanic Museum  in Branson, Missouri.
6. The staircase at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, contains banisters from the Grand Staircase of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic. They are presumed to have been identical.
7. Only 16 wooden lifeboats and four collapsible boats were carried, enough to accommodate 1,178 people. That's only one-third of Titanic's total capacity, but more than legally required.
8. There were 246 injuries and two deaths recorded during the ship’s 26-month construction in Belfast.
9. Twenty horses were required to carry the main anchor.
10. 100,000 people turned up to see the ship’s launch on May 31, 1911.

More at

Ancestry's Titanic Collection consists of:

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, RMS Titanic Fatality Reports, 1912
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, RMS Titanic Graves, 1912
Titanic Survivors, Carpathia Passenger List, 1912
UK, RMS Titanic, Crew Records, 1912
UK, RMS Titanic, Deaths at Sea, 1912
UK, RMS Titanic, Outward Passenger List, 1912

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Souvenir Saturday: Hamilton family in Durban

The Hamilton Trio:
Cathrine (violin), Beth (piano),
and Bill (Cello).

The trio, taught by Miss Valerie Fisher, a well-known music teacher
of Durban, played frequently at concerts, weddings and other
events in Durban during the late 1920s and 1930s. Cath later married
William Bell Gadsden and Beth married Richard Bance. Bill married Ann Millar. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Entrance to the Bay of Natal: early 20th century

Liner entering the channel of the Bay of Natal early 20th c
by C Shrubsole
Note the Bluff, with lighthouse and signal station; fishing dhows;
turbanned fishermen on the wharf.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Passenger Lists: finding your South African ancestor

A perennial query on this blog is, How do I find my ancestor's arrival by ship in South Africa? The answer: with great difficulty. Passenger lists are all over the place: there is no continuity of records, certain periods are not covered at all, certain types of passengers may have limited coverage etc. 

Here are some links to discussions and articles on the topic, of which the basic information has not changed since the original posting.

RMS Nyanza: Passengers on Deck 1877