Thursday, January 31, 2013

News from Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository

The Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository is finally returning to its home at 231 Pietermaritz Street.

The Repository is closed today - 31 January - but will re-open on Friday 1 February.

Archival holdings will take several months to be returned from off-site storage, where they have been kept for approximately 3 years.

In the interim it will still be necessary to order archivalia from off-site storage and will take at least 2 working days to be made available.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dohne: tracing his origins

Part 3 of guest article by Andrew van Rensburg:

JL Dohne was born in 1811, Zierenberg, Kassel-Hesse. Archive material from that time period is very scarce, because Kassel was extensively bombed during the Second World War. However, my cousin Angus Mackenzie, did find an archive document listing JL as the son of Johann Dohne and Louise Spangenberg.  Johann Dohne in one German source was alleged to be the provisioner at Wilhelmshohe Palace (Elector Wilhelm). That seemed fair enough until I thought again about his level of education. A provisioner might at a push have been in a position to provide such an education, or perhaps he was recognised as academically gifted and 'sponsored'?

So I started to search and discovered that there is very little about Dohnes in general during that time period. The name Dohne, to add to complexity, can be represented by a wide variety of different spellings, including Thone, Doehne, Dohna, Dowhne etc. I found Dowhne connections between JL and Elizabeth von Dohna (and Ferdinand Hoffman), one of the core ancestors of many European Royal families.

That sparked my interest further and I looked for associations. Viscount Jeschke von Dohne zu Meissen lost titles and properties in a dispute with von Korbitz. There was even a source suggesting that the Dohne line was involved with the Crusades.

However, the most interesting discovery was the reference to Count Dohne. According to the story, Count Dohne had a son Jacob Ludwig (born 1811) on the Russian front during the Napoleonic wars. Apparently his wife died and an ‘orphaned’ JL Dohne was brought back to Wilhelmshohe (1814) in poor health. Count Dohne at the time of JL’s birth,was fighting on the Russian side against Napoleon, based at Gumbinnen, Stalluponene. Gumbinnen (near present-day Konigsberg) fell within Kaliningrad and only became part of Germany again after the reunification of Germany, 1871.

Count Dohne was from Wartburg Castle (the very name Dohne chose when he named his farm in Natal), and was descended from Ludwig von Thuringia und Sachsen. The sister castle to Wartburg, Eichenach, hosted the refugee Luther, where he was alleged to have thrown his ink pot against the wall in frustration.
Although Count Dohne was Prussian, this family line had close family ties with Kassel-Hesse, and Elector Wilhelm. What’s more it is no accident that Caroline Dohne married Joseph David Otto Sachse, a von Sachsen – connected with the Thuringia line. It is therefore no surprise that Dohne grew up at Wilhelmshohe, privy to a full and illustrious education. This would account for his somewhat independent, confrontational and arrogant spirit.

His military academy education at Breslau (sharing an address held by his uncle, Colonel Dohne) makes sense, considering that the Wartburg nobility used the Breslau Military Academy. Dohne, in fact held the rank of Lieutenant. The Thuringia und Sachsen line provided Teutonic Knights for the Crusades. Although there is no direct link between the Teutonic Knights (as there is with the Knights Templar) and Freemasons, it was no secret that many of the German nobility belonged to the Freemasons’ ‘brotherhood of influence’.
In fact Elector Wilhelm was a Freemason along with Mayer Rothschild, his financial advisor and ‘bank’ during the Napoleonic occupation (Westphalia). JL was a Freemason and used the secret name saddle maker. A branch of the Dohnes had a saddle and shoe making business in Ratzeburg,Schlewsig-Holstein, with a famous bridle clasp.

I’m inclined to think that Dohne used the name saddle maker because of the renowned clasp. Dohne’s Chapel has a Freemasons' sign prominently displayed (see photos below). I believe that the Berlin Missionary Society had an agenda beyond spreading Christianity in Africa. During the early 1800’s the Lutheran Church became a symbol of German nationalism and an organ of the State. It would be no surprise to me if the Freemasons were an extension of this and as a secret society, a political tool to establish more than mission stations in the new world. After all mission stations became towns and centres in Africa.

Berlin Mission Chapel, Stutterheim

The set square: a Freemasons' symbol
on the Berlin Mission Chapel, Stutterheim

But whatever my thoughts on the subject, JL Dohne was a dedicated missionary and scholar who made significant contributions to understanding the Xhosa and Zulu peoples of South Africa. His translation work created the foundations for those who followed in his footsteps. JL never returned to Kassel-Hesse, but his farm Wartburg symbolized that for every man his home is his castle.

Dohne: Missionary Extraordinary

Part 2 of Andrew van Rensburg’s guest article on his famous ancestor.

DOHNE was primarily a missionary but his work extended far beyond the boundaries of conversions.  He was a lexicographer (art of compiling dictionaries) and philologist (study of languages in the historical sources), systematically starting the process of translating portions of the Bible into Xhosa and Zulu.  He was meticulous and shied away from expedient translations, in search of the complexities of word usage and meaning.

He compiled a detailed Zulu English dictionary (10 000 words, published 1857) and one critic remarked “It is not only the first dictionary of a South African tongue that can claim any approximation to completeness, but is also a living monument to the author’s industry, careful observation and unfaltering perseverance”. The dictionary was dedicated to Sir George Grey, to whose patronage the publication was largely due. The dictionary was regarded as a standard work for some considerable time and only by 1905 was it replaced by a more detailed work of AT Bryant.

He wrote educational books, rhymes and hymns in Xhosa for his students at Bethel. He identified the species of sourveld grass that was problematic for livestock. Dohne merino sheep (able to digest the sourveld better than other breeds) and the Dohne Agricultural Institute were named after him. His first publication was a Xhosa Catechism (1841). ‘Kaffraria and its inhabitants’ was published in 1843. Later in Natal he assisted with in-service training of new missionaries. He helped a local business as their paymaster. He was chairman of the Natal Missionary Committee. He conducted marriages of missionaries. He schooled new missionaries in Zulu. Dohne was moderator for the Berlin Mission Synod in Natal. He submitted testimony to the Natal Commission into Native Affairs – based on his knowledge of the people.

All in all he had a full and meaningful life, making a significant contribution to the inroads of Christianity into Kaffraria and translation work of the Bible. He was also a dedicated husband and father: Berthe Gohler (1839), Auguste Kembly (1845 - died, leaving him with two children) and finally Caroline Watermeyer and their nine children. The eldest of the nine children, Caroline Dohne (1848) married Joseph David Otto Sachse (my direct ancestors).

But if one looks at Wikipedia or other sources on JL Dohne there is very little about his childhood, early years and who the man Dohne actually was. When I read the much-quoted passage 'Dohne was a saddle maker who found his way to Berlin', it struck me as odd. Compounding this I found the reference 'tutored by Gossner' equally strange.

Jacob Ludwig Dohne was a brilliant linguist and academic, fluent in English in addition to his native tongue, German. He also studied Hebrew, Greek and Latin. In 1820's and 1830’s Germany it would have been highly unlikely that a saddle maker would have this level of educational grounding. Further to this, Gossner was a 'renegade' tutor in Berlin, focusing on poorly educated recruits, whom he schooled in the basics of the Bible, and shipped out to Australia. Gossner’s first ordained missionaries took place in 1837, the year after Dohne had left for South Africa. Also Dohne was unable to work with or process leather to make shoes whilst in Kaffraria, and in fact requested artisans to be sent out to teach the people. If he were a saddle maker, he would have had these basic skills.

To be continued …

Monday, January 28, 2013

Jacob Ludwig Dohne Part 1

Guest article in 3 parts by Andrew van Rensburg:

My great ancestor Jacob Ludwig Dohne was one of the first Berlin Missionary Society pioneer missionaries in Kaffraria (and Natal). He arrived in Cape Town 1836 (with Lange, Wuras and Kraut) and was initially allocated a post in Franschoek. This district fell under the jurisdiction of the Dutch minister of Paarl, and Dohne had difficulties with the issue of predestination - in conflict with his Lutheran teachings. Being of an independent spirit, Dohne responded to the call for missionaries in Kaffraria and unilaterally decided to join missionary Kayser in the Ciskei area. The directors of the Berlin Missionary Society however sanctioned the move, having already decided there was a need for missionaries in Kaffraria.

After a short period with Kayser, Dohne set off alone to start missionary work amongst the people of Gasela, in the Gonubie River area. Later Gasela relocated them to the Stutterheim area, where Dohne established his mission station Bethel (the home of El - old Hebrew name for God). It was an arduous period, alone amongst the Xhosa people. He had to build his own house and fend for himself. His first house collapsed due to poor construction (he was not from an artisan background).

Gasela, initially welcoming, soon viewed Dohne as a threat to his leadership and fuelled by superstition and cultural beliefs contrary to the new Christian faith, made life very difficult for the solo missionary.  Matters improved marginally with the arrival of superintendents Pehmoller and Schultheiss and his first wife, Berthe Gohler (1838). But tragedy struck when Berthe died during the birth of his son, who also died a few months later.

Challenges aside, Dohne made significant strides with baptisms and educational programs for Xhosa children and adults. Bethel also became a refuge for vulnerable women and Dohne taught (hands on) the local people methods of improved crop production. Missionaries Posselt, Leifeldt and Schmidt joined Dohne at Bethel in 1842, the year of the measles pandemic. Xhosa children approached Dohne to pray that they be spared from the epidemic. Christianity in Kaffraria was taking hold.

The seventh Frontier war intervened (1846) and the missionaries had to flee, first to the Moravian mission station Silo in Queensown and then to Bethanie in the Free State. Theophilus Shepstone invited them to come to Natal and establish mission stations and The Berlin Mission Society General Gerlach, agreed that inroads into Natal were necessary. Months passed while placement decisions relating the recent displacement of Zulus (due to conflict) were being debated. Dohne, again displaying his independent spirit, responded to the call for religious leadership amongst the Boer farming community of the Pietermaritzburg district. He filled the shoes of the Dutch minister rev. Daniel Lindley, creating conflict with the Berlin Missionary Society which resulted in his resignation. Director Wangemann wrote at the time “Our mission loses one of the most qualified and pleasant missionaries, and our Zulu mission suffered from the loss from the outset of an exceptional missionary”.

His intentions were to focus on the farmers’ Zulu workers but instead he spent much of his time preaching to the Dutch Reformed congregation and travelling to various centres around South Africa. Dohne declined the offer to become the Dutch minister and instead accepted the offer by the American Board of African Missionaries to set up a mission station at Tafelberg, near Pietermaritzburg. He completed his Zulu dictionary (by 1857), detailed and accompanied by copious illustrations.

Dohne once again accepted an offer to rejoin the Berlin Missionary Society (the American Board  did not have an alternative mission station location for him) and relocated to the Berea area north of Durban. Bible translation work continued sporadically in conjunction with missionaries such as Posselt. Dohne was used to working alone and differences of opinion soon surfaced, slowing the translation work down.

Dohne and his wife Caroline (Watermeyer) bought a farm which he named Wartburg. From here he went to Utrecht near Vryheid where he did mission work. From Utrecht he moved to Vermaakskraal, Biggarsberg (Dundee district) where he once again ministered to the Boer farming community.

Wangermann closed the chapter of this Berlin Missionary Society endeavour with “Dohne’s relationship with the Berlin Mission Society once again became more cordial. The oft proven brother in his commitment to both black and white, developed a flood of blessed co-operation., as a result of which we can only wish him the Lord’s mercy from the bottom of our hearts”.

Dohne died on his farm in the turbulent year 1879.

Fort where Dohne is said to have taken refuge during the Frontier War

To be continued ...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Passengers to Natal October 1889: Duart Castle, African etc

Reported in The Natal Witness October 25 1889

Oct 22, Duart Castle, C.S.S., of London, 1825 tons, Harris, from England and Cape ports. Cargo, general.

From London:
JB Ross
Mr and Mrs Brown
R Price
D Lowry
J Polley
Mr, Mrs and Master Downie
Mr, Mrs and Master Andreson
Miss McLean
Mr and Mrs Boulton and infant
Master and Misses (2) Boulton
Mr and Mrs Leidler
Mrs L and E Richards
Master and Misses (2) Richards
Mr and Mrs Thompson
Miss Peters
R and W Richards
JM Subbs
From Cape Town:
Mr Cullock
From Algoa Bay:
Mr and Mrs Considene
From East London:
Mr A Anderson and Stapel
Mr Holias
- WF Allan, agent.

Oct 23, African, U.S.S., of Southampton, 1372 tons, Smyth, from Delagoa Bay. Cargo, general.

For Natal:
Mr and Mrs Pottier
Arab, and 10 natives.
For Madeira:
Mr Russell
- HJ Watts, agent.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Passengers to Natal July-Sept 1889


June 30 - Departure
Tartar USS Southampton. Travers*. Cape Ports
Miss Girdwood, Mr R Hunter, Mr JT Granger, Master B Hampton, Mr GH Raw, Miss Edwards, Mrs Engelken and child, Miss Engelken, Messrs R Hurry, Gaffney, C Rowe, HR Denou, Muller, Messrs SP Beare, SP Lategan, DS Lategan, GS Hull, RJ May, Ingle, Mrs Davis and child, Mr Horace, Whyte, Mrs GH Raw and 6 children, Miss Thompson, Justice and Mrs Wragg, Messrs ED Morrison, Jas. Morrison, Mr and Mrs Douglas, Girvan, Mr J Pardy, Hon. Mr and Mrs Hulett, Miss Hulett, Messrs TS Hill, JR Hill, Mrs Mason

July 2 - Arrival
Venice CSS London. Winder. Cape Ports
Captain and Mrs Wright, Lieut Grey, Mrs W Fleming, Missses Cowan, Hull, Elliott, Messrs Harrant, Faithful, Crutwell

July 5 - Arrival
The Moor
Messrs Gibbs, Blew, Lewis, Roberts, Ballantine, Richmond, Young, Mrs Robertson, Miss Wynne

July 4 - Arrival
Hawarden Castle CSS London. Harrison. England via Cape Ports
Mr Robb, Mr and Mrs GA Champion, Mr WJ Atkinson, Miss Blackie, Mr AF Case, Dr W Carte, Mr Jas Yellow, Misses M and H Yellow, Mr Collinson, Mr and Mrs Hay, Messrs WF Seymour, E Nathan, CM Jenkins, Miss Sam Lemen, Messrs JD Goodwin, RH Andrew, Walter Stein, FW Wardrop, FW Tosnell, J Pleat, A Pearson, Hewitt, JH Constable, W Watson, F Chenoweth, F Bolland, FW Larsen, Joseph Zadick, F Smith, Carl Anderson, J Amos, S Amos, HW Bell, Thos Thompson, James Petrel, Mrs Honey and 2 children, Mr Comath, Mr Dick, Mr and Mrs Horner, Mr May, Messrs GH Raw, Bullen, H Bails, Capt Dryason, Nathan, Miss Alice Smith, Messrs Errington, J Wood, Kendall, Haigh, Mr and Miss Evans, Mr Hays, Messrs Thoup, FB Broadway, Mrs Muller, Mr De La Hunt, Miss A Whilhelm, Mr Palmer

July 4 - Departure
African USS Southampton. Smyth. Cape Ports
Mr W Lloyd, Mr W Weston, Miss East, Messrs J Shultz, HW Schwartz, H Schwartz and David Tayob, Messrs R Dixon and Leask, Miss Leask, Miss Wynne, Mr L Ramsey, Mr and Mirs Dellar and child, Mr and Mrs Fuller, Mr Watson, Messrs S Davis, E West, Masters G Shepstone and M Shepstone

July 4 - Arrival
Duart Castle CSS London. Harris. England and Cape Ports
Messrs Clark, Biller, Elliott, Carr, Haywood, Mr and Mrs Dickson and 4 children, Messrs Balch, Henchkner, Cheyne, Anderson, Thomas and Davis, Messrs Phillips and Palmer, Mr Thorne

July 8 - Arrival
Taymouth Castle CSS London. Andrews. Delagoa Bay
Messrs A Mitchell, R Pugin, R Blackhurst, S Seymour, H Hesmell, W Blackwood, Master Rickards, Albert

July 5 - Departure
Courland CSS London. Le Suer. East Coast Ports
Mr Michel, Mr Geo Kennedy, Dr Scott, Capt Lucas, Mr Stent

July 10 - Arrival
Anglian USS Southampton. Morton. Cape Ports
Messrs C Spencer, Rolfe, JJ Kirkness, Macandrew, Johnston, Mr and Mrs Olney, Mr Steeley, Miss Taylor, Messrs JC Ingle, M Coombes, S Kemp, Mr and Mrs Robinson, Master Robinson, AD Wilson, Tweedell, Mr and Miss McPherson, Miss Bester, Rev Foot, Messrs Beatly, Thorne, Wolff, Mr and Mrs Williams, Messrs JT Granger, W Dower, Mrs and Mrs Nel, Masters JD and C Nel, Misses G and H Nel, Mr Linrow

July 11 - Arrival
Moor USS Southampton. Griffin. From England, Cape Ports
Mrs Robertson, Miss Wynne, Messrs Gibbs, Blew, Lewis, Roberts, Young, Ballantine, Richmond, Simpson, Mrs Watson and nurse, Miss Manisty, Lieut Col. Knolly, Mr and Mrs Duncan, Messrs Heffner, Scott, Messrs Dunne, Parkins, White, Mr and Mrs De Pawa, Mr and Master Deetleps, Miss Du Preez, Mr Vannen, Mr and Miss Watt, Sister Enid, Mr Heary

July 11 - Arrival
Dunkeld CSS London. Broadfoot. Cape Ports
Mr Arthur, R Sawyer, Mrs Simons, Miss Frompton, Mr Simons, Mr JN Wood, Messrs LL Proksch, CB Norman, Welch, Miss Long, Rev EA Hannick, Miss E Buchanan, Mrs WE Buchanan, Messrs Santter, P Chapman, John Agnew, Joseph Alexander, and D Blue

July 13 - Arrival
The Grantully Castle
Dr Langlay, Dr Hill, Messrs Hill, Thompson, Reid, Jameson, Brunskill, Austin, Bastable, James, Edmunds, Mesdames Hill, Bastable, Miss Fassendon, Hanee, McCormack, Prixley, Holland

July 14 - Departure
Moor USS Southampton. Griffin. Cape Ports and England
Mr and Mrs Dunting and 3 children, Mr George Sutton, Mr M Davey, Mr HH Haig, Mr J Kendall, Master P Hartley, Mr Thos. McKilican and child, Messrs John Randles, EJ Driver, JH Isaacs, J Lanksbury, B Benjamin, Walter Fitz Fischer, Messrs Leslie, Tidy, Mrs Newton and 3 children, Mr A Taylor, Mr and Mrs S West, Mr and Mrs Jas Hall and child, Mr Thorp Becker, Mr and Mrs Scott and 3 children

July 15 - Arrival
Venice CSS London. Winder. Coastal Ports
Mr and Mrs Muller, Messrs Robinson, Leuchars, Rev Dower, Messrs Lawrie, Heilbron, Armitage, Mr and Mrs Carmichael and 3 children, Messrs Fereira, Greecy

July 17 - Arrival
Umlazi SS London. Tillar. London
Mr and Mrs Grove, Messrs Bullen and Eva

July 19 - Departure
Anglian USS Southampton. Morton. Cape Ports
Rev F Cosnett, Messrs Elliott and Hall, Mrs S Button, Mr Cuthbert, Mrs Tennant, Miss Harris, Misses Rowe, Hartley, Benny, Hon JT Polkinghorne, Mr Vannen, Messrs Myburg, Adamson, Thorn, Mr Jas Kerr, Mr and Mrs Sherwell and infant, Mr A Taylor, Mr and Mrs Matterson, Mrs Young

July 22 - Arrival
Messrs Andrews, Yelverton, Gibson, Goldfinch, Jarvis, Simpson Misses Tucker, Yelverton and Jarvis

July 19 - Arrival
Grantully Castle CSS London. Young. From England, Cape Ports
Messrs Thompson, Hill, Jameson, R Reid, Langley, Brunskill, Edmonds, Burrows, Dr and Mrs Hill, Miss Holland, Mr Fessendon, Mr and Mrs Bastable, Misses Hawes, Risley, McCormack, Bradstock, Olsson, Wite, Salmon, Mr Cox, Mr Troome, Mrs Wilton and child, Mr Croft, Mrs Henderson, Mr Pollock, Messrs Sellwood, Wilson, Shanks, Jurd, Duncan, Bishop, Carlow, Sinclair, Loutit, Steele, Walker, Grant, Reid, Williams, Lightfoot, McChlery, Miss Callow, Messrs Madore, Dreyer, Brock, Jansen, Withersbrown, Lindhurst, Laing, Peel, Chalmers, Mrs Melson, Messrs Gray, Barrington and Bates, Mr and Mrs Bertram, Messrs Faulkner, Calder, Denson, Mrs Isacke, Messrs ME Brown and Price, Mrs Bell and child, Mrs Anerback, Messrs Wild, Dalrumple, Howard, Mr and Mrs Schwartz, Mr Harrison, Mr and Mrs Denton and 3 children, Messrs O and R Denton

July 22 - Departure
Grantully Castle CSS London. Young. Cape Ports and England
Miss Janion, Messrs TWJ Hall, W Brunton, Wallenstein, Selly and Mr T Selly, Mr and Mrs J Hendry and 4 children, Miss Isavella Christin, Misses Wood (2) and Miss Gordon, Mrs Underwood, Mr Thos. Cann, Charley Kinwalo (native), Major and Mrs McCoomb, Mr and Mrs Osborne, Rev Proudfoot, Mrs Rene, Mrs Popham, Mr A Murchie, Miss Kirkman and maid, Miss Blanchenberg, Mr and Mrs W Stainbank and child

July 23 - Arrival
African USS Southampton. Smyth. Cape Ports
Mrs and Miss Brylton, Misses Collison, M and B Stewart, Miss and Miss M Findlay, Mr Banfield, Messrs Ireland, Mummery, James, Richards, Col-Sergt George, Mrs, Misses (2) and Master Clarke, Messrs Doble, Rope, Wheeler, Pule, Harrison, Alderson, Hammill, Wackrill, Turnbull and Elliott

July 24 - Arrival
Melrose CSS London. Rose. Cape Ports
Mrs Rose and 3 children, Mrs Chaudle, Miss Dymott, Mr J Graham, Messrs Simpkins, D Paton, Mr and Mrs Bonamici, Mr Martuld, Darcs Troop (Circus) 8 adults and 2 children

July 25 - Departure
Melrose CSS London. Rose. Cape Ports
Messrs DW McCarthy, Seymour, Masters Grice (3), Messrs Clark, JF Ochse, Mr and Mrs J Vondesio and 5 children, Mr Gillespie, Masters O'Flaherty (2), Thomas Mangadi, Daniel Radebe, Mr Thomas Skeen, Mr Jacob Oosthuisen, Mr Cook, Mr and Mrs Duncan, Mrs Cook, Miss Holmes, Mr ET Bentley, Mr Brand, 10 Ship wrecked sailors of 'Barque Fidia'

July 25 - Departure
African USS Southampton. Smyth. Delagoa Bay
Messrs S Simpkins, RD Brown, Donaldson, Mr and Mrs Jas. Murray, Messrs Roe, Ingle

July 29 - Departure
Mexican USS Southampton. Jones. Cape Ports and England
Mr RM Ginney, Miss M Christie, Mr A Robson, Mr and Mrs and Misses Ford, Tuft, Mr T Wood, Mr J Douglas, Mr A Scharfscheer, Master Scharfscheer, Miss E Langer, Miss Travers, Mrs Buyskes, Mr C Hanau, Mr Jansen, Mr Dawkins, Miss Bartlett, Mrs Dawes and child, Mr and Mrs Lacy, Miss D Hare, Mr WJ Adamson, Mrs and Miss Bicknell

August 2 - Arrival
Pembroke Castle CSS London. Hay. England and Cape Ports
From Flushing (Holland)
Messrs Koster, Blinde, Mr Keen, Mr Robertson, Mrs Robertson, Misses (3) and Masters (3) Robertson, Hursbing, Southwell, Mr, Miss and Master Nicholls, Biccard, Mr Chalmers, Mrs Alexander, Mr and Mrs Rideout, Mr Padfield, Mr and Mrs Kays, Messrs Davey, Miller and Millar, Miss Farrell, Misss AM Farrell, Mr and Mrs Bowles, Miss Parker and 2 boys, Messrs Mason, Jacobson, Hartreu, Harford and E Harford, Piercey, Atwell, Kennedy, Robertson, Bryant, Lyall, Rennie, Servant, Mrs Noylan, Mrs Searle and 5 children, Messrs Skinnell, Boyce, Lewis, Shumneu, Mr and Mrs Harris, Mrs Laurie, Miss Laurie and Master Laurie, Mr and Mrs Clarmont and 5 children, Mr Grier, Mrs Masks, Miss Ridley, Miss Hedley, Mr Ramsay, Miss Rush, Miss A Reith, Miss B Reith, Messrs Brookes, Tait, Harland, Lawson, Wright, Miss Spoor, Mr and Mrs Tilburn and 2 children, Mrs McDonald, Miss and Master McDonald, Mr Whitfield, Miss McDonald, Mr Thomas, Messrs Brunton, Hall, C Cumming, Poole and Hayter

July 30 - Arrival
African USS Southampton. Smyth. Delagoa Bay
Messrs McIntosh, Fisher, Gubler, Widmar, Hodge, and Frye, Masters Browne, Messrs Kulling, Oates, Pillay, Kennedy and Cook, and 2 Chinamen

August 2 - Arrival
Spartan Cape Town
Major Thompson, Lieut Hiddingh, Messrs Jacobs, Glyn, Addison, Johnson, Smith, Tilney, Courteney, Mrs Thompson and Miss Parker

August 2 - Arrival
Drummond Castle CSS London. May. Cape Ports and England
Dr. and Mrs Holt and child, Mr and Mrs Harvey, Miss Holms, Messrs E King, Anderton, Fletcher, Bourgnis, Mr, Mrs and Miss Cowey, Misses Adlam and Hasdell, Messrs Dix (2), Boulton, Mr and Mrs Moss and infant, Mrs and Misses Welch (3) and 3 children, Mr Glassons, Messrs Robertson, Fliun, Pearson, Arnot, Davidson, Mr and Miss Thomas, Mr, Mrs and Misses Bateman (2) and 6 children, Messrs Learmouth, Dreyer, Rowe, Linton, Bardsley, Mr and Mrs Gutridge, Miss Tuter, Mr and Mrs Dyers, Misses Dyers and 6 children, Miss Edwards, Mr Harding, Mrs Bullen and children, Messrs Craven, Brook, Mr Dowdell, Mrs Abrahams and children

August 4 - Departure
Drummond Castle CSS London. Winchester. Cape Ports and England
Mrs Muller, Mr and Mrs Kennmeyer and 2 children, Mr JJ Cross, Mr Robert Telford, Miss Van Dunstan, Mr Jenson, Mr Thomas Rowe, Mr and Mrs GH Andrews, Mr JS Marais, Mr RK Loveday, Dr Moor, Dr Armitage, Mr and Mrs Moreings, Mr H Groom, Mr and Mrs Russell, Mr and Mrs Robert Morrris

August 4 - Arrival
Courland CSS London. E Coast Ports
Mr W Stirr, Captain Lucas, Mr Richards, Miss Allan, Mrs M Delita, Mrs Walker and 3 children, Miss Rullock, Mrs Leatherley and infant, Mr AW Bannermann, Mr J Thompson, Mr and Mrs Arundel and 3 children, Misses A and E Arundel, Mrs L Fowle, Miss Harper, Mrs Brown and child, Mrs S Ibraim, Bishop McKenzie, Mr P Ferguson, Mr H Smith, Mr D Westlick

August 5 - Arrival
Anglian USS Southampton. Morton. Cape Ports
Messrs Addison, Spiers, Tilley, Cohnteney, Jacobs, Hall, Evans, Dabb, Anderson, Lindsay, Larsen, Hessen, Jaap, Stewart, MacKinnon, Chaddock (2), Martin, Mr and Mrs Cook, Mr Middlebrook

August 10 - Departure
Melrose CSS London. Rose. Cape Ports
Messrs H Lovell, WS Crart, WH Chaplin, F Spring, Chambers, Raffar, Messrs Widddicombe, H Brook, Messrs Geoffrey Drage, Overbeck, G Banks, Mr and Mrs Russell, Mr and Mrs Dickson, Mrs Burke, Messrs E Chizzoy, J Newcombe, W Porte, Mr Treu and 2 children

August 9 - Arrival
The Norman Castle
Mr Stratford, Mrs Alsop, Misses Alsop, Young and King

August 8 - Arrival
Pretoria USS Southampton. Symons. England and Cape Ports
Dr Otto Hohls, Messrs McKinlay, Weir, Mathieson, Miss Domdey, Messrs Goetze, Schmidt, Joliffe, Weeks, Hargrave, O'Malley, Gibson, Cochrane, Mr and Mrs and Master and Miss Wilkinson, Mrs Glover and 2 children, Mr and Mrs Germany and 5 children, Messrs Steel, Van Ordt, Reed, Mrs Jacobs and child, Mr Christie, Messrs Cowi, Warner, Mr, Mrs and Master and Miss Ridings, Mrs Harbottle and 6 children, Mr and Mrs Kuter and 4 children

August 8 - Arrival
Spartan USS Southampton. Wait. England, Cape Ports
Major and Mrs Thompson, Lieut Hiddingh, Miss Parker, Messrs Glynn, Cook, Johnson, Smith, Cumming, Dunn, Mr and Miss MacKellan, Miss Smith, Messrs Randles, Stoffberg, H Smith, WF Lance, Robinson, Goodman, Osmond, Johnson, Forsyth, Mrs Coneath and 3 children, Staff Sergt. Bater, Messrs MacDulling, Frazer, Charlton, Howard, Wallenstein

August 8 - Arrival
Pembroke Castle CSS London. Hay. Delagoa Bay
Messrs Garman, Garland, Thornton, Samuel, Stanley, Suliema, Ibrahim

August 19 - Arrival
The Anthenian
Rev Edwards, Mrs Edwards, 2 Misses and 2 Masters and Mr Edwards, Messrs Eicke Pretorius, and Don. Mesdames White and Henderson, Pistorius, Kingsberg, Ashton, Crampton, Martin-dale, Ollison, Rees, Edwards, Friscothick, May, James, Butler, R Edwards, Williams, Dougherty, Mathoy, Wiles, Grisinto, Sardicio, Perotto, Dagasso, Rev and Mrs Pool, Miss Venth, Mr and Mrs Arnold, Mr Nickeljohn, Capt Doyle, Messrs Dawkins, Southall, Kaiser, Bresson, Mrs Stone, Miss Anderson, Mr, Mrs and Masters (2) and Misses (2) Buddam, Messrs Litchfield, Haddock, Burns, Lammer, Rusch

August 22 - Departure
Norham Castle CSS London. Robinson. Cape Ports and England
Mr and Mrs Middlebrook and child, Miss Caldecott, Mrs A Thomas and child, Rev and Mrs EH Richards and child, Mr TLR Cooper, Miss McBean, Messrs TL Speight, Pearce, Hill and Waiteley

August 26 - Arrival
Coorang. Adelaide. Hayward. From Adelaide
Dr Jas Stevenson, Messrs Lowden (3), Brown, May, Edwards, Millhouse, Hushes, Rutherford, Mr and Mrs Smit, Mrs Quinn, Messrs Dawson, Cape, Dunn, Hilborg, Toal, Broadway, Furdon, Gunning, Marsh, Nicholson, Bland, Pollsen, Warren, Weber, Opie, Norton, Fern, Jomalin, Dickson, Long, Dingen, Griffiths (2), Williams, O'Connor, Bathgate, Mr, Mrs and Masters and Misses Klibbe, Mr Quinn and children

August 28 - Arrival
The Trojan. Cape Town
Major Johnstone, Dr Dekema, Captain Woolcock, Messrs Whytock, Edmonds, Redwood, Ringlington, Ewen, and Ribble, Mesdames Johnstone, Whytock, Edmonds and Master Johnstone

September 5 - Arrival
The Roslin Castle
Rev Roby, Messrs Campbell, North, Edmunds, Smith, Lindon, Lister, Davis, Cable, Chinery, Long. Mesdames Edmunds, Smith and Lindon, Misses Smith (2), Beaumont (1)

September 3 - Arrival
Anglian USS Southampton. Morton. Cape Ports
Mr and Mrs Edmunds, Mr Redwood, Mr and Mrs W Hylock, Mrs Powter, Miss Muhlenbrock, Mr Seccombe, Mr, Mrs and Miss Deans, Messrs Casemore, Tressise, Reed, Romain, Mr and Mrs Kingsbury, Mr Ranlin, Miss Violer, Messrs Gibbs, Leintre, Messrs C Risk, Dane, Misses Sellar (2) Messrs J Hooper, T Heddley, Mrs Taylor, Misses Taylor (2) Master Taylor, Mr Thompson, Dick, Charley, Messrs Tre, T Turner, RH Duke, Schrader, J Middleton, Mrs CJ Abrahams, Master (3) and Misses (2) Abrahams, Lieut Merkirk

September 9 - Arrival
Trojan USS Southampton. Hoste. From England, Cape Ports
Major Johnstone RE, Mrs Johnstone, Master Johnstone, Mr Rimington, Mr Hoste, Dr Dekima, MrEwen, Mr McMillan, Capt Woolcock, Mr Ribble, Mr and Mrs Bromley, Surgeon-General Faught, Messrs Corbett, Ziervogel, Van der well, Master Du Plessis, Master Meiring, Master Hurlingh, Miss Gourlay, Mr Lister, Mrs and Master (2) Molyneux, Messrs Rutherford, Laverton, Miller, Charlton, Boradway, Vice, Gately, Mr and Mrs Callaghan, Messrs Fink, Bailey, Robertson, Knaggs, Thesbury, Bucknall, Mrs Card and 4 children

September 8 - Arrival
Melrose CSS London. Rose. Cape Ports
Mr L Lithauer, Mr and Mrs Lithauer and 5 children, Mrs Lithaur's maid, Mr Hoogstraten, Mr T Henderson, John Isaacs

September 10 - Arrival
Anglian USS Southampton. Morton. Delagoa Bay
Messrs Brumheim, De Coster, Fowle, Easterbrook, Levy, Falkner, Kirkham, Tanner, Folkes, Raucart, Fraser, Freiberg, Hosking, Lourenco, Peirira, Molley

September 8 - Departure
Trojan USS Southampton. Hoste. Cape Ports and England
Messrs Stidworthy, Jackson, WCT Keen, Dowdall, RA Henderson, HE Halse Peacock, JW Weir, Mrs Squires, Dr Murray, Mrs Tudhope and infant, Mrs Tibberton, Miss Sutherland, Messrs A Johnston, W Holmes, Dr Bogle, Mrs De Paiva, Mr J Mate, Mrs Garden, Mrs Rathbone and 5 children, 6 men H.M. different regiments, Miss Ratsey, Mr and Mrs Arnold, Mrs Hamilton and 5 children, Mr McJermet, Mr and Mrs Cleghorn, Miss F Eldwick, Major Rathbone, 29 men and 1 woman H.M. different Regiments, Mrs Wilson

September 13 - Arrival
The Tartar. Cape Town
Col Birkett, Messrs Walk, Browning, Shuter, McNess, Warn, McMaster, Bishop Lavoipierre, Burden, Garrett, Dingley, Mesdames Birkett, Walk, Browning, Thrush, McNess, McMaster, Perritt and the Misses Browning, Weeks, Ruttey

September 19 - Arrival
The Hawarden Castle
Messrs Johnson, Snell (2), Nicoll, Mesdames Clode (?) Snell, Nicoll, Smith, Black and White, Misses Nicol, Potter, Black (2), White, Masters Snell, Black and White (2)

September 18 - Arrival
German USS Southampton. Reynolds. England and Cape Ports
Mr and Mrs Sacks, Mr Brown, Mrs McCaar, Miss Smith, Miss A Smith, Master Smith, Mr J Gibson, Mr W Smith, Mr H Worsnap, Mr and Mrs Forsnap, Mr and Mrs J Henry, Mr J Henry (junior), Master Henry, Mr C Rogers, Mrs Wenzil, Mrs Kahle, Mr Hulstyne, Mr H Comins, Mrs WJ Ulyate, Miss Ulyate, Master G Ulyate, Miss Hocking, Mr Schultz, Mr F Robinson, Mr J Overnaunm and Mr A Overnaunm (?Overaunm)

September 19 - Arrival
Tartar USS Southampton. Travers. From England and Cape Ports
Mr, Mrs and Miss Browning, Mrs McNess, Misses Weeks, Nutty and Moffatt, Mr WC Ware, Col and Mrs Birkett, Mr, Mrs McMaster, Mr D Price, Mr Morgan, Misses Ricar, Rausler, Ebner, Studach, Fhrler, Fassbinder, Offermann, Gruter, Schumner, Mader, Brauhaun, Staffel, Schucitch, Schmidt, Messrs Stokinger, Grun, Mader, Baumartner, Albing, Weder, Odendaal, Overback, Reed, Mader, Baumartner, Albing, Weder, Odendaal, Overvack, Reed, Seugschmidt, Hautsmann, Reiner, Hanrath, Vicker, Schmidt, Baumann, Kuoff, Watischker, Drexel, Rateman, Mr and Mrs Bernard and 2 children, Mr JC Schuckenberg, Miss Destiletta, Mrs and Miss Anderson, Miss De Villiers, Mr North, Mr and Mrs Attmann, Mrs Glen, Messrs J Mote, Bird, Messrs Grewer, E Ebert, G Harrison, Maetshke, Morgan, Hall, Jin and James, Mr and Mrs Alexander, Sissing, Mr and Mrs Gordon, Miss Robertson, Mrs Barton and 2 children, Messrs Wedermonote, Whitmore, WE Whitmore, GS Whitmore, A Walker, T Jones, A Kurtz, C Kurtz

September 19 - Departure
African USS Southampton. Smyth. For Delagoa Bay
Messrs J Sharp, NJ Boer, Sinclair

September 19 - Departure
Melrose CSS London. Rose. Cape Ports
Mr BW Blaine, Messrs Ensors, Messrs Davis, Marran, Messrs Imlach and Hunter, Mr Whitelaw, Dr Carte, Messrs GB Gilletti, Wasserzung

September 26 - Arrival
The Moor. Cape Town
Messrs Smith, Escombe, Snell, Lindsay, Jenkinson, Ricketts, Wood (2), Grix, Mathers, Pollock, Mesdames Smith, Hyde, Snell, Lindsay, Jenkinson, Rickett and Mathers and Master Snell

*A name given following the name of the vessel refers to the Captain.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Passengers to Natal: African and Pretoria, Nov 1889

AFRICAN AND PRETORIA arrived November 12 1889, reported in Natal Witness November 15 1889.

Nov 12, African, U.S.S., of Southampton, 1372 tons, Smyth, from Cape ports with mails ex Spartan from England (Oct 18). Cargo, general.

From Algoa Bay:
Mr Armstrong
Mr Lemon
From East London:
Mr Palmer

HJ Watts, agent.

Nov 12, Pretoria, U.S.S., of Southampton, 3199 tons, Owen, from England and Cape ports. Cargo, general.
From Hamburg:
Messrs R and F Maier
From Rotterdam:
Lach de Bere

From Southampton:
Master Webb
Mr and Mrs P Smith
WW Robertson
S Richards
W Richards
Rev J Halt
Mr and Mrs Wood
Messrs Gordon
CF Baker
Master Cohen
Mr and Mrs Robertson
Rev WE Smyth

From Cape Town:
Mr and Mrs Johnson
Mr and Mrs Hill and child

From Algoa Bay:
three natives

From East London:
Mr Airey
Mrs Swift
Mrs Whitney and six children

- JH Watts, agent.

Nov 13 Proecis, schooner of Stavanger, 290 tons, Marchusen, from Soderhamn (July 25). Cargo, deals.
- Parker, Wood and co., agents.


Nov 13, African, U.S.S., of Southampton, 1372 tons, Smyth, for Delagoa Bay. Cargo, general.
For Delagoa Bay:
Mr and Mrs Walter and three children
J Pierce
A Francisco
J Wilson
F Pincus
three natives

HJ Watts, agent.

Nov 13, St. Joseph, schooner, of Arandal, 285 tons, Fergesen, for Pascagoula, in ballast.
CAJ Kirkwood, agent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Emigrant's letter home 1849

An Emigrant's Letter Home by Thomas Phipson, published in The Natal Witness 1 June 1849, including an account of a voyage from Table Bay to Natal on the schooner Waterwitch.

My Dear Friends in England,

Some of you, perhaps, ere this, have deemed yourselves forgotten, by those who left their native land some three months since. But oblivion of home is seldom the concomitant of absence either with emigrants or exiles, and our principal difficulty has been, how with any promptitude and facility to meet the various claims upon a correspondence for which, as you must suppose, our numerous avocations on our first arrival here leave us but little time. Unanswered inquiries from friends at a distance, and solemn injunctions to 'write soon' accompanying the last pressure of many a well-known hand, rise before our imaginations, and speed home to our hearts; but to put on paper so many manuscript editions of the same story, we have felt to be a somewhat perplexing and onerous task. In this dilemma the editor of the Natal Witness has kindly come to our aid, and has allowed us to make his paper the vehicle of our communications to you; thus, (thanks to the noble art of printing, extending its power even here) saving our time and fingers, and conveying the intelligence which you no doubt anxiously expect.

My attention, as some of you know, had long been drawn towards Missionary operations in general, and those of Southern Africa in particular, through my former connexion with the office of the London Missionary Society; and I had felt a growing conviction, that by Christian colonization would the spread of the Gospel be most effectually promoted, and the obstacles to its diffusion most promptly met ...

Events, with which most of you are acquainted, led me to attempt personally to act on these views. The unromantic story of a rising family, and a limited income, one to which many a manly heart and matronly bosom can feelingly respond; in how many an English home are the weekly bills anxiously scanned, the table scantily spread, the rent day foreboded, and the tax gatherer feared; while the future looms darker than the present and each succeeding generation stands on lower ground than the last. Had my bonny boys remained in London, their rosy cheeks must have grown pale on high stools or behind shop counters, but an irrepressible thirst in my own mind for nature and her charms made me resolve that at any sacrifice that fate should never be theirs. So without any very sanguine expectations, it was determined by my partner and myself to devote a few years of discomfort or privation, first to the cause of God and next to the welfare of our children; and in pursuance of these two objects, we are now through Divine Mercy arrived at Pietermaritzburg in the District of Natal. I need not now particularly refer to our tranquil passage from England to the Cape, which presents no feature of especial interest, but I cannot let pass the occasion of recording the generous kindness of Captain Drake of the Mary Ann to ourselves, and particularly to a beloved member of our little party who left our company for a better world on the very day which concluded the voyage.

Business at Cape Town was reported to be in a very languid and precarious state; the ebb tide wave of the railway panic in England having then just reached the other extremity of the Atlantic. Our views had been, however, from the first directed towards Natal, and though prospects might have opened in the metropolitan city of South Africa, we considered it best to pursue our original design. Of our fellow-passengers whom we met during our short stay, not one, I believe, but expressed themselves more or less disappointed in the anticipations they had formed. This was, however, perhaps owing in part to their not being generally of a class suited to the requirements of the colony.

We left Table Bay for Natal in the Waterwitch, a clipper built schooner engaged in the cattle trade to the Mauritius. Scarcely had we quitted the shelter of the land when we got into a gale of wind, which continued to increase in violence and pertinacity as we scudded before it. At the end of the third day, said our honest skipper to me, 'We must lay-to; for it's that heavy, we can run no longer, for fear of carrying away the foreyard' - which, by the way, bore only a double-reefed rag of a sail. Scarcely had he spoken when the light bark rounded to, broadside to the wind, and during the process was struck by two heavy seas, that crashed against her sides like huge masses of rock, threatening to split her asunder. Over the deck (as we were afterwards told) they swept, driving all hands to the rigging for safety, and washing away for a time, the man at the wheel; while salt water and rain came in below through the seams in the vessel's strained deck and sides. All night the violent blows of billows and roaring of the wind continued, and many, as you may well suppose, were the discomforts, anxieties, and prayers. Yet in the midst of it all we slept, the children soundly as in a bed at home; ourselves hastily, starting up at intervals from disturbed but pleasing dreams to listen eagerly whether the wind or the sea had abated aught of their rage. In the morning we had reason to acknowledge Divine goodness in the melioration of the weather, though the sea rose around us in liquid mountains for many hours after.

Our passage, though rough, was short; and in eight days we arrived off the Port. A lofty Bluff covered with thick bush shut in the entrance to the Bay and formed the principle object sea-ward, the Port boat soon came off with a Pilot, and without difficulty or danger we passed the dreaded bar, and anchored within a few yards of the shore; on the beach were a few huts the foundations of a new Custom-House, and several Ladies and Gentlemen on horseback watching the arrival of our vessel.

And as I am deferring further details until another opportunity, I subscribe myself, Dear Friends, Truly and Affectionately Yours, Thomas Phipson.

Note: Phipson was Sheriff of Natal for twelve years, and Marshal of the Vice-Admiralty Court, dealing with local shipwrecks as well as providing weather information for the Natal Almanac & Yearly Directory. Subject to periods of depression, he committed suicide in 1876. His daughter Rachel married Thomas Vinnicombe.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wreck of the Fascadale Part 2

Who was the Fascadale's First Mate?

A street in the Natal coastal resort of Southbroom commemorates Captain Alfred Julius Smith, said to have been the person commanding the Fascadale at the time of the wreck. However, there's confusion about this in various sources. The Times report quoted above merely refers to 'the captain', who was washed off the poop and rescued by Frank Whitehead. This would not have been the Fascadale's Captain Gillespie, so presumably it was the First Mate.  gives the following:

'When the Fascadale foundered ... in 1895, her captain was laid up in hospital after having met with an accident whilst unloading cargo in Durban. First Mate, Alfred Julius, was in fact at the helm but it is the registered ship's captain who is the namesake of Captain Smith's Drive'.

According to Malcolm Turner's Shipwrecks & Salvage in South Africa, where he quotes as one of his sources Lloyds Register of Shipping 1894-95, Captain B J Gillespie was the registered captain of the Fascadale. So, was the Fascadale's First Mate 'Alfred Julius' - or Alfred Julius Smith - acting captain at the time of the wreck?

There are also conflicting reports about the Fascadale - her size (but that often occurred, for various reasons, in ship descriptions), where she was bound and from where she had sailed. Turner states that the vessel was on a voyage from Java to Liverpool, The Times gives from Java to Lisbon, and other versions of the story mention she was travelling from Mauritius to Lisbon.

Details concerning Captain Gillespie are similarly varied: he was left behind in Java because he was ill; he had been injured in Durban and taken to Addington Hospital, so the Fascadale had continued her voyage without him. 

Paxie Kelsey's great grandfather was a Captain Alfred Julius Smith, who would have been 23 in 1895; he was in the BSAP by October 1895, and discharged in January 1896. Later in that year he was in the Kimberley Cadet Corps and he went on to be commended for bravery in WWI. Could Paxie's ancestor have been acting captain of the Fascadale - or is the name merely a strange coincidence?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wreck of the Fascadale: a heroic rescue 1895

The Fascadale, a steel barque of over 2 000 tons built in 1890 by A Stephens & Sons, Glasgow, foundered on rocks south of Port Shepstone on 7 February 1895. According to some accounts, she was on her way from Java - where her captain, B J Gillespie, had been left behind due to illness - carrying a crew of 28 and a cargo of sugar. The incident is notable for the heroism shown by those involved.

Under the headline 'Disaster at Sea', The Times (London) reported on 1 March 1895 that the Norham Castle had arrived at Durban with the news that a four-masted sailing vessel, with all sail set, was sighted ashore near Port Shepstone on the morning of 7 February:

'There was a heavy swell breaking clean over the ship and the crew were seen waving clothes, some clinging to the rigging and some to the end of the jib-boom. The chief officer of the Norham Castle, Mr Whitehead, volunteered to go in a boat and attempt their rescue, and succeeded after much difficulty in taking off the 18 men. Mr Whitehead behaved with great bravery. It was only after several attempts that a line could be attached and communication made with the ship, and this was only effected by Mr Whitehead jumping into the sea and swimming with a line around his waist. He was met half way by an apprentice from the wrecked ship, with another line. The two lines were joined in the water, and by this means 17 of the crew were hauled aboard the boat in an exhausted condition. The captain of the ship [i.e. her First Mate who was in command at the time] was washed off the poop, but was rescued by Mr Whitehead who again jumped into the sea and swam with him back to the boat. Five men were still on board clinging to the jib-boom but the surf was so heavy that it was impossible to get near them.

The boat returned to the Norham Castle for rockets and other apparatus but before she got back to the wreck the five men were either washed off or dropped into the sea with the object of swimming ashore. They were not seen again. Ten men were missing altogether, but one has since got to land, and two bodies have been washed ashore. It is feared that the seven others were drowned. The wrecked vessel was the Fascadale, Captain Gillespie, from Java to Lisbon, with sugar. Mr Whitehead was presented with an address by the passengers of the Norham Castle, and also with an illuminated address by the inhabitants of Durban in recognition of his heroism.'

Frank Whitehead, chief officer of the Norham Castle (later Captain Whitehead), and the Fascadale's apprentice, Robert P G Ferries, were subsequently awarded the Board of Trade medal for bravery at sea. Sergeant C R Ottley of the Natal Police also received a bronze medal for his contribution in saving the lives of crew members of the Fascadale.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Welch's Omnibus: Durban to Pietermaritzburg

Welch's Omnibus

'The Prince Alfred Omnibus Will, till further notice, leave Mr Welch's Premises, opposite the Wesleyan Chapel, West Street Durban, for Pietermaritzburg, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 6 o'clock a.m., and return from the Crown Hotel, Pietermaritzburg, the alternate days. Fares 30s. Seats and parcels must be booked and prepaid. Passengers and parcels will be booked on the premises.'

Natal Mercury 20 March 1863

Note: Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's son, had paid a Royal Visit to the Colony in September 1860,
and his name was remembered in a variety of ways.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Passengers to Natal: Lady of the Lake December 1854

ARRIVAL OF LADY OF THE LAKE Natal Witness 8 December 1854


Dec 2
Huma, schooner, Captain L Oldriene, from Liverpool. Henderson, Smerdon and Co., Agents.

Lady of the Lake, barque, Captain HM Taylor, from London - E Snell, agent.

Dr and Mrs Callaway
Mr and Mrs Button and 10 Masters and Misses Button
Mr and Mrs Balcomb
Mr H Pepworth
Mr and Mrs Allison and 4 children
Mr and Mrs Zekin and Master Zekin
Mr and Mrs Mullins and child

Cape of Good Hope, stmr., Capt Lowen, from Table Bay.
E Snell, agent.
Pantaloon, 260 tons, from London, to sail about the 15th July.
J Millar and Co., agents.
Natal, screw steamer, 700 tons, J Boxer, from Table Bay.
E Snell, agent.

Passenger List barque Lady of the Lake from London to Natal, arrived 2 Dec.
From Natal Witness 8 Dec 1854. Note Mr and Mrs Button with ten children.

Lloyd's Register for 1853/4:

LADY OF THE LAKE [a regular visitor to Natal; see other passenger lists for the vessel, various dates, on this blog]

Rigging:  Barque; sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1853; partly fastened with iron bolts
Tonnage:  337 tons
Construction:  1820 in Chittagong; vessel lengthened in 1848
Owners:  Stainbank
Port of registry:  London
Port of survey:  London

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Passenger lists from the Natal Mercury April 1859

Passenger lists for the barque L'Imperatrice Eugenie and the screw-steamer Himalaya.
 Typically, there are no names given for troops of the 85th Regiment on board Himalaya.
Note also under Vessels Expected the two Dutch barques, Hermanus Isaak and Jan Van Brakel
bringing emigrants to New Gelderland, Natal under Colenbrander's scheme.
Natal Mercury 14 April, 1849

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for Family Historians

1. Backup. Backup. Backup. There are so many available options now and there’s simply no excuse for losing data. See

2. Make a vow not to believe everything you read on Internet. It is a wonderful facility but for accurate family history follow up with original sources.

3. Bear in mind that even primary sources may not always be accurate and that ancestors often lied – or concealed the truth, if you prefer.

4. Make a note of all your sources while you’re conducting your research. Back these up.
It will save time and frustration later on.

5. If you join a mailing list, first lurk for a while to get a feel for typical posts. When submitting a post be as clear as you can and especially choose an informative subject heading giving name, date and location – not a pathetically vague ‘Can you help?’

6. If you are tracing South African ancestors, remember that NAAIRS, the SA National Archives online index, is just that – an index, a resource locator to be used in conjunction with other sources. If you do not find a reference to your ancestor on NAAIRS it isn’t the end of the world.

7. Avoid any attempt to make facts fit the accepted family version of the family history: clear your mind of bias or sentimentality and go methodically from the known to the unknown, acquiring documentary evidence of events.

8. Identify your goal and stick to it. Are you intending to write a family history narrative? Write it as you research in the form of a newsletter to interested family members. That’s one way of reducing a challenging task to manageable proportions.

9. Be realistic: don’t try to cover too many lines at once.

10. Get out of the aimless habit of being distracted by irrelevant material simply because it looks interesting. This is one of the curses of internet and wastes precious time.

Tollgate, Durban, built 1866. Mr Bird was official keeper of the toll. Price: 6d.