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Wilby Rackham

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Wilby Rackham

Postby Tobina » Fri May 17, 2019 8:04 pm

Wilby Rackham was captain of the barque Alcaig which was lost with all hands in 1868.
We have been unable to find out many details about the ship or it's owners.
Also although the ship was registered in Liverpool the GRO informed me that there is no death certificate for Wilby.
Can anyone suggest why this might be as people dying at sea after 1837 on British ships should have their death registered ?
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Wilby Rackham

Postby brunes08 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:00 pm

I tried to find information on the loss of the Alcaig. Somewhat difficult as you have found. However, I went on to the search facility of duckduckgo.com and entered the loss of the Alcaig in 1868. Go to the article by Mike Caine. This is a long article about Wilby Rackham and the Rackham family plus more information on the Alcaig. She was believed lost somewhere between Lagos and Liverpool.


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Last edited by brunes08 on Fri May 17, 2019 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wilby Rackham

Postby meekhcs » Fri May 17, 2019 10:03 pm

If the barque was owned overseas then his death would not be registered in the UK.
Our gt uncle died in the Bristol Channel but the boat he was on was owned by an American Shipping line and his death was not registered in the UK.
Try looking for newspaper articles.
If you have a world wide Ancestry or FMP sub look for his death through out the world.


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Re: Wilby Rackham

Postby MaureenE » Sat May 18, 2019 2:42 am

brunes08 wrote: Go to the article by Mike Caine. This is a long article about Wilby Rackham and the Rackham family plus more information on the Alcaig. She was believed lost somewhere between Lagos and Liverpool.

The link is http://www.mike-caine.com/wilby-rackham ... s-preface/

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Re: Wilby Rackham

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:09 am

Tobina wrote:... people dying at sea after 1837 on British ships should have their death registered ?

The TNA Guide on http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/birth-marriage-death-sea-or-abroad/ says:
From 1854 records of births, marriages and deaths at sea had, first, to be recorded in ships’ logs. When the ships next docked at a British port the information from the logs was then recorded by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen (RGSS). Copies of the RGSS registers were periodically sent to the General Register Office.

My emphasis. There is a major hole in this procedure. If the ship itself is lost, how exactly can the information from the log be copied? And what triggers that impossible copy given that the ship will never again dock at a British port? None of these are insuperable obstacles but unless someone's put alternative procedures in place, it's highly likely that this won't happen. Then there's the "Can we register a death if there's no body?" angle.

The fact that the GRO doesn't have a record of this death does suggest that these issues are material...
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Re: Wilby Rackham

Postby Tobina » Sat May 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Thanks for the replies. Adrian’s post gives a good explanation as he says it can’t be registered if it didn’t dock in Britain again. My husband is descended from Wilby so we have copies of the Caine letters. There was a mention of the Alcaig in the Times later in 1868 which just states that she was presumed lost with all hands. I can’t find anything regarding the owners, Duckett of Preston, or agents, Walsh brothers Liverpool.
Yet another brick wall!

Thanks again Tobina
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