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Lighthouse keeper in the dark

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Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby tonybee » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:49 pm

Great-uncle Charles Nicholas served as a keeper at lighthouses at Dungeness, Wolf Rock, the Lizard, the Skerries and Spurn Head. In 1892 he was posted (volunteered?) to work in the lighthouse service in Hong Kong and all trace of him was lost until his death in retirement back home in the UK in Hertfordshire. Oddly, his wife and children remained at the Lizard (Cornwall), living with her parents. Did Charles return from time to time to visit them? The couple were together at the time of his death - no divorce or separation apparent.
Can anyone throw some light on the Hong Kong lighthouse service; on the likelihood of Charles coming home on leave; and why wife Sidonia remained at home at the Lizard? So much information on his career up to 1892 and then .... nothing! :o
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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby junkers » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:00 pm

Have you checked the incoming passenger lists as he should be on them (they are on the ancestry website) and I assume by what you have said that you have his career service file. There are 4 or 5 lighthouses in Hong Kong and I would expect the service to be part of the Colonial Government there, although there may be records at The National Archives, Kew. Perhaps Sidonia didn't want to go to Hong Kong.
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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby coopernicola » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:52 pm

Perhaps Trinity House may be able to help, they have a website I believe.
Nicola


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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby Sylcec » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:51 am

Another solution may be to search the English language newspapers from Hong Kong https://mmis.hkpl.gov.hk/
Good luck! Sylvia
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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby lindyb1954 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:39 pm

Hi

I have found these links which may help


the Association of Lighthouse keepers - http://www.alk.org.uk/
world lighthouse society -http://www.worldlighthouses.org/

http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Lighthouses/Keepers.html - this site has the following entry for your C
charles nicholas.JPG
charles nicholas.JPG (42.48 KiB) Viewed 2934 times
harles Nicholas -


there is also another entry on the same site for a Charles Nicholas where as yours is Charles E Nicholas.


http://www.nautinsthk.com/documents/waglan.htm - this site talks about the set up of lighthouses in Hong Kong and may give you some ideas of where else to look.


http://www.amo.gov.hk/form/pamphlet_lig ... 201306.pdf - this is a pamplet on the light houses with pictures in both english and chinese and gives contact details, they maybe able to help you.

Sorry if I have given you information you already have but its unclear from you initial posting what you have, so better to have it twice than not at all.

regards

Linda
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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby tonybee » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:18 pm

Thanks everyone for trying to help. And apologies for late acknowledgement - due solely to the fact that I have not been advised of your posts, despite asking to be kept informed. Yes, I have tried Trinity House but they have no relevant records and have referred me to the London Metropolitan Archives from where I am now awaiting a reply.
Incoming passengers lists are fine - when they exist; and none have been found relevant to my search.
Previous research on the Hong Kong lighthouse service and its development yielded very little information and certainly no listing of personnel.
Charles Edwin Nicholas simply disappears from the time Trinity House lists him as going to Hong Kong until the time of his death back in the UK three decades later.
He is a big and frustrating mystery, especially as his earlier career and life were so well documented.
But again, thanks everyone for trying to help.
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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby tonybee » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:53 pm

A huge breakthrough with the discovery (thanks to Facebook) of a most helpful site that would prove of enormous help to anyone researching ancestors with Hong Kong connections. I now have full details of my relative's postings, his salary, his periods of leave and the people he worked with right down to the "coolies" (as they were described in those pre-PC days) who did all the fetching and carrying.
http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkgro/view/b1896/51896019.pdf is but a single extract for a single year of the many available for online searching.
:D :D
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Re: Lighthouse keeper in the dark

Postby Sylcec » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:55 pm

thanks so much for reporting back about this. It is certainly good to know of this resource.
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