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Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

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Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby vikaroo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:34 am

Hi

I've been researching my fiance's family history on his behalf and whilst discussing family history with his mother she told me that her Grandad Ted told her a story whereby his father had been near the Titanic on a nearby ship and had heard the Flares go off but did not respond because they thought the passengers were having a party and that the noise was fireworks. They were on a post to Canada apparently at the time.

She had not thought much of this story but I decided to try to establish if there was any truth in it.
I found the relative's details she was talking about as follows: Edward Woolley, born 1865 or 66 in Church Eaton Staffordshire.

He shows on the 1891 Census as having signed up to the military for a short service and is residing at the Whittington Barracks in Staffordshire.

Shortly after this he marries an Elizabeth Southern and they reside together with Elizabeth's mother and begin to start a family of their own in Bradley in Staffordshire. I found this info on the 1901 Census.

In 1911 the family are still living in the same palce with a slightly larger family, including the person who told the story. The problem is that Edward is not present. Elizabeth is still however listed as married and her last child was born 3 years previously.

I would appreciate any help whatsoever on this matter. I'm a bit of a novice and I've spent 2 years trying to find the answer. It might turn out not to be all that interesting but it'll close a door. If anyone can provide any historical knowledge that might be helpful or can sign post me in the right direction even I'd be really grateful. Otherwise I'll sit tight and see what the 1921 Census brings in a few years time.

Thank you very much
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby brunes08 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:48 am

The ship you may be referring to was the SS Californian. She was the nearest to RMS Titanic when distress messages were sent out. This may help you to a little more detective work. Good luck.
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Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby coopernicola » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:03 am

It seems the Californian was not carrying passengers on it's April 1915 voyage. There were five vessels in the vicinity of Titanic when she sank, but it was Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian who was criticised at the subsequent enquiries for his 'inaction' at the time.
Edit: It appears there was a review of the incident in 1992 you may find this interesting, though not necessarily helpful.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... pdf#page=5
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:59 am

If you can identify the ships in the vicinity, then the next step would be to work out where they were going and find the passenger AND crew lists for those voyages.

Hopefully that report or others will help with the ship names and their destinations.

If the ships were heading for New York, then the lists should be on the Ellis Island website. Of course, you could always go straight there to see if Edward is there in any lists in any years - though you might find someone with the right name but not see enough to know if it's him.

Lists for places other than Ellis Island can be found on Ancestry and FindMyPast but I am not sure if they cover both passenger and crew lists.

FindMyPast also has various collections about merchant seamen.

I'm not clear if you think that he might have been a crew member or passenger at this time. The major hole in passenger lists is that they were not compiled for soldiers - at least, not under UK rules.

So a couple of ways that you might explore things - you may need to try them all!

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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby coopernicola » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:31 pm

You may find more details of nearby vessels here:
http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/AmI ... hart03.php
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby vikaroo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:13 pm

Hi

Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. I'm not really sure if he was a serviceman or a passenger on whatever ship he was on if the story is even true which is where the struggle is it's not clear from the story I was told what capacity it was in if at all. I had come up with the Californian when I had began to search too so I'm glad some of you have started here too. Just need to get my hands on passenger lists/servicemen who were aboard at the time. I have found a record on find my past of a ship with a passenger headed for Quebec Canada on it with the right name but there's just not enough information to say for certain that it's him.

Any ideas where to find lists of crewmen??

Thanks again
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:25 pm

vikaroo wrote:... Any ideas where to find lists of crewmen?? ...

In the case of the Ellis Island stuff, they are with the passenger lists - you may need to page through lots and lots of passengers before coming to any crew (if you are browsing).

Most crew lists that were kept for immigration purposes are with the passenger lists in the same collections.
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby vikaroo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:41 pm

I've found the SS californian Crew list for those of you who are interested in following this story - he's not on it. So back to the drawing board. Even if he's not on any ship its going to be a challenge this, but I'm determined to find out where he was and what happened to him!
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby ianbee » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:25 pm

Edward joined the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1883, and was discharged at the end of 1896 after serving 13 years and 193 days
In 1898 he attested for the Militia Reserve, when he was living at Park Hall, Church Eaton. Working as a Gardener for Lady Ashton, also in Church Eaton.
But on his marriage to Elizabeth Southern in 1899, Edward gives his occupation as Platelayer. In 1901 he was a General Agricultural Labourer.

vikaroo wrote:In 1911 the family are still living in the same palce with a slightly larger family, including the person who told the story. The problem is that Edward is not present. Elizabeth is still however listed as married and her last child was born 3 years previously.

Elizabeth Woolley is back with her mother in Bradley, Staffordshire in 1911.
Youngest child is George, 11 months, born Crudgington, Shropshire -
June 1910 Wellington 6a 703
Woolley, George
mother Southern

There's also this birth -
Dec 1912 Stafford 6b 19
Woolley, Percy
mother Southern

So those birth certificates might be interesting, re Edward's occupation. Presuming he had returned from wherever he was and is named as the father for Percy.
Can't find him in the England and Wales census of 1911.
There is a possible on the Canadian census, taken 1 June.
In Aldborough Township, Elgin, Ontario
Edward Wooly
age 45, born 1866 (month not known)
Married
born England, immigration year 1911
Labourer
Seems to be working for Neil Graham, a Farmer, in whose household he is living. It says his religion is Presbyterian, but that could be wrong I suppose. Does it say he is on trial?

The only possiblility I can find in passenger lists for 1911 came on the Grampian, departing Liverpool 14 March for Halifax.
Is Ed Woolley on the outward passenger list. No age given
At the Canadian end -
Edward Woolley, 40, destination (post office) Wellington, Ontario. Occupation in England was Cowman. Intended occupation in Canada, Farm Labourer. Seems to say he has done Railway Work. Religion C of E.
Unfortunately his marital status is hidden under the stamping of "British Bonus Allowed"
Can be seen on family search
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1 ... cc=1823240

Problem with the age perhaps, and Wellington not so near to Elgin. But no one else close to matching that chap that I can find in the Canadian census indexes in 1911 (or 21)
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Re: Missing Relative possibly near The Titanic after 1911

Postby vikaroo » Tue May 09, 2017 1:22 am

Hi

Your response has been really helpful. I have since had a search myself for Ed and have also found a passanger by that name correct year leaving permenantly for Canada in 1912 and it says he travelled previously. I wonder if he went to Canada in his 13 years of military service. I need to explore this further. I'm not sure how I will ever confirm if it is the right person.


I will be ordering the birth certificates for his children that were born in 1910 and 1912 but I really need to find out some sort of answer to this story. I'll update If I find more info
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