No surprise I'm getting even more confused.
I'm even less clear now where GFH was born. The phrase "At Sea off the Tagus" is used in his Royal Navy Engagement Book. The meaning of this is clear to me
- he was born on a ship of unknown name, which was at sea, and was off the mouth of the River Tagus - which is on the coast of Portugal.
However, when I dug around to follow up on Sally's comments about Ship's Lists for a ship called The Tagus
, I discovered that there actually was a Royal Navy ship called HMS Tagus
- see http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/18-1900/T/04556.html
- a 38-gun 5th rate, which was disposed of in 1822.
As an aside, apparently, "In September 1814 while hunting for the American frigate ESSEX, HM ships TAGUS (Captain Philip Pipon) and BRITON were the first British ships to visit Pitcairn island since the BOUNTY mutiny of 1789." http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/597305.html
No doubt there were commercial ship called The Tagus
as well, but it's tricky finding them in Google because the river drowns out the ships. (No pun intended).
Approaching things with a cynical eye, it might be that GFH's reference to a ship called the Tagus
was misinterpreted for his Royal Navy Engagement Book as a reference to the river mouth. Or, of course, the river mouth might be exactly what was intended from the start, in which case the ship's name could be anything.
At least, it might be useful to see if ship's musters for HM Tagus
survive and have a chap with the same (alleged) name as GFH's father. I can't see anything myself but Navy records are not my forte.