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George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:44 pm

sparrow wrote:... And if he did not enlist until late 1841 theoretically he should be somewhere on land in the 1841 Census.

Not necessarily - presumably we're saying the 1841 enlistment was into the Royal Navy? But he might have been in the civilian fleet before then - the "Merchant Navy"? In which case he might have been anywhere at the time of the 1841 census. There is, for instance this persistent use of the word "mariner", which doesn't seem to fit Royal Navy membership. Maybe.
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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby sparrow » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:15 pm

Agreed, might well initially have followed (?) father James into the Merchant Navy.But I did also wonder (especially bearing in mind his stepchildren Martha and Frederick) whether he dreamed up the name George FLETCHER or whether it could be a name by which he had actually been known.Either because it was his mother's maiden name or because it was the name of her second husband?
There is a burial for James Helsdon age 29 in Bermondsey in November 1832, tempting to equate him with the man just discharged from hospital.
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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby ianbee » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:00 pm

G F is in BT 113 from his time on the Constance (1846)
No other details filled in for him, or the others

(Edit this) Also appears with a number of other seamen in WO 22, Out Pensioners of Chelsea and Greenwich Hospitals.
Hadn't noticed this kind of crossover in records before.

Could the father's name be wrong on the marriage?
Look at the next entry, from the next day!
26 May 1846
William Bridgeman
+
Rachel Holman, Spinster, father Peter Magee, Mariner

A clerical error this time I think! From the later census, I would imagine she might be the Rachel Holman baptized at Boyton, Cornwall, 2 January 1825 (father William)
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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby sparrow » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:19 am

I do see what you mean about the possibility of clerical error. But I think the balance of probability is that GFH at least believed his father was a 'mariner' named James Helsden.
Name James is used as second name for second son Augustus, with Augustus as mentioned being a Magee family name).

How well he ever knew said father is another matter.

Goodness knows where the names Adolphus Rodney came from! But I find by 1871 the old naming patterns were becoming irrelevant.
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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby meekhcs » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:31 am

View The frigate H.M.S. Tagus with Lord Adolphus FitzClarence aboard, running into Marsamaxett Harbour, Valletta, in 1815 by Anton Schranz on artnet. Browse upcoming and past auction lots by Anton Schranz.


Perhaps the name Adolphus came from the above as found by googling HMS Tagus?? He was a british naval officer, among other things. See wikipedia
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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:01 pm

Curiously that naval Adolphus had a brother named Augustus, it seems.... When the picture mentioned was painted, Adolphus Fitzclarence was a young midshipman who was just on HMS Tagus for one journey as a passenger, according to the internet, so it's not a strong link. But it is intriguing!

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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:16 pm

Sorry - the details about the brother are on the Bonham's link for the sale of the picture https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/10184/lot/160/

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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby sparrow » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:29 pm

Raises the whole question I guess of how much access ordinary people had to any equivalent of the daily press by the mid 19th century and whether this influenced naming patterns.Most of us have probably looked at unexpected names in the family tree and thought "Where on earth did THAT come from?"
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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:08 pm

The Tagus seems one of our few clues, and unfortunately the sources are still not clear to me whether we're talking about a ship named the Tagus, or any ship off the mouth of the River Tagus.

Nevertheless, not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, my thought was that someone should look at the crew lists / musters of HMS Tagus. The problem there is that it looks like Kew doesn't have any for the years when our GFH was born. (The next problem is that I'm not sure what name we should be looking for in that list, but let's ignore that minor detail)

It has only just occurred to me that this might be a pessimistic view. HMS Tagus had a short life - I have assumed that it was in service to the end. But what if it wasn't? What if it were laid up not long after the end of the Napoleonic Wars? If so, then maybe GFH's idea of when he was born is wrong? Right ship, wrong year? I have no idea what would have to be done to see when HMS Tagus was laid up. Would the Napoleonic Wars Forum know? What I think that I'm saying is that if someone can establish when HMS Tagus went out of service, and if all the surviving crew musters *are* at Kew, then a good look at them could help.




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Re: George Frederick Helsden born 22/12/1822

Postby sparrow » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:30 pm

This was the fullest reference i could find
http://www.shipstamps.co.uk/forum/viewt ... f=2&t=9986 (unfortunately the online reference given seems to be missing its final paras!)
On the basis of this I ruled out "off the Tagus" as referring to the ship as opposed to the river.

Additionally if the James Helsdon hospitalised and (probably) dying in 1832 was in the Merchant Navy (the 'candidates' for the Julia would suggest this) our chances of finding him in a crew list are on my understanding pretty slim. Unless of course he had previously served in the Royal Navy.

(Of course one could say that a child born "off the Tagus" in late 1822 could have been born in Deptford since that is where HMS Tagus ended up.But that rather odd coincidence is surely only a coincidence???).

I come back to puzzling how GFH himself knew his precise date of birth and that it was "off the Tagus".The Tagus was famous in its day but not one would assume by the 1840s. Did he have some kind of momento of the Tagus and assume it indicated his birth???


Other thing to consider: is it likely a child would have been born onboard an RN ship or a merchant ship? The answer seems to be yes even in the RN (and possibly even more likely in the Merchant Navy).http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/em ... y_01.shtml

But perhaps in both cases less likely in the case of someone as young as the James Helsdon in the records??
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