Category Archives: Migration/travel

Alice arrives in Canada

A nice little update to a previous article about great aunt Alice Neal – Turning an absence into a presence – which traced her to Canada.

I have  now located her in the passenger lists arriving in Canada. It’s a bit of an odd record, as a form has been adapted slightly. But there’s little doubt this is her, accompanied by her uncle Henry, who had already settled in Canada.

This is a sailing from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia on the ship Mongolian, arriving 24th February 1894. On looking at this again, I can see that Henry and Alice’s ticket numbers are not quite consecutive – what happened to ticket 11114?  “Griswold Ma” must refer to their declared destination in Manitoba. Griswold is a few miles due south of Bradwardine, where Henry is living at a later census. At 1891 his address was Selkirk district, sub-district Daly.

It is good to know that Alice was accompanied on her journey by her uncle, but it begs the question of whether he made a special trip to England or perhaps Alice took advantage of a family visit. And what did Alice plan to do in her new country, and what did she actually do to start with? It was another eight years before she married Alexander Reid in Winnipeg, where the couple set up home.

Also see: Neal family, Abroad.

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All at sea with a new cousin

So this makes the nice large wall chart of dad’s family “out of date”, if that’s the right phrase for having newly discovered historic information. With a bit of help from the Ancestry Facebook page {1}, I’ve downloaded the 1911 census form for my ‘half great great uncle’ William John Cullum from the actual Ancestry site. And yes, there is another offspring that was not recorded in the 1901 version. I had guessed there would be two, so I won’t make any great claims here. (Doesn’t a “half great” equal to ‘a no more than adequate’ great uncle?)

In mess dress. Photo courtesy Muriel Shephard

Stanley John Cullum was born 1904 (21st April from two sources) in Catford, south east London, and died December 1984 Lewes district in Sussex. I believe that district includes the place where his father was at the end of his life, Burnt House in Newick, but I’m not at all sure he took over that property. The wonderful Phone Book directories available on Ancestry have a Stanley J Cullum in Hastings in 1954, 1956, 1964 and 1966 (and other dates in between I haven’t checked) – Oak View , Westfield Lane – which is pretty likely to be him. He would be my (half) first cousin twice removed.

What is much more interesting is the Passenger Lists records – in this case USA ‘list or manifest of aliens employed on the vessel as member of crew’.  These show without doubt that he was a ship’s engineer. Here’s the data:

  • January 1947 – arrival at Portland, Oregon, USA, from Vancouver, Canada, ship  Lochmanar, “refrig. eng.”, 20 years service at sea.
  • May 1947 – arrival at Everett, Washington USA, from Vancouver, ship Lochmanar, “refrig. eng.”, 21 years at sea.
  • May 1953 – arrival San Francisco, from Vancouver, ship Pampas, Chief Engineer, 27 years at sea.
  • Feb 1956 – arrival San Francisco, from Vancouver, ship Paraguay, Ch Engineer, 29 years at sea (gives fill date of birth).

The records give his height – about the same as mine – varying from 5 foot 6.5 inches to 5′ 9″!

Given about 30 years at sea, I was surprised there weren’t more such lists, so another look while I write this finds four more. All from earlier years, and all starting from Vancouver or New Westminster, British Columbia.

  • Nov 1933 arrival at Seattle, ship Nebraska, 4th engineer, 8 years at sea.
  • Aug 1934 arrival at Bellingham, Washington, ship Nebraska, 4th engineer, 10 years at sea.
  • Aug 1935 arrival at Seattle, ship Narenta, 4th engineer, 9 years at sea.
  • Dec 1935 arrival at Seattle, ship Narenta, “asst ref eng”, 9 years at sea.

And I also have now noticed that all the 5 ships were owned by Royal Mail Lines Ltd.

Nearly all of these are quite short voyages – were there more just within Canada? Or if he didn’t embark at the American port, would he still show on the manifest? As the US records only cover up to 1957, there could be later ones waiting in the wings. But what about getting to Canada from England in the first place, and going to and fro, assuming the Hastings phone number is his? A bit early to be using airlines (would be too costly even for a chief engineer)?

There is bound to be more on Royal Mail Line ships on the web, so time for a trawl.

UPDATE

The Royal Mail Lines site run by Stuart Nichols has some information on the ships operating in the last days of this company during the 1960s. Both Pampas and Paraguay were a “General freighter built principally for Brazil and River Plate services.” About 5,500 tons, Harland & Wolff, Belfast. So that gives a different spin – was Stanley mainly operating in South America? On the other hand, a general shipping site, shipslist.com, has his earlier ship Lochmonar as running a UK to Vancouver service.

Nothing further found for the 1930s ships Nebraska and Narenta yet, beyond their tonnage (around 8,250) and that they were built at Workman Clark, Belfast.

Further Update

Following contact with this side of the family, Sept 2011, I now have more details and a wonderful photo. Coming soon.

Note 1 1911 census: At the moment there isn’t an index to the census images on Ancestry, so you have to use the summary books index. Unfortunately a) this usually only shows the surname of head of household – you need a very good idea of where someone is likely to be to stand any chance, and b) transcriptions aren’t 100% it seems. So I’ve only located the right Cullum image on Ancestry because someone with a Find My Past sub found it over there first (Find My Past had exclusive access to 1911 census for a year or so).

Also see

Cutlock and Cullum, A fruitful life for an accountant (re Stanley’s father).