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stevie2006
13-08-09, 21:40
Hi I have been tracing my great great great grandfather Ambrose Stokes who was born on 21/11/1845 in Brentford and died in 1887. On the 1861 census he was listed as a Boy 1st class on board HMS Icarus at Portsmouth but on subsequent census he was noted as a Waterman again in Brentford.

Can anyone help me with tracing any records of Ambrose as an apprentice or fully qualified Waterman?. I was on a forum called "roots chat" and they only manged to find a record of him taking on an apprentice in some bindings but could not find out any more information. Someone thought that as he was in the navy he perhaps completed his apprenticeship whilst in training with the navy.

I live in Scotland an its not possible to visit London to view records at the moment so any information would be greatly appreciated.

His father Samuel Stokes was also noted as a Waterman and his father in law Solomon Smith was also noted as a bargeman/captain so it looks like water ran on two sides of my family.

Many thanks in anticipation of some help

Steven

Christine in Herts
13-08-09, 23:30
You could do worse than culling all you can from here:
ParishRegister.com - Parish Records Online / Docklands (http://www.parishregister.com/)

There's a lot of Watermen info there - and hints about research.

Christine

Peter Evans
14-08-09, 00:20
Steven,

Ambrose was bound (apprenticed) as a waterman 12/6/1866, rather later than at the usual age of 14, to John Clark at Brentford. He gained his freedom 13/08/1872.

There is a Samuel Stokes bound 13/08/1829 to Henry Perry at Strand On Green.

You are very fortunate since it was a condition of membership for Waterman that they be baptised. As Christine suggests you can do free searches on the Parish Register site but you will have to pay (not much) to see the details.

Peter

stevie2006
14-08-09, 18:16
Thank you Christine do you by chance know what Parish Brentford would come under or do you just check each one in turn ?

Thank you also Peter is there a book that would contain the information you found out for me? If so do you know where I could order it? Or is it just the names and when they were apprenticed or does it contain any more information on their careers. Its fantastic that you found out that he was fully qualified Waterman. I have ordered his death certificate so may find out why he died fairly young.

Could I ask another favour? Ambrose's daughter Mary Ann married a Solomon Smith who was born around 1865 in Heyford Northampton. On his son's marriage certificate (also Solomon) he was noted as a Lighterman and on various censuses he is listed as a bargeman, steerman and even captain. Do you have any information on him ? To date Solomon has been very elusive and I haven't found out much on him at all.

Many thanks

Steven

Christine in Herts
14-08-09, 18:24
There's a little softback book called My Ancestors were Thames Watermen by James W Legon - the founder of that Docklands website. ISBN 978-1-903462-95-9

There are several sites through which you could geta copy - including the Docklands one, I imagine! It's really helpful for giving you an understanding of how to research watermen - and what the various job-names mean.

Christine

Sue from Southend
14-08-09, 19:55
The Dockland Ancestors data base is also available on Find My Past - and you can just do a name search without trawling through every parish.

stevie2006
14-08-09, 21:46
Thanks Sue will check it out.

Thanks Christine book is available online.

Steven

Peter Evans
14-08-09, 22:58
Steven,

The information I gave you came from a CD "The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames Bindings Index 1692-1949" by R.J.Cottrell of Trueflare Ltd. Rob Cottrell worked closely with the the late, and much missed, James Legon of the Docklands/Parishregister site.

Incidentally I checked for your Solomon Smith but he does not appear on the bindings list for the Thames. Perhaps he was working elsewhere.

Peter

stevie2006
14-08-09, 23:49
Thanks again for the information Peter managed to find out that a copy of the CD can be purchased through Parish Register website. Would you say it would be worthwhile to purchase it ? Or would it just contain the information that you kindly provided ?

I have spent quite a tidy sum over the last few months tracing both my family in Scotland and also those in England and whilst it has proved a worthwhile hobby I wouldn't want to purchase something if it would not provide me with more information. Would you recommend any steps to take next or do you think that would be pretty much as far as I could go?

Obviously I want to find out more general information on Waterman and I have been recommended many websites especially through this forum and will spend next wee while looking into this.

Re Solomon looks like I have hit the dreaded brick wall with him. I can find him on censuses and on his son's birth and marriage certificates but looks like I will have to give up on that one for now.

Thanks again for all your help you have been very helpful.

Steven

Peter Evans
16-08-09, 19:48
Steven,

Sorry to be so slow in replying. The CD gives the information I gave you: name, date of binding (usually at age 14), master's name, station on river, and date of freedom from apprenticeship, if achieved. Obviously it wouldn't be worth buying if Ambrose is your only (properly apprenticed) waterman but the occupation does run in families. If you can get to London you can consult microfilms of the Watermen records at the Guildhall Library (though they may be temporarily at the LMA during refurbishment) and you can find out a little more information, including the name of the parish where the Waterman's baptism took place as well as hardship payments.

Evidently FMP has the docklands parish registers; I don't know whether they also have the bindings records. Perhaps a FMP subscriber might enlighten us.

Incidentally was your Solomon Smith a lighterman on the Thames or elsewhere?

Peter

Elaine ..Spain
16-08-09, 19:55
Evidently FMP has the docklands parish registers; I don't know whether they also have the bindings records. Perhaps a FMP subscriber might enlighten us.


Just the Docklands parish registers I am afraid.

stevie2006
16-08-09, 22:13
Peter Solomon was on the 1891 Census in Uxbridge with an occupation of Captain I think on a boat called "Mars" at Cowley lock. In 1901 he was found in Limehouse with an occupation as Steerman of Barge and in 1911 he was noted as a Bargeman. In 1918 when his son (also Solomon) got married his occupation was noted as a Lighterman. Incidently when his son was born in 1895 his occupation is not clear it looks something like Garmans assistant or Garomans? but I just can't make it out on the birth certificate. So it looks like the Smiths were on the water and then married into the Stokes family who were also water based.

I am waiting on Ambrose's death certificate from 1887 and this should be due anyday and I will let you know if it gives any more information.

Thanks again for all your help and thanks also Elaine.

stevie2006
20-08-09, 18:52
Hi just received death certificate for Ambrose. He died on 23/4/1887 in Brentford still listed as a Lighterman and he was only age 40. He died from malignant jaundice which I believe from the web may be drink related which is a shame but it may be an answer for an old wives tale my dad told me that he heard a relative had died in a vat of beer but perhaps that was a not an actual vat of beer but that some of my ancesters liked a drink!!!

Steven

PS I have had a further look at Malignant Jaundice and I am a little confused. Some information relates the condition to a rare form of disease. Can anyone enlighten me a bit more on this condition as maybe I have jumped to a conclusion with Ambrose.

stevie2006
28-08-09, 20:55
Sorry to bother everyone but wondered if anyone knows about the cause of death - malignant jaundice. Ambrose died of it and I keep getting conflicting information and wondered if anyone could enlighten me.

I suppose I am just trying to find out what might have caused his death and a fairly early age.

Many thanks

Steven

Uncle John
29-08-09, 20:54
Jaundice is a symptom of liver failure.

stevie2006
29-08-09, 21:22
Thanks John would there have been any major factors in 1887 that would have caused this?

Steven

kylejustin
31-08-09, 07:57
could have been a chronic alcholic?

Trina
31-08-09, 08:48
The use of the word "malignant" suggests a tumour - possibly of the liver. He could have had a cancer that spread to his liver.

stevie2006
01-09-09, 22:14
Thanks guys my first thought was perhaps alcohol was to blame but I may have been a bit hasty. I think the use of malignant suggests a form of cancer.

Steven

Canalbabe
08-11-09, 15:01
I also have a Solomon Smith on my family tree. Not sure if he is connected to your Solomon.

My Solomon Smith was born Mar 1885 in London and married Eliza Sophia Brooks on 1 Aug 1915 at St Lawrence, Brentford. I have a copy of the marriage cert which states that Solomons father was James Smith (deceased). Solomon was living at 34 Hamilton Road, Brentford. Both he and his father are recorded as being 'Lightermen' on the certificate.

I have a huge family tree with lots of connections to canal/barge people. Prehaps my Solomon is connected to yours????:conf:

stevie2006
08-11-09, 16:20
Unfortunately Canalbabe my decendant was born on 8/3/1866 (senior) and his son also Solomon was born on 28/11/1895. The older Solomon married a Mary Ann Stokes and the Stokes family were born in Brentford but the Smiths are from Stepney in London.

Regards

Steven