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William Rivers circa 1800

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    William Rivers circa 1800

    G'day from Australia. I hope everyone is staying safe and well. Being in Oz I find it hard to access merchant mariner records. Great, great grandfather William Rivers states he is a Master Mariner when he marries Margaret Thomas in Limehouse in 1824. William possibly born around 1800. We have been unable to identify William for 20 years. DNA gives us some clues but still no luck. Can anyone suggest mariner records I might be able to access? I think I need BT19.. Cheers
    ​​​​​

    #2
    Welcome to the forum, I have found a William Rivers on Find My Past which has BT20 (piece 4) from the National Archives, entry number 2768, age 33, born 1802, birthplace Cowes [that's in the Isle of Wight], as the Mate on the P????? of Cowes, 9th March 34

    There is free access to the National Archives for a while at the moment and online records can be downloaded if you register but I don't know my way round it well enough to offer advice on how to find any more.

    Comment


      #3
      I see on the marriage for his youngest daughter Isabel he is named as William John Rivers and a Captain merchant Service. So still alive in 1857. Is this the last known date you have for him?

      https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interacti...00/edit/record
      Kat
      My avatar is my Great Grandmother, Cassandra Elizabeth Palmer 1861 to 1940

      Comment


        #4
        This private tree has William John b 1903. Perhaps you could contact Zoe to see if she has further information

        https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tr...d=382143886936
        Kat
        My avatar is my Great Grandmother, Cassandra Elizabeth Palmer 1861 to 1940

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          #5
          Looked on NA and I'm not good there either but found one you can download

          William J. Rivers made Captain 1846

          https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D7599950

          Elaine

          Looking for Ward, Moore, Hunt, Warren...and who was Gertrude Wills

          http://leicestermoores.tribalpages.com
          http://wardnottsleics.tribalpages.com

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Elaine View Post
            Looked on NA and I'm not good there either but found one you can download

            William J. Rivers made Captain 1846

            https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D7599950
            That is free to download at the moment, Minnie
            Kat
            My avatar is my Great Grandmother, Cassandra Elizabeth Palmer 1861 to 1940

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MinnieR View Post
              . Great, great grandfather William Rivers states he is a Master Mariner when he marries Margaret Thomas in Limehouse in 1824. ​​​​​
              No he doesn’t – there’s no mention of his occupation.

              The baptisms of his children say he is a mariner, which is not the same as a master mariner.

              William must have died by 1843 as it looks like Margaret remarried in 1843 to William Thompson and is in the 1851 census as a widow (again!) with daughters Margaret (now Morgan), Isabella & Sarah. Margaret Jr says her father was a master mariner when she married, but I'm doubtful that he was.

              The National Archives document seems unlikely to be your man as it actually says William T Rivers, and by 1849 he was Commander in the Royal Navy. I’ve only looked at the watermarked preview, but it says he died 18 Oct 18?7 aged 85 at Hove. A William Thomas Rivers died in 1897 in Steyning RD (which includes Hove), aged 85.
              RIVERS, WILLIAM THOMAS aged 85 GRO Ref: 1897 D Quarter in STEYNING Volume 2B Page 164

              If he is the William Rivers from Cowes then the last ship I see him on is the Jannet in 1838

              Comment


                #8
                There was a Charles Dow Rivers, mariner, baptising children around the same time in the same area - possibly him, or a relative?
                https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...ers%22&f=false

                Connected?
                https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/25374

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you everyone, much appreciated. William married 1824 lists his occupation as master mariner on the wedding cert. He appears to be still alive in 1857 as he's not listed as deceased on Isabellas wedding cert. His wife Margaret remarried? in 1843 as a widow, so maybe deserted. Zoe as mentioned in replies is a Rivers cousin. William John born 1829 went to sea aged about 15. My family has several William John's, most of whom went to sea. I will look at William Rivers born 1802 in Cowes. I think Charles Dow Rivers is related somewhere.
                  ​​Stay safe and thanks again.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Minnie - where have you seen a marriage record that states his occupation. I looked at the one on Ancestry and no occupation is mentioned.

                    Also, you cannot place any reliance on him not being noted as deceased on his daughter's marriage certificate - although some certificates may include that information, there isn't a specific place for it and it wasn't a question that was required to be asked .

                    Margaret would not have been able to remarry for 7 years if she had simply been deserted, unless she was willing to commit bigamy.

                    If William died at sea, you would be lucky to find any reference to it unless there is a ship's record somewhere.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This is the parish entry for John Rivers marriage:

                      1824 Rivers - Thomas Marriage.JPG


                      Are we saying that this is the wrong Isabella marrying??


                      Isabella marriage 1857.JPG
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by Katarzyna; 21-05-20, 11:26.
                      Kat
                      My avatar is my Great Grandmother, Cassandra Elizabeth Palmer 1861 to 1940

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Find my Past has an index record for an April 1841 probate for a William Rivers who appears to have died in foreign parts - Administration granted in the Commissary Court of London. The notes section mentions Ms Romulus, which I take to be a ship (Merchant Ship Romulus). Might be a lead?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think that's the right Isabella, but I don't think that the information about her father can't be relied on. She was baptised 1840 & her mother remarried 1843, so its likely she barely knew her father, if at all.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            A search on the ship Romulus brings up a few newspaper items advertising that she regularly travelled from London Docks to the West Indies, and was captained by Rowland Morton. An advert in July 1840 says it was sailing for Demerara, and other adverts - including one in May 1841 - mention Antigua.

                            Added - also this from March 1841:
                            https://reader.exacteditions.com/iss.../12?term=crime

                            "For the last fortnight there have been no arrivals at the Motherbank from foreign ports, except one on Thursday, namely, the barque Romulus, R. Morton, master, from Demerara, in a very distressed state. The captain, who is an old sailor, and has been between forty and fifty years at sea, never experienced such rough weather crossing the Atlantic. He encountered perfect hurricanes for nearly three weeks, from the westward, and was obliged to heave the ship to, nearly the whole time, the sea making a clean breach over her, clearimr the deck of all the boats, bulwarks, ancl everything moveable on deck ; splitting three maintopsails, and others blown to pieces. She is come in here to procure some sails and temporary repairs, to enable her to proceed to London."

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Bear in mind that the info on official documents often depends on the questions asked - so the questions may have been "what is the name of your father? and his occupation?" without the question "is your father still living?"

                              Jay
                              Janet in Yorkshire



                              Genealogists never die - they just swap places in the family tree

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Thank you for the info re the Romulus. Also the April 1841 Probate on FMP. I'll get on there and look. I've always thought William perished abroad. Possibly during the China wars. With our Rivers mob it is so very difficult to follow them, I suspect we are wrong somewhere which is why we cannot find William. Many thanks to all of you for your kindness in helping me.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Re the Romulous and probate in 1841. My great grandfather William John (1829) was allegedly left a ship? ? Sounds unlikely but who knows. Family folklore galore, Apparently he was dissuaded from taking possession and the ship went to the Exchequer? ? I'm starting to feel somewhat positive.

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