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The African connection.......

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    The African connection.......

    I've gone back through the generations quite successfully and I thought it was about time I tidied up some of the more recent generations I'd left on the basis they'd be easy and I had access to siblings etc.

    Obviously Sods law kicks in and has left me with a few tricky ******s :(

    I'm not sure how to go about finding them because they're more recent.....

    So the story so far - Both of my Gmothers had a brother disappear never to be seen or heard of again in both cases they were very close so no feud as explanation. In both cases theres an African connection !!

    My Maternal Grandmother had 2 brothers one, Rowland Hughes (yes I know !) B.1903 was a merchant seaman and supposed to be the youngest captain on his line (and no I don't know which line apart from presumably liverpool based) He married, unhappily as it turned out, and was advised to go back to sea and not come back by his solicitor ! This is just pre war but only just.

    Nothing heard from him again .......... He has an excuse because my grandparents were bombed out and moved, his parents moved and his Mother died and his brother died (and his wife and child moved) (this is jolly reading isn't it ) clearly he wasn't still in touch with his wife so any post would have been returned or delivered to a bomb site.

    My Gmother tried through the Red Cross to trace him to no avail and was convinced he'd died at sea during the War.

    Then at a party a friend of a friend announces that he knew Rowland and he had been Harbour Master at Durban South Africa !! Can't trace him anywhere ................

    My paternal grandmother's brother b. 1903 Phillip Norman Davies ( yes I know - I can hear the groans !) Gets married December 1928 to Norah Stephanie Fitz-John is seen off at the station and is never seen again !!!

    He had been working in West Africa (Nigeria for a bank/insurance) before this and as far as I am aware went back with his new wife. There is a group photo including him outside a club out there which I think was sent after his return then nothing......... Again there is a vague excuse in not writing in that my Grandmother moved house but their Grt Aunt who brought them up stayed put so he wasn't trying very hard !!

    It really seems very careless to lose brothers in so cavalier a fashion ....... And in both cases they were very cose to their siblings so where are they ???

    Death by nasty tropical desease? - Death at sea? - remarried, bigamously married ????



    Might be worth trying the overseas (consular) BMDs on FindmyPast.


      Thanks Mary - do they charge per view ?? cos this could cost a fortune if they do !!

      Roger : ))


        I had a look at overseas BMD's, also WW2 deaths, and marine deaths on the Genealogist and couldn't see anything


          Originally posted by RNM View Post
          Thanks Mary - do they charge per view ?? cos this could cost a fortune if they do !!
          Yes, 'fraid so.

          And it's like the BMD images on Ancestry - if you search for the surname Bloggs, it'll bring up a page going from something like Bli-Blu, with no guarantee that there'll be a single Bloggs on the page that comes up.

          FamilyRelatives also has overseas BMDs. If I remember rightly, they don't charge for viewing them, but you have to buy a minimum of something like £5 worth of credits before you can view. You don't then lose any credits by viewing them, and you can use the credits for something else on the site. At least, that's how it worked last time I used it, but there have been a lot of changes to the site since then.


            Can I find Rowland Hughes Merchant seaman records online - I wondered if they might tell me where he last disembarked at least ?

            I also wondered whether anyone had tried getting South African census records - or even if they have them

            Obviously their names don't help :( I'm blighted by Hughes Davies although at least I don't have Smith or Jones :D

            Also would there be records for overseas employees of banks etc within the Empire ??

            See I'm working from zero knowledge and haven't been able to find answers yet :o



              Thanks Leclerc - maybe thats a good sign ......... maybe RH didn't die at sea ??

              Roger : )