Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Ship's Steward. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ship's Steward. Show all posts

Saturday 5 August 2023

Nicholas Jones and Ellen Brennan otherwise White

Glenbrook from the R624 near Carrigalore
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ian S -

Nicholas Jones, son of Thomas Jones and Mary Harty, married Ellen Brennan otherwise White, widow, on 5 Aug 1886, at Christ Church, Church of Ireland, Rushbrooke, Cobh - the church where his brother, David Jones, was Sexton. Nicholas' address was Rushbrooke and Ellen's Glenbrook. Witnesses to the marriage were a George Owens and Annie Jones - David and Nicholas' sister. Nicholas' rank or profession at that time was Able Seaman. 

Nicholas had been baptised on 17 May 1853 at the Catholic church of the Sacred Heart, Rath, near Baltimore (Rath And The Islands Parish), Cork. Sponsors were a James Hayes and Ellen Hart (sic) - his mother's sister. 

Ellen White was born in Epsom, Surrey in 1854. The civil record of her birth gives her mother's maiden name as Smith. On the record of Ellen's marriage to Nicholas, she gives her father's name as William Henry White, a farmer, but it hasn't been possible to find a marriage of a William White and someone whose surname is Smith in the right timeframe and area. Nor has it been possible to locate Ellen's previous marriage to Mr Brennan.

Nicholas and Ellen had one daughter, Annie Jones. On both the 1901 and 1911 census returns the ages given for Annie, 12 and 22, respectively, calculate to a year of birth of 1889/90. In both cases, it states she was born in England. Annie's own daughter could never find a birth record for her, so I'm sure I can't and we're forced to conclude that Ellen probably didn't register the birth before leaving England, nor once she got back to Ireland.

What will we do with a drunken sailor? You honestly couldn't make this up, and fulfilling every stereotype in the book: Irish. Sailor. Drunk. On 1 Sep 1875, Nicholas Jones, Seaman appeared in court as a Defendant in Queenstown (Cobh). The Cork Constitution (newspaper) of 2 Sep 1875, reported on the previous day's Queenstown Petty Sessions: "Nicholas Jones for breaking a window in the house of Mrs Cotter, publican, Harbour Row, was fined 7s 6d., compensation, and 5s. additional for being drunk."

The summons details that Nicholas was "Found drunk on the highway, town of Queenstown on the 3rd August 1875." And that he "Wilfully committed damage to a pane of glass the property of Complainant [Catherine Cotter, Widow] value seven shillings and six pence." "Defendant to pay a fine of five shillings + costs one shilling, or in default to be imprisoned for seven days in the County Jail. Said defendant to pay Catherine Cotter the sum of seven shillings compensation for breaking said pane of glass + costs 6d." 

From the Cork Constitution (newspaper), 17 January 1888:


At two o'clock yesterday, Nicholas Jones, of 11 Harbour View, Queenstown, was made the recipient of a silver medal, presented by the French Government for his meritorious services performed under the following circumstances:- 

In March 1886, he was serving on board the steamship Sarah Ann of West Hartlepool, bound from Baltimore to Galway. When in the neighbourhood of the Grand Bank of Newfoundland they fell in with a French brig Dix Freres (Ten Brothers) of Martinique, in distress, with masts gone and decks swept, a very heavy sea running at the time. The steamer hove to, launched a boat, of which Nicholas Jones was one of the crew, and they, after great difficulty and risk, brought four of the French crew on board the Sarah Ann the remainder being subsequently rescued by another steamer. 

The medal, which was accompanied by a certificate of merit, bore the following inscription:- "A Nicholas Jones, matelot a bord du naviere Anglais Sarah Ann; services a la marine Française, 1886." (To Nicholas Jones, sailor aboard the English ship Sarah Ann; services to the French navy, 1886.)

Mr W Harvey, President of the Board of Trade, presided; and Alderman Scott and Capt. M Dermott were also present.

Mr Harvey, in presenting the medal said that [the] board had very frequently been applied to to perform duties of the present pleasing nature, and that, he thought, spoke very well for the bravery of Cork seamen. He had very great pleasure indeed in presenting Jones with the medal and certificate which was so justly awarded to him for his share in the meritorious rescue, and he heartily wished him a long and successful career.

Alderman Scott said he had only to endorse what had been said by Mr Harvey, and he thought he was expressing the opinions of the community when he said he was proud of the recipient, not alone for the favourable record he bore, but for his instrumentality in saving human life, which was a most commendable quality. Mr Jones, having returned thanks, the proceedings terminated.

It may be mentioned that the delay caused in presenting the medal was due to the fact of Mr Jones being at sea almost constantly since the occurrence.

This further report of the incident, from the Northern Daily Mail, March 27th, 1886, tells us more, "The lifeboat by which the rescue was affected was in the command of Mr Andrews, the mate & it was so severely damaged by the heavy sea running at the time that it was little short of a miracle that she ever got back to the steamer. The entire crew of the brigantine were Negroes & the master & mate were quite drunk & not only resisted all persuasion to leave the sinking vessel, with which they declared they would go down, but they most inhumanely prevented a small boy from being rescued with the other four."

Records of Shipping agreements and crew lists at the National Archives of Ireland suggest that Nicholas served on various vessels, including the following ships: SS Xema departing from Cork in Jun 1891, Dec 1891, Jun 1893, Dec 1893, Jun 1894 and Dec 1894; SS Rotterdam from Dublin in Dec 1896, Lee from Cork in 1898 and Blamey from Cork in Dec 1900.

In 1901, Ellen Jones (47), wife, and Annie Jones (12), scholar, were living in the Lower Glanmire Road, Cork City. Nicholas will have been at sea. 

In 1911, still in Lower Glanmire Road, were Nicholas Jones (57) Ship's Steward, Ellen Jones (57) and Annie Jones (22) Bookkeeper. The household also included three Boarders: Samuel Donald Dare (42), James Raynane (22), John Foley (25) and Hannah Healy (40), Domestic Servant, Visitor. 

Nicholas Jones, Sailor, died on 22 Jan 1930, ultimately from cardiac failure. His death was registered in the district of Carrigaline, KinsaleCounty Cork. The record said he was 72, but he will have been 76. 

Ellen Jones, Sailor's Widow, died on 23 Dec 1931, also in Carrigaline. She was 76. Her daughter, Annie King, was present at her death.