Tracing ancestors who jumped ship in Australia - ship deserters

+3 votes
116 views
How would you go about researching seamen that deserted their ship upon arriving in Australia?

My ancestor (McTaggart-625) could have been one who arrived as a sailor but did not return to his ship, between 1862-1864. If so, most likely in Melbourne, Victoria
in Genealogy Help by Ken Hudson G2G3 (3.4k points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith

Have you tried looking for him in PROV

Or the NSW state archives?

Or South Australia's?  (Sorry, no link for possible crew members arriving, just passengers.)

http://marinersandships.com.au/

It's only NSW data, but if the ship he jumped was not the only time he had ever been to Australia you might find him. It does include the mariners and ships that had no passengers on them.

The search function is not great though. Also the handwriting on the original records is really appalling which leads to weird and wonderful transcriptions.
Thanks Melanie. Just a later observation for consideration. Your reply was worthwhile and more of an 'answer' but I think you may have clicked 'comment' rather than 'answer' when replying. So I was unable to give out a vote for your reply.
Thanks Mark. Interesting site. I see whet you mean about the search function. But gives a good idea just how many ships were arriving to Sydney.

Just a later observation for consideration. Your reply was worthwhile and more of an 'answer' but I think you may have clicked 'comment' rather than 'answer' when replying. So I was unable to give out a vote for your reply.
Thank you for asking this question.

The answers below have provided some valuable leads to follow up on.

Much appreciated.

2 Answers

+6 votes
 
Best answer
One of my ancestors did the same.  His name was George Ellis (1826-1907) and he was supposed to be guarding the convicts but jumped ship in Melbourne.  He took the Regiment Cornet with him and that got him a mention in Trove.  Then he changed his name to Bell. One of his daughters, Mary Ann Bell married Robert W. Carter, and they were my GreatGrandparents.  Luckily another much better genealogist than I am and the GGgranddaughter of another of George's children traced  his back and found a record of his jumping ship, in the Victorian Police Gazette of Army Desertions.  He jumped ship in 1850.  I'd look for records of Deserters both in the services and also in Papers and Police Gazettes of Melbourne.
by
selected by Ken Hudson
Thank you Kerry.

I had some idea that this is what I would have to do (police gazettes, etc.) and you have confirmed it. I asked to see if there were other tips to consider and some good suggestions have been made. Now it's just for me to undertake the Australian research legwork.
I wish you good luck!  I am lucky to have various relatives I've found in Australia who know how to search.  I'm located in Costa Rica and lag behind using Trove and other sources!
Thanks Kerry. I hadn't expected you would be resident in Costa Rica. That's a place I know very little about. Sounds a very exotic place.
+4 votes

I'm not aware if this is the custom of other countries, but in Sweden a sailor "should be" registered in one of the registers for sailors (called sjömanshus in Swedish). 

If you add the origin country of your sailor as a tag you might get some answers from the emigration country as well. 


I apologise in advance if anything in the message above comes off as abrasive and/or confrontational. English is not my native language and even though I give the impression of "speaking" well enough, I have a language barrier and there have been misunderstandings in the past.

by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Pilot (112k points)
Thank you so much Maggie. Your English is just fine. Interesting that I may be able to search the sailing records of other countries. Nice suggestion.

Cheers

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