Is there a category for Death at Sea, without listing a specific ship?

+10 votes
I'm trying to add categories for each one of my ancestors, and I've come across several who died at sea. Although the name of the ship was not named, the notation that they had "died at sea" is noted. Is there a category for this? Profile in question? Merki-7

If not, how do I create one, and where does it belong? Cemeteries? or?



Linda Stienstra
WikiTree profile: Heinrich Merki
asked in The Tree House by Linda Stienstra G2G5 (5.8k points)
edited by Doug Lockwood

3 Answers

+3 votes
Not sure Linda. I have some ancestors that didn t survive the sailing to the New Land............ please contact

he is the one leading on emigrants I think. And share what he says to this... THank you lot for asking

answered by Astrid Spaargaren G2G6 Pilot (161k points)

This thread has a lot of good advice, I think.

I would add newspapers as a potential source. If the whole ship went down, then it would probably have made the news. The Library of Congress Reading Room has papers covering the period, so if you can make it there (or find somebody to go and look it up for you), you may find an account that you can use. (I had to depend on a newspaper story to get the sailing date for one of my ancestral ships.)

If the ship arrived safely, but Hans died en route, then I would imagine that the ship's master would have had to report that at the port of arrival. I know that was required under the U.S. government. But we're talking the colonial period, so those records may not have survived the war.

Personally, I don't see any reason not to have a "died at sea" category, but I only joined the Categorization Project this week, so it's not like I'm an authority or anything.

Ah. Poking around the categories, I couldn't find a "Died at Sea" category. (Well, there is "Category:Died_at_Sea_en_route_to_Grosse_Île,_Québec", but there's no other category like it, nor does it link to any category other than  "Category:Grosse_Île,_Québec", so I'm reluctant to take it as a precedent.) 

I do see that "Category:Cemeteries" does have a subcategory of "Category:Cremation", so it seems reasonable to me to add a category called, say, "Burial_At_Sea" or something like that. (Assuming, of course, that Hans was actually buried at sea. I have heard of instances where people just boxed up the corpse and took it along. I have no idea why.) I think I'd start out with just plain "Burial_At_Sea" at first, and if it ends up collecting enough profiles that people have to go to subsequent pages, then add subcategories like "Burial_In_The_Atlantic", and so on.

If you don't know whether he was buried at sea or not, then I'm thinking that somebody who's got more experience in the Categorization Project than I do would be better placed to comment on whether a "Died_At_Sea" category would be a good idea, and what category to link to from it. I couldn't find a category on "Deaths" "Deaths_During_Migration" or anything like that.

As for how to create a category, I don't think I can offer better advice on that than H Husted offered to me on my question about "Categories for immigrant ships?" so I'll just point you there.


My ancestor was bringing his family from Switzerland in 1735. He was the only one from the family with the notation "Died at Sea," and I would assume his wife and young family would not want to add his body to their meager belongings ~ but that's just me.

There is some very good advice from Greg Slade and I thank Astrid for suggesting I contact him.

I will check out Greg's link to "Categories for immigrant ships?" and go from there.

Thank you all for your suggestions!

+1 vote
When they died at sea were they immigrants ?  soldiers ? sailors ?

The Died at sea from the Grosse Ile is a category we created for the immigrants who came in Canada.  Most of the people who died at sea were from the Irish potato famine period.

I think such a category has to be a sub-category or in a project.
answered by Guy Constantineau G2G6 Pilot (338k points)
0 votes

We already have the category Lost at Sea, which is under the main category Maritime.

answered by J. Salsbery G2G6 Mach 2 (26.8k points)

The categorizing of just "died at sea" might not satisfy all.......... I haven t a good idea how to do better. Sea named? Travel named? Europe USA for example? easier to find some back?  we don t need categories as amsterdam-newyork. But mabey Died at sea 1600-1700 or Died at Sea-Atlantic? Think time easier.. Just a thought. 

Related questions

+4 votes
1 answer
59 views asked Oct 15, 2016 in Policy and Style by Jennifer Reyes G2G6 (6.2k points)
+6 votes
2 answers
+6 votes
1 answer
164 views asked Oct 8, 2017 in Policy and Style by Scott Davis G2G6 (9.3k points)
+2 votes
1 answer
+6 votes
1 answer
+9 votes
1 answer
+5 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright