British BDMs and
Burials at Sea
| Death |
Quarantine | BTW | Burial
"Records of births, marriages and deaths of
at sea, in foreign countries or while serving in HM Forces abroad are
preserved at the Register Office of their country of origin, but may also be
recorded at the Office of National Statistics in the 'Overseas' section. "Reference: BMD Records information leaflet
Births and death events were recorded in the ship's log; the information was
copied to Board of Trade Registrar of Births and Deaths and at year end and
New Zealand required registration of events at sea on arrival. So it is
possible to find the event recorded in NZ and the UK with slightly different
Pay per view, search the database for free from 1854 to 1890 Registers of
Births, Marriages and Deaths at Sea 1854 to 1890. Compiled from the ships� logs
and detailing events for many British and Foreign families at sea, including
emigrants, passengers and soldiers. From 1854 to 1858 entries of births all of
the information and headers are written by hand. In 1858 the The Registrar
General for Shipping and Seamen introduced registers with pre-printed headers
although. No births recorded in the registers after 1888.
NZ BDMs is indexed from 1848 up. If the person you
are looking for cannot be found and the event took place in the 1850s or
earlier, it is possible that they are on the
NSW Index instead even though the event took place in New Zealand.
Many births occurred at sea, and
often the infant was named after the vessel,
ship's surgeon, captain,
Contributions with an infant named after a vessel, doctor, port with a New Zealand
Births at Sea
- Nugent Bevan born 6 January 1841 at sea on the Lady Nugent's
voyage to New Zealand from England.
- William Dawson Webster was born 16th March
1841 on board the Amelia Thompson, Commander, William Dawson, on the
voyage to New Plymouth, New Zealand.
- Mary Ann Tyne Sanson was born in August 1841 at sea on the
'Tyne' to Robert and Ann Sanson.
- William Bentinck Howell was born in the Bay of Biscay enroute to
NZ on the ship Lord William Bentinck which arrived Wellington 22
May 1841. William was the 6th child of John Howell and his wife Ann (nee
Cordery) who were married at Teddington, England on 20 Jan 1829.
- Thomas and Elizabeth Butler are the parents of Mary Ann Bentinck Butler
born at sea 10 January 1841 on the Lord William Bentinck two days
after the vessel left Gravesend. The ship arrived at Port Nicholson
19th May 1841.
- Ann Arab Walker was born aboard the Arab which left London
on 3 June, & Dartmouth on 15 June 1841. Her DOB was 28 August 1841.
Her father James Walker with his wife Helen, and their five other children
arrived at Port Nicholson NZ on 16 October 1841. They lived in Fifeshire SCT
- Emma Ridgway Renall was born at sea in November 1841 on the
Martha Ridgway to Emma and Alfred William Renall.
- Ellen Jane Dillon was the eldest daughter of Thomas Dillon & Eleanor
Nowell who came to NZ (1) on the Fifeshire to Nelson arriving 1842
and (2) on the Cornwall to Canterbury
arriving 1851. Ellen Jane was on both voyages as was her brother Thomas
Harford Dillon, the latter being born on the Fifeshire,
born on December 21st 1841, halfway across the Indian Ocean, and named after
the captain, Harford Arnold.
- Charles Clifford Saxton, born 18 Jan 1842 on the ship
'Clifford' in Atlantic Ocean, near the equator. He and his parents,
Charles Waring Saxton and Mary (nee Laughlin) arrived in Nelson 11 May 1842
but his mother died just three months after arrival and his father took him
back to England. He served in the Royal Artillery in India, China etc, and
died in London.
- On the voyage out to New Plymouth on the Essex in 1843 Grace
Harvey gave birth to a son, James Essex Harvey.
Tom and Mary Cuddie bound for Otago on the 'Philip Laing' that
arrived Port Chalmers 15 April 1848. Their son was born on board. He was
baptised by Burns on 7 May, Alexander Thomas Burns, after the Reverend
Thomas Burns the Minister Free Church of Scotland who was also a passenger.
- The bible of Rev. Thomas Dickson Nicholson, the first Presbyterian
minister for the Nelson area, and his wife Alison, nee McWhir, states their
son, 'John Wickliffe McWhir Daly Nicholson. Born on board the ship 'John
at Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand, on the morning of Wednesday, 19th
of April 1848. (Registered at Nelson, New Zealand, 8th July 1848.)'
This was three weeks after the John Wickliffe anchored, and was
baptised by Rev. Thomas Burns when the 'Philip Laing' arrived in
- Eliza Larkins Wright was born at sea in New Zealand waters on the
26 Oct. 1849 on the Larkins to Henrietta and Daniel Wright. Arrived
Port Chalmers from London.
- Charles Ocean Thompson s/o Robert Thompson was born at sea January 1868.
Died 1940. Attended Christ's College H.S. in Christchurch and settled
in the Napier/Hawkes Bay area around the 1890s. His father was a miner,
- Cornwall McLeod (nee Muir) born on board the
ship Cornwall during the voyage to Otago in 1849, was named after the ship.
She resided with her husband and family near Palmerston.
- Randolph Theodore Chaney was b. in the Bay of Biscay 10 September
1850 - died 6 Nov. 1928 and Randolph George Harper were both born
aboard the Randolph which arrived
Lyttelton 16 Dec. 1850. Randolph was baptised aboard ship by the Rev.
Charles Puckle. His father, William, was a mason; throughout his
working life. Randolph built the first house in Randolph Street,
Christchurch. Randolph was a labourer and a farmer and was buried at S. Peter's Anglican
Church Upper Riccarton. There is also a Randolph Terrace in Christchurch
named after the ship.
John Stanley b. in 1826 in Broadway, Worcestershire, England came out on
the "Randolph" to Lyttelton in 1850 as an a steerage passenger,
aged 23 with his wife Mary, aged 19. He was an agricultural labourer and
bought land in Harewood Road, where they kept dairy cows and started a
nursery. John had apple pips in his pocket from home. He died June 1891.
Mary b. 1830- died in 1901. A son Randolph
STANLEY was 9 August 1873 in ChCh.
- Elizabeth Dale Waghorn born on voyage of the Randolph, under
command of Captain Dale. Later Mrs
Howell. She was living in Christchurch in 1900.
- Alexander Derry was born at sea 21
Nov. 1850 on the Charlotte Jane bound for Canterbury, NZ under the
command of Captain Alexander Lawrence. The family a month before had lost a
child 17 October 1850, buried at sea.
- Seymour Eaton, a twin, was born at sea aboard the Sir George
- Henry "Harry" Lyttelton
Brittan was baptized 20 July 1851 in Christchurch. The
Sir George Seymour, weighed anchor at Plymouth, Sep. 8 1850.
Arrived Lyttelton , Dec. 17, 1850. Attended Christ's College 1857 - 1858.
Ob. Auckland, 21st July, 1929.
- Henry Charles Graham's son, George Seymour Graham, was 3 weeks old
by the time he arrived in Lyttelton on Sept 8th 1850 aboard Sir George
- Eleanor Cressy Mouldey born 20th December 1850
- Arthur Zealand Wright an infant on the
Castle Eden in 1851 was named after the country he was going to.
- Mary Elizabeth Bronte Savill was born at sea on 1st March 1853 the
daughter of William and Jane Savill. The Duke of
Bronte arrived at Port Lyttelton 5 June, 1851
- Maria Draper Bronte
Smith was born May 1851 at sea aboard the Duke of Bronte one month
out of Lyttelton. Draper was the ship's Surgeon Superintendent
- Rosseta Harriet Bronte Gibbs Nash born at sea 27 May 1851 on the
Duke of Bronte.
- Caroline Labuan Wedge was born at sea in 1851.
- Richard Canterbury Mathias came out to
Lyttelton, Canterbury, NZ on the 'Dominion'
in 1851. Attended Christ's College
- Eliza Steadfast Miller was born at sea in
- A birth occurred on the "Oriental", 27 November 1855 and the ocean child
was named Ada Augusta Oriental Giles. On the 13 December, the Equator
was crossed. Parents Launcelot and Rachel Giles. London to Auckland and on
- George Howe Cook was born on 8 May 1855 on the whaling brig
off Lord Howe Island, according to family
- James Strathallan Buttars (Butters) was born 24th December 1857 on
the Strathallan. The family left Leith the 4th October 1857 and
arrived at Port Chalmers 16th January 1858. The name Strathallan was
used as a second name through the family line
and the same family built and owned the first maternity nursing home in
Opotiki (Bay of Plenty) and this facility was named Strathallan
- Ann Wilson (Liverpool to Wellington 1857) "Thomas Wilson
Morris" born on board on March 23rd 1857. Apparently his mother decided to
name him for the ship. I guess without wanting to call him Ann she just used
the Wilson part of the name.
Isaac Henzell Rutherford, master of the barque Ann Wilson which
sailed from Liverpool for Wellington with emigrants on or about 29th
November and came to anchor 29 March 1857.
- On 25th Dec.1858 two children were christened onboard the
'Strathallan', bound for Timaru and Lyttelton, William
Strathallan Padget and the other Strathallan
- A daughter was born to George Wilcock and his wife Elizabeth aboard the
ship Edwin Fox and they named her Edwina Fox Wilcock
- Katherine Inchinnan Percival daughter of Richard & Anne Percival
was born 1856 in the dock at Gravesend. The Inchinnan left
Gravesend 13 January 1856 & arrived Nelson 19 May 1856. She was not actually
at sea but on the way. The fiche of British overseas births (includes a
sequence on births at sea) and the GRO births index was checked and this
infant not found registered
- Peter Bryce and his wife Isabella (nee Fisher) became the proud parents of
Robert Henderson Cubitt Bryce in 1858. The
baby was born on the ship Robert Henderson, the captain's name was
- A diary written on board the ship Indiana mentions the birth of a
daughter to Mrs Robson on August 22nd 1858 who was christened Indiana
McKirdy Robson. Unfortunately there were four Robson families on board so it
is not possible at the moment to identify who the parents were. Maybe
McKirdy was the maiden name of the mother but this is only an educated
- Louisa Thorpe Booth was born in 1859 on the
Queen of the Avon on the voyage from London to Wellington. The ship's
Surgeon Superintendent was Dr. Thorpe. Her parents were John and Sarah
- John Zealandia Hill son of Jacob Hill was born on the
Zealandia on the way out to Lyttelton in 1859.
- Sept. 11. 1859 Otago Witness The Alpine, 1164 tons, R.
Crawford, from, Glasgow. Passengers 460. There were four births during the
voyage, the first born receiving the name of Alpine
Black, after the ship, the captain, the doctor, and the parents.
Otago Witness, 13 September 1905, Page 29 The Alpine,
a newspaper published on board that vessel, which arrived here from Glasgow
on September 9, 1859, edited by Mr James McIndoe who has just passed away,
and by him, presented to Mr Dick, a fellow passenger, an early record of
events on board was the birth of a son to Mrs John Black, to be named John
Alpine Crawford Cochrane Black.
- The "Regina" arrived in Lyttelton 4th
Dec. 1859. Sarah Walker wrote incredible detailed letters back home to her
mother and brother for twenty five years starting with her arrival in London
and on 11th October 1859 wrote "We had two more births on board, but
one was dead, and the one that has lived is called after the Captain, the
sea and the ship. It is a boy and is called
Thos. Thornton Regina
Atlantic Pearce, Pearce being his surname." His
parents were Percival Pearce, age 32, and Eliza, age 28. There is a birth
registered in 1860 in NZ - Thomas Reginald Pearce.
- Magna Bona, 1000 tons, Captain Tyson, sailed from London 29th July
1863, arrived Nelson 21st November. On the 5th November, Mrs. Bradshaw, a
steerage passenger, was confined of, a boy, who was subsequently christened
Magna Bona Bradshaw. The carpenter made the little stranger a cradle, on
which his name was painted, and a subscription was raised for him among
those on board, while Captain Tyson very considerately gave up a chief cabin
for the use of Mrs. Bradshaw.
- The Machin�s arrived Jan. 27th, in the ship �Roman
Emperor�, 793 tons, Dewar, from London. On Jan. 20, 1860, to Mrs.
Thomas Machin, of a son, Thomas Dewar
Machin and died in 1860.
- Annie Tybernia Sanderson born in the Atlantic (appears in the IGI)
by family lore she was born on the vessel Tybernia which was
quarantined at Rangitoto on arrival in Auckland in Sept 1864
- Clara Peace Christian Foote was born ashore in Melbourne on 19
May 1865 in enroute from New Foundland to Auckland. Named after the vessel
Eastern Empire arrived at Lyttelton 4 January 1865. Passengers
included Thomas and Janet J. Jefcoate. Their son Thomas Eastern Empire
Jefcoate married in 1891 at Hook, South Canterbury. T.E.E. Jefcoate.
- Agnes Caroline Coventry Dalzell - ex Belfast - was born on 19 April
1869 aboard the Caroline Coventry. She and her family later settled
- Oct. 26 1870 - James Nicol Fleming, ship, 992 tons, Logan, from
Glasgow. On the 11th October, Mrs Alexander McPherson, a steerage passenger,
gave birth to a male child and who will probably be named "The Fleming
and Margary Robb m. in Scotland in 1857 arrived on the
Charlotte Gladstone 30th January 1871. Their 7th child William Fox
Gladstone Robb was born two weeks out from
landing. The captain was James Fox.
- Amelia Nicol Fleming Barnett, third daughter of Robert and Sarah
Barnett, was born on board the James Nicol Fleming on its voyage to
Port Chalmers in 1875.
- Mary Forfarshire Thrupp was born 18 Dec. 1872, to William Thomas
and Mary Thrupp on the ship Forfarshire. Sailed London, England 16
Nov. 1872 - arrived Wellington, NZ 2 March 1873. Latitude 7 Deg. 20 Min.
North, Longitude 25 Deg. 48 Min. West (North Atlantic Ocean) Signed James
FOX, witness A.M. MacDonald. Baptized C of E, Sunday, 5 January 1873
Latitude 26 Deg. 8 Min. South, Longitude 32 Deg. 13 Min. West (South
Atlantic Ocean) Signed William Sewill (acting Chaplain)
- Oct 11 1873 - Otago, ship, 993 tons, Stuart, from Glasgow, 17th
July. One birth took place on the 2nd inst, when Mrs McDonald was confined
with a male child. On Friday the 10th, the child was christened by the Rev
Mr Borrie, a passenger, by the name of George
Stuart McDonald, the name being the Captain's.
- Louisa Bouverie Marlow date of birth is not recorded in the ship's
log though she does have a birth cert in NZ. The ship arrived in Wellington
on 18 Oct 1873 on the Edward P. Bouverie
- Oceana Berar Cunningham Firth born on
board the Berar, some time in 1873 and named after the sea,
the ship & the ship's doctor
- Annie Ballochmyle Smith had the second name Ballochmyle
because she was born on board the ship 1874 on the way out to Lyttelton
- May 10 1874. : The wife of John HENNESEY of a son christened John
June 18: The wife of H W JENNINGS of a daughter, christened Jessie Miltiades
June 26: The wife of Geo. TAYLOR of a son, christened Edward Miltiades
Tuapeka Times, 8 April 1896 he following inquiries as to missing
friends are from 'Lloyd's "Weekly ' of February 2 and 9 : John
Miltiades Hensey was born at sea about 1874, on the ship
Miltiades, going out to Auckland from Gravesend. Aunt Polly asks.
- Henry Ballochmyle Barrett, born on board the
ship Ballochmyle 12 March 1874, son of Jonathan Barrett b. 1834
Merther, Cornwall and Mary Ann Gribbin b. 1839, Cornwall. The Ballochmyle
had left London 25th February 1874 and arrived Lyttelton 1st June 1874.
Jonathon & Mary Ann Barrett and their eleven children settled in
Christchurch. Henry died at an young age and is buried in the Barbadoes St
- John & Isabella Guinan arrived in Port Chalmers in 1874 aboard the
Peter Denny. Their son was born aboard ship and was named
Peter Denny Guinan
- From a diary. The Merope left Plymouth England dated June 27 1874. Sunday
19th. Light head winds rain all Saturday night wind varying 4 points
12 ct. in Lat 10. 11N Long 27.40 W Dist 92 miles. 2 Children
Christened. The one that was Born on Board was named Elizabeth Merope
the Ship's name Monday 20th 1874. Light Winds & Variable all day & night in
Lat. 9.40 N Long 21.52W. Dist. 310 miles. Tuesday 21st Light Winds &
- John Thomas Parsee Scott, s/o Andrew Scott and Christina
Moncrieff, born on 8th Aug 1874, on board the Parsee enroute to New
Zealand, arrived Port Chalmers, 4th Sep 1874. John Thomas died 26 March
1949, and is buried in the Helensville Public Cemetery.
- John Sea Hague was born to Thomas & Eliza Hague on board the Queen of
the Age on its way to Auckland in 1874.
- Charles Neil Alhambra Cornish was born on 31 July 1875 aboard the
Alhambra which sailed from the port of Bluff Harbour on 27 July. There
are two entries in the ship's birth register: both contain the same details
except one records the mother as being born in Scotland, aged 22. The births
were registered in Melbourne and the places of birth are recorded as Lat S
41.16; Long E 150.28.30 (Tasman Sea)
- Waimate, ship, 1123 tons sailed from London 4th Sept. 1875 and arrived
in Otago 3rd Dec. 1875. On board was Samuel Mountford, age 30, from
Stafford, a gardener, and his wife Isabella, age 28. Lily Waimate Mountford
was born onboard. her birth is registered in NZ. Lily
Waimate Mountford married Dennis Edward McMahon in 1903 and they
were the parents of Dennis Edward, Iris Lily and Patrick. Lily also had
three children previous:
Gordon Waimate Mountford b. 1894. d. 7 July 1967, retired sugar boiler b.
Milton, N.Z. age 75, cemetery Ruru Lawn, CHCH
Percy Mountford b. 1899 d. 5 May 1903, child age 4, cemetery Sydenham,
Mabel Adelaide Mountford b. 1896.
- James Nicol Fleming PAGE
Birth: 1876 in at sea around the area of Capetown
Death: 5 Sep 1954 in Kohika Valley Otaio, Canterbury, New Zealand
Burial: 6 Sep 1954 Waimate, South Canterbury, New Zealand
Occupation: Labourer, Farmer
- The Otago, commanded by Captain Stuart, arrived in Port
Chalmers 11th Oct. 1873. One birth took place on the 2nd inst., when Mrs
M'Donald was confined with a male child. On Friday the 10th, the child was
christened by the Rev. Mr Borrie, a passenger, by the name of
George Stuart M'Donald, the name being the
- George Inverness Durrant, son of James Durrant & Sarah
Foster. Born 25 Oct 1876 on the ship Inverness, which arrived at
Hawkes Bay on 28 Oct 1876
- Mary Zealandia Scupham - her marriage certificate 19th Feb. 1896
states she was born "at sea" and her age as 19 which put her date of birth
1876/77. Took years to find which ship Zealandia. Found Mr & Mrs
Scupham arriving in Sydney on 22nd June 1877 on the s.s. Zealandia.
23rd May departed San Francisco for Sydney via Hawaii and Auckland.
Birth between 23rd May and 22nd June 1877. Parents: William and Mary Sophia
Scupham. Never found her birth registered.
- David Cowan Wellington McColl was
named for the captain (Cowan) and the ship Wellington. DOB
29/01/1876. Arrived Port Chalmers on 17 March 1876
- The Lady Jocelyn sailed 06 May - (20 May) - August 1878 from
London to Belfast to Auckland and the passengers were bound for Katikati
under Vesey Stewart's settlement scheme. Edward Jocelyn GEORGE was
born 14 July 1878.
- Henry and Elizabeth Fletcher arrived in New Zealand in 1879 - 1880 on
the Western Monarch with one child Florence. A son was born on the
voyage, Douglas Monarch Fletcher was born 18 December 1879 and his
death was the same day.
- Robert Chalmers Robinson was born on
the ship Dunbritton
outside Otago Heads on 13 June 1880. He was named after the nearest Port,
which of course was Port Chalmers. He was christened at Port Chalmers on 9
July 1880 and was known by his second name.
- The ship "Maraval" arrived in Wellington from London on 23 January 1880.
Among the passengers was the son of a German couple, born, 11 Jan.
1880,during the voyage and baptised Robert
Maraval Schroeder. Robert was the first name of the Captain.
- Captain John Bollons commanded the NZ Government steamers, the
Tutanekai and the Hinemoa. He married Lilian Rose Hunter, the
daughter of a retired master mariner, John Hunter, and the couple's eldest
son and eldest daughter received their middle names from ships that Bollons
- Evening Post, 2 June 1913, Page 7
The retraining members of Maggie Papakura's touring company of Maori
entertainers, who went to England in 1910, were passengers to Wellington by
the steamer Paparoa, which arrived from Hobart on Saturday night. The
troupe, which early met with difficulties, made its first appearance at the
Crystal Palace, but the village was condemned by the authorities and they
had to leave. An engagement at the White City followed, but trouble arose
over the wages to be paid, and it ended. Half the troupe returned in 1911,
but the remainder twenty in number, decided to tour the South of England ;
but again failure met them. Finally application was made to the Dominion's
High Com- missioner, and the party were granted passages by the Paparoa. The
Maoris went on to Rotorua this morning. When in England a child was born to
Rua and Here Tawhai, and another one just before the Paparoa's arrival at
Hobart. The latter baby has been named after the ship. During the voyage the
Maoris gave several entertainments in aid of seamen's charities, and they
were publicly thanked by the commander of the Paparoa, Captain Bower. Some
people decline to doff their hats while the National Anthem is being either
played or sung.
Not only infants were named after a vessel but many streets, businesses and
farms took the name of vessels. Glentanner Station in the Mackenzie was
named by Edward Dark
who came out to Lyttelton in 1857 on the Glentanner. Even
grandchildren of passengers have taken on the name of an emigrant vessel.
Some children are even named after coastal vessels. Family folklore said my great Aunt Hinemoa
was named after the government steamer 'Hinemoa'
that Captain John Fairchild commanded in the 1870s
to the 1890s.
Was Elizabeth Corona DAWSON, folio #778 March 1866 born
in Dunedin named after the vessel "Corona"?
White Wings Vol. 1 by Brett page 263
Captain Gorn was master on the Waipa when he arrived in Auckland he
was duly questioned for particulars, that would enable the shipping office
to fill in the usual Board of Trade forms. Yes, there had been one birth,
and when asked for a name he reeled off a list almost as long as the
dinghy's painter. "Cyclone Four Bells Cape Dove Gorn Bendall Waipa ___" The
name duly entered in the Board of trade return. The child was born in a
cyclone at four bells off Cape Dove. Bendall was the ship's doctor.
The Times, Monday, Mar 16, 1840; pg. 5
The Adelaide, to New Zealand, put into Table Bay on the 19th
December. All the passengers were in good health. Mrs Millar, the wife of
one of the passengers, had given birth to an infant abut three weeks before.
The Adelaide was to sail from Table Bay on or about the 29th of December. NZ
The Star, Friday October 17th 1873 pg 2
Birth at Sea. The ODT of Oct. 13th states that on the passage from Lyttelton
a mare on board the Taranaki dropped a foal during the night, unknown to
anyone. The first intimation of the fact was the foal running butt against
one of the watch on deck, who got scared, and thought it was a huge dog, but
knowing there was none on board, he wondered where the creature came from.
On recovering his composure, he found it was only an innocent that had left
its mother. The little animal was cared for, and with its mother safely
Evening Post, 25 February 1891, Page 2
Melbourne, 24th February.
During the voyage of the Hauroto from New Zealand an unmarried woman,
who was a passenger, gave birth to a child. The Customs Department
endeavoured to compel the captain to enter into a bond providing against the
infant becoming a burden on the colony. He declined, add it has now been
decided that the Customs and Immigration Department has no power to prevent
the woman being landed.
Evening Post, 12 July 1910
Mrs. Kiernan, wife of Mr. Frederick Kiernan, member of the Onslow Borough
Council, died last evening' at her residence, "Te Kainga," Kaiwarra. The
deceased lady was born at sea on the ship British Crown during her
voyage from London to Lyttelton in 1863. She leaves a family of five, the
eldest of whom is Mr. F. Kiernan, of Napier. Mrs. W. Corbett, of Upper Hutt,
is a daughter.
Grey River Argus, 11 February 1887, Page 2
POPULATION OF THE COLONY. The total population, according to last census,
was 578,482 (exclusive of Maoris), whose birth places are as follows : � New
Zealand, 300,190; Australian colonies, 17,245; United Kingdom, 233,856 ;
other British possessions, 3953 ; foreign countries, 19,885 ; at sea, 1324 ;
unspecified, 2029. Of the above 560,598 are British subjects, while 17,884
are foreign subjects.
Have you looked for church records of a baptism?
The surgeon's report would list births and those that died
on the voyage. Archives have shipping
papers (passenger lists, surgeon's reports, stores etc). The
might be found in the arrival port's newspaper sometimes a couple of weeks
after the vessels arrival and at archives. Infant mortality was high
on these three month voyages out to New Zealand. Infants born shortly
after arrival in the colony were sometimes named after the vessel.
The official registration system was established in New Zealand, by the
Registration Ordinance 1847, it was possible for "the birth of any child,
although born at sea, or out of the colony, of parents whose ordinary place
of abode is within the colony" to be registered in New Zealand and I suspect
this would have extended to include the birth of children to parents who
intended to make New Zealand their "ordinary place of abode".
Registrar-General Office of NZ. New Zealand registered birth
certificate says 'born at sea' and the child is considered a New Zealander.
Register of births at sea of British nationals, 1875-1891,
microfilm copy of original records are at the Public Record Office in Kew.
The registers contain name of ship, ship's official number, date of arrival;
date of birth; name (if any); sex, name and surname of father; rank,
profession or occupation of father; name and surname of mother; maiden
surname of mother; nationality, last place of abode of father and mother.
"Foreign Register of Births, Marriages & Deaths on Ships", between 1854 and
1890 may sometimes be found in BT153-160 PRO at Kew. Board of Trade
Registers contain only a percentage of Births and Deaths at sea that
Dilemma of Stateless Persons, Geneva. March 24 1959, The Times
Contradictions between legal systems of States adhering to the principle of
jus sanguinis (the law of descent) under which a child takes its
parents' nationality regardless of where it is born. Jus soli (the
law of the soil) - foundlings, who when place of birth is unknown, will be
presumed to have been born in the country in which they are found. Children
born at sea, their birth will be considered to have taken place in the
territory of the State whose flag the ship flies or in the territory of the
State whose flag the ship flies.
New Zealand Official Yearbook - Page 105 by New Zealand Dept.
of Statistics - New Zealand Yearbooks - 1897
1322 persons were returned as born at sea.
Waikato Times, 7 November 1885, Page 1
Next of Kin.
Native land hadst thou not,
Born out at sea ;
Named for the rocking ship,
Cradle to thee.
Voyage thine verily
Over life 'a wave,
Owing earth barely for
Tiniest grave. ...
James T. McKay. � In the Century.
Extract from the shipboard diary of Alfred Osborne Knight, the
surgeon aboard the sailing ship "Ashmore" during its voyage to Auckland.
Left Gravesend 18th May 1882 - 1st September 1882. The diary was written in ink
pencil on 40 leaves of paper about A4 size. Page 30. Held at the Auckland War
Memorial Museum Library.
pg 30. Tuesday, Aug 15
I had nearly finished dinner when I was hastily summoned below to the
ward & when I arrived found there had been an addition in the population.
A fine boy had been born. I have expected it for sometime, as I wanted him to
make up for the loss I had at the start.
Page 33. Monday August 28th
Just 100 days from the dock disturbed this morning.... This afternoon was held a
Grand Christening of the babe born 14 days ago. The Captain, Husband and the
mother ------- still weak but getting on well. A few friends were invited &
parson gave all good advice. I felt greatly honoured by the parents asking me to
give it one of my names, so I gave them Alfred & the Captain gave them James
they gave it George Henry now came the name of the ship.
James Alfred George Henry Ashmore Curtis.
1992 IGI Y0055 - World Miscellaneous
Births at Sea 1650-1903 1 fiche, LDS
Mainly Atlantic Ocean births but the odd one from Indian and Pacific Oceans,
some have name of ship. e.g.
WHYTE, Jessie Yates Oamaru
Parents: David S. Whyte / Agnes Main
Female: Birth 28 May 1877 Pacific Ocean, off coast of NZ
BILLMAN, Ruby Delphicina
Parents: William David BILLMAN /Alexina Brown
21 Oct 1901 Pacific Ocean, between Eng. and NZ
Her birth was
registered in NZ.
Evening Post, 21 November 1901, Page 6
The Shaw Savill, and Albion Company's steamer Delphic arrived from
London, Capetown, and Hobart, shortly after 6 o'clock this morning. She left
London on 20th September, and arrived at Teneriffe on 4th October; sailed
again same day, and reached Capetown on the 22nd. From there to Hobart,
which was reached on the 14th November, strong winds and high seas were met
with. The following are the Wellington passengers : � Billman.
FERGUSON, Ellen Thompson
Parents: John Ferguson /Agnes Thompson
31 Aug 1876 Atlantic Ocean, on route to NZ
McCARTHY, Charles Faustina
Parents: Joseph McCarthy/Mary Ann Burling
16 Feb 1842 Atlantic Ocean, on ship London
McGINLEY, Margaret Mary Josephine
Parents: John McGinley/Mary Ann Goucher
1843 Pacific Ocean, Ship Jane Gifford
PRIEST, Eliza Travencore
Parents: Francis Priest/Margaret Williams
13 Mar 1851 Pacific Ocean
SMITH, Maria Draper Bronte
Parents: Charles Smith/Rachel LaPage
14 May 1851 Pacific Ocean
The GRO Marine Registers record births and deaths at sea
on ships registered in Great Britain or Ireland from 1 July 1837, available
through LDS libraries. Sometimes you can find a notation in the UK census to
place of birth: e.g. On the sea, at sea, on the high sea, axsea, on board
ship, on the Atlantic Ocean.
1880 Federal Census Winchendon, Worcester, Massachusetts
The 1880 census began on 1 June 1880 and was completed within two weeks.
Name: George F. Brown
Estimated birth year: 1870
Birthplace: On Atlantic Ocean on English Ship
Occupation: At School Race: White
Relationship to head-of-household: Son
Father's name: Abel A. Brown birthplace: MA
Mother's name: Jessie Brown birthplace: New Zealand
Roll: T9_566; Pg: 476.4000; ED: 872
1881 Census England - taken on the night of 3 April 1881.
Thomas Elliott abt 1844 b. Colne, Wiltshire, England Head of Household Foreman Railway Wagon Works
Hannah Elliott abt 1850 b. London City Of, Middlesex, England Wife 69 Belmont St, St Pancras, London, ENG
Susan F.M. Elliott abt 1873 b. Paddington, Middlesex, England Daughter
Zebulon J. Elliott abt 1871 b. Paddington, Middlesex, England Son
Percy W. Elliott abt 1875 b. Paddington, Middlesex, England Son 6
Florence W. Elliott Age in 1881: 5, abt 1876 On Board Ship Between London & New Zealand
Source information: RG11/0214 ED 17 Folio: 15 Page: 24
Registration district: Kentish Town, Pancras
1891 census for England
Mandell, Margaret Anna abt 1864 New Zealand London
Manell, Maude J abt 1880 Off Coast of New Zealand, New Zealand London
1891 England Census
Name Est. Birth Year Birthplace Civil parish County
Anderson, Jane P abt 1877 Ocean, South Pacific Lancashire
Depree, Charles F abt 1870 South Pacific Ocean Lancashire
Dickens, Frederick abt 1854 Tuan Fernandez, Pacific Oesan London
Dugdale, Cara abt 1875 On Ship in Pacific B S Hampshire
Dyson, Margaret S abt 1863 Pacific Ocean Hampshire
Ellis, Edward T abt 1875 On English Ship in Pacific Leeds Lancashire
Fishwick, Clara M abt 1868 Pacific Ocean Durham
Fitzsimmons, Daniel abt 1830 South Pacific Ocean Durham
Greet, Reginald T abt 1876 S Pacific, Tabite London
Kelly, John abt 1873 Pacific Ocean Staffordshire
Lamb, Elizabeth M abt 1848 Pacific Ocean Lancashire
Lawes, George A abt 1872 South Pacific Hampshire
Pearse, Albert J abt 1875 S Pacific, Raiatea London
Pearse, Arthur E abt 1876 S Pacific, Raiake London
Saville, Lillie E V abt 1869 Huakins South Pacific Sussex
Thorman, Frederick P abt 1888 Ireland, South Pacific Norfolk, England Kent
Thorman, Robert C abt 1889 Ireland, South Pacific Norfolk, England Kent
Warren, Sidney abt 1864 Pacific Ocean London
1901 Wales Census - taken on the night of 31 March 1901.
Isabella Rowe Age in 1901: 38 b. abt 1863 Scotland Head of household, Canton, Glamorgan
Eaphemia Rowe Age in 1901: 9 b. abt 1892 At sea Off New Zealand, New Zealand Daughter Canton Glamorgan
Selberhorn Rowe Age in 1901: 8 b. abt 1893 At sea Off New Zealand, Australia Son Canton Glamorgan
Gladys Rowe abt 1896 Scotland Daughter Canton Glamorgan
Ecclesiatical parish: Canton St John the Divine
County/Island: Glamorgan Wales
Source information: RG13/4985
Registration district: West Cardiff, Cardiff
Folio: 177 Page: 38 Household schedule number: 237
1901 England Census Where born: Census place:
Silberhorn Rowe age 8 At Sea Off New Zealand Australia Glamorganshire Canton
John Mainland age 12 At Sea Off New Zealand Cheshire Liscard
Timaru Herald, 9 June 1886, Page 2
Port Chambers, June 8. Arrived � Doric, S.S., Captain Jennings, from Plymouth,
via Teneriffe, Capetown, and Hobart. She brings 2000 tons of cargo� 475 tons for
Dunodin and the rest for Northern ports. One death, a steerage passenger named
George Thompson, occurred on May 27th, from cerebral inflammation, and Mrs M.
Forden, a steerage passenger, gave birth to a daughter on May 18th. Throughout
the voyage the passengers have enjoyed excellent health. The Doric left Plymouth
on April 23rd.
Otago Witness, 19 September 1874, Page 3 DEATHS ON BOARD THE OTAGO.
A correspondent sends us the following list of births and deaths on board the
ship Otago, which arrived here on the 28th of last month. It appears that a
small newspaper was published on board called the Otago Gazette, and in this the
following births and deaths were published as they occurred :
16th July� Mrs Healy, formerly of County Galway, Ireland, of a son.
17th August� Mrs Welsh, late of East Hendred, Berkshire, England, of a daughter.
17th. August � Mrs Blagdon, formerly of Plymouth, Devonshire, England, of a son.
25th June� Oliver Latham, aged 20 years, formerly teacher, son of James Latham,
schoolmaster, Glenworthy, County Cork, Ireland.
6th July� Elizabeth Charlotte, aged 1 year 9 months, daughter of John Fryer,
formerly of Cork City, Ireland.
7th July � Helen, aged 4 years 4 months, daughter of Laurence Murphy, formerly
of Mount Mellory, County Waterford, Ireland.
7th July � Adah, aged 1 year, daughter of Silas Brooks, formerly of Rochester,
County of Kent, England.
11th July � Clara Lydia, aged 1 year, daughter of William Beazley, formerly of
Spennington, Oxfordshire, England.
13th July � Eosanna, aged 1 year 7 months, daughter of William John Bush,
formerly of Rurnford, County of Essex, England.
13th July � John Francis, aged 1 year 1 month, son of James Jimlin, formerly of
Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland.
4th August� Charles, aged 1 year 10 months, son of Charles Brewer, formerly of
Eumford, County of Essex, England.
4th August� John, aged 2 years 6 months, son of Patrick Healy, formerly of
County Galway, Ireland.
8th August� Elizabeth, aged 4 years, daughter of Silas Brooks, formerly of
Rochester, County of Kent, England,
18th August� Kate, aged 1 year 3 months, daughter of Charles Randall, formerly
of Crookhaven, Hampshire. England.
27th August� Patrick, aged 1 year 7 months, son of Laurence Murphy, formerly of
Mount Mellory, County Waterford, Ireland.
Marriages at sea were quite uncommon.
Ian Nicholson in Logs of Logs Vol. 2 wrote: "Weddings were usually
performed by a clergyman amongst the passengers, since marriages ceremonies
by ship masters were declared illegal about 1850. Marriages were
recorded in the official log books and any logs with such entries may still
be preserved in the record office, Cardiff, Wales, together with those
noting deaths and births?"
Otago Witness June 15 1861 page 5
Marriage on the High Seas - From the Dublin Morning News. "The Court of
Queen's Bench recently decided the important marriage question whether a
form of marriage celebrated on the high seas by the captain of a ship was
valid so far as to invalidate a later marriage contracted with all proper
religious observances, and with the intervention of a clergyman in holy
orders. The court was unanimous in holding that a marriage on board ship,
under the circumstances, can only be looked upon as a contract per
verba de precent�, or a consentual marriage, and that its ratification by
a religious ceremony was indispensable."
Shipboard life seemed conducive to romance during the three months at sea
between passengers and crew and passengers e.g.
'Opawa'. William Palmer was a crew member on the
and that is where he met an assisted immigrant, Ellen Bennett. William was
discharged at Lyttelton and they were married three months later in
- There was a marriage onboard the 'Bengal Merchant' on Christmas
Day, 1839 on her way out to Wellington with Scottish immigrants. A
farmer observed a dairymaid whom he had paid her passage was losing her
heart to one young man on board so to prevent this and protect his
investment he married the lass himself. The captain performed the
ceremony. White Wings Vol. 2 by Brett.
- Rev. Thomas Burns wrote in his diary on board the 'Philip Laing' 2
This day married Wm Jaffray and Margaret Hunter, both belonging to the
parish of Mid Calder, county of Edinburgh, the proclamation of Banns having
been duly made in the Parish Church there. In between the resolution to
marry and go to Otago and the day fixed for the sailing of the ship, they
had previously made a declaration before witnesses in Edinburgh that they
were married persons. This they had done in the apprehension that the
extract of the proclamation of Banns could reach them at Greenock only after
the ship had sailed.
(The ship sailed 27 November 1847 for Otago)
March 12 1848. Blowing hard from the west; very heavy sea - great motion in
the ship. Proclamation of marriage made at 12.30 between Gavin McIntyre Park
and Grace Jane Stobie, the former a native of the parish of Rutherglen, the
latter of the parish of Ratho in Scotland, and both at this present time
steerage passengers on board the barque
Philip Laing - this for the first, second and third time. March 13
wrote Rev. Burns on the 'Philip Laing'. Alexander Livingston's child
died about 12.30pm, it has suffered long, cutting teeth. A vessel in sight
right ahead at 6 p.m. Married Gavin Park to Jane Stobie. April 3 1848
Beautiful, sunny morning. Mr and Mrs Carnegie married in the cabin. There was
a marriage on board the
"Charlotte Jane" . Benjamin
Marriot, 28, to Maria Doutch, 21, on 11 September 1850 by Rev. Kingdon.
Recorded in the St. Michael's marriage register, Christchurch. Marriage
'William Bryan'. 14 Jan 1841: John James, 27, bachelor, blacksmith
to Ann Phillips 18, spinster, service by Henry Weeks,
Surgeon-Superintendent, Thomas Fowler, seaman, 39 and Frances Bathurst,
domestic servant, 23, were married on board the
'Midlothian' on the voyage to Canterbury June to November 1851
- Sun 09 Nov : Banns read for the first time between a Mr T.E. Luke, a
chief cabin passenger, & Kate Lonely. The marriage between Edmund LUKE
& Catherine LONELY occurred on 08 Dec at 11am. 1851 on board the
- Merrick - Anderson - On August 21 1851, on board 'Bangalore', on
Thursday, Mr W. Merrick to Miss Helen Anderson.
- On board the passenger ship Nourmahal, 846 tons, under Captain
Lewis C. Brayley, which sailed from London on 20 Aug. 1859, and arrived at
Auckland on 5 Dec. 1859. Edward Smallwood Richards, age 25, and Eliza
Meredith, age 18, were
married on board on the 9th November. The marriage is mention in "The New
Zealander" conducted on board by the Rev. Samuel Blackburn, Principal of
St. Johns College, Auckland. The marriage certificate shows that Edward
Smallwood Richards was 25 years of age, a metal broker, and the son of John
Richards, 16 Addington Place, Camberwell, London, wine merchant..... Edward
had been a student in mineralogy and mining engineering at Kings College in
London and Germany. Meredith Eliza was 18 years of age ..... her father,
Michael was a railway worker. Register of Marriages at Sea in the PRO (ref:
BT 334/117) Marriage No. 23
- Often engagements occurred before the voyage ended or soon after
Ships and Women
Otago Witness Saturday 3rd January 1884 page 15 column 5
On the 30th
December, 1879, at Knox Church, by the Rev. D.M. Sturart, D.D., Hans August
Paul Bemeister, commander of the barque Marie, to Louisa Wilhelmina
Augusta Kock, daughter of Captain H.C. Kock, commander of pilots, Tonning,
Christchurch January 19, 1910
"Alice is married she said she was the pet of the ship when she came out and
was engaged to one of the employees of the vessel and was going to be
married at once I told her Mr. Sutton nor myself did not think very much of
it a man she had only known a few weeks and very likely a married man there
are plenty of girls get taken in that way by these stewards on the vessel
and when they arrive here they marry live with then for a few days then
leave them so she said she didn�t care took a situation as a cook but
however he never turned up after arrival she got 1 pound a week she is very
industrious and makes the most of every minute of time with her needle I
think she will make a good wife, then she got a situation up country and
then married the rouseabout"
Mary Beach. Excerpt courtesy
Rob Beach. Posted 15 Oct. 2000
Quarantine Stations in New Zealand
The 1852 Passenger Act was instigated to improve the conditions aboard for
emigrants and a qualified surgeon, Surgeon Superintendent, was appointed.
He was to submit a report on arrival to the Port Health Officer. This report
often included the names of those who died and any births, details of
schooling and religious services on board. Sometimes vessels also had
an assistant surgeon. On arrival the 'Port Health Officer' would come out to
the vessel along with newspaper reporters and inspect the vessel, logs and
interview a few passengers and the ship's surgeon. A yellow flag would
be raised as a signal for quarantine if necessary. Quarantine
stations made reports.
The Times, Tuesday, Nov 17, 1863; pg. 9
Very great alarm has been occasioned throughout the colony by the arrival of
several vessels from England with smallpox aboard.
The first ship which brought the disease was the Victory, from
Glasgow, which arrived at Port Chalmers on the 12th July. The passengers
were put in quarantine, the larger proportion of them being placed on a
small island appropriated to the purposes of a quarantine station in the
harbour of Port Chalmers. Four deaths in all have occurred among the
passengers by the Victory, and 13 cases. After a stay of several
weeks at the quarantine station, the whole of the passengers have been
released, with the exception of a few convalescent patients whose term of
probation had hardly expired. The next infected ship was the New Great
Britain, from the Clyde to Bluff Harbour. This vessel had five
deaths during the passage from smallpox and 15 cases. The ship has recently
been admitted to pratique, and the passengers cleared. The Mataura,
arrived from the Clyde at Port Chalmers on the 15tgh of September, had 10
deaths during the passage, and sic passengers were ill on her arrival. The
deaths had not all occurred from smallpox, only one having resulted from
that disorder. 13 cases of smallpox occurred during the passage, and one
patient died. Scarlet fever also prevailed. The most recent case is that of
the ship Tyburnia, which arrived at Auckland on the 4th of
September. Smallpox broke out ten days from England, and during the passage
nine serious cases and 26 mild cases of the epidemic occurred. There was
only one death from smallpox. A Vaccination Bill is now in course of
discussion by the Otago Provincial Council.
- Auckland Harbour - Motuihe Island
Active from 1872-1929 with the most use during the influenza epidemic
in 1918. During WW1, it was used as a POW camp, and then from
1929-1940 as a children's health camp. There is a cemetery on the northern
headland from the quarantine period.
- Hawke's Bay - Te Ihooterei (Quarantine Island)
- Wellington Harbour (Port Nicholson) - Somes (Matiu)
burials 3km s. from the Petone foreshore and 3km w. of Lowry Bay. It has
a lighthouse and maximum security animal quarantine station. Named in 1840
by the crew of the NZ Company's ship Tory, after the
deputy-governor of the NZ Company, Joseph Somes, who was also founder of the
shipbuilding firm which had built the Tory. The island now re-named
after Kupe's daughter Matiu and is known as Matiu /
Lyttelton Harbour - Quail Island
and Ripapa Island
- Otago Harbour - Quarantine (St Martins) Island. Also called Big
- Timaru Herald 13 March 1872
Yesterday, another child died on board the ship England,
making fourteen dead children and three dead adults. The Board of health has
decided that the disease is small-pox. The ship is quarantined, and the
passengers have been landed on Soames' island. The disease first appeared
amongst the Scandinavian children. During the passage complaints were made
as to the fitness of the doctor. The ship's doctor has been placed under
arrest. Dr Bulmer was sent on board by the authorities. Rubiola and variola
are complicated on board. The Board has decided to erect two buildings at
opposite ends of Soames' Island, one for the sick, the other for the
convalescent. Thirty workmen commence at daylight tomorrow.
Otago Witness June 22 1872
Smallpox introduced by the Scandinavian passengers to Wellington, who came
by the England, has not been thoroughly eradicated and has
again broken out.
The Star 8th March 1880
Passengers in Quarantine - Mr Mar-- the Immigration officer, informs us that
the single women by the Westland will be released from
Quarantine to-day, together with the following families: Carpenter, Cooper,
Davie, Donn, Dunlop, H. Howard, J. Howard, Jewell, Leahs, Low, Moore,
Patterson, Richards, Roberts, Rogers, Skinner, Witte. It is requested that
any friends of the above people will meet them on the arrival of the 3.15
p.m. train from Lyttelton. None of the single women will be open for
engagement though the Immigration Department, as they are all nominated.
New Zealand Herald 9 March, 1880, col. 2 page 5
Earl Granville departed London and Plymouth 21 November 1879. Arrived
Auckland, NZ. Thursday, 4 March 1880.
We regret to record that the very discouraging news was receive yesterday
from Motuihi, namely, that of the death of Dr. Fox, the medical superintendent of the passengers by the infected barque
Beyond the mere fact of his death there is no further information. Dr. Fox,
on the arrival of the vessel, was laid up with low fever, caught it is
supposed, by his attention to other passengers. He was in a very weak state,
but it was thought that the change from close confinement of the vessel to
the more spacious quarters at the quarantine station would have restored him
to health, but on the contrary he succumbed to the disease.
Press, 18 January 1882, Page 2
Typhus Fever at Loburn. It is to be regretted that typhus fever has broken
out at North Loburn, in a family named Moorhouse, which recently arrived in
Lyttelton by the ship Helen Scott. On Sunday one of the members of the
family was buried, and two are reported to be ill from the fever. The vessel
has been in harbor about eight or nine days. Steps have been taken to
isolate the family in question as much as possible, and the holidays for the
school in the district have been given a month earlier than usual in
Poverty Bay Herald, 19 January 1882, Page 2
Typhoid fever has broken out at Loburn, North Canterbury, in a family just
arrived by the Helen Scott. The patients have been isolated, and the
district school has been closed.
Evening Post, 10 October 1907, Page 7
EXAMINATION OF PASSENGERS
LAXITY IN ENGLAND. With reference to a telegram from Auckland which appeared
in last night's issue of the Post, regarding laxity of medical examination
in England of intending immigrants, the port Health Officer for Wellington
agrees that examinations in England of passengers intending to go abroad are
not as comprehensive as they might be. This was proved by the recent
experience of Captain Jaggard, who had had some previous knowledge of
passengers being refused admission at Wellington, when suffering from
tuberculosis. Captain Jaggard asked the Board of Trade Health Officer at
London to stop any cases of tuberculosis from coming on board the Ruapehu,
but the doctor answered that he was - only concerned with infectious cases,
and as tuberculosis was not a notifiable disease in England he could take no
action. Captain Jaggard, however, determined to act for himself, and with
the assistance of the ship's medical officer, stood at the gangway and
examined all the passengers coming on board, with the result that two were
refused passages. Pressure was subsequently brought to bear on the captain
to induce him to remove his bar, but as he knew that these people would be
refused permission to land in Wellington, he stood firm in his resolve and
they were left in England.
Few of the ill-fated voyages to New Zealand
1842 Fifeshire to Nelson 16 dying of fever
1842 Lloyds to Nelson. 65 children died
1856 Josephine Willis had a collision in the English Channel, 70
1859 Cashmire to Lyttelton - 16 passengers died
Lancanshire Witch to Timaru, 26 deaths
1863 Brothers Pride to Lyttelton,
1864 Countess of Seafield 10 men lost in hurricane
1869 Matoaka lost with all hands - posted missing
1873 "Punjaub" to Lyttelton 37 deaths
1872 England London to Wellington. 17 deaths - smallpox.
429 passengers and 44 crew (out of 473, 3 survived)
1874 Atrato to Otago, 762 immigrants, 32
children and 1 adult died
1876 Bebington to Auckland 16 deaths from fever
1877 Avalanche lost off Portland, England 60 passengers and plus crew
Evening Post, 12 July 1875, Page 2 (20 deaths)
The following is the list of the deaths on board the Collingwood: �
April 26� Bessie Cartwright, six years, of enteric fever.
May 5 � David Waters, one and a half years, supposed scarlatina
7th - Fanny Barker, three years, scarlet fever
9th � Charlotte Marshall, four years, scarlatina
30th � Alfred Button, twenty-six years, suicide
June 4th � George Petch, seven years; enteric fever
7 th � George Toplis, one year, marasmas
9 th � Lily Skeets, eight years, enteric fever
11th � Ellen Wright twenty one years, typhoid fever
13th � Harriett Button, one year, congestion of lungs
15th � George Cain, one year, congestion of lungs;
18th � Robert Hodson, one and a quarter years, marasmas
18th � Joseph Petch, three years, enteric fever
19th � Henry Sparks, four months, congestion of lungs
21st � Robert Marshall, two years, mumps after measles
23rd � George Cox, one and three quarter years, pneumonia
July 1 � William Sparks, fourteen years, typhoid fever
2nd - Mary Petch, four years, ship fever
6th - Charles Cartwright, three years, congestion of lungs
8th � Landham C. H. Boxall, two months bronchitis.
The Galveston Daily News,
(TX) September 05, 1875
The immigrant steamer, Cottonwood arrived at Auckland from
London with fever. Twenty had died and fifty were placed in the hospital.
Loss of the Emigrant Ship Josephine Willis is
reported in the
May 31 1856. Page 2. Full account online. The collision took place in
the Channel, off Folkestone, on Sunday evening, between the Josephine
Willis, Capt. Canney, one of the London and New Zealand line of packet
ships, and an twin screw steamer called the Mangerton, bound to the Thames
from Limerick. The Josephine Willis was a first-class ship of 1,00 tons
burden. She belonged to Messrs. Willis and Co. who ran regular monthly line
of packets to New Zealand. for a voyage to Auckland. She cleared out from
At. Katherine Docks on Friday laden 10 first-class cabin passengers, among
them Mr and Mrs Ray and a brother, relatives of the owners, about 60
steerage passengers, a crew, officers and men of some 35 in number. The
Josephine Willis was a new ship and had only been one voyage. Her
cargo is largely insured.
New Zealand Resources
- Index for BDM's 1848-1990, one fiche per year, held by most libraries.
Marriage registration started in 1854, and birth and death registration in
1848 - prior to that there are only church records. Contact the
Registrar-General, Dept of. Internal Affairs, for a photocopy of any entries
(better than a certificate, which relies on them interpreting the writing,
and is cheaper).
- Examine Ian Nicholson's Log of Logs - to locate journals,
shipboard diaries, letters and all forms of voyage narratives, for shipping
related to Australia and New Zealand, and surrounding oceans.
- Prior to Federation in 1901 arrivals and BDMs at sea were processed
according to the State Acts and regulations which were not standard the
among the States.
- NSW Marine Births and Deaths Registration History. GRO birth, deaths and
marriages up to 1992, plus all the subindexes... consular returns, army
deaths and marriage, BDMs at sea etc. are at NSW State Library
- Queensland marine entries are MAR
- Victorian BDM includes a section on Deaths at Sea. Victorian Pioneer CD
1837 - 1888 deaths include 2,071 entries for deaths at sea.
- Lonely Graves of Western Australian and burials at sea by Yvonne
and Kevin Coate, published by Hespenrian Press of Fremantle.
- South Australian BDM records date from 1842
- Births at sea might be found at the very end of microfiche covering a
particular year's entries for birth registrations.
- If the captain went down with a ship then no death certificate would have
been issued for those on the ship.
- If person jumped overboard with no witnesses to the death, no body and so
no death certificate. It is worth checking the indexes for a long period in
these circumstances as it may take a while for a body to be recovered and
- If the Captain failed to notify the authorities therefore no entry in any
of the indexes and therefore no death certificate
If a place of death is listed as MARINE > VIC you probably won't it find it
on a map. Probably means the death occurred at sea, and the death was registered
when the ship arrived at port.
Victorian BDMs site, AUD 99cents for a page of up to 20 results, a download
record record for about AUD $17
Go to Registry of BDMs
Then: Search Family History Indexes
Then: Historical Indexes or Marine Indexes
(6,200 BDM entries in the Marine Index on board international and coastal ships
coming to Victoria between 1853 and 1920)
Marine Births, Deaths & Marriages. Victoria
CD-ROM: Index contains over 6200 records of BDMs on board international and
coastal ships bound for Victoria between 1853 and 1920 accompanied by over 3380
digital images of the original Marine Registers. There are 1350 ships that can
be searched using the ship's name. Some records include previously unreleased
information such as an inventory of the deceased's belongings or personal
papers. Held: State Library of Victoria, National Library of Australia, State
Library of South Australia,
of NZ etc. Official registration started in Victoria from 1st July 1853,
ships were then required to record the above events, if they were bound for
Victoria. Prior to that it should have the death may have been recorded at the
end of the passenger list.
WA Registry Indexes available for free online searching.
Surname Given Names Father Mother Reg. Yr POB Age Reg.
Weldon Sydney Gabo Thomas Edward Whittle Elizabeth Annie 1899 at sea 4Mon.
Williams Hampshire unknown unknown 1887 at sea HAM 1Day
Williams Leslie Wooranga Hugh Edgar Leslie Victoria 1897 at sea 1Mon.
Births at Sea
Tait Herbert Beatie Abing William Smith Catherine ABI 25065 1884
Wilkinson Royal Paroo Peter Beavis Jane at sea PAR 2276 1903
Williams Hampshire Charles Beasley Beftons Agnes Annie at sea 131 1887
- What is the nationality of a child born at sea? "Both historically
and currently, I would suspect that nationality would be linked to place of
registration, bearing in mind, that people born in New Zealand were, until
1948, were British subjects- everyone had British nationality."
Registrar-General Office of NZ
- When one is searching for the death of baby born at sea, there should also
be a record of a birth.
- Maybe a child born at sea had four choices as far as to nationality.
1. The same country as the parents.
2. The country of departure.
3. The country of arrival.
4. The country of the keel.
- Musicians and others doing similar jobs, were hired by the shipping
company or by agents of the shipping company, and were usually not
considered 'crew' so would not find them on crew agreements if they died at
sea. Usually included on the passenger list and often there is nothing
to reveal they were working on board.
- There is a high proportion of 'no finds' with reported births and deaths
at sea. It is more romantic to have been born on board ship than in a busy
port, and the same seems to apply to deaths at sea.
- Only women of good character were induced to go the colonies. The present
of a matron along the way was intended to safeguard the women's reputation.
Once the women arrived at there destination they were escorted to a private
women's home and looked after until suitable employment was found. Despite
the screening and protection services not all women arrived in the colony
- Death may have been recorded after the ship arrived back in the UK. If
child died enroute out to NZ, reference might be found in the UK even a year
- An unwed or deserted woman with a child would sometimes make up a romantic
tale of a death at sea of a non-existent husband, and a look through the
various indexes of deaths at sea might lead you on a wild goose chase.
- If you do not find the death (or birth) of a passenger at sea, then you
should check records for the ports of departure and arrival.
- For deaths at sea where all passengers and crew were lost, you will rarely
find a death certificate.
- If someone died aboard a ship already in port, the death will be
recorded at the arrival port and possibility on the Civil Registration
England as a burial only - not a death.
- Poultry, sheep, pigs were often lost overboard due to the rough
conditions. They were onboard to provide fresh eggs and meat.
- The Star June 3 1884 page 2. The Doric, which sails
for Auckland and southern ports to-day, takes out about 1000 stoats and
weasels, which have been trapped in various parts of Lincolnshire by a man
named Allbones, a professional vermin catcher, who accompanies his pets to
their destination. This man started with a similar number of "rabbit
exterminators" last year, but they were all washed overboard in a gale save
ten. The food for the present consignment consists of 1500 live pigeons, who
in their turn are likely to eat about �28 worth of grain. Allbones receives
5s a-piece for every weasel or stoat he traps, but they have cost more than
�1 a-piece before they are set free in New Zealand.
- The death-rate of the sailors in the mercantile marine is 12-per 1000 -
lower than on land. From The Star July 5 1898 page 2
- Cemeteries as places of learning. It is fascinating visiting cemeteries.
Lyttelton has a couple of cemeteries where sailors from many lands are
- While with a certain well known British Shipping company on their round
the world service in the 1960s we simply slowed the ship down to dead slow
ahead, about six o'clock in the morning, before it got too light, and tipped
the body over the stern and then it was full speed ahead and back to
- Otago Witness, 15 October 1859, Page 6 REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS,
Section XVI. In every case of the arrival in the Colony of a child under the
age of eighteen months at the time of such arrival, born at sea or in any
place out of the Colony, whose parents, or other persons having lawful
charge of such child, are about to take up their abode in the colony, it
shall be lawful for the Registrar, at any time within six months next
following the day of such child's arrival, on a solemn declaration by one of
the parents, or by a person bavins lawful charge as aforesaid of such child,
of the particulars required to be registered, to register the birth of such
child according to the provisions made for the registration of births taking
place within the Colony, and the terms of sixty-two days, and six months
respectively shall be reckoned from the day of such child's arrival in the
Colony instead of from the day of birth.
- Otago Witness, 8 January 1876, Page 3
There are in New Zealand 939 persons having no native land, having been born
- West Coast Times, 21 May 1870, Page 3
"Son of a gun" was first applied to the children born at sea of gunners'
wives, who were sometimes allowed to accompany their husband, and whose
sleeping bunks were under the lower deck guns.
A child of the sea -- A