<< Previous - Next >>

Looking for BEATONs from Edinburgh 1740 back

Journal by TracySW

My great great great grandparents William BEATON and Mary THOMSON along with William's sister Isabella BEATON , set off from Scotland to Australia in 1841 on the barque India finishing their journey on the barque Grindlay; the following is a condensed story of the trip taken from a newspaper article in 1841.

INDIA - Lost at Sea 1841
The barque INDIA sailed from Greenock Scotland on June 4th 1841 carrying 193 bounty immigrants and crew bound for the Australian colony of Port Phillip. On the 19th July, six weeks into the voyage and being some 200 miles from land and 1200 miles from Rio de Janeiro, the ship caught fire and sank. 17 Souls perished in the disaster with the remainder being rescued by the crew of the ROLAND - a French whaling vessel that saw the smoke in the distance and knew right away it was a ship in danger so they headed for it.

The survivors were conveyed to the nearest port Rio de Janeiro where they waited for the British Government to send another ship, the GRINDLAY to transport them to Port Phillip where they arrived on October 22, some four and a half months after leaving Scotland. Newspaper reports of the day provided a graphic description of the tragedy and the miraculous rescue of almost all those on board the INDIA.

Recently I went to a family reunion in Victoria and met quite a few of the descendants of William & Mary and Isabella, there were also descendants from some of their other sibling who came out to Australia years later. One story I heard was that William was a prize fighter in Scotland and onboard the ship wore a money belt which contained all his finances. The passengers were recommended to discard their money belts by the captain of the ship as they would act like anchors and weigh them down and they would drown (imagine how much money it would take to weigh you down....)
As seemed to be the usual case, there were not enough lifeboats so the men had to swim it. One gentleman refused to take off his money belt and struggled to stay afloat, my ancestor William helped him to the side of a lifeboat, the gentleman being ever so thankful, rewarded William with money and employment when they arrived in Victoria.

Surnames: ALEXANDER BEATON COCKBURN DICK SMITH THOMSON WALKER
Viewed: 707 times
by TracySW Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-10-11 05:25:43

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them or not,
Or don't you really know?
Some strange discoveries are made
in climbing family trees,
But some of them, you know,
Do not particulary please.
If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
There may be some of them, perhaps,
You would not care to know.
But there's another question
Which requires a different view;
If you could meet your ancestors,
Would they be proud of YOU?

-Anon

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:

Comments

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.