View Full Version : STOWAWAYS
18-04-2010, 5:41 PM
Do you have that missing ancestor that you can't find anywhere? Have you considered a stowaway? I have just watched a program on CBC and an ancestor in this case had stowed away on a ship leaving Dorset and at age 14 had ended up in Newfoundland in the late 1700's. This young lad stayed in Newfoundland, married and had a family there. I wonder if his own family back "home" in England ever found out where he had gone?
Something to consider when all other options seem lost.:smile5:
23-09-2010, 5:46 PM
I have just read this interesting post. Apparently Kim Cattral's grandad stowed away on a ship from Liverpool to America but was caught once the ship docked and he was sent back to England.
I wonder if that is one of the reasons (besides incomplete and faded ink) why we struggle to find an ancestor in a passenger list when we know through other evidence that they went abroad.
23-09-2010, 6:23 PM
I used to work in Border Control in the UK in recent years. Stowaways remain a significant issue to this day. They are discovered all the time. However whilst it is possible to stow away for a short journey from say France to the UK without being discovered, it is much harder on a longer voyage. Few stowaways have sufficient food, adequate clothing or a sufficiently secure hiding place to remain undetected on a voyage lasting 7 days or longer (eg an Atlantic crossing). A few do succeed, and we know this from the remains they leave behind them on the ship or in a container, which get discovered sooner or later. But in most cases they either give themselves up to the crew in mid voyage due to hunger and cold, or get discovered when sneaking about the boat at night. They then get added to the passenger list and reported to the immigration authorities at the next port (as probably happened in Kim Cattral's case). So in the 1700s and 1800s I'd say it'd be virtually impossible to remain concealed on a small vessel for 3 weeks. Whether, when they were discovered, the Master always told the port authorities is another matter, but I'd say mostly stowaways on long distance voyages were discovered.
23-09-2010, 6:58 PM
I have the same thoughts as you Elwyn. I did think that some may succeed but as you said they often gave themselves up or were discovered. I think they may have hidden in the storerooms of the ship. Some may have died on the voyage due to hunger and cold or a sudden infection from the rats lol. Plus it makes you wonder how they boarded the ship without getting caught.
George Baugh, Kim Cattral's grandad was caught in 1935.
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