Saturday, September 20, 2014

Souvenir Saturday: Durban Market Square 1860s

Market Square, Court House, Post Office, Mart etc, 1862

This is as close as we'll get to a contemporary photo of Durban when my great grandfather Thomas Alfred Gadsden arrived on the barque Priscilla in 1863. His first employment was as turnkey at the local gaol, unfortunately not shown in this picture.

Friday, September 19, 2014

St Helena Records on Display for Heritage Day

Heritage Day Exhibition

Friday 26 September
Time: 9:00-16:30
Saturday, 27th
Time: 9:00-12:00
At Meadowridge Library, Howard Rd, Bergvliet. 

On display will be St Helena Records, Census Lists, family trees and more.

Entry is free. 

Contact Merle Martin
South African St Helenian Heritage Association.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Passenger Arrivals at Natal 1846

January 3 1846 - Arrival of Margaret from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal

January 4 1846 - Arrival of Mazeppa from Port Elizabeth, bound for Port Natal
Mrs Watts
1 Steerage

January 15 1846 - Arrival of Louisa from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mr, Mrs and L Buchanan and 4 children
Messrs Lodewyk, Munting, Tayler and Cato, 1 servant
6 Steerage

January 20 - Arrival of California from Algoa Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mr and Mrs Shepstone and 4 children
Messrs Jarne, Daniel and Green, 2 servants

Durban from Berea ca 1850 by James West

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Passenger Arrivals at Natal 1845: the Rosebud, George H Harrison

December 3 1845 - Arrival of Rosebud from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
His Honour the Lieut Governor and 3 Miss Wests
Mrs Murison and child
Mr and Mrs Poetter and 5 children
Mr Gregor and child
Miss Thorne and 5 servants

December 3 1845 - Arrival of George H Harrison from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
The Recorder, Mrs, 2 Miss, Mr Henry Cloete and 4 children
Messrs Van Der Byl, Joubert and Chrappirie [? Chiappini]
11 in the Steerage

December 28 1845 - Arrival of Pilot from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
The Secretary and Mrs Moodie and six children
2 Mr Hardings
Col Piper RE
Lieut Jervois RE
Lieut Gregory RA
Mr Johns
Mr Melville
11 servants and 2 Steerage (Kinghurst and Williamson)

Passenger Arrivals Natal per Douglas 1949 plus William Ireland

 Natal Witness 2 March 1849

The following passenger lists include well-known coastal vessels which made regular voyages between Table Bay and Natal: the Gem, commanded by W. GLENDINING, Douglas with her captain, SMERDON, and Rosebud, under A MURISON. At 100 tons and less, these schooners were small - the mere thought of the choppy passage from the Cape makes one feel queasy. (Incidentally, it was the Rosebud which brought J C BYRNE to Natal from Table Bay in July 1851 to attend the proceedings of his bankruptcy case.)

Of particular note is the arrival of Rev Wm IRELAND, the American missionary and his first wife, Jane. They had called briefly at the Cape, leaving for Natal on January 14th and reaching that port just under a month later. It's possible that the Douglas had made a stop at Algoa Bay, as this ship usually made the journey in about 8 - 11 days, weather permitting.

Rev IRELAND was destined to take over from J C BRYANT (see letter from him in article on the Aliwal) who was retiring due to ill-health from the mission at Ifume where he had laboured for two years. This mission station was 35 miles south of Durban and 6 miles inland from the sea. The first Mrs Ireland died on January 25 1862, and the widower went home to America, bringing back with him to Natal a second wife, in 1865 - he chose well: she was Oriana GROUT, daughter of the veteran missionary, Rev Aldin GROUT. [See Pictures at end of Page.] Between 1865 and 1881, IRELAND was the principal of the now famous Adams College, and 5 children of the 7 born to him and Oriana survived.

In 1885 Wm Ireland read his historical paper on the occasion of the Jubilee of the American Mission; the basis for this paper was his original "Sketch of the Zulu Mission" written some time earlier. He died in 1888, and his widow was put in charge of the girls on the Mission. She returned to America in 1897, dying there in 1902, but their daughter Lilla Lacon IRELAND is recorded as being at Adams Mission in 1900. She too returned briefly to America, but came back to Natal, remaining until the 1930s and teaching at Inanda Seminary.

Rev IRELAND's rooms are still preserved at Adams College Museum, and his name and work are remembered with gratitude and esteem to the present day. Recently two of his descendants, Isabel JACKSON and Jane McINNES, visited Natal from Michigan and were welcomed by Adams College. It was a most auspicious moment for their pilgrimage, since Adams were celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the mission.



Feb 8th - Gem, schooner, 102 tons, W Glendining, from Table Bay, 12th January, from Algoa Bay, 29th January. About 90 tons general cargo.


From Cape Town 
Capt Griffith 
Lieut Rollins, 45th Regiment 
Mr A Patrick 
Mrs Edwards 
Jos Helman

From Algoa Bay 
Caldecott and son 
Mrs Webb and child 
Four Labourers in the Steerage. 
H Jargal, Agent.

Feb 15th - Douglas, schooner, 99 tons, W Smerdon, from Table Bay, January 14th. Cargo sundries. 
Mrs Capt Shaw, 3 children, and 3 servants 
Mr and the Rev Mr Ireland, American Missionary 
Rev J Green, Rector of Pietermaritzburg 
Mr Green, Surveyor, and Mrs Green, 1 child 
and servant, Mr Whitta 
Two Steerage passengers 
GC Cato, Agent.

Feb 16th - Rosebud, schooner, 83 tons, A Murison, from Cape Town, Jan 21st. 120 tons general cargo. 
PASSENGERS Miss Simpson 
Mrs Short and family 
Mrs Brown and family 

JA Ross, Agent.


Feb 23rd - Douglas, in ballast. 
Major and Mrs Seagram and child 
GC Cato, Agent

The Rosebud is supposed 
to have sailed yesterday.


The Norfolk, from Algoa Bay.
GC Cato, Agent. 
Workington, from Table Bay.
GC Cato, Agent. 
The Romp and the Elizabeth Jane were advertised in London to leave on the 10th or 15th November, and about 40 passengers had taken their passage for Natal. 
GC Cato, Agent.

Rev William and Oriana Ireland of
Adams Mission

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Passenger arrivals at Natal 1847 continued

June 24 1847 - Arrival of Sarah Bell from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
Captn Parish
Ensign Smyth
10 soldiers
45th Regt
Mr and Miss Holl
P Short
2 soldiers

July 29 1847 - Arrival of Norfolk from Algoa Bay, bound for Port Natal
July 31 1847 - Arrival of Flora from Algoa Bay, bound for Port Natal
Captain Murison and family
Miss Cordon
Rev Mr and Mrs McKenny
Mr Elster
Mr Muller
Mr Rossouw
3 in Steerage

August 7 1847 - Arrival of Gem from Cape Town, bound for Port Natal
Mr Angas and Servant

August 27 1847 - Arrival of Rosebud from Cape Town, bound for Port Natal
Dr Blaine
Mr Cullen
Mrs Gregory
Mr Roser

August 27 1847 - Arrival of Nukut from Cape Town and Buffalo River, bound for Port Natal
September 10 1847 - Arrival of Sarah Bell from Bombosi, bound for Port Natal
Messrs P and F Milner

September 22 1847 - Arrival of Elizabeth from Bombosi and Buffalo River, bound for Port Natal
Mrs Poppe

September 24 1847 - Arrival of Douglas Buffalo River, bound for Port Natal
September 27 1847 - Arrival of Rosebud from Cape Town, bound for Port Natal
September 13 1847 - Arrival of Vibilia from Algoa Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mr Elster

September 13 1847 - Arrival of Gem from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mr C Boucher
Mr Freeman
Mr Smyth

Feniscowles farm Umbilo Natal: Eliza Feilden's home

Monday, September 15, 2014

Passenger arrivals Natal 1847

February 24 1847 - Arrival of Nancy from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mr and Mrs Steytler
Mr and Mrs Davis
Miss McRae
1 Steerage

March 4 1847 - Arrival of Elizabeth from London, bound for Port Natal

March 11 1847 - Arrival of Flora from Algoa Bay, bound for Port Natal
Miss Cooper

April 5 1847 - Arrival of Sarah Bell from Algoa Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mr Taylor 45th Regt
Mrs Taylor
Mr Graham Taylor
Dr Sparrow
Asst Surgeon 45th Regt
(See 'Witness' April 9th)

April 7 1847 - Arrival of Rosebud from Table Bay, bound for Port Natal
Mrs Lawton
T Milner
Mr Anderson
5 Steerage Passengers

May 22 1847 - Arrival of Mazeppa from Port Elizabeth, bound for Port Natal
Revd and Mrs Holdron and family
Miss Campbell
Mr and Mrs Donoghue and 6 children
Miss Hawkins

June 6 1847 - Arrival of Le Packet from Isle of Bourbon, bound for Port Natal
June 10 1847 - Arrival of Nimrod from Simon's Bay, bound for Port Natal, and from Algoa Bay, bound for Mauritius
Lieut Cameron
45th Regt Landed per mail and proceeded immediately.

June 18 1847 - Arrival of Rosebud from Cape Town, bound for Port Natal
Miss Watermeyer
Captain Lachlan
Mr ?Hood
Mr Sikkerling [sic]
Mrs Mandy
Mrs Brewer and child
Mrs Forbes and child
Mr McDonald
Mr Miller

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Durban docks ca 1887: was your ancestor here?

Durban Docks circa 1887. Extremity of Point Wharf showing original Wharf Shed A erected in 1881 (with curved roof) and the Sheers erected at the end of the main wharf, the total length of which at this period did not exceed 1500 feet. In the left foreground is a craft known as the Anchor Boat used for laying moorings about the Bay. The funnel of one of the paddle tugs (probably Forerunner) can be seen in front of the ship in full sail. To the right of A Shed is the Customs House.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Souvenir Saturday: Green Point Lighthouse, Natal, and its Keepers

Brought into operation in 1905, Green Point Lighthouse on Natal's South Coast was the second last SA lighthouse to use petroleum vapour burners and the first to be fully automated in November 1961.

Light intensity was approximately  240 000 cd. The lighthouse had an added feature: a subsidiary sector light exhibiting a fixed red light over an arc subtending the extremities of the Aliwal Shoal.

In the days when it was a manned light, Green Point, though not far from Durban, was a comparatively isolated and inaccessible light for lightkeepers and their families.The old South Coast Road to Port Shepstone was seven miles inland and was connected to the lighthouse by a secondary road running through the canefields. The old road was always in poor condition and the staff used the train from Clansthal to visit Umkomaas or Durban. When the new tarred road, running close to the sea, was built, a short access road was cut through the bush to the lighthouse. This enabled those members of the staff who were fortunate enough to own cars to travel to Umkomaas in a few minutes and to Durban in less than an hour. But lightkeepers no longer frequent the road in this area. Another era has gone.

Names of the senior lightkeepers at Green Point before automation:

C G Johnson
E D Bayes
J R Clingen
D Hurley*
C H Cornish
T McInerney
E L Andreasen
J C Addison
H H Hews
W A Hews
F C Miller

* father of Archbishop D Hurley

Read more in Harold Williams's authoritative volume Southern Lights, Lighthouses of Southern Africa (Published by Wm Waterman 1993)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Passengers per Tugela, Prince Alfred and Gordon, Natal 1865

Arrival of TugelaL Natal Mercury 28 February 1865

This vessel was one of Rennie's Aberdeen Direct clippers, most of them under 500 tons. The ships of this line took from 49 to 95 days to make the passage direct from London to Durban. On this voyage, under Captain STUART, the Tugela departed Dec 11 1864 and arrived at Natal Feb 24 1865. According to a report elsewhere in the same edition of the Mercury, the journey had been very much protracted by foul winds. She had been within 250 miles of Natal twelve days before her arrival, but had to wait for a change of wind in order to make the Port. "She brings an addition to our population of more than a hundred souls ... Eighty of them came out under Government auspices ... and they seem a happy and very respectable party of settlers."

Note the division of the list into Cabin, Second and Third Cabins and Government Emigrants - but at least the latter are individually named, which wasn't always the case in newspaper columns.

The Government passengers wrote a letter to the Surgeon on board the Tugela, Dr J WRIGHT MATTHEWS, signed by all of them, expressing their gratitude and appreciation for his "assiduous attention", affording them the benefits of his medical skill during the voyage and the alacrity with which he had answered every call in case of sickness. The saloon passengers wrote a similarly congratulatory letter to the Captain, expressing themselves fortunate "in our vessel, in the officers and crew" as well as the Captain himself, and that "should we have again to commit ourselves to the perils of the deep, may we have the good fortune to meet with so good a ship and so excellent a commander."

This polite and pleasant custom of a letter of thanks to the Captain was a feature of the earlier voyages, before the anonymity of many sailings and numerous Captains rendered such expressions obsolete.

Feb 24, Tugela, ship, 476 tons, GR Stuart, from London, sailed Dec 11.
Mr and Mrs Fraser
Mr CT Saner
Mr N Briggs
Mr J Pinchin
Mrs Anne M Jones
Messrs WM H and George P Jones
MR I Bond
Mr Ebenezer Pearse
Mr Henry Winter
Mr G Westray
Mr R Acutt
Dr JW Matthews
Second and Third Cabins
Mr G Hyde
Mr C Thompson
Mr and Mrs Wood
R Wood
WJ Minchinton
Jas Bonifant
Edmund Edgar
Geo Platt
Alfred Adams
CT Wordsworth
Jas Liddall
Government Emigrants
Miss Anandale
Christopher, Elizabeth and Charlotte Allen
Robert Beck
Martha, Emily, John, James and Willliam Baxter
Emma Boyer
John Brower
Ebenezer Crowley
James Craggs
Elizabeth and William Child
Alex, Christina and Ann Chadwick
Eliza and Jas Duggin
Joh, Margaret, William and Thomas Elgin
Ann, Theophilus, and Robert Gregory
John, Mary, Louisa, Rachael and Emma Green
Edith Gillett
David and James Guthrie
H Hill
Jabez Hall and wife
George Hill
Jane Hunter
Francis Wm Hill
Jane Kelly
James and Margaret Kerr
Henry Lee
Harriett A Lane
Charles G Levy
Anne and A Mc Roberts
David Munro
Thos Osborne
Richard Pigeon
William, Mary A and Thomas Palframan
William Rocket
Henry Roberts
Mary St Leger
F Southam
Francis Spinklewood
Richard, Mary, Ellen, Sarah, Richard, and Fredk Stone
S, Edith, Henry, William and Sarah Wood
Margaret Thompson
Agnes Wright
H Wood,
Muirhead, Findlay and Co, agents.

Feb 24, Prince Alfred, barque, 258 tons, Airth, from London. General cargo.
Mr and Mrs Colevile and five children
Miss Cutting
Miss Williams
Mr Rolls
Muirhead, Findlay and Co, agents.

Feb 26, Flora, schr., 113 tons, Spalding, from London, sailed Dec 9.
Jno Brown, agent.

Feb 26, Gordon, barque, 151 tons, A Watson, from London, sailed Dec 9.
Mr Alfred Bennett Gordon
John Brown, agent.