Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Captain James Love

As I have mentioned in previous posts, many of my ancestors were agricultural labourers. While there is nothing wrong with this, I was delighted to discover a relation whose life took a different path. 

James Love was my great (x4) grandfather. He was born in Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1810.His father was Alexander Love and his mother was Mary (nee Lees), both from Kirkoswald. James married Helen Gordon in Kirkoswald in 1839. They went on to have six children: James in 1841, Alexander in 1844, Sarah and Elizabeth in 1846, John in 1848, and Robert in 1851.

I discovered from census records that James was a sailor, which made a change from all of my agricultural labourer ancestors. At the time of his marriage in 1839 he had been a fisherman, but in the 1841 census he is listed as a merchant seaman. The census also states that James and Helen were living in Girvan, which is situated on the west coast of Scotland not far from Kirkoswald.

Moving on to 1851, Helen is living at a different address in Girvan with her children James, Alexander, and Elizabeth. Sarah may well have died by this point. Their father was not at this address on the night of the census. It is reasonable to assume that he was at sea, but I have not been able to find a record to confirm this. Helen is listed as a sailor's wife.

In the 1861 census Helen is living with Alexander, Elizabeth, and Robert. Once again James is not present, but between 1851 and 1861 he had received a promotion, as Helen is listed as a Captain's wife. It was at this address that James died of dysentery in 1868. His death certificate noted that he was a Sea Captain.

I have a lot more work to do on Captain James Love, but this makes an interesting start. I have discovered a lead in a Captains Register database which I intend to follow up. Hopefully I can find out the ships that James sailed on, and more about his career.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a message on anything genealogy related.