The Man Who Came Out of the Sea

I recently had a (very short) article published in the Loftus Town Crier  about a North Yorkshire based brick wall in my family tree.

Here’s the article:
A distant cousin and I have been researching our family tree for quite some time, but our mutual ancestor, John Richardson, is proving to be a mystery, so I’d like to appeal for some help.John, who died in 1846, lived in Liverton.  He married Hannah Dale in St. Michael’s church on the 24th April 1787 and by 1800 they had six children.  John is the first Richardson mentioned in the Liverton Parish registers and his name first appears written sideways across the page of the 1751 Baptisms.

John was aged 97 when he died, an impressive age for the time.  His widow Hannah lived with their youngest son James and his family in Skinningrove and was 89 when she died there in 1848.

John and Hannah appeared in the 1841 Census, aged 90 and 75 respectively, they are described as paupers.  This Census reveals that John was born in Scotland circa 1749.

We have heard, from two different branches of the family, two similar stories regarding John’s arrival in North Yorkshire.  Both stories state that he was press-ganged in Dundee whilst out celebrating the end of his joinery apprenticeship.  Where the stories differ is that one claims he was ship-wrecked off Skinningrove and swam ashore and the other suggests he jumped ship as it came in close to shore at Sandsend.

Some background reading suggests that the stories are feasible; there was press-ganging around this time in Dundee as well as many shipwrecks off the Skinningrove coastline.

A search at Scotland’s People hasn’t found a matching birth for John Richardson; it’s possible he may have changed his name if he had absconded from the Navy, in which case it would be very difficult to trace him any further back.

I‘d love to hear from anyone who has any information or advice they can offer, perhaps you’ve heard this story in your own family?  It would also be lovely to hear from anyone with family connections to the Liverton Richardson and Shaw families.

Since the article was published I’ve received four emails, all from distant relatives & one with further information on John Richardson.

So watch this space!

© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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