Our Family of Cape Horners Vol.1 - The Nineteenth Century Seafarers and Their Relations
By Colin R Rees. ISBN 0-0532038-4-0 Price £30.00 inc. p&p. Published by the author, 2000. printed by D W Jones (Printers) Ltd. available direct from: Colin R Rees, 65, West Cross Lane, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 5LU.
This book is a very personal journey made by SWMHS member Colin Rees in researching his seafaring ancestors. A large hardbound book of 178 pages, it shows the wealth of detail that is available for the keen family researcher and was written and produced as a family record for the descendants of the seafaring families. Three families are represented Buckler, Hinckley and Rees and the chapters are arranged around these different names with an initial chapter that gives some background to the period.
Every piece of research that was found has been reproduced in this book which often takes on the form of the research diary of the author and his wife showing the places they visited and the people they met in their quest. The illustrations are very full and cover every thing from family photographs, photographs of some of the places today, photographs and paintings of ships, maps to copies of the documents researched such as crew agreements, ship logs and information from Lloyd’s Register.
Written very much as record of the family it has an appeal for those who are interested the seafarers of the nineteenth century, their trade and their ships. The South Wales master mariners listed here were trading to Newfoundland, South America and Australia. Apart from the careers of the masters, it also reveals some interesting social details such as the list of clothing and other items left by a seaman, Peter Davies on his death in Falmouth in 1871. The wages that were left to him after deductions, were just £4 12 s 11d out of his allotment of £9 9s 5d for 5 months 4 days. All that was left for his next of kin to show of his life at sea.
Published by the author the one thing that would help the reader who is not a family member would have been a simple index, at least one that gave people’s names, ship names and places.
Reviewed by Helen Doe
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