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kate.holt



Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 13

Post Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Help wanted - New member! Reply with quote

Hello,
I am a new member of this forum and I am hoping the knowledgealbe people here will be able to give me some help.
I am a Family History student (IHGS) who has been given the task of determining how to find out genealogical information about the officers in the Royal Navy at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, using Printed sources. Before starting this task I had virtually no knowledge of anything naval and barely know what an "AB" was.

I have read alot of information on the web and a few books and magazine articles and now I have some basic (very) knowledge on the subject, and I do have some idea of how I would go about theorectically tracing information about one of the officers.

I am using the (probable) ancestor of a friend of mine as the example to follow. He was John Clavell, Lieutenant on HMS Dreadnought and HMS Royal Sovereign and later was Captain of HMS Weazel. When Admiral Collingwood was sent to the HMS Royal Sovereign, he asked Nelson to allow him to take Clavell with him. Clavell was apparently the person that Collingwood was related to have warned to "wear silkstockings during the battle as it would be easier for the surgeon if he was hit in the leg". Clavell was injured during the Battle and near the end of his life he was an out-pension of Greenwich Hospital.

Part of the task of the exercise is to actually see the relevant printed sources relating to the Navy of that time, and this is where my problems really start. My local library have very little of relevant value and Manchester Central library have a few useful books but their earliest copy of the Navy list in dated 1903, 100 years too late.

I cannot travel to London to visit Kew or Greenwich, and the interlibrary loan service so far hasnt come up with anything I can view.

Does anyone know where / how I could see Steele's Navy list for the time of Trafalgar? (I am based in Bolton, near Manchester) or maybe photocopy a page for me showing details of John Clavelle.
Or anything else of printed sources that give any typical genealogical information.
Would I only be able to view Lieutenants' passing certificates in London?

All suggestions gratefully recieved. Very Happy

I am enjoying discovering things about the Royal Navy and its men and I hope that I can find out more about my friend's ancestor, and hope to continue to look for information about him well after I write the essay and move on to the next study topic.
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Kate H
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chasbaz



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Athabasca, Alberta, Canada

Post Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Kate,

Welcome to the forum - I am sure you will find a great deal of helpful advice and expertise at your disposal.

Unfortunately most of the documents you want to see are in the NA, and are in books or bundles which do require some searching time to find the document. The staff at the NA do supply some 'packaged' services where they will do various searches for a fixed fee of 45, which is still not cheap but better than the rail fare from Bolton! Being in Canada I have applied for one of these and will provide an update when it is done. Otherwise there is a list of researchers who will do the searches too - but again it is at a cost of course.

One thing which this forum doesn't have so far is a reciprocal research section, where someone will do searches on one place in exchange for searches in another. This could work by a 'voucher' or 'credit' system, so that you might do a lookup for someone but it might not be reciprocal, but be in return for a previous lookup done by someone else.

It is always worth asking in Rootschat to see if anyone can do a search for you next time they are at the NA, but it helps if you can offer something in exchange.

I'm sure we will do our best to help you.

Best wishes,
Charles
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PMarione
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Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 883

Post Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:04 pm    Post subject: Help wanted Reply with quote

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kate.holt



Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 13

Post Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: John Clavell Reply with quote

Hi Charles and Patrick,

Many Many thanks for your wonderful help Very Happy

Between you, you have virtually answered just about everything I needed to know, would you like to write the whole essay for me Question Rolling Eyes

Seriously though, the information and leads provided will enable me to follow the trail and acheive what I have set out to do and have inspired me to go further and trace more about this gentelman's career.

I will send off for his passing certificate and check census returns etc for some extra information. I will also pass on the information to my friend who is a probable descendant. Her uncle has done some research which seems to indicate the link to John Clavell but with my Family Historian hat on I wont judge the accuracy till I've seen the information myself and as my friend hasnt actually got the information I cant do that yet. But that doesnt matter for the purposes of this exercise.

I have seen references to the CD "Ayshford's Trafalgar Roll", but I am not aware of Patrick's "Complete Navy List" .

I had found the information regarding the Weazel, and I am soon going to visit Corfu so I will pay some homage to John Clavell while I am there.

One of the interesting facts that Patrick has shown was that John Clavell's father was the Rev Roger Clavell. I have found that at one stage John Clavell was on Half pay and wrote to Collingwood asking for his assistance to gain a command (?)
It was interesting to read in the posting that John's Father was the Rev Roger Clavell. one piece of information I had come across was a letter from Collingwood in response to John Clavell's request for his support in obtaining a "ship". Lord Fitzroy was appointed to Macedonian in the summer of 1810, and I gather he was appointed over John Clavell due to "political leverage" and Fitzroy's "position", which apparently Clavell lacked. Collingwood favoured Clavell and respected his ability but his hands were tied. I presume this indicated his father's status as a mere Reverand didn't count for much in the society of the day. However Clavell's progress up the ranks seems impressive, and probably not entirely on his merits as a seaman. That would be an area interesting to investigate further.

I do appreciate your assiatance in my research, and I will not "spread the word" as I am sure a vast number of people would ask for your assistance and I am aware how much effort and time that would take up.

However as the work I need to hand in is relatively general rather than specific I will adapt the information you have provided to fit the remit with due recognition of the help I have recieved from you. Credit where credit is due. I cant claim it as my own.

I will also follow the leads to see If I can replicate the information, and expand on it.

I will pass on anything more I find out. Do you want copies of any document should I manage dot aquire them?

Many thanks agian,
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PMarione
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Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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Post Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have seen references to the CD "Ayshford's Trafalgar Roll", but I am not aware of Patrick's "Complete Navy List".


Shame on you! Confused

Just go to the root of this website.

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kate.holt



Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 13

Post Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject: Shame Reply with quote

Hi Patrick,

I confess! I had visited the sight but didnt recognise the name...... Embarassed
Consider my wrist slapped. I can only blame the fact that I am a deffinate novice with things nautical.

After writing to you last night I went straight to the sites you mentioned and realised what you had been refering to. It is a marvellous place and must have many hours of work in it.

I have ordered an estimate (and intend to proceed with the order) of the passing certificate for John Clavell.

I also tried to find which reference to use to obtain information about his admission to Greenwich hospital. I think my brain was over tired (it was after 11pm) but I was confused by the choice on-line and I am considering ringing them so I can explain what I am after.

When you say ".....he became a Captain of Greenwich Hospital .....", what exactly does this mean? I know he was a pensioner, and I think it was cetainly at some point an out pensioner, and presumably he became an in-pensioner some time before he died there. Does becoming a Captain indicate that he was an inpatient and had the rank of Captain?


Thanks again,
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PMarione
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Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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Post Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the organization of GH is an interesting subject in itself, I'll start a new topic with it.

For social naval history there are two books that are "must read" you must keep on your bedtable, both by NAM Rodger: "the Wooden World" and "the Command of the Ocean".
Both are available in paperback.

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kate.holt



Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 13

Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:03 pm    Post subject: Books Reply with quote

Thanks for the titles.

I am on holiday very soon, but once I am back I will try to get hold of these two.
The Greenwich thread looks very interesting.
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johns



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 17

Post Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes John Clavell was a very interesting person - but I can adda bit more. I am descended through John Clavells daughter Leonora who married William Simpson Blount.

Just a couple of things - the naval biog for John Clavell was slightly wrong. John Clavell's father was William Clavell who was a salt merchant in the Isle of Wight - and his mother Mary Mount. John was baptised in Cambourne(?) in the IOW

The Clavell family tree is in Hutchins history of Dorsetshire - and the records office will photocopy the pages (570 - 571) for the very cheap price of 5!

The other good source is the Times Digital Archive - which you should have access to through any library - it is very good on things relating to John Clavell.
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PMarione
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Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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Post Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John for that interesting stuff.

I'll have to correct my DB.

I propose "Calbourne" IOW for his birthplace.

By chance have you his birthdate?
Date of marriage: I have September 1801?

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johns



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 17

Post Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes indeed you are right!

He was baptised on the 29th December 1778 in Shalfleet, Calbourne, IOW.

He married Charlotte Bulley on the 5th September 1801 at St. Andrews church, Plymouth - at which point he was said to be aboard HMS "Barfleur" (?)
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PMarione
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Post Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to O'Byrne he was a Lt on Barfleur (Capts Stevens and Irwin) from 8 Oct 1800 till 31 May 1803.

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johns



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 17

Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Help wanted Reply with quote

PMarione wrote:

his 3rd daughter, Jane Newnham Collingwood, married on 17 July 1855, the Rev Edward Thomas Austen, son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Francis Austen, GCB.


Out of interest, and as I only found it out yesterday, the Rev Edward Austen was nephew of Jane Austen! Surprised
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PMarione
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure as the two brothers of Jane Austen ended as Admiral thence her fine knowledge of nautical stuff.

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johns



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 17

Post Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wondered whether anyone knew on the Ayshford Trafalgar Roll how much there is about John Clavell. I am very tempted to buy it - and seeing what the demo on it looks like, if there is lots of stuff like physical description, etc it would be brilliant
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