Story 1 – whale chase

“Thar she blows.”

Captain William Smith was at the wheel of the whaling barque, Marie Laure. Below him, on the deck, he could see his brother-in-law, Domingo Jose Evorall, readying the small rowboat. William knew the danger involved in chasing and harpooning a sperm whale.

“Lines in the boats.”

William remembered a time many years previously when he and his fellow shipmates were putting the lines carefully in place, fixing the pins and adding the harpoons. Boats were lowered, swinging dangerously close to the side of the rolling barque. Near the waves, the boats were quickly unhooked, sailors got oars ready to push against the sides if they got too close to the barque. It was then that the dangerous work began.

William, as mate, had been in charge of the chase and kept watch for the whale. The oarsmen pulled steadily. No time to look over their shoulders. The green hands, on their first chase, were they frightened or excited? Spouts were seen close by.

“Heave to.”

The iron was thrown; the flukes suddenly hit the water and sprayed the sailors.

“Stern for your lives.”

Boatsteerer making sure the boat doesn’t overturn; harpooner ready with a knife to cut the slack line if needed; the whale sounding or diving deep.  A drogue was now attached to the line to slow the speed of the diving whale. The line going slack but where is the big cetacean? Suddenly, great jaw open, he breaks the surface just in front of us.

…………………………………………………

Much of the language for this was taken from a PDF document of an actual whale chase that William took part in in 1862. I had four students leave comments mainly about not knowing where and when the present time and the thoughts of William changed from one to the other. They said they got very involved with the story and could feel the excitement of the chase.

Readers: Where else could I improve this writing? As it is only going to be published on this blog, feel free to re-write whole paragraphs if you want.

Presenting William Smith

After completing the Uni course on Introduction to Family History, Ann Ricketts, one of the other students, invited me to give a presentation at the Sandy Bay Historical Society on my research person, William Smith. I created the presentation in Google Slides and then saved as a powerpoint to upload into slideshare. The notes for each slide are in the main body of the post.

Slide 1 Over the summer period, I enrolled in a University of Tasmania free online course entitled An Introduction to Family History. One of the aims of the course was to research someone in your family tree.  Ann, who was also on the course, invited me to talk about my main research person who was William Smith. What a troublesome name, so how do I start?

Slide 2  I had been following family history principles of researching by starting with myself and verifying data at each new generation. Of course, I didn’t need to verify my father, Bob or his mother Irene as they were still alive when I began this task over 30 years ago. Nan could tell me a bit about her father Robert and his father William.

So I began filling in a pedigree or ancestor chart, then family group sheets including siblings of my grandmother then another family group sheet with siblings of Robert Edward, her father. All the dates and places were found at the archives where I searched through microfilms and microfiche to fill in the data on the sheets. I have samples of pedigree and family group sheets in my folders.

But I wanted to know more than just birth, marriage and death dates and places. I noticed William Smith was a mariner on many of his children’s birth certificates. Did this mean he was a sailor, or maybe an important captain of a boat. I wanted to flesh out the story of William Smith.

Slide 3 After getting some basic information from my grandmother, and verifying the information I had found about her siblings and other relatives, I decided to head to the archives in Hobart.

At that stage, they were only just starting to create CDROMs with databases on them, but they did have a card catalogue of images they had in store. I found this one under Captain William Smith. There were quite a few William Smiths in Hobart during the 1850-1900 period so could this possibly be him? Could this smartly dressed individual be my relative?

Slide 4  Back to my grandmother, showed her the picture, she verified it was her grandfather. I had done some research looking through books about whaling and found a Black Billy the Samoan mentioned. Could this be William Smith from Recherche Bay?

I said to my grandmother that he was a very dark man but she said he was sunburnt because he had been on the whaling boats too long. She then showed me another picture of him on a boat. What a difference from well dressed in a shirt and tie, to clothing suited for sailing on a boat as a member of the crew.

Slide 5 I was now intrigued. I wanted to find more. Back again to the archives, talk with the archivists. Did they have any information about a Captain William Smith who was whaling during the 1850-1900 period around Tasmanian waters? They gave me lots of different sources to find more information including books written by locals, photos from the Crowther Collection, visit to the Maritime Museum and a folder they had out the back on the Smith family.

Slide 6 Inside the folder was one single typed page. Not much to go on I thought.

Slide 7 More questioning of the archivists. Where did this person find the information? What are those letters and numbers next to the information? Can I see the original of this information? Do you have a photo of the Marie Laure? Do you need to qualify to be a captain? As you can tell I was very inquisitive and wanted to know everything.

Slide 8 This application for a certificate of service enabling William to serve as master of a foreign going ship gave me so much more information to follow up. I now knew where he was born – Navigators Island – where was that? I knew his birthdate and age to follow up on once I knew where Navigators Island was.

He had been in the whaling trade continuously since 1852 – I knew the names of all the ships he had sailed on, even if I couldn’t read them all, I knew the positions he held on board. Maybe I could find out more about each of these voyages. More research needed.

Slide 9 At this stage I began the uni course. Most people were starting from the beginning of their research and using ancestry.com for a lot of information or online databases. I had 4 main questions.

  1. What is Captain William Smith’s Samoan name?
  2. What ships did he serve on before 1876 and what was his role onboard?
  3. What dates were these whaling voyages?
  4. What was life like on these whaling trips?

Why couldn’t my research have been online? So I headed back to the archives, showed them the certificate and asked where to next. Answer was crew agreements.

Working backwards from the Marie Laure in 1877 I could follow in reverse order his journey as a whaler from the time he first joined in 1852 as a cabin boy through to the time he received his captaincy on the Marie Laure.  Whenever he signed on to a new whaling ship he had to fill in the date he was discharged from his previous ship and give the name of that ship. This allowed me to work backwards one ship at a time as long as there was a crew agreement available for that voyage.

Slide 10 He crewed on these ships between 1852 and 1860, but as I have not found crew agreements yet none of these can be verified. Those listed in blue is a ship name that I can’t easily decipher on his certificate so will need to check out all three of them.

I will also use Trove, the online newspapers of Australia, website to find out the names of whaling boats coming in and out of Hobart in the early 1850’s to try to work out this ship’s name.

Slide 11 This was the first cruise of the Waterwitch as a whale boat.  It left Hobart Town March 1860 and returned in February 1861 with 30 tuns of oil worth 95 pound per tun in England. William’s lay was Black Oil  50 @12, Sperm Oil  70@40, Whale Bone  50@40  Wages advanced 4 pounds

Black oil was found in southern right whales blubber, sperm oil from the blubber of sperm whales and whalebone was the baleen from right whales The oil was used for lighting street lamps and the whalebone in corsets, umbrellas, back scratchers and collar stiffeners. Read poem.

Slide 12 William served continuously on the Maid of Erin from 1864 until 1873, gradually moving up in the hierarchy until he became the master. He is mentioned often in reports in Trove about being a kind captain who looked after his crew including giving half rest time so they were refreshed when cutting up the whale the next day.

One voyage in 1871 shows the rations in a logbook kept by William Thomas Morley. Rations consumed: 21 casks beef, 8 casks pork, 5 casks and 1 barrel of biscuits, 2 chests of tea, 3 barrels and 2 hogsheads of sugar, 6 casks of flour.

Slide 13 While doing the uni course, many students helped each other finding sources for their information. One student who worked at a Queensland University had found mention of Black Bill in a catalogue from the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau. I contacted them and they kindly sent a copy of the manuscript written by Alfred William Martin in 1862 while a seaman on the Southern Cross. In his diary he mentions my great great grandfather as a half caste Samoan, so this so far is the earliest mention I have verified of his birth in Samoa.

More reading of a book by Bruce Poulsen from the Huon Valley, mentions William Smith being given that name when he comes up the Derwent River in a small whale boat in the 1850’s. I would love to find his Samoan name. Now who could his father and mother be?  Maybe a white whaling captain and a Samoan princess as the family story has been passed down ….

Slide 14 Trove report 10 May 1875:The Othello left here on 2nd November 1874, and proceeded to the Middle Ground, cruising there for about five months. Five whales were captured, and they yielded 16 tuns. According to Trove report on November 1, 1875 the Othello had lost three whales. One of her hands was unfortunately lost. The Middle Ground is the area of the Tasman Sea where sperm whales were hunted often during summer months.

Slide 15 But further research finds him mentioned in the book ‘Harpoons ahoy!’ by Will Lawson, published 1938 on page 18.  “Dat’s notting,” Larsen broke in.  “I remember de Marie Laure, when Black Billy de Samoan had her. Something lak a sheep she vos.  Black Billy done no good in her.  She vos a hoodoo with him, lak de Maid of Erin vos too, when he had her.  De whales dey keep avay from her.”

Another part of family history research is interviewing relatives who might have more knowledge of the person. I had created a website which included the information I had about William and his family, when I noticed some comments left by my unknown cousin Kim McDermott from Rosebery, Tasmania.

Maryanne Smith, William’s first daughter, learned to walk aboard the rolling decks of  the Marie Laurie  and was eighteen months old when she first set foot on dry land!

The whales teeth are two of a set of four that were scrimshawed by a seaman aboard the Marie Laurie with the high fashion of the day depicting women in fur coats. They were also polished with resin, hence the dark amber colour of the teeth.

It is not known what became of the larger two teeth, but it is believed they were stolen during the time Maryanne was living at Recherche Bay, southern Tasmania. The whales teeth were given to Maryanne’s granddaughter, Phyllis McDermott, who lived with Maryanne, at Strahan until she was married in 1950. In August 2002, the whales teeth were handed over to Phyllis’  son, Kim McDermott, for safe keeping.

Slide 16 So we come to the end of my research as at May 14 2015. I know about William’s life after marriage to Sarah Ann Tedman in 1874. Also married on the same date and place was Domingo Jose Everall and Sarah Ann’s sister Rosetta Caroline. Domingo had been on many ships with William and was also a dark fellow but from the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off Africa.

But I still don’t know William’s Samoan name nor his parents. If I follow the naming pattern used by most families back in the 19th century, then why was William’s oldest son named James Henry? In my reading I have found a Captain James Smith born 1819 Clarence plains taken by bushrangers when a youth, then by South sea savages later in life. Could these have been Samoans? Could this be where William Smith was conceived? Further research is necessary.

My research on William SMITH

What is Captain William Smith’s Samoan name?

What ships did he serve on before 1876 and what was his role onboard?

What dates were these whaling voyages?

What was life like on these whaling trips?

Primary Sources: (P)

  1. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/62/2 p116, application for certificate of service as master of foreign going ship
  2. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB 2/33/1/250 Maid of Erin, crew agreement
  3. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB 2/33/1/310 Othello, crew agreement
  4. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB 2/33/1/374 Southern Cross, crew agreement
  5. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/33/1/194 Highlander, crew agreement
  6. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB 2/33/1/417 Waterwitch, crew agreement
  7. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/33/1/146 Flying Childers, crew agreement
  8. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/33/1/333 Prince Regent, crew agreement
  9. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB 2/33/1/54 Calypso, crew agreement
  10. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/33/1/403 Venus, crew agreement
  11. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/33/1/301 Offley , crew agreement
  12. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), MB2/33/1/170 Grecian, crew agreement
  13. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), CUS36/1/403 Offley, shipping clearance
  14. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), CUS36/1/88 Calypso, shipping clearance
  15. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), CUS36/1/431 Prince Regent, shipping clearance
  16. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), CUS36/1/213 Flying Childers, shipping clearance
  17. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO), CUS36/1/354 Maid of Erin, shipping clearance
  18. National Library Australia (NLA), 1870 ‘SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 13 December, p. 2, viewed 13 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8875274
  19. LINC Hobart, W.L.Crowther Collection, Log book of the barque Water Witch on a whaling voyage, John McArthur master, commencing March 17th 1860 – January 24th 1861 : [Incomplete] (Book), Logs Box 13, viewed 5 February 2015
  20. National Library Australia (NLA), 1860 ‘[No heading].’, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (Tas. : 1858 – 1860), 1 March, p. 2, viewed 7 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page1555352

 

Secondary Sources: (S)

  1. Philp, JE. 1936, Whaling ways of Hobart Town, Walch,  TL R 639.22 PHI
  2. Nicholson, Ian Hawkins. 1990,  Log of logs : a catalogue of logs, journals, shipboard diaries, letters, and all forms of voyage narratives, 1788 to 1988, for Australia and New Zealand and surrounding oceans / by Ian Nicholson  The Author jointly with the Australian Association for Maritime History Yaroomba, Q. [i.e. Qld.]
  3. Poulson, Bruce. 2004, Recherche Bay : a short history, Southport Community Centre, Southport, Tas

Biographical Report

This research was about the early years of the life of my great great grandfather William Smith. In 1876, he applied for a certificate of service as master of a foreign going ship.(P1) On this document William noted that he had had ongoing service in the whaling trade since 1852. He also mentioned he was born in the Navigator Islands on 25 March 1840.

The application was the starting point and the most useful source used to complete the research aims. On it was noted the names of all ships he had served on prior to his captaincy on Marie Laure on 18 September 1877. By deciphering these names, a chronological timeline of his whaling voyages between 1852 and 1876 was created.

The next step was to look for the crew agreements as these would give the dates he left a voyage on one ship and began another on a different ship. The crew agreements also gave his role onboard and the names of the captains which were later used to search Trove for related newspaper articles.

Using the Tasmanian Archives search database, some shipping clearance documents were found for the earlier voyages but, unfortunately, these gave a nil return and did not fill in any gaps left from the crew agreements (P13-P17).

Below is a table outlining the information found using the crew agreements (P2-P12). It was disappointing that agreements for the earlier voyages were not found, as hopefully, one of those sources would have given his Samoan name.

 

On board ship Left ship Ship Role on board Captain Source
    Venus     MB2/33/1/403 1856-1878
    Offley     MB2/33/1/301 1856-1879
    Grecian/Frances/Friends??     MB2/33/1/170 1857-1864
  25 Jan 1858 Calypso Seaman McFARLANE MB 2/33/1/54 1856-1863
    Prince Regent     MB2/33/1/333
    Flying Childers     MB2/33/1/146
  Mar 1860 Maid of Erin 2nd mate REYNOLDS MB 2/33/1/250
15 Mar 1860 16 Feb 1861 Waterwitch Seaman   MB 2/33/1/417
23 Feb 1861 Apr 1862 Highlander 2nd mate Henry EDMONDS MB2/33/1/194
24 May 1862   Southern Cross 3rd mate William MANSFIELD MB 2/33/1/374
5 Jan 1864 28 Dec 1866 Maid of Erin 2nd mate Henry EDMONDS MB 2/33/1/250
28 Dec 1866 31 Jan 1868 Maid of Erin Chief mate William GAFFEN MB 2/33/1/250
16 Oct 1868 Apr 1870 Maid of Erin Chief mate Thomas SHELTON MB 2/33/1/250
9 Apr 1870 12 Dec 1870 Maid of Erin Master William SMITH MB 2/33/1/250
2 Jan 1871 26 Oct 1871 Maid of Erin Master William SMITH MB 2/33/1/250
  May 1873 Maid of Erin Master William SMITH MB 2/33/1/250
15 Jul 1873 1874 Othello Chief Mate Edward COPPING MB 2/33/1/310
2 Nov 1874 6 Jun 1876 Othello Chief mate Edward COPPING MB 2/33/1/310
16 Jun 1876 Sep 1877 Flying Childers Chief mate   MB2/33/1/146

 

From reading the log of the Water Witch in 1860, life on board the whale boats seemed very boring until a whale was sighted. Then it was all crew ready for lowering the boats, giving chase to the whale, bringing it alongside the vessel ready to start cutting, flensing and trying out the whale over the next couple of days (P19).  Other jobs mentioned in the logbook were knitting yarns, making mats and collecting yams from the islands visited. Most whaling voyages were for eighteen months but the vessels would come into port earlier if they had to offload their whale oil.

One great instance of danger came from a report where Captain Smith took on board the crew of the ship Victoria which wrecked at Port Davey (P18) Wrecks were often caused by bad weather and the chains to the anchors breaking.

William Smith was also involved in a disagreement between crew and Captain Reynolds while on board the Maid of Erin as second mate in 1859. Many of the crew refused to work due to intoxication of the captain when giving orders. This was followed by a court case (P20).

Images were found of four ships he crewed on – Flying Childers, Waterwitch, Marie Laure and Othello(S1). Permission will be needed to publish these images on a public blog.

Conclusion

From the above research, finding documents to help with putting together a chronological timeline of whaling voyages is not easy unless you know what information is found in the various repositories around Australia. Searching further afield than crew agreements and shipping clearances in Tasmania will be the next step.

The National Library of Australia, in particular Trove, is a fantastic resource for fleshing out a story with what life was like during a whaling voyage. Many of the shipping notices only mention the name of the vessel, the captain and how much oil has been brought into port.

The W.L Crowther Collection at LINC Hobart also held many sources regarding whaling in Tasmania, including log books of voyages and books.

Further research will be done looking at Ian Nicholson’s suggestions from Log of logs (S2) This will include logs of voyages that are available and references to further documents.

The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau has also been mentioned as a possible repository to search for further clues to William’s life as a whaler in the 1850’s and 1860’s.

In conclusion, particularly relating to William SMITH’s Samoan name, is that records are needed to get back to the first whaling vessel he registered on, and hope he registered with his Samoan name. Or maybe he arrived in Hobart Town before 1852 in the open boat as mentioned by Poulson (S3) and was given the name William SMITH before he started whaling.

Readers: Do you think I have covered what was needed for this final assignment?

Voyages by William SMITH

As part of assessment task 3, I have created a table of the whaling voyages of William SMITH prior to 1877. Have also included the sources. As you can see, I am having trouble filling in the gaps of his earliest voyages.

I couldn’t find crew agreements for the blank spaces in the chart, so will need to check further sources from the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau based at Australian National University in Canberra.

 

On board ship Left ship Ship Role on board Captain Source
    Venus     MB2/33/1/403 1856-1878
    Offley     MB2/33/1/301 1856-1879
    Grecian/Frances/Friends??     MB2/33/1/170 1857-1864
  25 Jan 1858 Calypso Seaman McFARLANE MB 2/33/1/54 1856-1863
    Prince Regent     MB2/33/1/333
    Flying Childers     MB2/33/1/146
  Mar 1860 Maid of Erin 2nd mate REYNOLDS MB 2/33/1/250
15 Mar 1860 16 Feb 1861 Waterwitch Seaman   MB 2/33/1/417
23 Feb 1861 Apr 1862 Highlander 2nd mate Henry EDMONDS MB2/33/1/194
24 May 1862   Southern Cross 3rd mate William MANSFIELD MB 2/33/1/374
5 Jan 1864 28 Dec 1866 Maid of Erin 2nd mate Henry EDMONDS MB 2/33/1/250
28 Dec 1866 31 Jan 1868 Maid of Erin Chief mate William GAFFEN MB 2/33/1/250
16 Oct 1868 Apr 1870 Maid of Erin Chief mate Thomas SHELTON MB 2/33/1/250
9 Apr 1870 12 Dec 1870 Maid of Erin Master William SMITH MB 2/33/1/250
2 Jan 1871 26 Oct 1871 Maid of Erin Master William SMITH MB 2/33/1/250
  May 1873 Maid of Erin Master William SMITH MB 2/33/1/250
15 Jul 1873 1874 Othello Chief Mate Edward COPPING MB 2/33/1/310
2 Nov 1874 6 Jun 1876 Othello Chief mate Edward COPPING MB 2/33/1/310
16 Jun 1876 Sep 1877 Flying Childers Chief mate   MB2/33/1/146

 Readers: Do you think including a table like this should be acceptable for the scholarly writing of our task 3?

Meeting the cousins

If you have been reading my other posts recently, you will know that I have been in touch with some unknown SMITH cousins. Well, yesterday I went to their house for a visit and chat. I was going to do an interview, but then felt maybe just a general get to know each other would be better – maybe organize a more formal interview on particular topics later.

Alanna was the organizer of the records. She has the whole tree on ancestry.com which I will need to check out. She has included all the source information as well as photos. She is in contact with lots of other cousins who I know nothing about.

Glenn was the holder of knowledge. He had some great stories passed down to him mainly from Uncle Jack or Bomber as the family called him. Glenn had met my grandmother, his aunt Rene, quite often and remembered her peroxided hair very well and the fact that she rarely drank which did not sit well with her younger brothers and sisters who enjoyed drinking together.

Glenn had lots of copies of information from books, land plans especially at Cockle Creek and Oyster Cove, had addresses from using electoral rolls and photos from other cousins. He had also collected a lot of information on the whaling ship Marie Laure, which William SMITH had captained or crewed on for many years.

Overall a great afternoon – arrived about 1.45pm when I next looked at my watch it was 5.30pm  Time to head home and ponder the knowledge gained from visiting my now known cousins.

Getting ready to research

William SMITH and family

So I have now looked through the filing cabinet, folders, computer program to find everything I already have on William SMITH and his family. I have decided to put together two folders. There will be some duplicate items in them.

The first folder will be a storyline of William SMITH from his birth in 1840 through to his death in 1913. Included in this will be all his whaling journeys, marriage, family life and birth of children through to his death and burial. This is what I will be aiming to add to as my major research in the family history course.

The second folder will be about William SMITH and Sarah Ann TEDMAN family. Again lots of births, marriages and death with a separate pocket for each child born to them.

Readers: Are there any repositories and records you would recommend I search to find information about Captain William SMITH, master mariner?

 

Who is William Smith?

William SMITH is my great great grandfather but from his application for a Master Mariners certificate he was born in the Navigator Islands in 1840. Therefore he should have a Samoan sounding name.

 

Master Mariner certificate

 

Here is a scan of Master Mariner PDF to see it enlarged.

I have also seen it mentioned in a book which is a secondary source [1. Poulson, Bruce. Recherche Bay: A Short History. Southport Tas.  Southport Community Centre, 2004. Print.]

Captain William Smith arrived in Tasmania in an open boat (from who knows where) and sailed up the Derwent into the waiting arms of officialdom. He was accepted and given the name “Smith”.

I am going through the Marine Board shipping log records at the moment trying to find when he first had his name changed to William SMITH. But I am stuck on the boat name between Offley and Calypso in the certificate above.  They are all whaling boats so far always in and out of Hobart.

Shipping logs are a great primary source as it is filled in when a sailor agrees to serve on board a ship. Information included is:

  • Signatures of each crew member – both Christian and Surname in full
  • Age when signing agreement
  • Place of birth – can be any of these city/town/country/state
  • Ship in which he last served and port the ship belonged to
  • Place and date of discharge from that ship
  • Place and date of entry onto this ship
  • In what capacity they will serve
  • Time when he should be on board – usually at once or a date given
  • Wages per month or voyage
  • Lay – black oil, sperm oil, whalebone
  • Amount of wages advanced
  • Amount of monthly allotment

Readers:  Can anyone using the PDF work out a possible boat name for me?

Family of Captain William and Sarah Ann Smith

William SMITH (21), b. 25 Mar 1840, d. 27 Oct 1913

+Sarah Ann TEDMAN (22), b. 18 Apr 1857, m. 30 Sep 1874, d. 7 May 1902

James Henry SMITH (49), b. 17 Nov 1876, d. 12 Aug 1924

 +Alice Maude ADAMS (50), b. 10 Dec 1887, m. 19 Dec 1911, d. 8 Jul 1929

Mary Ann SMITH (51), b. 8 Jul 1878, d. 3 Mar 1951

+Henry DOHERTY (4927), b. 1876, m. 10 Jun 1900, d. 21 Nov 1953

 Violet Evelyn DOHERTY (4928), d. 26 Aug 1957

Arthur Ernest DOHERTY (4975)

Lydia Lucy Isabelle DOHERTY (4977)

Phyllis Zilla DOHERTY (4984)

Valvina Maude DOHERTY (4981)

 Robert DOHERTY (4982)

Henry James DOHERTY (4979), b. 1904, d. 13 Nov 1970

Thomas Alexander (Albert) SMITH (52), b. 2 Dec 1880, d. 15 Sep 1885

William Demingo SMITH (53), b. 13 Feb 1883, d. 16 Sep 1885

Robert Edward SMITH (14), b. 21 Dec 1884, d. 4 Aug 1964

+Irene Nellie SOMMERS (CLARK?) (15), b. 20 May 1889, d. 3 Jun 1952

Irene Ellen Gertrude SMITH (9), b. 23 Jul 1909, d. 10 Jul 1988

William Henry Basil SMITH (68), b. 1 Jun 1911, d. before 2002

Madelene Constance Victoria SMITH (69), b. 9 Sep 1912, d. 4 Jan 1999

Myra Isobella (Pat) SMITH (70), b. 21 Sep 1913, d. 25 Jul 2003

Olga Phyllis SMITH (71), b. 4 Jun 1915, d. before 2003

Naida Pauline May (Nancy) SMITH (72), b. 3 Sep 1916, d. 16 Mar 1978

Jack SMITH (73), b. 22 Apr 1918, d. 23 Jun 2000

Sarah Ellen (Sally) SMITH (80), b. 18 Aug 1919, d. before 2003

Thomas Allan SMITH (74), b. 21 Feb 1921, d. before 2003

David SMITH (75), b. 8 Jul 1923

Mervyn Leslie SMITH (76), b. 16 Jul 1925, d. 26 Dec 2002

Ruby Margaret SMITH (79), b. 6 Aug 1927

James Henry (Tony) SMITH (78), b. 9 May 1929

Maxwell Brian SMITH (77), d. 31 Jul 1993

Alexander SMITH (54), b. 2 Oct 1886, d. 18 Sep 1937

Sarah Ann Jane SMITH (55), b. 29 Jun 1889, d. 7 Jan 1890

Amelia Rosetta Violet SMITH (56), b. 31 Oct 1890, d. 17 Dec 1965

+John E TELGE (7211), m. 1927

Charles Ernest Louis SMITH (57), b. 19 May 1894, d. 26 Dec 1975

Arthur Frederick Francis SMITH (58), b. 31 Jan 1899

+Elsie (–?–) (7198)

Bob SMITH (7199)

Hilda SMITH (7200)

Whale’s teeth

Captain WIlliam Smith at the wheel
Captain WIlliam Smith at the wheel

The whales teeth described below were taken from the jaw of a sperm whale on 8th July 1883 and presented to Maryanne Smith, daughter of Captain William Smith, master of the whaling ship, Marie Laurie (Pronounced Maria Lowery), on her 1st birthday.

The Marie Laurie was a British built whaling barque of 328 tons, port of registry, Hobart. Her owner was William Sherwin and her master from 18th September, 1877 until 9th June, 1884, was Captain William Smith.

With a crew of twenty five, the Marie Lowery left Hobart on 8th October, 1882, for the whaling grounds of the Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska, when Maryanne was just three months old and returned to her home port eighteen months later, on 22nd May, 1884.

Maryanne Smith learned to walk aboard the rolling decks of the Marie Laurie and was eighteen months old when she first set foot on dry land!

The whales teeth are two of a set of four that were scrimshawed by a seaman aboard the Marie Laurie with the high fashion of the day depicting women in fur coats. They were also polished with resin, hence the dark amber colour of the teeth.

It is not known what became of the larger two teeth, but it is believed they were stolen during the time Maryanne was living at Recherche Bay, southern Tasmania.

The whales teeth were given to Maryanne’s granddaughter, Phyllis McDermott, who lived with Maryanne, at Strahan until she was married in 1950.  In August 2002, the whales teeth were handed over to Phyllis’ son, Kim McDermott, for safe keeping.

Seaman’s work box

Once owned by Captain William Smith, this seaman’s work box was used to carry his papers and personal effects.

Captain Smith was born on Navigator Island, Samoa, in 1840. He left to go to sea when he was twelve years old, as ship’s boy aboard the Venus, and later the Offley, in 1852.

Graduating to able seaman aboard the Calypso and Prince Regent, he had the work box built and at each port of call, he would add a piece of native timber to the covering of the box.

From 1852 until 1870, he served aboard such ships as ‘Flying Childers, Maid of Erin, Waterwitch, Highlander, Calypso, and Othello’, until he was granted his master of foreign going ship certificate for the Othello.

He would captain almost all of the ships he had served in and more, in the years to come until the decline of the whaling industry.

In his seventies and one of the last whaling captains still living, he was asked to show how to ‘try out’ a whale that had been caught in the Derwent River. Shortly after doing this, he became ill and died. He is buried in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart.

The work box was passed to his daughter, Maryanne, and later to his great granddaughter, Phyllis McDermott.

The work box was given to Phyllis’ son, Kim McDermott, in August, 2002.

STOP PRESS    UPDATE     STOP PRESS    UPDATE

Hopefully I will be able to add an image of this workbox as the Maritime Museum has been in contact with Kim regarding a display of work by whalers.