Scottish family members lost in shipwreck

28th May 2011, 05:14
I'm researching my paternal family in Scotland and luckily enough the name is Mac/McKenzie. I've been unable to find what happened to my gg grandfather. His name was John MacKenzie and in his marriage record and in my g grandfather's birth, marriage & death record, his father is listed as a sailor, a seaman and a mariner respectively. In the 1841 census I have found my gg grandmother and my g grandfather living in Inverness and she is married but no husband at the same address. I assume he was away at sea. In the 1851 census, if I have the correct Catherine MacKenzie, my gg grandmother is listed as a seaman's widow. In all records the name varies between MacKenzie and McKenzie. In the 1841 census I have found two listings for John McKenzie (seaman). One is aboard the Sloop Noney and the other aboard the sloop Western Isles.
A relative in Scotland has passed on a story about family members that were aboard a boat in the early 19th century and they all drowned when the boat capsized. She's not sure if it was this John McKenzie but he's the only one that is missing so if the story is true, I assume it's him. On the Sloop Noney, the crew consisted of 4 McKenzie's, Angus, Murdoch, John & Andy. On the Sloop Western Isles the crew members were John MacDonald, John McKenzie, Donald Matheson (maiden name of John McKenzie's wife, so could be a brother) and Donald Robertson. I think the Noney is probably the likely choice.
Are there any archives that I can research shipwrecks of that era and would there be crew lists for these ships?
Is there a website or someplace to research the various ships and where they were from.
My McKenzie family was primarily from the Inverness area. I believe my gg grandmother, Catherine Matheson, was born in Contin, Ross & Cromarty.
Any help would be appreciated

28th May 2011, 14:03

Start with the Shipwreck Index to the British Isles by Richard & Bridget Larn. I think the volume for Scotland is probably volume 4. Someone on this forum might have a copy and could look for the information. Once the ships have been found, you'll also find the date of loss and from that it's straightforward to search local newspapers of the period. This can be done online if you are a member of a subscribing organisation. If you find a date let us know and I can search online for you.

Dave W