Wednesday 12 March 2014

Any connections to a shipwreck off Donegal in 1870?

A campaign to find relatives of sailors who perished in an 1870 shipwreck off the coast of Donegal needs help.

The Legion of Mary committee of Carrick, Co Donegal, is to unveil a memorial cross on Saturday 22 March at 2pm in the village of Port. Relatives of one of the shipwreck survivors, Patrick Faul of Kilrush, Co Clare, will be in attendance. Despite quite a bit of publicity, no descendants of the other men on board have come forward. Six of them were Irish, so perhaps readers of Irish Genealogy News will come up trumps!

Here's the history of the doomed ship:

The ship was wrecked at Carnas Binne, just north of Glen Head on 16 October 1870. She was the Sydney, an 1117 ton ship built in 1860 in Glasgow that was first put to work in the Clyde and East India trade before being purchased in 1870 by a Mr Hamilton and a Mr Adam of Greenock plying the Quebec-Scotland timber route.

On 15 September 1870, with Captain Hamilton of Arran, Scotland, at the helm, the ship left Quebec bound for Greenock. Caught in a gale on 16 October, the Sydney was driven onto the rugged Donegal coastline. Only two men – Patrick Faul from Kilrush, Co Clare and William Pascal (Pascall) from the West Indies – survived. Nineteen perished.

The cargo of timber on board was salvaged by the small fishing and farming community of Port and used by the local tradesmen in the construction of houses and furniture. Waste not, want not.

And here is a list of men who died:

Captain James Hamilton, Arran
Hugh Blair, Greenock
Thomas Gondie, Greenock
Hernandez McDougall, Greenock
Thomas Williams, Glouster
John McNeil, Argyle
James Barclay, Tyrone
Albert CC Wertad, Norway
John Smith, Jamaica
Joseph (José?) Maria, Lisbon
Robert Humphries, Birkenhead
Alex Kindred, Sterling
John Kenealla (?) Kilrush, Co Clare
Hugh M Harman, Antrim
Patrick Somer, Dundalk
Patrick Bourke, Kilrush
Laurence Kenealla(?), Dublin
Thomas Davidson, London
Albert Pitman, London

If any of these names ring a bell from your family history research, or if you have any additional information about them, please contact Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Ireland.
Tel +353 (0)74 9124613 E