George Allanach

George Allanach b. 1820 Strathdon, d. 1868 Sunderland

George Allanach

George Allanach was born in 1820 He had five children with Sarah Birnie. He died in 1868 at the age of 48.

Parents

Birth

George Allanach was born in the parish of Strathdon 1820 to parents James Stuart and Isobel Rannie.

Siblings

George had eight siblings :

Marriage

Captain George Stuart married Sarah Birnie in Newhills, Aberdeenshire, on 24 August 1858 when he was 38 years old.

Children

George and Sarah had five children during their marriage. :

  • Margaret Elliot born 1860
  • Isabella Rennie Stuart born 4th April 1861
  • Sarah Elizabeth born 1864
  • George born 1866
  • James Birnie born 8th January 1868

Death

Captain George Stuart died in Sunderland in 1868 from erysipelas when he was 48 years old. He was buried in Aberdeen on 9th November 1868.

Life Story

1820

George Allanach was born in the parish of Strathdon 1820 to parents James Stuart and Isobel Rannie.

The croft of ‘Delrossac’ or Dalrossack as it appears today on the road to Strathdon with the turning to Glenbuchat just a few hundred yards down the road on the right.

Dalrossack from road

George goes on to spend a lifetime at sea rising to the rank of Master (Captain) and serving aboard ships that would likely have taken him to America, Africa and Australia.

1845

George serves for three months aboard the ‘Yorkshire’ as a carpenter.

The American packet ship Yorkshire was built in New York by William H. Webb in 1843, it was listed at 996 tons, 167 feet in length 36 1/2 feet wide. It took almost a month to make the voyage from New York to Bremen. The Yorkshire of the Black Ball Line had the record for continuous short passages, for she was so built and rigged that her master, Captain David G. Bailey, could keep her closer hauled than any of her competitors. On 2 February 1862, the Yorkshire, under the command of Edward R. Fairbanks, sailed from New York for Liverpool, with three passengers and a crew of 23. She was never heard from again.

1846

George serves aboard the famous New Zealand bound immigrant ship Glentanner (Glentanar) as a carpenter for 1 year four months. In the 1840s though the usual voyages were to Africa and Australia.

1851

George achieves his First Mate Certificate 21st May 1851.

1853

George tries to further his maritime career by applying to be examined. He has to present a certificate of baptisim to do so.

1854

George reaches Australia in 96 days as Captain of the Robert Cottle.

1855

George captains the Chicora to Gravesend, Kent, from Melbourne Australia

1855

George gets his Ships Masters certificate of Competency re-issued in the name of Stuart, having first become Master in the name of Allanach in 1853.

This amazing document confirms in an attestation why George uses both ‘Allanach’ and ‘Stuart’ as surnames, and attests the reason as the consequences of the 1745 rebellion.

1857

George is involved in the Catherine Adamson disaster, which saw 21 persons drowned off Inner North Head in Sydney on October 24th 1857.

This video from 1965 shows an exhibition of some of the artefacts recovered from the wreck site.

The sinking made worldwide news and is still remembered today.

Contemporary reports gave thorough accounts of the loss of life and the events of that night. Afterwards there were lengthy legal battles as to who owned the salvage.

The newspaper reports are careful not to blame George, but do not totally exonerate him.

From the Aberdeen newspaper at the time :

From the Sydney Morning Herald :

Below – the mass grave for the Catherine Adamson (and Dunbar) dead at Camperdown Cemetery in Sydney Australia; a contemporary drawing of a ship in trouble off North Head in Sydney, and the wreck site today.

1858

Captain George Stuart married Sarah Birnie in Newhills, Aberdeenshire, on 24 August 1858 when he was 38 years old.

1858

George purchases four shares in the ship Jason. (Source). She was built to carry general cargo and passengers, and she made several passages from London to Australia. She is also known to have traded at
Peruambuco, Brazil.

1859

27th June 1859: Mrs. George Stewart gives birth to a daughter on board whilst at sea. I cannot find any further records (Source)

1865

George seems to have recovered financially from his losses on the Catherine Adamson. He is part owner of the Strathnaver which launches in Dundee in August 1865, owning 8 of 64 shares in her, though taking out a £4000 mortgage to do so (this would equate to £593,967 in 2022). Notice that George’s wife Sarah launched the ship. Details of the ship are as follows :

Registered Aberdeen 22/08/1865.
1 main deck, top gallant and poop deck, 3 masts, 3/4 female figurehead.
Original Owners: Henry Adamson, Shipowner (40 shares); Henry Adamson, Jr., Clerk (4); Benjamin Moir, Merchant (8); George Stuart, Master Mariner (8) – all Aberdeen; William Challis, London (4).
21/05/1866: Henry Adamson 8 shares – John Brodie, London, Shipowner.
16/08/1866: George Stuart – Commercial Bank of Scotland, Aberdeen, mortgage for £4,000 (discharged 25/08/1868).
03/04/1869: Henry Adamson 4 shares – Henry Adamson Jr. and 4 to John Saunders Adamson, both London.
24/07/1872: On death of Benjamin Moir, 8 shares to Henry Adamson.
30/07/1873: On death of W. Challis, 4 shares – Executrix Harriet Challis.
26/10/1875: Registry closed, vessel not heard of since 27 April last.

Launch Strathnaver 1865 George Stuart Captain

Here is the Strathnaver in Sydney harbour in 1870. Source 

Ship Strathnaver 1870

‘Strathnaver Aberdeen’

Sthrathnaver close up 1870

This excellent video shows what the experience was like for passengers on ships travelling to Australia in the mid 1800s.

 

A follow up video shows us what it was like to work as crew

1866

Thanks is given to Captain George Stuart in a letter to the Aberdeen Press and Journal dated 18th April 1866 for safe passage to Australia from Plymouth aboard the ‘Strathnaver’.

1868

Captain George Stuart died in Sunderland (likely at sea but Sunderland was first port of call) in 1868 from erysipelas when he was 48 years old. He was buried in Aberdeen on 9th November 1868.

 

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