Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My mother's father, Richard Samuel Ing, came to Canada from England in 1896 aboard the SS Vancouver. His passenger record is very brief, The link below will open the page of the passenger manifest.
SS VancouverDeparture Port and Date (yyyy/mm/dd): Liverpool, England - 1896-03-05
Londonderry, Ireland - 1896-03-06 Moville, Ireland - [1896-03]
Port and Date of Arrival: Halifax, N.S. - Portland, ME - 1896-03-14
Remarks: List Number: 43, Date of arrival may apply to Halifax only
Reference: RG 76 Microfilm: C-4517 page 2
Port of Embarcation: Liverpool Richard S Ing 14 Child English [bound for] Hamilton [Ontario]
Link to page image

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I found some interesting historical info on the Laurentic. Also see this site, where the picture comes from.
35 tons of gold ingots? Not many ships can boast a cargo like that!

SS Laurentic (1909)

RMS Laurentic (1909) was a British ocean liner of the White Star Line.
The Dominion Line steamship company operated liners on the Liverpool-Canada route in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Their ships had become outdated, so in 1907 two new liners were ordered from Harland and Wolff, the SS Alberta and SS Albany. However, while they were being built they were transferred to the White Star Line and with them the White Star Line itself entered the Canadian passenger trade.[1]
The Alberta was renamed the Laurentic and Albany became the Megantic.[1] At the time, the two were the largest ships yet built for Canadian service and were used as a form of full-scale experiment to decide on the machinery for the Olympic and her sisters, the Megantic being a conventional twin-screw ship with quadruple expansion engines while the Laurentic, with the same hull and boiler power, was given three screws and engines of a revolutionary design.[2]
Laurentic was launched in 1908 and entered service between Liverpool and Montréal on 29 April 1909. She only ever served on the Liverpool-Canada route. Being in Montréal when the Great War began, Laurentic was immediately commissioned as a troop transport for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After conversion to armed merchant cruiser service in 1915, she struck two mines off Lough Swilly in the north of Ireland on 25 January 1917 and sank within an hour. Only 121 of the 475 aboard survived.
In addition to her passengers and crew, the ship was carrying about 35 tons of gold ingots stowed in its second class baggage room. At the time the gold was valued at £5 million, approximately £250 million in 2007. Royal Navy divers made over 5,000 dives to the wreck between 1917 and 1924 and recovered all but about 1% of the ingots. The Royal Navy returned to the site thirty years later and recovered the rest.[3]

I subscribe to several genealogy newsletters and blogs. Yesterday I received Kimberly Powell's - Genealogy Guide, which featured an article on the 10 Top Databases & Sites for Canadian Genealogy. In the Canadian Genealogy Centre, I decided to look for the voyage of my grandmother Louisa Ellen Wright to Canada in 1913. From the index at I knew that she sailed from Liverpool to Quebec, but nothing more. This was a help. The CGC has the passenger manifests, but they are digital images with no index. I knew that Grandma and Grandpa were married on July 6th, as soon as she arrived at Macklin, Saskatchewan. I found a list of ships that met the criteria, and settled on the Laurentic, which arrived at Quebec on 2nd July 1913, 2 am. The passenger manifest was nearly 60 pages long, so reading it took a while. On the 40th page, I found:
Wright Louisa 28 S.ARMY S TO BE MARRIED R. Ing,Wilhelmina, Alta. England English Montreal, Que Maid Maid Church of England CPR

By interpretation: Louisa Wright, a single woman age 28 was travelling with the Salvation Army group, to be married to R. Ing of Wilhelmina [School District], Alberta. She was born in England and was of English nationality. She was leaving the ship at Montreal, Que [the next stop after Quebec City] Her occupation in England was Maid and her occupation in Canada was Maid. Her religious denomination was Church of England. She would be travelling west by CPR [Canadian Pacific Railway].
I was thrilled beyond words at finding this.

I knew she had looked after a little girl named Dorothy. She named my mother after her. On the passenger manifest, Louisa is listed right after this family:
Wilson Edith 25 M With page 19 line 38 England English Hamilton, Ont Wife Wife Church of England GTR [Grand Trunk Railway]
Wilson William 3 S.ARMY S England English Hamilton, Ont Child Child Church of England GTR
Wilson Fredk 18 S.ARMY S Going to aunt England English Whitby, Ont Labouring Labourer Church of England GTR
Wilson Dorothy 7 S.ARMY S England English Whitby, Ont School School Church of England GTR
So there was my mother's namesake. Prior to this I didn't know her family name.
Before finding this document I didn't know anything about the ship either. So this was a real genealogy treasure!