Alfred Milleman was a mariner, born in Margate on the 1st May 1809 to William Milleman and his first wife, Sarah Twyman. He was their youngest son and as his mother died in 1811, and his father re-married the next year, he probably considered his step-mother Hannah to be his own mother, and his half-siblings (including my great x2 grandmother) to be full siblings. Alfred married Sarah Ann Marshall at St Botolph’s Aldersgate on the 19th November 1834, and they had two children: Alfred Frederick born on the 17th September 1836 in Poplar, and Caroline Elizabeth on the 20th February 1840 at 7 Morden Road, Greenwich. In the 1841 census the family - minus Alfred senior are still in Greenwich in Lucas Street, living with them but in a separate household is Sarah’s sister Mary Marshall, age 15, and two very young cousins. By 1851 Alfred and Sarah and their two small children had moved to Swansea, where they are living at 31 Pleasant Street at the time of the census. Alfred’s maritime career can be traced using the Swansea Mariners website, where the earliest reference to him is his departure on board the Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmith on the 5th November 1842 for St Jago de Cuba, as Cook/Steward, ticket no. 54.307. It is stated that his previous ship was also the Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmith, so this was not his first voyage out of Swansea. Back in Swansea on the 15th March 1843, he set sail for Cuba again on the 29th March in the same ship and returned on the 26th July. From the Board of Trade records of merchant seamen on FindMyPast it appears that he first went to sea as a Boy in 1830 and he is listed in 1836 at the age of 27 as a Steward on board the Anna of London. His records for 1846-1848 show him sailing in and out of Swansea as a Cook & Steward. They also confirm his date of birth as the 1st of May 1809, and give a brief physical description: he is 5 ft 6¾ inches tall, with a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes, and he can write. Working between Swansea Mariners, FindMyPast and the online Cambrian newspaper index, I managed to fill out the details of his voyages. There are some quite long gaps at times, but he stayed based in Swansea. In 1854 he sailed on the Commodore to and from Cuba; and in 1856 he arrived from Cuba on the Lady Pirie. In between these two voyages he seems to have appeared in court in Swansea, with two other seaman, on a smuggling charge. As another case at about the same time mentions illegal cigars, perhaps his was the same. In 1864/1865 he sailed on the Cuzco, and may have been on board in Valparaiso in February 1864 when two apprentices from the ship deserted to join the US ship St Mary’s. There are several letters concerning the incident among government papers available to view on GoogleBooks. By December of that year it had come down to “damages resulting from the desertion of the Cuzco, amounting to thirty-one pounds six shillings and two pence sterling”, which the Americans declined to comply with on the grounds that “this government does not deem itself under either a legal or a moral obligation to deliver up the aforenamed deserters, or to pay any damages for their desertion. This decision is based upon the ground that, on the 14th of September last, when the United States ship Iroquois was lying in the Downs, in England, two of her seamen deserted to the British shore. They were arrested at Dover and taken before a magistrate. The magistrate discharged them on the ground that they could not be abridged of their liberty by any law recognized in the United Kingdom”. The English authorities had considered “that at the time the boys deserted, the St. Mary's was much in want of men, and was offering every inducement to get them”, with a final mention “that the parents and securities of the boys are pressing me to move in the matter." War was obviously avoided, and the diplomatic incident probably forgotten in the light of something more pressing. I wonder if the two boys, John Williams (or Williamson) and Arthur Cox (or Alfred Dendrile?), ever did return to their parents in Swansea? On the 26th May 1865 Alfred set sail on the Caldera for Valparaiso, but a week later the ship’s log records a halt 3 miles south west of Mumbles Head: he had been taken ill, and was sent ashore. His next ship was the Florence, most likely for Cuba, and in 1867 he probably sailed on the Cornwall bound for Chile. I say ‘probably’ for the Cambrian index contains a lot of references in the October issues - the month he was to sail - to the lack of seaworthiness of the vessel, and the refusal of some of the seamen to put to sea. At the end of October 1867 the Cornwall was forced to return to Swansea because of heavy seas off Lundy. And, ironically, that is where she met her end, when in March 1871 she was rammed by the steamship Himalaya in dense fog and sank almost immediately with the loss of eleven of her sixteen man crew. On the 9th November 1868 Alfred was to join the crew of his final ship, the San Jose travelling between Swansea and Cuba in 1868/1869 and then for an eighteen-month voyage beginning on the 7th June 1869 that would take the ship to Valparaiso, Caldera, Carrizal, Coronel and Lota in Chile. Signed off back in Swansea on the 3rd November 1870 Alfred enjoyed a month’s leave before he set sail again on the San Jose for Chile on the 6th December. Less than six months later, on the 22nd May 1871, Alfred died at Lota Bay in Chile from ‘Inflammation’, at the age of 62. He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery and his effects were sold, the £1 6s 9d raised presumably made its way to his widow eventually, along with any outstanding pay. The Board of Trade record on FindMyPast that shows his death gives his age as 57 - had he put his age down to keep his job? Sarah knew of her husband’s death by August, for on the 11th the Cambrian newspaper carried this notice: “22 May, at Lota, coast of Chile, Alfred Milleman, 62, Steward of Barque 'San Jose'. For 30 yrs Steward out of Swansea Port.” All of this makes Alfred a ‘Cape Horner’ and the following was from the Swansea Heritage website: “Swansea’s folk-history recalls the courage of the Cape Horners who took Welsh coal around the world in exchange for copper-ore to feed the industries back home ... The copper-ore barques were heavy, bulky vessels built for stamina not speed ... It was said that Swansea’s Cape Horners were amongst the sailing elite, it was seen as a character reference for seamen.” There’s more information on the Cape Horners on the Swansea Museum website. Sarah Milleman died in Swansea in 1886. Her son Alfred lived out his life in Swansea working in a foundry as a Moulder. He married Elizabeth Grace Phillips in 1867, and they do not appear to have had any children. He gets several mentions in the Cambrian as a Corporal and then a Sergeant in the 3rd Glamorgan Rifle Volunteers, and also has an encounter with the Swansea Police for drinking out of hours in the Red Cow, Bond Street. He died in Swansea in 1902. Click here to continue the story of Caroline Elizabeth Milleman The Roberts & the Marshalls of Deptford You know how it is when you are following a line up a tree to go across and come down again on another branch but you’re not sure if you’re following the right family as the names are fairly common ones such as Roberts or Marshall ... and then a name springs out at you from, say, a witness at a wedding, and it shows you were right all along? Well for me that name was Caroline Blakely. Born Caroline Elizabeth Milleman, she had married Calvin Blakely in Swansea in 1856. She was the daughter of Alfred Milleman, a mariner and the half-brother of my great x2 grandmother Caroline Augusta Milleman, and his wife Sarah Marshall. On the 27th June 1859 Caroline Blakely’s maternal grandmother - who was born Sarah Roberts on the 19th July 1795 in Deptford - married her third husband, William Thompson, a butcher, in Camberwell, and both give their address as Albany Road. Caroline, aged 19, is a witness. Although on the marriage register Sarah says her father, William Roberts , was a Licensed Victualler, when she was baptised he was a Shipwright in New Street, Deptford. Three years later when her brother Richard was baptised he was a Victualler, and also for subsequent baptisms and the burial of his son John in 1799 and his wife Elizabeth in 1807. So he probably changed his career from building ships to servicing them. Sarah Roberts’ first husband, Thomas Marshall, was also a Shipwright, and she married him at St Paul, Shadwell on the 11th November 1811 when she was just 16. They are both “of this parish”, but returned across the river to Deptford to have their children, living in Effingham Place and then Lower Road. In the 1841 census she is living in Wade Street, Poplar, and describes herself as Independent. There is no sign of Thomas and on the 10th May 1843 she married James Freander in St James, Ratcliff. James was a widower and a mariner, and there’s a reference on FamilySearch that may show his end: a James Freander, a sailmaker, aged 60 was buried in Fort William, Bengal, India on the 9th January 1854. Whatever his end, Sarah considered herself free to marry her third husband in 1859, though it’s strange that the marriage is in Camberwell as Sarah remained living at 24 Wade Street; she’s there in the 1851 census as Sarah Freander, with her daughter Mary, and on her own as Sarah Thompson in the 1861 census, though she describes herself as a Butcher’s wife. She is possibly the Sarah Thompson who died in Poplar in the September quarter of 1863, as 24 Wade Street has different occupants in 1871.
Murrays Families: the Millemans Alfred Milleman 1809-1871