I found out what happened to a son of my second great grandmother. He's always been a name and date of birth and no other information. He was born after the 1861 census in England and then he appears in three Canadian record - a passenger list that documents the family arriving in 1869, and the 1871 and 1881 census. That's it. I assumed he died young, but had no idea when or where. I know now!

I was doing a random search online through old local newspapers, when I spotted a reference to a Mrs. Morley. "Not Drowned" was the header that caught my eye. While the article was not about my gg grandmother, it was about her daughter-in-law and four children. (According to the records I've found so far there were only three children in that family at this point. So another mystery to dig into.)

It's one of those good news/bad news items. It seems Mrs James Morley and her four children had been presumed drowned by their home community.Fortunately for the Morleys, the ship they were to take didn't stop at the place they were waiting. Unfortunately for twenty year old Benjamin the ship stopped where he was and he boarded the Asia on Sep 13, 1882.

The wreck of the Asia is quite well known to those interested in Great Lakes ship disasters. Not me, but if you look on line there's quite a bit of information available. There are ballads written about what happened, and plenty of finger-pointing after the fact, but the end result was the Asia sank Sep 14, 1882. Anywhere from just under a hundred to one hundred and twenty lives were lost. There were two survivors. Benjamin Morley was not one of those two.

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genealogy: Cover of the Register for Alameda County 1904 (Default)
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