Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Volume iv no 2 April 1982




The Jefferys' of Hatton Garden



Dead From The Water

It was when I decided to collect death records of the Crebbins and a few other surnames in Rushen that I found myself recording the different accounts of drownings over the years in Rushen. Timothy Crebbin (1789) was my four-times great grandfather. His son Tim was married to Ann Christian, daughter of the Robert Christian, who drowned in 1763, and I believe another of his daughters, Isabel was married to the James Watterson, who died with Timothy senior in 1789.

'19th July 1763. Wm. Waterson of Ballapherson, Robert Christian tenant of Ballagawn, John Waterson of Saureby (Surby), Patrick Crebbin & Wm. Kneen, all of this Parish, & John Kneale of Ballasally being all one boat crew went to the Herring fishing along with the rest of the fleet but the evening appearing dark & lowering & heavy rain continuing, the most part of the fleet returned to the harbour before night, the wind being then about S.E. & pretty calm, about 10 0 the Clock at night the wind leapt up suddenly to about N. & blew so tempestuously that the boats that stayed at sea till then were hard act to save their lives, but the said persons were never more heard of, being supposed to have perished near the Carrick or Chickens of the Calf being seen a little before night some distance to the westward of the said Carrick or Chickens."

"8th August 1763. Robert Christian above mentioned being found floating in Port Irn (Port Erin) bay August 7th was buried on the 8th."
Robert Christian was 58 years old & was married to Isabel Carin, she died 14-3-1776 aged 62.

'19-9-1740. Wm. Gawne, Wm. Crebbin & Michael Harrison perished at the herring fishing at Derby Haven.'

'19-9-1769. John Clater of Kk Andrews, lost at sea, being found was buried.'

'John, Thomas, John & Wm. Mylvoirrey from Ballaugh & Daniel Cannon from Jurby, was buried August 10th. Thomas Corkil from Ballaugh one of the above company was buried August 12th, who departed this life by the oversetting of their fishing boat in a sudden blast of wind in Port Irn (Port Erin) bay on July 29th 1779."

John Shimmin



Henry Gell



Henry Taylor



John Crebbin



Thomas Currin



John Cubbon



John Keig



John Watterson



John Moore



John Kelly



Nicholas Moors



Henry Hutchin



John Watterson




Thomas Kinley




'The foregoing 14 seamen were unfortunately drowned on the 21st of Sept. 1787 at the Pier End of Douglas quay .... they were the crew of 2 fishing boats belonging to this parish who struck against the End of the Quay which was sometime before tumbled down & they all perished with a strong Easterly wind, there were subscriptions raised in the Island & elsewhere by Capt. Taubman & Mr. Kennedy for their widows. £160 British.'

Timothy Crebbin, Port Iron

buried 8-3-1789

John Larcan, (Irishman)


James Watterson


John Gawn, Port Iron


Dorothy Kneale from Lezayre


"The above 5 Persons were drowned in Port Iron bay quite close into the shore by a small punt oversetting."

Henry Waterson & son.
William Watterson
William Watterson.
Edward Gell.
Henry Steich & son
Richard Christian.
Edward Lawson.
John Maddrell
William Gell
Edward Miller
John Keig
"12-8-1792. These 13 persons perished at sea by their boats striking against each other under sail of a dark night, both crews perished except one who was providentially saved by clinging by the punt, his name was John Taylor (braus) (or Braue). Subscriptions have been set foreward we have raised for the widows & children who are objects of charity £71-3s-3d."

"Thomas Kinley by drinking too freely of a Cask of spirits which was found at Gob Bun-our died in about 32 hours afterwards & was buried this 12th day of March 1799."

"John Watterson of Ballafesyn being at sea taking of large cods & it coming on a strong easterly wind & after being at sea at the West end of the Calf with the boat crew all night he perished on the Calf next morning thro' the severe coldness of the weather & was buried this the let of April 1799."

John Watterson (Ballahine) John (or James) Maddrell William Watterson "These men were drowned of Port Iron January 31st 1806 owing to a Strong Northerly Wind tho' it blew hard they ventured out of Port Iron to go round to Port St Mary where a quantity of fish was caught their boat was filled with the waves & turned over twice or more. Thomas Keggan & Thomas Curphy were saved by clinging to the boat."

'5-11-1807. John, son of Thomas Watterson unfortunately was drowned near the Black Rock whilst fishing."

Samuel Johnson Capt., Joseph Glaisten, David Snowden, James Trowhere, William Shaw These five men perished at Fleshwick leaving their vessel & were buried 22-11-1809

Patrick & Robert, infant sons of Thomas Cubbon. "These sons died of a Thunderbolt, April 23rd 1811 at Custal Bells, Surby.'

Edward Cowin. Buried 19-1-1819
'This was with 2 others Thomas Corkill & William Watterson of Ringwillen (Rhenwyllin) were drowned near Bunrower on Saturday night 17th inst. having left Port St Nary about 1 or 2 o'clock the same night after having brought an Irish vessel safe into the Harbour. The Night was stormy It Is to be feared they were not sober having risked too much in putting to sea again in a small boat,"
Thomas Corkill, was found 23rd January, and buried the 24th January William Watterson, was buried the 16th February.

John Kelly, Buried 17 4 1819
'THIS MAN DIED SUDDENLY having fallen down a steep place in the mountain or brough in attempting to pull some tall grass for cattle,"

'William, son of Thomas Maddrell who on Sunday Evening in attempting to rob sea fowles nests fell down a steep place & was drowned. He was buried 6-6-1819,o

Thomas Kermode buried 23-4-1820
Thomas Nelson 23-4-1820
Judith Moors 23-4-1820
"These 3 persons with a son of Robert Gell (buried at Arbory) were drowned whilst conveying a load of seaweed in a fishing boat from Pooilvash Rocks to Port St Mary on Wednesday the 19th of April 1820. Thomas Moors, the father of Judith Moors was saved, having clung to the keel of the boat."

Rosalind Sellwood



Chapel-en-le-Frithe Marriage Register..... DAVID FORBES, Douglas, Isle of Man married SARAH WALKER PICKFORD, 2nd September 1829, Both names have a '*' beside them so presumably they were both widowed previously. The only reference on our Microfiche is the birth of..... JOHN EDWARD FORBES, 3rd July 1830. to the above couple.



I am fortunate enough to have two family links with the Isle of Man, each a century apart and both stemming from the call of duty.

The first took place when a distant uncle Charles Jackson (1819-63) was sent by the Primitive Methodist Conference to the Ramsey Circuit in July 1843, then almost one hundred years later my own father James L.T. Jackson served as a RNVR officer at Douglas, but more of this anon.

Charles Jackson was twenty-four when he landed for the first time on Manx soil to commence what was for him an important milestone in his ministerial career, which began in 1837 when he was appointed an auxiliary on the Warrington Circuit, some two years later he joined the full-time ministry as a probationer in Bolton, Lancashire,

His new "station" on the Ramsey Circuit entailed travelling on foot to the many little communities surrounding Ramsey. one of the Chapels that he visited was Kirk Michael, a compact village dominated by Snaefell on one side and the watery expanse of the Irish Sea on the other,

It was in Kirk Michael that his future wife was born only a few days apart in September 1819 and spent her childhood amongst a large and happy family. She was Elizabeth Skillicorn, who at the age of seventeen became a Sunday School teacher in the same villages Primitive Methodist Chapel, where she would ultimately meet her husband.

On the 4th July 1844 the two young persons were married in the ancient stone Church, because at that time the Established Church did not permit non-conformist weddings, though there would have been a service in Kirk Michael Chapel.

Soon the Jackson's were back on the 'mainland' working amongst the grime and squalor of industrial Lancashire. Elizabeth working alongside her husband in the same conditions that may well have been a contributory factor to her early death after only seven years of marriage. in those years two children were born, Eleanor Elizabeth (1845-47),and Thomas Skillicorn Jackson (1847-78), whose life has remained something of a mystery,

By the autumn of 1850 Elizabeth's medical state was considered sufficiently poor for her husband to be given special leave to return to the Isle of Man, where he worked once again on the Ramsey Circuit and probably lived in the town itself, though I cannot trace an address.

Elizabeth died just before Christmas 1851 and was buried in Kirk Michael Churchyard, Her husband and young son remained on the Island until the following summer when Charles was posted to Bury, Lancs.

Two years later Charles remarried, another Manx girl, Catherine Callister of Peel, the eldest daughter of John Callister.

Almost Immediately the bride and groom returned to Bury, where their first three children were born, Including Eleanor Callister Jackson (1854 1901), who married Walter Murray Mylecreest a younger son of another Manx family,

During those years in Bury, Charles himself succumbed to frequent periods of ill-health, though, he continued to serve in the ministry until 1860. He was working in Blackburn at the time and suffered a particularly severe illness and was forced to apply and was granted special leave to return yet again to the Isle of Man. Although, after some rest he was able to assist with Circuit duties for a short while, his health gradually deteriorated and in 1861 Charles retired from the ministry.

Fortunately, Charles was able to purchase a twenty acre farm called Kiondrogad in Kirk Michael which supported the family well beyond Charles's death in 1863 and Catherine's in 1878. both being buried in Kirk Michael Churchyard,

In fact, the family continued to live on the farm until the Youngest son, William Callister Goulden Jackson sold the property to Patrick Cannell in 1881. and took himself off to Manchester. where he married and settled down for a few years before he vanished leaving no trace....

Then after nearly forty years the first Manx connection was; broken as none of the children returned to the Island,

Nearly sixty years later my own father James L. T, Jackson stepped off the 'Rushen Castle' to mark the beginning of our other link with 'Man'.

He came as a naval liason officer to equip the future R.N. Radar Training School on Douglas Head, otherwise know as HMS Valkrie, once the school had been fitted out, my father was appointed it's first O.C. a position he held until the spring of 1944, by this time the final preparations were being made for the Normandy Landings and he was posted to Portsmouth to superintend the radar operations in the Solent.

However, just before he left 'Valkrie' he designed and had built additional classroom and stores blocks which still stand today.

Most of the Islanders remember the well-known goats that roamed over the Headland before and during the war. These same goats were without a 'billy' in those war years and might well have died out, if my father had not been able to find a suitable billy goat from a farmer at Kirk Michael, of all places..... such is the wheel of circumstances.

One final notes it was only with considerable research that I found out about my distant uncle Charles and his link with the Isle of Man which was completely unknown to my own father and our branch of the Jackson family.

Not long before my father died, we were able to visit the Island and see some of the places associated with the past, though there was little to see of Charles's world.... the Kirk Michael Chapel having become a blacksmith's shop.... however, all the buildings on Douglas Head were being used as part of the Douglas holiday scene, a very pleasant reminder of their pre-war function.



Extract from the St. Ann (Santan burial register 1656-1864)

"At a visitation at St. Ann Church by the Venl Archdeacon Halls August 27th, 1841, the following articles were found belonging to the Church.


Register Books


Large Bible


General Register Book



Large Prayer Book





Manx Bible





Manx Prayer Book





Manx Prayer Book for Communion





Prayer Book English





Manx Prayer Book for Clerk

2 Surplices, 2 Collection Boxes, Copper 1757

Sacrament Plate





Gift of Mrs, Bacon, of Seafield,

















Sacrement Linen: 1 Clothe 1 Napkin.

+The whole of his conduct has proved him to be diametrically the reverse of a truth-teller or honourable dealing man, and yet this man fessing pre-eminent holiness. !!!

At a visitation holden at St. Ann, Aug 27/41, Ordered that:-
1) Chancel door be repaired and painted - wood removed from window sills and Cemented.
2} Roof be pointed and which lets in water to be cemented
That churchyard gate be painted, wall repaired, Church door mind d and painted - Roof Pointed
. 4) That the pillars supporting Tomb stone at West Entrance of Church be removed and the stone placed on the ground.
(Signed) by me John Cecil Hale Archdeacon The Archdeacon regrets to be obliged to record that the four ChurchWardens were so neglectful of their duty, as not to attend at his visitation. Their names are, + EDWARD KISSACK of Ballachrink, Charles Moore, William Kinvig, and John Cowll.
That a new surplice be provided, An English Prayer Book for Communion Service and the large English Prayer Book be mended.
+ This EDWARD KISSACK, Oct 17, 1841 placed a box with two large looks in the church, and from that day as long as he was in office, deprived the vicar of the whole of the sacrament wine. But the new wardens, Cleave Kinley, Thomas Oates, Thomas Gick, and Robert Cowin, removed the box as soon as they came into office, and restored the wine as formerly, vizt four bottles at each of the festivals, except Good Friday and Easterday when the vicar supplies the elements himself. This he did in addition to deforgiving the Vicar 2/3 d's (two thirds) of the tithe of Ballachrink and Ballakissage."

R, Christian,



Most Manx surnames are as unique as the Three-legs emblem itself, and so leave as indelible, even if inexplicable, a stamp all over the world. As the catch-phrase of the troops of World War Two ran, 'Kilroy was here'. (And it sounds as If that ubiquitous mystery-man might himself have come from the Mylrois !) Not every Manx name, of course, come across a Cowan; a Cowley, a Kelly, a Moore, a Radcliffe. or even a Christian, and there is a shadow of a doubt whether Ireland or England have a claim too; but never over names such as T.E. Brown's last line of 'Spes Altera' 'Cain, Karran, Kewish supreme, supremest Skillicorn'.

Recently letters reached me from very different venues, yet both prompted by lighting upon such isolated yet uninistakenably Manx footprints in the sands of their local history, Mrs, Val Lawrence sends from Victoria, Australia, an extract from a local history of a little town in the Goulburn River Valley, called Numurkah, an area famous for its fruit, especially peaches.

Its author is Dr. W. H. Bossence, and its title is 'Families of Numurkah' :-
'During my research I was interested to discover two families that came from the Isle of Man, and intrigued to notice that both names began with 'Cor' - Corlett and Corrin. Both these names enjoy some prominence in Numurkah. The index also lists a few more Cor names, which may or not be Manx - Corke, Cory, Corry, Corlass, Corney, Cornfordo and Corridas.

The history of the Isle of Man is complicated. Norway ceded the Island to Scotland in 1266. and English rule was established when the Scots claim lapsed. But the population was Celtic before these changes, and the Norse names have passed into Celtic forms with a heavy emphasis on Mac; but the peculiarity of Manx names is that if the Mac is dropped, we get Cowan from McCowyn, Corkhill from McCorkyll, and Cain from McCann ......

Corlett - (There are about 23 in Melbourne telephone directory, 1979; none in Numurkah), Although this is a rare names these Melbourne Corletts almost certainly are not descended from the Numurkah one.

Corrin - (about 12 in Melbourne Directory. none in Numurkah. Henry Corrin, Selector, Blacksmith, Storekeeper, and Amateur Musician, was one of the Manxmen mentioned earlier.'

The other letter was from Mrs, Eve Chapmans one-time mistress at the Buchan School and still the Island's most energetic historian of its Methodism. (She recently contributed a fascinating article on Manx sunday Schools to Fraueyn all Banglaneyn,) Now resident in Halifax she writes about how her interest in local history there led to a similar chance discovery.

Attending a slide-show of Old Halifax, I was interested to see depicted on a street-signs 'Isle of Man Yard', (now of course demolished). Had Manx families lived there at any time? I thought it likely, as when previously doing Methodist history in the Island, I found reference to chapel members who worked in Stone quarries and had removed, when the stone was exhausted, to various places, including 'the East side of the Pennines where quarrying abounds'.

So I went to the Census Returns. I found that the column for place of birth read: 'State in this column if born in this country, otherwise mark 'I' for Ireland, or 'S' for Scotland'. Sometimes the country was written in full, and there were various Manx names, Brew, Cojeen and Callister, marked as having been born in Ireland! I suppose the explanation is easy. They may well themselves have been illiterate, and would rely on the enumerator to accept their verbal information and record it, They would have informed him in the typical Manx way, that they were born 'in the Island', and he would have entered it as 'Ireland'.
This may have occurred elsewhere, so in English Census Returns, watch out for possible errors of the same sort.




The Family History Society Award
For the benefit of newcomers and as a reminder to all members the Award was donated by Nigel Crowe and the Society, and is for a work of original research carried out by the entrant, and may be in the form of an illiminated chart, a family tree or pedigree, or any written work that is concerned with genealogy or Family History and has Manx connections. To be competed for in open class.
The entries to be sent to Mr. Norris Radcliffe, 3, Hespera Terrace, Lezayre Road, Ramsey, Isle of Man. The closing date for entries is July ist 1982. Entrants should send their material, accompanied by their name, address and a brief outline of the Research method. All material will be returned if sent with an International Postal Reply Coupon for the val)ac of the material. It is accepted that if the Editor of this Journal wishes to publish material entered, the consent of the entrant is taken for granted.
The Award shall remain the property of the Isle of Man Family History Society and will held for one year by the winner, it being returned to the Society by the first of July the following year.
The winner will also recieve an Award Certificate and a year's Membership to the Society if she/he is not already a member.
Last years event produced entries of a high calibre and we hope for the same this year, so would all members please give serious thought about the above and take action about entering.

IRIS LYLE Projects Co-ordinator.




In the Spring of 1911, the following appeared in the Manx papers:-

'The reputed heirs to the personal and real estate of John Christian, (bap. 31st March 1839. Kirk German). who died in Geuda Springs, Kansas, U.S.A. aged 72, unmarried and intestate, the search for which has caused some speculation, and several inquiries from various quarters, has resulted in the discovery of two claimants, sisters of the deceased, regarding whose history and antecedents we are able to give the appended well-authenticated, and interesting particulars.

The necessary information and details, It is understood, have been furnished to Mesers. Ring and Moore, advocates, Douglas, which together with photographs have been sent to Kansas for proof. The two photographs of women, believed to be portraits of his sisters, one was taken by "James Gregson, Artist, 52, Strand Street, Douglas"; the other by "Midwood and Chapell, Artists, Ramsey". The claimants, it may be stated, are both married and are by no means poor, but, on the contrary, in fairly comfortable circumstances.

Their maiden names are Jane Christian (Bap. 17th July 1842, Kirk German) and Mary Ann Christian (Bap. 18th,April 1845, Kirk German), and they are natives of Ballaugh. Their father's name was John Christian, and the mother's maiden name was Mary Ann Quayle (married 27th May 1834. Kirk German). both being dead and buried at Ballaugh, John Christian, (Bap. 31st March 1839, Kirk German) their brother, went to America over fifty years ago and died in Kansas, leaving the real and personal estate of £320,000 in question.

Jane Christian, the eldest sister and one of the claimants, who is now nearly 69 years of ager married John Corkish, a Foxdale man, on 11th September 1869 at Ballaugh, and is now living at 37. Sutcliffe Street, Liverpool, carrying on the business of milk vendor. There is a son living. After her husband's death and prior to going to Liverpool she was for a time employed in Mr. Corrin's factory at Peel,

Mary Ann Christian was married twice. Before her first marriage she was in service for some years at Ash Hill, near Ramsey, now in the occupation of Capt. McCann. She married Edward Corris at Ballaugh, on June 16th 1870. Her husband died at Peel and was interred at Kirk Patrick. There were two sons of this marriage Edward H. Corris, who died September, 1875, and John Caesar Corris, who is living. .. Corris afterwards married Richard Bridson, father of Capt. Bridson, now on the steamer Snaefell, at St. John's on 9th September 1877 there being issue of three children from this second marriage, all now deceased. Mr. Bridson was for several years in the employ of Thomas Kermode, ironmonger, of Peel, and father of Capt. Kermode, Ramsey. Mrs. Bridson, who is 66 years of age, is now living in her own house at Michael Street, Peel carrying on the business of fruiterer,

John Christian had acquaintances both in Douglas and Ramsey, and often mentioned the Cryes, near or in Ramsey, as friends of his youth." R, CHRISTIAN

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