Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Vol 5 No 1 1983


They came from Bride

An entry in the marriage register of Kirk Bride informs us that "Patrick Garrett of the Parish of Lezayre and Eliner Crenilt of this Parish were married on 18th October 1794. Four years later, on 2nd December 1798, their son John Garrett was baptised at Kirk Bride. This John Garrett is of particular interest to me, as he was my great-great-great-grandfather who emigrated to America and who is my link to the Isle of Man.

Unfortunately, little is known of John Garrett's early years. His precise place of birth has not been determined, but a deed dated 16th November 1810 states that on that date his parents purchased "two parcels situate in said parish of Bride commonly called Close-e-Thaggyrt and Cronkny-Geiy". Thus we know that the young John Garrett spent at least a part of his youth on this land which consisted of one field, a cottage and an outbuilding on the east side of the main Bride-Ramsey road.

On 11th December 1821, at the age of 23 years, John Garrett was married at Kirk Bride to Jane Sayle, whose origins have unfortunately not yet been determined. According to various American sources, she was born in 1794 and it is assumed that her origins lie somewhere in one of the northern parishes. While John Garrett and his wife Jane were still residing on the Isle of Man, they became the parents of two sons. The register of baptisms at Kirk Bride lists a son John, baptised 24th March 1822, and a son Thomas, baptised 18th February 1827.

A few short months after the baptism of the second child, the family sailed for America. They are recorded on a ship's manifest containing "a just and true account of all Passengers received on board the Ship Emulous... from Liverpool ", which landed at the port of New York on 29th June 1827. Since a typical voyage from Liverpool to New York averaged about forty days, during the late 1820's, we can assume that the Garretts' journey aboard the Emulous lasted around five to six weeks, perhaps slightly less due to the favourable sailing conditions that existed in early spring.

After reaching their destination of New York, the family travelled directly to Concord township in Geauga County (later Lake County), Ohio, where they engaged in farming. The area was particularly well-suited to the agricultural pursuits of these early Manx immigrants, and the fertile soil there, aided by the warm, beneficial winds off Lake Erie, produced bountiful crops. As a result, the Garretts experienced a certain degree of prosperity in their new-found home which they had not enjoyed on Mann.

The population of Concord township, which was uninhabited wilderness only thirty years before the Garretts' arrival, had grown to 979 by 1830, and many of these early settlers were from the Isle of Man. Garretts, Collisters, Craines and Corletts were all found within Concord township, and the names Quirk, Teare, Kewish, Radcliffe, Lace, Kaighen, Quine and others were all represented in the surrounding townships.

Four additional children were born to John and Jane (Sayle) Garrett in Concord township, Geauga County, Ohio

1. William, Born 27th July 1829, died May 1830
2. Jane, born 25th May 1831
3. Edward, born 9th July 1833 and
4. Eleanor Ann, born 14th October 1836.

Around this same time on the Isle of Man, the father Patrick Garrett made a will dated 27th July 1842 - two days before his death - in which he left the bulk of his estate to his daughter Ann and her husband William Brew. The other children, including John, were cut off with a meager legacy of 6 pence.

Sometime before 1850, John Garrett and his family moved a short distance to Leroy township in Lake County (formerly Geauga County), Ohio, where they resided until about 1851 when they moved farther west, settling near Kewanee, Illinois.

On 1st December 1851 the eldest son John married Charity M. Livingston at Kewanee, Illinois. The daughter Jane was married at the same place on 2nd May 1855 to Leonard Mitchelson, and the youngest child Eleanor Ann (my great-great-grandmother) married Isaac J. Potter there on 8th February 1859. The other two children, Thomas and Edward, were not to survive long after their arrival in Kewanee. the inscription on Edward's gravestone succinctly informs us that he was a conductor on the C.B. & Q. railroad and was "killed by accident". The precise circumstances of his death, however, are unknown. His untimely death occurred shortly before his 23rd birthday on 6th May 1856. The son Thomas, who had accompanied his parents and older brother on their voyage to America, died less than a year later on 25th March 1857 at the age of 30 years. He, as his brother Edward, was unmarried. The cause of his death is unknown.

A few years later, on 9th August 1862, the eldest son John, a carpenter by trade, was enrolled as a private in Company A of the 124th Resident of Illinois Infantry, and served in the American Civil War, eventually being promoted to the rank of Corporal. He did not see battle until May of 1863. when, within a period of two weeks, he participated in the battle of Thompson's Hills, Raymond, Jackson and Champion Hills. During the latter conflict, the 124th Regiment distinguished its self by capturing more men from the 43rd Georgia Regiment than its own ranks numbered. But the losses were heavy: 6 killed or wounded. Others, like John Garrett, were stricken by illness. One of John Garrett's war comrades, Captain Edward C. Raymond, stated in 1889 that

while on a forced march and during the Battle of Champion Hills Mississippi) May 16th 1863...Garrett was overcome with heat affecting his head and hearing. Said Garrett was unfit for duty for several days. Also during the month of August 1863 used Garrett contracted Malarial poisoning, the result was decease (sic) of back and kidneys. From August 1863 to the close of the War said Garrett was unfit for duty several weeks at a time' since his discharge from the Army said Garrett has been unfit for Manuel (sic) labor in the sun.

His health was indeed impaired to such a great extent that he was later granted a disability pension due to "severe deafness in both ears and... disease of kidneys". He did, however, live to the ripe old age of nearly 88 years, dying on 28th February1910.

On 29th July 1873 -- precisely 31 years after his father's death John Garrett,Sr. died near Kewanee, Illinois. The Kewanee Independent, a local newspaper, ran the following notice on Wednesday, 30th July 1873:


Sudden Death

'John Garrett, Sen., died very suddenly at his residence on Mud Creek, some four or five miles north of this place, yesterday morning. Mr. Garrett was about 75 years of age and enjoyed reasonable good health. On Monday evening he went about his place as usual, milked his cows and done other chores, and to all appearances was in his usual health. Tuesday morning he arose as usual, without making any complaint to his wife of ill health. Subsequently she heard a fall and on going to ascertain the causefound him on the floor insensible, from which condition he did not recover, but soon after breathed his last.

The funeral to take place at 10 o'clock this afternoon.'

Just as his father before him, John Garrett left a will which entitled his daughters Jane and Eleanor Ann to the greatest share of his estate, while the son John was excluded from any substantial inheritance: "It is my will and my desire that John Garrett, Jr., my son, be paid as a legacy out of my estate the sum of three dollars."

Two years later on 24th November 1875, John Scott, Sr. was appointed as Conservator for the aged widow Jane Garrett who had been declared "insane" in response to the petition of her son John, dated 16th August 1875. In the petition, John Garrett, Jr. " respectfully represents " that "his mother, Jane distracted & has lost her mind & memory from the effects of old age...and that she, the said Jane Garrett is unfit to properly manage or control her property," The daughter Jane, who cared for her mother through the last years of her life, concurred with her brother, stating " that for the last 2 years of her life her mind & memory were gone to that extent that she did not know her children nor even her own name except at long Intervals." Jane Garrett died at an advanced age of approximately 86 years on 17th November 1880 at the home of her daughter Jane Mitchelson in Galesburg, Illinois. The Kewanee Courier reported the death a week later on Wednesday, 24th November 1880,


In Galesburg, Nov. 17th, 1880, Mrs. Jane Garrett, mother of Mrs.Mitchelson and Mr. John Garrett, of Galesburg and Mrs. Isaac Potter of this town, aged about 90 years.

She passed away as calmly and quietly as if going to sleep, with no disease other than age and the exhaustion of nature's forces. Born in the Isle of Man, immigrating with her husband to Lake Co., Ohio, about 1825, thence to Kewanee, Henry county, Ill., about 1852, which has since been her home. She may truely be said to be of that number who are so rapidly becoming few aeon" the living, one of the pioneers of our country. Thus has closed a busy, active life while strength permitted action' and a large circle of friends and neighbours in Galesburg and this country, where she has lived so long, will sorely miss old Mrs.Garrett from among them. Her remains were brought to Kewanee, last Friday, and interred in the family burial ground.

The services were held in the Episcopal church.

The daughter Eleanor Ann (my great-great-grandmother who married Isaac Potter in 1859, raised a family of nine children, the oldest of which was a daughter named Lillian Luella Potter , born 29th October 1859. This daughter, who was my great-grandmother,was married to William John Martin (a son of Irish immigrants from County Derry, Northern Ireland) on 17th January 1889 at Kewanee, Illinois. They were the parents of two children: a son Marion John, and a daughter Elsie Bernetta, who was born on 7th August 1897. Elsie Martin, my grandmother, was married in Kewanee on 8th September 1915 to John B.Bengston, who had immigrated to America from Hagestad in the parish of Loderup, Sweden in 1902. They raised a family of fourteen children, eleven of whom are still living.

1 John Hayden, born 13th April 1917
2 Luella Betty, born 26th Deceaber 1918
3 Darlene Irene, born 9th October 1920
4 Roberta Beverly, born 14th July 1922
5 Lois Bernice, born 12th October 1923
6 Robert Edwin, born 18th Bepteaber 1925
7 William Harold, born 24th October 1927
8 Bernard Nels, born 11th October 1929
9 Gene Arlen, born 7th March 1932
10 Jo Ann, born 6th August 1934
11 Donns Gamine, born 9th July 1936, died 7th Deceaber 1936
12 Karen Alice, born 31st January 1938, died 15th March 1939
13 June Carol, born 25th June 1940
14 Gerry Dean, born 16th December 1942, died 8th February 1964.

The daughter Jo Ann renewed the family's connection with the Isle of Man when on the 23rd August 1960 She married David Glenn Fargher, a son of the Manx immigrants Daniel and Jennie (Taggart) Fargher. the daughter Lois Bernice married Charles Frank Parrott III of Iowa City, Iowa. I am their son, and as such can proudly claim a direct link to Ellan Vannin.

Timothy C. Parrott



Joan Norres, Alice Lacie (servants/Virgina 1686)

Michael Callister sends the extract from a list of early emigrants to America contained in an original manuscript held in the Lancashire Records Office, County Hall, Preston

"Quarter Sessions 1686:

The names of such persons who voluntarilie came before Oliver Lyme Esquire, Maior of Liverpoole, and were examined and bound by Indentures under their hands and seales to serve the severall persons undernamed or their assignee the terme of foure yeares after their arrival in Virginia or Mariland in America'.

INCLUDED.- Servants to Edward Tarleton of Liverpoole, Marriner.

6th August, Joan Norres, of the Isle of Man, Spinster, aged 26 years,
6th August Alice Lacie, of the Isle of Man, Spinster, aged 21 years.




Renee Cowley and Douglas Sweaney

Continued from Vol IV, No4


As we have seen Harry Delany married Esther Bell in 1840. Henry did not remain a lead miner for long. He became a butcher and travelled around the farms and villages in the St. Johns, Foxdale and St. Marks area. In later life he became a highway overseer. He is said to have been something of a dandy and was a well-known person in those parts of the Island where he lived and worked. There is a fine hand-coloured photograph of him in the family album. He kept in touch with the Delany family in Dublin. One of his children (Kate) married a son of his elder brother James and the couple lived in Ireland until Kate was widowed when she returned to the Isle of Man with her daughter Daisy Delany.

Between 1842 and 1857 Henry and Esther Delany had 8 children. They must have moved from Cloughwilley about 1843 because in 1842 their first child was born in the parish of Malew, whereas the next two children, Catherine (Kate) and Henry, were born in Patrick parish. When the fourth child William was born in 1849 they were living at Ballachrink Yelse, in the Ballamodha area, so must have moved there about 1848. All the remaining children were born there.

In 1857, when living at Ballachrink Yelse, Esther Delany died in childbirth at the ageof 34. The child survived and bore her name. The baby was baptised on the 17th May at St. Marks Church and the mother was buried there on the 22nd May,

On the 13th August of the same year (1857) Henry Delany married Ann Collister, who was the daughter of Robert Collister, a farmer, and his wife Ann, who lived at Ballaglea. A year later, in August 1858, this second wife also died in childbirth. She was 32. The child survived and was baptised Ann Elizabeth on the 9th August at St. Marks Church. The mother was buried there on the 13th August - a year to the day after her marriage.

Henry Delany could not look after the baby and arranged for her to be cared for by her grandparents, Robert and Ann Collister, at Ballaglea. When the grandparents died Ann Elizabeth was looked after at Ballaglea by her aunt Jane and her uncle Bill Collister, a lead miner. As Ann Elizabeth grew up she often stayed with her Collister cousins at Ballajeraie. When Jane got married she moved to Fildraw and it seems that Ann Elizabeth went with her. But that was not long before Ann Elizabeth's own marriage to Thomas William Bridson who had moved with his parents to the farm Close Clark immediately opposite to Ballaglea.

Meanwhile, Harry Delany married again. His third wife was Catherine Clark. She was the same age as he was and they had no children. The 1861 census shows them living at St.Johns with Henry's six sons. The eldest daughter (Kate) would possibly have been in Dublin at that time and Esther (born 1857) was probably with relatives of her own mother. Ann Elizabeth was with her Collister grandparents.

Harry Delany built a house and two or three cottages on the corner of the Patrick road at St. Johns. This property, which is now known as Elm House, was later owned and occupied by Lizzie Callin (nee Delany) daughter of James Delany, Harry's eldest son, until her death in 1972. Lizzie's daughter

Doreen Lockett and her husband now run the Temperance hotel nearby.

Harry Delany died 11th August 1885. He was buried at St. Marks with his first wife.

                  circa 1787-  | circa 1787-1818                        |
-------------------------------------------+                            |
|                            |      |      |                            |
1809-1866      1816-1866   (See note A)  1818-1885    1023-1857   |     1823-1858             1818-
+-------------+----------+---------+--------------+               |
|             |          |         |              |               |
1838-1866  1847-1866  1854-1866       |         (See note B)      1858-1930 
                                   JAMES JOHN
                            JOSEPH G. DELANY
|                         |                          |                      |         |                  |          |                        |
1842-                  1844-     |                  1847-                1849       1851-               1854-    1856-                     1857- 
                                 |              (See note D)       Went to America  bur. Kirk Patrick  Went to   (See note E) 
                                 |                                                                     America
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------               -----------
|              |                                       |              |                    |              |               | 
JOE          LIZZIE = 1. MYLCHREEST   = 2. CALLIN    MAGGIE         ESSIE                JOHN           HENRY            DAISY    ANNIE
(See note F)                          |           Died in Montreal, Died in Montreal, (See note G)    Died in Italy,    -1932 ?
                                   ---------------     Canada            Canada                         1914-1918 War.
                              DOREEN LOCKETT    Son 
                              (St. Johns)

Notes on the Delany Family Tree

Note A

It is not known how many children Patrick and Bridget Delany had. But if Bridget died in1818, and if Patrick did not re-marry, Henry (born 1818) would have been the last child. There seems to have been an unmarried daughter Sarah who was buried at Clasnevin.

Note B

James and Marianne Delany had several children (we do not know how many). Three daughters died in the fire of 1866. There must have been at least two sons. One married Kate Delany of the Isle of Man (see Note C). Another son John was out of the house with his father when the fire occurred. He was probably the father of James John Delany who died in 1957 aged 93 years and is buried in the family grave at Glasnevin cemetery. James John was the father of Joseph C. Delany of 123 Newtonpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, who provided us with information about the 1866 fire. James John had a brother Harry who lived in Maidenhead, England.

Note C

A son of James Delany (1809-1866) married his cousin Catherine (Kate) Delany, a daughter of Harry Delany (1818-1885). Kate first went to Ireland in the late 1850's and no doubt lived in Westmoreland Street. But by 1866 she was presumably married and living elsewhere. She lived in Ireland until her husband died. (He may be the James Henry Delany buried at Clasnevin) Kate then returned to the Isle of Man to live. She was said to have been extravagant and to have "ruined" her husband. Her daughter Daisy Delany who was a Catholic also came to the Isle of Man. There are photographs of Kate and Daisy in the family album. There was another daughter Annie who is said to have married a drunkard.

Note D

Henry Delany (born 1847) died young after emigrating to America. But he had made some money through having bought an old market in the centre of a town (Waco) in Texas. This later became valuable building land. His wife (Aunt Tipp) presumably went to Denver, Colorado,when Henry died and lived with George Delany's Family. Aunt Tipp (of whom there is a photograph in the album) died about 1932. The Isle of Man Bridson family and Lizzie Delayer(Callin) inherited a share of her estate.

Note E

George Delany and his wife Alice had about seven children. Both George and James (sons of Harry Delany) were butchers. James lived at St. Johns, travelled round the country selling meat and had a stall in the market. George had a butcher's shop in Peel. He later moved to Douglas where he had a shop in Castle Street (there is a photograph of him and the shop with various members of his family in the album). He also had a shop on the South Quay,. When his family were grown up George became bankrupt and he and his entire family emigrated to Denver, Colorado. George 's elder brother Henry had gone to America earlier (see Note D).

One of George's sons (Tom) was clever and went to King William's College (a 'big thing 'in those days). He became a lawyer in USA. Another boy Willie was kicked by a horse and died. George Delany's wife was Alice Hudgeon (this name has died out in the Isle of Man and Hudson is used instead). One of the girls married her first cousin and their son Peel Hudgeon came over to the IOM in the RCAF during the 1939-45 war and was best man at Gertrude Bridson's wedding.

Note F

Joe Delany committed suicide by jumping overboard from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ship approaching Douglas in June 1923. He was ill and suffered from religous mania. He was in the care of a nurse and a relative, but he managed to rush out of his cabbin and over the side. There is an account of the inquest in the Weekly Examiner of 23rd June 1923. He was 41, a diamond driller and married to an American. There were no children. He lived at the Temperance Hotel, St. Johns.

Note C

John Delany is believed to have farmed at Skerrisdale, Kirk Michael.


The Bridson Family

Our grandfather Thomas William Bridson (1860-1949) was the son of Robert Bridson (born 1827)and Isabella Corlett (born 1835). Robert (our Great-grandfather) was the son of an earlier Robert Bridson who was born in 1784 and later married Esther Gell. The baptismal records of Malew show that this earlier Robert Bridson may have been the son of William Bridson and Alice Cain. There are however records of two other Robert Bridsons baptised in the same year and we cannot be sure which is correct. We have not traced any earlier Bridson ancestors,but the Bridsons are numerous in the parish records of Malew.

Earlier in the 19th century our Bridson family lived at Ballabridson near Ballasalla. No doubt they rented a field or two from the Ballabridson farm which was owned by Rushen Abbey.

At the time of the 1841 census we find the Bridson family living in a two roomed cottage known an the Tuck mill. The cottage is situated near Aragon Veg. It stands on a small promontory above the fast flowing Santon river just before it enters the gorge through which it reaches the sea about half a mile away. At one time it was possible to catch salmon outside the cottage door. Some thirty years ago the cottage caught fire and the old lady who was then its sole occupant died in the blaze. The cottage has been unoccupied and neglected since then. But when we visited it recently we found the structure substantially intact. The roof, which had been thatched, was of course gone, and the walls were heavily overgrown with ivy . But the two rooms where the Bridson family lived were clearly visible, and the stone fire places at each end of the bulldling and the stone door and window frames were in good condition. Although the surroundings are now thick with brambles one has the impression that this could be cleared and the cottage restored and might well become an attractive habitation once ave.

Near the old cottage the remains of the mill race can be discerned. This and the name Tuck mill show that it was used for "tupping", one of the finishing processes in the cottage weaving industry. The cloth woven on local looms was rough, the wool having been spun at home, so it was "tupped", ie finished by washing and pressing. Tuck mills are always found by streams. There was a larger mill at Ballaquinney, higher up the Santon river, which probably supplanted the one at the Tuck Mill and the cottage would then have been let to anyone wanting it - like the Bridsons.

At the time of the 1841 census our great grandfather Robert Bridson was a boy of 13 living with his parents (and various other members of the family) in the Tuck Mill. In 1851 his parents were there but he was not as a young lad of 23 he was no doubt living and working away from home. By 1861 he was married to Isabella Corlett and they and their children were living at the Tuck Mill together with Robert's father, then aged 77 and a widower. It is in this cottage that Robert and Isabella brought up their large family.The children must have slept in the attic - the girls at one end and the boys at the other.

Robert himself is said to have been a very easy going, unambitious man who made no impact on events. His wife Isabella, however, had some ability and driving force, and it was probably her influence which caused them, as their children grew up, to move to the small called Close Clark at Ballamodha. Later, as their economic position improved, they moved to Ballasalley, a somewhat larger farm. These farms still exist (as indeed do Cloughwilley, Fildraw and Ballajeraie) and are marked on the one-inch Ordnance Survey map of the Isle of Man.

At the time of the 1861 Census our grandfather Thomas William Bridson was a one year old boy living at the Tuck Mill with his parent , together with two older brothers and their grandfather. His childhood seeas to have been happy and in later life he often talked of his boyhood at the Tuck Mill. His formal education was limited to attendance at Santon School for two or three years. He had to walk there, a distance of three miles each way from the Tuck Hill. He left school at the age of 12 and then began work helping his father. Then the family moved to Close Clark he too lived there and continued working as a farm labourer. It was owing to this move that he met his future wife Ann Elizabeth Delany, because Ballaglea, the cottage where she lived with her aunt and uncle, is immediately opposite to the entrance to Close Clark. They married on the 21st June 1883 and Harry Delany was one of the witnesses.

After their marriage they lived for a season in the cottage at Richmond Hill and thenmoved to a cottage at Ballamodha. This latter cottage, which is now (and possibly was then) called Fern Lea, is a abort distance down the road from Close Clark and Ballaglea. It is a very small and modest cottage. Their first child was born there on the 8th July 1884. She was christened Lizzie Bridson. In the same or following year the family moved to Douglas. They lived in rented rooms at various addresses as their family grew and as their livelihood improved. The other children were Robert, Maggie, Janie, Thomas, Stanley, and Sidney. In addition there were two children who died young, Mona, who died of appendicitis at the age of 12, and Annie, who died of whooping cough when aged 13 months.

(to be continued)




Searchers in Parish records may be puzzled about the number of the year given to entries in the years before 1751.

Only in that year were certain calendar reforms effected in Britain in order to bring our system into line with that of the rest of Europe. One reform was to bring the numbering of the days into line with the sun's movements, and 11 days were ommitted from the calendar in the first part of Septeaber, This made Midsummer's Day fall again on May 24th. And it accounts for the fact that many festival dates are now 11 days behind the calendar date we would expect, notably that Tynwald Day is July 6th, and that Fairs that once were held on May 1st and November 1st in the Island and had connection with the rents of Houses, then moved to May 12th and November 12th.

But the date of reckoning the New Year was also changed to January 1st. Hitherto 'Anno Domini', 'The year of our Lord' had run not from Christmas Day, December 25th, when he was born, but from the computed date of his conception by Mary 9 months before, ie., March 25th, or Lady Day. For many years before reform, knowing of the discrepancy, British writers had occasionally recognised it by writing 1701/2, and especially since then, when one could conceivably be uncertain whether it was Old Style or New Style counting that was being used. Under Old Style, March 24th 1600, eg., would have been later then December 24th 1600' if however one was calculating NS, it would have been earlier.

R. Kissack



Manx in American History - The Christians


Charles City County: Yet another, earlier, branch of the Manx family Christian settled in Charles City County, the county adjacent to Richmond, through which the road to Williamsburg passes. From these distinguished Manx descendants came many Virginia leaders, Judges, politicians and businessmen - and Letitia Christian, the wife of President John Tyler.

The progenitor of the Christians of Charles City County was Thomas Christian, Gentleman of the Isle of Man, who patented 1,080 acres of land in Charles City County in 1657. Seven years later he patented another 193 acres south of Chikahominy Swamps. His sons, and others of the family who joined them obtained additional land in the area, at one period twelve connecting plantations were held by members of the Christian family, and Thomas Christian was described as owning all the lands on both sides of the Chickahominy River from Windsor Shades to Squirrel Park, almost the full width of the county. A considerable portion of Thomas Christian's earlier grant, some 350 acres, is still in the family. Now known as Green Oak Farms, it is located about five miles north of the county court house. Interestingly, when the farmhouse was being renovated, a spoon bearing the crest distinct to the Christian family of the Isle of Man was found in the attic.

By the time of the American Revolution, the Charles City County Christians had been in America 125 years, and scores of them served in the Continental Army and Virginia Militia.One, Colonel George Christian, served on General Washington's staff. Another served as Commissary General of the Virginia forces.

This distinguished Manx family produced judges, clergy, professional men, politicians and military professionals too numerous to include here. The Christian name is connected with a number of historic homes in the area and is commemorated in a number of geographic place names. The Christians of Charles City County are now represented by descendants across the United States.

Edward Sayle



Names on Memorial Inscriptions Old Kirk Patrick

TBD (merely a list of family names, no information)



Mr. Watterson, a native of Peel, where he served his apprenticeship as a ships carpenter. The Watterson family on the Isle of Man were seafaring folk and "Bill" worked on ships or round about them all his life - it was in his blood.

Bill Watterson spent the biggest part of his life in Cleveland. Until the numbering process changed all the Cleveland Streets, West 74th Street was Watterson Street, named for "Bill", one of its earliest residents. Watterson School, right on the corner and just below his house, still bears the name.

The following is an extract from 'Plain Dealer Magazine', Cleveland, January 14th,1912

William W. Watterson is the man 'Bill' the boys of the lakes call him. While only 48 yrs of age, Watterson is probably the dean of ship craft in Cleveland. Every man connected with every navigation company in Cleveland, touching Cleveland, or adjacent to Cleveland, knows 'Bill' Watterson. Every man that sails the lakes knows him or knows of him. During the more than the score years he has lived in Cleveland, Watterson has superintended the building of more of the Great Lakes freighters than he can recall the numbers of. He worked for the Radcliffs, the American & Shiptuilding Co., and the Pittsburg Steamship Co.

The last seventeen of the big ships built and launched by the Pittsburg Steamship Co., have been contracted under the direct supervision of 'Bill' Watterson.

And with new boats coming out every year, sent hither and yonder to his company, to the various ship works, dry docks etc., where sailing vessels are made, to contribute his store of knowledge so that no mistake may be made, Watterson returns home to play at shipbuilding, to make tiny minatures, but perfect and complete duplicates of the lake freighters built for business.

Watterson's tiny ships, are not toys for the amusement of children to be floated in the bath tub. The finest material to be procured is put into each one, and such care and attention to detail is expended on the construction of each gem of a ship, that when completed, to become its owner is something much coveted.

Three of these baby sized ships have been made by him, all miniatures duplicate of ships of the Pittsburg Steamship Co's fleet. First was the 'Morgan' then the 'Coulty', and now, resting in the Wattersons home the 'William. P. Palmer'.

The vessel is carved out of solid mahogany of finest grain. In scale it is 3.32 of an inch to 1 foot. In length the 'Palmer' is 4ft 9ins. The hatches in number, matching the larger vessel as does every other minute detail, are carved daintily representing the joined sections of the real hatch covers. Gold wire cable forms the deck railing. Jewels mark the portholes, and perfectly formed lifeboats made of aluminium in imitation of the silver lifeboats of the Pittsburg Steamship fleet are held snugly in their proper places.

The great smoke stalk, silver coloured and black tipped, is stayed and upheld with fine gold chain. No slightest feature has been overlooked, even to the anchor and shield, which on the 'Palmer' are unique, and constructed to follow out one of Watterson's own original ideas.

Wattersons first model the 'Morgan', has a place in the office of Henry Coulty, President of the Pittsburg Steamship Co. The 'Coulby' is at home in the office of Lyman W. Smith, Syracuse, New York.

William Palmer will be the owner of his namesake. Perhaps it will find a home in his office, perhaps in his palatial residence on the Heights.

Everyone of his idle moments for fifteen months has gone into the building of the little ship 'William P. Palmer'. He couldn't get away from his love of things nautical if he tried, for he loves it.

Margaret Etherington


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