Author Topic: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?  (Read 257 times)

barbarafsmith

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Hi, New member from the states here and I appreciate your help! I am researching the Irish side of my cousin's family--the Thompson's.  Robert Hugh Thompson, Jr. ( born 23 August 1878 Belfast- about 1940 NYC ) was a machinist who worked in the shipyards in New York and was listed as a machinist on the passenger lists when he immigrated in 1912 at the age of 34.  Since Belfast is famous for its shipbuilding, I wonder if there is any way to check to see where he worked while still living in Belfast?  And actually, I would appreciate any help anyone cares to offer with the family tree here.  I have the bare bones of a couple of generations back for her but would love to add more to it.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Elwyn

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Re: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 04:42:03 PM »
     Can you tell us a bit more about your ancestor? There are 82 people named Robert Thompson in the 1911 census, aged about 33, in and around Belfast. Several worked in the shipyards.
 
Was yours single in Ireland, and what denomination was he?
 
Your title asks if he worked for the White Star Line. It was a shipping company. It didnít build ships. Companies like Harland & Wolff did the ship building. White Star then sailed them. He might have worked for one or the other but unlikely to have worked for both.
 
If his trade was ship building then itís more likely he worked for Harlands. Their records are in PRONI in Belfast.
 
Elwyn

barbarafsmith

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Re: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 06:58:49 PM »
 
Thank you very much for the reply! Your information has already been helpful.  [/font][/color]Here is more of what I know:
Robert Hugh Thompson, Jr. (1878-1940) born to Robert Hugh thompson, Sr. (1841-1895) of Belfast, Antrim and wife Prudence Sweet (1834-1895) at their home at 42 Little Corporation Street, Belfast, Ireland).  [/font][/color]By 1883, the family had moved to Henry Street in Belfast.   Robert was the third born of eight children[/font] (in order): John, Mary, Robert Hugh junior, Walter, Elizabeth, David, Irene Harriet and Richard. [/font]
The family was said to be protestant and we have a note that Robert Sr. and Prudence married in [/font][/color]S[/font][/color]t Patrickís Church, Knockbreda, County Down. Would that help narrow down the  [/font][/color]denomination? Not sure where else I could look.

barbarafsmith

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Re: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 09:05:56 PM »
Also, I'm afraid I am not familiar with PRONI.  Is this something online that I could check?  I live in Louisiana in the United States.

barbarafsmith

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Re: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 09:16:17 PM »
I just found another bit of information. Robert Hugh, jr's father (Robert Hugh Sr.) was a carpenter for a number of years, then became a shipwright, so it is likely he encouraged his sons to follow his craft.  The family lived in Belfast for as long as I can search back.

Elwyn

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Re: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 10:52:14 PM »
     PRONI is the Public Record Office in Belfast.
 
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni
 
 
Hereís Prudenceís marriage to Hugh Thompson in 1873 (not Robert Hugh):
 
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/marriage_returns/marriages_1873/11269/8132823.pdf
 
They married in Ballymacarett Church of Ireland (Belfast). Tradition was to marry in the brideís church. So she was probably C of I (ie Episcopalian).
 
Children in the statutory records that I could see (all born in Belfast) were:
 
Mary 10.3.1876
Hugh 23.8.1878
Walter 20.12.1880
Elizabeth 10.3.1883
David 4.5.1885
Irene 31.5.1887
Richard 16.1.1890
 
This looks to be part of your family in the 1901 census (daughter Mary Thompson has married Wm McConnell):
 
http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Dock_Ward/Nelson_Street/1003692/
 
You will note that there were a couple of people engaged in boat building in the family, so that ties in with the information you have. The family was Church of Ireland.
 
Your information has Hugh & Prudence both dead in 1895. That doesnít appear to be correct. The 1901 census indicates both were still alive then. Hugh is in the census and died in 1906. I canít find Prudence.
 
Hughís probate abstract from the PRONI wills site. He died intestate:
 
Administration of the estate of Hugh Thompson late of 13 Shipboy-street Belfast Shipwright who died 3 March 1906 granted at Belfast to Walter Thompson Boatbuilder.

 
Walter and family in 1911:

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Antrim/Dock_Ward/Hillman_Street/137285/
 
He had married Harriet McAughtry in 1904:
 
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/marriage_returns/marriages_1904/10205/5713909.pdf
 
 
Hugh Thompson's birth 1878:
 
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1878/02956/2082871.pdf
 
Elwyn

barbarafsmith

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Re: Is it possible to find out if ancestor worked for White Star Line?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 04:01:48 AM »
How very kind of you!  Family record do sometimes get garbled, don't they?  Many thanks indeed.