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Newfoundlanders Lost at Sea

Date Name / AgeVesselAdded Info
1859 John Campbell
Elizabeth Campbell (Walsh)
sons Daniel (late 20s)
James (mid 20s)
perhaps John Thomas (17)
Campbell Schooner

Campbell schooner of Little Bay Islands, lost November 1859

John Campbell and Elizabeth Walsh were married at St. John's in December 29, 1829 and settled at Little Bay Islands, Green Bay, in the early 1830s as the first permanent, long term settlers of the island. It is not known what other persons were lost on this schooner but it is known that Elizabeth Campbell and her sons Daniel, aged about late 20s, James aged about mid/late 20s and perhaps John Thomas aged 17.

From Little Bay Islands United Church school magazine 1942:

"In the early 1830's about 110 years ago, there came to the Island the next family, that of John Campbell from St. John's, who settled on what is now known as Campbell's Point. It seems that a certain Mr. Knight of St. John's was a trader around this section of Notre Dame Bay at that time, and also had schooners built at Halls Bay. He told John Campbell of the fish and game here and finally persuaded him to migrate North. This man Campbell had a great influence on the early life of the community and played a prominent part in all the improvements that came with the influx of population twenty or thirty years later. He kept the first Post Office, probably built the first schooner on the Island, a small one, but nevertheless large enough to go to St. John's. It was on one of its trips from St. John's that the schooner was lost with all hands, which included two of John Campbell's sons and his wife."

Jan. 2, 1860 “Extract of a letter received from St. John's, dated January 2

“I arrived on the 23rd December in 18 hours from Seldom-come-by. I suppose you are aware that Campbell's schooner and another belonging to the Bay (Green Bay) were lost, with all hands, on their return home. They left St. John's, with supplies, on the 3rd November last, there were 19 souls in the two vessels. Mrs. Campbell and her three sons were in their own craft; there were eleven married men in all. The vessel that left Harbor Grace for Green Bay had all arrived safe. The Times, Knight master, with a cargo of provisions, was lost at Can Island, on her way to Green Bay. There are 30 families at the head of the bay in a dreadful state of distress. Never in the history of Newfoundland were things so bad before. The Government are talking of doing something for their relief. Poor John Campbell is left in a pitiable state, with seven small children and nothing for them to eat”. We feel confidant the Government will at once (if they have not already done so) respond to this distressing call of humanity, and despatch one of the Tug Boats with provisions to save the lives of those unfortunate people. The Harbor Grace Standard and Conception Bay Advertiser c Al and Sue O'Neill

1922  Norma B. Strong

Norma B. Strong, St. John's

Norma B. Strong “On February 8, 1922, NBS, built in 1918 at LBI and owned by Monroes of St. John's, was abandoned at sea. Her crew of Captain Stephen Penney of Carbonear, cook A. Simms, bosun M. Penney and seaman H. Kingale, J. Sutton and E.A Penney left Europe for Newfoundland. Thirty miles from Cape Race, the ship met adverse winds which blew her back across the ocean. The crew abandoned the leaking schooner when they neared the Azores and then reached Fayal safely”. From the book "Survive the Savage Sea: Tales from our Ocean Heritage" by Robert Parsons

Walter Penney tells this is as the story told to to him by his father, Ernest Penney.

Ernest stated that they were at sea for three months, they caught rain water as drinking water, their canvas sails were blown off, they put a spare one on and the same thing happened again. They had a load of salt and once the raging sea water soaked it, it choked the pumps. They only hand pumps, but they were unable to keep up with the water coming in from the seams which were letting go. The cabin house was taken off by the sea, Ernest was tied to the wheel, attempting to control the schooner, the others were down forward. Eventually he was forced to abandon the wheel and took cover from the elements under the bowspit. Ernest couldn't get out of the bowsprit on his own and the others thought he was washed away but heard him yelling. The schooner went down arse first after they took to the life boat. They were rescued by men from Fayal, Azores, Portugal. They saw wreckage of other ships. Ernest said that he had done 18 voyages, to Europe and the Carribean. Sextant used in position to the sun and the stars but when the weather was adverse, they couldn't use it. They had known where they were in position to Fayal. They had hard bread, and lots of black rum, as they had come from Caites they got the salt and maybe the rum. One version says they were 31 days adrift, Walter said it was 3 months.

1921 Raymond Wiseman,(26)
his brother Goodwin Wiseman, (23)
Arthur Hustins(26) LBI
Victor Weir (22) LBI
Alfonso White (29) Tilt Cove
Adolph Morey(25) Boat Harbour, NDB
Jacob Moores, Flower's Cove
Helen C. Morse

Helen C. Morse, Little Bay Islands, 1921

Lost October 29 or 30, 1921 with skipper Raymond Wiseman,aged 26, his brother Goodwin Wiseman, aged 23, Arthur Hustins, 26, LBI, Victor Weir, 22, LBI, Alfonso White, 29, Tilt Cove, Adolph Morey, 25, Boat Harbour, NDB, Jacob Moores, Flower's Cove. Life buoy and fog alarm, part of her name board picked up at Exploits on October 31. The schooner left Little Bay Islands to go to St. Anthony to load fish.

Oral family tradition states that when they left the wharf at Little Bay Islands, a storm was brewing and Ray Wiseman was quoted as saying "We're got a ticket straight to hell".

c1872 Jacob and James Weir
Thomas Smart and John Dinney

Weir brothers, Little Bay Islands, circa 1872

About 70 years ago, Jacob and James Weir, sons of the first Weir settlers, Isaac Weir, and John Coles, were driven off in a gale of westerly wind and never heard of again. It is a coincident[sic] that on the same date, the 17th of June, two men who were here from Herring Neck for the winters sealing, Thomas Smart and John Dinney, were also driven off in a westerly gale.

1933 William James Penney Thomas and Robert Schooner

Taken from Little Bay Islands United Church school magazine 1942

Thomas and Robert

William James Penney 1933, my grandfather's brother of Harrys Harbour, son of Stephen and Catherine Penney. my father, Walter Penney told me this happened somewhere outside the St. Johns narrows.

The Daily News,December 13 1933

William Penney, member of crew of schooner Thomas and Robert, lost his life when he slipped and fell overboard

Page Contributed by Craig Penney (2018)

Page Revised by Craig Peterman (January 11, 2018)

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