Tuesday 17 June 2014

Passenger Ships – Part 4

In the last post here I wrote how my wife Linda’s mother and uncle, arrived in Canada. Her father, William Alexander MacKay, and his brother, Hugh MacKay, and Hugh’s wife, Catherine, also made the passage from Scotland. Following is a brief description of the ships they travelled on.

Relationship to Linda
Date Departed
Date Arrived
Departure Port
Arrival Port
Hugh MacKay
SS Marburn
6 June 1923
Glasgow, Scotland
Quebec & Montreal
Hugh MacKay
SS Metagama

19 December 1926
Saint John, NB
Greenock, Scotland
William Alexander MacKay
Hugh MacKay
SS Metagama
28 May 1927
6 June 1927
Glasgow, Scotland
Quebec & Montreal
Catherine MacKay
SS Montclare
14 February 1928
26 February 1928
Greenock, Scotland
Saint John, NB

Hugh came to Canada first, in 1923, aboard the ship SS Marburn. He apparently was to join his uncle, John McKay, who had a farm near Tregarva, Saskatchewan. John apparently arrived in Canada in 1869 but I have not yet found a passenger record for him. I have also not confirmed his exact relationship to Hugh.

Hugh returned to Scotland in 1926, presumably to marry. His return journey was on the SS Metagama, sailing from Saint John, New Brunswick and arriving in Greenock, Scotland on 19 December 1926. Hugh married Catherine Mathieson in Elgin, Moray, Scotland on 18 May 1927. Catherine came to Canada later, leaving Greenock on 14 February 1928 and arriving at Saint John on 26 February 1928, aboard the SS Montclare.

In 1927, both Hugh and William Alexander journeyed to Canada, again to join their uncle in Saskatchewan. The ship’s record shows their place of origin as Dyke Village by Forres which is in the County of Morayshire in Scotland. Dyke had been the family home for some years. They had moved there some time after 1911 from Findhorn, a fishing village about 9 miles to the northeast. Hugh and William travelled on the SS Metegama, the second time for Hugh. The ship left Glasgow on 28 May 1927, arriving in Quebec City on June 6th. Both were bound for Tregarva. William later moved to Alberta while Hugh and his family settled permanently in Saskatchewan.
Part of passenger manifest for SS Metagama on its voyage from Glasgow to Quebec in 1926; showing Hugh and William MacKay – copyright The National Archives (UK) 
(image downloaded from Ancestry 26 October 2008)
Parts of the incoming passenger list for the SS Metagama, arriving in Quebec City on 6 June 1926  – showing passenger William MacKay; copyright Library and Archives Canada 
(image downloaded from Ancestry 25 October 2008)
The 10,576 ton steamship Marburn was originally launched under the name, Tunisian. It made its maiden voyage for the Allan Line on 5 April 1900 from Liverpool, England to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The ship was chartered to Canadian Pacific Steamship Company in 1907 and taken over by them in 1917. In 1915 it was used as an accommodation ship for German prisoners of war, docked at the Isle of Wight. In 1918 it resumed passenger service. The ship was renamed Marburn in 1922. She was finally scrapped in 1928.
Postcard picture of the SS Tunisian, later renamed Marburn 
(image downloaded from the Great Ships website on 15 June 2014)
The 16,314 ton RMS Montclare was built by John Brown and Company on Clydebank, Glasgow for Canadian Pacific and launched on 18 December 1921. The ship made her maiden voyage on 18 August 1922 bound for Quebec and Montreal. On one trip back to Scotland in 1931 she ran aground. She was successfully refloated and repaired and served for many more years on the European and North Atlantic passenger routes. The ship was purchased by the Royal Navy during World War I. She was reclassified as a Destroyer Depot Ship in 1942 and a Submarine Depot ship in 1944. The ship was decommissioned in 1954 and scrapped in 1958.
Postcard picture of the SS Montclare 
(image downloaded from the Canadian Pacific ships website on 15 June 2014)
The SS Metagama was a 12,420 ton steamship, built in 1914 by Barclay Curle & Company, Glasgow for Canadian Pacific. Her maiden voyage began at Liverpool on 26 March 1915 – destination Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. In her history she had two mishaps, colliding with the SS Baron Vernon in the Clyde, Glasgow, in 1923, and then in collision again in 1924, with the SS Clara Camus at Cape Race, Newfoundland. The ship was laid up in the 1930s as passenger commerce faltered during the Depression years. She was finally scrapped in 1934.
Postcard picture of RMS Metagama 
(image downloaded from the Great Ships website 28 April 2014)
As more records become available I hope to find the passenger list showing other family members who came to North America. For time periods prior to the mid-1800s, however, the source records are still quite sparse.

Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated.