William Miles Mills

Posts relating to family, friends , shipmates and the Genealogy of the Hull Fishing Families
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:01 pm

William Miles Mills

Postby suzie2 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:12 pm

I am trying to find information on my great great grandfather, William Miles Mills, born 1861, in Harwich, Essex. His wife, formerly Jane Merrikin, her mother Eliza, and their, children, lived at 75 Campbell Rd, Hull whilst he was at sea.

About 1881, at age 20, he came to Hull and was working on the 'Spinaway' as Third Hand. John White, age 44, is mentioned first in the census list so I am assuming that he was the Captain?

How can I find out more about the 'Spinaway', what his job entailed, and if he was on the boat when it sank on 15 August 1894 in the North Sea after a collision, and the circumstances of the collision?
Also, is it possible to obtain any pictures of the crew / boat? I believe it was a ketch, built in 1879 in Goole for 'Haldane and Pickering'.
In the 1911 census he still listed as a fisherman, so how do I find out which other boat(s) he worked on.

Also, his son John William Mills (born 1884), my great grandfather, worked as a fish packer - how could I find information about him?
Finally, Jane's father, John Merrikin, was a 'checker' - what did this job entail?

I appreciate any advice or information you can give me.



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Re: William Miles Mills

Postby hulltrawler » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:06 pm

As regards to the Spinaway, William was third hand and would have been a fisherman for a few years at this time, 1880 it is very rare to get pictures of these vessels or photographs of the crewmen on them at this time. There is less than a handful of surviving photographs of the Hull sailing smacks, from the many thousands that sailed from the port. almost all have been lost or destroyed forever.
A visit to the Hull History Centre could prove usueful as often pictures can be found in news articles. They also would be able to verify first names and ages of the W Mills I have mentioned below.
William probably did not remain on the spinaway for very long sometimes only doing one trip on many vessels, when the spinaway was sunk by collision A G Barham was most probably the skipper .As William was a skipper at this time and not on the Spinaway.
As there where a couple of William Mills fishing 1880 - 1910 in this period, it is difficult to work out which one was which as many are just listed as W Mills
and the vessels listed are quite extensive.
Regards John there was an extensive amount of fish merchants and he could have worked as a fish packer for anyone of them, again alas most of these firms have been long gone and many of the records of employment would have been destroyed also.
I will provide you with a link by mail for further info regards Mills Family

The Spinaway H1236 was launched by the Cottingham Bros Yard, Goole 01 Oct 1879 / for the order of C Pickering / 15 Apr 1894 Lost in Collision in North Sea
I have uploaded the build details of the spinaway for you - Vessels/ Smacks

regards Chris


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