Friday, 31 October 2008

More on Jumnetta Fitzhenry and naming your children after ships ...

In the last post, I mentioned how Bev's grandmother had been named Jumnetta after the ship "Jumna" that she was born on during the family's migration to Australia.
I found the record of three babies born on that sailing:
An unnamed girl to James and Mary Roberts on 15 October 1886
An unnamed boy to Charles and Louisa Searle on 30 October 1886
And our Jumnetta (as yet unnamed) born to Samuel and Margaret Fitzhenry on 7 November 1886

Bev sent me a cutting from the Brisbane Courier of the 18 November 1886, about the arrival of the Jumna in port which included the following:
A few days after leaving London, the first birth, that of a girl, occurred and it was announced that she was to be christened Jumnette in honour of the ship.
Bev asked: Her gran was born in Australian waters at the end of the voyage, but surely there couldn't have been two Jumnette/Jumnettas born on this trip?

It appears so - when I put in Jumnetta Roberts into the Ancestry search engine, it gave me Jumnetta Seva (or Sieva) Roberts resident in Brisbane and on the electoral rolls in the 1910s.

A few years ago when I was going through the "British Births at Sea" Registers at the National Archives (in the pre-digital days), I was struck by just how many of these children had been named after the ship that they were born on. If anyone knows whether there was an incentive to the parents, made by either captain or the shipping line, to name the baby after the ship, I would be most interested to hear about it.

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  1. The other thing that was notable about this voyage was it was the maiden sailing of the Jumna, one of the biggest ships of the day. It caused quite a stir when it pulled into Brisbane harbour.
    It was named after the Jumna river in India and there's more about it here on the excellent Liverpool Maritime Museum website.