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Thread: William Steele - buried in Halkirk Cemetery- can anyone help?

  1. #1
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    Default William Steele - buried in Halkirk Cemetery- can anyone help?

    I've been "talking to" by email, a gentleman who is (and I quote) undertaking a project to locate the graves of veterans of the American Civil war (1861-1865) or their widows buried in the mainland UK, of which there are at least 1,300.

    William Steele served from Dec. 1, 1863 to Feb. 29, 1864 as a Private on Co. G of the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, and then transferred to the U.S. Navy, serving as a Sailmaker's Mate on the USS Minnesota, Quaker City and Princeton till his discharge on August 21, 1865.

    He was shown on his Federal War Pension application papers in 1898 and 1901
    as living in Thurso and working as a fisherman, but by the year of his death
    he was an inmate of the Poorhouse at Halkirk. He never married.

    As I have some photos of Halkirk Gravestones on my site, he contacted me to see if I could help to locate the grave, but unfortunately, I no longer live in Caithness, and William Steele is not named in the Halkirk part of the Caithness MI Inscriptions. I pointed him to the Archives, and he has received a plan of the cemetery in which William Steele's plot is marked.

    Unfortunately the plan received does not make it clear if the grave is stoneless in the oldest part of the cemetery, which is the only part I have photographed, or is in the lower part, down from the area round the church, with or without a stone. I suspect the latter, but only because I can't marry up inscriptions from the MIs with the names on the plan.

    So to my plea for help.....would anyone be able to (and have the time to) have a look in the Halkirk Cemetery and locate the grave, if I email a copy of the cemetery plan to them. My correspondent would very much appreciate
    a photograph of the spot, whether it has a stone or not, in order to pinpoint the position of the grave, and if there is no stone, perhaps a photo including some of the surrounding stones.

    If anyone can help at all, PM me with an email address and I'll send the copy of the plan.

    Thanks for reading.......and my fingers are crossed.

  2. #2

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    I will try for you Oddquine. I live in Halkirk and as a Caithness Family History Society member would like to help. I will PM you my email address. There are unmarked graves in cemetery which are poorhouse residents...
    Last edited by Swannie; 17-Jun-14 at 22:26.

  3. #3

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    A quick look at census does not show him in 1901 or 1911 so presumably he was Halkirk poorhouse resident and died between these dates.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swannie View Post
    A quick look at census does not show him in 1901 or 1911 so presumably he was Halkirk poorhouse resident and died between these dates.
    he died in 1912
    I'm in shape. Round is a shape isn't it?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swannie View Post
    A quick look at census does not show him in 1901 or 1911 so presumably he was Halkirk poorhouse resident and died between these dates.
    He died in March 1912, aged 75, and was, according to his Federal Pension papers living in Thurso from 1898 at least, but I suppose, being a seaman and then a fisherman, he may have been at sea when censuses came round. I get the impression from what has been said in emails that he had health problems. His death certificate has his occupation as a seaman in the US Navy and he died from gangrene of the foot and syncope (whatever that means), so I suppose he could have maybe managed to work enough on good days to keep him out of the poorhouse.....until he was no longer capable of it. I don't know if the records for the poorhouse are in the Archives, but they'd be interesting, if only because I think one of my 2xgreat grandfathers was a porter there in the late 1800s.

    Tried to PM you, but your message box is full.

  6. #6

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    Inbox empty now! Sorry. I have looked at the minute books (1905-1925) which the Archives hold and took some notes a couple of winters ago with the intention of returning to read more but alas not yet! They also hold some other records of Inspector visits/children's register/application for poor relief - all of which I have not looked at yet. Regarding your 2 x great grandfather there was a James Bain, porter in 1871, William Henderson, porter, in 1881 census and a Samuel Barnetson porter in 1901 census.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swannie View Post
    Inbox empty now! Sorry. I have looked at the minute books (1905-1925) which the Archives hold and took some notes a couple of winters ago with the intention of returning to read more but alas not yet! They also hold some other records of Inspector visits/children's register/application for poor relief - all of which I have not looked at yet. Regarding your 2 x great grandfather there was a James Bain, porter in 1871, William Henderson, porter, in 1881 census and a Samuel Barnetson porter in 1901 census.
    Samuel Barnetson was mine! At least that's one family story I have now had confirmed. One down and a few to go between my maternal Caithness and paternal Inverness lines yet though! Lol!

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