Working on Ships in 1800s

Jeremiah Norton was a carpenter on various ships throughout his career. Jeremiah was born in Great Yarmouth on the 29th of August in 1781, he stood a modest 5’4″ and set sail in 1805 at the age of 24 years. An anchor and a half moon tattoo was proudly displayed on his left hand.

When he first went to sea he was already married, Elizabeth Sharp was a widow with a son. They married at Great Yarmouth in St. Nicholas Church (image of the Church in 1848).

I was able to locate baptisms for five of his children, Mary Ann, Lee Thomas, Richard Lee, Martha and Edward from the years 1811-1825. During this time I assume he was often away on his sea voyages.

With help, I have located seven of the ships he sailed on; Agenoria, Medora, Elizabeth, Cygnet, Campbell, Lang and his final ship was the Norma in 1846. The majority of the destinations of these ships were Jamaica, but the Cygnet took Jeremiah to Quebec in 1838.

Jeremiah and his family eventually left Yarmouth and relocated to Shadwell, near London.  Jeremiah died at sea on the Norma when he was 65 years young and left a love of shipping to his sons. Edward went to sea when he was 14, Lee Thomas/Thomas Lee in 1831 and Richard worked on ships in England and later Quebec City where he resided.


Photo found on Pixabay 

  2 comments for “Working on Ships in 1800s

  1. Anthony Edward Zilly
    January 21, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Is there any connection to an Edward/Edmund Norton who married Bethiah Moore in 1845 London, Ontario, and listed in the 1851 Ontario census (Houghton, Norfolk Co) a Quaker with birth about 1823? I’ve sent for Ancestry DNA, still processing. Edmund moved to Brownsville, MN and enlisted in the MN Infantry during Civil War, dying at Battle of Chickamauga adn buried at Cypress Hill National Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY?


    • January 21, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      I am not sure if there is a connection but that would be great if we find one!


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