Londonderry to Quebec on the Dr. Kane in 1862

My Diver / Dever family had a harrowing journey on the Doctor Kane from Londonderry, Ireland to Quebec in 1862. The ship they were sailing on set out in April of 1862 and struck ice leaving them stuck for an hour. This event was long before the Titanic but I am sure the passengers would have had horror stories of boat tragedies involving ice. It must have been a very long hour!

Thankfully they were able to get free and reach their destination of Quebec.

Their thanks to the Captain was sent into the Quebec Daily News as well as a listing of the some of the people onboard. Here is the list:

Baird, J. Snr.

Baird, J. Mrs.

Baird, John

Baird, Hamilton

Baird, J. junr.

Thompson, Mrs. (Widow)

Thompson, Robert

Maguire, Andrew

Maguire, Margaret

Young, John

Young, Mrs.

Young, Robert

Young, Susannah

Young, Elizabeth

Young, Mary

Adair, James M.

Mackey, Sarah

Latme (?), Mrs. (Widow) 

Latme, Margaret

Wilson, John

Wilson, Mrs.

Portion, Mrs. Robert

Smyth, Elizabeth

Smyth, Jane

Robertson, Andrew

McK_nan, Henry

Adams, David

Lyons, John

Lyons, Mrs.

Dever, James

Dever, Mrs.

Lyons, James

Taylor, James

Charlton, Wm.

O’Donnell, Hugh

McNally, James

Murphy, Thomas

Irvine, James

Irvine, Henry

McDermott, Wm.

Coulter, Andrew

Coulter, Mrs.

Coulter, Eliza

Coulter, Margaret

Wilson, James

Wilson, Mrs.

Wilson, Joseph

Spence, William

Spence, Mrs.

Here is a transcription of their collective statement about the voyage aboard the Dr. Kane taken from the newspaper:

Quebec May 13, 1862, To Captain Samuel Millikan, of the Barque “Doctor Kane,” Londonderry


We the undersigned passengers of the Bark Dr. Kane, beg to present to you out sincere thanks, for your kin attention to us in administering to our wants and diffusing comforts to the utmost limits of thy power. Also, the deep interest you took of the sick, in prescribing “Medicine,” most suitable to their several distinct illnesses, thereby promoting health onboard. We unanimously have a deep gratification in being able to pronounce that thy kindess has far exceeded our expectations. And, also we cannot pass over the great deliverance we had on Saturday, 3rd May at three o’clock, AM, when our Bark struck fast into the field of ice. Through God’s most providential protection, we now retain and owe our lives, and thy surpassaple skill in able Commandership, in extracating us out of our perilous situation, in the short period of one hour, likewise, thy personal skill has been most obvious in taking every advantage of the wind, disregarding fatigue and inclemency of the weather. We all feel general satisfaction in our short voyage of thirty days, uniting again in thanks to God, and your exertions in being about to disembark at our desired haven, Quebec.

A reply was penned but it was cut off from the clipping. I have added acquiring this to my to-do list.

My Diver / Dever consisting of James, his wife Sarah (Cheatley) and their two children Eliza (age 4) and Samuel (2 mos.), did not remain in Quebec but settled in Picton, Prince Edward Co., Ontario.


Dever, James ship Dr. K165

Quebec Daily News, May 13, 1862




  5 comments for “Londonderry to Quebec on the Dr. Kane in 1862

  1. Robin Tweed
    February 16, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Hi Patricia,

    I delighted to find and read your story about the voyage of the Barque Dr. Kane.

    My 3rd Great Grandmother. Mary Latimer (the widow, Mrs. Latimer, and her daughter, Margaret (as well as her other children, Sarah and John) were also on board that ship with your ancestors.

    I have no idea WHY she decided to relocate her family after her husband died, but relocate she did – as the first wave, with two more children being sent on the Nubia in 1864.

    Her oldest daughter, Eliza, married shortly after her mother and the three siblings had left, but, she and her new husband left Ireland and travelled through Liverpool to New York on the Thornton, arriving on July 28, 1863.

    Her oldest son Thomas left Londonderry to New York, on the Columbia, arriving on March 26, 1867.

    Robin Tweed

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 16, 2021 at 11:59 am

      That is amazing! Where did Mary Latimer live?


      • Robin Tweed
        February 16, 2021 at 12:22 pm

        She listed her residence as Tempo. Tempo is in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. When they arrived in Canada, they went west and settled in Seaforth, Huron County, Ontario.

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 16, 2021 at 12:26 pm

        That’s so interesting. One has to assume they would have interacted quite a bit during the month long voyage. Thanks for reaching out!


  2. Robin Tweed
    February 16, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    I would think so. Here is the full passenger list (spelling was generally as however it sounded ……).

    Liked by 1 person

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