View Thread

 Print Thread
I am preparing my Family Tree and am trying to get information on a Preventative Officer named Edward Elsted. He was born in 1800 and Died 1849 in Abbeyside, Dungarvan. Married in 1822 to lucretia Elsted(Green). His rank in the Coastguard was as Chief Boatman and I can find postings at Gweedore, Donegal. Mulroy, port of Derry 1834-37 and Newtown (presumeably near Tramore, Waterford. He was 19 years in the Service and took his Pension in 1840 receiving 22 Pounds per year. Pension of 64 shillings and 15 pence per year. He died of what we would now term as Cancer. I suspect that he may have been also posted at some stage to Ballinacourty Coastguard Station or at nearby Ring/Helvic Coustguard Station, Dungarvan as his Marriage Licence Application is for the Waterford lismore area Area and following his death his Wife bought a Pub in Ballinacourty, later known as "The Gold Coast" (A reference to the travels of later generations of Merchant Seamen in the Family)
His Father and previous generations appear to have come from the New Romney/ Sandwitch area of Kent and the earliest I can find was a "Riding officer" buried in the Parish of Worth, Kent, who would have been his Grandfather. Edwards Fathers name was probably John Philpot Elsted. note: Sometimes the name was spelled Elstead by mistake.
Whilst I have much information I would love to find out more if possible, especially his postings in Ireland or Britain. If your members can help i would greatly appreciate it.
Hi Again,
Further to my queries re EDWARD ELSTED and thanks to your excellent site and all the leads/information in your site. I managed to download and search a considerable amount of Coastguard Record material from the British Archives over Xmas. The records are fantastic/invaluable and I am now able to piece together most of Edward Elsteds career as a Coastguard Officer in Ireland and the U.K. as follows.
Under "Men nominated for Ireland, ADM/175/74 dating to 1819-1821. He was nominated from Chilham near Canterbury as a Comm Boatman. Date 27th Dec 1820. He was ordered to Cape Clear but this was crossed out v shortly went to Point of Garrow 15th feb 1821 as Chief officer. He also served in Cape Clear, Torr Head, Gweedore, Melroy before his final posting as Chief Officer to Newton, Embleton Bay,Northumberland (not Newtown, Waterford as I had earlier thought). He took his Pension and was discharged on the 28th May 1840 at the age of 40. A Daughter was born to him and his Wife Lucretia at Embleton Bay. Both Edward, Lucretia and family returned ? to Abbeyside, Dungarvan where he died of Cancer at the age of 49 in 1849.
I am missing one vital period of his career from approx 1822/23 to 1826/27. The station records for his postings at both ends of this period do not state the Stations he was nominated from or send to.
I have a record of a Marriage Licence Application for Waterford/ Lismore in 1822 and I suspect that he was posted to the Waterford area, either to Helvic or Ballinacourty Stations as Lucretia Green(Elsted) appears to have come from Dungarvan and I suspect that he met her here. She was aged 19 at the date of the Licence Application. Following his death in 1849 she lived in the Burgery, Abbeyside, Dungarvan(Griffiths Valuation) and later bought a Pub in Ballinacourty(Landowners of Waterford-1 Acre ? PuCool and lived to 90 years of age. in approx 1850 Lucretia erected a large ornate Memorial to her parents William and Margaret Green and her late Husband Edward at Abbeyside R.C Church. i cannot find any record of Births, Marriage, Death in the Parish Records for this beautifull Church situated on a commanding point of Dungarvan Port and Bay.
I would appreciate it if any of your readers/ subscribers can point me to (1)-Where i can find the record for this missing period of his coastguard Service as it comes at a vital time as he meets his wife and starts his career ans young family.
(2)- Edward enters the Service as a Comm Boatman by Examination and gets his Letter of Commission to the Comptroller Ireland on 27th Dec 1820(he has in fact left at this stage as noted-GONE.).
What process did one have to undertake to be considered suitable for Examination and at his First Appointment be a Chief Officer in the Service. Is it likely that he came from another branch such as the navy ?. His family appeared to have been in the Prevntative Service forgenerations and his grandfather was a Riding Officer from Worth, in Kent.
One other Question is what would cause a Chief Officer to be Reduced to Chief Boatman as appears to have happened after Tor Head, and later be reinstated to Chief Officer again.

I would really appreciate any comments/suggestions as to where I could look next.

Edited by ELSTED on 02/01/2011 11:27
Hi Donal

Your man is a bit of a mystery. He would only appear to have been 21 when he took up his first posting, which was rated as a Commissioned Boatman. Unless a man was appointed as a Chief Officer it was normal to enter as a Boatman, and then to work through the rates. This suggests that Edward had held another post in the Preventative Service before entering what was to become the Coast Guards.

On your question regarding his posting and the apparent gap, where the establishment book does not refer to the next or former this normally indicates that the man remained at the same station when one book was closed and a new book started.

I've looked at his service for the period you say you are missing, and would suggest these were his movements:

6 May to Helwick Head
21 August 1822 to Downhill
5 July to Tor Head
8 May 1827 reduced to Chief Boatman and transferred to Guidore
5 July 1834 promoted to Chief Officer transferred to Melroy.

As to the reason for this demotion I don't know. Where this has happened to a man from the lower rates I have found the record suggest that it was due to drunkeness, or poor performance. The Establishment Book does refers to correspondance filed as 3968/27, unfortunately I've no idea if this letter still exists, or whether it was 'weeded' from the files.

Hope this is of some help.


Fantastic. I knew he had to have been posted at some stage either to Helvic or Ballinacourty Stations. As it turns out my late Father Sean Murt O' Connell from Caherciveen, Co Kerry and Mother Mary Elsted from Abbeyside, Dungarvan actually first met each other in Helvic in the 50s. He had brought the Fishing trawler "Ros Muc" to Helvic for the herring season.
Edward Elsted was my Mums Great, Great, Great Grandfather and I have only recently started researching both sides of my Family Tree.
Could you tell me where you found the refs to his Helvic and Downhill postings. i thought that I had searched all the relevant British Archive references, which proved great. I must have missed some. Up to several montha ago family lore stated that Edward was a shipwrecked carpenter from Liverpool who was wrecked near Wexford. His son in fact was a carpenter.
Thanks to a record of his Marriage Licence that I came across in the Nat library and which stated that he was in the Prentative Services and which led to the Coastguard Records in Kew (thanks to the info on your site and pages) plus recent contact with another branch of the Elsted Clan in Cardiff/London. I have now taken the family records back to the early 18th Cent.
Edwards grandfather who was born abt 1700 is buried in Worth graveyard in Kent and was the Riding Officer for the area according to the gravestone. His wife was Affara Philpot. His sons Joseph Philpot and Edward may also have entered the Preventative Services of the time. There is also a long later history of the name J Philpot in the family. From the information on the Coastguards Website this entire area would appear to have been a Smuggling Hotspot at this period.
Where might I look to find out if Edward had been in the Service prior to his posting to Ireland. The parish of Worth is only abt 50 km from Chilham where Edward was appointed on the other side of Cambridge. The naval Dockyards on the Medway are close also.

Your help is much appreciated.

Donal O' Connell.
Hi Donal

To find his missing postings you need to download ADM 175/15 and then it's the following pdf pages 56, 225 & 209.

On the question of any prior service, I guess this is a search of Customs records at the National Archives, Kew, but it's an area I've never touched so don't really know what is available.


Thank you so much for all the assistance and the Refs. I have downloaded the file and found the missing segments of his career in Ireland. Really appreciated.

My Elsted cousin in London went in yesterday to the British Archives in Kew to find out if Edward Elsted had a recorded prior career. Unfortunately they could not find any record, but I suspect that there must have been some prior service especially given that his for-bearers were Riding Officers. Its just a matter of "winkling" them out.

Some questions were raised though by the staff at Kew. Perhaps you may have the answer?.
Q1- How were staff and their families transferred from Station to Station in those early days. By ship perhaps or overland ?.
Q2-The staff at Kew also said that he may have been attached to a Ship HQ covering particular stretches of coastline and that Officers would move with the ship.
Q3- Kew said that as he was a "Comm Boatman" at the beginning of his career then he would have only been "Acting Chief Officer" if no other was present at a station. I have strong doubts about this, as I have found reference to several Chief Officers present at stations all at the same time.
Q4- The reason for his Demotion could have been because there could have been a Chief Officer present at the Station before he arrived. Therefore he could not have fulfilled this role. Again i have strong doubts that this would have been the case and would believe that he was specifically demoted for some offence.

Perhaps either you or some other reader may some answers to the above.

Again thank you for all your help,

Donal O' Connell

P.S. Thought all might to know that the "Coastguardsofyesteryear" site is very highly regarded and is recommended by the staff at the National Archives in Dublin.
Hi Donal,
It is very gratifying to hear that our site is kindly regarded by the staff at the National Archives in Dublin. This is due to the work of contributors to the site and to the Open Forum, whose input is highly appreciated.
With regard to the travel of Coastguards and their families to the large nunber of stations (220) in Ireland the answer always has to be by sea. "Cost", not speed, was the key-word. Railways were expensive and suiteable roads non-existant. On arrival from England at Divisional Areas, a revenue cruiser or Coastguard cutter would be the main means of transport used. Arriving at a small landing pier at a remote station after a passage of inclement weather, accompanied maybe by bouts of sea-sickness, was not a happy ending to a sea voyage.

P51. Query in the House of Commons. 1889.

Mr.Bond asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the revenue cruisers Frances and Mary were used for conveying Coastguard men and their families from one station to another; whether it was true that there was no accommodation for females on these vessels; and whether under these circumstances he would allow travelling expenses for wives and female children of Coastguard men when being thus transferred. During a heavy storm a families precious furniture and household articles could be severely thrashed.

Lord G.Hamilton – The revenue cruisers named have occasionally been used for the conveyance of Coastguard men and their families on short passages and in fine weather from one station to another.They have not proper accommodation for long distances, but it happened once to each cruiser that women and children were kept on board throughout the night in consequence of weather, and they were given the captains cabin, which had suitable accommodation. Moving men and their families by rail instead of by sailing cruisers is largely a question of expense. It is left to the discretion of the Coastguard officer on the spot, if in his opinion a removal by cruiser would cause discomfort or inconvenience to women or children, to send them by rail, and in such cases their travelling expenses (except in cases of removal of Coastguard men for misconduct) are paid for.

Reference; The Times London 21 May 1889.

Tony Daly
Christine Tipping
Hi My Name is Christine Tipping my 3rd Great Grandfather was Edward Elsted, my mothers family his daughter Rebecca Ann was my 2nd Great Grand Mother I have found a lot of information about Lucretia which has now been confirmed through my DNA, the one thing I could not find was her parents names which thanks to your research I can now add, I had made an educated guess which was wrong. Right family just wrong parents. I along with my cousins are more excited about visiting Dungarvan than ever. I believe they had a daughter Elizabeth Francis and a son John Philpot. Regards
Hi Christine & welcome to the Forum.

In addition to the two children you have identified there may be a third - William Green Elsted. If you look at the attached record, half way down the page, you will find a William Elsted listed who had some of his wages paid to his mother Lucretia while he was at sea. Given the unusual names I would have thought it highly likely that it is the same family. The only way to confirm this is to consult the description book for the ship he was serving on, this should provide a place and date of birth.


Hi again ,
It has been several years since my last posting on Coastguards of Yesteryear. My name is Donal O Connell. My late Mother was Mary Elstead (ELSTED), Abbeyside, Dungarvan. See my earlier posts of 2010 and 2011. At this stage I have traced back to Edward Elsted and Lucretia Elsted (Greene/Green) and much further in Waterford and Kent. I would love to compare my Family tree with that of Christine above. The early Elsteds and Philpotts of Kent can be traced back to the 17th century. I also have some information on the parents of Lucretia Elsted (Greene/Green), William and Margaret Green. Hopefully my tree is correct but I would love to confirm with others.
My email is if you wish to compare family trees and lots more information on Edward Elsted, Coastguard officer including all of his postings around Ireland.
Donal O Connell. Dublin.
Jump to Forum: