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Henry Swords Dunany Point
My great great grandfather Henry Swords (1822-1889) served at Dunany Point in Co. Louth I think. One of his children was born there in 1850. He is described as a 'Naval Pensioner' on his death cert, so I am trying to find out more about him. I understand he was from Clontarf, Dublin, but I am not in a position to go to Kew to check further at present. Has anyone come across his name in their research?
Welcome to the Forum Eudora.

I believe you may be out by 10 years on his date of birth. There was a Henry Swords, born Clontarf 1812 who was issued with a merchant seaman's ticket in 1846 (341,434). On this he is described as 5' 3 1/2'' tall, lt. brown hair, sandy complexion with lt. blue eyes. He first went to sea as an apprentice in 1836 and had served 7 years in the Royal Navy - this was issued in Dublin in 1846.

Checking the CG Nomination Books I found a Henry Sword nominated in May 1845 from HMS Lucifier, but whose nomination was then cancelled (ADM 175/98 pdf 242). The same man was then again nominated in 1846, but this time he took up a posting to Portrane (ADM 175/19 pdf 461).

From here he was subsequently moved to Soldiers Point on 7 April 1851 (ADM 175/19 pdf 444) where he was promoted to Commissioned Boatman, then Dunany Point 25 Feb 1852 (ADM 175/19 443) and then to Portaferry on 17 April 1861 (ADM 175/19 445). It may be possible to take his career further using the CG Ships Establishment Books.

Finally there is a Navy Service Record on the National Archives website for a Henry Swords, born Clontarf 15 Aug 1843, so I would guess a son.

Hope this helps.
Dear Martin,
This is incredible! Such a comprehensive reply and almost by return. I never dreamt of getting such help and I thank you most sincerely. A big gap in the family history has been filled.
Glad to have helped, but on reflection I now think your year of birth is more likely correct and the ticket wrong. If he first went to sea as an apprentice in 1836 and he was born in 1812, this would have made him 24, but if born in 1822 14, which is far more likely.

Regards Martin

PS: I've now found him in the CG Establishment Books, still at Portaferry but in both entries he gives his date of birth as 25 March 1813 (ADM 175/39 & 40 pdfs 161)!!!!!

I know you are not able to get to Kew, but if you could I would look at Lucifer's Description Books in ADM 38/ 8476 & 8477, these cover Henry's period of service and would definitely provide more information.
Edited by crimea1854 on 18/08/2015 14:50
Hi Martin, Henry's date of birth was from his death cert in 1889, which would indicate 1822, but I can see that 1812 would make more sense. I will check my records again and I'm still working on a trip to Kew later.

Merged on 31/08/2015 09:42:16:
Hi Martin, I meant to say 1822 would make more sense, as he would have been a bit long in the tooth at 24 years to enlist.

Merged on 07/10/2015 19:30:39:
Dear Martin, I went to Dunany recently to see if I could find a trace of the Coastguard Station. I got to a small place called Jones Pier south of Dunany Point and a woman told me that the coastguard buildings were now on private property. I couldn't even find an entrance gate and a foreign landowner nearby released a large dog that put me off more investigating. Do we have a photo of the old station?
Edited by Eudora on 07/10/2015 19:30
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