Members Login: Remember Me Need your login details?

An 1810 Hampshire newspaper carried an appeal for information by the wives of two Gosport men who drowned in a Solent tragedy. Who were these men?

A notice appeared in the Hampshire Telegraph on 1 January 1810 from two wives whose husbands were lost following a Solent tragedy. The men were Nicholas JEMISON and William BURTON who were drowned when their Wherry No 426 was sunk. They were returning to Portsmouth from St Helens, Isle of Wight, when the accident happened late in 1809.  A generous reward was offered by the wives for anybody who could provide information on the bodies being washed ashore.

The HGS Burial Index does not contain a burial for either man. Either the bodies were never recovered from the Solent, or if they were, they were unidentified.

Descriptions of the Missing Men

Nicholas JEMISON was aged 36, five feet five inches tall and lived in King Street, Gosport. His description was of fair complexion with light sandy, curly hair. He had a tattoo on his arm with his name and the hands of a man and woman joined with a heart between. He was wearing a brown Flushing jacket and trousers, blue Guernsey frock, white shirt with flannel under, red drawers, light boots and had a plaid handkerchief around his neck.

William BURTON was aged 50 from Cold Harbour, Gosport and was the same height as Nicholas JEMISON. His complexion was dark and his brown hair was starting to go grey.  When lost in the Solent he was wearing a short brown jacket and waistcoat, short blue trousers, cotton shirt, water boots and a blue spotted handkerchief around his neck. He also had a silver watch in his pocket.

Researching the Families Left Behind

Research of HGS indexes reveal that before the Solent tragedy happened, Nicholas JEMISON married Mary Jane COATES in St Mary’s Church in Alverstoke on 2 November 1802. There are no baptisms for any children for Nicholas and Mary Jane in the HGS baptisms index. William BURTON married Mary JONES on 31 March 1783 in St Mary’s Church in Alverstoke.  They had four children baptized in Holy Trinity Church in Gosport. Mary Ann Daniel on 1 May 1785, John on 18 April 1787, Francis Sophia on 10 November 1790 and Carolina on 9 May 1792.

By Roy Montgomery
HGS Research Centre

Latest News

Inquest verdict of Visitation of God

Term used in a coroner’s verdict to explain an unexplained death Hampshire inquests The Hampshire coroner’s records were all destroyed which means that no official records exist. The best remaining source is from local newspaper reports though not every inquest and verdict was reported.  When reported the content varied from very brief to quite detailed.  Examples of […]


The Hampshire Family Historian

The latest Edition of the Hampshire Family Historian is now available in the Members’ Area for download. Articles include The Neaves of Fordingbridge; Families Reunion at Kings Somborne; Royalty in the Forest and Swanmore Friends Burial Ground. PLUS: Around the Groups, Book Reviews and Your Letters    


A New Partnership for HGS

A NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR HGS HGS are delighted to announce a new partnership with well-known Genealogy company ‘The Genealogist’ (S& N). All the remaining data from our parish register transcripts for Hampshire, will now be online with The Genealogist (S & N) and FHS-online.   FHS-online has been developed together with S & N to […]


New Membership Secretary

New Membership Secretary We are delighted to announce that we have a new Membership Secretary – Margaret Bowman. Margaret will be ably assisted by her husband John and can be contacted through the website or directly at membership@hgs-online.org.uk


Hampshire Centenarian

Hampshire Centenarian.   Born in Meonstoke in 1916 and shortly to celebrate her 100th birthday   Edith Cavell SMITH Edith a twin was born on 17 November 1916 in Meonstoke and was baptized there in St Andrew’s church on 14 January 1917.  Her twin brother was Lloyd George.  They were named after the WWI nurse Edith […]


All News...


Archives: