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Samuel Griffiths Commanding Officer Desmond 1871
I am new to COY and I'm researching Samuel Griffiths who was listed in the 1871 census as the Officer in Command of the Desmond. As I am a newbie to this , could someone point me in the right direction to see how I can find out more about Samuel or the ship Desmond.
Hi, and welcome to the Forum.

I could be wrong, but I think this is your man. To confirm if I'm right I'm afraid you will have to risk 3.36.


Martin you're a star !!!
It's definately him as I have a previous census record of him with the Hector.
By the way ...he's my G.G.G.GrandFather, and I only recently "discovered" him.
So how did you search him ? and am I able to try and locate any other registered entries ?
I'm pleased we have the right man.

Now you are going to bear with me on a little bit of a journey into the unknown. The record you have will only cover his service from 1873, so most of his service will be missing. If in the top left hand corner of his record there is a CS number this will provide details of his previous record - if one exists!

Now for the unknown. I did find a reference to the appointment of a Samuel Griffiths to the Seamew, which was a tender to the CG Ship Achilles. ADM 175/26 only includes details of the senior men serving on CG Tenders, and can be downloaded for free from the National Archives. A check of this document showed that a Samuel Griffiths was appointed to Seamew as 2nd Mate on 12 Jan 1867, from the Tender Adelaide, where he was serving as Chief Quarter Master. His subsequent promotion and transfer to Desmond would be the next logical step.

Using the same record I was able to trace his career back to 1857.

9 Dec 1862 appointed Ch Qtr Mr. on Adelaide from Victoria (ADM 175/26 pdf 8)
20 Aug 1857 appointed Ch Qtr Mr. on Victoria where he was previously working as a Mariner (ADM 175/26 pdf 127), and therefore no longer shown in the records.

Now for a real leap of faith. The Baltic Medal Roll has an S Griffiths serving on HMS Nile (Ships no. 503). From this it looks as if his medal was sent to Leith CGS in 1857. At this time Victoria was based in Leith. The only way to confirm if it is one and the same man is to consult Nile's Description Book at the National Archives, this should detail his place of birth and previous service.

I hope this has provided more avenues of research.


PS: I also found a Samuel Griffiths, born Newport, Mayo, 1832, on the 1861 census for Scotland, serving with the RN. I only have access to the index for Scotland, the full details could confim what vessel he was serving on.
Edited by crimea1854 on 26/10/2012 10:16
Wow Martin, you have on idea how important this discovery is to our family, your help greatly appreciated.
His movements and promotions all tie in with the Certificate of Competency as Only mate dated 27-06-1862.
I will ofcourse try to follow up what you have detailed, but if you do come across anything else, we'd love to hear.
After your last post I thought I would check the Masters and Mates Tickets on Ancestry, which is where I assume you found your original information. Apart from the fact that the ticket was issued in Leith, I also noticed that Samuel gave Talaghan CGS, Mayo as his home address. This prompted me to look at the Establishment Book for this station.

I could not find a Talaghan, but did find a Tulloughan, and surprise surprise the Chief Boatman at the station was a Thomas Griffiths! On the assumption that this is Samuels father I traced his career using the ADM 175 files. The following are the results:

Thomas was nominated from Tenby with a first posting to Garnish on 26 Oct 1822, from where he made the following moves. (ADM 175/15 pdf 372)
10 Oct 1825 to the Renown Cutter (175/15 pdf 31)
1 May 1827 to Kilchoran (175/16 pdf 138)
31 July 1828 to Garnish (175/16 pdf 149)
31 Oct 1828 to Mynish (175/18 pdf 227) - promoted Com Boatman
17 Mar 1843 to Innistruk (175/19 pdf 233)
10 Oct 1849 to Tulloughan (175/19 pdf 258)
Discharged 31 Dec 1864 on superannuation (175/20 pdf 224).

Given the timeframe I thought it might be possible that Thomas had been issued with a Merchant Seamans Ticket, and got lucky!

On 16 June 1845 Ticket No. 133,981 was issued at Westport to Thomas Griffiths Chief Boatman at Innistruck. This details his birth as 20 Dec 1792, Tenby, Pembroke. He is described as 5' 5'' tall, fair complexion, gray hair and eyes. First went to sea as a boy in 1813, never served in the RN, and could write.

Hope this now enables you to go back a further generation.

Whey Heyyy ... Thomas was indeed his father
Martin you're a star !!! I can't believe my luck.
I'm gonna work through the details, but is it possible to view the pdf you mention, as I not sure how I get to them.

I was going to mention previously that I owe you a drink ... at this rate it'll be crate befores the days out.

Many thanks ..... Ian

Merged on 26/10/2012 17:20:43:
Hi Martin
I've had a look at the National Archive site and simply can't see how you search and view any of the PDFs ie ADM 175/15 p372.
I'm I missing something ?

Thanks ....... Ian
Edited by broganite on 26/10/2012 17:20
Using the link I provided scroll down the right hand side using the drag-bar until you find the file you are after i.e. ADM 175/15 - click on 'details', then 'Add to basket', click 'shopping basket', insert your email address then click 'checkout', now 'submit order', finally 'download now' - these tend to be large files so be patient.

The files are now supplied 'zipped', which I must confess I don't fully understand, but clicking on them seems to open them to read. I have them saved on my computer using the old system, which I found much more user friendly.

Dear Ian and Martin,

I am following up on some investigations initiated by my, sadly now deceased, grandfather Maurice Griffiths. Maurice has traced his ancestry back to Samuel Griffiths Born 1832, died 1883. Royal Naval Lieut. Chief Officer Coast Guard. Married to Elizabeth Laura Cooper born 1848-1921.

Obviously this would mean that Ian and I are distant relations. I am also keen to learn more about Thomas and perhaps share some of my grandfathers' other findings. I will follow the thread you have both so kindly laid out before me and would welcome any further guidance you may have.

Hi Tom.

Ian's last visit to the site was eight years ago, so I suspect an email to him directly is possibly the best way to contact him.

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