The Wreck of the Steamboat Shamrock in 1842

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

  November 13, 2009:

I have been going through the family Bible, and I came across a notice, in original script. The letter is 
written as:
"to the Memory of Thomas Cousins, A Native of Yorkshire, England, now Perished with about 50 Other Emmergrants 

(as spelled) newly arived (as spelled) 
from England in the lake a few Miles above this Village (Lachine) by the blowing up of the boiler of the 
Shamrock Steamor (as spelled) on the 9th July 1842 by this Disastress (as spelled) event Thomas 
Cousins aged 42 Years and his Seven Children.
Ann aged 15 Year's (as spelled)
Mary 13
Roselen 11
Thomas 9
Robert 7 
John 6 
Dorothy 4
were sudenly (as spelled) ushered into the presence of their God his remains and those of 3 of his Children are 
intered near this spot 
My first Daughter Dorothy Cousins died (unintelligible) 1838 aged 13 years in England"
I do not know if this was written by Mrs. Cousins or if it was dictated to the writer.  The family Bible 
has written:  
"Mary Cousins Book
Jan.y (as written) 4th, 1854
This family Bible also has a receipt for $3.00, dated Flinton 23rd July '07 
"Received from George Wood the sum of three dollars in payment for the Family Bible sent to me to be sold 
for the benefit of the Mission of N. Addington
Rev. (unintelligible)
Other names in the Bible are
Vera May Wood born 5th May 1808
Stanford Edward Wood born May the 20th 1910
Bertie Eugenia O'Brien born April the 4th 1888
William Ford Wood born May 15th 1912
At the back of the Bible is a note:
To be given to Ada after I'm through with it.
Ada (Roy) Winters, my grandmother.  My decedents are from the Lennox Addington area as are the Woods 
according to the information in the receipt for the Bible.  
I don't know how the Cousins fit into all of this, but as I said earlier, I do have an original hand 
written memorial regarding John Cousins and his family.  

I hope this can help someone out with their family tree. 

This all started by my finding my grandfather's birth certificate in my fathers belongings, and it has been 
quite an adventure from there.  If in your research 
you come across John Winters in the lumber industry somewhere around Trenton, Ontario, would you please send it along. 
Gayle Winters 

Hi Gayle: By co-incidence, the following was posted to our steamboat page by Bob Carswell: DEATH OF AN OLD RESIDENT - In another column will be found a notice of the death of Mrs. Cousens, one of the oldest inhabitants of the city. She was born at Northallerton, Yorkshire England, and emigrated to Canada in the summer of 1842 with her husband and seven children. After reaching Montreal, the family took passage on the ill-fated steamer Shamrock for Kingston and while passing through the Lachine Canal the boiler exploded and out of the whole crew and passengers only 66 persons were saved, no less that 54 persons were lost, among whom where Mr. Cousens and all his children. The survivors were distributed among the persons residing in the neighbourhood of the accident and Mrs. Cousens was taken into the employment of Colonel Penner who then resided at Lachine, and lived with him until the day of her death a period of almost 34 years. The old lady was very intelligent, and upright and was a faithful and devoted member of the Church of England. The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. Now, we wouldn't expect steamboats to be running the Lachine Rapids but apparently they sometimes did, even after the construction of the Lachine Canal. Here's a picture of a steamer, possibly owned by the Molson Company of Montreal, descending the rapids. It was customary for the steamers to take on a native Canadian guide to steer safely through the rapids. Picture Source: Selections from Picturesque Canada, Plate # 95 running the Lachine Rapids If the African Queen could shoot the rapids on the Ulanga River in 1914, (piloted by a Canadian!), we could handle the Lachine Rapids in the 1840's. New August 10, 2010: Hi Victoria, I am very "Freddie Flintstone" when it comes to the computer, but I have a cousin coming next week who is a whiz at it, so hopefully I can get the letter from Mrs. Cousins to you. As I said, I found the letter in the family Bible, which has a note of purchase in it which makes me think my great grandmother may have purchased the Bible with this information in it. I do believe if there is any connection to the Cousins family it would be through my Roy or McDonald family of the Cloyne area. I have not gone that far back yet, but I do know through marriage the names Woods and O'Brien are mentioned. When I find more solid evidence I will certainly let you know. Some names you might be interested in are James Eggerton Roy, George Henry Roy, and Thomas Duncan McDonald all of the Hastings / Lennox and Addington / Camden area. I hope this to be helpful in some way. ... Gayle ________________________________________ Hi Gayle Thank you for your response. It is wonderful you let me know about the letter. I hope someone can lead me to info on her gravesite, probably in Kingston. If you happen to come across a family name, Van Wyck that lived in Cloyne for a while, or a man called Louis Blake Duff from Welland (also Fonthill) I would be interested. Is the name in your family Woods with an "s" or Wood? How far back in Canada can you trace your roots? Can you find dates in your family tree to Loyalists (UEL) that may have settled in Canada around 1775? I am coming across lots of info on that area of history so I can pass on any info you might want. Keep in touch, Victoria

New January 30, 2022:
The following picture and text block are from the book Steamboat Connections, From Montreal to Upper Canada, 1816-1843, by Frank Mackey, 2000, McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal and Kingston, ISBN 0-7735-2055-4, page 186. Picture of the steamer <i>Shamrock</i> in 1842
Text Block about the steamer <i>Shamrock</i> in 1842

Kenneth Henderson, Canadian Forestry Corps in World War 2 Kenneth Henderson and Oliver Clouthier, Canadian Forestry Corps in World War 2

E-mail Allan Lewis

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