Unlocking Stories from the Archives: the Records of Teare and Sons, Sail Makers and Ship Chandlers of Peel

Featured on the imuseum website – June 2017

Unlocking Stories from the Archives: the Records of Teare and Sons, Sail Makers and Ship Chandlers of Peel

Posted on 16.06.2017

Manx National Heritage Library & Archives hold the archive of a small family business called Teare and Sons, Sail Makers and Ship Chandlers. The business was established in 1866 by John Teare (a rope maker) and his son William Edward Teare (a sail maker) – interesting fact – William Teare was the brother-in-law of folklorist and fellow Peel resident Sophia Morrison (1859-1917). The business was situated on The Quay on the corner of St Peter’s Lane. The sail making room was in the loft whilst the ground floor was taken up by the chandler business selling ropes, paint, cork (for nets), chains, nets, linseed oil, paraffin and petrol.

See more at:

http://www.imuseum.im/unlocking-stories-from-the-archives-the-records-of-teare-and-sons-sail-makers-and-ship-chandlers-of-peel/

Brothers Frederick and Frank Teare from Peel killed in the battle of Arras April 1917

poppyFrederick and Frank Teare, stepbrothers born in Peel, were in two different armies when the battle of Arras started on 9 April 1917. They died within days of each other and despite being in the same battle and within miles of each other almost certainly had no idea they were so close. Frederick and Frank Teare are remembered on the Peel War memorial.

In the spring of 1917, British Empire and French forces began a combined offensive against the German Army on the Western Front in France. British Empire troops attacked around Arras on 9 April. Far to the south, the French launched their attack on 16 April, along the Chemin des Dames ridge. Arras had been close to the front line throughout the war, and was dominated by the high ground of Vimy Ridge. The German defences were formidable, with several lines of trenches, concrete blockhouses and deep dugouts.

The Canadian Corps, made up of the 4 Canadian Divisions, attacked and captured the high ground of Vimy Ridge that dominates the Douai plain and provides unobstructed views in all directions.

Frank Teare, a corporal in the Canadian Infantry Alberta Reg: 50th Bn. was killed on the 10 April 1917, the second day of the battle for Vimy Ridge. Despite severe cold and unseasonal snow the Canadians captured the majority of Vimy Ridge on the first day. They dug in and consolidated their positions overnight and on the 10th were attacking a small summit known as Hill 145. By the 12 April the Canadians controlled the whole ridge but at a cost – 10,602 Canadians were wounded during the attack, and 3,598 killed.

More about the story of Frank Teare and how he came to be in the Canadian Army here.

To the south an advance of over three and a half miles achieved by the 9th (Scottish) Division and the ‘leapfrogging’ 4th Division resulted in the capture of the village of Fampoux. This advance was the longest made in a single day by any belligerent from static trenches.

Frederick Teare, a sergeant in the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, was wounded on the 11 April in the disastrous attack from Fampoux. Only 57 of the 363 men and 12 officers who started the attack returned unscathed. He died from his wounds in Hospital in Etaples 12 days later.

More about the story of Frederick Teare and how a master mariner came to die on the Western Front here.

Go to Teare WW1 memorial page.

Teare genetics: Y-DNA and the origins of Manx family names

teare and sons DNAThe Teare name is Manx in origin and its earliest recording is from 1599. It has developed and contracted to its modern spelling from the Manx Gaelic ‘Mac-y-teyir’ meaning ‘son of the craftsman or carpenter’. The Y-DNA project, which uses modern DNA analysis to trace the male genetic line, has shown that the Teare families tested have two separate male ancestors, both of Celtic origin, who would have lived about 1000 years ago.

The Isle of Man is small geographically (221 square miles) and its population has always been small relative to its larger neighbours. Despite being equidistant to Scotland, England, and Ireland (about 20 miles) and a little further to Wales the population historically had little mixing with ‘the other countries’. In this rural community, until the 19th century, the majority of the population worked on the land or the sea; often both – farming most of the time but also taking advantage of the seasonal herring fishery around the island. It was common to have marriages between neighbouring families, especially when farmers were looking to acquire new land or marrying someone from another parish. Consequently anyone researching their Manx family history will soon find their ancestors were related to a range of families, usually with very Manx names.

Families who have been connected with the Isle of Man over the last 500-1000 years are identifiable by their distinctive Manx family names. Previously people were known by single or personal names, sometimes nicknames, such as Duggan meaning the ‘little dark man’. Around 1000 years ago the Celtic patronymic system of names started to be adopted where the personal name was based on the name of your father or grandfather. This system means that a person can be identified by their personal name plus that of their male ancestor, for example Cormac MacNeill = Cormac Son of Neill. Names could describe attributes of the individual, their appearance, trade, or the place they lived but the Celtic patronymic ‘Mac’ meaning ‘the son of’ was the most common. From about 1100 AD onwards on the Isle of Man these family names, mostly unique to the Island, started to be adopted permanently and passed down to father to son unchanged.

Today there are some 125 hereditary family names surviving and still in use on the Island and these are the modern forms of the original Gaelic names in use around 1000 years ago. Modern genetic analysis using DNA testing throws light on the early history of the Manx population by tracking the Y-DNA makeup of men bearing these distinctive Manx names, including Teare. So far the study shows that Manx families tested are descended from one or two original patriarchs and so can be described as having a known genetic origin – the picture that would be expected for small families possessing family names with low overall frequency (see www.manxdna.co.uk for more details of the approx. 80 names investigated and latest results).

The Isle of Man was under the rule of a number of Scandinavian or Norse invaders for around 350 years and the study reveals only 25% of men of Manx origin today are descended from Scandinavians. This is a smaller number than might have been expected and the majority of modern Manx men have Celtic origins from men who arrived either from Scotland or Ireland. From the testing of modern Teare men in Isle of Man, UK and USA it is clear there are two different Teare genetic lines (both Celtic) on the Isle of Man. More testing is on-going to try and determine a more precise picture. However, testing carried out so far does confirm that the Teare lines from Peel (now in IoM and UK) and Patrick (now in USA) are closely related – for more on this connection see http://teareandsons.com/category/mining/ .

The phenomenon of two separate Teare male family lines is a good example of the same hereditary family name being formed in parallel and at around the same time (family names became hereditary on the Isle of Man between ca 1050 and 1300AD) by different families.  In a Gaelic speaking environment where patronymic names were in use, it is easy to expect that the same “son of: something/somebody” name could be adopted by more than one male-led family group at the same time.

But if this is true and occurs in the small Gaelic world of the Isle of Man, then it is even more so in the wider Gaelic-speaking world of Ireland and Scotland. So the Irish Kelly’s have no connection at all with the Manx Kellys for example. Hence we must learn not necessarily to expect that all families with the same name of Gaelic patronymic origin automatically have a genetic connection with each other!

However, all Manx families have mixed origins especially with the marriages between families over the centuries. Certain families are descended from a small group of male patriarchs who arrived on the Island in early times and this means many present day descendants of the families bearing unique Manx names, like Teare, are much more closely related to each other than they realise.

Herbert Douglas Teare 1897-1918

poppyHerbert Douglas Teare was born 20 May 1897 in Peel IoM, son of William James Teare a General Labourer and Christian Caine.  In 1901 the family was living in Princess Street, Douglas and he was the youngest with 2 brothers (Robert William and John Albert) and 2 sisters (Emily Gladys and Eva Alice). Before he joined up Herbert worked as a roper at Quiggin and Co Ropeworks.

Herbert enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers 2/7th Battn. in Douglas.  The 2/7th Battalion was formed at Salford in August 1914 as a home service (“second line”) unit. In February 1915 they were attached to 197th Brigade, 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division and landed at Le Havre 28 February 1917. In March 1918, the brigade suffered extremely high and horrendous casualties during Operation Michael, the opening phase of the German Army’s Spring Offensive.  On the morning of 21 March, a large-scale German attack began the Battle of St Quentin. Elements of the German 25th and 208th divisions attacked through heavy fog at dawn, overwhelming the 4th East Lancashires and 2/8th Lancashire Fusiliers (24th Division)  which held positions in the forward zone. On the right flank, near the boundary with 24th Division, a reserve company of 2/7th Manchesters held a defensive position from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, when they surrendered, having taken 70 percent casualties and run out of ammunition. Consequently the battn was reduced to a cadre status and became a training battn seeing no more active service.

Herbert was killed in the action on the 21 March 1918, the first day of the battle of St Quentin when the Lancashires lost over 7000 men. He is remembered at Pozieres Memorial Picardie, France.  His final pay due was paid to his mother and his sister Eva Alice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/66th_Division_(United_Kingdom)

 

Back to Teare WW1 memorial page

Centenary of Wanderer rescue after sinking of Lusitania 7 May 1915

lusitania wandererThe Cunard Line passenger liner ‘Lusitania’ was torpedoed by the U boat U20 off the Irish coast at 1400 on 7 May 1915 with the loss of about 1200 lives.

The Wanderer (PL11) a Peel built and operated fishing boat was the first on the scene of the disaster as she had been shooting her nets 10 miles south of Kinsale head when the Lusitania was torpedoed. She sailed to the scene and was able to pick up over 160 survivors. Luckily the sea was calm and they took 110 on board and towed the others in a raft and lifeboat until they could be transferred to other boats. The letters from the crew of the Wanderer provide a vivid first hand account of the final moments of the Lusitania and the efforts to rescue as many as they could in a small fishing boat which quickly became overloaded.

See http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/mannin/v6p315.htm 

The Wanderer PL11 was built in Peel in 1821 and sailed with a crew of 7 with skipper William Ball (Jurby), his son Stanley, William Gell (Ramsey), Thomas Woods, Robert Watterson, John Macdonald and Harry Costain (all from Peel). One of her shareholders was Charles Morrison a Peel grocer and it was to him the letters about the Lusitania rescue were sent. His daughter Eleanor Morrison was married to William Edward Teare, sailmaker and partner in Teare and Sons ships chandlers. Wanderer was sold to Ireland and renamed Erins Hope. Later she was fitted with a motor and continued fishing until the 1930s.

There were 771 survivors in all and 128 American citizens amongst the dead. In firing on a non military ship without warning the Germans had breached international law (the Cruiser Rules). The Germans accused Lusitania of being a naval vessel because she was reportedly carrying munitions and said the British had been breaching the Cruiser Rules. The presence of  munitions in the cargo was never proved and  this sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States. The resulting propaganda was important in changing public opinion and the subsequent decision for America to enter the war.

See the recent BBC article and video at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-28677593

Frank Teare 1889 – 1917

Frank Teare Peel FC 1908 1909Frank was born in Peel in 1889 son of William Edward Teare sailmaker and partner in Teare and Sons ships chandlers and Eleanor Morrison daughter of Charles Morrison, a Peel grocer. They lived at 2 Crown Street.

Frank had an older stepbrother Frederick William, an older brother Archy (died in 1907 aged 11) and a younger brother Edward Morrison Teare. Frank’s older stepbrother Frederick was a merchant seaman and by the time war broke out in 1914 he had his masters certificate and was a river pilot in Rangoon, Burma. (See link Frederick Teare)

Frank attended King William’s College and was a keen sportsman enjoying golf and playing football for Peel AFC. He was a member of the cup winning team of 1908/9 when Peel defeated Wanderers 2-1 at Tromode.  He became a surveyor and architect apprenticed to J.E. Teare of Douglas and in 1911 he emigrated to Quebec, Canada on the Empress of Ireland. He settled in Ontario and worked for the Canadian Government as a surveyor in the northern Alberta Region.

He enlisted into the Canadian Army in Calgary, Alberta in 1915 at the age of 26. His height was 5 ft 7inches and he had a fair complexion and hair and grey eyes.  The army had previously rejected him because of his eyesight, which was adversely affected by snowblindness caused during his surveying work.  He was drafted to England where he finished his training at Bramshott Camp before being sent to France where he was involved in the 1916 Somme offensive. He had a months furlough in Peel in January 1917 before returning to his regiment. He had been promoted to Corporal and was killed on 10 April 1917 taking part in the Canadian army campaign attacking and taking Vimy Ridge, a heavily fortified high point to the west of the town. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought between April 9 to 12 as part of the greater Battle of Arras. On April 10 the Battalion was near Hill 145, attacking at 3:15 p.m. and achieving all objectives by 3:45 p.m. even though enemy resistance was strong, the unit was relieved from their new positions that night.

frank teare memorialFrank is remembered on the memorial at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France and on the Peel War Memorial.

He was killed within a few miles of his stepbrother Frederick Teare who was wounded at Fampoux on the 11 April in the battle of Arras and later died of his wounds in Etaples Military hospital on 23 April 1917.

Frank’s younger brother Edward Morrison Teare served in the Royal Engineers, survived the war and eventually retired to Peel and became a Peel Town Commissioner.

 

More about the battle for Vimy Ridge at http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/vimyridge.htm

Vimy Ridge Canadian Memorial  http://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/after-the-war/remembrance/vimy-memorial/

The last sails made by Freddy Teare?

 

sails 1It’s always great when someone contacts me through Teare and Sons website to ask more details, correct me or give me more information. But it was quite a surprise when John Cowley contacted me to say that he had the last set of sails that had been made by Freddy Teare and would I like to see them?

 

 

 

Freddy Teare learned his trade as a sailmaker from his father, John and also whilst working in Barrow during WW1 when he was making all sorts of canvas covers for guns and equipment on battleships. Sailmaking was a ‘reserved occupation’ so he wasn’t called up into the army. Freddy Teare and his father John brought the Teare and Sons sailmakers and ships chandler business from their cousin Edward Morrison Teare after the end of the first world war. Teare and Sons continued in business on the Quay at Peel until 1964, increasingly making sails for yachts as the fishing fleet turned first to steam and then diesel engines.

 

 

 

Richard Cowley (John Cowley’s father) and Freddy used to go fishing together. Around 1963 Richard Cowley made a small fibre glass boat (10 foot 6 inches length) when working at Peel Engineering and so he asked Freddy to make him a set of sails. I contacted Freddy’s son, John Teare, and when I was in Peel in February we arranged to go and see John Cowley.

The day wasn’t ideal as it was a bit damp but we managed to hang the sails in the yard and have a good look at them.  The white cotton sailcloth sails are in good condition for their age and probably haven’t been used that much. The seams have been machine sewn but the sewing in of the thimbles for connecting the halyards and sheets is all done by hand and lovely to see as is the roping around the edge of the sails and the way it has been reduced in diameter where it finishes. I’ve included a few pictures here, which show the craftsmanship in these little sails. We’ll have to go back and get some better pictures when the weather is drier. Many thanks to John Cowley for contacting me and letting us see and touch this bit of sailmaking history and Peel craftsmanship.

sails 2

reefing point

reefing point

thimble detail

thimble detail

sails 3

Sinking of the Lusitania Commemoration Peel

lusitania wandererAs part of the 100 year anniversary commemorations of the 1st world war on the Isle of Man the Peel Town Commissioners have decided to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Cunard Line passenger liner ‘Lusitania’ by the U boat U20 off the Irish coast on 7 May 1915.

The Wanderer (PL11) a Peel built and operated fishing boat was the first on the scene of the disaster as she had been shooting her nets 10 miles south of Kinsale head when the Lusitania was torpedoed. She sailed to the scene and was able to pick up over 160 survivors. Luckily the sea was calm and they took 110 on board and towed the others in a raft and lifeboat until they could be transferred to other boats. The letters from the crew of the Wanderer provide a vivid first hand account of the final moments of the Lusitania and the efforts to rescue as many as they could in a small fishing boat which quickly became overloaded. See http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/mannin/v6p315.htm 

The owner of Wanderer in 1915 was Charles Morrison, a Peel grocer. His daughter Eleanor Morrison was married to William Edward Teare, sailmaker and partner in Teare and Sons ships chandlers.

There were 128 American citizens amongst the dead and in firing on a non military ship without warning the Germans had breached international law (the Cruiser Rules). The Germans had reason for treating Lusitania as a naval vessel because she was reportedly carrying munitions and the British had been breaching the Cruiser Rules but this sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States and the resulting propaganda was important in changing public opinion and the subsequent decision for America to enter the war.

See the recent BBC article and video at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-28677593

For more information on the Lusitania Commemorations in Peel on Sunday 3 May 2015 see www.the wanderer100.com

New books now available

Using archives from the Teare family and Manx National Heritage Michael Teare has been researching the story of Teare and Sons, Sailmakers and Ships Chandlers. Founded in 1866 by John Teare, a roper, this family company was in business on The Quay, Peel for 100 years. Teare and Sons were very involved in the development of the Manx fishing industry both as suppliers to the fishing fleet and as shareholders in fishing boats and trading schooners. Now three small books bring these stories to wider audience.

For more information and to order your copies look in the Teare and Sons book shop

ice salt smoke coverIce, salt and smoke (curing and conserving fish) – it wasn’t always kippers on the Isle of Man, how do you export your fish without it spoiling and where do you get your ice in the days before refrigeration?

 

sailmakers coverSailmaking – before the development of steam engines sails and sailmakers were as important and strategic as oil is today for Navy and Merchant ships as well as fishing fleets. So when  fishing boats were powered by the wind what did the sailmaker do?

 

ships chandlers coverShips Chandlers - in any port the Ships Chandler was an important business, not just for supplying local and visiting boats but also as an investor in the local fleet and the life of the town. How did a 19th century ships chandlers business work?

John Teare – Freeman of Peel

John Teare Freeman of Peel

John Teare (right)       Freeman of Peel

John Teare has been awarded Freeman of Peel.  The honour was in recognition of his 41 years supporting the Royal National Lifeboat Institute charity in Peel. He was presented with an illuminated address by the Chairman of Peel Town Commissioners at Peel Golf Club on Friday 21 November.

John said one of the main advantages of becoming a Freeman seems to be that he now has the right to drive a flock of sheep up Michael Street. He hasn’t yet said when he intends to exercise this new right but sponsored sheep driving through Peel could be a great new method of fundraising.