Thursday, June 10, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Certificate of Discharge (John H. Beare)

My step-father’s uncle (by marriage) was Captain John Henry Beare, a seaman in the Mercantile Marines. Amongst the treasures that I have are Captain Beare’s Certificate of Discharge papers from the various ships of which he was a member of the crew. I have about 30 of these discharge papers ranging from 1886 when he was just 16 years old to 1912 when he was 41 years old (he retired as Captain in 1935 at the age of 64).

The Certificate of Discharge below is for his time served on the Elizabeth Graham. He joined the crew in Melbourne, Australia on December 10, 1890 at the age of 20 and was discharged on January 13, 1892 in Sydney, Australia. The Master of the ship was a Captain C. Hodge. His station on board was “AB” – not sure what that is. Either on the back of the certificate or stamped on the front the Master would note the character of the seaman. On all of the discharge papers, his “Character of Ability” and “Character of Conduct” was always no less than Very Good.

One of the items on my To Do List is to try and find passenger lists to match the discharge papers. The one below is one that I have found on Ancestry for his time on the Elizabeth Graham (there could be several for his 2 year stint on this ship). On this trip, they left Bluff, New Zealand on January 30, 1891 and arrived in Sydney on February 2,1891.

After he left the Elizabeth Graham, he joined the crew of the Nemesis in May 1892 as 3rd Mate.


  1. WOW! That is a treasure chest find ~ all those papers from 1886 to 1912. I hope you have them encased and displayed. Priceless!!

  2. Hello, Capt C.Hodge is my Husband's 2x great grandfather, whom owned the Elizabeth Graham, Thank you for sharing this.