Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Looking for relatives of crewmembers of the 1845 Franklin Expedition

DNA analysis of skeletal remains belonging to crewmembers of the 1845 Franklin Expedition has recently been conducted. The researchers are now seeking DNA, buccal (cheek) swab samples, from living descendants who have genealogical records linking them to a member of the expedition with the goal of trying to identify some of these remains.

The project is under the direction of Douglas Stenton (Director of Heritage, Government of Nunavut) and Anne Keenleyside (Dept. of Anthropology, Trent University).

If you are an interested relative, please contact Prof. Keenleyside (akeenleyside at

Prof Keenleyside contacted me as several people had left comments on a previous blog post here. This blog system posts them without an email address. I'm delighted to help in this small way, especially as I've been dismayed that some other Canadian anthropological projects have not ventured into DNA studies.


Here, taken from a compilation of muster rolls at and sorted by last name, are the officers and men of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Ages given would relate to the departure from England in 1845.

Andrews Joseph  Captain of the Hold  age 35 HMS Erebus
Armitage Thomas  Gun-room Steward  age 40 HMS Terror
Arthur Daniel  Quartermaster  age 35 HMS Erebus
Aylmore Richard  Gunroom Steward  age 24 HMS Erebus
Bailey John Able Seaman  age 21 HMS Terror
Bates John Able Seaman  age 24 HMS Terror
Bell   William  Quartermaster  age 36 HMS Erebus
Berry Alexander Able Seaman  age 32 HMS Terror
Best   Charles Able Seaman  age 23 HMS Erebus
Blanky Thomas  Ice Master  HMS Terror
Braine William  Private  age 31 HMS Erebus
Bridgens John  Subordinate Officers' Steward  age 26 HMS Erebus
Brown James W.  Caulker  age 28 HMS Erebus
Brown Samuel  Boatswain's Mate  age 27 HMS Erebus
Bryant David  Sergeant  age 31 HMS Erebus
Burt   Thomas  Armorer  age 22 HMS Erebus
Cann George J. Able Seaman  age 23 HMS Terror
Chambers George Boy  age18 HMS Erebus
Closson William Able Seaman  age25 HMS Erebus
Collins Henry Foster  Second Master  HMS Erebus
Coombs Charles Able Seaman  age 28 HMS Erebus
Couch Edward  Mate  HMS Erebus
Cowie John  Stoker  HMS Erebus
Crispe Samuel Able Seaman  age 24 HMS Terror
Crozier Francis Rawden Moira  Captain  HMS Terror
Daly James  Private  age 30 HMS Terror
Darlington Thomas  Caulker  age 29 HMS Terror
Des Voeux Charles Frederick  Mate  HMS Erebus
Diggle John  Cook  age 36 HMS Terror
Downing John  Quartermaster  HMS Erebus
Dunn Francis  Caulker's Mate  age 25 HMS Erebus
Evans Thomas Boy  age 18 HMS Terror
Fairholme James Walter  Lieutenant  HMS Erebus
Farr   Thomas R.  Captain of the Maintop  age 32 HMS Terror
Ferrier Robert Able Seaman  age 29 HMS Erebus
Fitzjames James  Commander  HMS Erebus
Fowler William  Purser's Steward  age 26 HMS Erebus
Franklin Sir John  Captain  HMS Erebus
Geater Josephus Able Seaman  age32 HMS Erebus
Genge Edward  Subordinate Officers' Steward  age 21 HMS Terror
Gibson William  Subordinate Officers' Steward  age 22 HMS Terror
Goddard William  Captain of the Hold  age 39 HMS Terror
Golding Robert Boy  age 19 HMS Terror
Goodsir Harry D.S.  Assistant Surgeon  HMS Erebus
Gore  Graham  Lieutenant  HMS Erebus
Gregory John  Engineer  HMS Erebus
Hammond John  Private  age 32 HMS Terror
Handford   John Able Seaman  age 28 HMS Terror
Hartnell   John Able Seaman  age 25 HMS Erebus
Hartnell Thomas Able Seaman  age 23 HMS Erebus
Healey Joseph  Private  age29 HMS Erebus
Heather William  Private  age 37 HMS Terror
Hedges William  Corporal  age 30 HMS Terror
Helpman E.J.  Clerk in Charge  HMS Terror
Hickey Cornelius  Caulker's Mate  age 24 HMS Terror
Hoar    Edmund  Captain's Steward  age 23 HMS Erebus
Hodgson George Henry  Lieutenant  HMS Terror
Honey Thomas  Carpenter  HMS Terror
Honey Samuel  Blacksmith  age 22 HMS Terror
Hopcraft Robert  Private  age38 HMS Erebus
Hornby Frederick John  Mate  HMS Terror
Irving John  Lieutenant  HMS Terror
Jerry    William Able Seaman  age 29 HMS Terror
Johns Robert Able Seaman  age24 HMS Erebus
Johnson Thomas  Boatswain's Mate  age 28 HMS Terror
Johnson William  Stoker  age 45 HMS Terror
Johnson Charles Able Seaman  age 28 HMS Terror
Jopson Thomas  Captain's Steward  age 27 HMS Terror
Kenley John  Quartermaster  HMS Terror
Kinnaird Goerge Able Seaman  age 23 HMS Terror
Lane  John  Boatswain  HMS Terror
Lawrence   Edwin Able Seaman  age 30 HMS Terror
Le Vesconte H.T.D.  Lieutenant  HMS Erebus
Leys    David Able Seaman  age 37 HMS Terror
Little Edward  Lieutenant  HMS Terror
Lloyd Henry Able Seaman  age 26 HMS Erebus
Male Reuben  Captain of the Forecastle  age 27 HMS Terror
Manson Magnus Able Seaman  age 28 HMS Terror
Mark William Able Seaman  age 24 HMS Erebus
McBean Giles Alexander  Second Master  HMS Terror
McConvey Thomas Able Seaman  age 24 HMS Erebus
McDonald Alexander  Assistant Surgeon  HMS Terror
McDonald David  Quartermaster  age 45 HMS Terror
Morfin John Able Seaman  age25 HMS Erebus
Murray John  Sailmaker  age 43 HMS Erebus
Orren William Able Seaman  age34 HMS Erebus
Osmer Charles Hamilton  Purser  HMS Erebus
Pearson Alexander  Corporal  age30 HMS Erebus
Peddie John Smart  Surgeon  HMS Terror
Peglar Harry  Captain of the Foretop  age 37 HMS Terror
Pilkington William  Private  age 28 HMS Erebus
Plater Thomas Stoker  HMS Erebus
Pocock Francis Able Seaman  age24 HMS Erebus
Reddington Phillip  Captain of the Forecastle  age 28 HMS Erebus
Reed William  Private  age28 HMS Erebus
Reid James  Ice Master  HMS Erebus
Rhodes William  Quartermaster  age 31 HMS Terror
Rigden James  Captain's Coxwain  age 32 HMS Erebus
Sait Henry Able Seaman  age 23 HMS Terror
Seeley Abraham Able Seaman  age34 HMS Erebus
Sergeant Robert Orme  Mate  HMS Erebus
Shanks William Able Seaman  age 29 HMS Terror
Sims David Able Seaman  age 24 HMS Terror
Sinclair Robert  Captain of the Foretop  age 25 HMS Erebus
Sinclair William Able Seaman  age 30 HMS Terror
Smith William  Blacksmith  age 28 HMS Erebus
Smith Luke  Stoker  age 27 HMS Terror
Stanley Stephen Samuel  Surgeon  HMS Erebus
Stickland  John Able Seaman  age24 HMS Erebus
Strong William Able Seaman  age 22 HMS Terror
Sullivan John  Captain of the Maintop  age 28 HMS Erebus
Tadman Thomas Able Seaman  age28 HMS Erebus
Terry Thomas  Boatswain  HMS Erebus
Thomas Robert  Mate  HMS Terror
Thompson George Able Seaman  age 27 HMS Erebus
Thompson James  Engineer  HMS Terror
Torrington John  Leading Stoker  age 19 HMS Terror
Tozer Solomon  Sergeant  age 34 HMS Terror
Walker James Able Seaman  age 29 HMS Terror
Wall    Richard  Ship's Cook  age 45 HMS Erebus
Watson Thomas  Carpenter's Mate  age 40 HMS Erebus
Weekes John  Carpenter  HMS Erebus
Wentzall William Able Seaman  age 33 HMS Terror
Wilkes Henry  Private  age 28 HMS Terror
Wilson Alexander  Carpenter's Mate  age 27 HMS Terror
Wilson John  Captain's Coxwain  age 33 HMS Terror
Work Thomas Able Seaman  age 41 HMS Erebus
Young David Boy  age 18 HMS Erebus


Nancy Cutway said...

Is there a list somewhere of the crew members?

JDR said...

The post is updated to include a crew list.