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Ian Gotts of Kings Lynn spotted two images of a lifeboatman B Gotts on the East Durham history website. But who is he?
The “Skynner” was a ten-oared self-righting vessel (1887-1911) stationed at Seaham. She made seven launches and saved eighty-seven lives.
And here’s Mr B Gotts, second row second from the right.
In this one he is number 5.
Having searched both the 1891 and 1901 census, the most likely candidate is George William 2264, born 1877, son of Philip 184 Gotts and Elizabeth Bailey in tree #022. He is the only possible ‘B Gotts’ on the coast, and in Dawdon, which is part of Seaham. He would be 18 in 1895, so possibly a mature-looking 18 year old? In the 1891 census he is a joiner at 16 Havelock St, Stranton, West Hartlepool, but in 1901 he is a Boatman for H M Customs, living at 7 Adolphus St, Dawdon.
Has anyone any other suggestions?
I can’t find anything on-line with the names of lifeboatmen for that time. If anyone knows a way to check this out then please let me know.
The tricky bit is working out who he is. There are very few B Gottses in that area, apart from Boaz, who would be 68 in 1895, when he died, so it clearly isn’t him. So the search was on for either a William known as Billy, or a Robert known as Bob.