Do you have ancestors who went to Patagonia?

Routledge Patagonia

Looking at some evocative photos of the Patagonian coast (I seem to know a lot of people who’ve recently been out there), I was reminded of a boat that went through the Straits of Magellan in 1913. This was the auxiliary schooner Mana, registered in Whitstable in 1912, captained by William Scoresby Routledge, stewarded by his wife Katherine Routledge (nee Pease) and crewed by a curious collection of seamen, fishermen, scientists and the odd Royal Navy lieutenant.

The voyage is best known for the months that Katherine spent on Easter Island, and is informed by her records. But what of the rest of the crew? Some years ago – before the internet took off – I tried to track down descendants, in the hope that letters or even diaries might have survived. The best I came across was one person who could remember seeing a folder marked “Expedition”, assumed to have contained material relating to the trip, but which had not seen since around 1950, and probably went in a house clearance. I was unable to trace many of the families.

It occurs to me that now people are searching the web for family histories, posting the full crew list (as I was able to compile it – there remain gaps and some doubts that further work could clear up, the records are not all consistent) may alert someone or other out there who has anything that might help throw light on the voyage. I’d be delighted to hear from you.


with place of birth and age at time joined ship


March 1913–May 1914

William Scoresby Routledge, master, doctor (Melbourne, 53)

Henry James Gillam, sailing master (Emsworth, 37). Died April 1918 capturing submarines

Lt David R Ritchie, Lieut RN, navigator (Glasgow, 26). Left Easter Island 1 April 1914

Frank Preston, mate (Brixham, 49)

Albert Light, seaman (Brixham, 47)

William Marks, deck-hand (Brixham, 32). Discharged Talcahuano 4 January 1915

Charles G Jeffery, boy (Lowestoft, 18). Died on a minesweeper

Frank T Green, engineer, photographer (Portui [?], Italy, 25). Discharged Talcahuano 9 February 1915

Katherine Routledge, stewardess (Darlington, 48)


Gilbert L Groundsell, steward (Hants, 44). Discharged Falmouth 17 March 1913

O G S Crawford, purser, anthropologist (Bombay, 26). Discharged St Vincent 13 May 1913

George Smith, steward (Liverpool, 32). Deserted Buneos Aaires 15 September 1913

F W Shephard (‘Luke’), cook (Teddington, 20). Deserted Punta Arenas 18 November 1913

Bartholomew De Rosa (‘Tony’), seaman (St Vincent, Cape Verde, 31). Engaged 24 May 1913 St Vincent

L Bailey, cook (Stockport, 39). Engaged Punta Arenas 12 November 1913, discharged Tahiti 18 September 1915

F F Gray (‘Freeman’), steward (Liverpool, 21). Engaged Punta Arenas 17 November 1913, discharged Talcahuano

F Lowry-Corry, purser, geologist (London, 23). Engaged 14 January 1914 Talcahuano, hospitalised Valparaiso 7 February 1914 [KR says joined Punta Arenas], died at war 1915

George Dirschus, seaman, cook, steward (Germany, 30). Engaged 29 January 1914 Talcahuano, discharged Talcahuano 15 June 1914

Peter Tygersen, cook, steward (Hamburg, 45). Engaged 24 June 1914 Talcahuano

Simon Vickisen [?], seaman (Russia, 47). Engaged 13 November 1914 Talcahuano, discharged Talcahuano 18 December 1914

T Hector Jones, mate (England, 34). Engaged 2 January 1915 Talcahuano, discharged Talcahuano 9 April 1915

Eduardo Silva, mate (Chile, 23). Engaged 15 February 1915 Talcahuano

Emilio Vasquez, boy (Chile, 18). Engaged 15 February 1915 Talcahuano, discharged Easter Island 30 May 1915

George Munroe [?], seaman (Scotland, 59). Engaged 15 February 1915 Talcahuano, discharged Tahiti 18 September 1915

Edwin Young, steward (Pitcairn Island, 24). Engaged 2 September 1915 Pitcairn Island

Charles Young, steward (Pitcairn Island, 27). Engaged 2 September 1915 Pitcairn Island

Edward La Blanche, cook (USA, 23). Engaged 23 September 1915 Tahiti, deserted Honolulu 23 November 1915

Robert E Allen, seaman (USA, 23). Engaged 23 September 1915 Tahiti, deserted Honolulu 23 November 1915

Charles Karlsohn, seaman (Russia, 36). Engaged 25 November 1915 Honolulu [Russian Finn died in war]

I Ikarii [?], cook (Japan, 37). Engaged 25 November 1915 Honolulu, deserted Colon 18 March 1916

A Stewart, cook (Panama, 26). Engaged 25 March 1916 Colon, discharged Jamaica 8 April 1916

William B Thomas, cook (Jamaica, 22). Engaged 9 April 1916 Jamaica

5 thoughts on “Do you have ancestors who went to Patagonia?

  1. I have been researching my Mother’s side of the family & was finding it difficult to find out much information on my Grandfather William Marks. On entering his name into Google along with Brixham this site was revealed. How amazing! Although I have no information for you as regards the voyage I can tell you that he was born on 15th August 1880 & died on 17th December 1958 aged 78 years. On my reckoning he would of been 34 years on 15th January 1915 when he was discharged so it all seems to fit. He was indeed a seaman & travelled all over the world. The other two Brixham men would be known as their surnames are of the area. Brixham museum could possibly help you on this score, let me know if you need any help & I will contact them for you or I can give you their email address. I would be interested to know any details about this trip. My Grandad was a lovely gentleman who died when I was 10 years old. I have some photographs of him in his seaman clothes, never without his hat which covered a mop of pure white hair!

    This is probably of no use to you, but it was lovely to find out some history of my Grandad.

    Kind Regards,

    Sue Inns (Mrs)

  2. Hello it was great to see this sight as I am a direct decendant of Henry James Gillam. Unfortunately I do not have any letters/diarys of my great grand father. But I do know that he received his comission for easter island when he was in Japan. I only have the book by mrs routledge but my uncle might have more. I also have copy of where my great grand father is buried which is in Sicily. My understanding around his death is that he took a lower ranked comission to get on HMS Egmont to do his bit for WW1. Unfortunately the vessel was hit by a submarine. His wife Ada was so shocked that he was never coming home that she never spoke again. Henry had always come home to Ada so she never beleved that he wouldn’t come home.

  3. Hello, I have just found your site and looked at the crew list of the Mana. I knew about the trip to Easter island as my uncle was on board. He was Charles Gifford Jeffery my fathers younger brother, it would have been great to have had the chance to talk with him, but it was not to be.
    Bill Jeffery

    1. Hello
      One of Charles Jeffery’s ww1 medals is for sale on ebay at the moment. not sure if you have seen,

      1. Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn’t seen it. There are a lot of records and memorabilia out there from the journeys of the Mana and the Topaze (the ship that brought Hoa Hakananai’a to London), but sadly no institution – one thinks naturally of the British Museum, or perhaps the Royal Geographical Society or the National Maritime Museum, also in London – is collecting.

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