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1855 Drowning off Isle of Man, John NIJER

Replies: 2

Re: 1855 Drowning off Isle of Man, John NIJER

Posted: 1358536659000
Classification: Query
Someone on the GLASGOW Mailing List found this fellow on ScotlandsPeople as John NIGER. I have not downloaded this one as others have and they have stated the cause of death was 'Affliction of the Lungs' which drowning could certainly be categorized. What I was missing is that this man did not DROWN ! He most probably DIED on the ship and was then delivered to the ship's destination which was Glasgow. The 1855 Death Registration was issued out of Anderston, Glasgow. It was my own assumption seeing the entry in Sighthill records that he DROWNED off the "Isle of Mann", instead he DIED at that location...the entry specifically states he DIED, not drowned. Possibly of TB or a bronchitis or other respiratory illness but not drowning.

It was my earlier thought this name could be NIGEL but not recorded properly, had never seen a NIER surname however when I saw "NIGER" returned from the official Death Registration, I now do think this man was African. If he was that, it was suggested his name abord the ship would have simply been John NIGER or more likely a similar slang word at that time. He would have gotten no autopsy to determine the cause of death and probably was shipped off to Sighthill post haste ! I have to think the Sighthill clerk would not have wanted to enter that surname officially in their books, so it was altered slightly to NIJER and luckily there was the ship's name entered also...the LYNX.

I do think this mystery is pretty much solved with regard to him not being white and not drowning. If the clerk had just written UNKNOWN, this subtle reference to heritage would not have been found. Also, if he had not been respected, he may have been identified as simply Unknown, but he did have a name, likely the only name he had. I am grateful for this small bit to leave in these Archives for him, even though I am now sure he has no links to the Isle of Man. Meg Greenwood / Oklahoma USA
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Meg Greenwood 1358441108000 
bbffrrpp 1358506301000 
Meg Greenwood 1358536659000 
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