The Kane Family Shipwreck

Tom mentions the Kane family ancestors being shipwrecked off Newfoundland in the film interview. He told me to check the records of Lloyd’s of London. They have all the records of ship wrecks. After a couple of hours online, I did find some references to a ship with a story that fits the description of the shipwreck.

John and Alice Kane, with 2 year-old Thomas, sailed from Ireland for York(Toronto), Canada in 1829. Their ship wrecked off the coast of Newfoundland. They later got a ride to Maramachi, New Brunswick, where John died. After 16 years, Alice and 18-year-old Thomas made their way to Canada. The Despatch comes closet to fitting the description of the ship they sailed on.

The Despatch was partly owned by William Lancaster of Workington, England. On May 29 1828 she set sail from Derry, Ireland en route to Quebec with eleven crew and 200 passengers, almost all of whom were Irish emigrants hoping to escape the poverty then prevailing in Ireland.

The ship ran aground July 12, 1828 on a small, bare rocky island near Isle aux Morts, or, as it was then called, Dead Island, off the south coast of the Island of Newfoundland. A seventeen year old girl from the area, Ann Harvey, along with her father, her twelve year old brother and a dog, rescued 160 people from the wreck between the twelfth and fifteenth of July. As a result, Ann Harvey became known as the Grace Darling of Newfoundland. The English government later awarded them a medal and a sum of money for their heroic feat. Songs were written in her honor. More on that later.


12 thoughts on “The Kane Family Shipwreck”

  1. I’m also a descendent of Emma Alice Kane … I’m her great great granddaughter through Shirley Emma Maus … And my 2nd cousin Craig Salt … I’d also love to hear more about the Kane family … Thanks

    1. Hi, Jodi… I am related to Shirley. Her father was my grandmother’s younger brother. I am working with a distant cousin in Texas, a decendent of Emma’s younger brother David. She is compiling the Kane family tree online. Shawnee

  2. I’m a descendent of the Kane family as well … I’m Emma Alice’s great great granddaughter …. Through Shirly Emma Maus … And my 2nd cousin Craig Salt … I would love to hear anymore info on the Kane family … Although I was told to try looking up the name O’Kane to possibly find more information … Thanks

  3. If you are still following this, I am some information about David Prosser Kane from Kaslo, B.C. Contact me for further info.

    1. Jim, I am very much interested in any info as I am researching Kane family. Emma Alice Kane was my great grandmother. Thanks ! Shawnee

      1. My great-grandfather David Prosser Kane was a younger brother of Emma Alice Kane Maus. So, you and I are related. Please contact me at schucar at hotmail dot com. I have developed a massive and all encompassing family tree online, but I do not have you yet on that tree, although I have included Emma Alice’s children on the tree…..Carla

  4. If you are still checking this, I have recently found some information about David Prosser Kane from Kaslo, British Columbia, Canada. Contact me for further info.

  5. I am a descendant of Thomas Kane through his son David Prosser Kane’s youngest daughter Marcia’s only daughter Nadine.

    Do you know if a passenger list exists for this ill fated ship?

    Thank you.

    1. I am also a descendant of John and Alice Kane, through Thomas’ younger sister Margaret. I would love more information on the Kanes, especially if there is any record of them before leaving Ireland. If you take out the underscores you can email me (anyone with any info!) at ahiu_sser_@_hotm_ail._com. (I put the underscores in to avoid spam.) And please put Kane Family Info (or something similar) as the subject or it will be deleted. Thanks! Amy

    2. Hi, Carla
      I am also checking for original ships list. I’m thinking we need to write to Lloyds of London. Emma Alice Kane was my great grandmother. The story that the family passed to us is John, Alice and Thomas refused to go further on the Tyne and stayed in St John’s. Unfortunately, a horrific fire destroyed most of that towns records. Shawnee

      1. Shawnee…..
        I’ve spent 3 years searching for the ID of the ship and haven’t yet discerned it…..neither have I been able to pinpoint the date when the Kanes/Kains/Cains/Keanes departed Ireland or found them yet on any passenger list. I’m still searching, however. Simultaneously, I’m seeking the Irish property records and current descendents of John Wilfred Kane for his records of that same search in the late teens and 1920s. Contact me: schucar at hotmail dot com.

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