The Shipboard Journal of AB Steele

AB Steele's Shipboard Journal
AB Steele's Shipboard Journal

It was one hundred and twenty six years ago, to this very day, that AB Steele, a young man at the tender age of 21 said farewell to family and friends in a little village in East Cheshire and began the journey that would eventually see him make a home for himself  in Berwick, Victoria.

He kept a journal throughout the voyage and after a time sent the journal back to family in Cheshire. The family history group was contacted in 2011 by a lady whose aunt had the journal, it belonged to her aunt’s late husband’s family and they were looking for descendants of AB Steele to pass the journal on to for safe keeping. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any, we know that AB Steele had four children, three of whom died without descendants and we’ve had a bit of trouble following the trail of the last child, AB Steele’s namesake, Albert Birchinall Steele. But, we’re still looking.

In the absence of any descendants to pass the journal on to, the family decided that the journal should return to Berwick, and so, the family history group have assumed a custodial role while the search continues. We feel very privileged indeed to be able to share in the wonder of this journal that has now crossed the oceans between England and Australia three times. So we thought we might share it, and post the journal entries of 1886 on the corresponding days of 2012, entries will be posted exactly as written. If there is no post on a given day, there is no entry for that day. Entries vary in length from day to day but are noticeably shorter towards the end of the voyage (and the journal’s pages).

As a diary or journal is usually written at the end of the day – we will post every evening with news of  ‘the day’s’ events.

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