My PATTERSON family starts with John PATTERSON who married Amy LOCK in Woodbastwick, Norfolk. One of their offspring was Jonathan PATTERSON who married first Mary WATERTON in Burlingham and second Priscilla PARTRIDGE in Yarmouth.

One of Jonathan's sons stole a pair of boots and was exiled to Australia, another fought in the Crimea and the China WARS as a sailor. Another became a master tug owner in Yarmouth and the youngest was a trawler-man

Jonathan had 10 children, and I have identified 36 grand children, but I am CERTAIN this is only scratching the surface. There are many lines not yet researched.

Matthew PATTERSON, who was the Tug master above, fathered 14 of these 36, and was responsible for most of the Matthew PATTERSON's found in and around Yarmouth at the turn of the 20th century. His steam tug was 'The Star', a Red Funnel Line tug. There is a firm with the name of Red Funnel still operating out of Southampton, and they started business in 1885, so I think there must be some connection between the 2. I cannot imagine there being 2 firms with the same name in operation at the same time. However, they do not list a 'Star' amongst their historic tugs.

He was also the master of the United Services steam tug. Whilst I know that we all hailed from the same place, it always amazes me that our lives touch so often in the ethereal sense. As a child (c1952) I lived in Caister, and of course the lifeboat was an important part of my world. One of my first memories outside of my family was the lifeboat memorial in Caister Cemetery. It held a morbid fascination for me, especially the graphic depiction of the sinking and the drowning men. And now it turns out that Matthew - who at the time had no connection to my family at all - was often involved in the operation of the rescues.  When the 'rocket went up' we would rush to the cliffs to watch the lifeboat launch. This was mostly in the very worst of North Sea weather, so I can understand just how much courage all this took. Up until Sid sent me the photos (see below) I thought it was just the lifeboat crew, but no, it was Matthew as well.

Jonathan and his 2 wives, along with many other PATTERSON's, are buried in the old churchyard of St Nicholas. I was born in 1947, and left Yarmouth in 1957, so my memory of this church, the largest parish church in England, is as a bombed out shell. I lived near the cemetery wall, the breathing side not the mouldering one, and I remember many adventures in and around the tombstones. I especially remember -- and who knows how much my imagination has embroidered upon memory over the years -- a coffin shaped above ground sarcophagus with only a skull and crossbones engraved on the lid. I was convinced it was the grave of a pirate. A pirate more along the lines of Long John Silver and Errol Flynn than Blackbeard I must admit, but at eight I was not all that well read.

One great story, which I am sure I heard snippets of as a kid playing in amongst the graves, was of the body snatcher who dug up corpses from Yarmouth, crated them up in Row 6, and sent them to London for Sir Astley COOPER at Guy's hospital. I think he, the digger upperer not the cutter upperer, ended up here in Australia with all the rest of us opportunists.

Mmmmm - musing on all this graveyard stuff, it is no wonder I love family history. I obviously just use it is just an excuse to wander around them, looking for more vicarious thrills.

I have added a second tree - William who married in Thrigby. He was not born there, and as all our PATTERSON people start out in the same area at the same time, I have put this tree up so you can compare. I have NOT unconvered any link between the 2 super-families, but I expect it is there, possibly one 1 or 2 generations up

 

Living conditions in the Rows around 1890
The tug referred to in the newspaper cutting of his obit was the United Service and the lifeboat that it towed out on many occasions was the Caister. An oil painting by Claude Mowle and Kenneth Luck which was painted in 1912. Sent by Sid PATTERSON
Sent by Sid PATTERSON