Saturday, 17 July 2010

Surname Saturday: Damerell

I have traced my DAMERELLs back to East Allington (Devon) in 1658.  part of a farming community, they moved to nearby Loddiswell, then to Charleton and Kingsbridge.  Great great grandfather Henry started out as an 'engine rail driver', but soon graduated to the sea, as did many of my ancestors, working as a sailor for nearly twenty years.  He later became a marine-store dealer, which in fact sounds posher than it actually is.  (It also sometimes refers to gypsies, but I do not think I have any Romany blood in me).  Basically, a marine store dealer was a scrap man who sold to mariners. 

" A Marine Store Dealer was a licensed broker who bought and sold used cordage, bunting, rags, timber, metal and other general waste materials. He usually sorted the purchased waste by kind, grade etc. He also repaired and mended sacks etc.
Marine Store Dealers were governed by an Act of Parliament 1st. Geo. IV. sec.16 cap.75. which enacted that every marine-store-dealer shall have his name inserted in legible characters over his shop-door and shall also keep a book in which he shall insert the name and address of any person from whom he shall buy any article." ( and was mentioned by Dickens as early as 1836.

Later, he became a stoker in a steam ship, and in fact was still a stoker in his early sixties.  He was obviously a very strong man!

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