The Wreck of the Annie Jane

The Annie Jane was an emigrant ship  with over 450 people aboard that sailed from Liverpool on the 9th of September 1853 on a voyage to Quebec. The ship was dis-masted three days out but still attempted to carry on against the wishes of most of the passengers. Caught up in a number of storms the vessel was eventually wrecked on the tiny island of Vatersay one of the Outer Hebrides on the West coast of Scotland. The casualties amounting to over 350 were interred in two mass graves somewhere in the sand dunes of the island; the location sadly lost. The 102 survivors did not meet with much hospitality as resources were limited on the island; some of them taking a month to return to their homes.

A lonely rather neglected granite monument is now the only sign that the tragedy ever happened.

This website for the first time online lists those who died and the survivors of the tragedy. The origins and ages of those involved where it has been established are listed. A fascinating picture emerging of the make up of the crew and passengers; coming from every corner of the British Isles and from the length and breadth of Ireland. Also from Switzerland, Holland, America and Canada.

So I am requesting visitors to this site if you have an interest in local history to look through the names of those who were lost to see if you recognise names from a dead branch of your family tree. Perhaps you can help? Any additional information gladly received, it will be added to the update page. As for the survivors; we have found the origins of all but nine of them, but again any information would be welcome

The Wreck of the ‘Annie Jane’

The Forgotten Island Disaster

1853, Vatersay, Outer Hebrides

There is a book for sale on the site but this is not the primary motivation for this website. The object of this site is to build up as full and comprehensive a picture of the people on the Annie Jane as possible. It is the least we can do for these brave emigrants.

Thanks are due to Alan Jenkins for permission to use the youtube video.


2 thoughts on “The Wreck of the Annie Jane”

  1. Delighted to have found this site. Always curious about the disappearance of my great grandfather’s older brother Charles Bell. Charles had followed his father Charles Bell 1803 – 1840 to a life at sea despite a dreadful accident in the Thames Estuary that badly affected his father and probably led to his premature death. Having discovered that Charles jr’s widow had remarried in 1855 led me to hunt for Charles’ death and ‘bingo’ the mystery is solved.

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