Saturday, August 03, 2013

Sepia Saturday

The theme this week for Sepia Saturday is about boats, wharves, lighthouses, tall ships or whatever the picture leads you to. Unfortunately I was unable to find any ships or wharves in my collection, so I have chosen instead to write a little about my husband's great grandfather who was a master mariner and a captain in the Pilot Service..

Alexander Frederick Boord was the son of another Alexander Frederick Boord who came to South Australia in 1840 and established one of the first vineyards and orchards at Athelstone in the foothills of Adelaide. His farm, Freshford, also called Balcombe in some records has been placed on the heritage buildings list and although not open to the public, still stands today, though apparently not in good condition.

CAPTAIN ALEXANDER FREDERICK BOORD, was born in 1845 and was better known as Pilot Boord, for he was in the Pilot Service for over 30 years,  He went to sea at an early age, gained his second mate’s Ticket in 1867 and master’s in 1871. He was mate on the ship Bengal which took telegraph material and supplies to the Roper River, Northern Territory, for the Overland Telegraph party, 1872. He also served in the Day Dawn, John Williams, and the steamer Royal Shepherd, and for a time on the survey ship H.M.S. Geranium.

He joined the Pilot Service in 1873, when 28 years of age, and was known as "the pilot with many daughters". After his retirement from pilotage he spent a few years at the Signal Station, Semaphore, and died on July 17, 1926. During his sea experiences he was never shipwrecked, but his vessel was once struck by lightning, when he sustained slight burns, scars from which he carried to the end of his days.

Nine of the 12 Boord children

Captain Boord and his wife Fanny Eliza Ranford had 12 children - one wonders when he had time to beget this large family. I have a photo of the children when they were older and after their mother died in February 1894, but the photo does not blow up clearly. The youngest child was born in December 1893, so Fanny may have died because of childbirth complications - or exhaustion!

This family photo  was taken at the wedding of one of the Boord children. Quite a gathering.
Captain Boord is the bearded gentleman third from the left in the back row. My husband's grandmother is the lady with the large white hat standing behind the dowager in black in the centre of the photo.

 Below is a copy of the record of the ship of which Captain Boord was the master. It appears that his wife and baby daughter went on this trip with him.

 Liz Needle  -  linking with    Sepia Saturday


  1. You have a rich and fascinating family history. These photos are priceless to you and I'm sure you'll be able to keep them and pass them on to future generations. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Absolutely fascinating! The picture of the 9 children was delightful. I had to laugh at the "pilot with many daughters." My great grandparents had a bevy of daughters too. I will be looking forward to more pictures and stories.

  3. Oh Liz - those photos are so very beautiful. Lucky lucky you. I just adore that wedding photo. Everyone is so dressed up and in their finest. Just wonderful.

  4. Liz, your photo of the nine Boord children is a stunner. You have to credit the skill of the photographer who took that one, so full of character. You can see that they have only just interrupted their day for the sitting, even if dressed in their best clothes and with their hair combed nicely. The wedding gatherine is another very good shot - couldn't really have been taken anywhere else but Australia, could it?

  5. Fantastic to be part of the Overland Telegraph history.And the Port Adelaide area played such an important role in South Australia's history as well. What an interesting ancestor.

  6. The "pilot with many daughters" - ha! What a way to be known. Apparently Captain Boord's coworkers found that amusing or maybe cause for sympathy.

  7. Two photos so full of interesting faces - even if the children didn't smile!

  8. What wonderful family photographs. I especially like the one taken at the wedding. It's amazing how many people exist who never would have except for the fact that two people fell in love.

  9. The photo with the nine children (and the dog) is a gem.