How does anyone survive a shipwreck during a hurricane in 1857?

ss_central_america

Learning about ancestors and relatives can lead to amazing discoveries.

One such story is that of Harriet Hill, a distant cousin of mine, who married a fellow supposedly named Lockwood. Except that wasn’t his real name. He had borrowed the name of a cousin, a preacher down in New Orleans. But that’s another story and rather intricate, complicated one.

Harriet, her husband and their three children had gone to California for some reason. On the return voyage, which is another remarkable tale, after leaving San Francisco, crossing Panama before the canal, and visiting Havana, their ship encountered a category two hurricane about 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina and sank.

Harriet and the kids escaped into a lifeboat, but her husband didn’t. The survivors landed in Norfolk, Virginia eight days later.

I am in awe, and I’m still piecing the story together.

ajh

 

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