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1820 Settlers - Russell's Party (Survivors of the Abeona)

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  • Thomas Reid, SV/PROG (c.1790 - 1839)
    THE ABEONA DISASTERThis information is the result of my research into the Reid family in 1991. It appears that Thomas and Agnes Reid were 1820 settlers from Scotland in Russell's Party who sailed on th...
  • Agnes Reid, SM/PROG (1801 - 1839)
    THE ABEONA DISASTER This information is the result of my research into the Reid family in 1991. It appears that Thomas and Agnes Reid were 1820 settlers from Scotland in Russell's Party who sailed on ...

Russell's Party

1820 Settlers

Main Reference The Settler Handbook by MD Nash

See also eGGSA - The 1820 Settler Correspondence

Additional information from South African Settlers

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Led by William Russell of 48 Bridge Gate Street, Glasgow, Scotland. This was a party of Scots artisans and trademen whose deposits were paid through Monteith of Glasgow, and who sailed from Greenock in the Abeona on 13 October 1820. At sea on 25 November, in latitude 4° 30' N and longitude 25° 30' W, the ship caught fire, and after burning for fifteen hours was totally destroyed. Three small boatloads of survivors were rescued by a Portuguese merchant ship; 16 of the crew including the master, 27 emigrants and nine passengers were saved, and 114 people - nine of the crew, 100 emigrants and five passengers - were lost with the ship.

Six survivors of the Abeona disaster were given passage to the Cape in HMS Sappho in the following year, and arrived in Simon's Bay in August 1821. They applied for a grant of land, and presumably settled in the western Cape.

Survivors of Russell's Party who reached the Cape

[Bold links are to Geni profiles; other links are to other biographical notes]

James Clark

John McLaren, Joiner.

John McLean

Thomas Reid, Sawyer.

Wife Agnes Walker.

Robert Thompson Bricklayer.


The following is a list of the passengers on board at the time of the sinking from Loss of the Abeona

  • Russel – wife, three sons, and two daughters - all lost
  • Hally and wife - both lost
  • Kay and wife – both saved
  • Montgomery – lost
  • McLaren – wife, two sons, and two daughters – McLaren saved, wife and children lost
  • Walker and wife - both lost
  • Mcfarlane and wife – both lost
  • McLuckie, wife, three sons and one daughter – only one boy saved
  • Reid and wife –husband saved, wife lost
  • Ballardie – saved
  • Barrie, wife, seven sons, and three daughters – the father, mother one boy and one girl lost, six boys and two girls saved
  • Allan – lost
  • Paterson, wife, two sons, and two daughters – only one boy saved
  • McIntosh – wife, three sons and two daughters – all lost
  • Coverly, wife, four sons and one daughter - father, mother, two boys and one daughter lost, two boys saved
  • Freeland, wife, three sons and Five daughters – all lost but one girl
  • Clark – saved
  • Henderson, wife, and six sons – all lost
  • Trotter , wife, 3 sons and 2 daughters - all lost
  • Dobbie , wife, three sons and one daughter – all lost
  • Bain, wife, six sons and one daughter – only two boys saved
  • McLean, wife, and son, only father saved
  • McIsaac, wife, one son and two daughters, only one son and one daughter saved
  • Stirling, wife, two sons, and one daughter – all lost
  • Munroe – saved
  • Mrs. Thomson, four sons and one daughter – all lost [Note Mr. Thomson was in Glasgow, having been detained when the ship was about to sail by a civil process, which prevented him from either joining his family or them returning to him]
  • Wright – saved


  • Mrs. Suffield, two sons and two daughters – all saved but one girl
  • Boswell, wife, one son and one daughter – all saved
  • Mrs. Hall, two sons and one daughter – all lost
  • Bottam – saved

A List of the children who remained in Lisbon under the charge of various English Gentlemen :-

  • James McLucky and George Barrie, with Mr. McKean
  • Charles Coverly, with Mr. Monroe
  • Thomas Coverly with Mr. Gerland
  • William Mcisaac and Mary Mcisaac, with Mr. Jeffrey, Consul-General
  • Thomas Barrie, with Sir Dudley Hill
  • John Bain and Lindsay Paterson, with Major Wm. Henry Thornton
  • Isabella Freeland, with Mr. Bailly.

Names of Persons saved

  • Lieut. Mudge – Agent
  • Mr. Fisher, Surgeon
  • Mr. James Pritchard, Master
  • Mr. Lock, Second Mate
  • Mr. Stages, Carpenter
  • Seamen :- Bastoo, Mains, Jordan, Lawson, Reece, Paterson, Henderson, Edwards(boy), and Robinson (boy)
  • Passengers :-
  • Walter Kay
  • John Mclaren
  • Thos. Reid
  • Robert Ballardie
  • John Clark
  • John Mclean
  • Hector Monroe
  • Jas. Bright
  • Catherine Kay (Woman)
  • Catherine Barrie (girl)
  • Mary Barrie (girl)
  • Isabella Freeland (girl)
  • Mary Mcisaac (girl)
  • James Mclucky (boy)
  • Thomas Barrie (boy)
  • George Barrie (boy)
  • Wm. Barrie (boy)
  • Robert Barrie (boy)
  • Archibald Barrie (boy)
  • Alexander Barrie (boy)
  • Lindsay Paterson (boy)
  • Charles Coverly (boy)
  • Thomas Coverly (boy)
  • Alex. Bain (boy)
  • John Bain (boy)
  • William Mcisaac (boy)
  • Passengers :-
  • Boswell (Man)
  • Bottam (Man)
  • Mary Suffield (Woman)
  • Charlotte Suffield (girl)
  • Geo. Suffield (boy)
  • Thomas Suffield (boy)
  • William Boswell (boy)

Main sources for party list

Correspondence of Russell and Monteith with the Colonial Department (Public Record Office, London, CO 49/14); Account of the loss of the Abeona in GM Theal, Records of the Cape Colony vol. 13; Memorial of Abeona survivors on board Sappho (Cape Archives CO 158,146).

Terrible loss by fire of the Abeona transport ship from various printed source and maritime chronicles - Pascal Kainic

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