Seeking Descendants of Those Who Fought
Aboard 'HMS Victory' at Battle of Trafalgar
It is well known that Admiral Lord NELSON's famous victory over the
combined French and Spanish fleets off Cape Trafalgar celebrates its
200th anniversary this year. The United Kingdom has a whole raft of
celebrations in the summer and fall of this year to mark the
achievements of one of her most famous sons.
What is less well known, however, is that at least 24 members of the
Victory ship's company at the battle were from North America. This
naval engagement took place 21 October 1805, which means those who
participated in it were born probably ca 1790 or earlier. Their
names are known, and in some instances their home state or city, but
with one notable exception, beyond that history has swallowed them up.
The exception was Midshipman Richard BULKELEY, who was wounded in the
battle and shared the orlop deck with the dying NELSON for a time. The
U.S. Navy named a World War I mine clearance vessel after him. His
two most recent descendants both served with distinction in the U.S.
Navy. They are: Vice Admiral John D. BULKELEY (1911-1996), who was
awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II when commanding a motor
torpedo boat squadron in Philippine waters. His son, retired Navy
Captain Pete BULKELEY still lives.
See also Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/r6/richard_bulkeley.htm
But what of the other descendants? The Naval Attaché at the British
Embassy in Washington, D.C. is trying to find others who know of their
ancestral links to the "HMS Victory" and the Battle of Trafalgar. A lot
of the surnames are very common, so the attaché does not intend to
list them in case there are those who think they might have a link based
only on a common surname connection.
A commemorative event is planned
later in the year -- if some descendants can be found. If you know you
have an ancestor who was on this ship at the Battle of Trafalgar, then
please contact the attaché with that genealogical information
[Editor's Note: This is not an offer to do any genealogical research, so
please do not contact the attaché to search for your ancestors.]
from RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
16 February 2005,