S/V Mary Jane, Briland schooner owned by John Cleare Harbour Island 1868

PAST NAMES: not known (may not have been any)
DIMENSIONS: schooner, 41 tons, call sign RVLG, Official #36365
YEAR BUILT: 1853, probably at Harbour Island by Albury shipbuilders there
EARLY CAREER: Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, Nassau
BAHAMAS CAREER: Harbour Island – Nassau via Spanish Wells
OWNERS: John Cleare, Harbour Island, Eleuthera
CAPTAINS: not known

FATE: replaced on the mail run by the S/V Dart in 1870 (2 years later), broken up in Nassau c.1900 per “Mercantile Navy List” “Closures”
NOTES: Appears in the registers 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1890. There is an entry that in 1900 it was “broken up” in Nassau.

It would seem that the vessel was named after the wife of John Clear, who was the daughter of Albury, from the following last will & testament of William Thomas Albury of Harbour Island, dated 5 September, 1884:

“….I give and bequeath unto my said Children..: William Alonzo Albury, Melissa Eneas, Joseph Johnson Albury, Mary Jane Cleare and Sophia Ann Albury. to share and share alike….”

This would make sense, as she would have been a daughter of the family of builders and wife of the owner. It could only have been a second name, however, since the vessel was built 7 years before she was born…. so the theory is not conclusive.

Mary Jane Albury was born about 1860 in Harbour Island per http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=caj1937&id=I10422, her mother was Eliza Ann Johnson b. 1809.

Source: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=caj1937&id=I10420

From Anne & Jim Lawlor’s “The Harbour Island Story,” MacMillan Caribbean, Oxford, 2008:

“With the rapid improvement of Dunmore town in the mid-nineteenth century a Joint Stock Company was formed to establish the Dunmore Hotel and the Harbour Island Packet with half the stock taken up in Harbour Island and half in Nassau. This company was dissolved within a few months. In 1868, a similar company was set up and the Harbour Island packet schooner Mary Jane carried the mail and passengers from Dunmore Town and Spanish Wells to Nassau.” (p.248, citing Nassau Guardian, 3 March 1849, Advertisement: Harbour Island Packet Company, and Nassau Herald, 8 August 1868).


Sources: http://www.crewlist.org.uk/data/vesselsnumview.php?OfficialNumber=36365, http://www.crewlist.org.uk/data/vesselsnumview.php?OfficialNumber=36365