[April 2013: believe this resolved – they were brothers.]
Miniature portrait bequeathed by Margaret Rosa Cecil VOSS and inscribed on the back:
Capt. Edward Voss HCS
aged 25, 1830
died April 29th 1875
[HCS: Honourable Company’s Ship – used by the East India Company rather as HMS and RN is used by the Royal Navy]
Margaret R C Voss bequeathed to my parents artifacts pertaining to her grandfather. Capt. Edward VOSS (b. 1805) and his sons. Further my sister has a child’s tea service presented to Capt. VOSS’ eldest daughter Elizabeth. Capt. VOSS’ daughter Rosa signed the visitors’ book of my grandmother Mona VOSS when she visited her in Ridge House, Amersham in 1910. We can conclude that Capt. VOSS must be related to ourselves and presumably our paternal grandfather George VOSS (b. 1811), his contemporary. My expectation was to find that they were brothers. However, the evidence points to something less direct.
Capt. VOSS was borne ca. 1805, as evidenced by the inscription on the back of the miniature portrait and East India Company records which record his ‘baptism’ as 10th January 1805. If he is closely related, then we look to Dorset. There was a suitable baptism in Wyke Regis on 20th February 1805, parents John & Sarah VOSS. The East India Company would be more likely to record the date of birth for company purposes, such as pensionable age, and it fits with him being borne on 10th January and baptised on 20th February. However, there is no other evidence for a John & Sarah VOSS raising a family in this area at this time.
What we do find is that John & Susannah VOSS were raising a family with the following baptisms:
- Mary (ad) 14th June 1801 Wyke Regis
- Eliza (c) 1st May 1803 Wyke Regis
- John (n) 8th March 1807 Melcombe Regis
It is reasonable to tentatively conclude that Edward fitted into this family in January 1805, and that the register entry was an error, or that Susannah was using the name Sarah, possibly to distinguish herself from her own mother Susanna[h] VOSS née TILLEY. Interestingly both John and Susannah were VOSS by birth, perhaps cousins. This is also consistent with the story in my family that the eldest son would be called Edward. John’s Voss family came from Wyke Regis and Susannah’s from Stinsford and before that Winterbourne Came.
My quest is to find the link between Capt Voss’ family and that of my GGGrandfather George VOSS (d). This would confirm the suppositions above as well as focus the search back from there.