Let’s Talk About: Shackleton Crew Desdendants

Are You A Descendant?

Of one of the men who sailed to Antarctica with Ernest Shackleton?

By Donna Potter Phillips, 2023

Might you possibly be a descendant of a member of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916, led by Sir Ernest Shackleton?

The story of the ship Endurance and her 28 brave crewmen is well known. Multiple books, movies, TV specials and YouTube videos can be accessed to learn the full (and horrifying) story of the unspeakable trials these men lived through. (For instance, marooned on ice, they survived eating seal and seaweed.)

My interest was piqued and I asked Google for information on each and every one of those 28 men with Shackleton. Many never married or had no children. But some did:

Crewman name                   Wife                            Children                   

Ernest Shackleton              Emily Dorman           Edward, Cecily, Raymond

Thomas Crean                     Ellen Herlihy             Mary, Eileen, Kate (d. young)

Alfred Cheetham                 Eliza Sawyer             “13 children”

Lewis Rickinson                 Margaret Snell          Lewis, Betty

Alexander Kerr                    Lillian Mitchell          Jack, Eileen

Alexander Macklin              Jean Hanton             Alexander, Richard

Reginald James                  Annie Watson          John, David, Margaret

George Marston                  Hazel Roberts           Heather, Bevis

Thomas Orde-Lees             Rhoda Musgrove     Grace

Harry McNish                       Lizzie Littlejohn        Thomas

William Stephenson           Edith Binks               Doris, Mellie, Gladys (d.y.)

Ernest Holness                    Lillian Bettles                        Lillian, Renee, Stanley, Ernest (d.y.)

Walter How               Helen Varey                          “2 daughters”

John Vincent           Alice Parker                          “4 children”

Perce Blackborow  Kate Kearns                          Jim, Peggy, Joan, Kenneth, (2sons d.y)

Daniel Gooch          Mary Munro                           Lancelot, Phyllis, Robert, Daphne

So do you carry one of those sixteen surnames? Or do those surnames appear on your family tree? Is your interest piqued?

Disclaimer:  I did not do extensive research for this bit. And I only was looking at the 28 men with Shackleton and not the other 28 men comprising the Ross Sea party. And admitting that Grandma Google furnished my information, I admit to any mistakes!

P.S. Did you know that in March 2022 the ship Endurance was found? She rests upright nearly 10,000 feet deep in the Weddell Sea. Ask Grandma Google for images!