Tuesday, December 6, 2016

William GRUER (GREWER) (1802-1878)

George SIM > John Wm SIM > Elizabeth GRUER-SIM > William GRUER

BIRTH - On August 2, 1802, William Alexander Grewer was born in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  His parents were Alexander Grewer and Flora Paterson.  His baptism and marriage records recorded his surname as Grewer.  All later documents, including his head stone and children, are listed as Gruer.

MARRIAGE - William Grewer married Magdalane Whyte on October 27, 1829 in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  They had at least 10 children.  They have been recorded as Flora, twins:  Elizabeth and Mary Ann, William, David, Isabella, John, Alexander, Daniel and James.

APPEARANCE - A seaman's ticket recorded William as 5' 9 1/2" tall, with fair complexion, light hair and blue eyes.  He had the mark "WG" on his left hand.  It also listed that he was able to write.

OCCUPATION - All records found showed he was in the Royal Coast Guard.  The family moved around due to his job in the coast guard.

1832-1834    - He was in the County of Sussex, Hastings, England.  Three of his children
                        were born in England.                              
1841 Census -  He was in Duffus, Haddingtonshire Cty.,  Scotland.
1844              - His daughter, Isabella, is born in Aberdeenshire, Aberdour, Scotland.
1851 Census - Listed as living in Aberdeenshire, Aberdour, Scotland.
1861 Census - He was in Banffshire, Rathven, Scotland.
1871 Census - He was retired and lived at Moray, Branderburg, Scotland.

HONORS - On December 19, 1855, he was awarded the silver medal from the National Lifeboat Institution for his gallant conduct in swimming to the rescue of the master of the schooner, Thor, that had shipwrecked.

From January 1, 1856, The Illustrated London News, Vol. 27
“Preservation of Life from Shipwreck – On Thursday a meeting of the Royal National Life boat Institution was held at the society’s house, John-street, Adelphi, Thomas CHAPMAN, Esq. in the chair.  Mr. LEWIS, the secretary, having read the minutes of the previous meeting, the silver medal of the institution was voted to Mr. William GRUER, of Lossiemouth Coast-guard Station, in testimony of his gallant conduct in swimming to the rescue of the master of the schooner THOR, when he found, notwithstanding that his vessel was going to pieces, in a state of incredulity having locked himself in his cabin.”
This is what the medal looked like:

ORGANIZATIONS -  He was a charter member of the Braemer Royal Highland Society.  This society raised funds to help members during times of sickness, pay for funerals and set up annuities for widows.  He was, also, a member of the Braemer Club of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.  This curling club still exists today.

RETIREMENT - William Gruer was discharged from the coast guard on February 28, 1863 from the Buckie Station.  He was the Chief Boatman in Charge.  The reason was listed as "super" which means superannuation, a way to save for retirement.

DEATH - William Gruer died in Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland on September 3, 1878
at the age of 77.  He was buried in Kinneddar Cemetery in Lossiemouth, Scotland.

The inscription on his tombstone reads:
To the Memory
              WILLIAM GRUER                
 Aged 77 years
Universally respected
and deeply regretted

Photo courtesy of GariochGraver on www.findagrave.com

Visit his on-line memorial:

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