Isaac Porter – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 38

Our family has always had a love for the ocean, from the calm before the storm, to the waves crashing upon the shore, to the tranquility of the open waters. It’s almost like a pull, a pull from deep within our souls.
Just to sit and listen as the ocean waters ripple as it mees the land, has to one of life’s greatest beauty’s. Without a shadow of a doubt, it calms your soul, leaving your troubles far behind.
So when I found many strong connections with the open waters, in our family’s history, I knew that love was written in our DNA.
Both my maternal 3rd Great Grandfathers, John O’Connor and Isaac Porter, dedicated their lives to the ocean and of course, my 2nd Great Grandad, John Cornelius O’Connor, found his peace and tranquility upon his boat Allanha, and my Uncle Kevan Townsend and my cousin, Kelly and her beautiful family have spent their lives on the water.
It’s very soothing to know that my family still have the passions of our ancestors, that even all these years later, their love and passion lives on.
Today I’m going to share with you the life of one of my maternal 3rd Great Grandfathers, Isaac Porter. Though his life was shorter than most, he definitely filled his pages of his book of life well, with many of those years spent by the sea.


Isaac Porter was born on January 13th 1834, to Andrew Porter and Maria Porter nee Croad.
He was born at Freshwater, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England.


Isaac was christened on the, 2nd March, 1834, at the medieval Church, All Saints’ Church, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England.

All Saints’ Church, is one of the oldest churches on the Island and was listed in the Domesday survey of 1086.


Over the next few years, Isaac and his sister, Mary Ann, welcomed 2 Sisters into their family.
Jane Porter was born about late 1835 to January 1836 at Freshwater, she was baptised on the 29th January 1836 at All Saints’ Church, Freshwater.

And his sister Charlotte Porter was born on the 10th April 1839 at, Longhalves, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England.
Charlotte was baptised on the 14th April 1839 at, All Saints’ Church, Freshwater.

Sadly Isaac never got to see his baby sister, Charlotte, grow up, as she died in the April – June quarter of 1839.


Isaac and him family, laid Charlotte to rest on the 2nd June 1839, at All Saints’ Church, Freshwater.


The 1841 census, shows Isaac residing at Colwell Bay, Freshwater, Hampshire, with his Father Andrew, Mother Maria and his sisters, Mary and Jane.
Andrew was working as a Agricultural Labourer.

Name Age
Andrew Porter 35
Maria Porter 25
Mary Porter 9
Isaac Porter 7
Jane Porter 5


Just 4 short years later, Andrews Mother Maria, died on the 24th, February 1845, at Colwell Bay, Freshwater.
She was only 35 years old.
Maria died from, Disease of the heart.
Maria’s Sister in-law Jane Croad nee Taylor, was in attendance and registered Maria’s death with an X, on the 25th February 1845.


Isaac and his family buried Maria, on the 28th February 1845 at, All Saints’ Church, Freshwater.


The 1851 census shows Isaac, his Father Andrew and Sisters, Mary Ann and Jane, residing at Colwell Bay, Freshwater.
Isaac was working as a Labourer and his father was a Farm Labourer.

Name Age
Andrew Porter 46
Mary Ann Porter 18
Isaac Porter 17
Jane Porter 15


From Isaac’s Military records which I purchased from the National Archives, Isaac enrolled with the Royal Navy on the 19th February 1854. He served 3 years and 18 days, as an ordinary Seaman, aboard the, HMS Caesar, a 90 gun screw-propelled 2nd rate ship.



On 17th June 1857, he joined the “HMS Cumberland” as an able seaman. He served on the Cumberland, a 70 gun 3rd rate ship, until 17th August 1859. His conduct was recorded as very good.



4 days later, on the 21st August 1859, Isaac married Jane Gibbs, daughter of Henry Gibbs and Jane Gibbs nee Chinery. They married at, The Baptist Chapel of Newport. I assume this was at, The Church of St. John the Baptist, as I can not find any information on, The Baptist Chapel, Newport.
Isaac was a 25 year old bachelor, his profession was a Seaman R.N, HMS Cumberland and was residing in Freshwater. Isaac’s Father Andrew, was working as an Agricultural Labourer.
Jane Gibbs was 23 years old, a spinster from Freshwater. Her Father Henry Gibbs occupation was given as a Pilot.
William Hayman and Jane Porter were their witnesses.


On 2nd September 1859, Isaac joined the crew, of “HMS Arrogant” as an able seaman. He served on the Arrogant, a wood screw frigate, until 6 December 1862, being promoted to Leading Seaman, in March 1861. His conduct is recorded as very good.



The evening of the 1861 census, Isaac was aboard the HMS Arrogant, a Royal Navy vessel. He was serving as a Leading Seaman.

Name Age
Stephen Chapman 25
Thomas Chester 33
William Taylor 33
Thomas Cook 22
William Alman 29
Edward Powell 22
Daniel Luey 23
Thomas Strong 26
Willam Cook 24
William Sims 24
William Glaupole 20
Edward Humby 20
William Wright 24
Henry Samways 28
William Urry 24
Henry Saunders 25
William Wotton 29
Thomas Brown 37
John Bowden 30
William Marley 26
Edward Walford 24
John Hughes 23
Alfred Mitchell 24
Rufus Green 23
William Adams 20
James Gifford 24
Alfred Page 24
James Lawson 54
Robert Hugh McLouth 24
William Pack 24
John Craig 21
Robert Davidson 23
John G Thompson
Augustus Brown 25
James Fletcher 23
Richard Bull 20
William Mastin 28
John Spiban
John Rogers 21
John W Troke 21
William Simpson 20
Alexander Shaw 29
Walter E Jackson 23
Wm P Morton 34
Thomas Davis 27
William Tubig 22
George Ballard 20
George Bennett 21
Michl Hadley 21
James Donnelly 22
Henry Craidy 20
Nicl Mc Cadum 21
John Grace 21
Andrew Murray 33
James Peters 25
Geoe Cangens 22
John Paltridge 28
Charles H Cocks 24
William Killy 27
William Alder 32
William T Hurlock 25
John Beckingham
Geoe H Vincent 22
George Parkin 20
John Irvine 23
Griffith William 23
Hugh Pedley 26
Richard Hunt 24
William Peterson 28
John Charles 28
Wm Wh Routh 24
James Betts 20
Benjn Griffiths 20
Leonard Simmonds 22
Charles Hayles 23
Isaac Porter 26
John Long 41
Richard Day 39
Edward Parkins 24
George Kelsey 24
George H Hewitt 20
Francis Wadlington 20
Geor Gidney 21
Thomas O Brien 22
James Leonard 21
John Beven 25
James Hall 54
Thomas Emberry 33
Francis Pearcey 31
Robert W Newland 29
Henry Strand 22
William Truckees 20
Michl Croney 20
Felix Wright 24
John Gooldard 26
George Barrow 25
Henry Walkins 24
William Marsh 30
William Myers 24
George Wilson 33


On 7 December, 1862, to the 16th January, 1863, Isaac served on HMS Victory, which by this time was out of active service, and moored in Portsmouth harbour being used as a depot ship.


During his short time on the Victory, Isaac and Jane’s first child was born. A son, whom they called William Isaac Porter. He was born on the, 12th December 1863 at, Cromarty, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland.


On the 17th January, 1963, Isaac joined the Coastguard as a boatman. He remained a coastguard until he was invalided out on the 5th November, 1880. His character was described as exemplary.


Isaac and Janes, first daughter was born on the, 13th January 1866 at Portland, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England.
They named her, Jane Maria Porter.
Isaac was working for the Coastguard Service.
Jane registered Her daughters birth on the 27th February 1866.


Baby Jane Maria, was baptised at, Freshwater, on the 30th March 1866.


On the 16th September, 1867 at, Alum Bay, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England, Isaac’s Wife Jane, gave birth to their second daughter.
They named her Ann Eliza Porter.
Isaac was still working as a Coastguard.
Jane registered Ann Eliza’s birth on the 16th October 1867.

Isaac and Jane, baptised Ann on the, 1st November 1867 at Freshwater.


Isaac and Jane, had their third Daughter, Elizabeth Grace Porter, on the 14th June 1896, at Alum Bay, Fresh water.
Isaac was working as a Coast Guard and he registered Elizabeth Grace, birth on the 13th July. 1868.


Elizabeth Grace was christened on the 25 July 1869 at Freshwater.


13 months and 5 days after , Elizabeth Grace Porter, Isaac’s 3rd Daughter passed away, she died, on the 19th July, 1870, at Alums Bay, Freshwater, Isle of Weight. 😢
Isaac was working as a Coast Guardman.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read her cause of death.



What an awful way to die. My heart weeps for her and her family.
Of all the hundreds of certificates I have brought over the years, little Elizabeth Grace Porters, death certificate stays forever foremost in my mind. I just can’t come to terms with the fact this 13 month baby girl had suffocated in a excrement.
An inquest was held at the Needles hotel, Alum Bay by E.F.Blake, esq deputy coroner to enquire into her death.
The Jury without the least hesitation returned a verdict of
“Died from Suffocation”


Elizabeth Grace Porter was laid to rest on the 22nd July 1870, at Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire. Plot H5 788.


Her monument inspiration reads, Elizabeth Grace, fourth daughter of Isaac and Jane Porter, died July 19th 1870 aged 13/15 months.


The 1871 census shows Isaac, residing at George Street, Bridge Road, Coastguard Buildings, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England, inhabiting 1 house, which he shared with his wife, Jane and their children William, Jane and Ann.
Isaac was working as a Coastguard.

Name Age
Isaac Porter 37
Jane Porter 37
William T Porter 7
Jane Maria Porter 5
Ann E Porter 3


Coastguard records show that Isaac, was based in Yarmouth between 1st January 1873 and 9th November 1876. (See Isaac’s Naval records below)

Isaac’s Wife Jane, gave birth to Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter, my 2nd Great-Grandmother, on the 1st September 1871 at, The Coast Guard Station, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England.

Isaac was still working as a Coastguard.
He registered Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter’s birth on the 12th September 1871.


You can read more about, Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter, here  and here.

We believe Elizabeth was named after her sister Elizabeth Grace Porter. You can read all about her life story here.

Isaac and Jane baptised, Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter, on the 21st September, 1871, at Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England


Isaac and Jane welcomed their 5th Daughter into their family, between the months of April and June 1873, in the Calbourne.
They named her, Daisy Chenery Porter.


Daisy was baptised on the 29th September, 1873, at Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England


Issac and Jane, welcomed a second son, John Richard Porter into their growing family. He was born in the April to June Quarter 1875 in Calbourne, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England.


They baptised John Richard, on the 11th June 1875 at Freshwater, Isle of Wight.


From 10th November, 1876, to the 5th November, 1880, Issac was based at Brook, Isle of Wight.
His 6th Daughter was born at the, Coastguard Cottage in Brook, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England, on the 11th May 1877.

They named her Mary Ethel Porter.


Isaac and Jane baptised Mary, on the 03 June 1877 at, St. Mary’s, Brook, Isle of Wight .


A few short years after, Isaac died on 10th January 1881, a few days short of his 47th birthday. His cause of death was from, Morbus Cordis, Purpura and Dropsy.
Isaac died at, High Street, Freshwater.
Isaac’s occupation was given a Navy Pensioner.
Andrew Porter, Isaac’s Father, was present at his death and registered it on the 11th January 1881.


Isaac was buried at All Saints Church, Freshwater on the 14th January 1881.


Though Isaac’s life was short, it was full. There are even stories that he was a smuggler before he married Jane, and that he gave up his life of crime to be able to marry her.
Of course I do not know how true this story is but I believe it should be told.
How I go about clarifying it, I do not know but there has to be some amount of truth in the family’s storytelling. I just need to prove it somehow.🤞

What I find so fascinating about Isaac’s, Naval records documentation, is that they show that, Isaac was about 5’7″ tall.
He had brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion.
He had a crucifix tattooed on his left arm and a brig, sailor and union jack on his right arm. 🇬🇧

How fascinating is that.
It’s small details like these, that bring him to life, that give him depth and soul.

Here is Isaac’s Naval history.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I for one am extremely proud to call him family and I’m secretly hoping there is truth behind his devious smuggling.
I hope he’s somewhere floating on clouds on a pirate ship, causing mayhem while drinking rum. 🗺

Gone but not forgotten.
Isaac Porter
1834 1881


I have brought and paid for all certificates throughout Please do not download or use them without my permission.
Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Isaac Porter – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 38

  1. Dear Georgina
    Jane and Isaac Porter are my maternal great grandparents so I was fascinated to read this.
    Thank you for bringing Isaac to life so vividly!
    My brother and I were also always told that Isaac Porters family were involved in smuggling. We were told this as fact, my brother even recalls our grandmother telling him that she had been taken to the cave they used for smuggling as a child. So I can certainly corroborate what you were told!
    I am very glad to have found you. Long may your research into the family tree continue! This is so fascinating and I am going to be reading your blog for a while yet.
    Thank you again!


  2. Pingback: Round Up, Round Up – January 2019 | Intwined

  3. Pingback: Andrew Porter – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 49 | Intwined

  4. Very interesting to read as Andrew Porter b1804 was my 2nd great grandfather, Isaac being my great grand uncle. I come down from Jane Porter b1836 who married James Wickens, my great grandparents.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s