In 1868 a Scottish castaway had to make a new life among the people of the Solomon Islands

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These things really happened.

In 1811 my great, great great grandfather sailed from the east coast to tge miuth if tge Columbia River, as part of Astor’s fur company. He and a few others went ashore on the Falkland Islands. Captain Thorn didn’t want to wait, so he sailed off. Someone from the fur company pulled a gun on the captain, forcing him to go back and get them.

I have no idea how isolated it was back then, but family history would have been different, if tge shio hadn’t been forced back. It would be like Ben Gunn in Treasure Island, except likely no children to be descended from.

Captain Thorn got his reward later. He mistreated some natives up around what would become Vancouver, and most of the crew including him was killed.

But no treasure was buried as part of this story.


This English Methodist is washed off his ship and manages to get to a deserted island in the South Seas. After a few months of hoping for rescue, he decides he must get to work and build a home there. So he gets to work knowing work will keep him focused and sane.

Some twenty years later, having seen no one, he wakes up one morning to see a British ship-of-the-line in the distance and a boat rowing to shore. The Captain of the ship comes up to him and says he’s come to take him home. But the Captain is so impressed at what he sees, he asks for a tour.

The castaway shows him his dock. “I built this and have been able to fish off of it every day. Since I built it I’ve never once gone to sleep hungry.”

The castaway shows him his home. “I had no nails, but I was able to make handcarved joists and this home has withstood four typhoons.”

The castaway shows him the Church he’s built. It has a stone altar and room for twenty people. “I suppose I didn’t need so many pews, but this is God’s house and I wanted anyone to be welcome.”

The Captain is of course very impressed with this kind of resourcefulness. The castaway gathers his meager possessions, but before they get on the rowboat, the Captain points to a building further down the beach and asks, “What’s that building over there?”

“Oh, that? I don’t go to that Church any more.”


Christ, this sounds like something out of a Neal Stephenson novel.

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In 1868 a Scottish castaway had to make a new life among the people of the Solomon Islands

FIFY: At some point in time the people of the Solomon Islands took in a Scottish castaway that claimed to be from the 19th century

Colonialism is alive and kicking my friends.

Or so your ancestor claimed. :wink:

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