Title and statement of responsibility area
Forward family fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Supplied title based on the contents of the fonds
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Forward (family)
Physical description area
8 cm of textual records
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
The Forward family includes the descendants of George and Susanna Forward. George Forward (1786-1857), clerk, merchant, shipowner, was the son of Susannah (Hassell) and Ambrose Forward, a well-to-do cloth merchant of Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Forward married Susanna Taylor of Harbour Grace in 1815. He died in 1879.
Forward immigrated to Newfoundland with his brother Charles (b. 1783) in the early 1800s to work for one of the Poole mercantile firms in Carbonear. By the 1820s, the brothers had struck out on their own as planters. In 1825, he was part-owner, with his brother Charles, in a schooner. Charles does not appear to have had much part of the Forward business beyond the 1820s. George, however, accumulated considerable wealth and property, and was very active in public life.
In the 1830s, Forward formed a partnership with William Willis Bemister of Carbonear. They purchased the mercantile premises in Carbonear of Slade, Biddle & Company, a Poole firm that became insolvent. Forward's company became one of the principal mercantile firms in Conception Bay, engaging in the import-export trade, supplying and operating vessels in the cod and seal fisheries, purchasing fish, seal skins and other commodities, and dealing with fishing families as the truck (or credit) system. Forward also was deeply involved in the Labrador cod fishery. Between 1825 and 1857, his name was associated with the ownership of 16 vessels. In 1839, he supplied five vessels for the seal hunt, four of which he owned. In 1842, he purchased shares in the Newfoundland Steam Navigation Company. He also had interests in the Mutual Insurance Company of Conception Bay and was a Justice of the Peace for Carbonear district (from 1849 onwards).
Sons Henry and Mark Foward became master-mariners for other firms. Henry later become lighthouse keeper on Carbonear Island. The family home, referred to as "The Mansion," later devolved to his son Mark.
The records were in the custody of James Rorke, whose mother was a Forward.
Scope and content
The fonds contains deeds, conveyances and other legal documents, 1750-1866, Captains' logbooks, 1842-72 (Samuel, 1842, William the Fourth, 1852, Britain, 1853, Harriet Ridley, 1863-65, Six Brothers, 1872), and a Furness Line sailing schedule, 1928.
The legal documents provide evidence of the acquisition, transfer and subsequent loss of the family's property in Carbonear from 1834 to the 1860s. They also provide evidence of the business activities and associations of the firm of George Forward. The Captains' logbooks detail the voyages of five of the Forward's fleet of foreign-going vessels.
The records are arranged in three series: 1. Legal documents; 2. Logbooks; 3. Other material.
Immediate source of acquisition
Purchased from James Rorke of Carbonear in 1996.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
It is the responsibility of the researcher to comply with all copyright regulations.
Finding aid is available.
See the George Forward fonds.
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created - May 8, 2013
Language of description