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Henry Roland Godson genealogy

Identifier: MSS-4035

Scope and Contents

The collection contains photocopies of the genealogy and family history of Henry Roland Godson, a C.S.S. Alabama sailor.


  • 1995

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Henry Roland Godson, was born in Warwick, England, on October 30, 1845. He immigrated to the United States when he was almost four years old with his father Thomas, sister Anna Maria (aged five or six), and his uncle William. They settled in Newark, New Jersey (there is no record that his mother, Elizabeth Linell Godson, and a younger sister ever joined the family in America).

Rather than follow in his father's footsteps as a tailor, Henry ran away to sea at an early age. He was an ordinary seaman on the Henry B. Wales, an American clipper ship. The Henry B. Wales was returning to Boston, Massachusetts, from a voyage to Calcutta, India, which it was captured by the C.S.S. Alabama August 11, 1862. Godson enlisted at sea in the Confederate Navy as an ordinary seaman on November 8, 1862, and remained aboard the Alabama until she was sunk on June 19, 1864, by the U.S.S. Kearsarge. He was rescued by the Kearsarge and taken to Cherbourg, France, where was paroled. He eventually made it back to Southampton, England, where he was honorably discharged, four months short of his nineteenth birthday.

There is no record of Godson after his discharge from the Alabama, but family lore said he joined the English merchant navy and was lost at sea.


0.05 Linear Feet (photocopies)

Language of Materials



Genealogy and family history of this C.S.S. Alabama sailor



Processed by

Martha Bace, 2014
Guide to the Henry Roland Godson genealogy
September 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266