Distant Relatives, Distant Shores

Robert Roy Farlow

Roy Robert Farlow

While the part of the Farlow clan to which I’m directly related have been in Georgia since at least the early nineteenth century, there’s a branch at my 2nd great grandfather’s level who migrated to Texas. William Wiley Farlow, my 3rd great uncle, moved to Sherman, Texas sometime between the birth of his first son, William Madison Farlow in 1873 and the birth of his second son, Roy Robert Farlow in 1883.

Roy, however, wasn’t content to stay in Texas. He seems to have had a bit of the wanderlust. In the 1920 census, he shows up working as a riveter in a ship yard at Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, he went to sea and spent the remainder of his life working on various ships traveling the world. I’ve found his name on crew lists of ships going to Southampton, England, Bremerhaven, Germany, Havana, Cuba and several points in South America throughout the 1920s. He worked various jobs on these ships from fireman to oiler, to engineer.

By 1933 he had worked up to the position of Second Engineer aboard the S.S. John Worthington, an oil tanker owned by the Standard Oil Company. She was later torpedoed by a German submarine during WWII. On November 15, 1933 while off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, Roy died of a heart attack. His body was removed from the ship in Cartagena and placed in a vault in the Cartagena Municipal Cemetery in the presence of a representative of the Tropical Oil Company and the American Vice Consul, Jones R. Trowbridge.

His remains were later shipped home to his family. He was buried where his journey began, in Sherman, Texas.

Roy Robert Farlow Grave

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