It's not who you know but what you know about them.

The Maryport Settlement on Castle Hill is trying to track down the relatives of, or information about, some of the town's most famous citizens.

They include Thomas English, a well-known architect who moved his family to Australia and was elected mayor of Adelaide in 1882.

Then there were the Walker Brothers whose family owned a chandler's shop in what is now the Sailor's Return pub. Wilson and Robert Walker went to Japan when that country was still virtually closed to foreigners and were instrumental in founding the Japanese merchant navy.

William Mitchell was an adopted son who came from Ireland to Maryport around 1840. A larger-than-life character, his legacy has been his prolific art collection, mainly seascapes. He had more than 20 children and still found time to complete around 10,000 paintings, it is said.

The Captain Nelson pub was named after William Nelson who moved here from Annan in Scotland in about 1853.This master mariner, who spent much of his life at sea became a respected figure around the town.

Settlement spokeswoman Linda Wyatt said any information discovered through this appeal will be used in an exhibition later this year looking at migration and Maryport.

"We want any information we can. It needn't be written down. People can call us or come in and tell us. Search your attics and make sure you don't have anything that would tell us more about these historical Maryport figures."

She said the Settlement was grateful to the Maryport Maritime Museum for the use of their resources.

Anyone with information about these or any other luminaries are asked to contact Dolly Daniel on 07821 965564, email Mrs Wyatt at: or call in to the maritime museum anytime between 11am and 1pm on Sundays to talk to Dolly.