Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Industrial Action leading to Emigration

Goodness knows where yesterday went - but I am sure that somewhere in the world it is STILL Christmas Day. I'm sure I just read that Hawaii is 23 hours behind NZ, and I know LA is about 19 hours behind, so my cousin there must still be celebrating after Santa's visit.

I had great intentions for this post after having rediscovered some events in my family tree. Three sets of my 2 x great grandparents were married in Christmas week. December 25, 26 and 27. My great great grandparents Sarah Elizabeth Laney and George Bartlett were first generation Kiwis when they married at Bartletts Creek, Marlborough in 1870 but the others were married in England. Maria Ann Horskins married Julius Fuller at St Mary, Newington, Surrey in 1859 and were bound for New Zealand just a few months later. Their youngest son would marry the daughter of Sarah Ann Daniels and Edward Mark Vose in 1901.

Sarah and Edward were married on December 25, 1862 - 150 years ago this Christmas Day - at St Margaret, Plumstead, Kent. Edward was the 3rd or possibly 4th son of Edward and Elizabeth (nee Weller) Vose. Edward snr was in the Royal Sappers & Miners, Edward jnr had been born in Ireland while they were stationed there surveying and mapping the country. Sarah was the 5th daughter of Josiah & Hannah (nee Carter) Daniels born in West Lavington, Wiltshire. Edward jnr and his brothers all seem to have found employment  of some sort at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, Edward was a labourer at the time of their marriage, but by 1871 was listed as a Gas Stoker on the census. Sarah moved to London perhaps with her sister Elizabeth by 1861, as both are employed in the household of Walter Mitchell M.A. Assistant Hospellier (?) at St Barts Hospital. I'm not exactly sure what that means but since his wife's occupation was given as "Clergyman's Wife", I'm guessing it is something along those lines. Sarah, aged 17 (18 on the census) was the nursemaid. There were eight children ranging from 12 down to 2 year old twins - I bet she was busy. Eighteen months later she was married.

In 1879, the little family with their four children emigrated to New Zealand. They came on the Stad Haarlem, a steamer and made the trip in 51 days. The Vose family became market gardeners in Canterbury at Prebbleton and Riccarton. Sarah was a well known local midwife in her new community - I wonder if she had worked as one in England before they emigrated. So, where does Trove come into all this ?

Well its all about the Stad Haarlem. I had read the diary kept on board through the voyage, and some snippets from local papers, but I found more on Trove which I hadnt seen before, and which give a bit more insight into the decision to emigrate that these people made, and of the "experiment" to take large numbers at once on a ship not actually designed to take so many.

Gippsland Times (Vic. 1861 - 1954) Wednesday 5 March 1879 page 3 article62026700-3-001

 South Australian Register (Adelaide SA 1839 - 1900) Thursday 13 March 1879 page 5 article42973041-3-001
The following was an article from Plymouth Thursday 30 January 1862, but published in Australia in March.

South Australian Register (Adelaide SA 1839 - 1900) Thursday 13 March 1879 page 6 article42973028-3-001

  The Argus (Melbourne Vic 1848 - 1956) Tuesday 15 April 1879 page 5 article5939453-3-001

Table Bay, I discovered is in South Africa - the stopover there was reported in the South Australian register as well, from the Cape papers - but appears to have been shorter than the eight days reported at her arrival in New Zealand.

South Australian Register (Adelaide SA 1839 - 1900) Monday 14 April 1879 page 7 article42970688-3-001

And the final decision about this "experiment" in emigration

 South Australian Register (Adelaide SA 1839 - 1900) Tuesday 27 May 1879 page 5 article42976128-3-002

So, there we go, Happy Sesquicentennial Anniversary to Sarah and Edward - and now I know a bit more about their voyage and their fellow emigrant shipmates.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Wonderful Escape From Injury By Lightning

After my post  last week, I have been looking to see what else I might learn about the Graham family from Garryowen, near Queanbeyan. I came across this dramatic report of a lightning strike. The title of the article says it all really.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954) Tuesday 26 November 1872, page 4
Rebecca, from last weeks post will have been about four years old at the time of the lightning strike, her brother Robert though was about twelve.  I'm not sure I'd have referred to him as a little child, though I do wonder if I had a career in newspapers in a former life, because I seem to write in very long sentences just as they did !
 I have discovered other bits and pieces about this family which I will save for another time. But I have included the article immediately before the lightning strike report. Living in the Shaky Isles as I do, I like to read about how earthquakes were reported when there wasnt a great understanding of their cause, or how the shockwaves travelled, and how they were often reported as separate events in different locations, as if they had happened in isolation and werent in fact the same shock felt over a wide area. (It's a morbid fascination I have) 
 What a fortnight they had had in Queanbeyan though,  earthquakes, lightning strikes - I wonder if there was anything else out of the ordinary.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A couple of shillings for a kiss

In a bit of a contrast to last weeks blog where it was "acceptable" in 1880 to marry off your fifteen year old daughter and have her thirteen year old sister sign as a witness to the marriage. This weeks find on Trove is a report from the Queanbeyan Police Court in 1878, where Frederick Chambers faced a charge of indecent behaviour towards two little girls.  The girls concerned were aged eleven and thirteen.

Perhaps there was a fine line around thirteen ? Were you a little girl or more of an adult ? Did society influence this ? Or was it a case of the circumstances determining the manner in which people behaved ?

Anyway, I came across the article when I was searching for tidbits about the McIntyre and Cameron families in and around Queanbeyan.

Annie McIntyre was 3rd of fifteen children of Alexander and Sarah Ann (nee Dickinson), who I have written about previously. Rebecca was her cousin - well really her father's cousin, which may have been why she referred to Rebecca's mother as Mrs Graham rather than as an aunt. Rebecca's mother was the youngest sister of Annie's paternal grandmother Margery (nee Cameron).

Queanbeyan Age (NSW 1867-1904) 23 November 1878 p2 article30674589-3-001

I wonder what sort of character Frederick Chambers was, how old was he ? He seemed to have a bit of loose change on him to try to lure young girls that day. Was it just a bit of "harmless fun" ? Or was he truly dodgy ? But seven days seems like a fairly lenient sentence to me.

I think that Rebecca and Annie were quite sensible and responsible young ladies. Annie was already working at what appears to have been babysitting. now we cant even leave a child under 14 years old in charge of children. How interesting that they actually appeared in court themselves and gave their account of the events - not someone appearing for them or reading their testimony on their behalf.

There was definitely a lot of good in the simple unbridled upbringings that our pioneering forebears (and a few of us) had that should be re-adopted today and less of the pc-ness that abounds

After I realised that there was a family connection and that Annie wasnt merely a friend tagging along with Rebecca that day, I've been able to add another family name to my search list for Trove. I also wondered whether Mrs Davis, referred to in their testimonies, was possibly the widow of Annie's grandfather Joseph Dickinson. Annie would have been seven when her grandfather remarried. His new wife may well have been known to her and Rebecca as Mrs Davis before that marriage took place - and possibly throughout the marriage and after Joseph's death by adults in their families. I dont suppose I will ever be able to be sure of that though.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Child Bride

One of the earliest challenges with my family tree research was in finding some information about my daughters paternal 2 x great grandmother. I had purchased a copy of the birth certificate for her great grandmother, so I had the maiden name of her mother, and her father's name. Alice Hellesley and John Miller. Piece of cake, right ? Wrong. The information on the birth certificate for their 4th child Susan, told me that there were already 2 daughters and 1 son living, and that John was born in Scotland and aged 32, and Alice was born in Bulli, NSW and 23. It also gave me the exact marriage details; 13 September 1880 in Bulli. I couldn't find any marriage records with those names on the microfiche index, and I couldn't find a birth record either for Alice.

I think this was my first lesson in lateral thinking ! A helpful researcher at the Society of Genealogists research room in Adelaide suggested to me that perhaps the registrar had misinterpreted what John had said because of his accent. So I searched for John Miller's marrying anyone named Alice with a surname starting with H. At least I knew the date, so didnt need to search through multiple years. I found one eventually - and the surname Halsey which looked like it might be worth a shot. So I ordered the certificate and waited to see what I would learn next.

And there it was in the mail one day after work - John Swan Millar, 29 (note the spelling there) and Alice Halsey 17, married at the residence of Mrs Susan Halsey, Bulli. "The consent of Susan Halsey Mother of the Bride (her Father being dead) was given to the marriage of John Swan Millar with Alice Halsey the said Alice Halsey being under the age of Twenty one years." How did Alice feel about marrying someone 12 years her senior ? Where did she meet him ?

Recently on Trove I found their marriage notice in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney Morning Herald 17 Sep 1880 article13468144-3-001

Using the birth index microfiche I started to piece together a family for Alice since I now had both her parents names. At the same time i looked for the other children of John and Alice. It seems (after a couple of wrong certificates were purchased) that some of their children were registered as Miller and others as Millar. But back to Alice - I found her siblings and ordered her birth certificate, as well as the death certificate for her father.

Charles Halsey had died aged 37 in August 1874, and left his young wife Susan with 6 children aged between 10 years and 4 months. Susan went on to have two more children before she remarried in 1884, which makes me wonder just how she was supporting her family. But that might be another story.

Alice's birth was registered in 1865 which would make her 14 or 15 in 1880, depending on which month her birthday was, when she married John - not 17. Could that be ? It would also mean, using the same logic that she was 8 or 9 when her father died - not 10. I opened the envelope and read the birth certificate - date and place of birth of child "December fourteenth 1864, Woonona". So, Alice was 15 when she married - still 2 months off her 16th birthday. She wasn't 17 going on 18 or even almost 17. Now I know that the age of consent has changed from time to time, but wow ! Perhaps for her mother it was a case of one less mouth to feed - or maybe it was a true romance, who knows ? They went on to have 8 children and were married for more than 40 years. It was also probably fairly commonplace to marry young. Most of the marriage certificates I have, have the consent of the bride's father give as they were under twenty one. But none of the others by quite as much as Alice.

Apart from the initial surprise about Alice's actual age (which by the way had corrected itself when her 4th child was born - 23 in June 1888) what surprised me even more, was that one of the witnesses to the marriage in 1880 was her younger sister Carrie (Caroline) who would have been 13 or 14. Was that legal ?

I have done a bit of research on the age of consent and discovered on this site that in 1880 in New South Wales it was actually TWELVE ! I still cant find if the minimum age to marry was lower then than it is now. For example, in NSW now, you can marry without consent of parents or a judge if both parties are 18 or over, but you can not be under 16. It seems that this minimum age to marry and the age of consent have not always been equal.

How times have changed. How many of us can imagine marrying off their 15 year old daughter in this day and age, and to a man who was not 12 years older than her as initially presented but actually was 14 years older - pretty much twice her age ? What about your 12 year old daughter ?

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Middle Earth

I've been a bit caught up with what is happening in Welly this week, instead of doing a bit of family tree research. So I thought I would see what I could find related on Trove.

We're a bit quirky here, and its a bit like any excuse for a party, or to get dressed up, or just congregate with a bunch of strangers and soak up the atmosphere. Wellington has been transforming into Middle Earth again ready for the premiere tomorrow of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit". I thought I'd share some of the photos for others to see how we have gotten into the spirit.

The Hobbit Artisan Market in Waitangi Park - where you can buy authentic cloaks, swords and other items made by the artists who have created them for the set and the actors. Plus watch the 3 LOTR movies on the big screen with your friends and family and relive the magic.

At the airport - you can collect your bags from Bag End !! How cool is that  ? And upstairs there is Gollum

And back in town, where the red carpet will be walked tomorrow an advertising agency has encased their building with an image of Middle Earth

and Gandalf is waiting outside Bilbo's front door at the Embassy Theatre for the show to begin

There are hobbits and orcs and wizards and elves and gnomes all over the place, its getting all a bit magical.

I couldnt find much on Trove  - but I did find this

Chronicle (Adelaide SA  1895 - 1954) Thursday 10 January 1952 page 28 article93869947-3-001

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

An Inheritance Lost ?

Totally on a tangent this week - I have become entangled with the family of my VC winning cuz as I try to unravel the connections and find where that Army Chaplin from ANZAC Day fits in.

I discovered by chance that Pte Thomas Cooke's sister Catherine had had children before her death from influenza in 1918. None were mentioned in her death notice in the paper, so I had had no leads to follow there. Thanks to google, I found on ancestry a file uploaded by a genealogical group detailing the grandparents of members - and there was Catherine ! I was interested to see that Catherine's father in law had been born in Geelong, Victoria.

On the National Library of New Zealands digitised newspaper site Paperspast I found a couple of items about Catherine's husband Charles Albert Oldman and his brother. They were apiarists and lived at Waiau which is inland from Kaikoura. One year seems to have been a bumper year for honey production and Charles got caught for being a bit clever looking for solutions to process all the honey his bees had provided.

The Auckland Star, New Zealand, Friday May 11 1934 page 3 AS19340511_1_3

But then I thought, why not see if I can find anything about his Dad on Trove, before he migrated to New Zealand - only one result was returned that pertained to the family.

Examiner (Launceston Tas 1900-1954) Tuesday 25 August 1931 page 6 article53934332-5-003

What a shame the judge made the decision he did - or have I interpreted this incorrectly, and he did order the money to be divided between the beneficiaries ? I'm sure it wouldn't have been too difficult to track the people down - they had the names of two of them, after all. If they missed out, I wonder if they can get the money back now (with interest) ? Victor Albert was Catherine's father-in-law. It would also appear that Catherine's husband's grandmother Agnes Oldman had just a little bit in common with Catherine's grandmother Mary Cooper - leaving the family home and taking a couple of kids to another country.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Remembrance Day

Private Thomas Cooke. Source:
Sunday was Armistice Day and I was reminded of the story I heard at the Dawn Service at ANZAC Day this year. It wasn't a new story to me, I knew a lot of the details myself - but I didnt know the person telling it that morning.

Thomas Cooke - Kiwi, Aussie, Hero - was born in Kaikoura, Marlborough, New Zealand on 5 March 1881. His mother Caroline was an elder sister of my great grandfather, and the sixth child; fourth daughter of John and Mary Cooper (nee Barratt) - you might remember Mary from an earlier post, she left her family in New Zealand and went to Australia and changed her name.

Thomas grew up in Kaikoura amongst a large extended family. His father was a builder, and Thomas followed him into the trade. Rumour has it my great grandfather, Thomas' uncle was apprenticed to Thomas' father as well. Thomas was the eldest of four children born to Caroline and Tom and sadly none would survive past 35 years.

Thomas moved to Wellington after finishing high school when he was 17, where he worked as a builder.  He was a keen musician and was a member of Jupp's band and the Garrison Band. He married a local Wellington girl, Maud Elliott in 1901 and they had three children. Around 1912 his family moved to Melbourne where he continued to practise as a builder, besides taking an active interest in brass bands and the Ancient Order of Foresters.

In February 1915 he became a member of the Australian Expeditionary Forces, enlisting with the 8th battalion. He sailed on 26 November 1915 with the 7th Australian Reinforcements arriving in Egypt on New Years Day. From there he went to France with a machine gun section and saw a lot of action. The first major action they saw in France was at Pozieres where 81 lives were lost. Thomas was killed in action on 25 July 1916 at Pozieres, France and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. At some point he had been promoted to Acting Corporal, but was awarded the Victoria Cross for action at Pozieres, France whilst serving with 8 Battalion, 2 Brigade, 1 Division as a Private. The citation in the Supplement to the London Gazette September 9, 1916 reads

"No. 3055 Pte .Thomas Cooke, late Aus. Infy.
         For most conspicuous bravery. After a Lewis gun had been disabled, he was ordered to take his gun and gun-team to a dangerous part of the line. Here he did fine work, but came under very heavy fire, with the result that finally he was the only man left. He still stuck to his post, and continued to fire his gun.
        When assistance was sent he was found dead beside his gun. He set a splendid
example of  determination and devotion to duty."

There is extensive coverage about this on Trove,

The Argus (Melbourne Vic 1848-1956) Monday 11 September 1916 page 8 article1611874-3-001

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842-1954) Friday 2 February 1917 page 6 article15734182-3-001

(complete with typos ! the Sydney Morning Herald article has Gallipoli instead of Pozieres - woops) and also in the New Zealand papers at PapersPast

The Evening Post (Wellington New Zealand) 15 September 1916, page 8

as well as on the Australian War Memorial site, New Zealand History online in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and many more. Google is a great help when researching.

It appears that his widow had drawn out negotiations with bureaucracy claiming her pension, from the correspondence I discovered on his file at National Archives of Australia , back and forth between Australian and New Zealand officials. His Victoria Cross is held in the collection at the National Army Museum in Waiouru.

The Army chaplin telling his story on ANZAC Day had visited Gallipoli and toured the battlefields to walk in the steps of his great uncle, I still dont know exactly where he fits into the family - I feel he is more likely related through the Elliott or Cooke families, since  we can account for most descendants on the Cooper side. I hunted him down at the breakfast between the dawn service and the citizens service at St Paul's cathedral but couldnt do much more than share our family connection and thank him for sharing the story.

I have wondered since discovering my other Cooper relations in Melbourne whether Thomas met them. From the electoral rolls they didnt live too far apart. Did his mother Caroline keep in contact with her mother - the mysterious Mary Cooper, nee Barratt also known as Nicholls ? or her younger siblings now married and starting their own families in Melbourne ? I might have to keep wondering about that for now.

Victoria Cross. Source: http;//

So, there is the tale as it exists now of Thomas Cooke VC my 2nd cousin 1x removed who I feel wholly embodies the ANZAC spirit; being born a Kiwi and serving as an Aussie. Both countries can feel proud of this soldier.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget
Laurence Binyon

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A sad end in the tale of Joseph Dickinson's life..

Last week I posted about the Cameron's and McIntyres, this week my story is about Joseph Dickinson who was the father of Sarah Ann who married Alexander McIntyre. Here is what I knew until Trove gave me a hint.

Joseph was a plasterer, he is mentioned in Errol Lea-Scarlett's book "First light on the Limestone Plains". He lived in the Queanbeyan area, at Bungendore, Braidwood, Garryowen, Micalago and at one point at Willaroo, Lake George. From what I have discovered Willaroo was a homestead owned by the Cooper family - maybe he was employed there ? But that apparently is where his family was living when Sarah was born around 1846. Not that I have been able to find a birth record for her. From Sarah's marriage certificate in 1862 I also learned that her mother was Ann, nee Blackman. So I had two names to try to find a marriage for the next step backward - but no luck. I've not been able to find any births for other children of Joseph and Ann either, using various spelling options for Dickinson. Judging by the size of all the other families on this side of the tree I felt sure she must have had siblings. Sarah went on to have 15 children of her own, from her marriage at age 17 until after the arrival of her first grandchildren 27 years later.

Ann Dickinson's death certificate in 1870 gave me her place of birth - Hastings Kent, and marriage place Sydney (whatever !) plus children - two daughters and one son. Names, I want names. A couple of years after Ann's death, Joseph remarried Sarah Ann Davis nee Finnegan, a widow. From this certificate I learned Joseph's parents names and his birthplace, London. With all this, I still cant find any record of either him or Ann arriving in New South Wales prior to Sarah's birth in 1846. I had a bit of a look for his death, but there was nothing obvious, so I had put him into the "one day" basket.

Then "one day" wiling away the hours searching on Trove for different surnames I came a cross a few accounts of him in the Queanbeyan Age. It would seem that Joseph was a bit of a drinker as 3 out of 5 of the articles about him comment on this.

The earliest mention of him (and possibly Margery McIntyre nee Cameron from last weeks blog) was on a list of subscriptions or donations towards assisting the Irish and Scots to emigrate to Australia in 1847. This was around Famine time in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. I knew about the Irish one from history at school, but the Scots one was new to me.

Sydney Chronicle (NSW 1846-1848) 11 Sept 1947 article31753309-3-002

The next article (so far) in 1864 found him mentioned in the inquiry into the death of a bullock driver Thomas Tinham of Charnwood. This article was the first mention of Joseph's relationship with alcohol "Dickinson was very drunk at the time of making this enquiry and could scarcely sit his horse"

Queanbeyan Age 30 June 1864 article30634852-3-001

Then in 1872 he seems to have had more trouble sitting on his horse again, as well as being nibbled on by some form of wildlife as he lay incapacitated on the road.

Queanbeyan Age 28 Mar 1872 article30582753-3-001

Since Sarah is the only child I know anything about, I wondered if she was the "lucky" daughter who had her father delivered to her doorstep. With six children under 11 and another on the way, I cant imagine she'd have been very impressed. About three weeks after this incident Joseph married the Sarah Davis, I wonder what she thought about the whole thing ?

I remember being pleasantly surprised to see Edwin and Harriet Tandy as witnesses to Joseph's wedding in 1872. Harriet (nee Jenner) was a half sister of his son-in-law Alexander McIntyre, so the marriage certificate was helping to build their story too. Joseph also appears in Greville's Post Office directory in 1872 as a plasterer in Queanbeyan.

In 1874 he was in court giving evidence about a former employee who had forged his signature and taken an order to the store to purchase items of clothing for himself.

Queanbeyan Age (NSW 1867-1904) 22 August 1874 article30596596-3-001

The Queanbeyan Quarter Sessions held on 21 October were reported in the Queanbeyan Age 24 October 1874. Charles Colman entered a plea of not guilty, after listening to the testimonies and seeing the evidence "His Honour, in passing sentence, said it appeared to him that the prisoner had had a very bad example set to him at home, but that his conduct whilst in jail had been very good. He had been in custody since the 20th August. Considering these circumstances, and the youth of the prisoner, he would pass as mild a sentence as possible - which was that he be imprisoned in Darlinghurst jail for two years. If, however, at the end of six months prisoner's conduct was found to be good, he would promise him, in the event of his presenting a petition to his Excellency, and that petition was referred to him, as in all probability it would be, he would recommend a remission of his sentence from that time"

The next article I came across was at the end of Joseph's life. It was a detailed account of his demise and included the testimony of his wife Sarah, although they were at this point estranged. But at last, thanks to finding this article with its tragic story I had a death date for him.

Queanbeyan Age (NSW 1867-1904) 7 December 1878 article30674671-3-002

To make it trickier his widow Sarah had registered his death with an extra christian name to try to throw me off track again. But I duly ordered the death certificate for GEORGE Joseph Dickinson, hoping it might gift me the names of at least one of his other children. But no, all I got was "No issue this marriage" and "2 children by a former wife" - what happened to the 3rd child mentioned on Ann's death certificate ?

So I'm still a little lost - but I do know a bit more about him than I did a couple of months ago. I wonder if the descendants of his other children are stuck in the same place as me trying to be found.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Aonaibh Ri Chéile - Let us Unite

I had planned to post something interesting from papers of old about Halloween, since that is the date today. But somehow I got sidetracked, and discovered a couple of pretty amazing articles unrelated to Halloween - but relating to the branch of my daughters father's family that would have celebrated Samhain instead of Halloween - so there is a slight connection still.

So this is about her Cameron forebears.

When I first began researching I went back generation by generation tracking direct descendants through birth and marriage certificates. One of the earliest marriage certificates I have is for my daughter's 4 x great grandparents - married at Christ Church in Queanbeyan 27 October 1862 - just over 150 years ago. Fortunately the names of the bride and grooms parents were on the certificate allowing me to step back another generation on both sides. Alexander McIntyre's parents were Margery Cameron and Duncan McIntyre both deceased. I set about looking for their immigration and found them on a card index at NSW State Archives at The Rocks, where I was able to view the film and get some pages printed. Margery had emigrated with most of her family - parents and 10 siblings ranging in age from 26 to 2 years. Duncan had come on the same ship as a single man. They were a part of the Bounty Scheme sponsored by Charles Campbell, resettling highland shepherds to care for his stock and work his land as they would have done in Scotland. There is some great documentation about this scheme, for every passenger for whom a bounty was paid on immigration there is a description and references from employers and parish Ministers in Scotland. The Hooghley arrived in Sydney 12 October 1836. Then, I thought I would look in the newspapers to see if there was anything about the arrival of the ship. Imagine my surprise reading microfilmed copies of the Sydney Morning Herald when I found this.

The Sydney Herald (NSW 1831 - 1842) Thursday 27 October 1836 page 3 article12862554-3-001

Another of Margery's sisters married a fellow passenger some years after their arrival. Was it a shipboard romance ? Or had they been an item before they left ? They were both from the same area of Scotland, in fact Duncan's brother John was the Minister who gave references for most of the family.

A family reunion was held in 1986 and a family member published a book "Cameron of the Waterholes" (Waterholes being the name of one of the properties where the family were employed.) There is also a lot of information on Cameron Genealogies, which is where I found the most exciting link. I often thought wouldnt it be great to be part of Clan Cameron, but how could a shepherd be related to the Lochiel ?

There was the twist - the connection is actually traced back throught the McIntyre line, daughters marrying sons of rival clans to try to make alliances, keep the peace or build their own clan strength. So there are Campbells in the mix too. Lucy Cameron was the 3rd daughter of Ewen Cameron the Black Lochiel by his 3rd wife Jean Barclay. Ewen Cameron was born 1629 at Kilchurn Castle and is my daughters 9x great grandfather. How exciting. Amongst Lucy's children - Colin Campbell aka The Red Fox who was the victim of the Appin Murder in 1752. So much history right there at our fingertips. Culloden and all the campaigns beforehand in the Stuart uprisings - they were there, some even paying with their lives on the battlefields or the scaffold.

In 1989 my parents toured through Scotland and spent some time near Spean Bridge and Fort William which are in the general area where the family originated. I visited myself in 2007 and found the actual Kilmonivaig church with adjacent schoolhouse. I met a local who had bought the schoolhouse and was moving in. It was built in 1836 so about the time the family left, but it was built by Rev John McIntyre, Duncan's brother who was Minister at the parish at the time. In the churchyard I found the headstone for John. 

The church itself was built between 1802-1814 so will have been the church used by the families before they left Scotland. Oh to have had more time to chat to that gentleman.

Each time I visit Sydney I manage to fit in a bit of research at the Mitchell Library or even roadtripping down around Queanbeyan, Royalla and Michelago. This branch really intrigues me.

So, as I said it wasnt my intention for this week to talk about this family, but then it was the 176th anniversary last Wednesday of Duncan and Margery's marriage as well as the 150th anniversary of Sarah and Alexander's. I remember wondering at the time I got their marriage certificate why they were married "at" the church rather than in it. A bit of research helped with that. The church was being rebuilt and not completed at the time of their marriage. They were married by the Rev A D Soares though who was the driving force behind the building of the new church.  Then over the weekend what did I find on Trove but this

The Canberra Times (ACT 1926 - 1954) Tuesday 25 October 1927 page 4 article1218757-3-002
I'm 95% sure that the baptism just mentioned by chance is the first child of Duncan and Margery born August 1838. (I feel another trip coming on !) A little mystery surrounds Duncan death. No record has been found and some members of the family assumed he had gone to the goldfields and met his end. Margery remarried in 1849 and died in 1853. Recently, I came across a tree online which had a death date for Duncan in 1844 and cause of death "accidentally shot". I still need to contact the tree owner to verify the source of this information. I wondered then, if his past had caught up with him as on the Cameron Genealogies site there is a reference to him in the Kirk sessions. He was named as the father of a child borne to Isabella Cameron (I dont believe she is related to Margery). It stated that the father had left the country already and gone to Australia (and married as soon as he could it would seem !) Isabella Cameron's family also emigrated to Australia, had they found him and dealt some form of justice ? No, a little more research found that they did not arrive until after this new death date.

Just in case I could find a report in the paper I searched some more, and came across this last wedding notice instead. Duncan's niece had emigrated to Tasmania, I wonder if she had any contact her cousins in New South Wales ?

The Courier (Hobart Tas 1840 - 1859) Wednesday 6 April 1859 page 2 article2468910-3-001

So, that's a little bit about the almost royal blood running through my daughters veins - never mind how diluted it is now. She is proud of this branch on her tree and I am sure that some of the characteristics of those fiercely loyal people are amongst her strengths today.

Thanks Trove for delivering such treasures again for me. Happy Halloween.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Great Great Grandma Cooper

This is the story of my Great Great Grandma Mary Cooper. She was born in Camberwell Surrey about 1833. Her father was William Barratt a painter & glazier and her mother Mary Ann Moore. William and Mary were married 15 March 1830 in Westminster, and Mary Ann was their 2nd child, baptised 17 April 1833 at St Giles Camberwell.

In 1842 with their family of six young children William and Mary left England for a new life in the colonies. Much of their story is published in a book "Beginning in God's Own" by Peggy Crawford. They are also mentioned in "No Simple Passage" by Jenny Robin Jones which builds a story of the voyage of the London from diaries kept on the journey. Admittedly, there is not much information about the family except that baby Ellen was seen by the surgeon during the voyage and is so documented in his diary.

The family arrived in Wellington and set about making a home. A year after their arrival a 2nd son was born. Not a lot is known of their early life in Wellington, apart from events documented in church and registration records.

Mary aged 17 married 28 year old John Cooper on 23 April 1850 at St Paul's Wellington. This was a predecessor of the church known now as "Old St Paul's" and stood on the site now occupied by the Beehive. Mary's sisters Sarah, Caroline & Sophia all followed and were married by 1856. At some point around 1856 several members of the family took up positions on large sheep stations in Marlborough - Kekerengu and Flaxbourne - and so the story moves to Kaikoura a former whaling station on the east coast of South Island. Mary and John had thirteen children, and he continued to work in his trade as a Tailor both in Kaikoura township and at Kekerengu Station until his death in 1895.

My great grandfather William was their 9th child born in 1867. He became a builder apprenticed to his uncle Tom Cooke who will appear in another story.  This story is about Mary Ann and her three youngest children. Great Grandad told the story that his mother had left when he was very young (maybe 10 or 12) and had taken his baby brother with her and gone to Australia. As late as the early 1990's we realised that the two youngest daughters may also have gone with her as no further information was found for them in New Zealand. My Dad remembers that in the late 1940's or early 1950's his grandfather was visited by a man from Melbourne who he said was his nephew. In 1952 my uncle visited Australia before his marriage, like an OE I guess. Before he went their grandfather gave him the contact details for the "nephew" who had visited earlier. My uncle met these people somehow in Melbourne. He recalled an elderly gentleman propped up in bed as though unwell, who resembled his grandfather and so must have been his brother. There were at least two other males present, one possibly named Clarrie. On his return to New Zealand my uncle recounted this visit to his grandfather who denied ever having given him any such address, and of even having a brother in Melbourne. This puzzled both my Dad and his brother for years afterward. Sadly, when my Dad asked his brother about it again later in life he too denied the whole event had taken place.

We searched passenger records, electoral rolls, bdms for both Cooper and Barratt to no avail. Dad placed ads in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Adelaide Advertiser with no result.

And then ! Early this year someone on Ancestry saved a record I had previously saved - the baptism record for Mary Ann Barratt in 1833. I looked at their tree and thought they had everything mixed up, when suddenley the penny dropped. Here on their tree was Mary Ann Barratt with a husband named Charles Nicholls and two children with the same names as two of my missing children. Their birth dates were identical but one was a half sibling to the other - and where was the 3rd ? I studied their tree, could see where it could be untangled, even found a grandson named Clarrie and so I emailed with my story. The answer was very non committal, they would enquire from family and let me know. Grr. I spent some more time searching on Ancestry and found other trees related, but all seemed separate. Then I searched the bdms with the "new" name and ordered certificates which blew me away - and my Dad. The death certificates all gave the birth places as Kai Koras (an early name for Kaikoura), Wellington or New Zealand. The details were mixed up on Mary Ann's death certificate but as I said easily untied. The marriage certificates for the three children all gave their fathers name as Charles Nicholls. Who was he ? Did they meet in Melbourne ? Frustrated that I had no further response from my initial enquiry I set to hunting on Trove to see if I could work through subsequent generations using the family notices, using some of the dates from the ancestry trees.

The Argus: Melbourne, January 18, 1943. Viewed on October 22, 2012

The Argus: Melbourne, July 25, 1932. Viewed on October 22, 2012

The Argus: Melbourne, October 1, 1956. Viewed on trove.nla, October 22, 2012
Armed with some of these new names I returned to ancestry and looked for trees with the next generations. I found a couple, emailed and got one amazed reply. In a glory box inherited from her mother were some certificates, some of which made no sense and an Australian Centenary plate from 1888. Sadly this person did not know a lot about her family - cousins or otherwise, and was overwhelmed with the new family I had connected her with. The certificates in her possession included the original 1850 marriage certificate of Mary Ann Barratt and John Cooper and the original birth certificate of her great grandmother Mary Ann born in Kaikoura in 1873. She also sent a copy of her grandparents marriage certificate (which we had ordered a copy of earlier) and her own parents marriage certificate. The most intriguing thing was on Mary Ann's birth certificate (why does everyone have the same name ?) She was registered as Mary Ann Cooper, but the informant was not her father or her mother, it was Charles Nicholls of Kaikoura ! Since we had not had any luck with the other branches, who I now believe may have the originals of their respective great grandparents birth certificates, we ordered copies ourselves. No surprises there though, for Sarah Elizabeth and Walter Ernest the informants were John Cooper himself and Henry Barratt (Mary's youngest brother).

So who was Charles Nicholls ? Were he and Mary having an affair ? Was he the biological father of any of her children ? Was he just a kindly neighbour who felt sorry for the wife of the Tailor. Rumour has it that John liked his drink and Mary was still relatively young; in her early 40's at the birth of her youngest child Walter in 1876. Of her other children 2 daughters were married by 1876 and the others, except for my great grandad William and two brothers each side of him Frederick and Herbert, were married by 1883. So maybe if you were going to get out of a marriage, the mid 1870's - early 1880's was the time to go. Charles Nicholls only appears on one electoral roll in Kaikoura, and that fits in with the time we know he was there to be the informant on Mary Ann's birth certificate. I've not been able to find a record of them marrying in Australia, nor of Charles' death. Did anyone know their plans ? How did they organise it all back then with no internet or daily flights ? Did they just keep a big secret, then leave a note for those left behind ?

Mary died in Melbourne in 1903 her death certificate gave her maiden name as Barratt and her mother's maiden name as Foote. Quite different to Moore but easily explained - Mary Moore was remarried in 1861 after the death of her first husband William Barratt to William Foote. The fact that these names were known by the informants to events in Australia and that "Clarrie" visited New Zealand 50 years later would suggest that there must have been some correspondence through the years. But sadly the link was broken over time, and is proving very difficult to remake.

I can imagine how confronting it must be to realise that the family you thought was your family, is not - and that you are part of a wider larger family in a different country. But I do wish these new cousins would welcome us into their families as we would love to welcome them all into ours.

Sarah Elizabeth Cooper/Nicholls married John Poole Smith in Melbourne 1893 (7 chn)
Mary Ann Cooper/Nicholls married Alfred Joseph Schneider in Melbourne in 1904 (2 chn)
Walter Ernest Cooper/Nicholls married Annie Sloan in Melbourne 1903 (1 child)

I am glad for my Dad, that I have almost solved the mystery for him after all this time. We have photos of all Mary's siblings who came to New Zealand or were born here - it would be great to one day be able to add one of her to complete the family group.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Great Grand Uncle Watty

My Dad's family were tenant farmers in Somerset. There were a number of farms which passed down through several generations. When he started researching our genealogy Dad spent hours at the British High Commission looking up addresses and wrote many letters in the hope someone would reply and be able to fill in the gaps and take us back further. It worked too - took a little longer than emailing mind you.

They were ecstatic about reconnecting as they had always wondered what had become of the family who emigrated. My great great grandfather and his brother were the only children from the marriage of their parents. Their mother went on to remarry, and I was to eventually discover, have several more children. It seems though, that the boys' paternal grandmother left them money in her will - 600 pounds. One brother remained in Somerset, but the other packed up his family and emigrated to New Zealand with the Albertlanders in 1862.

They don't seem to have ever taken up the land offer which was part of that scheme though and lived mostly in Auckland and Hamilton. When they emigrated James and Sarah bought with them their six eldest children. Later we would discover that they had lost their seventh  child  aged 6 months shortly before leaving their farm of 140 acres & servants & farm labourers, with a most amazing house which is still standing albeit partially rebuilt Surely I have a hereditary claim on it dont I ? Money shouldnt need to change hands at all.

Anyway some of the sons, and I think even James briefly, caught gold fever in the 1870's and 1880's and spent some time on the Coromandel and Thames goldfields. Dad had been able to account for all of his grand uncles (uncles of his father) except for one. Walter. He knew he had been mining near Waihi and I remember wandering around cemeteries with him, in the days before people began to transcribe headstones, in the hope we would find one with the right name. But no. Dad wasn't even entirely sure he had died in New Zealand. He recalled talk of him being in Australia as well, and most intriguingly he remembered that his grandparents had a gold nugget on their mantlepiece that had been bought back for them by Walter. But bought from where ?

Walter was 7 years old when the family emigrated to New Zealand, 18 months younger than my great grandfather. I wonder what it was that captivated him about mining, that led him to spend his life "chasing the weight". Was the excitement and adventure ? Or the monetary reward ? As a kid I remember my Dad being a rock collector with a view to polishing up the gems he discovered. There were holidays where he scrabbled around in the undergrowth being rewarded with bits of amethyst and quartz. Is that what it was like for Walter too ?

So my search began,  I tracked down a death index for a Walter James Davys with the correct age in Geraldton West Australia, so we ordered the certificate and it did seem we had found Uncle Walter. But we knew nothing else of his life - apart from that he had never married. So that was that, the certificate got filed away, and the date added onto his record on the family tree.

Then came the advent of digitised newspapers. Here in New Zealand Papers Past supported by the National Library, enabled me (and then Dad because he is so intrigued by it all) to search for Uncle Walter. We learnt he was quite a successful prospector in Thames and Coromandel. He had a number of claims, and popped up in the paper giving evidence in court over disputes with other prospectors and in a landmark case with the Kauri Timber Company who disputed the rights to the minerals being mined underground. Walter was also injured in a rockfall reported in the Thames Star 7 August 1885 (3rd column near the top) and his recovery in the Thames Advertiser 12 August 1885. In an article about Ohinemuri - History of the Goldfields in the Te Aroha News 3 October 1885 he was referred to as "the well known prospector". The ongoing enquiry investigating the dispute between the Kauri Timber Company and the propectors in 1897 gave me my next clue. It reported that Walter Davys had since left Tairua and New Zealand for Australia. And here is where my relationship with TROVE began.

Walter was known as Watty in Western Australia. He was a much respected prospector and it would seem something of a billiards player too. He spent his days on the Coolgardie and possibly in Queensland (though I cant find much about that yet). He gave great names to his mines, Westralia Waihi near Davyhurst (the town named after him) was one, it yielded 20000 pounds ! Thats a lot of gold, and a lot of money. How amazing to read this (amongst other articles) and  to see the photo in the Perth Sunday Times 25 April 1926 . Watty continued to prospect well into his 80's in the Dongarra. I keep going back to see if there are more digitised editions where I can learn more abou this pioneer ancestor of mine.

On I found some shipping information for Walter returning to Australia from Auckland - I wonder whether that was after he bought the gold to give his parents and/or siblings ? It has been so great to find all this information and share it with my Dad. Newpapers are a mine (excuse the pun) of information to help build a picture of our forebears. If it werent for Trove we'd have still been calling him Walter - Watty has much more character dont you think ?

He was 88 when he died in 1944, and it seemed as late as 1939 still chasing the weight at Dongarra. I wonder what ever happened to the gold nugget on the mantlepiece...

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.