Saturday, 26 April 2014

52 Ancestors #20 Elizabeth Pendergast

Elizabeth Penelope Pendergast was born in Windsor, New South Wales on 16 January 1846.  She was the daughter of William Pendergast and Sarah Holland and the grand-daughter of convicts John Pendergast, Jane Williams and Richard Holland. She was also the great grand-daughter of William Roberts and Kezia Brown. Elizabeth was therefore a member of pioneer families in the Windsor area.

Elizabeth was baptised at St Matthew's Catholic Church on 15 February 1846. The family lived on her father's property, Campbellfield, near Campbelltown. Elizabeth had three sisters - Jane (1838-1903), Margaret (1842-1891) and Mary (1844-1845) - and two brothers - John (1840-1928) and William (1849-1920). Elizabeth was four when her father died but he had ensured in his will that his family would be well provided for and would have a good education. Sarah moved to Whyte's Farm at Windsor, one of the family properties, and lived comfortably on the rent from her husband's estate. Elizabeth received an allotment of land in Campbellfield when she was 21 and also inherited additional money from her father's estate in 1871 when her younger brother turned 21.

At St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor, on 8 June 1865, Elizabeth married George Moses, son of the convict Uriah Moses and grandson of convicts, Charles Daley and Susannah Alderson.

Although George and his family were based in Windsor, he was living in Armidale when he and Elizabeth married. Initially they lived in Armidale but by 1869 appear to be living in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney. Ten years later they were living in Bathurst where George worked in the Parcels' Office at Bathurst Railway Station. By 1894 they were back in Sydney where they were living when George died in 1908. Elizabeth was 62.

Elizabeth and George had six children - Letitia (1866-1928), Pathenia (1869-1872), George Victor (1871-1951), Elsie (born and died 1879), Constance Henrietta (1882-1874) and Henry John (1879-1936).

When Elizabeth died in September 1942, aged 96, she was living at Campbell Terrace, Nundah, a suburb of Brisbane, at the home of her daughter Constance. The 1925 electoral rolls show that she was living at 275 Vulture Street Brisbane South where Constance was living but I do not know when she moved north.

Elizabeth was buried at the Toowong Cemetery on 16 September 1942.

One of the mysteries when researching the Moses family tree was that I could not find any information about Elizabeth after George's death, including when she died. A number of copies of the family tree also showed that George and Elizabeth had five children. Family stories were that there was a ten year gap between the birth of my grandfather in 1889 and his older siblings. It was therefore a surprise when I discovered the following notice for Elizabeth's funeral in Brisbane:

MOSES, Mrs. Elizabeth.— Relatives and Friends of Mrs. E. J. Babington, of Campbell Terrace, Nundah, and Mr. G. V. Moses, of Pennant Hills, Sydney, are invited to attend the Funeral of their beloved Mother. Mrs. Elizabeth Moses, of Campbell Terrace, Nundah, to leave the Funeral Chapel, 17 Peel Street, South Brisbane, This (Wednesday) Afternoon, at 3 o'clock, for the Toowong Cemetery. No flowers, by request. JOHN HISLOP & SONS, Funeral Directors. [Courier Mail, Wednesday 16 September 1942].

Not only did I now have a date and place of death for Elizabeth but I also had another family member, Mrs E J Babington, who did not appear on any of the family lists I had seen. Some research was obviously required which was how I discovered Constance Henrietta. There does not appear to be an official birth record for her but trawling through articles in Trove and electoral roll entries in I was able to locate some information. Through Ancestry I was able to make contact with another researcher who provided additional information. Although at least one branch of the family were unaware of Constance (or Hettie as she was known to her family), Elizabeth had obviously kept in touch with her daughter and so had George Victor. Maybe the solution to the mystery is that Elizabeth outlived her two other children who had lived to be adults - Letitia in 1928 and Henry John (known as Reginald) in 1936. Contact may simply possibly have been lost between Elizabeth and the families of her children. Yet it does not explain why Hettie's name did not appear on the family trees. Just another family mystery.

Elizabeth was my great grandmother.


  1. You have done a great job, Vicki!
    Elizabeth (Pendergast), together with her daughter Constance and her daughter's second husband, Ernest James Benjamin Babington, moved to a duplex in Campbell Terrace to be close to Constance's son before the war broke out. Neville Barclay Harper was living a few doors away at 20 Campbell Terrace (now Wavell Heights) with his family. Elizabeth died on Monday 14th September 1942.

  2. Many thanks for the additional information about Elizabeth in Brisbane, Sally. Researching the later part of Elizabeth's life, plus information about Constance, required quite a bit of detective work. Thank goodness for Trove ans Ancestry.

  3. Hi Vicki,
    I would like to make contact with you again regarding our Moses family. Would you mind emailing me, please?
    Kind regards,

  4. Sally, Please post a message in the contact form box at the top of this page so that I can get back to you - I will then have an email address to contsact you. Cheers, Vicki