Saturday, 31 May 2014

Education records part 2

Types of items that may be held at the PROV include:
  •  pupil registers & indexes
  • inspectors' reports
  • school committee, mothers club records
  • school magazines
  • correspondence
  • records of academic achievement
  • discipline records
  • class photographs
To find a school:
  • Go to Access the Collection
  •  Select Find by Number
  • Select the Group button
  • Type the number 24 (educational institutions)
  • Select Related Agencies
  • Click on Agency Title for a list of schools in alphabetical order together with their VA number
There is also an online index available when searching for a school.
Secondary High Schools began in 1907

VPRS 1440 Registers of Professional Officers

VPRS 14390 War Service  Publications

VPRS 13718 Teacher Record Books - there is an online index

Inspector Report Book contains reports of each visit to a school

School Building Files
  • VPRS 795  - Primary Schools
  • VPRS 3916  - High Schools
Information may also be found in Public Works Department Files and MMBW Survey Plans
  • VPRS 7882 Public Building Files - index online
  • VPRS 9044 Public Building Plans too large to fit in normal file
Records for non government schools generally not held but information may be located School Buildings Files: Non Government and also in Health Department Files.

Records of the former Education History Unit include:
  • VPRS 14557 School histories & other publications
  • VPRS 14519 School history files
  • VPRS 15355 Biography files
  • VPRS 14004 Donations
Student magazines include copies of The School Paper

Records may also be found in other government departments:
  • Royal Commissions
  • Crown Land Reserve files
  • Education Gazettes
Check archives in other states for education records held. now includes a number of New South Wales school registers including NSW Teachers' Rolls 1869-1908

Education records part 1

I recently attended a workshop at the Public Record Office of Victoria providing an overview of the education records held at the PROV.

The records tend to fall into four categories:
  • general administration
  • teachers & schools
  • buildings
  • information from the former Education History Unit
Public Records Act 1973
Some of the records are closed if they are of a private or personal nature - closure may be for 50, 75 or 99 years - but most records can be accessed.

Two sets of numbers used:
  • VA Victorian Agency
  • VPRS Victorian Public Record Series
A brief history of the development of education in Victoria was provided in relation to available records and examples of some record series were provided.

Pre 1848 there was no government control of education however some aid may have been made available to schools.

VPRS 19: 1839-1951 inward correspondence received by the government. There is an index and some items of correspondence have been digitised

VA 703 Denominational Schools Board was established 1848-1863

VA 920 Board of National Education

VA 919 National Schools Board

VA 713 1862-1873 Board of Education established

VA 714 1873 establishment of the Education Department (now Department of education and Training)

Searching collection using the VA or VPRS number
  • Go to Access the Collection
  • Select Find by Number
  • Select the VA (agency) or VPRS (series) button
  • Type in the number
The Records tab provides a list of series titles is then provided which can be further investigated

From 1873 the information can be more detailed. There may be separate series for different functions. Memoranda & Circulars of the Education department are available from 1873-2001.

There are two types of school records:
  • those created by the School
  • those created by the Education Department
VPRS 640 Central Inward Primary Schools Correspondence 1872-1962
Until about 1920 files for each school kept together - after that information was chronological
Sometimes more than one school may be mentioned in a file particularly when there were part-time schools.

The PROV does not have records from all schools. Schools that are still operating may have some or all of their records at the school.

The PROV was established in 1973. Prior to that a unit at the State Library of Victoria held some government records. As records did not have to be kept prior to 1973 some records may not have survived.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Koorie records at the PROV and National Archives

In April 2014 walata tyamateetj was published jointly by the Public Record Office of Victoria and National Archives of Australia to provide a guide to government records about Aboriginal people in Victoria. The publication can be read online or downloaded as a pdf or ebook. Hard copies of the book can be ordered from the PROV.

Originally the PROV held all government records relating to Aborigines in Victoria. In 1975 the Victorian Government transferred responsibility for Aboriginal affairs to the Commonwealth Government and many of the government Aboriginal records created after 1860 were transferred to National Archives. The PROV continues to keep government records created in Victoria up to 1860 and has also kept some collections created after that date until 1975.

walata tyamateetj provides a guide to the Victorian records held by each archive. A summary description is held for each set of records including whether the items have been digitised.

The Koorie Records Unit manages research enquiries relating to records held at the PROV and researchers can contact them with any enquiries. Email is the best way to contact the unit. The Koorie Records Unit Newsletter is published three times a year and can be obtained via email.

The PROV has provided guides for researching Koorie records including records for people undertaking family history. National Archives Australia also has a fact sheet for those undertaking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.

Two indexes have been created that can be viewed at the PROV and the National Archives reading room at North Melbourne. The Koorie Index of Names (KIN) contains a growing list of names appearing in records about Aboriginal people. The index does not distinguish between Koorie and non Koorie people. When I checked the index I found the name of one of a family member who owned a property in Victoria in the nineteenth century. The index provides the name of the person as recorded in the record, date, place and VPRS number of the item. The index also records if the name is an incidental reference. The National Archives has the Bringing them Home name index, an index of names appearing in the most relevant records relating to Aborigines held in the National Archives of Australia.

Archive offices in other states in Australia will also hold Aboriginal records for their state.

The State Library of Victoria also has a guide - Aboriginal people and family history - on their website.

At the session that I attended on Koorie records, mention was also made of the online research tool, Find and Connect, to assist people looking for information about children previously in institutional care. No personal details are provided on the website.

Researching convicts

When researching convicts the following websites may be useful:

Hawkesbury on the Net -

Free Settler or Felon -

Claim a convict -

Additional information about the above three sites can be found on this blog in the under the website lists label in the Unlocking family stories section.

Other sites that may be useful include:

Australian National Maritime Museum -

British Convict transportation registers database -

Irish convicts to NSW -

Convict records of Australia -

NSW State Records Convict records -

Convicts to Australia -

Coraweb convict records -

Australian Royalty -

There are, of course, many more sites that you will find using Google. and Find My Past also include records relating to convicts in Australia.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

52 Ancestors #28 William Pendergast

William Pendergast was born in the Hawkesbury area in 1808. He was the son of convicts John Pendergast and Jane Williams. John Pendergast was a farmer with a number of small land holdings in the Hawkesbury district and later at Campbelltown. His sons would therefore have worked on the properties as they grew up. In 1832, when he was 24, William had been given property in the Cornwallis area by his father.

On 26 July 1837, William married Sarah Holland at St Matthew's Catholic Church, Windsor. William was 29 and Sarah was 17 when they married. William and Sarah had six children - Jane (1838-1903), John (1840-1928), Margaret (1842-1891), Mary (1844-1845), Elizabeth Penelope (1846-1942) and William (1849-1920).

William built up his land holdings. When he died his will showed that part of the estate that he owned included Shredrick's Farm consisting of 30 acres near Windsor, Whyte's Farm consisting of 30 acres near Windsor, John Pendergast's Grant of 80 acres at Currajong (Kurrajong), Fitzpatrick's Grant and Henderson's Grant at Currajong (Kurrajong),  Allotments 30, 31, 32 and 33 of Campbellfield Estate with a combined total of approximately 136 acres at Campelltown.

William was 42 when he died at Campbelltown on 6 October 1850. His will of fourteen pages, dated 19 September 1850, included a codicil dated 4 October 1850. William had divided part of his land between his children entailed and in trust until they were 21. The rest of the property was to be sold and the money invested to be distributed among the children when the youngest child was 21. The codicil removed the name of his eldest daughter, Jane, from inheriting land from the will. It is thought that other provisions may have been made for her.

The land that formed the Campbellfield Estate was originally granted to William Redfern by Governor Macquarrie. When Redfern died in 1833 allotments of the land were put up for sale. The Pendergast family appear to have acquired some of the allotments though they may already have had other land in the area. The National Library has a map of the area showing allotments on Campbell Town Road adjoining Mr Pendergast's Farm.

A rich inheritance volume 1 pages 41 and 42 provides details of the will. 

William Pendergast was my great (x2) grandfather.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

52 Ancestors #27 Sarah Holland

Sarah Holland was born in Windsor on 2 January 1820. Her parents were Richard Holland (1783-1867) who came to New South Wales as a convict and Mary Ann Roberts (1793-1863), daughter of convicts William Roberts (1756-1820) and Kezia Brown (1771-1854). Various members of her family were among the pioneer European settlers in the Windsor area. Most had land-holdings that they farmed and Sarah's father also had a shop in Windsor.

At St Matthew's Roman Catholic Church, Windsor, on 26 July 1837, Sarah married William Pendergast (1808-1850) son of the convict, John Pendergast (1769-1833), another Windsor farming pioneer and Jane Williams (1775-1838).
Sarah and William had six children - Jane (1838-1903), John (1840-1928), Margaret (1842-1891), Mary (1844-1845), Elizabeth Penelope (1846-1942) and William (1849-1920).

William Pendergast was a farmer and initially he and Sarah lived at Cornwallis, near Windsor, before moving to William's property, Campberfield, near Campbelltown. William was only 42 when he died on 6 October 1850. Sarah was 30 when she became a widow with five children to look after. William left a complicated will with packages of land to be inherited by his children (later Jane's name was removed) when they turned 21. In the meantime rent form the land was to be used for their education and maintenance for his wife. Sarah was provided with an additional sum of £15 per annum provided that she did not remarry. A codicil to the will allowed Sarah to live on one of the properties, Whyte's Farm, until their youngest son reached his majority. Five male relatives oversaw the conditions of the will and probate was granted on 8 April 1851.

Sarah purchased a parcel of land in Cox Street, Windsor on 26 July 1858. She added to this property when she purchased adjoining land in The Terrace, Windsor. Sarah had been offered the opportunity to purchase the property when Henry Forrester, the husband of her aunt, died. However she elected to purchase the land at public auction on 19 July 1873. Unfortunately this decision cost her an additional £22.
Sarah c 1885
On 8 September 1857 Jane Pendergast married John Tebbutt and they had six daughters and one son. John Tebbutt (1834-1916) was an astronomer and became famous for his observations of comets.

John Pendergast married Rachel Emmerton (1846-1933) on 19 March 1863 and they had sixteen children. John was a veterinary surgeon, farmer and corn buyer. On 23 December 1874 a fire swept through part of Windsor destroying many properties, including John's property. He tried to obtain a loan from the bank and in the end surrendered the life interest in the properties inherited from his father to the bank in order that his debts could be paid. He continued to work as a veterinary surgeon and his wife and daughters did dressmaking to help support the family but they continued to struggle and John was declared insolvent in 1891. The family later moved to Glebe in Sydney.

Margaret Pendergast married South Australian landowner, Thomas Hope Murray (1854-1905) on 12 December 1878. Margaret and Thomas had six children. In 1886 Thomas inherited the Mount Beevor sheep station near Woodside.

Mary Pendergast was only two months old when she died in February 1845.

Elizabeth Penelope Pendergast married George Moses (1838-1908) on 8 June 1865. They had six children. George was a clerk in the New South Wales Civil Service. Initially they lived in Armidale but later in Bathurst where George worked in the Parcels' Office at the railway station. After Elizabeth inherited money from her father's will the family moved to Sydney.

On 30 January 1877 William Pendergast married Mary Jane Dunstan (1855-1935). William and Jane had six children. As well as owning and renting family properties, William, like his brother, John, was a veterinary surgeon.

Sarah died on 16 October 1891 at the home of her son, William, at Pitt Town. She was 71 years old. Sarah had recently returned from South Australia where her daughter, Margaret had died seven weeks earlier.  Two of her grandchildren had also died in May and her son, John was declared bankrupt. The months before Sarah's death had therefore not been particularly happy ones.

When Sarah married William she did not change her religion though the children were baptised in the Catholic church. Sarah was buried at St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor on 17 October 1891.

Sarah Holland was my great (x2) grandmother.

For further information about Sarah Holland and her family see the book, A Rich Inheritance, volume 1, pages 41-47

52 Ancestors - What's in a name?

Halfway through the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge it is interesting to look at the naming patterns within the family trees.

Looking at the given names of female ancestors featured in the first 26 posts, Sarah and Mary are the most popular female names with three ancestors named Sarah aand three named Mary. There are also two named Ann or Anne. Other names for female ancestors include Agnes, Elizabeth, Jane, Keziah and Susannah.

The male names are more evenly spread. There are two with the name of Charles, two named George, two named John and two named Simeon. The other names in the list are James, Richard, Thomas, Uriah and William.

Two of the more unusual names in the family tree are Letitia and Parthenia, the names given to two of the daughters of George Moses and Elizabeth Pendergast.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

52 Ancestors #26 Anne Smith

Anne (or Annie) Smith was born in Singleton, New South Wales on 10 April 1864. Her father was Charles Septimus Smith from London and Sarah McCallum from Glasgow. Her parents were married on 22 June 1859 at Drayton in the Darling Downs in southern Queensland.

Annie was born after her parents had moved to Singleton after living in Maitland for several years. According to Annie's certificate her father was working as a warehouseman at the time. Annie was the fourth child of the fourteen children born to her parents. At the time of her birth she had one older sister, Ellen, and two brothers, John (Jack) and Ronald. From the birth places of the children, the family appear to have lived in Singleton for approximately five years before returning to Maitland and then moving to Wollongong. Five children were born in Wollongong between 1868 and 1874. The family then briefly moved back to Singleton before settling in Newtown, a suburb of Sydney before returning to the neighbouring suburb of Marrickville.

On 2 November 1887 Annie married a solicitor, James Campbell Thom. The notice in the Sydney Morning Herald for 1 December 1887 read: 
THOM—SMITH.—November 2, at the residence of the bride's  parents, Addison-road, Marrickville, by the Rev. Alexander Osborne, M.A. assisted by the Rev. Robert Collie, F.L.S., James Campbell, sixth, son of the late William Thom, of Glasgow, Scotland, to Annie, second daughter of Charles Septimus Smith, of Brixton, England.
For much of their married life Annie and James lived in a house named Dunoon in Eurella Street in Burwood and later in a house in Forest Road, Rockdale, named Camelot. They had five children - Alec Osborne Thom (1888-1970), Nellie Lamrock Thom (1890-1955), Agnes Campbell Thom (1891-1974), Enid Campbell Thom (1897-1979) and William Thom who was born in March 1898 and died during that year.

Alec Thom was a first year student at Sydney University in 1906. He became a school teacher and taught in schools in Queensland. Alec married Netta Holyroyd Armstrong in 1914 and they had two children, Campbell and Shirley. After 1937 the electoral rolls provide separate addresses for Alec and Netta. The World War II Nominal Roll shows that Alec enlisted in the RAAF in December 1941, at the age of 51, and was stationed at the 2 ANS (Air Navigation School) at Nhill (Victoria) until 1 June 1944 when he was discharged. Alec died in Queensland in 1970, aged 82.

Nellie Thom married John Alexander Scott in 1927 when she was 36. Initially they lived at Lane Cove but later moved to Chatswood. John's occupation in the electoral rolls in the 1930s was listed as a mechanic and in 1949 it was listed as engineer. In 1936 Nellie's occupation was listed as a clerk. Nellie died in Chatswood on 16 December 1955.

Agnes Campbell Thom was born at Burwood. In 1914 she married Sydney journalist, Reginald John Henry Moses. They had two sons, Reginald and Kenneth Campbell. The family lived for a time at Milson's Point before moving to Killara at the beginning of the Depression. They had moved to Manly before Reginald's death  in 1936. Agnes was then employed as a librarian at the Daily Telegraph. She continued to live in the Manly area until her death when aged 83.

Enid Campbell Thom was born at Bexley (Rockdale) when the family was living at Camelot in Forest Road. In 1923, at Linfield, she married Dr Robert Horner Fletcher, an ear, nose and throat specialist. Robert had enlisted in the AIF in May 1916 and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in France. Initially Enid and Robert lived in Gladstone, Queensland. In 1933 Robert undertook post-graduate studies in London and Vienna. The family then moved to Lismore where Robert died in March 1935. Enid and Robert had two children - Sheila and Robert. After Robert's death Enid moved to 89 Raglan Street in Mossman. When she died in 1979 she was 82 years old.

Annie Thom died on 17 November 1911. The following notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 18 November 1911:
THOM.—The Funeral of the late Mrs. James Campbell Thom will leave her late residence, Camelot, Forest-road, Bexley, this afternoon, at 1.30 o'clock, for Sutherland Cemetery, via Rockdale Station.
 Annie was only 47 when she died and missed observing the adult lives of her children and their families.

In October 1913, James Campbell Thom married Annie's older sister, Ellen Cumming Smith.
Above is a family photograph taken of the Thom sisters - Agnes is seated on the left of the row while her husband is seated in the deck chair on the right of the photo. Nellie is seated next to RJH Moses while Enid is sitting in front of them. The elderly lady sitting between Agnes and Nellie is "Granny Smith" who may be Annie's mother, Sarah McCallum who died in 1924.

Annie Smith was my great grandmother.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

52 Ancestors #25 Sarah McCallum

Sarah McCallum was born in Glasgow, Scotland, possibly in 1839. Sarah came to Australia with her family in 1855. I did not have information about this when I first wrote this post but additional information is now available in another post - Sarah MacCallum Part 2. When she was twenty Sarah married Charles Septimus Smith in Drayton (now a suburb of Toowooba) on the Darling Downs in Queensland. The following notice appeared in The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser 23 June 1859:

MARRIED, By special license, at St. Matthew's, Drayton, on the 22nd instant, by the Rev. Benjamin Glennie, Mr. Charles Septimus Smith, of London, to Sarah, third daughter of Mr. John McCallum, of Glasgow.

During the following twenty-one years, Sarah and Charles had fourteen children - eight daughters and six sons.

Ellen Cumming Smith (1860-1939) was born in Ipswich, Queensland. In 1913, at the age of 59, Ellen married James Campbell Thom. James had previously been married to Ellen's younger sister, Anne. James died in 1929 and Ellen died ten years later in 1939.

John Charles Smith (1861-1948), known to the family as Jack, was born in West Maitland when the family was living in Free Church Street. Jack was an accountant and spent most of his life in Glebe where he died aged 86.    

Ronald Campbell Smith (1862-1936) was also born in Maitland. In 1895 he married Ruth Bradley at Wyong, New South Wales. The marriage was not a success and in 107 Ronald applied for the dissolution of the marriage on the grounds of the adultery of his wife with John Maguire. The Clarence River Advocate 26 March 1907 provides details of the case. Ronald was a surveyor and was working Dorrigo at the time. A decree absolute was granted in 1911. In 1923, aged 61, Ronald married Matilda Grace Forster and they lived in Glebe. Ronald Died in Liverpool in 1936.    

Anne Smith (1864-1911) was born in Singleton. Aged 23, Anne married a solicitor, James Campbell Thom at Marrickville in 1887. Anne and James had five children, though the youngest son, William, died when he was a baby. For much of their married life Anne and James lived in a house named Dunoon in Burwood.  Anne was forty-seven when she died in 1911.

Charles D Smith was born in Singleton in 1865 and I have not found any additional information about him.

Robert Dugald Smith (1867-1961) was born in Maitland. He returned to England and in 1889 received his 2nd Mate Certificate in the Merchant Navy. In July 1895 he married Gwyneth Maud Shepard in England. A month later he received his Master of Foreign Going Ships certificate. He then returned to Australia and was captain of ships carrying coal to Sydney from the Wollongong area. Robert and Gwyneth had six children. For much of his life Robert lived in Bartlett Street, Summerhill. He was 93 when he died.

Catherine Waddell Smith (1868-1939) was born in Wollongong. In 1889, when twenty-one, Catherine married Sydney Walter Austin. Catherine and Sydney had four children and the family lived in Randwick. Catherine was 71 when she died.

Mary Elizabeth Smith (1870-1941) was also born in Wollongong and was known as Polly to her family. Polly was a school teacher and her first appointment was as a pupil teacher in 1885. She taught at a number of schools including Balgowlah Primary School in 1927. Polly was 71 when she died in 1941.

Lilly Smith died shortly after she was born in 1871.

Flora Macdonald Smith (1872-1962) was born in Wollongong. A search in Papers Past shows that on 20 May1907, when aged 34, Flora married Clyde Montgomerie Ballantyne in New Zealand. Flora and Clyde had three children. Clyde was an orchardist. Electoral rolls show that in 1903 he was living in Western Australia before he moved to New Zealand. Flora died in New Zealand when she was 90.

Herbert Frederick Smith (1874-1952), known as Bert, was born in Wollongong. Bert was a salesman and according for one family member he worked in the paint department of Anthony Horden's department store. Electoral rolls show that he was living in Brisbane in 1913. In 1914 he married Agnes Mary Donaldson and they had one daughter. Bert died at New Farm, Queensland, aged 78.

Lily Smith (1875-1947) was born in Singleton. She did not marry and died at Ashfield aged 72.

Norman McCallum Smith (1878-1925) was born in Newtown, a suburb of Sydney. Norman travelled back to England and by 1911 he was working as a fisherman on fishing trawlers operating out of Hull. In 1913 Norman married Lily Denby. War intervened and from April 1915 until 1919 Norman served in the Royal Naval Reserve at Dover. Several years after the war, Norman was in the De La Pole Hospital (asylum) in Hull. A Norman M Hull died in Hull in 1925, aged 47.

Elsie Smith (1880-1934) was also born in Newtown and in 1913 she married Albert Richard William Massey, a patent attorney. For many years they lived in Manly until Elsie died from TB in 1934.

As can be shown from the birth places of the children, Sarah and Charles lived in a number of regions of New South Wales at various times. It must have been quite a challenge moving home with all those children though the older children were possibly fending for themselves when the younger children were born.

As can be seen from the above summary of the lives of the children, a number of the children moved to different countries - Flora to New Zealand and Norman and Robert to England, though Robert returned home, and Bert moved to Queensland to live. From the information we have, they also followed a range of occupations, Norman as a fisherman and his experience with the British Naval reserve during the First World War, Robert as a captain of a coal steamer, Ronald as a surveyor, Polly as a school teacher, Jack as an accountant and Bert as a salesman. Elsie married a patent attorney and Anne and Ellen both married the solicitor, and later barrister, James Campbell Thom.

Sarah's later years were spent at her home, Dunoon, at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains. The house may have been named after the town of Dunoon in Scotland. As we have no information about Sarah's family it is not known if there were family associations with that area. However Sarah's Scots ancestry is shown in the naming of some of the children - Dugald, Campbell, Flora Macdonald and Sarah's family name of McCallum.

Sarah was 85 when she died at Dunoon in April 1924.

Sarah McCallum was my great (x2) grandmother.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

52 Ancestors #24 John Smith

Everyone needs a John Smith in the family to create additional challenges when researching family history.
John Smith was born on 26 July 1800 in Marylebone, London and his parents were Robert Smith and Mary Hancock. The above painting of John Smith was probably made when he was about 20. Inscribed on the back were the words, '44 Cornhill', which may refer to a street by that name in London.

On 14 June 1827, John married Ann Dodson at St George's Church of England, Camberwell. He was baptised at St George's on the same day. His address was given as Camberwell Road, Camberwell and his occupation was a warehouseman. John and Ann had seven children - Mary Ann (born 1829), Elizabeth (1831-1912), Charles Septimus (1833-1912), Frederick (1836-1915), Robert Hancock (born 1838), John (born 1840) and Edward (born 1842). The addresses provided when the births of the children were registered show the family living in Walworth. As the names of the streets varied the family appears to have moved house every few years. We do not know when Ann died but her name does not appear in the 1851 census where John was recorded as living at 4 Chryssell Road, Lambeth with Mary, Elizabeth, Charles, Frederick, Robert, John and Edward. John's occupation was given as warehouseman - silk.

Sometime in the 1850s John migrated to Australia. Exactly when and why he decided to change countries is not known. We do know that at least four of his children also left England to settle in Australia. Locating the life of a John Smith is a challenge. What we do know is that he died in Singleton on 25 June 1885. The death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald 26 June 1885 reads:

SMITH.—June 25, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. George Newton, Singleton, John Smith, in his 85th year, father of Charles Septimus and Frederick Smith, of Sydney.

We know that Elizabeth Smith came to Australia as an assisted immigrant aboard the Java arriving in Sydney in April 1853. She would have been twenty-two. On 8 April 1857, Elizabeth married George Newton at St Paul's Church Newtown.  Elizabeth and George had ten children born between 1858 and 1876. George Newton worked for the railways as District Inspector, Locomotive Department at Singleton for many years and then as Superintendent of the Northern Locomotive Department, Newcastle. After retiring from the railways in 1905, George and Elizabeth moved to Marrickville where Elizabeth died on 29 February 1912 and George died 2 August 1921.

Charles Septimus Smith came to Australia towards the end of the 1850s and married Sarah McCallum on 22 June 1859. They had fourteen children. Charles and Sarah had fourteen children. Like his father, Charles worked as a warehouseman. He may also have sold sewing machines at one time and at times was listed as a draper. Charles died on 8 July 1912.

Robert Hancock Smith was certainly in Australia by the 1860s. References to his business at Windeyer, New South Wales, first appear in newspapers in November 1861. Robert was a general storekeeper and commission agent at Windeyer which was a goldmining town in the 1860s. He was also listed as a miner in some sources.

Frederick Smith was born in Newington, England on 21 February 1836. At some stage, possibly in the 1850s, he came to Australia and on 3 September 1783 married Jane Howitt at Surry Hills, New South Wales. Frederick and Jane had four children. Frederick worked as a clerk in the New South Wales Lands Department. He died in Sydney on 26 June 1915.

John Smith was my great (x3) grandfather.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

52 Ancestors #23 Charles Septimus Smith

Researching a family member with the name of Smith can be a challenge.  We can only be grateful that, in this case, the parents provided their son with a distinctive second name that he regularly used.

Charles Septimus Smith was born on 9 February 1833 at Newington, England. His parents were John Smith (1800-1885) and Ann Dodson. Charles had two older sisters and four younger brothers. On 9 March 1834 Charles was baptised at St Peter's Church, Walworth in Surrey and the family address on the register was given as Beresford Street, Walworth. In the 1841 census the family address was Vauxhall Street, Walworth and in 1851 the address was 52 Chryssell Road in London, around the corner from Vauxhall Street. So Charles' early life was spent living in London. The occupation of his father in 1851 was listed as warehouseman - silk while Charles' occupation was warehouseman - woollen.

Notes to my father from a cousin stated that Charles came to Australia (Sydney) as a representative of Wilcox & Gibbs chain stitch sewing machines. He probably arrived towards the late 1850s as on 22 June 1859 Charles Septimus Smith married Sarah McCallum at St Matthew's Church of England, Drayton, now a suburb of Toowoomba, Queensland. On 22 June 1909 the following notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald under the heading Golden Wedding Anniversary:

SMITH-MCCALLUM - By special licence at St Matthew's Church, Drayton, Darling Downs, Queensland, on Wednesday June 22, 1859, by the Rev. Benjamin Glennie, Charles Septimus Smith, of London, to Sarah McCallum, of Glasgow. Present address Glen Rest, Glenbrook.

Locations where Charles and Sarah lived can largely be determined by the birth place of their fourteen children. They must have lived in Queensland for a while as their first daughter, Ellen Cumming Smith, was born in Ipswich, Queensland on 9 May1860. By the birth of their second child, John Charles, on 20 April 1861 they were living in Maitland, New South Wales.  When their fourth child, Annie, was born on 10 April 1864 they lived in Singleton. (In August 1863 Charles purchased two blocks of land in Singleton). When their sixth child, Robert Dugald Smith, was born on 27 August 1867 they were back in Maitland. The next five children were born between 1868 and 1874 in Wollongong. Lily was born in Singleton in 1875 while the two youngest children were born in Newtown, a suburb of Sydney in 1878 and 1880. Some of the birth entries have the name, Patricks Plains, which was an earlier name for Singleton. Charles name appears in a number of the Sands directories for Sydney initially in Campertown (on Newtown border) from 1890 until 1887 when addresses appeared in the Marickville area until 1897. When Charles died in 1912, he and Sarah were living at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains.

 As we have seen Charles' occupation at age 18, in London, was a warehouseman dealing with woollen cloth. Charles possibly sold Willcox & Gibbs sewing machines in Australia but this may not necessarily have been the reason he came to this country. The Wilcox & Gibbs Company was started in the USA in 1857 and the first machines were in production in 1858. Machines were quickly exported to England and from there to Australia. Searching in Trove provides numerous advertisements plus some articles about these machines. The Wilcox & Gibbs Company ceased production in 1973. When Annie was born in 1864 Charles' occupation in Singleton was listed as a warehouseman. A Notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 1875, referred to Charles as a draper in Newcastle. A similar notice published in the Sydney Morning Herald 20 November 1884 referred to him as a draper in Parramatta Road, Leichardt, near Sydney.

Charles was not the only member of his family to come to Australia. Some years after the death of his wife, John Smith (Charles' father) came to Australia, sometime in the 1850s.  Elizabeth, Charles' sister, came to Australia as an assisted migrant aboard the Java arriving in 1853. Articles in Trove show that Charles' brother, Robert Hancock Smith, was living in Australia at Windeyer, gold mining town, between 1861 and 1872. Frederick Smith was living in Sydney in 1885. Other family members may have also come to Australia but that has not yet been established.

Charles Septimus Smith died at his residence, Dunoon, Glenbrook on 8 July 1912. He was 79 years old.

Charles Septimus Smith was my great (x2) grandfather.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

52 Ancestors #22 Mary Ann Roberts

Mary Ann Roberts, born in Windsor, New South Wales, on 15 June 1793, was the eldest daughter of convicts William Roberts and Kezia Brown. Mary was part of a large family with five brothers and four sisters. William Roberts was a farmer and in 1822 the property, Hobby Farm, was described as having twenty acres of wheat, eight acres of maize and six acres of barley plus half an acre devoted to a garden and orchard. The rest of the fifty acres was pasture with livestock consisting of forty cattle and fifty pigs.

On 18 October 1813 at St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor, Mary married Richard Holland. Richard, a convict, had arrived in New South Wales on 27 July 1807. Mary was 20 and Richard was 30 when they married. As Richard had a wife in England he had to wait seven years before he could remarry.

Mary and Richard had nine children - William (1813-1897), Richard (1815-1881), John (1817-1897),
 Sarah (1820-1891), Thomas (1822-1824), Thomas (1825-1913), Henry (1828-1828), Henry Edward (1830-1906) and Ann Maria (1836-1905). Thomas was fourteen months when he died and Henry was nine days old. Like many families Mary and Richard followed the custom of reusing the name of a child who had died when subsequent children were born.

Richard had a holding of land at Cornwallis, near Windsor, but also appears to also have had a shop in Windsor which at different times had been a bakery or a butcher's shop. In 1863 a paragraph in a newspaper provided a medical report on a shipment of rams that Richard had transported to New South Wales from South Australia so he was dealing with livestock. He had possibly acquired the sheep from his son, Richard Holland, who by now owned property and was farming in South Australia.

Mary and Richard had been married for almost fifty years when Mary died from influenza on 22 July 1863. She was buried with other family members at St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor.

Mary and Richard's children continued the family association with farming. The sons of Richard and Mary owned and farmed properties in New South Wales and South Australia. Their daughter, Sarah, married William Pendergast who was also a landowner while Ann Maria's husband, James Melville also owned properties.

Mary Ann Roberts was my great (x3) grandmother