Sunday, 29 June 2014

52 Ancestors #35 William Clifton Weston

William Clifton Weston was probably born in New South Wales in 1833. His father's name was possibly John Bennett Weston. It has been difficult to pinpoint family information as there is more than one John Weston at this time and official birth records were not available. There is therefore lots of information to uncover about William's family and William's early life.

His brother, John W D Weston was born in 1832 and died the same year. Another brother, John Bennett Weston, according to the Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate 1 April 1911, died in Lancashire on 27 January 1911. I have so far been unable to locate a date of birth for him but as there had been another child called John he was possibly younger than William. I am also still looking for information about William's parents.

William was 26 when he married Jane Cox at the Wesleyan Church, Sofala, New South Wales, on 11 May 1859. Sofala is 46 km north of Bathurst and was a goldmining town. On the marriage certificate William's occupation is listed as being a surgeon.

In October 1859 a note in the Sydney Morning Herald reported that 'the following gentlemen have been appointed coroners for the districts specified, in connection with their names respectively ... Rylstone - William Clifton Weston, Esq., surgeon. (Sydney Morning Herald 22 Oct 1859). Rylestone was a small settlement to the west of the Blue Mountains. While in Rylestone, their first child, Percy Clifton Mckay Weston (1860-1947)  was born. By July 1860 there was to be another move, this time to Kiandra, a goldmining town in the Snowy Mountains  - William Clifton Weston, Esq. has been appointed coroner for the district of Kiandra (Australian Home Companion & Band of Hope 14 July 1860). Jane may have remained in Rylestone as her second child, Mary Mornington Weston, was born in Rylestone in 1861. The next move was to Coonamble, on the Castleragh River 569 km north west of Sydney, where the family lived until about 1878. Six more children were born to William and Jane while they lived at Coonamble.

William held a number of other positions in the town as well as Coroner. The first public school was built in 1869 and William had been appointed to form the Public Schools Board for Coonamble in 1868. He was also a JP and from 1870 could consent to the marriage of minors in the Coonamble, Dubbo districts. He was also the Clerk of Petty Sessions at Coonamble.

The Sydney Morning Herald 13 December 1876 reported that William Clifton Weston, Clerk of Petty Sessions, Coonamble, was to be Clerk of Petty Sessions and Registrar of the District Court, Hill End so the family was on the move back to where William had begun his career, as Hill End was not far from Sofala. Another notice in the Sydney Morning Herald 3 February 1877 confirmed that Mr William Clifton Weston has been appointed assistant registrar of births deaths and marriages for the district of Tambaroora, at Hill End, from the 1st instant. The stay at Hill End was short as the family moved to Parkes the following year when it was reported that Mr. William Clifton Weston has been appointed 'Assistant Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages for the district of Forbes, at Parkes, from the 1st instant' (Australian Town & Country Journal 27 July 1878). In August he was also appointed to be 'warden's clerk and mining registrar at Parkes, and to issue miners' rights, business, and mineral licenses' and a year later the Australian Town & Country Journal announced that 'Mr. William Clifton Weston, to be coroner at Parkes, and for the colony generally'.

William worked in Parkes for eleven years until his death in 1889. According to his death certificate he had been ill for a month before his death on 14 April 1889. There were a number of reports of his ill health and subsequent death in a number of newspapers. Below is the obituary from the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser 20 April 1889:

    Death, of Mr W. C. Weston, C.P.S., Parkes. — This gentleman, we learn, died at Parkes on Sunday night last. It appears that the bones of the foot had begun to decay, and amputation was resorted to on Thursday, the 11th inst. Mortification, however, set in and the patient expired on the day above mentioned. The deceased was a very old public officer, having entered the public service 25 years ago, and was highly respected; he had been C.P.S. and Crown Land Agent at Parkes for over 10 years. Being a member of the Masonic brotherhood, the remains were buried on Monday afternoon with Masonic honours, the funeral being largely attended.
William Clifton Weston was my great (x2) grandfather.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I'm interested in the parents of "William Clifton Weston" who may be John Weston and Mary Farland. In the NSW BDM the mother is listed as Farrell, but "Farland" has been misspelled in various ways in the records and the husband's name is correct. They were both convicts and I have a lot of information about them on my Ancestry tree.
    Do you have any further information on your John Weston and Mary Farrell?

    Many thanks,