Saturday, 27 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 43 - Cause of Death

On Wednesday the 18th instant, an inquest was held at Parramatta, before James Wright Esq. J. P. in the absence of the Coroner, on the body of Charles Daly, late of Windsor, who was accidentally killed on the previous evening, on the road near Parramatta, by the wheel of a cart, laden with maize, passing over his body. The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 26 May 1831

The brief report of an inquest reported the death of my great x3 grandfather, Charles Daley
Charles died on 17 May 1831. The website Irish Convicts to New South Wales states that Charles died 1831 in Windsor Road, Winston Hills. Winston Hills is approximately 7 km north of Paramatta while Windsor is approximately 29 km north west of Winston Hills if travelling via Windsor Road.

Barbara Hall in her book, Of Infamous Character: the convicts of the Boddingtons, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793, provides some additional information: 'Charles Daley died when his cart ran over him, whilst he was returning from the Sydney market. His son-in-law John Wood found the body'.

Three mentions of the death of Charles Daley each providing a clue or clues to his sad demise.
Winston Hills to Windsor (Google Maps)
The John Wood mentioned by Barbara Hall was the son of two convicts and was born in Sydney in 1798. In 1829 he married Mary Ann Daley (1811-1894), the second daughter of convicts Charles Daley and Susannah Alderson. John Wood's detailed obituary published in the Hawkesbury Chronicle and Farmers Advocate provides information about John's life including his occupation as 'principal carrier in Windsor'. The paper described what his job involved:
The storekeepers and farmers of the district trusted him implicitly with the conveyance of their goods to and from Sydney, and many were the important commissions he executed on behalf of his patrons. It was a serious matter in those days carrying on the Windsor and Parramatta Road. Over dreadfully bad roads in danger of bushrangers and marauders, it was at least a two days journey each way.
In 1831 the journey from Windsor to Sydney was a long one taking at least two days. Originally the favoured route from Sydney to Windsor was by water, particularly when transporting goods of any kind. A narrow track between the two locations was constructed in 1794 and it was gradually widened to allow carts to travel via this route (Old Windsor Road). When Governor Macquarie arrived he made the improvement of the road a priority (Windsor Road). Toll gates were introduced to pay for the construction and upkeep of the road. However, as suggested in the newspaper article, the condition of the road was not good.

We know from the 1822 muster that Charles owned land at Windsor, including 14 acres of wheat, 6 acres of maize and 6 acres of barley. He also had 70 hogs. The inquest states that Chales' cart was carrying a load of maize so he was probably taking the produce to (not from) the market in Sydney and decided to travel with John on one of his trips there.

We know that the accident occurred on the Windsor Road near Winston Hills, not far from Parramatta. The road would have been narrow and not in good repair. There was probably bush on each side of the road. It would also seem that Charles and John were travelling separately for a time. The width of the road would probably have prevented them travelling two abreast. Perhaps John lost sight of Charles' cart when they went around a bend.

We can only surmise how the accident may have occurred. Maybe the cart wheel become stuck in a rut or went off the the side of road and Charles was run over when trying to rectify the situation. Maybe the horse was startled by an animal and the accident occurred when Charles tried to calm him. Whatever happened it must have been a shock for John to discover his father-in-law dead on the road.

We also do not know if Charles had made this journey to Sydney before. If the farmers in the Windsor area were all planting similar crops it would probably be easier to sell the maize in a larger centre such as Sydney. The market in Sydney was origially located near the wharf as much of the early produce was brought to Sydney by boat. The market then moved into Market Square in George Street.  

There are obviously questions arising from Charles' death which will never be answered however it is possible, from the information discovered so far, to try and understand how this accident may have occurred.
Barbara Hall,  Of Infamous Character: the convicts of the Boddingtons, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793, (2004).

The late Mr John Wood - Hawkesbury Chronicle and Farmers Advocate 26 May 1883

RoadsOld Windsor Road and Windsor Road Heritage Precincts - NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Windsor and Old Windsor Roads - NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Roads - Dictionary of Sydney

Australian agricultural and rural life - getting to market - State Library of NSW

Sydney's Paddy's markets - History

Sydney's early markets were far from super - Daily Telegraph 20 June 2018

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 42 - Conflict

The topic for this week's challenge, Conflict, provides the opportunity to look at the background of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The words Conflict and Ireland often appear together, particularly in the twentieth century. However the conflict that occurred in Ireland at the end of the eighteenth century resulted in a number of Irish convicts being transported to Australia including my great x3 grandfather, John Pendergast.

On 11 January 1800 John Pendergast arrived in Australia aboard the convict ship, Minerva. The ship had left Cork on 24 August 1799. One hundred and sixty-two male convicts plus twenty-six female convicts arrived aboard the ship at Port Jackson. The Friendship, also carrying convicts from Ireland, arrived on the same day. The Anne, carrying convicts involved in the rebellion, arrived at Port Jackson thirteen months later. What caused this influx of Irish convicts to Australia at this time?
United Irishmen crest
In 1782 there had been some reforms regarding the Irish Parliament allowing Irish parliamentarians to make their own laws without reference to the English Parliament. However membership of the Irish Parliament was restricted to members of the Anglican Church and were therefore descendants of the English, rather than Irish, families. There were few elections and few people were able to vote. Changes in 1782 improved life in Ireland for some Catholics including provision of new Catholic schools and churches, Catholics were still excluded from political power and owning land was also restricted. Although some progress had been made, many people in the country decided it was time for a change.

The Society of United Irishmen was established in Belfast in October 1791. The aim of the group was to reform the Irish parliament and they planned to do this by uniting Protestants, Catholics and Dissenters in one organisation. The American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789) provided encouragement for the formation of the group. The leader of this movement was Theobald Wolfe Tone.

The initial plans were that this nonsecular group would lobby for the vote to be extended to Catholics and non-property holders. The motto of the group was 'to unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter under the common name of Irishman'.

Initially the group had some success. In 1793 Catholics received the right to vote (if they owned property worth more than 40 shillings a year), to attend university and serve in the civil service and in the military. However they could not sit in Parliament or hold public office.

However any gains were short lived when members of the group supported the French Republic, which was at war with England, forcing the United Irishmen to become an underground movement from 1794. The goal of the group then changed to achieving an Irish Republic. Riots in 1793 had resulted in more than 200 deaths.

The United Irishmen began training militia in preparation for a rebellion. They also began working with other groups including the Defenders (a Catholic secret society), and Protestant groups including the Orange Order.

An attempted invasion by the French army in 1796, encouraged by Theobald Wolfe Tone, did not eventuate because of severe  storms off the Irish coast. However this caused Parliament to pass the Insurrection Act. A new military force, the Yeomanry, was formed to fight the rebels. In reply the membership of the United Irishmen planned a national uprising for the summer of 1798. The plan was to overthrow the government, secede from England and form an Irish Republic.

In the end the rebellion was restricted to only sections of the county but fighting lasted for three months resulting in the deaths of thousands. The Irish Parliament was dissolved in 1800 and was not reinstated until 1922, after another rebellion. The plans of the United Irishmen were totally defeated.

John Pendergast's actual involvement in this movement is not clear. John was a Catholic and according to the convict records was a labourer. The leaders of the United Irishmen tended to be Protestant with a large proportion of the general membership being Catholic so John fits the demographics of the movement. John no doubt attended small group meetings, often held in pubs, and supported the aims of the organisation. Exactly why he was arrested is not known but it appears to have been before the actual planned uprising as he was in custody in April.

Once in Australia, John lived in the Hawkesbury area where he became a landowner - something that he would not have achieved back in Ireland.

Irish Story - 1798 Rebellion  a brief overview

BBC History - The 1798 Irish Rebellion website

Encyclopaedia Britannica - Irish Rebellion 1798 website 

Romantic Politics - Irish Uprising of 1798 - website

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 41 - Sport

Anyone investigating this Family Connections blog will notice, in the Labels column, a special section for Sport. Sport is definitely a theme in my family history. I have always been aware of sport, probably because my father was a sports journalist and sporting events were therefore definitely part of my life. Family history research, however, has also revealed many sporting connections in the family story.

Since the first horse race meeting in Sydney in 1810 there has been family involvement with horse racing including the trainer of Archer, the first Melbourne Cup winner, and owners of Poitrel, winner of the 1920 Melbourne Cup. Family members for generations have played, and continue to play, cricket including Harry Moses who played cricket for Australia in 1887. And then there is golf, another sport that family members have played.

Eleanora Mary Hutton (daughter of my great x2 uncle) for many years was a well known female golfer in Victoria. Nell, as she was known, was born in 1908 and, following articles in Trove, was playing competitive golf from the early 1930s into the 1950s.

An article in the Sydney Sun (23 August 1936) reported that 'Miss Nell Hutton, only in the early
twenties, has held the Eastern Club (Victoria) Club championship for the last four years'. Another article in the same paper (2 September 1936) reported that Nell would be a future champion:
If one combed Australia for future champions, one could not do better than pin faith to the prospects of the Victorian, Miss Nell Hutton. Although she went down to Miss Oliver Kay yesterday, Miss Hutton has been quite the most outstanding of all the Australians who took part in the open championship tournament in Adelaide. Ever since she hit off on Monday in the interstate match her game has demanded attention, for she has a command of every club. She is inclined to a 'starter's' complex and rarely warms up right from the start, but her future is quite assured. She plays golf with a smile, spreads encouragement to others less fortunate and her attitude of thorough sportsmanship makes Australia proud of her.
Nell's name frequently appears in the newspaper reports of golfing events throughout Australia during the 1930s. In 1936 she was a member of the successful Australian team which retained the Tasman Cup that year while in 1937 Nell was the winner of the Victorian Women's Amateur Golf Championship.

In 1938 Nell and fellow golfer, Bertha Cheney, left for a golfing holiday in England which included playing in the British Championships.
News (Adelaide) 31 March 1938
Another article on their proposed adventure appeared in the Herald 26 March 1938:

Two clever young golfers, Miss Nell Hutton and Miss Bertha Cheney, both members of Eastern Golf Club Associates, are off in the Orcades on Tuesday for a holiday abroad. They are taking their golf clubs with them, but their holiday is not to be primarily a golfing one, Miss Hutton tells me. "We shall play In the British championships," she said, "and then we shall forget serious golf and go sightseeing." They will get a car and motor through England, Scotland, and Wales, and are planning, too, a trip to Norway. All the golf they will have will be an odd game or two when they reach a town with a course which attracts them, and they happen to feel like playing.
The following year Nell married William Hamilton Smithett, a tennis coach and golfer. Their son, Bill, was born in 1941. From 1946 Nell's name starts appearing again in the sports reports. Meanwhile another member of the family was also learning golf.
Launceston Examiner 5 June 1946
In 1948 Nell was runner-up in the Victorian Amateur Golf Championship but she was announced  the top Victorian female golfer for the season winning the Victorian Women’s Champion of Champions.

For a number of years the winner of the Victorian Women's Stroke Play received the Nell Smithett Trophy. Currently the Horsham Golf Club awards the Nell Smithett Memorial Trophy for a ladies team event. Nell had moved to Horsham and was ladies' champion 1964-1967 and Wimmera Champion in 1965. Nell died at Horsham in November 1969. 

Selection of articles:
Miss Hutton a Future Champion -  Sun (Sydney) 2 September 1936
Tasman Cup Retained by Australia Age 4 September 1936
Miss Nell Hutton's Golf Title Argus 10 July 1937

Nell Smithett Memorial Trophy - Wimmera Mail Times 23 October 2016
Nell Smithett Memorial Trophy competition 2018 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 40 - Ten

The challenge this week is to write a post with a connection with the number ten.
Branches of my family tree show that in the nineteenth century many of my ancestors had a large number of children with the number ten featuring frequently. Generally these families made a successful transition to life in Australia often acquiring large areas of land.  Many generations on I have had people suggest that we must have inherited some  of their wealth. I just laugh and state that these families had ten children who had ten children. Consequently the family fortune has been dispersed long ago.

In this post I am looking at two branches of the family tree that came together when Arthur Brougham Lord married Nancy Hazel Hutton on 1 February 1922. Arthur and Nancy were my grandparents.

Lord Family
The first member of the Lord family to come to Australia was  Simeon Lord, a convict who arrived on the third fleet. Simeon Lord and Mary Hyde, another convict, were married at St Phillip's Church in Sydney on 27 October 1814. By this time they had five children and in the next seven years had another five children - ten children in all.

However the reality was that the Lord family, at this time, consisted of thirteen children, all of whom lived to be adults. Mary already had two children from a previous relationship so she gave birth to twelve children in total. In 1796 Simeon had adopted an orphan, Johanna Short.

Simeon made his fortune largely through trading and manufacturing ventures and also owned large landholdings in New South Wales. When Simeon, and later Mary, died their fortune was distributed between all the family members, including the girls.

Simeon and Mary's eldest son, also Simeon, was born in 1810. He married Sarah Birch and they had ten children. Simeon was a successful property owner initially in Tasmania and later in Queensland.

Simeon and Sarah's youngest son, Alfred Percy Lord, was born in 1852. Initially Alfred worked as a bank manager in Gympie before eventually purchasing a number of properties. In 1877 he married Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat. They did not quite make the target of ten children, only having eight. Their youngest son was Arthur Brougham Lord born in Gympie on Christmas Day, 1893.
Hutton family
Thomas Hutton (1772-1856), a merchant with the East India Company married Janet Robertson (1780-1862) and they had ten children. For many years Thomas and Janet lived in India and Penang before eventually returning to England.

Their second son, William Forbes Hutton, was born on 25 February 1816. On 27 June 1849 he married Eleonora Mackillop. William and Eleonora had eleven children - but one died when a baby. William served in the British Army in India before settling in Victoria where he purchased a property.
George Hutton, born on 5 May 1850, was the eldest son of William and Eleonora. George and his wife, Annie Hardwick Weston were married on 8 January 1889.  They broke the mould of having large families as they only had three children. Their youngest daughter was Nancy Hazel Hutton.

This pattern of large families also occurs in other branches of my family during the nineteenth century. Fortunately in the twentieth century family sizes were greatly reduced.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 39 - On the Farm

Farming is one of the themes in my family history research. Most branches of the family tree have had connections with the land.

The first European settlers in Australia, through necessity, often became farmers. This was certainly the case with my convict ancestors who settled in the Hawkesbury region of New South Wales. There was a shortage of food in the colony so convicts and former convicts were encouraged, through grants of land, to grow food and farm animals for themselves and the other members of the colony.
Google Maps
 William Roberts and Kezia Brown, Charles Daley and Susannah Alderson, Uriah Moses and Ann Daley, John Pendergast and Jane Williams plus Richard Holland and Mary Ann Roberts, according to the various census reports had land holdings in the region near Windsor.

This did not mean that they were all full time farmers. Uriah was best known as a baker and owner of a general store in Windsor though he did own land on which grain was grown. Richard Holland owned land at Cornwallis but also owned a shop in Windsor that was recorded, on occasions, as a bakers or butchers shop.

In 2015 I wrote a detailed post about the challenges of farming in the Hawkesbury area in the early 1800s.

  • The land needed to be cleared for farming, no doubt a time consuming process especially as limited implements for doing this would have been available. 
  • The local Aboriginal groups were used to free access of this land (their land) and were not happy with the idea that the land was now restricted to the use of the English settlers. 
  • The convicts did not necessarily have previous experience in farming. Finding crops that would grow successfully in New South Wales was initially a challenge. 
  • There was the need to protect new crops from animals and insects. Fences were required to mark property boundaries and enclosures to protect farm animals. 
  • Then there was the weather. The seasons were out of kilter with the northern hemisphere and the climate was different and more extreme than experienced in England. The most dramatic climatic event being the regular flooding of the Hawkesbury River.
Despite these challenges my early Hawkesbury farmers generally managed to make a living from the land and support their families. Members of subsequent generations continued farming, usually on larger land holdings. William Pendergast and Sarah Roberts are one example of this and several of sons of Uriah Moses had large land holdings in the region.