Family Snaps

This week in #52ancestors the theme is “Family photos”. Unsure if this meant any photos taken by a family member or photos of families, I thought I would add a few of both in this post as a gallery of snaps. Many of these photos have been used in previous posts.

 

Maru – an unusual name

Like many of the other participants in this #52ancestors challenge, my DNA is mainly Irish and English. So I have the most common Christian names like Mary, Margaret, John, James and William. When looking through my 10,000 person database which I have on my home computer, I remembered a great great aunt who married  Alladean MARU. Both Christian and surname are unusual compared to my other ancestors.

Much of the information in this post is from an email received from Jenny Murphy, a descendant of Alladean.

Alladean, born 28 May 1858,  was one of eight children to Abdallah Edgar MARU (1817-1896) and Eliza HAYWARD(1829 – ) His siblings were Louisa Elizabeth (1845-1877), Eliza (1846-c1862), William (1848-c1864), Alice (1850-c1862), John known as Jack (1854-1922), Robert (1861 – 1911) and Fanny (1864 – ). 1

Abdallah was of Indian origin born in Bombay in 1817 while Elizabeth was born in 1829 in Kent, England.  They married in 1844 in Adelaide, South Australia where their first four children were born. The next four were born around Eaglehawk near Bendigo in Victoria, Australia. This area was growing as a gold mining centre during the 1850s and 1860s. I wonder if Alladean ever found any gold fossicking in the creeks around his home?

SepiaSovereignHill

By 1887, Alladean was living in Tasmania and on 25 June he married Selina Anna DAVEY at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Ulverstone. 2 Both were of full age. Witnesses were Winfred Cox and his wife Julia Charlotte Cox nee Thomas.

1887 ‘Family Notices’, Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 – 1928), 6 July, p. 2. , viewed 19 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article149542468

Over the next 16 years, the couple had eight children.

  • Elizabeth (Annie) Jane born 15 May 1888 3
  • John Edgar (Jack) born 3 February 1890 4
  • Mary Alice born 20 September 1891 5
  • Charlie William born 22 April 1893  6
  • Amy Helen born 9 March 1895  7
  • Jessie May born 30 June 1897
  • Frank Robert born 15 August 1902
  • James Arthur (Jim) born 5 November 1904

The family resided at Mabel Street, Ulverstone and possibly Alladean was involved in the early tram and railway systems which opened in this area of Devonport – Ulverstone – Burnie. Post Office and the children’s birth records showed they lived here from 1887 until 1907.

The Don River Railway workshop

The entire family left Ulverstone for New Zealand on 16 October 1907 arriving in Stratford 9 days later. By 1911, he was on the electoral roll at Broadway, Stratford with an occupation as engine driver. Earliest records state they lived in Toko, Stratford and Ohakune. Several railway systems were being developed  in the Waimarino area and this allowed opening up of country with better transport.

In 1915, his son John was declared  medically unfit due to foot problems. 8

In 1918, his son Charlie died of wounds during World War I and was buried at Hebuterne Cemetery. Charlie was part of the 1st Battalion, Wellington Regiment of the New Zealand Enlisted Forces. He survived Gallipoli but died during battle on the Western Front. 9

In 1918, a large fire burnt through the town of Raetihi destroying nine sawmills, 150 buildings and killing three people. According to Jenny’s email they survived this fire but the Maru homestead burnt down.  A relief train had been sent from Ohakune. The bush was dense near the Raetihi railway station and the whistle had to be blown almost continuously to scare cattle on the tracks. Many residents went down to the banks of the river and into the water. By the time the train returned to Ohakune, the winds had died down and soft rain was falling.

Raetihi

By 1923 the family were living at Ohakune Road, Raetihi in the Waimarino division. Alladean was a sawmill machinist, his son Frank Robert was a farmer and another son John Edgar was a labourer.

On January 10, 1927 Alladean passed away suddenly while visiting his daughter near Christchurch on the South Island. He was aged 69 years. 10

After Alladean’s death, Selina went to live with her daughter Mary SOWERBY in Ashhurst near Palmerston North. She lived 14 more years and died 24 September 1941 of Chronic Brights disease.

These are copies of photos shown to me when visiting Maru family in Raetihi in the 1980s. I do not know who the people are in the photos and would love some comments from Maru relatives who might read this post.

Readers: What is the most unusual name you have found in your family?

  1. Home database
  2. Marriage certificate, TAHO
  3. Birth certificate, TAHO
  4. Birth certificate, TAHO
  5. Birth certificate, TAHO
  6. Birth certificate, TAHO
  7. Birth certificate, TAHO
  8. NZ war records, NZ archives
  9. NZ war records, NZ archives
  10. Death notice, New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIV, Issue 19533, 12 January 1927

First proper DNA match

In January 2017 I started messaging a few of the DNA matches my mother had that were in the 3rd-4th cousin range. I had already worked out the connections of the first and second cousins.

As soon as I saw Selwyn’s country was New Zealand, I had a pretty good idea where he would connect. My mum’s grandfather George DAVEY had a sister Hannah Selina DAVEY who married Allah Dean MARU. In the early 1900s this family moved from Ulverstone in Tasmania to New Zealand.

When my parents and I went on holiday to NZ back in the 1990s, we looked up some Maru relatives to visit and talk over family history. On that visit, I was given a list of lots of dates from a family birthday book that Hannah Selina had been given.

I have spoken to other Maru relatives on further visits to NZ and many live in the area just south of Tongariro National Park in a small town called Raetihi.

Selwyn lives closer to Palmerston North though. So Selwyn was my first official DNA match that neither my mother nor I knew just from looking at his name. He is my 3rd cousin or my mother’s 2C1R.

 

#52 ancestors Week 1 First

Will, will or will

For this post, week 9 in #52ancestors, I had to decide:

  • Will I research a relative named Will or William?
  • Will I look at a will from one of my relatives?
  • Or will I research a relative who was willing to do more than most?

My decision was to check out the wills of some of my relatives. We are very lucky here in Tasmania that the wills of many people are found online at the LINC Tasmanian names index.

What did I learn from these wills?

My grandmother Hannah ENGLAND had bequeathed 25 pound to each of her grandchildren when they attained the age of 16.

My grandfather Henry Lewis ENGLAND bequeathed his piano to me. I remember as a child learning and practicing those scales and even now, after many years of not using the piano, I can still play most of Fur Elise from memory.

It looks like my great great grandparents John and Annie DAVEY did not leave wills so the Supreme Court appointed some of their children to make an inventory and then to sell the goods and chattels and hand the money to the court to pay costs. I am not very good at reading all that legalese though so it might mean something else entirely.

My great great grandfather Francis COLGRAVE left everything to his two youngest sons, presumably as the older sons already had their own properties and the older sisters were all married with their own families.

I can’t find any more wills of my direct relatives but one of my indirect relatives (sister of my great great grandmother Caroline Chandler nee Bryant) named Esther Julia WINTER left many instructions on who was to receive what in her will.

Readers: What is the most interesting will you have read in your family or from collateral kin?

 

 

John Davey – but which one?

As soon as I saw this prompt from #52ancestors, I knew who this post was going to be about.

Two groups of people arrived in Van Diemens Land in the 1800s – convicts and free settlers which included military. The government in Great Britain at that time was great for record keeping, at least for the convicts. From the time of their trial, through transportation, their offences, who they worked for, their freedom and any offences after freedom.

But it was a different story for the free settlers – you will get a ship passenger record, BDM records then if they did something worth recording it might be in a newspaper.

So the background to my John Davey and how the census fits into the story.

Like all good genealogists, you always start with yourself and work backwards generation by generation. My maternal grandmother was a Davey, her father George Davey and his father John Davey – my problem free settler.

John Davey died aged 55 on 26 December 1888 of jaundice.[1] He left no will but his wife Annie Davey (nee Dixon) took on the administration of his estate and chattels etc. In her letter to the Supreme Court of Tasmania, she believed that the cost of his estate did not exceed 687 pounds. Two of her sons, George and William John, helped organize an inventory of the property of her deceased husband.[2]

John Davey and Annie Dixon were married at the Manse at Evandale, Tasmania on 18 July 1859. John was a bachelor aged 26 while Anne was a spinster aged 18. Witnesses to the marriage were Hannah Dixon and William Costley.[3]

Over the next 29 years until John died, the couple raised seven sons and five daughters to adulthood. They lived in English Town, near Evandale, Tasmania. The photos show the house and the newspapered walls inside the house as taken in 1987. At least two generations lived in this house including my grandmother.

   

So far we have a death record showing John born around 1833, a marriage record also showing born around 1833 but we don’t have a birth record anywhere. My cousins in New Zealand have a birthday book owned originally by Hannah Selina Davey, daughter of John and in it is mentioned the date 21 January 1834 as the birth of John. But how to prove this and where was John born?

There was no marriage permission found in the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office records so neither John nor Anne were convicts at the time of their marriage.  With the last Tasmanian convicts arriving in 1853 when John would have been about 20 and the shortest sentence being 7 years, this means if John had been a convict he would have arrived in the 1850s. Searching the records, no John appears. Hence he must have been a free settler or born in Tasmania.

Next I searched the arrivals index for John Davey or Davy – 3 were there – one in 1833 so I could rule him out, one in 1855 and the other Davy in 1856. As my John had always used an ‘e’ in his surname, I looked into this person arriving in 1855 as my great great grandfather.

This John was born in Devon, England. He was brought out to Tasmania as a farm servant to George Meredith on the East Coast of Tasmania.  John was Church of England and could read and write. He arrived in Hobart Town on 13 February 1855 on board ‘Wanderer‘.[4]  John was occasionally mentioned in the ‘Meredith papers’ which are housed in the State Library Archives in Hobart.  He was recorded last at ‘Cambria‘ in January 1857.  His wages at this time were 7 pounds and 10 shillings per quarter.[5]

This is where the census now comes into my story.

Looking at the 1851 English Census there were over 50 possible John Davey born around 1834. This did not include any name variations. How was I going to narrow it down? I began this research back in 1990 while on holiday in England and spent hours at the Devon Record Office checking out marriages and deaths between 1851 and 1855 when John came to Tasmania. This was mainly using microfilm, microfiche and books. Since that visit and using online records, I have narrowed it to a possible 8.

I still have more research to really verify my John Davey BUT:

Four are sons of a family, one is a nephew and three are servants – a farm servant, a house servant and an ag lab.

On the shipping record, my John was a farm servant – so maybe I have narrowed it down to one now.

This John Davey who was a farm servant was aged 17 in the 1851 census. His birth place was Collumpton, Devon. He was working for Humphrey Pitts at Garlanshayes, Tiverton, Devon.[6]

Maybe the modern technology of DNA will help me narrow my search even further. My mother has two pages of matches with Devon in the birth location but with the surname of Davey in the tree, only 8 matches and I already know where they fit on my tree. Maybe when more people add their trees, I might find that elusive John Davey in Devon.

Sources:

[1] Death records, RGD35/1/57 no 227, Tasmanian Names Index

[2] Wills, AD961/1/7/1599 p 665, Tasmanian Names Index

[3] Marriage records, RGD37/1/18 no 712, Tasmanian Names Index

[4] Shipping records, CB7/12/1/3 Book4 pp 152/153, Tasmanian Names Index

[5] Meredith papers,  NS 123/1/69,  TAHO

[6] 1851 English census, HO/107/1888, Folio 138, page 4 FHL film:0221038

Readers: How have you found the records of free settlers compared to convicts in your family? How has a census or muster or electoral roll helped in your research?