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?
As the family historian, I am forever being given photos to look after. I will need to spend some time scanning and cataloging them over this coming year. So I have lots of favourite photos but very few have four generations in the one image. I have chosen this one for this week’s prompt for #52 ancestors.
The four people in this photo are my 1st cousin Bronwyn as a babe in arms, her mother Margaret Phillips nee England holding her, then Margaret’s mother Hannah England nee Davey and finally Hannah’s mother Martha Davey nee Colgrave. The picture was taken on 1 April 1951 on Bronwyn’s christening day.
Margaret died in 2017 and I have written about her in this post. But today I asked my mother (Margaret’s sister) to tell me something about their mother. Here is some info I was told and have also researched over the years.
Hannah England nee Davey was born in 1899 at Englishtown near Blessington in Tasmania. She was the 6th born out of 12 children.
Englishtown is near the mountains of the Ben Lomond National Park in north-eastern Tasmania and would have been extremely cold during winter. The closest town is Evandale about 22kms away. Life would have been very hard for this large family. Hannah’s father, George, was mentioned in local papers as tendering for works on the roads near their land, but otherwise was a farmer.
Hannah’s father died in November 1914, aged just 49 years. He died at the Launceston General Hospital and was interred in the Presbyterian Burial Ground in Evandale. Hannah’s youngest brother, Frederick, was born just one month before her father’s death so I am sure she would have been expected to help look after him when not at school.
By 1922, Hannah had moved to the big city of Hobart in southern Tasmania. She was working as a housekeeper to the Lord family in Sandy Bay. This was mentioned in the electoral roll of that year as being on the corner of Grosvenor and Lord Streets. Her future husband, Henry Lewis England, also lived in Grosvenor Street with his parents. This is probably how they met.
Hannah and Henry married on 9 May 1923 at the Methodist Church, Longford. The following article was in the Examiner dated 10 May 1923.
WEDDING BELLS: ENGLAND-DAVEY.
The marriage of Hannah, fourth daughter of Mrs. Davey, of Longford, and the late Mr. George Davey, late of Deddington, and Henry L., only son of Mr. HL. England, and the late Mrs. England, of Sandy Bay, Hobart, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Longford Methodist Church. Rev. George Arthur, M.A., was the officiating minister. The church was charmingly decorated with white roses and chrysanthemums and autumnal leaves by Misses Gladys Wheeler, and Millie Lee. The bride was given away by her young brother (Mr. Bert Davey) in the unavoidable absence of her elder brother (Mr. W. G. Davey, of Hobart). She wore a pretty frock of white organdie muslin embroidered with beads, and a wreath of orange blossoms and veil, the latter being loaned by her cousin (Mrs. Arthur Sherwood). She carried a shower bouquet of choice white flowers, tied with satin streamers. Her only attendant was her sister (Miss Doris Davey, who wore a frock of white crepe merle trimmed with blue. She carried a posey of white blossoms tied with blue streamers, and wore a gold bangle, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride’s brother (Mr. George Davey) supported the bridegroom as best man. Mrs. Davey (mother of the bride) wore a costume of navy blue serge and a black hat. Miss Gould played the “Wedding March” during the signing of the register, and as the newly-wedded couple left the church, Mrs. Davey entertained the bridal party and immediate relatives at wedding tea at the conclusion of the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. England left for Launceston, and later on the North East Coast. where the honeymoon will be spent. Mrs. England’s travelling dress was a smart navy blue costume, with cream crochet front and a navy blue and gold hat, with Oriental trimmings. She also wore the bridegroom’s gift – a handsome black fur. Her present to him was a pocket wallet and notebook.
Hannah and Henry had three daughters: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934 and still alive with stories to tell. Iris died one month after the birth of Phyllis, so my mum didn’t get to know her eldest sister. These are some memories my mum had about her mother and family life:
Hannah enjoyed crocheting and cooking especially fish.
She always helped on committees at Sandy Bay Methodist church.
We always went to Long Beach for picnics – caught the double decker tram at the bottom of King Street.
We had no car and no phone and only once dad had built the new laundry and bathroom did we get hot running water.
Hannah chopped off the top of her thumb helping with the new building.
We walked everywhere or caught the trams.
Hannah’s mum lived with us for six months of the year and the other half with Hannah’s sister Lizzie who lived in Lenah Valley.
We grew a lot of our own food and dad had a great peach tree in the backyard.
We used to have lots of visitors and cousins (who were back from the war) who would stay with us – Eileen (mentioned in Margaret’s post) stayed for four years while doing her high school study.
On Sunday, dad would cook the roast on the fuel stove while we went to church and Sunday School.
For tea every Sunday we would have sponge cake and scones and eat at the dining room table rather than the kitchen table. It was a special event.
A few other pictures of Hannah and the family:
Henry Lewis England died in March 1963 aged 74. Nearly four years to the day Hannah died March 1967 aged 67.
Readers:What memories do you have of your grandmother? Or maybe you have a relative called Hannah?
As part of the Oral History course, I interviewed my Aunty Margaret, my mother’s sister. I recorded on my iPad then edited using the Wavepad program on my PC.
We had to submit a three minute recording with a transcript – I received a score of 88% but was mentioned I should use more ellipses … when the voice trails off in the recording.
Here is the actual edited recording and the transcript.
Interviewee: Margaret Phillips [MP]
Interviewer: Suzanne Wyatt [SW]
Date: November 16, 2016
Place: Her lounge room in West Moonah.
As Margaret is nearly blind, I read the information and consent forms to her. The interview is solely for family history purposes.
This starts at 16 seconds in on the audio file.
SW: Marg, do you give verbal consent for me to interview and record your responses?
MP: I do.
SW: What’s your full name, your date
SW: of birth and your present address?
MP: Margaret Grace Phillips or do would you want England?
SW: No, that’s OK.
MP: 7/4/28 I was born. Unit 3/17 Sawyer Avenue, West Moonah.
Three minute interview starts here 00:31
SW: So how would you best describe your father? I’ve got some photos here in front of you. One here, they’re in a running race, and
(Both speaking at the same time)
MP: that was the city
SW: there are some birds
MP: That was the City Council, they the City Council had a picnic day once a year and this was down at Long Beach, just round about where the uh roundabout is [pause] I think the roundabout down there now isn’t there? Well that’s where it was, round about that area.
SW: So how did he go in the races? Was he a good runner?
MP: Yes, he was.
(Both speaking at the same time)
MP: He won that if I’m not mistaken.
SW: Oh right.
MP: He got, he got some little thing.
SW: Oh it might be mentioned in the newspaper. I’ll be able to look it up.
MP: He uh always wore his watch with the chain on it, the fob watch. He always had that on where every where you wore a collar and tie.
SW: And some of these these other photos, he’s there with some birds. Is that in your back yard at
MP: Yes we had pigeon, pigeon loft and dad’d get the pigeons out and I would run up to Fitzroy Gardens and stand in a special place. I’ve let the pigeons go and dad would see who got home first, me or the pigeons. That was re about a weekly [pause] weekly um thing that he did. Yep.
SW: Oh right. And there’s another one there of. It looks like you and my mum and your dad in a rowboat.
MP: This one?
MP: That’s dad and yeah Phyllis is in the middle and me on the end. That’ll be, I reckon, about the first time I went out in it.
SW: So did your dad go out rowing often?
MP: Oh, every weekend he went down to Sandy Bay baths to fish. And he had a little fish, he had a little uh what do you call’em now? Over the boat’s um [long pause] He was known. When you went to Long Beach on the trams, us kids would all go upstairs on the double decker tram and when we got to Wrest Point, “There’s Uncle Harry out there!” Everybody knew dad.
MP: And um he used to tell us. I was only telling someone the other day. He always took a little bottle of water. He couldn’t swim and he never had a life jacket or anything in the boat. He took a little bottle of water with him every time and when the fish started to bite, he’d go round like that [fading voice as she turns to the side] to some …[inaudible] to come back, he’d just put, “I’ve just put the oil of catchem in the water,” he said. And that’s how they caught their fish. But dad with his oil of catchem. They never ever woke up to it. When we went on the trams down they’d say, “Uncle Harry, Uncle Harry!” and everybody would wave. He was well known in Sandy Bay.
Readers: Have you ever formally interviewed a relative? What was the most difficult part of the interview?
A photograph is just one small moment in the life of the family or object. Five minutes before or after and the image would be very different.
So the quiz assessment for this course involves dating photographs. Some research on this topic should help me. Lots of sources are given in the course but here is my summary.
Types of early photographs
Daguerrotype (began in 1839 until about 1860) can be seen as either a positive or negative image depending upon the angle viewed. Do not expose to light and often found in velvet lined cases.
Calotype (began in 1841 but rare) meant multiple copies could be made onto paper but images were not as clear as a daguerrotype.
Ambrotype (began in 1851 until about 1880) is a negative put on a dark background to make a positive looking image. Backing material often paper, lacquer or velvet. With glass cheaper than silver coated copper, ambrotypes quickly took over from daguerrotypes.
Anyone having a photo taken using any of the above formats must have had money as they were fairly expensive.
Tintype (began in 1853 until about 1930) printed on lacquered iron rather than glass. Generally done in a studio, now becoming less expensive so more people could have their own photos. Often these were like thumbnails we have nowadays in photography.
If you are interested in photography in Australia, here is a link to a timeline from the Art Gallery of NSW. There are also some picture collections from the National Library of Australia including those by Peter Dombrovskis in Tasmania.
I haven’t seen any of these types of photos in my family photo box – they all seem to be from the 1900’s onwards but I am still going to have to look at fashions to date more accurately.
Here are the steps recommended for studying a photo and learning to date it:
Inscriptions on the photograph
Identify the photographic process used
Identify the photographer or studio
Date by costume
Date by studio background & props
Date using other photograph contents (ie. car number plates, cinema signs etc.)
Going to check this out using another photo in my family collection.
Inscriptions on the photo
To Lizzie and Jim with compliments from Harry and Hanna June 16th 1923
Looks like albumen of some sort
Photographer or studio
Bottom right of page is Crawfords Studios, 64 Murray Street, Hobart
Date by costume
Looks like wedding portrait
Date by studio background or props – nil
Other photographic content – nil
Here are some websites to help when looking at fashions.
Today is ANZAC Day here in Australia and New Zealand so I thought I could combine three things in one post.
The letter N is for
I have enrolled as a student in a new course HAA007 (part of the Diploma of Family History) at the University of Tasmania titled “Convict Ancestors” run by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart and his team. I have previously been involved with “Founders and Survivors” also organized with Hamish and a different team. They were looking at descendants of convicts and how their improvements in health evolved over time eg height , weight of sons, grandsons etc
So this leads to the second part of this post which is looking at the descendants of my convicts who may have served in WWI. I will need to carefully look at my database and check them out – so far I know of three in the COLGRAVE side of the tree.
Finally to the third thing in this post is a link I found on another facebook group which is about a special blog post for Military Monday and relating to ANZAC Day. For those searching for information on their soldiers in WWI, check out the great links in that blog post.
So now let’s start the true part of the post. My convicts and their descendants who served in WWI:
Great grandson – Private Roy Graham COLGRAVE who I have researched carefully and already written a post about his life in WWI. His records are in the National Archives of Australia SERN 5996 – 56 pages
When you began your family history research, what did you start with? Did you begin with yourself and go back one generation at a time following your direct line only? Or did you also look at the descendants of those direct lines?
I know when I began I started just with names, dates and places and going back as far as I could – in fact I got back to 1604 with one line in Bedfordshire, England. I made connections with other researchers by using the Rootsweb emailing lists and also contacting others mentioned in the IGI (International Genealogical Index) and the IGRD (International Genealogical Research Directory). I exchanged information through RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) where I would do some research in Tasmania for a person in another county of England and they would do research for me in their county.
But nowadays technology has really allowed me to do a lot more research with original records online. Less having to visit an actual archives, at least for the basics of BDM records. But it is fantastic to see so many Historical Societies having a presence online. This now allows me to connect with locals in the areas where my ancestors lived. My family history blog has also created connections with family members I knew nothing about.
By researching the descendants I have found out more about their life as a family and the community they lived in. Trove and other newspaper reports have put flesh on the bones of my family rather than just a list of names, dates and places.
Surnames in my direct line include:
WYATT – unknown where born
ENGLAND – Rotherham, York, ENG
SMITH – Recherche Bay, Tasmania AUS but originally Samoan and given surname Smith
DAVEY – Devon, ENG – free settler and down to 7 possible people
TEDMAN – London, ENG – waterman
CHANDLER – London, ENG – gardeners in Tasmania and at Government House in the 1860’s
COLGRAVE – Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, ENG – back to 1604
SOMMERS – Portland, Tasmania, AUS
JACKSON – Donegal, Ireland
DIXON – London, ENG
BOYD – Maker, Cornwall, ENG
WATKINS – Hull, Yorkshire, ENG
HEARN – Edgeware, London, ENG
BRYANT – Rotherhithe, London, ENG
BULL – London, ENG
SWAIN – Maidstone, Kent, ENG
Readers:Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with D that relates to your family history or your research.
I have just enrolled in an online Family History course run through the University of Tasmania. (Click on image to go to enrolment page)
Our first assessment task is an interview with another family member who might be able to give you more information for your main research project.
So I have to decide who I will interview.
Will it be my Aunt Margaret, my mother’s sister? Both my mum and her sister are alive and often tell me a variety of things about family history especially if there is a photo in front of them. In fact, my aunt has just given me some new photos she found when cleaning out her cupboards. Some I had seen before, others were new especially the one of her father in a running race.
Or will I interview one of my SMITH relatives who I know very little about? My grandmother born a SMITH, didn’t have much to do with her younger siblings so I don’t know much about them and their families or what they have been told about their earlier ancestors like Captain William SMITH from Samoa.
Who do you think I should interview – Aunt Margaret or a SMITH relative?
On March 19, 1846 a warrant was set out by John Fullerton Esquire (JP) to John Bland (Constable of Rotherham) or to John Timms (deputy) and to the Governor of the Castle of York to convey John England, Samuel Myers, Joseph Barras and Richard Hague to the Castle of York and to deliver them to the Governor with the warrant.
John England , a labourer, on 15 March 1846 did with force and arms upon Maria Kaufman violently and feloniously make an assault and violently and feloniously did ravish and carnally know her. The other four with force and arms were present aiding, abetting and assisting John England.
Witnesses were John Bland, Maria Kaufman, Philippina(Caroline) Kaufman, Emma Harrison and William Hudson.
He was tried on 9 July 1846 at the York Assizes and was transported for life. It was his first conviction and it was rape in companion with Joseph Barras, William Thompson, William Aizlewood and Samuel Myers. John and Samuel arrived on board the same boat. There were 2 girls Caroline and Maria Kaufman.
Whilst awaiting trial, friends of John England did the following.
On June 9, 1846 George Aizlewood, Joseph Hague, Michael and Hannah Bradshaw, being evil disposed persons, unlawfully and wickedly with force and arms did conspire, combine, confederate and agree together to persuade Maria and Philippina Kaufman from attending to give evidence as witnesses.
They did this by paying and defraying the fare and expenses of the journey by railroad from Rotherham to London. Hannah paid 20 shillings for steam boat for parts beyond the seas. On 20 June 1846 she purchased and paid for diverse wearing apparel for Maria and Philippina.
They tried to induce Maria and Philippina severally to suppress the evidence they knew and to withdraw and conceal themselves.
John is an ancestor I feel was sent out to Van Diemens Land for a deserving reason. He didn’t just try to help feed or clothe his family in these trying times in England, but he and his friends decided to carnally assault a young woman – known as rape both then and now. He and two of his friends Joseph BARRAS and Samuel MYERS were given life for their crime even though it was John’s first conviction. They were tried at the York Assizes on 9 July 1846 and embarked on the ship Pestonjee Bomanjee (2) on 25 October 1846.
Whilst I was at the Public Record Office (PRO) in London during a vacation, I looked up the trial records of John and found some of his other friends had tried to help him before his trial date. A summary of what I found is here.
John was an iron moulder, 5 feet 6 and three-quarters, aged 19 with a fair complexion, oval head and visage, sandy hair but no whiskers, medium height forehead, brown eyebrows but hazel eyes and a large nose, mouth and chin. He had many marks on himself: boys/men blowing horn, birds and bush, ship and 2 fishes, bust of woman, sailor with flag etc.
When he arrived in VDL on 17 February 1847, he was sent to Darlington which is on Maria Island. He was based here for two years, then six months with the Public Works Department and finally 12 months at the prisoner barracks. Whilst at Darlington he was insolent and given 10 days solitary confinement, was admonished for being idle and when he was caught fighting on the works he was given 14 days solitary. Remittance could be gained by doing extra work, so John was employed by John Swaine in Collins Street, Hobart, then Crosby and Robinson in Campbell Street and again with John Swaine. On 3 June 1851, he was admonished for being out after hours. He was given his ticket of leave on 8 August 1854, his marriage to Rebecca Jackson was approved on 20 September 1854 and on 16 August in 1855 he resisted a constable and was fined one pound. He was recommended for his conditional pardon on 11 September 1855 and given it on 22 July 1856.