I’d like to meet …

my great great great grandmother Charlotte Bryant nee ????

That is the first question I would ask her – What is your maiden name and when did you marry Henry Bryant?

These are the facts that I know positively about this woman.

Charlotte sailed from London on 1 October 1855 to Sydney with her daughter Caroline Bryant on the La Hogue which was a steamer. They then sailed on the Tasmania finally arriving in Hobart 19 January 1856.

Charlotte was aged 51 and a widow when she arrived in Tasmania.

According to her arrival details, Charlotte was a cook and born in Sussex.

 

Charlotte had at least three children – Caroline, Charles and Esther Julia. I know Caroline and Esther were living in Tasmania but unsure of where Charles and any other siblings were living.

In 1856 Charlotte Bryant sponsored her daughter and son-in-law who then arrived on the ship Woodcote along with Robert’s parents.

Tasmania, Australia, Immigrant Lists, 1841-1884 Alphabetical List of Immigrants with Details , 02 Dec 1856 – 18 Aug 1858

This meant Charlotte must have had a very good occupation (or already had money) to be able to pay for this so early after her arrival in Tasmania. She must also have needed good connections for it to have been done so quickly. RW Nutt, who sponsored Charlotte and Caroline, was a prominent lawyer in Tasmania. Also Caroline’s future husband, William, worked at Government House so maybe that was the connection.

When Caroline married William Chandler in 1859, Charlotte was not a witness but her son-in-law RG Winter was – Esther’s husband.

In 1863, Charlotte Bryant, residing at Government Gardens, was the informant on her grandson William’s birth.

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA STANDARD COPYRIGHT LICENCE https://eprints.utas.edu.au/licence.html

In 1865, now living at Government Domain, Charlotte was informant on another grandson’s birth Robert Henry.

Charlotte died at the residence of her son-in-law on 1 May 1883 at 41 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. She was aged 78, a widow and death was noted as decay of nature.

Readers: What would be some of the questions you would ask Charlotte if you met her – taking note of what I already know?

My dinner party

#52ancestors theme for week 4 is ‘Invite to dinner’  I knew exactly who was coming to my dinner party.

William Chandler and his wife Caroline Chandler nee Bryant and John England and his wife Rebecca England nee Jackson are my great great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line.

I have already written some posts about William and Caroline as well as others on John and Rebecca.

But the reason I want to ask them to dinner is I have a lot of questions to ask them. I have settled for three questions per person.

William:

  • Where exactly were you born and when?
  • Who are your parents?
  • Did you know Caroline and her family before you came to Tasmania in 1855?

Caroline

  • Who was your father and what was your mother’s maiden name?
  • What happened to Charles before you and your mother came out to Tasmania?
  • Did you know William back in England and did he ask for you to emigrate to Tasmania?

John

  • Do you think your life in Tasmania was an improvement over life in Yorkshire?
  • Who were your parents?
  • How did you get to know Rebecca once you were both in Tasmania?

Rebecca

  • I know your father was William but what was your mother’s full name?
  • How is Sarah (Jane) Steele related to you?
  • What relation was Ann Jackson to you?

This would be an interesting dinner party as William and Caroline were free arrivals to Tasmania while John and Rebecca came at their majesty’s request (convicts). I wonder if this would make any difference to the conversation.  William’s family were into gardening while John was an iron moulder. The Chandler family lived in Sandy Bay while the England family were around Molle St, Barrack St and Goulburn St in South Hobart.

William and Caroline’s daughter Julia married John and Rebecca’s son Henry in 1885. I wonder how the two met. Maybe a local church?

Who lived the longest?

Week 3 of the #52ancestors challenge is longevity. For this post I thought I would do a bit of a survey of my direct ancestors to see who lived a long life and then I would research one of those people.

When I look at that list, I am amazed that 12 out of 19 of my direct ancestors have reached the age of 70+ years at death. What was most fascinating though was that one set of my Great great grandparents lived  to their 80s just like my parents.

William CHANDLER grew up in London near Enfield where he worked as a gardener before arriving in Australia  on the sailing ship Fortitude on 15th February 1855. Little is known of his life prior to his arrival in Tasmania. According to the shipping record, he was age 22, single, Church of England and could read and write. He was born in Middlesex and was a gardener. His application to emigrate was from John Leake in Tasmania and it cost him  £22. [1]

The Leake family owned Rosedale (near Campbell Town) in the midlands area of Tasmania where it is assumed William was an estate gardener, along with James AXTON who also arrived on the same ship. I wrote a short fiction story based on their journey.

After his marriage to Caroline BRYANT in October 1859, he was employed at Government House as a gardener. He was often mentioned in newspaper articles in the Mercury winning many prizes in horticultural fetes. I wrote a short story based on one of these articles. The birth of many children often mentions Government House where Caroline’s mother also worked. By 1865, he is mentioned as an ‘old friend’ who has again won the silver medal at the horticultural fete. In 1868, he is mentioned as gardener to His Excellency who was Colonel Gore Browne. [2]

In March 1873, William and Caroline were involved in the inquest of their daughter Sarah aged 2. At this stage they were living at Hestercombe in the area of Granton or Austin’s Ferry. [3]

In October 1882, William prosecuted John Sullivan for stealing 9 fowls off William, but the judge gave him the benefit of the doubt as only a few feathers were shown as evidence.[4]

It seems that young George Chandler (born 1874) did not enjoy attending school (or preferred helping with the gardening), as his father William was summoned in 1887 for a breach of the Schools Act in allowing George to truant. He was fined 5 shillings. [5]

In 1894, at the marriage of his third daughter Caroline, the family was living at Brown’s River Road. [6]

By the time of William and Caroline’s golden wedding anniversary in 1909, they were living in Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay just around the corner from what is still Chandler’s Nursery.[7]

William lived at 6 Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay at his death, and is buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery with his wife.

To read about the Chandler family and the nursery they established, check out this newspaper account. From my research Mona Vale was built in 1867 so probably not the estate where William worked in the midlands.

Sources:

[1] Tasmanian Archives and Heritage  Office (TAHO),  CB7/12/1/3 Bk 5 pp 191-192

[2] 1868 ‘GARDENERS’ AND AMATEURS’ HORTICULTURAL AND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.’, The Tasmanian Times (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1867 – 1870), 1 April, p. 3. , viewed 16 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232859188

[3] 1873 ‘THE MERCURY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 5 March, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8925438

[4] 1882 ‘THE MERCURY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 27 October, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9028363

[5] 1887 ‘THE MERCURY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 17 June, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9135155

[6] 1894 ‘Family Notices’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 17 November, p. 4. , viewed 16 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9339512

[7] 1909 ‘Family Notices’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 22 October, p. 1. , viewed 16 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9997539

 

Story 6 – Pride in Growth

What a difference ten years could make? Standing proudly at the horticultural fete, William remembered back to his youth in the old country. There he was in Enfield, a basic gardener learning the skills of weeding, pruning, growing seedlings and preparing the earth for growth of future plants and trees.

“First prize for a magnificent collection of pears goes to William Chandler.”

But by the early 1850s, he could see the demise of the market gardens where he worked and the build-up of residential housing. All because of the new railway making it so easy to get into London.

“First prize for a dish of Standwick nectarines goes to William Chandler.”

When he had the chance to come to Van Diemen’s Land in 1855, he took it very quickly. A chance for a new life in a new colony. No pollution, lots of new plants to study and maybe, just maybe, a chance for his own garden.

“William Chandler takes out three prizes for a dish of grapes.”

The past few years had seen a lot of changes in his life including marriage to his darling Caroline. They were so lucky to have her mother with them now that their family was growing.

“Second prize for collection of greenhouse plants goes to William Chandler.”

So here he was in Autumn of 1868, standing with his fellow Hobartian gardeners winning awards for those fruits and vegetables he had been growing with his own hands. Maybe not his own garden yet; that was going to be his future.

“Silver medal for collection of vegetables goes to William Chandler, gardener to his Excellency.”

Source:

1868 ‘AUTUMN, HORTICULTURAL FETE.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 1 April, p. 2. , viewed 24 Jan 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8851383

Story 3 – A New Adventure

Is this going to be my life for the next few years? Living in a couple of rooms, walking to my job as a gardener in Enfield or do I want some adventure?

Reading the local London newspapers, I see advertisements for emigrants to Van Diemen’s Land. That is a new British colony thousands of miles across the seas on the other side of the world. This might be my chance to eventually develop my own business rather than work for someone else.

After visiting the bounty immigrant office mentioned on the advertisements, I have now been assigned to Mr John Leake who lives in the Midlands in VDL. The immigrant agent told me Mr Leake was very important in VDL; he was a member of the Legislative Council and had the ear of the governor.

Surely a person of this stature would have need of a gardener and if I worked extremely well, maybe he could give me good references for future gardening jobs.

Travelling on the ship Fortitude with about 140 other immigrants, I arrived in Hobart Town early in 1855. Disembarking quickly, six of us were met by a servant of John Leake. George Jobson, who arrived with his wife Harriet and two young sons, was a coachman while both James Axton and I were gardeners.

It took two days by horse and cart to travel on the well worn road from Hobart to Campbell Town, a total of 82 miles. What was this property we were going to work at like?

My new adventure was about to begin.

…………………………………………

This was my first story written in first person rather than third person. Two students commented mentioning the tense changed from past to present a couple of times. They also said I needed to get more of his feelings and thoughts rather than all the factual info. Maybe I am trying to include too much in a short story.

This is about my great great grandfather, William Chandler, who began the Chandler’s Nursery in Hobart. Read more about it here http://www.chandlersnursery.com.au/our-history.html

Readers: Where else could I improve this writing? As it is only going to be published on this blog, feel free to re-write whole paragraphs if you want.