Keith Henry “Harry” Avery

Keith Henry Avery known as Harry was the 2nd of three children born to Robert  and Ellen Sarah Avery nee Goldsmith.

  • Oscar Clyde Avery born 20 Nov 1903
  • Keith Henry Avery born 21 June 1906
  • Gwendoline Edith Avery born Scottsdale, 30 December 1909

Harry was born in St Helen’s, a fishing town on the east coast of Tasmania. On his birth certificate, it says his father was a miner.

From April 1904, his parents ran a boarding house with Ellen doing most of the inside work and Robert doing the labour work outside. But in 1915, Robert passed away leaving Ellen to bring up three young children. During the war years, Ellen was very involved in local functions, especially the Red Cross and the soldiers that returned.

Both Oscar (1919) and Harry (1921) had qualified for admission into state high school – each year only 12 students from St Helens qualified.

It was now that Ellen moved them to Hobart. There was a grand farewell from the residents of St Helen’s on 4 February 1921.

The first official mention of Ellen and her family living at 160 Goulburn Street, West Hobart, was 1923 in the Post Office Directory.

Present day 160 Goulburn Street where Harry lived after moving from St Helens.

In 1921, Harry was apprenticed with Harris and Marsh and trained as a tin smith. It was a six-year apprenticeship.

On 17 February 1921, Harry registered as a cadet in the Royal Australian Naval Reserves. He was living at 160 Goulburn Street according to his papers. His mother Ellen was at 298 Bathurst Street and was doing domestic duties. Harry was only 5 feet 3 and a half inches tall and was a plumber’s apprentice.

His original rating was cadet signal, presumably this included semaphore and wireless telegraphy. He was part of the 40th Battalion in Hobart.

In the first year he served just over 5 days with military training. In 1922, he served 17 days again military training. On 1 July 1922 he was transferred from 40th Battalion to Naval.

Harry was thrown from a motor cycle and put in hospital from injuries in November 1923 and this absence is noted in his naval records.

In 1923 and 1924, Harry served many full day, half day and quarter days in naval training. His record says satisfactory ability, efficient and very good character.

On 29 May 1924, he was medically examined and found fit for the Citizen Naval Forces.

From 25 February 1925 until 13 March, he served on HMAS Tasmania. In 1926, he spent 16 days at the Naval Drill Hall in Hobart. He also spent 17 days in July on HMAS Marguerite. In October 1927, he spent 17 days on HMAS Swan which was based in Launceston. In April 1929, he spent 5 days training at the Naval Drill Hall and his final training mentioned on records was in October/November 1929 at the Drill Hall.

In September 1924, he was promoted to signalman, then in August 1926, promotion to leading signalman and finally in November 1927 to yeoman of signals.

Harry at Williamstown dry dock HMAS Swan

When Harry finished his apprenticeship, he received a great reference from Harris and Marsh company.

Harris Marsh reference 1927

By the 1928 electoral roll, Harry, a sheet metalworker, and Oscar, a clerk were still living with their mother in Goulburn Street. In 1929 electoral roll, a William Wyatt was also living at 160 Goulburn Street. He was a labourer and part of the Royal Australian Naval reserves.

During this time, William Wyatt married Irene Smith and had a child together, Robert Wyatt known as Bob. But in early 1930’s, William left the marriage and went to New South Wales.

Harry became Bob Wyatt’s foster father even though he considered Ellen, Harry’s mother, as his foster mother from the early 1930’s. Harry once told Bob, that he was his mother’s saviour as she had lost a son, Oscar, in 1930 and her only daughter, Gwen, in 1929 with diphtheria and she was very depressed until she had to look after him.

Oscar and Gwen Avery possibly

By this time, Harry was working at Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory in Claremont, Tasmania. Harry had met an old man on a tram who suggested Cadbury’s would be a better and cleaner place to work instead of the Zinc Works.

In 1936, the electoral roll only had Ellen and Harry living at 160 Goulburn Street.

Harry married Violet Grahame Masterton in 1937 and lived at 192 Main Road, Moonah almost opposite the fire station. A picture of the bride and her attendants was in the local paper.

In March 1938, Harry was involved in a car accident in Hobart. Harry and his wife, plus another passenger, appeared as witnesses at the inquest of the death of Robert Elliston in North Hobart. The coroner declared it an accidental death as Elliston stepped off the kerb with his head down.

In July 1938, Harry was a groomsman at his sister-in-law’s marriage to Rupert Bryant Carr.

At the Christmas social event for Cadbury’s Chocolate Company in 1939, Harry was one of many employees who presented a musical item. His friend John Kean, who had been the passenger in the accident in 1938, also presented at the social.

Jack Keen, Mervyn (Dumby) Morey, Roy Lipscombe, Harry Avery

Harry was not expected to take part in the war as he was working in a protected industry. Cadbury’s chocolates were sent to all soldiers often during the war and can be seen on many of the advertisements of that time period. During this time period Harry would make camouflage nets for the war effort.

Harry making nets later in life (not during war)

On Monday 12 February 1940, Cadbury’s company held a picnic at South Arm for its employees. Harry was noted as coming second in the obstacle race. There were a few other unusual events if you read the newspaper article.

It also looks like Harry was treasurer of the Engineering department at Cadbury’s as he was mentioned in an article organizing a Christmas social event.

Cadburys football team, Harry Avery sixth from left in front row

In July 1941, another of his sisters-in-law married and Harry was an usher this time. Again, at a wedding in January 1942, Harry was an usher. The surnames of the bride and groom have also been mentioned in other newspaper articles about Cadbury’s.

Harry enjoyed the outdoors and would often go camping using ridge pole tents for shelter. He would usually take Bob and other friends from Cadbury’s on these adventures.

Harry, Bob and Mr Williams playing accordion, camping at Primrose Sands.

Harry built his wooden dinghy in the back yard at Moonah and Bob recalls helping him to rivet the planks. Mrs Avery used to take Bob to visit her son and his wife who he called Topsy. Harry would run them home in his car. His garage was only a shed with a curtain to protect the car from the weather. Harry had room inside that he used as a workshop and it was here that he made stencils for Jones & Co. Some time later Harry deserted Topsy and returned to live with his mother in Goulburn Street. Violet was granted a decree nisi for an undefended divorce case in April 1953.

Harry had re-joined his mother at Goulburn Street by the time of the 1949 electoral roll where he was still identified as a sheet metal worker.

Harrys favourite crayfish catch photo

In 1952, Harry’s mother passed and was buried with her brother in Cornelian Bay Cemetery. Harry and Bob put a bereavement notice in the local paper thanking friends and relatives.

Harry won fifth prize in the Sandy Bay Football Club raffle in September 1953.

The house at Goulburn Street was too big for just the two of them so it was at this time that Harry purchased a house at 6 Brent Street, Glenorchy and both Bob and Harry lived there.

Bob remembers that Harry let him drive his utility when they went to look at the house there and as they left Bob (aged 19 at the time) backed into a Hydro pole. Fortunately it was only a slight bump with very little damage.

Bob married in 1954 and his family grew up at Brent Street. Harry lived there with the family as well.

Harry with Bob’s daughter Suzanne

In July 1961, Harry married Joyce Unice Harwood. This was a second marriage for them both as Joyce had been married to Darrell James King from Geeveston area of Tasmania but he died in 1948. It was at the time of this marriage that Harry sold the Brent Street property to Bob who borrowed the money to pay the original purchase price paid by Harry back in 1952.

Harry, Joyce and her sister then lived in two units at Conneware Crescent in Berriedale.

Harry and his second wife Joy

Harry and Joyce lived their final years  at Wakehurst Road in Austins Ferry.

Under the house at Austins Ferry, Harry had a fantastic shell lighthouse which Bob’s children always asked for him to turn on so they could see the flashing light. He also had a great collection of shells. Harry loved his garden and had bountiful raspberry canes against the fence at this house.

Harry and Joyce were invited to many events relating to the Wyatt family.

Joyce passed away in 1980 and is buried at Cornelian Bay.  Harry passed away on 20 December 1996, aged 90. He is also buried in Cornelian Bay Cemetery and Crematorium.

Researching overseas

Every month I run a group session at Rosny Library and for September the topic is Overseas Records. I like to have a blog post or slideshow to use at these sessions, so decided this time to write a blog post.

First place to look would be the family search research wiki. Family search is a free website. You can join at no cost and to use the research wiki, there is no need to join.

  1. Click on Search in the navigation bar
  2. Click on Research Wiki
  3. Click on the continent where you want to search
  4. Choose the country from drop down menu on left side. Those countries with >in front of them will open again to counties or provinces or states etc
  5. You should now get a webpage on that country or state etc. On the right hand side of the page will be a list of wiki topics such as beginning research, record types, background and cultural groups.
  6. On the main part of the page, you should see contents and perhaps a coloured button for online records and another for asking the family search community

Spend time clicking on the links on the page. Remember to right click on your mouse and open in a new tab. That way you wont lose your original country page.

Other resources around the world

Cyndi’s List – This a an indexed list of genealogical websites. Begin with categories and choose the letter of the country and gradually work your way through the links as they appear. Be careful: there are lots of ads on the pages, don’t click on them if at all possible.

GENUKI – this is relevant to UK and Ireland genealogy. Make sure you check out the section for first time users.

Other posts I’ve written about researching in other countries – mainly as Twitter chats

As these posts could be three years old, some links might not work properly especially if they go to a twitter profile.

Hope these hints have been helpful in researching overseas.

Help finding William Chandler

On WikiTree this week, the challenge is from the London Westminster and Middlesex Family History Society. I replied that I would try to help with their research but I also commented that I had a brickwall from Enfield area which is a place covered by the society. A reply from Elizabeth asked could they help me. So this post is about what I know about my great great grandfather.

William Chandler arrived in Hobart Town, Tasmania on 15 February 1855 on board the ship Fortitude. It had sailed  from Plymouth on 1 November 1854.  According to the arrival record he was aged 22. He was one of 147 immigrants under the bounty system and his passage was certified by John Leake, a large property owner in the midlands of Tasmania. William’s single ticket was number 227. James Axton, ticket number 230, also went to John Leake as a gardener the same as William. He was also from Middlesex, was 23, could read and write and was Church of England like William.  Book 5, pages 191-192

George Jobson, his wife and two sons from Yorkshire also went to John Leake’s property as a coachman and general servant. The family were also Church of England.

Caroline Bryant was a worker at Rosedale with Leake family at same time as William Chandler. She took over as housemaid from Susan Green in April 1857. page 216

Had William known Caroline back in London and asked John Leake if he could organize for her to come out as an immigrant? Or did they first meet at Rosedale?

In 1859, William married Caroline Bryant who had arrived with her mother Charlotte on 19 January 1856. They came from London to Sydney on the ship La Hogue then by steamer to Tasmania. The person who applied for them to come out was R.W. Nutt, an important solicitor in Hobart Town at the time. Book 34, pages 203-204

On the marriage certificate for William and Caroline, he was 24 and she was 22. One of the witnesses was R. G Winter who was Caroline’s brother in law and married to Esther Julia Bryant back in London. Esther’s mother Charlotte had applied for her daughter, son in law and his parents to come out to Tasmania. They left London on 7 October 1856, arrived Hobart Town on 29 December 1856 on the ship Woodcote. Pages 18-21

The other witness at the marriage was Emma Minns who arrived also on the Woodcote with her parents and sister.

By the time of his marriage, William was a gardener at Government House and was sometimes mentioned in the diaries of Lady Gore Browne, wife of the governor.

Children of William and Caroline. Might be helpful to find parents and siblings of William if naming pattern followed.

  • Julia Charlotte 1860 – 1905
  • William Charles 1863 – 1944
  • Robert Henry 1865 – 1929
  • Mary Ann Eliza 1867 – 1940
  • Caroline Louisa 1870 – 1958
  • Sarah 1872 – 1873
  • George Edward 1874 – 1918
  • Ada Ellen 1877 – 1955
  • Fanny Ethel 1882 – 1951

What have I found prior to his arrival in Hobart Town?

1. I have found a William Chandler from Enfield, Middlesex aged 16, unmarried and a gardener lodging with the family of John and Jane Frayne living at Railway Gate House in the district of Edmonton in 1851 English census. The family is still there in the 1861 census but William is not there anymore.

Class: HO107; Piece: 1703; Folio: 221; Page: 18; GSU roll: 193611

2. There is a possible baptism on 10 Jan. 1835 at St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, Hackney, England

Father John Chandler and mother Mary Chandler nee Youngman??

3.  There is a possible baptism on 4 Aug. 1833 at St Andrew, Enfield, Enfield, England

Father Daniel Chandler and mother Mary Chandler nee Chivers??

4.  From 1841 census with parents Daniel (a carpenter) and Mary  Class: HO107; Piece: 653; Book: 2; Civil Parish: Enfield; County: Middlesex; Enumeration District: 3; Folio: 25; Page: 7; Line: 22; GSU roll: 438772

Hope this information and the links included can help Elizabeth find some more information about William Chandler my great great grandfather.

UPDATE: I was listening to a talk about gardeners in Tasmania and William was mentioned. The speaker Ann Cripps has written a book including a chapter on the Chandler family. I found a library with a copy of the book and this information now takes me to Williams employment back in England.

For two years 1852-1854 William had been working for, and living with William Everett Esquire at Chase Side which was an estate in Enfield.