This week for #52ancestors, I decided to check my database to find someone born in the 1800s on Valentine’s Day 14 February. I could only find one person born on Valentine’s Day but that was in 1981 which is too recent for me to write about and research.

But I did find William Demingo SMITH born 16 February 1883 and only surviving till 16 September 1885.

William was the fourth child born to Captain William SMITH and Sarah Ann TEDMAN. He had an older brother Thomas Alexander (Albert) Smith born in 1880. These two young chaps did not survive infancy. William and Sarah had 10 children in total and 7 surviving till adulthood.

At this time, Captain William Smith was master of the whaling ship Marie Laure, based in Hobart and often calling in to Recherche Bay where his family lived near Cockle Creek. This is one of the most southern towns in Tasmania and in the 1870s and 1880s would have been a wild area to live in. There had been a convict station nearby at Southport and the main occupations were sawyers and whalers.

In September 1885, the two young brothers went down suddenly with diarrhoea. Their deaths on the 15th and 16th September were registered by Henry John Daldy, the coroner at Franklin on 20 September. But an interested person naming himself Recherche, wrote to the local Hobart paper The Mercury and had a piece printed on 29 September 1885.






Favourite name

I don’t really have any favourite names among my ancestors because many of them are William, John, George, Hannah, Martha etc.

But I have always wanted to know where my great grandmother got her name from.

Julia Charlotte Chandler

Julia was born in Tasmania on 1 October 1860 to parents William CHANDLER and Caroline BRYANT. She married Henry Lewis ENGLAND

Naming patterns were often used so who were the mothers of William and Caroline?

I have no idea of William’s mother – need to do more research on this. But Caroline’s mother is Charlotte BRYANT. OK we have part of Julia’s name accounted for. Now to find out who the Julia comes from.

Possibly someone important in Caroline’s life – perhaps a sister or friend from back in England?

Looking on the marriage certificate for Caroline, the witnesses are RG Winter and Emma Mains? Who could these people be? They weren’t mentioned on the other marriages so would have to be friends rather than church clerks etc.

I decided to check any Tasmanian wills for an RG Winter or any Winter with the name Julia included to see if there was any reference to my Caroline.

There it was.

Robert George Winter had a wife Esther Julia Winter and some of the witnesses to his will had the surname Chandler. I could be getting close. Could Esther Julia be Caroline’s sister?

Esther Julia WINTER was bequeathing her worldly goods and chattels to her sister Caroline Chandler. She also mentioned the names of nieces who she gave particular workboxes and vases to – these were all relatives of my Julia Charlotte England nee Chandler.

I now know where her name came from:

Julia after Caroline’s sister who also arrived in Tasmania as a married woman in the 1850s

Charlotte after Caroline’s mother



So far behind

Wait for me!

Corine Bliek via Compfight

I began the #52ancestors challenge with a great determination to finish it. But looking back I have only done the first few; I need to catch up. I want to do a good job with each week so I am not going to rush it.

I have had an excuse though – since early February, my mother has spent more time in hospital than out of it, so there were many doctors appointments and running my father back and forward to the hospital to cope with as well as a genealogical trip to Sydney and a holiday in Bright, Victoria.  In a couple of weeks I will be heading off to Cape York with limited internet capabilities.

So to remind myself and my readers here are the prompts set out by Amy Johnson Crow, a genealogist from USA.

As I write a post, I will include the surnames mentioned in the post as well as put a link to the actual post. So this post will be continually  updated.

  1. Start
  2. Favourite photo – 4 generations Colgrave, Davey, England, Phillips
  3. Longevity – Chandler, Bryant
  4. Invite to dinner – Bryant, Chandler, England, Jackson
  5. In the census – John Davey
  6. Favourite name – Julia Charlotte Chandler
  7. Valentine – William Demingo Smith
  8. Heirloom – carnival glass
  9. Where there’s a will – checked out wills of direct relatives
  10. Strong woman
  11. Lucky
  12. Misfortune
  13. The old Homestead
  14. Maiden aunt
  15. Taxes
  16. Storms
  17. Cemetery
  18. Close up
  19. Mother’s Day