Celebrating Mother’s Day

Dad sent a message to me today (Saturday 11 May 2024) asking could we take a run to the cemeteries this afternoon as on Sunday there would be too many people visiting for Mother’s Day.

Whenever we visit the cemeteries at Pontville and Cornelian Bay, dad will tell me stories and memories especially of his mother and his foster mother who he lived with most of his early life.

But today, it made me think about all the mothers that have had some part in creating me. Here is some information about them.

Phyllis Wyatt nee England

Mum passed away in September 2021. I have written many posts about our family life and also about mum’s early life. These are all found under her tag on the sidebar.

Mum standing behind the headstone of her parents and eldest sibling.

Hannah England nee Davey

My maternal grandmother who died in 1967 when I was 11 years old. Again read posts about her from her tags on the sidebar.

Irene Ellen Gertrude Hrydziuszko nee Smith

My paternal grandmother whose first husband was a bigamist and her second husband was a Polish soldier who immigrated to Tasmania after WWII. Posts from her tag here include some about DNA testing.

Because my dad has had an important influence in my life, I am also going to include his foster mother in this post as she taught him how to be the best he could be.

Ellen Avery nee Goldsmith  I have written a couple of posts about her and dad’s memories.


I never met any of my great grandmothers but I have written some posts about them.

Julia Charlotte England nee Chandler

Mum never met her grandmother either as she died in 1905 and was buried at Queenborough Cemetery in Sandy Bay. But mum had a lot to do with the Chandler family who still run a garden nursery in Sandy Bay.  Posts about Julia found in her tags.

Martha Jane Davey nee Colgrave

Mum had memories of Martha staying with them in Sandy Bay. Here are some posts about her in the tags.

Florence Georgina Allen nee Evans

It took me over 20 years to find out about this English great grandmother as we had been searching for the wrong surname. Finally found through DNA matches of grandsons and great grandson in Australia.

Irene Nellie Smith nee Somers/Clark

Dad had some memories of visiting his grandmother in Liverpool St but sadly she drowned in the Derwent River in 1952 before I was born. I have spent a lot of time using DNA matches to find her parents but at the moment there are too many possibilities.


I have written some posts relating to my great great grandmothers but I am still researching many of them to write their biographies.

Mary Allen nee Spry Shute 1850-1916 Born in Merton, Devon, England and died in Croyden, Surrey, England. I have found her in all the censuses in England. The fourth of nine children and after marrying George James Allen, they had eight children born near Croyden area of Surrey.

Mary Ann Evans nee Lee 1844 – unknown According to her 1870 marriage certificate to George Evans, her father was named Richard and he was a gardener. In the 1871 census, she is mentioned as being born in Ely, Cambridgeshire and she is 27.

Hannah Dawson nee Sutton 1861 – 1938 Born in Evandale, Tasmania and wife of a miner first in Ringarooma then Queenstown. Gave birth to 11 children then remarried and one more child.

Caroline Chandler nee Bryant 1838 – 1919 Born in Middlesex, England but died in Hobart, Tasmania. Wife of a gardener who worked at Government House and had nine children with him. She immigrated to  Tasmania in 1856 with her mother. Many posts about Caroline and her family in her tags.

Rebecca England nee Jackson 1830-1906 Born in Donegal, Ireland and arrived in Van Diemen’s Land as a convict in 1847. Married another convict in 1854 and had eight children with him. Many posts about Rebecca , her life in Tasmania as well as her convict records.

Annie Davey nee Dixon 1841 – 1892 Born and died near Evandale, Tasmania. Married another immigrant and had 12 children with him. One of the daughters married and moved to New Zealand. Many posts about Annie and her family.

Susan Colgrave nee Boyd 1844 – 1900 The daughter of two convicts,  she was born in Launceston and died nearby in Evandale. She married the son of two more convicts and had ten children with him. A couple of posts relating to Susan and her husband.


I know a bit about 11 of my great great great grandmothers such as they were born in England, Scotland or Ireland.

Amelia Allen nee Elwes 1815 – 1870 Born in Middlesex and died in Surrey, England. Her surname has passed down through the family but has become Elvis instead. Gave birth to 11 children, only three died young.

Mary Shute nee Babb 1825 – 1908 Born in Devon but died in East Sussex at her daughter’s house. Gave birth to nine children who all survived to adulthood.

Catherine Dawson nee McKay 1830 – 1927 Born in Edinburgh, Scotland and died in Launceston, Tasmania. She was a convict but I have not done much research on Catherine yet. Gave birth to at least seven children.

Mary Sutton nee McCreery 1832 – unknown yet Born in Newry, County Down, Ireland  Arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1848 as a convict. Married another convict and gave birth to five known children. Her brother Thomas was also a convict and married in Tasmania as well under the surname McCrony. Mary and her husband were witnesses.

Charlotte Bryant 1805 – 1883 Not sure if Bryant is surname or maiden name. Immigrated to Tasmania with daughter in 1856. Many posts about Charlotte and her family.

Catherine Campbell Nothing known about Catherine other than she is named as mother of Rebecca Jackson in 1830

Margaret England nee Ryland 1806 – 1844 Born and died in Yorkshire, England. Married with 5 known children. Very little research done so far.

Mary (Mayday) Histead formerly Dixon nee Pickering 1814 – 1883 Born in Yorkshire, immigrated to Tasmania while pregnant in 1841. A post about a trying journey.

Mary Ann Dav(e)y nee Jennings 1807 – 1883 Born and died near Clyst Honiton, Devon, England. Gave birth to 11 children of which three died under the age of ten.

Isabella Colgrave nee Watkins(on) 1823 – 1890 Born in Yorkshire and died in Evandale, Tasmania. She was a convict who married another convict and had nine children.  Many posts about her convict records and her family.

Martha Boyd formerly Virco nee Hearn 1816-1880 Born in Middlesex and died in Evandale. Martha was married in 1833 when she was then convicted in 1838 and sent to Van Diemen’s Land where she married in 1842 another convict. Was this legal or not? In total she gave birth to ten possibly 11 children. Many posts about Martha as her convict records were used when doing a course at University of Tasmania.


Virtually nothing known yet about great great great great grandmothers. Below are names of those known:

Sarah Allen nee Medwin 1791 – 1855

Mary Babb nee Blake 1785 – 1865

Mary Evans nee Farley 1788 – 1862

Sarah Jennings nee Melhuish 1787 – 1851

Bridget Pickering nee Bowes 1786 – 1850

Nancey Boyd nee Holliday 1771 – ?

Readers: What do you know about the mothers in your tree that have influenced your life in some subtle way?

Ancestral location


My answer:

So far, I haven’t found any ancestral castles I could visit. I did visit Samoa when I thought Captain William Smith was my great great grandfather but DNA has disproved this.

Back in 1990, I visited Devon where my Davey ancestors lived. Without knowing it, I actually stayed in the village where they lived.

In 2015, I visited Ireland and the area around Garshooey and Carrigans in Donegal where my Jackson ancestors lived before being transported to Tasmania as convicts.

Since my big trip in 1990, I have found more ancestors from Scotland so maybe I would plan a trip there to find out more about Dad’s ancestors in the South Sutherland area. Mum also has ancestors from North Riding of Yorkshire so could check them out too.

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.