No new posts for a while

Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Sorry I haven’t written any new posts, including #52ancestors, on this blog for the last couple of months. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing family history research.

One of the students who had recently completed the Diploma of Family History offered to run some sessions on using WordPress for creating a family history website. I decided to have a go even though Edublogs also uses WordPress but I am using blocks rather than the visual editor I am used to in Edublogs.

I started a new blog that is dedicated just to biographies of my direct grandparents. So far I have written about:

Maternal:

Working on great grandmother Julia Charlotte Chandler at the moment

Paternal:

Will be finding it difficult to write on further paternal grandparents as little is known about them. Trying to connect with relatives through DNA who might be able to give me more information.

I might eventually extend this new blog to biographies of other relatives but I still have quite a few of my maternal ancestors to write about yet.

Readers: How do you share information about your ancestors with your relatives?

Passing names down the generations

I knew I had Francis Colgrave as a name passed down at least three generations as he is one of my direct ancestors.  But I had to check my home database to find out some statistics for this post to see if names passed down happened in other branches of my trees. I’ve only included those with three or more names the same.

BLYTH, Edwin Tabrum – born 1888, 1937, 1961

BOXHALL, Anne – born 1810, 1840, 1959

BOYD, Frederick – born 1855, 1861, 1880

BROWN, Adam – born 1846, 1890, 1894

CHANDLER, William Charles – born 1829, 1863, 1895, 1923

COLGRAVE, Francis – born 1770, 1806, 1843, 1866, 1903, 1925

COLGRAVE, Joshua – born 1859, 1883, 1986

COLGRAVE, Louisa – born 1863, 1881, 1914

COLGRAVE, Samuel – born 1804, 1829, 1847, 1867

COLGRAVE, Thomas – born 1602, 1640, 1663, 1694

DAVEY, George – born 1865, 1898, 1902, 1930

DAVEY, Harry – born 1878, 1908, 1941, 2012

ENGLAND, Elizabeth – born 1830, 1857, 1900

ENGLAND, Mary Ann – born 1805, 1825, 1861

KILPIN, Richard – born 1724, 1790, 1831

MARU, Eliza – born 1829, 1846, 1863

SMITH, William – born 1840, 1883, 1911

SWAIN, Clement – born 1810, 1825, 1831

SWAIN, John – born 1783, 1808, 1815

Any births from about 1840 onwards will probably be in Tasmania also known as Van Diemens Land. Those prior to 1840 would be mainly in England – the COLGRAVE name in Bedfordshire, the ENGLAND name in West Yorkshire around Rotherham, the KILPIN name in Bedfordshire and the SWAIN name in Kent.

Readers: What name has been passed down in your family? Were you named after an ancestor or close relative?

Valentine

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Story 1 – whale chase

“Thar she blows.”

Captain William Smith was at the wheel of the whaling barque, Marie Laure. Below him, on the deck, he could see his brother-in-law, Domingo Jose Evorall, readying the small rowboat. William knew the danger involved in chasing and harpooning a sperm whale.

“Lines in the boats.”

William remembered a time many years previously when he and his fellow shipmates were putting the lines carefully in place, fixing the pins and adding the harpoons. Boats were lowered, swinging dangerously close to the side of the rolling barque. Near the waves, the boats were quickly unhooked, sailors got oars ready to push against the sides if they got too close to the barque. It was then that the dangerous work began.

William, as mate, had been in charge of the chase and kept watch for the whale. The oarsmen pulled steadily. No time to look over their shoulders. The green hands, on their first chase, were they frightened or excited? Spouts were seen close by.

“Heave to.”

The iron was thrown; the flukes suddenly hit the water and sprayed the sailors.

“Stern for your lives.”

Boatsteerer making sure the boat doesn’t overturn; harpooner ready with a knife to cut the slack line if needed; the whale sounding or diving deep.  A drogue was now attached to the line to slow the speed of the diving whale. The line going slack but where is the big cetacean? Suddenly, great jaw open, he breaks the surface just in front of us.

…………………………………………………

Much of the language for this was taken from a PDF document of an actual whale chase that William took part in in 1862. I had four students leave comments mainly about not knowing where and when the present time and the thoughts of William changed from one to the other. They said they got very involved with the story and could feel the excitement of the chase.

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.

Letter F challenge

In the early days of the colonies of Australia, there were three groups of people arriving – convicts, military and

Typical free settler hut

Free Settlers

The first free settlers came in 1793 and were Thomas Rose and his family on the ship Bellona. The government in Britain was trying to promote Australia as a place to go for keen and experienced farmers.

The first free settlers in Tasmania arrived with Lieutenant Governor Collins in 1804. The Maritime Museum had a display about early migration into Tasmania and one of my troublesome free settlers was mentioned on it.

Unlike the convicts, the government did not collect or keep good records of these early free settlers. Maybe they were mentioned by name on shipping lists or in personal papers of the people they worked for or if they got into trouble then there were in the government gazettes.

Often the shipping records would only mention the county they were from in England so it makes it difficult to try and find them back in the old country especially if they have a common surname.

My free settlers are:

John DAVEY – John was born in Devon, England. He was brought out to Tasmania as a servant to George Meredith on the East Coast of Tasmania.  He arrived in Hobart Town on 13 February 1855 on board ‘Wanderer‘.  John was occasionally mentioned in the ‘Meredith papers’ which are housed in the State Library Archives in Hobart.  He was recorded last at ‘Cambria‘ in January 1857.  His wages at this time were 7 pounds and 10 shillings per quarter.  Source: Meredith papers NS 123/1/69 TAHO – Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office  In the 1851 English Census there were over 50 possible John Davey born around 1834. I have narrowed it to a possible 7.

William SMITH – Lots of posts I have written about this ancestor who arrived in Tasmania sometime in the 1850’s from the Navigator Islands (Samoa) and was given the name William Smith. What is his Samoan name?

David DIXON – David and his wife Mary (nee PICKERING) arrived on 30 August 1841 on the ship ‘Andromeda’ with their young daughter Elizabeth. He was age 24 and a farm servant. The family arrived as bounty immigrants applied for by Mr Stevenson at Curramore property near Cressy.  Source CB7/9/1/1/ page 15 – TAHO

William CHANDLER – worked at a nursery at Enfield near London before coming to Australia with another family in the sailing ship Fortitude on 15 February 1855. They settled at Monavale in the midlands where he was the estates gardener. He was then employed as gardener at Government House but left to establish a garden south of Granton. After his marriage he returned to Government House as Head Gardener then before retirement worked at the Grange Taroona. (Mercury 23 July 1985)

Caroline BRYANT – arrived on the La Hogue which was a steamer, then on the Tasmania finally arriving in Hobart  19 Jan 1856 with her mother Charlotte Bryant (nee BULL).

William WYATT – my grandfather who I know nothing about except he married my grandmother and had my father. He then deserted the family and we think headed to New S0uth Wales.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with F that relates to your family history or your research.

letter F