Irene Ellen Gertrude SMITH

Irene was born 23 July 1909 on Bruny Island as the eldest child of Edward Robert Smith and Irene Ellen Somers or Clark. Through DNA testing, it has been proved that her father was actually a son of Alexander and Hannah Dawson nee Sutton who lived in Queenstown, Tasmania.

Tasmania, Civil Registration of births 1899-1912, Port Cygnet

Irene had 14 younger siblings born between 1910 and 1931. The family mainly lived in Hobart, Tasmania but from 1918-1921 spent some time in Scottsdale, Tasmania where her father was a sawyer.

In December 1918, Irene and her younger sister Madeline won prizes at the Scottsdale State School annual concert.

Marriages

In early 1932, Irene became pregnant and married William Alan Wyatt on 11 April, later giving birth to her only child Robert Wyatt in November 1932. By late 1934, William (whose first  Tasmanian wife had died in September 1931) had deserted Irene and baby Robert, and headed to unknown destination (later found in NSW married for a fourth time).

Irene worked as a cleaner and general housemaid at Heathorns Hotel then later the Albion Hotel. This involved living on the premises, so Robert was looked after by a foster mother for most of the time, Mrs Avery in Goulburn Street, Hobart. Irene did not have much furniture in her little room but there was a small carved black table that is now owned by Robert (Bob). She also had an Hawaiian steel guitar under her bed and many songbooks that she collected throughout the war years.

It was while working at Heathorns that Irene met Ernie Bond who lived in a home in the Rasselas Valley near Adamsfield. Irene wrote a diary about her trip on horseback along the track to Adamsfield. This diary is held by her son Bob.

Irene sought a dissolution of her marriage in 1945 due to desertion. A decree nisi was granted on 21 March 1945. A decree absolute was granted in October 1945.

In 1954, Irene married a second time to a Polish immigrant Mikolaj Hrydziuszko, who had arrived in Australia in 1948 after World War II.

Irene and Mike travelled to Japan on a cruise returning with lots of little mementoes. They are buried together at the cemetery in Pontville, Tasmania where many Polish graves can be found.

Memories of Irene

These are from her son Bob (B) and grand daughter Suzanne

  • Always well dressed and usually wore her hair up high in a bouffant style
  • Loved going for walks around Hobart
  • Kept her house immaculately clean and smelling fresh
  • Went downhill quickly once her blindness stopped her walking everywhere
  • Took lots of photos of her with her sister Madeline and her children – have her photo album with these
  • Was concerned about her brother Jack or Bomber as we knew him – he sent occasional letters or postcards often censored by the army (B)
  • She was a smoker and always smoked Turf cigarettes (B)
  • Would often call into her parent’s house in Liverpool Street while taking Bob home to his foster mother (B)
  • Hated picnics, sand, ants, cold! (B)
  • Had a steel guitar, but I never heard her play it. Did crosswords, I still have her well-thumbed dictionary. (B)
  • I never saw her really upset. I wagged school and was expelled from Lansdowne Crescent School, sent to St. Virgils, must have cost her a lot. (B)
  • Mike (her second husband) found she left the stove on, would get up at all hours and wander about. I insisted that she be cared for in a nursing home, it was too much for Mike. Went into a nursing home in Star St. and was well cared for there. Was almost blind, and hated the dog at the home that would come close to her picking up crumbs. Mike used to take her out most days and give her sandwiches. He persevered with her taking her to the domain or the Waterworks. (B)
  • I used to visit her in the home during my lunch hour when I worked in town. She would be just sitting in a chair. Often told me that no-one ever came to see her even though I knew Mike had taken her out that morning. I confess that I was often in tears walking back to work. She died peacefully in the home. (B)
Ernie Bond’s residence at Rasselas Valley
Bob, Irene and Jack before heading off to war
Nan's birthday
Irene’s birthday with her sister Pat and her husband Eric Gates from Adelaide.
Nan and Mike ready for trip overseas
Mike and Irene ready for their trip overseas

Where did my ancestors come from?

After summarizing the migration twitterchat, I thought it would be interesting to find out where each of my direct ancestors was born and to work out how Australian I really am. So I am going to use just my direct line and include flag to show where they were born.

(T)  Tasmania

(L)  London (S)  Surrey (M)  Middlesex (D)  Devon (W) Worcestershire (SU) Sussex    (C) Cambridgeshire (Y) Yorkshire  (B) Bedfordshire (CO) Cornwall

(SC) Scotland (NI) Northern Ireland

RebeccaLintzPhotography / Pixabay
  • Me (T)
  • Dad (T)
  • Mum (T)
  • Irene Smith (T) – Grandparent
  • Henry England (T) – Grandparent
  • Hannah Davey (T) – Grandparent
  • Alexander Dawson (T) – Great grandparent
  • Irene Somers (T) – Great grandparent
  • Henry England (T) – Great grandparent
  • Julia Chandler (T) – Great grandparent
  • George Davey (T) – Great grandparent
  • Martha Colgrave (T) – Great grandparent
  • Alexander Dawson (T) – 2x great grandparent
  • Hannah Sutton (T) – 2x great grandparent
  • Anne Dixon (T) – 2x great grandparent
  • Francis Colgrave (T) – 2x great grandparent
  • Susan Boyd (T) – 2x great grandparent
Nerivill / Pixabay
  • William Allen (L) – Grandparent
  • William Allen (L) – Great grandparent
  • Florence Evans (L) – Great grandparent
  • George Allen (S) – 2x great grandparent
  • Mary Spry (D) – 2x great grandparent
  • George Evans (W) – 2xgreat grandparent
  • Mary Ann Lee (C) – 2x great grandparent
  • John England (Y) – 2x great grandparent – convict
  • William Chandler (M) – 2x great grandparent
  • Caroline Bryant (M) – 2x great grandparent
  • John Davey (D) – 2x great grandparent
  • John Allen (M) – 3x great grandparent
  • Amelia Elwes (M) – 3x great grandparent
  • William Spry (D) – 3x great grandparent
  • Mary Babb (D) – 3x great grandparent
  •  William Dawson (SC) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • Catherine McKay (SC) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • Matthew Sutton (L) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • Mary McCrewney (NI) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • William England (Y) – 3x great grandparent
  • Margaret Rylands (Y) – 3x great grandparent
  • Henry Bryant (M) – 3x great grandparent
  • Charlotte Bryant (SU) – 3x great grandparent
  • John Davey (D) – 3x great grandparent
  • MaryAnn Jennings (D) – 3x great grandparent
  • David Dixon (Y) – 3x great grandparent
  • Mary Pickering (Y) – 3x great grandparent
  • Francis Colgrave (B) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • Isabella Watkins (Y) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • John Holliday Boyd (CO) – 3x great grandparent – convict
  • Martha Hearn (M) – 3x great grandparent – convict
jorono / Pixabay
  • Rebecca Jackson (Donegal) – 2x great grandparent – convict

So going back as far as 3x great grandparents, out of a possible 63 direct line ancestors (including me), I have proven: 17 born in Tasmania, 31 born in the UK (2 of these in Scotland) and 1 born in Ireland. I still have 14 to find out who they are and where they live.

From these statistics: I am 17 out of 49 Tasmanian – this means roughly 34%.

Readers:  Up to your 3x great grandparents, how many have you proven where they were born?