Have I found Caroline Bryant?

When I write the biographies of my ancestors, I try to make sure I have records for their birth and names of parents as well as siblings. This sometimes involves a lot of research. If they were born in Tasmania, then the records are nearly all digitized.

But I am now researching my great great grandmother Caroline Chandler nee Bryant. I have researched her life in Tasmania:

  • her arrival with her mother in 1856 at age 17
  • her marriage in 1859  at age 22 then birth of her children
  • her death in 1919 in her 80th year

But I have yet to find out when and where she was born exactly back in England.

Clues to finding her birth

  1. Her mother was Charlotte Bryant – from arrival records into Tasmania – January 1856
  2. Her father was Dr Bryant – from death notice as Chandler
  3. Her sister was Esther Julia Winter nee Bryant – Robert Winter was informant at Caroline’s marriage
  4. On Esther’s marriage in 1852, a Caroline Bryant was witness. Father: Henry Bryant – surgeon Couple living Barclay Street
  5. The Winter family and his parents were sponsored by Charlotte Bryant – arrival records into Tasmania – December 1856
  6. She possibly had a younger brother called Charles who was supposed to come with them to Tasmania

Clues from census records

1841 census at Tottenham, parish Saint Pancras

  • Henry Weight 35 surgeon yes – born in parish
  • Charlotte Bryant 35 – no
  • Henry Bryant 9 – yes
  • Caroline Bryant 3 – yes
  • Emily Bryant 1 – yes

1851 census at 40 Barclay Street, Saint Pancras

  • Charlotte Bryant – Head – unmarried – 46 – dressmaker – born Arundel, Sussex
  • Julia Bryant – daughter – unmarried – 23 – house servant – born St Pancras, Middlesex
  • Henry Bryant – son – unmarried – 18 – jeweller – born St Pancras, Middlesex
  • Caroline Bryant – daughter – unmarried – 12 – scholar – born St Pancras, Middlesex
  • Charles Bryant – son – unmarried – 7 – scholar – born St Pancras, Middlesex

So from these clues Caroline could be born in 1837-1839 in St Pancras parish.

I checked the Free BMD website putting Caroline Bryant from Sep 1837 to Dec 1839 and the county of Middlesex.

Only one result so I ordered the birth certificate: St Pancras volume 1 page 273

  • Superintendent Registrar’s District – Saint Pancras
  • Registrar’s District – Tottenham
  • 1838 Birth in district of Tottenham in county of Middlesex
  • 9 June 1838 quarter before 8 Clock? at No 21 Warren Street
  • Caroline – girl
  • Father Henry Bryant a servant
  • Mother Charlotte Bryant formerly White
  • Registered 17 August 1838 by John Wells?? registrar Joseph Journey Supt Regd??

Looking at all the addresses mentioned in records: Warren Street, Cleveland Street, Barclay Street are all in Saint Pancras district and what is now Fitzrovia and Somers Town area and are only about 800 metres between them.

Readers: Do you think I could safely say this is my Caroline? Or do I need to find the births of the siblings to prove it is same parents? Would it be possible for Henry Bryant to become a surgeon between Caroline’s birth in 1838 and Esther’s marriage in 1852? Henry was a shoemaker at Esther’s birth in 1827 and living at Cleveland Street. Henry the brother also says his father was a surgeon when he married in 1851.

I’m confused!

Anemone123 / Pixabay

Who is my Charlotte Bryant, my great great great grandmother? 

Known records in Tasmania – click on the links to see the actual documents

  • 1855:  Charlotte age 51, a widow and cook (page 203-204) departed London on 1 October 1855 on the ship La Hogue then transferred to the steamer Tasmania in Sydney and finally arrived in Hobart Town on 19 January 1856 with daughter Caroline aged 17.  There was also a ticket for a Charles Bryant but this was crossed out. They were brought out on the application of R. W. Nutt and costing £22 per person.
  • 1856: Less than a year later, Charlotte had an application for her daughter Esther Julia and her husband Robert George Winter as well as his parents to come to Tasmania. They left London on 7 October 1856 on the ship Woodcote and arrived in Hobart Town on 29 December 1856. Cost was £32 per couple. Did Charlotte pay for this or did the immigrants?
  • 1859: Daughter Caroline married William Chandler a gardener age 24 at St Georges, Battery Point on 22 October 1859. One of the witnesses was R.G. Winter – Caroline’s brother-in-law.
  • 1863: Charlotte is the informant on her grandson William Charles Chandler’s birth on 18 February 1863. Charlotte’s address is Government Gardens as her son-in-law William Chandler is now working as a gardener at Government House.
  • 1865: Charlotte is the informant on her grandson Robert Henry Chandler’s birth on 11 March 1865. Charlotte’s address is Government Domain.
  • Between 1865 and 1877 other children are born to the couple and the informant is always Caroline Chandler at Government House.
  • 1883: Charlotte died in Tasmania on 1 May, 1883 aged 78. She was a widow and died from decay of nature. She died at 41 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, the residence of her son-in-law, Robert Winter, who owned a piano forte manufacturing company.

So, why am I confused? 

Now I start to look at the records back in England. Naturally the first one to look for would be the 1851 census where Charlotte should be about 47 years old and Caroline about 13. Esther might be there too, depending upon when she married Robert Winter.  From the arrival information in Tasmania, Charlotte was born in Sussex.

So in the 1851 census the following people are found living at 41 Barclay Street which must be nearly opposite St Pancras Gardens and the St Pancras Old Church in Somers Town.

  • Charlotte Bryant – head – unmarried – 46 years old – dressmaker – Sussex, Arundel
  • Julia Bryant – daughter – unmarried – 23 years old – house servant – Middlesex, St Pancras
  • Henry Bryant – son – unmarried – 18 years old – jeweller – Middlesex, St Pancras
  • Caroline Bryant – daughter – 12 years old – scholar – Middlesex, St Pancras
  • Charles Bryant – son – 7 years old – scholar – Middlesex, St Pancras

But this Charlotte is unmarried and a dressmaker not a widow and cook as mentioned in her arrival information. But she does have children Julia, Caroline and Charles who we know of from Tasmanian records.

About a kilometre away is another Charlotte Bryant – an unmarried servant – cook aged 50 born in London living in Charlotte Street, St Pancras area now Fitzrovia.

Next is the marriage of Esther Julia Bryant and Robert George Winter in 1852 at St Pancras. Caroline Bryant is a witness. Esther’s father is Henry and is a surgeon. Esther and Robert are living at Barclay Street when they got married.

In October 1851, Henry Bryant is married to Matilda Webb – father is Henry and is a surgeon. Henry is full age and they were married in parish church St Saviours, Southwark. A witness was Ann Drewett.

Going back 10 years to the 1841 census we find living in Tottenham Place, Marylebone.

  • Charlotte Bryant age 35 – not born in the county
  • Henry Bryant age 9 – born in the county
  • Caroline Bryant 3 – born in the county
  • Emily Bryant 1 – born in the county

Still no husband mentioned but on the bottom of the previous page of the census is H Weight age 35, surgeon who was born in the county. Could this be the father of the children?

Could Charlotte’s maiden name actually be Bryant?

I’d like to meet …

my great great great grandmother Charlotte Bryant nee ????

That is the first question I would ask her – What is your maiden name and when did you marry Henry Bryant?

These are the facts that I know positively about this woman.

Charlotte sailed from London on 1 October 1855 to Sydney with her daughter Caroline Bryant on the La Hogue which was a steamer. They then sailed on the Tasmania finally arriving in Hobart 19 January 1856.

Charlotte was aged 51 and a widow when she arrived in Tasmania.

According to her arrival details, Charlotte was a cook and born in Sussex.


Charlotte had at least three children – Caroline, Charles and Esther Julia. I know Caroline and Esther were living in Tasmania but unsure of where Charles and any other siblings were living.

In 1856 Charlotte Bryant sponsored her daughter and son-in-law who then arrived on the ship Woodcote along with Robert’s parents.

Tasmania, Australia, Immigrant Lists, 1841-1884 Alphabetical List of Immigrants with Details , 02 Dec 1856 – 18 Aug 1858

This meant Charlotte must have had a very good occupation (or already had money) to be able to pay for this so early after her arrival in Tasmania. She must also have needed good connections for it to have been done so quickly. RW Nutt, who sponsored Charlotte and Caroline, was a prominent lawyer in Tasmania. Also Caroline’s future husband, William, worked at Government House so maybe that was the connection.

When Caroline married William Chandler in 1859, Charlotte was not a witness but her son-in-law RG Winter was – Esther’s husband.

In 1863, Charlotte Bryant, residing at Government Gardens, was the informant on her grandson William’s birth.

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA STANDARD COPYRIGHT LICENCE https://eprints.utas.edu.au/licence.html

In 1865, now living at Government Domain, Charlotte was informant on another grandson’s birth Robert Henry.

Charlotte died at the residence of her son-in-law on 1 May 1883 at 41 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. She was aged 78, a widow and death was noted as decay of nature.

Readers: What would be some of the questions you would ask Charlotte if you met her – taking note of what I already know?