Henry Lewis ENGLAND (junior)

Henry Lewis England was the only son born to Henry Lewis and Julia Charlotte England nee Chandler. He was born 12 December 1888 in Hobart when the family lived in Regent Street, Sandy Bay.

Henry’s other siblings were Ruby May b. 5 July 1886, Gladice Emily b. 4 August 1891 and Lucy Grace b. 22 October 1894. When Ruby was born the family were living in Union Street, Sandy Bay.

Henry’s father was a labourer and a road man according to the children’s birth certificates. In fact, he worked for the Queenborough Town Board in various capacities including rent collector and foreman of the works.

When Henry junior was only 17 years old, his mother passed away in March 1905 at her residence in Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay. By the time the war years came around, Henry, at age 27, was given an exemption due to him having to look after an invalid father.


In 1923, Henry married Hannah Davey who was working as a housekeeper to the Lord Family in Grosvenor Street, not far from where Henry lived. The marriage took place at Longford where Hannah’s widowed mother was living. See my post about Hannah for all the details of the marriage including newspaper report and a photo.

Family life with Hannah

Three daughters were born to this couple: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934. Below are some memories from both Margaret (M)(interviewed a year or so before her death) and Phyllis.

  • Dad worked for the Hobart City Council as a street sweeper.
  • He was a volunteer fire fighter and went up Mount Wellington to fight a large fire when Phyllis was about 8. I wouldn’t go back inside our house till I saw him come home.
  • Dad loved his fishing in Sandy Bay but none of us could swim and we didn’t have life jackets. We’d go fishing with Uncle Percy Chandler. Phyllis used to take the fish to neighbours in a heavy steel bucket.
  • During the war years we had a trench dug in our backyard but it was usually full of water so it probably wouldn’t have saved us if the Japanese arrived.
  • Dad pulled down our toilet and laundry, then built a new toilet, bathroom and wash house still out in the back yard, not attached to the house. He made the cement blocks by hand.
  • When the war was over, he taught returned soldiers how to make cement articles.
  • He broke his arm at work and had to spend a few days in hospital.
  • Dad would visit his mother’s grave in Sandy Bay and his daughter Iris’s grave at Cornelian Bay every month.
  • He made model yachts and gave them away. Philip (my brother) has one and he gave it to his son Alexander.
  • We travelled everywhere by either tram or walking as we didn’t own a car.
  • Dad didn’t go to church but cooked us a roast every Sunday when mum, Margaret and I went to Sunday School and church.
  • Dad had pigeons in a pigeon loft and he’d get the pigeons out and I would run up to Fitzroy Gardens and stand in a special place. I’d let the pigeons go and dad would see who got home first, me or the pigeons. That was about a weekly event. (M)
  • He always wore his watch with the chain on it, the fob watch. He always had that on where ever you wore a collar and tie. (M)
  • Hobart City Council had a picnic day once a year down at Long Beach, just where the roundabout is. Dad was a good runner often winning the races. (M)
  • When you went to Long Beach on the trams, us kids would all go upstairs on the double decker tram and when we got to Wrest Point, “There’s Uncle Harry out there!” Everybody knew dad. (M)
Pa England with his four grandchildren
Philip, Bronwyn, Suzanne and Leigh
Margaret and Phyllis fishing with their dad, Henry
Margaret, Phyllis and Pa England fishing off Long Beach, Sandy Bay
Pa England with his pigeons
Winning a running race
Think these are his workmates.
Can you find him with his hat at an angle?
Yacht made by Pa England and
given to his grandson Philip.
An official portrait of him found in an attic,
hence the spots.

My memories

Henry Lewis England was my grandfather and he bequeathed his piano to me. I remember as a child learning and practising those scales and even now, after many years of not using the piano, I can still play most of Fur Elise from memory.

Mum’s parents were still alive while I was a child but had died by the time I was 10. I can remember visiting them at their house and having meals there. The main thing I remember is their toilet was outside. Pa England had lots of birds and loved growing fruit trees while Nanna England kept the house tidy and it was always warm and welcoming.

Martha Jane COLGRAVE

Martha Jane COLGREAVE was born 13 March 1874 to Francis and Susan Colgreave nee Boyd. The family lived at Blessington in northern Tasmania. Martha Jane was the fifth out of ten children born to this couple.

Martha Jane’s siblings were:

  • 1866 Francis John
  • 1867 Samuel
  • 1869 Frances Isabella
  • 1871 William F
  • 1876 Lillian Ada (Moy)
  • 1878 John Alfred Arthur
  • 1881 Ernest Charles
  • 1883 Ethel Mary Ann
  • 1886 Frederick George

Her mother Susan died in 1900 and her father in 1920.

In the 1870s, there is an F Colgrave providing wood for the local gaol and the Council Chambers. This could be Martha Jane’s father or grandfather who were both named Francis.

Marriage and children

Martha Jane married George DAVEY in 1890 when she was only 16 years old and he was 24. They married at Martha Jane’s home in English Town and her father Francis and George’s mother Annie were the witnesses.

The family, which eventually included 12 children, lived at Blessington near English Town where George made a living as a farmer but also was often contracted by the Evandale Road Trust to build and improve roads in the district. Read George’s biography to find out more about this.

This is the two room house in which the family lived in Blessington. Photo taken in 1987.

At the time of George’s death in November 1914, Martha was now on her own with 6 children aged 12 and under, the youngest being one month old Frederick.

The eldest daughter Mary Ann had married Gordon BURFORD in 1911, Emily Jane had married Trevor COX before 1913 and neither were now available to help with the younger children.

Martha Jane was still living in Blessington near English Town according to the 1914 Electoral Roll.

In 1915, her daughter Elsie died aged 11 and then in 1917 Leila passed away aged 7. Both girls were buried with their father in Evandale.

By 1928, Martha Jane had moved to Longford where she had bought a house to live in. She was now in her 50s and must have been a strong, determined woman to move house at her age.

Her daughter Elizabeth had married James BOXHALL and in the 1949 Electoral Rolls, Martha Jane was living with them in Oatlands where Jim was a policeman.

Martha Jane died in New Norfolk on 18 August 1954. She had outlived 6 of her children.

Remembrances from some of Martha Jane’s descendants

Phyllis (daughter of Hannah)

  • She lived at Longford. We holidayed there once a year. We went up by train.
  • When she was older she lived at Auntie Lizzie in New Norfolk for 6 months and at our place in Sandy Bay for six months.
  • She was a frail little lady.
  • She died about 10 days before your father and I were married.

Lorraine (daughter of Frederick, the youngest child)

  • I only remember an old lady who used to go & stay with Auntie Lizzie at Oatlands.
  • Think she also stayed with Auntie Hannah too.
  • We were living at Parattah near Oatlands & I was in Grade 4 when we came to live down in Newdegate St.

Denise (granddaughter of Lizzie)

  • As kids we had contact with Martha Jane – from memory both at Oatlands and New Norfolk
  • She used to sit in her wicker chair near the fireplace and we had to be quiet. This was nearly impossible as kids of 5 or 6.
  • She used to be waited on “hand and foot” – she seemed to be very old.

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:


Working on great grandmother Julia Charlotte Chandler at the moment


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?