Provenance of a photograph of Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy

Philip_Chauncy 1878

Philip Chauncy 1878, image attached to my family tree

The photograph above, “Philip_Chauncy 1878”, first shared by me on 27 March 2012 on my online public tree at, has been saved and added by at least 13 people to their public Ancestry trees.

Yesterday someone asked me how I knew the subject was really Philip Chauncy, an excellent question. To able to substantiate your facts is the foundation of every sort of history.

Over twenty years ago, before Greg and I moved from Canberra to Ballarat, we spent an evening with one of my third cousins once removed, like me a descendant of Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy (1816 – 1880), my 3rd great grandfather. My cousin and his wife very generously shared the results of their family history research with me, including a copy of “Philip_Chauncy 1878”, which I remember they said came from the Anglican Cathedral in Ballarat.

Philip Chauncy was appointed Registrar of the diocese of Ballarat in August 1878. He had lost his position as Government surveyor in January 1878 when around 400 public servants were sacked by the Victorian Government. He resigned as Registrar in late 1879 and died the following April. He had held the Registrar’s position for just over a year. The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of  Melbourne and Ballarat published an obituary on 7 June 1880.

Chauncy Philip obituary

THE LATE MR. PHILIP CHAUNCY. (1880, June 7). The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne and Ballarat (Vic. : 1876 – 1889), p. 6. Retrieved from

Three years ago Greg and I went to the Anglican Cathedral in Ballarat in search of “Philip_Chauncy 1878”, naturally expecting to have to make an appointment to view the archives. To our surprise the gentleman who met us at the door was able to take us directly to the photograph, which was hanging on the wall close to the entrance of the Diocesan offices. The photograph was captioned “Philip Chauncy Esq. Registrar of the Diocese 1878”, and signed “Richards & Co Ballarat”. It was indeed the image passed on to me by my cousin.

Anglican Diocesan Centre and Cathedral Ballarat

Anglican Diocese of Ballarat: Cathedral and Diocesan Offices Lydiard Street September 2016

Philip Chauncy

Portrait of Philip Chauncy hanging in the Diocesan Offices of the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat in September 2016

It is one of only two photographs of Philip Chauncy that I have come across, the other being a family portrait taken shortly after the death of Philip’s wife Susan in 1867.

PLS Chauncy and family about 1867

Philip Chauncy and children shortly after the death of Philip’s wife Susan Chauncy nee Mitchell in 1867. From left to right Auschar Philip (1855–1890), Amy Blanche (1861–1925), Theresa Snell (1849–1886), Frederick Philip Lamothe (1863–1926), Philip (1816 – 1880), on Philip’s lap Clement Henry (1865–1902), William Snell (1853–1903), Constance (1859–1907), Annie Frances (1857–1883)



180 years since the arrival of the “David Clark”

On 29 October 1839 my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819 – 1867) arrived in Melbourne on the David Clark from Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland. The voyage, via Rio de Janeiro, took five months.


Ship David Clark coming into the harbour of Malta, 1820 Watercolour and ink on paper Nicolas Cammillieri, 1762/73-1860, artist (attrib.) Private collection Lance Pymble

The David Clark had been chartered by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to bring Port Phillip’s first bounty immigrants from Scotland. There were 229 settlers, among them Samuel Hawkins, aged 20, described as a storekeeper from Edinburgh. Although he had brothers in New South Wales he made his own way in what later became the colony of Victoria.

Emigration Inverness Courier 6 March 1839 page 1

Samuel Hawkins would have responded to an article similar to this one which appeared in the Inverness Courier of 6 March 1839 on page 1

On 29 October 1939, one hundred years after the arrival of the David Clark, an anniversary celebration was held by some descendants in Melbourne.

Centenary Of First Barque-Load Of Pioneers (1939, October 3). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

PIONEERS’ CENTENARY (1939, October 10). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

The organisers of the anniversary celebrations did not have access to the original passenger list and preparation for it seems to have been left very late. Two weeks before the anniversary only 16 of the 68 families who had arrived on the David Clark had been contacted.

The festivities included a dinner for 330 descendants at the Hotel Federal in Melbourne and a church service the following day at Scot’s Church, Collins Street, Melbourne. One speaker at the dinner described the David Clark as “Victoria’s Mayflower”. A set of bagpipes that came out on the ship was brought to the dinner. The entertainments included pipe music, Scottish dancing and songs.

The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. - 1861 - 1954) View title info Fri 27 Oct 1939 Page 11 Today's Parties

Today’s Parties (1939, October 27). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

GATHERING OF THE CLANS (1939, October 30). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved September 2, 2019, from

In the Churches REMEMBERING PIONEERS (1939, October 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 2. Retrieved from

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. - 1854 - 1954) View title info Wed 15 Nov 1939 Page 10 NEWS OF THE DAY

NEWS OF THE DAY (1939, November 15). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

The lament “Lochaber no more” was played when the David Clark left Greenock and also at the centenary reunion.

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. - 1854 - 1954) View title info Mon 2 Oct 1939 Page 11 LATROBE CENTENARY FOOTBALL GRAND FINAL GARDEN PARTY

Piper Sheila Wagg played the bagpipes at the David Clark centenary dinner. This picture is of her playing at the Royal Show in 1939.LATROBE CENTENARY FOOTBALL GRAND FINAL GARDEN PARTY (1939, October 2). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

A reunion is planned for the 180th anniversary. A picnic will be held at Gulf Station at Yarra Glen, a property once owned by William Bell and Thomas Armstrong, both passengers of the David Clark. The 150th anniversary celebration was also held there.

If you would like to attend, please book so the organisers know how many people will be coming. There is a small charge ($12 adults, $10 concessions, $5 children, $30 families). Bookings can made through this link .

I look forward to meeting my Hawkins cousins and other David Clark descendants.

Related posts

Further reading


Cornish emigrant connections

Companies that offer genealogical DNA analysis usually provide tools to interpret the data, and you can use these tools to explore matches between you and people you share DNA with. If they appear on a public family tree you can try to connect to it from your own. If the tree is complete you will probably be able to find your most recent common ancestors.

You may also be able to find your more distant cousins by joining a project, a group of people working together to explore their common ancestry.

Cornish emigrants Facebook group

A Facebook group for researching shared Cornish ancestry processes autosomal DNA data files from different testing companies to compare data derived from their DNA kits (‘autosomal’ means ‘concerning chromosomes that are not sex chromosomes’).

GEDMatch provides DNA analysis tools for genealogists, including tools for comparing your DNA test results with those of other people in the GEDMatch public database.

To use these tools you must first upload your DNA test results to GEDMatch. GEDMatch accepts results from the main testing databases at, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, and 23 and Me.

A recent tool is Ancestor Projects. There are 38 projects presently registered WITH GEDMatch. Project members have DNA characteristics with whatever common trait or ancestry the project intends to explore. There are projects for royal pedigrees, deaf people, and connections from certain counties in Ireland.

GEDMatch home screen

GEDMatch home screen showing link to Ancestor Projects and also where to upload your family tree

I have joined the project for Cornish emigrants, which aims to identify DNA of emigrants from Cornwall. Greg has Cornish forebears. Members include people with GEDMatch kits who are descended from Cornish people who emigrated or from Cornish people who currently live in Cornwall. The new GEDMatch project tool allows the identification of matches and analysis of shared segments of DNA, with results limited to members within the group. The group shares information and communicates within a closed Facebook group.

So having joined the project what next?

If you are going to join a group I think it is a good idea to attach your family tree to your GEDMatch kit. You can upload your family tree to GEDMatch in the format of a GEDCom file which is a standard file type and which you can export from whichever program you currently keep your family tree in. You can create a link between a DNA kit and a person in your GEDcom. If you manage several DNA kits and they all relate to one family tree you can link the different kits to the right people on the family tree. The names and dates of living people are not shown when the tree is displayed in GEDMatch.

In the ‘Cornish Emigrants’ Facebook group we have a spreadsheet for sharing details. This shows who in the group is associated with which kit. It also lists the Cornish surnames in our family tree and details of our forebears who emigrated from Cornwall.

Cornish Emigrants spreadsheet surnames tab

Surnames worksheet on Cornish Emigrants spreadsheet

Cornish Emigrants group spreadsheet 1

One of the sheets from the Cornish Emigrants project shared spreadsheet

People in the group can run a report in GEDMatch to see which kits match their own and then begin a conversation to find connections.

Cornish GedMatch report

An example of a report from the Cornish GEDMatch Ancestor Project

The group started at the beginning of August. It has already gained 119 users and 182 kits.

Cornish emigrant group growth

Not everybody in the GEDMatch group is connected to Facebook and the discussion there but most members are.

I hope that by connecting with this project’s group members I will be able to extend our family tree and learn more about our family history.

Greg's Cornish DNA at

AncestryDNA has identified that Greg has Cornish DNA. Working on a GEDMatch project helps to find people with Cornish DNA and also an interest in following up on their family history from Cornwall.

Related Posts

Roy and Phil de Crespigny farming

Royalieu Dana ‘Roy’ Champion de Crespigny (1905 – 1985) was the fifth of the six sons of Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850 – 1927).Phil and Roy de Crespigny (1)

Roy was a close friend of his nephew Philip George ‘Phil’ Champion de Crespigny (1906 – 2001), the son of Philip de Crespigny (1879 – 1918). They were about the same age and enjoyed each other’s company. Roy and Phil spent many years farming together. Phil used to talk with great pleasure about their bachelor days in the Avoca district, a couple of hours west of Melbourne.

In 1927 Phil enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces (Army Reserve). He was then twenty-one, living in East Kew and working for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney at Ringwood. The CBC had just merged in January 1927 with the Bank of Victoria. Phil’s grandfather – Roy’s father – had been general manager of the Bank of Victoria until the merger. Philip de Crespigny senior died in the same year. Phil now felt free, it seems, to give up his banking career.

I don’t know if Roy ever worked for the bank, and I am not sure when Phil and Roy began farming together.

I believe that Phil and Roy share-farmed together for the first few years, working land owned by someone else. From what I remember of Phil’s stories they grew tobacco. It was a hard life. Phil’s obituary recalls he “endured the prewar years of depression and drought as a bachelor with those virtues for which he was beloved among his wide family: courage, humour, uprightness, honesty, hospitality and a marvellous plain-speaking charm.”

In 1934 the Weekly Times and the Age reported that Phil and Roy de Crespigny had bought a property of 1260 acres called Glenshee, near Elmhurst about 35 kilometers northeast of Ararat.

Phil and Roy joined in the social life of the district. Phil became president of the Elmhurst Tennis Club.

In 1937 Roy married Nancy ‘Nan’ Temple Smith (1914 – 2005). Phil was best man.


de C Roy 25_Nov_1937_-_Family_Notices_-_Trove

Family Notices (1937, November 25). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939), p. 45. Retrieved from The wedding party in 1937: Nan, Roy and Phil are standing to the right of the group.


On 13 May 1940, seven months after Australia declared war on Germany, Phil enlisted in the army. His engagement to Jane Beggs (1913 – 2005) was announced a week later. They married in July 1940. Roy was Phil’s best man.

In June 1943 Nan and Roy de Crespigny’s only child, a son, Royalieu Peter, also called Roy,(1943 – 1964) was born.

Roy enlisted in the army in 1942.

After the war in July 1946 Phil and Roy dissolved their partnership in Glenshee. Phil took up a Soldier Settlement block near Wickliffe, thirty miles south of Ararat.

Elmhurst, Ecklin South and Wickliffe

Glenshee sale

Advertising (1950, January 21). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from


In February 1950 Roy sold Glenshee and, not long after began farming on the south coast thirty miles east of Warrnambool, at Ecklin South near Cobden and north of  Peterborough.

Roy and Nan’s farm was destroyed in the February 1983 ‘Ash Wednesday’ bushfires. Roy never recovered. He died two years later, on 10 February 1985.


Phil and Jane de Crespigny

Phil and Jane retired to Malua Bay on the south coast of New South Wales. I got to know them in their retirement. Phil was my grandfather’s first cousin.


St Marnocks

In Australia, a horse’s birthday is the first day of August. Mating usually happens early in the previous spring, with foaling eleven or twelve months later. Having a common birthday means that horses of a similar age can be entered together in racing events.

Francis Beggs (1850 – 1921), called Frank, the husband of my 3rd great aunt Rose Beggs nee Champion de Crespigny (1858 – 1937), owned a Thoroughbred called Saint Marnocks, probably named after a village near Dublin with a connection with the Beggs family.

Beggs Francis and Rose

Francis and Rose Beggs. Photograph from Flickr uploaded by Guy Goodman.


The Australasian of 19 September 1891 reported that:

Mr. Francis Beggs, Eurambeen, Beaufort, requests permission to supplement our correspondent’s report of the Ararat show by stating that his colt Saint Marnocks, by Macgregor-Nightlight, took first prize at Ararat in the class for two and three year old thoroughbreds, and also Messrs. Briscoe’s special prize for the best thoroughbred stallion in the yard. In the light-weight hack class his horse Malahide, by Macgregor, took first prize.

In March 1892 St Marnocks was reported as being 3 years old when he came third in the one mile Trial Stakes at the Buangor Races on 15 March. His sibling Elphinstone, also by Macgregor-Nightlight, came first. Later in the day St Marnocks came third again in the one mile Welter Handicap. The newspapers over the next two decades have many report of St Marnocks.

St Marnocks Beaufort Races 1894

In the annual races of the Beaufort Jockey Club on New Year’s Day 1894 St Marnocks won the Handicap race by a neck. In 1899 he won the three quarters of a mile Flying Handicap at the Beaufort races. The Ballarat Star reported that the win was “A gift to St Marnocks, who won in the last few strides by two lengths in 1 min. 35 sec.”

At the March 1899 Beaufort Show St Marnocks won first prize for best blood entire horse and also the Champion prize for best blood horse or mare, any age, in the yard.

In the next decade Aloha, the son of St Marnocks, began to feature in the turf reports. St Marnocks again won first prize for blood entire and also Champion at the 1902 Beaufort show. St Marnocks sired many progeny, for example in 1908 10 horses all sired by St Marnocks were offered for sale by Mr Francis Beggs of Eurambeen.

On 13 August 1908 Melbourne Punch reported “Mr. and Mrs. Frank Beggs, who for many years have lived at Eurambeen East, are now settled in their new home at St. Marnocks, Mr. Beggs having purchased part of the Stoneleigh Estate in the Beaufort District.” The new property was named after their successful horse.

Punch reported in January 1909 “Mrs. C. De Crespigny, of Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, and her little son, are visiting their relative, Mrs. Frank Beggs, of St. Marnock’s, Beaufort.” The ‘little son’ was my grandfather Geoff (1907 – 1966); his mother was Beatrix de Crespigny nee Hughes (1884 – 1943).

BeggsFrank and GeoffCdeCrespigny StMarnock 1908

Frank Beggs and Geoff de Crespigny St Marnocks 1908

Beggs Frank obituary Pastoral Review

Pastoral Review, 15 October 1921, p 795 retrieved from ‘Beggs, Francis (1850–1921)’, Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,

In 1927 an article in the Australasian reported that Francis Beggs was responsible for building the homestead and outbuildings. He also established plantations to provide shelter for the paddocks and a created a garden surrounded by acacias. After the death of Frank Beggs in 1921 the property was taken over by his nephew Theodore George Beggs (1903 – 1936).

St Marnocks 1927 Australasian

beginning of a lengthy profile of St Marnochs (St Marnocks) in PASTORAL (1927, December 10). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 42. Retrieved from

St Marnock's rams 1935

ST.MARNOCK’S (1935, July 20). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 36. Retrieved August 1, 2019, from

In 1930 the homestead was photographed as part of a series of pastoral homes and again in 1987, by that time somewhat run down.

St Marnock's 1930

PASTORAL HOMES OF AUSTRALIA (1930, September 13). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 32 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). Retrieved from

St Marnocks 1987 1

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria Image H2013.6/11

St Marnocks 1987 2

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria

St Marnocks 1987 3

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria

St Marnocks 1987 4

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria

Related post


Swimming in Bendigo

Reading the responses to this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt – swimming costumes – I was reminded that I had some terrific 1940s photos of Greg’s parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents at the White Hills Swimming Pool, next to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, a few miles north of the city centre.

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Marjorie Joyce Roy NotSure Jack Arthur

Marjorie Young, Violet Buckley, Roy Sullivan, Joyce Sullivan, Jack Buckley, Arthur Sullivan

Greg’s maternal grandparents Arthur Sullivan (1891 – 1975) and Stella Sullivan nee Dawson (1894 – 1975) had six children:

  • Stella Violet (Violet) Sullivan 1914–2005
    • She married John Buckley in 1938. He served in the Australian Army (AIF) from 1942 and was discharged 14 March 1946. On the 1946 electoral roll John and Stella Violet Buckley were living at Napier Street Bendigo.
  • Lillian Mavis Sullivan 1915–2009
    • She married Alan Wilson 1934. In the 1940s were farming at Tongala with a family of children. They are not in the pictures at Bendigo.
  • Arthur Stanley Sullivan 1919–2014
    • He married Joyce Robbins 1941. He served in the AIF from 1943 and was discharged 4 December 1945
  • Marjorie Winifred Sullivan 1920–2007
    • She married Peter Young 1944. He served in the AIF from 1943 and was discharged 25 February 1946
  • Royle Lawrence Sullivan 1926–2009
    • He enlisted in the RAAF in 1944 and was discharged in August 1946 He married Grace in 1956. She is not in the photos at Bendigo.
  • Gwendolyn Phyllis Sullivan 1933–1935
    • She died of meningitis aged 17 months.
Bendigo Gardens 1940s Peter Violet Roy Joyce Jack Arthur

Peter Young, Violet Buckley, Roy Sullivan, Joyce Sullivan, Jack Buckley, Arthur Sullivan

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Marjorie and Roy

Roy and Marjorie

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Violet


Bendigo Gardens 1940s Roy Violet Marjorie Mum Pop Arthur

Roy, Violet, Marjorie, Mum, Pop, Arthur

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Roy Jack Buckley Arthur Marjorie Violet parents Joyce

Roy, Jack Buckley, Arthur,Marjorie, Violet, Stella, Arthur senior, Joyce

I thought at first I might be able to date the photos from when the men were discharged after the War. But I think that some of them might have been on leave at the time, not yet demobbed. Peter and Marjorie had their first child in late 1946 and there is no sign of a baby in the pictures. He arrived back in Australia in late December 1945. Arthur and Joyce had their first child in early 1947.

In 1946 Violet and John Buckley’s house was on Napier Street (the Midland Highway), so I suppose the group might have met there before going on to the pool. Unfortunately the Electoral Roll gives no number for their house, and Napier Street runs for several miles.

At this time, Violet’s parents, Arthur and Stella Sullivan, were living in Castlemaine. On the 1946 Electoral Roll Arthur and Joyce Sullivan were living in 251 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, Melbourne. Marjorie was registered as living at 1 Yarra Street, Toorak, with the occupation of weaver. Roy, only twenty, was too young to be enrolled to

It seems likely that these photographs were taken when Violet’s parents and brothers joined Violet and Jack in Bendigo for a holiday in early 1946.

All of Arthur and Stella’s sons and their and son-in-law got back unhurt from the war. This was something to celebrate.

Marjorie and Peter Bendigo 1946

Marjorie and Peter Young. I think this was taken at a similar time but at Marjorie’s parents’ house in Castlemaine.

Related posts

Mary Skerritt nee Brown 1804 – 1879: a quiet life in Lincolnshire

I have been reading about X-DNA inheritance. Greg inherited 12½% of his X-DNA from his 3rd great-grandmother Mary Skerritt nee Brown (1804 – 1879), so I thought I would see what I could learn about her. I found her christening record and added her parents. Doing this brought my family tree up to 10,000 people.

Greg’s X-DNA inheritance is research in progress, a story for another day. However, I thought I would commemorate the 10,000 people milestone by writing about Mary.

Mary Brown, born in 1804, was baptised on 26 August 1804 at Sapperton, Lincolnshire, England. Her parents were John Brown and Jane [probably Jane Shipwright].

Skerritt_Brown_map 2

Map highlighting places in Lincolnshire associated with Mary Skerritt nee Brown’s life. From Sapperton to Grantham is only 8 miles.

On 26 June 1792 John Brown, bachelor of Sapperton, married Jane Shipwright at St Wulfram’s Grantham. She was ‘of this parish’. John could not sign his name but Jane Shipwright could. The witnesses were William Marshall and John Scarborough.

St Wulfram’s Church Grantham is 8 miles north-west of Sapperton.


“North East View of Grantham Church, Lincolnshire” by J M W Turner watercolour c 1797. The church has been described as having the finest steeple in England.

I have found no other children of John Brown and Jane baptised at Sapperton. I think it is likely that Mary Brown had siblings, but Brown is a common surname and without knowing which parish the baptisms took place it is hard to link family members. It is possible that Elizabeth Brown baptised in 1805 in Osbournby, Lincolnshire and William Brown also baptised 1806 in Osbournby are siblings. Osbournby is 6 miles north-east of Sapperton. I haven’t have enough information to decide. There are also children baptised at Grantham to John Brown and Jane but these include another Mary baptised in 1812. It is quite likely that more than one family surnamed Brown is included in these baptisms.

Similarly I have not yet been able to identify John and Mary Brown’s deaths or find out more about them; the names are too common.

On 26 November 1829 Mary Brown married Robert Skerrett at Welby, Lincolnshire. Welby is 5 miles north-west of Sapperton. Neither Mary nor Robert could sign their name. Both were of the parish. The witnesses were John Fisher, Catherine Sensicall, and John Cheetham.

Robert and Mary Skerritt had at least the following children:

  • Robert Skerrit 1830-
  • Jane Skerritt 1833- 1835
  • Ann Skerrit 1836- 1906
  • Eliza Skerrit 1838-1899
  • John Skerrit 1841-
  • Lucy Skerritt 1843–1888
  • George Skerrit 1846–

The following baptisms in St Wulfram’s, the parish of Grantham, Lincolnshire, are recorded for the children of Robert Skerritt and Mary

  • Robert baptised 26 September 1830, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Grantham
  • Jane 23 June 1833, Robert is a labourer, the abode is Little Gonerby
  • Ann 27 December 1835, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • Eliza 2 April 1838, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • John 8 January 1841, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • Lucy 3 January 1844, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • George 3 September 1846, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby

The following burial appear to be of Mary’s infant child

  • Jane Skerrett aged 1 of Little Gonerby was buried in Grantham on 10 March 1835

On the 1841 census Mary Skerrett aged 30 was living at Manthorpe cum Little Gonerby with Robert Skerrett aged 35, a labourer. In the same household were John (? probably Jane) aged 12, Robert aged 10, Nora (? probably Ann) aged 6, Eliza aged 3, John aged 6 months. All members of the household were born in Lincolnshire.

On the 1851 census Mary Skerritt age 46 born Sapperton was recorded as living at New Street in Manthorpe cum Little Gonerby with her husband Robert aged 50, a labourer, born Barrowby. In the same household were Robert unmarried aged 20, a labourer born Little Gonerby; Ann unmarried aged 15, a servant, born Little Gonerby; Louisa (Eliza?) aged 13, a servant, born Little Gonerby; John aged 10; Lucretia (Lucy) aged 7; George aged 4. The three youngest children had no occupation and were all born in Little Gonerby. Six of Mary’s seven children had survived infancy and all were living at home in 1851.

On the 1861 census Mary aged 51 or perhaps aged 57 was living with her husband Robert aged 60 and their unmarried son George aged 16. Both Robert and George were Agricultural Labourers. Also in the same household was their daughter Ann, her husband George Futcher and two grandchildren aged 3 and 1.

On the 1871 census Mary Skerritt, aged 66, was lodging with her oldest son Robert. Robert had been recently widowed and had 4 children aged between 13 and 3. Mary was described as a charwoman.

I have not been able to locate Robert Skerritt senior on the 1871 census.

Mary’s husband Robert died on 17 September 1877 at Little Gonerby. He was aged 77. His death was announced in the Grantham Journal of 22 September 1877.

Mary died exactly two years later on 17 September 1879. Her death was announced in the Grantham Journal of 20 September 1879.

Skerritt Mary death 1879

death notice of Mary Skerritt published in the Grantham Journal 20 September 1879 page 4. Image retrieved from the British Newspaper Archive via FindMyPast

Mary’s parents were the 9,999th and 10,000th relatives added to my family tree. My tree also has 1,979 photos (including images of records), 267 stories, and 14,749 attached records. Much research remains to be done.


    • England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line] Name: Mary Brown Gender: Female Baptism Date: 26 Aug 1804 Baptism Place: Sapperton,Lincoln,England Father: John Brown Mother: Jane FHL Film Number: 504748, 508033
    • England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database on-line] Name: John Brown Gender: Male Marriage Date: 26 Jun 1792 Marriage Place: Grantham, Lincoln, England Spouse: Jane Shipwright FHL Film Number: 432509, 432510, 432511, 432512, 436035
    • England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database on-line] Name: Mary Brown Gender: Female Marriage Date: 26 Nov 1829 Marriage Place: Welby,Lincoln,England Spouse: Robert Skellet [mistranscribed should be Skerrett] FHL Film Number: 508084
    • English census records
      • 1841 Class: HO107; Piece: 625; Book: 4; Civil Parish: Grantham; County: Lincolnshire; Enumeration District: 7; Folio: 47; Page: 34; Line: 10; GSU roll: 438760
      • 1851 Class: HO107; Piece: 2103; Folio: 285; Page: 4; GSU roll: 87732
      • 1861 Class: RG 9; Piece: 2351; Folio: 59; Page: 32; GSU roll: 542958
      • 1871 Class: RG10; Piece: 3360; Folio: 8; Page: 10; GSU roll: 839361
    • FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Name: Mary Skerritt Estimated birth year: abt 1803 Registration Year: 1879 Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep Age at Death: 76 Registration district: Grantham Inferred County: Lincolnshire Volume: 7a Page: 268
      • baptism records including images from Lincolnshire Baptisms
      • burial record including image from Lincolnshire Burials
      • British Newspaper Archive images of the Grantham Journal

Related post

Surgeon James Gordon Cavenagh at Waterloo

A guest post by Diana Beckett; great great granddaughter of James Gordon Cavenagh.

James Gordon Cavenagh

Miniature of James Gordon Cavenagh in the possession of a granddaughter of Lt Col W.O. Cavenagh


Lt Col W.O. Cavenagh, (Wentworth Odiarne / WOC / Cousin Wenty) who did extensive research on our Cavenagh ancestry, was the grandson of the surgeon. The latter died in 1844 and WOC was born in 1856, so they never met. However, WOC knew as family tradition related by his father (Gen Sir Orfeur Cavenagh) that the surgeon had served at Waterloo, but was puzzled that he never received the Waterloo medal awarded to all those who served there. This therefore raised the question to later generations as to whether it was indeed true.

J G Cavenagh was the Staff Surgeon of the Royal Staff Corps, a regiment responsible for short term military engineering, which was stationed in Flanders from April to July 1815. The Battle was on June 28th.

In his book “The Bloody Fields of Waterloo”, M.K.H Crumplin, a retired surgeon, medical military historian much involved in Waterloo re-enactments,  meticulously lists all the surgeons present at Waterloo or working with the wounded in the aftermath. Cavenagh is listed on page 157 as a late arrival. Presumably he was not ordered from his Flanders base to the battlefield in time.


On page 148 Crumplin explains that surgeons who arrived late were not awarded the Waterloo medal nor the two years added pension rights.

“There must have been many a military medical man who wished he had been present at this monumental battle. The staff who were there, were mostly surgeons both in regimental and staff posts. Some arrived late and would not receive the coveted Waterloo medal and two years added pension rights.” See Appendix below.

Arriving late, Cavenagh would have worked after the battle in one of the several hospitals in either Brussels or Antwerp where the wounded were treated. We do not know how long he stayed in Belgium but WOC records that sometime after the battle he proceeded to Paris where he was joined by his wife. (GO471 p 29)
An internet search shows that at least 3 officers of the Royal Staff Corps did receive the Waterloo medal.

Cavenagh is also mentioned in the Medico Chirurgical Transactions 1816 (Volume 7, part 1) when he was consulted about an operation on the jaw and mouth of a young drummer. The wound healed and the young man was discharged on August 16th.



P148 Crumplin Bloody Fields of Waterloo.

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Charlotte Constance Blood nee James (1840 – 1935)

On 27 January 1859 my third great aunt Charlotte Constance James, eighteen, married Francis Gamble Blood, twenty-nine, at St Andrews Church, Clifton, Gloucestershire. He was a captain in the 69th regiment. The marriage was performed by Charlotte’s step-mother’s brother, the Reverend Charles Dighton, Rector of Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire.

Blood James marriage Cheltenham Examiner 2 February 1859 page 8

Cheltenham Examiner 2 February 1859 page 8 from the British Newspaper Archive retrieved through FindMyPast

Captain Francis Gamble Blood served in the East Indies from 21 April 1860 to 23 May 1864. He was promoted to Brevet Major on 28 December 1865 and retired on 6 May 1869. On his return to England, in December 1869 he was appointed lieutenant of the 1st Somerset Regiment of Militia.

On 9 November 1869 their son John Neptune Blood was born at Cheltenham. He was baptised on 25 February 1870. His middle name is a Blood family name. At the time of his baptism his parents were living at Royal Parade Cheltenham.

In June 1870 the newspapers, including The Times and papers from the Bristol and Cheltenham area, began reporting a divorce case, Blood v. Blood. Charlotte Constance Blood was suing for judicial separation on the grounds of the adultery of her husband, which was said to have taken place in February 1870. She was granted custody of their son John.

Cheltenham Mercury 25 June 1870 page 2

Cheltenham Mercury 25 June 1870 page 2 from the British Newspaper Archive retrieved through FindMyPast

Divorce laws had changed since the divorce of Charlotte’s parents in the late 1840s. The marriage reforms of 1857 created a court that could dissolve marriages under certain carefully defined circumstances. Only adultery was recognised as grounds for divorce. A husband had merely to prove simple adultery but a wife had to prove adultery compounded by some other marital offence such as cruelty or desertion. The court could, and did, rescind provisional divorce decrees if it became convinced that there was evidence of collusion between the spouses. This law remained the basis for divorce in England until 1937.

Divorce was relatively unusual: in the five year period 1869 – 1873 only 289 divorces were filed per year.

Charlotte Blood nee James sought and gained a judicial separation from her husband and custody of her child. Perhaps she did not have the evidence to prove cruelty or desertion as well.

Despite collusion being illegal there seems something odd about the tale. Captain Blood appeared to make every effort to be discovered in his adultery.

In 1881 John Blood was a boarder at Holywell and Bath Wells House, Hanley Castle Worcestershire. I have not found Charlotte Constance Blood on the 1871 or 1881 census.

On the 1881 census taken on 3 April Francis Gamble Blood, Major of Foot retired, was a boarder at 7 Berners Street, Marylebone, London. On 20 May 1881 he was admitted to the Munster lunacy asylum at Fulham. He died there on 14 August 1881. Newspaper notices, such as that in the Cork Examiner of 20 August 1881 stated he died of inflammation of the lungs. “BLOOD – August 14, of inflammation of the lungs, Major Francis Gamble Blood, late of the 69th Regt.,son of the late Colonel J. Aylward Blood, late of the 68th Light Infantry.”

On 23 December 1881 administration of his estate was granted to his widow Charlotte Constance Blood: personal estate 12,820 pounds. At the time Charlotte Constance Blood was living at Ferneyfield, Mitcheldean.


Huntley Court

In 1884 Charlotte Constance Blood bought Huntley Court in Gloucestershire. She became a manager of Huntley school.

Her son John Neptune Blood was educated at Rugby College, Rugby, Warwickshire from 1884.

In 1891 Charlotte Constance Blood, widow living on her own means, was residing at Huntley Court with her son, a student at Magdalen College, Oxford, and four servants: a housekeeper cook, a parlour maid, a house maid and a kitchen maid.

John Neptune Blood graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford University with a Master of Arts (M.A.) and Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.).

In 1893 John Neptune Blood was admitted to the Inner Temple, entitled to practice as Barrister-at-law.

In 1901 Charlotte Constance Blood, living on own means, was residing with her son, a barrister-at-law, in Huntley. The household included three servants: a cook, parlour maid and groom.

Huntley Court was transferred from Charlotte Constance Blood to her son in 1907.

In 1911 her son, a barrister-at-law, was listed as head of household. There was a visitor from Ireland and 5 servants: a butler, cook-housekeeper, housemaid, kitchen maid, and under housemaid.

In 1925 John Neptune Blood sold Huntley Court. Mother and son then lived in Gloucester.

On 7 December 1935 Charlotte died aged 95. She was buried at Huntly, Gloucestershire.

Her son, John Neptune Blood, never married. He died on 29 September 1942 in Gloucester.

Blood John Neptune obituary Gloucester Citizen 30 September 1942 page 4

Gloucester Citizen 30 September 1942 page 4 retrieved from the British Newspaper Archive through FindMyPast


I suspect that Charlotte did not know much about Philip Champion Crespigny, the man her mother had run away with. In 1870 Charlotte was living in Royal Parade, Cheltenham, a few doors away from her mother’s father-in-law, Charles Fox Champion Crespigny, who lived at 11 Royal Parade with Charlotte Blood’s half-brother, Constantine Pulteney Trent Champion Crespigny  (1851 – 1883).

On 14 July 1869  Constantine joined the 69th regiment less than two months after Francis Gamble Blood had resigned on 6 May.

Related posts


  • Savage, G. (1983). The Operation of the 1857 Divorce Act, 1860-1910 a Research Note. Journal of Social History, 16(4), 103-110. Retrieved from
  • ‘Huntley’, in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 12, ed. A.R.J. Jurica (Woodbridge, 2010), pp. 174-196. British History Online
  • British Army Service Records retrieved through FindMyPast for Francis Gamble Blood born 1829. Wo 76 – Regimental Records Of Officers’ Services 1775-1914 Regiment: 69th Foot.
  • Baptism record retrieved through John Neptune Blood Baptism Date 25/02/1870 Baptism Place Cheltenham, St Mary Gloucestershire England Father Frances Gamble Blood Mother Charlotte Constance Blood
  • Census records retrieved through
    • John Blood Birth date: abt 1870 Birth place: Cheltenham Residence date: 1881 Residence place: Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, England  Detail Class: RG11; Piece: 2919; Folio: 46; Page: 28; GSU roll: 1341700.
    • Francis Gamble Blood Birth date: abt 1830 Birth place: London, London, Middlesex, England Residence date: 1881 Residence place: Marlebone, London, England Detail Class: RG11; Piece: 133; Folio: 57; Page: 44; GSU roll: 1341030.
    • Charlotte Constance Blood Birth date: abt 1841 Birth place: Newnham, Gloucestershire, England Residence date: 1891 Residence place: Huntley, Gloucestershire, England Detail Class: RG12; Piece: 2007; Folio 76; Page 2; GSU roll: 6097117.
    • Charlotte Constance Blood Birth date: abt 1841 Birth place: Newnham, Gloucestershire, England Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Huntley, Gloucestershire, England Detail Class: RG13; Piece: 2418; Folio: 31; Page: 5.
    • John Neptune Blood 1911 census Class: RG14; Piece: 15215; Schedule Number: 18

creating trees in DNA Painter

Many tools have been developed to help users interpret the results of DNA tests.

DNA Painter maps segments of DNA to chromosomes. This helps to show which ancestors gave us which DNA segments, and how new matches are related.

DNA_Painter___Profile_-_Greg_Young 2019 07 18

On the basis of matches with his cousins, I have mapped 28% of Greg’s chromosomes, identifying the forebears from whom he inherited his DNA.

The company,,  has recently introduced a new feature: users can now upload a GEDCOM file directly.

My main tree is on and has 9,992 people, with 1,975 photos, 267 stories and 14,669 records. It contains most of my research about my own and my husband’s forebears.

I regularly download a GEDCOM file as a backup. GEDCOM is a data structure created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for storing and exchanging genealogical information. Many different different computer programs use it. GEDCOM files have
the file name suffix ‘.ged’. The GEDCOM file I downloaded today was 9.6 MB.

I uploaded the file quickly and easily to DNAPainter. I was asked whether I wanted to hide, as private, living people and who I wished to be the starting point. I used our son. His ancestors, of course, comprise my own and those of my husband. The direct ancestors of our son, 624 people that I have identified and documented, were uploaded.

DNA Painter produces a summary report on tree completeness, how many forebears have been identified, compared with the number of potential forebears. The reports highlights pedigree collapse by naming people who appear more than once in your tree.

DNA_Painter___Tree completedness

There are three ways to show the tree:

  • Tree with branches highlighted in different colours

DNA_Painter___Tree 01

  • Fan view. This is more compact, showing more generations but no names. Tree completeness is shown, with grey cells representing forebears that have not yet been identified. Hovering highlights the names and and shows where the person appears more than once in the tree when cousins have married.

DNA_Painter___Tree fan 01DNA Painter fn hover 1DNAPainter fan hover 02

  • Text view showing key dates and places

DNA_Painter___Tree text 01

You can mark people as genetic ancestors, and add notes and surname clues. You can also modify the imported data.

DNA_Painter___Tree DNA filter


I look forward to this functionality being further refined.

update : Frequently Asked Questions answered by Johnny Perl, the developer 

Q: How does it work?
A: You can build a tree manually by simply typing in the names of ancestors, or you can import a GEDCOM file exported from a genealogy site or desktop genealogy software:
– Browse your computer for your GEDCOM file
The site will extract all the people from it into an ‘autocomplete’ list
– Type some letters into the autocomplete box and select the person whose ancestors you want to extract
– At this point, the site builds a tree for the chosen person and saves it in the site’s database.
– The default option is to hide living people, replacing them with ‘Living’, so their details are never uploaded at all. You can optionally override this.
– Another default sets the import to a maximum of 10 generations beyond the home person. Unless you have lots of pedigree collapse, the site should be capable of importing more distant ancestors too. If you’d like to try this, just select ‘Import all available generations’

Q: How do I add new ancestors to my tree
A: Within the tree view, hover over a node and choose ‘add parents’ (or just ‘add mother’ or ‘add father’)

Q: Can I use my main GEDCOM file or should I extract just my direct line?
A: It’s up to you; unless you have a huge tree (e.g. more than 50,000 people), it should be fine to use your entire file.

Q: Why can’t I find myself in the list of people extracted from my tree?
A: When you created your GEDCOM file, it may be that it was privatised by your desktop family tree software. You might be listed under ‘Private’ or ‘Living’, for example.

Q: Do you store my GEDCOM file?
A: No, your GEDCOM file does not leave your computer; instead, the site extracts just the ancestors of the person you select.

Q: What is the maximum filesize?
A: The file can be reasonably big (since it’s not being uploaded anywhere!), but needs to be less than 60MB in order for your browser to be able to load the list of people. If you have an older or slower computer it may need to be smaller than this.

Q: Is my tree private?
A: Yes – just as with the chromosome maps, a tree is only ever viewable by you, the person who created it, *unless* you click on ‘share’, in which case a link will be created that allows others to view the tree if they have this link. This share status can be revoked by the owner at any point, at which time the share link will no longer work.

Q: What does ‘mark as a genetic ancestor’ mean?
A: This is intended to help users indicate which parts of their ancestral pedigree they’ve been able to verify via DNA (aka their ‘genetic family tree’). For example, if I have a confirmed DNA match with my 3rd cousin who descends from a sister of my great-grandfather David Heatherington, I might mark David as a genetic ancestor. I can then use the ‘show genetic ancestors’ filter to show just the ancestors where I’ve identified DNA connections.

Q: How can I get the help info to come up again?
A: Click the ‘?’ Icon at the top right of the toolbar on a tree page.

Q: Can I link ancestors in my chromosome map to my tree?
A: Not yet, but this is being developed at the moment for release later in 2019.

Q: Can I download a picture of my tree?
A: Not right now, but this feature will be added in future.


Related posts