|Western End of Queens Wharf Melbourne 1854 by S.T. Gill retrieved from MossGreen auctioneers|
Ellen Murray (1837 – 1901) and Margaret Smyth (1834 – 1897), two of my husband’s great grandmothers, sailed from England to Melbourne, Victoria, on the Persian, arriving on 9 April 1854. Ellen’s sister Bridget and an infant surnamed Smyth traveled with them.
The Persian left Southampton on 2 January 1854 with 448 government immigrants, of whom 200 were single women. Eight people died on the 97 day voyage and five babies were born. The Croesus, which sailed from Southampton more than a week after the Persian, arrived the same day.
|PORT PHILLIP HEADS. (1854, April 11). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91932661|
|SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1854, April 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4805696|
|From the passenger list of the Persian, Margaret Smyth and infant are at the bottom of the screenshot , record retrieved through ancestry.com (click to enlarge)|
Margaret Smyth was recorded as having given birth on board. She was from Cavan; her religion was Church of England; she could read and write; and she was 20 years old. She did not find a job immediately on landing, but went to stay with her cousin. His name on the record appears to be ‘John Hunter’, though the surname is not clearly legible.
I know nothing more about this cousin, nor have I have discovered anything more about Margaret’s baby. There seems to be no death certificate, but the baby may have died without its death registered, for in 1854 civil registration of deaths was not yet in force in Victoria.
|From the passenger list disposal summary Margaret Smyth and infant went to her cousin.|
On 19 November 1855 Margaret Smyth, dressmaker from Cavan, aged 22, married John Plowright, also 22, a gold digger. Their wedding was held at the residence of John Plowright, Magpie, Ballarat. On the certificate Margaret’s parents are given as William Smyth, farmer, and Mary nee Cox.
|Passenger list from the Persian showing Bridget and Ellen Murray at the bottom of the image. Retrieved through ancestry.com (click to enlarge).|
Bridget and Ellen Murray were both from Dublin. Their religion was Catholic; both could read and Ellen could also write; Bridget was 24 and Ellen 18. Both found jobs on 15 April, within a week of their arrival. Bridget was engaged by S. Marcus of Prahran for a term of 1 month with a wage of 28 shillings and rations. Ellen was similarly employed by Mrs Ireland of St Kilda, with a wage of 30 shillings.
I have not been able to find anything more about Bridget Murray.
On 28 March 1856, two years after her arrival in the colony, Ellen Murray married James Cross, a gold digger, at Buninyong . Their wedding was at the residence of John Plowright, Black Lead Buninyong, in the presence of John and Margaret Plowright. Ellen gave her residence as Buninyong and her occupation as dressmaker. She was born in Dublin, aged 21, and her parents were George Murray, glass blower, and Ellen nee Dory.
|1856 marriage certificate for James Cross and Ellen Murray (click to enlarge)|
It seems that Margaret Smyth and Ellen Murray, who had emigrated to Victoria on the same ship, remained friends. Later the son of Ellen Cross nee Murray, Frederick James Cross, married Ann Jane Plowright, the daughter of Margaret Plowright nee Smyth.
I think I have found a connection between the Hunter and Smyth families but I can’t link Margaret Smyth to it, at least not yet.
On other certificates Margaret Smyth states she was born in Bailieborough, County Cavan. I found a John Hunter associated with Bailieborough.
I have not been able to find a death of this John Hunter.
|Family Notices (1866, December 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5782047|
I ordered her 1897 death certificate and found Elizabeth had been in the colony 34 years. The informant on her death certificate was Charles Smyth, nephew, of Albury, New South Wales.
I found H. Hunter on the death indexes. He was Henry Hunter who died 1875. Henry was Elizabeth’s brother, also the son of John Hunter and Eliza Carmichael.
I hope further research will uncover the connection and I can learn more about Margaret Smyth’s family.
One day I was browsing the resources of the Ballarat Archives Centre and came across some microfiche prepared by the Ballarat and District Genealogical Society, the Ballarat and District School Students Registers – Consolidated Index 1864-1963 (BDGS).
I checked for my husband’s father. He was listed and I learned something that I hadn’t known. He had moved schools and addresses while living in Ballarat as a child.
Ernest Young was born on 8 July 1920 in Melbourne to Elizabeth Young née Cross and Cecil Young. Ernest was always known as Peter. His parents separated and Peter and his mother lived with her parents, Frederick James Cross and Ann Jane née Plowright.
|Peter Young aged about seven.|
The Cross family lived at Homebush near Avoca for many years. In the early 1920s Frederick James Cross sold his property there and the family moved to Sebastopol near Ballarat. They lived on the corner of Grant and Victoria Streets. The house is still there.
|Peter outside the Cross house on the corner of Grant and Victoria Streets, Sebastopol.|
|The house on the corner of Grant and Victoria Streets where Peter Young lived with his mother and grandparents. Photographed May 2014.|
The Sebastopol Primary School records are held by the Sebastopol & District Historical Society, housed in the old Sebastopol school building. The Society is open on the first Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 in the afternoon.
|The old building of the Sebastopol State School now houses the Sebastopol & District Historical Society. Photographed May 2014.|
Ernest Young started school at Sebastopol on 3 June 1925, just over a month before his fifth birthday. His father, Cecil Young, was named as his parent. Cecil’s occupation was given as labourer.
The school records show that Peter left Sebastopol to attend Urquart Street school in Ballarat in December 1929.
Peter’s grandfather Frederick James Cross had died in May 1929 and the family moved house.
The Urquart Street School records indicate that he was living at 419 Ascot Street and that he left in December 1931 to go to Melbourne.
Peter’s grandmother died in November 1930. It seems that another upheaval in his living arrangements followed.
|Urquhart Street SS No 2013 – Vision and Realisation Vol 2. from Ballarat & District Genealogical Society Resources – Ballarat Schools|
|The former Urquart Street School photographed May 2014|
|The house at 419 Ascot Street Ballarat photographed May 2014|
I don’t know where Peter went to school in Melbourne. His mother found work as a housekeeper there.
George Murray Cross (1890 – 1962) was one of my husband’s paternal great uncles.
George enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 7 October 1915. He was a 25 year old, unmarried, labourer born at the gold mining town of Homebush near Avoca in central Victoria. He enlisted at Melbourne but had been medically examined at Ouyen on 20 September where he was found to be 5’6 1/4″ tall, had blue eyes and light brown hair. He had been vaccinated on his left arm, had a wart between his shoulder blades and a scar on his left foot.
|photograph of George Murray Cross in the possession of his grand daughter Gale.|
In January 1916 George was at Broadmeadows camp and assigned to the 15th Reinforcements of the 7th Battalion. On 7 March he sailed on HMAT A18 Wiltshire from Melbourne. In April 1916 at Ferry Post, Suez Canal, he transferred to the 5th Pioneer Battalion.They sailed for Marseilles in June 1916.
He was appointed Lance Corporal in December 1916. In early 1917 he was sick several times and in hospital. At one stage he was suffering from the mumps. On 15 April 1917 he rejoined his unit from hospital. On 17 April he was promoted to Corporal.
On 18 May he was wounded in action. On 26 May he was transferred from Boulogne to the London General Hospital at Chelsea suffering from a gun shot wound to the left eye. He had also been wounded in the neck and groin. He returned to Australia from England on 25 August 1917.
The diary of the 5th Pioneers describes the period in May.
|War diary of the 5th Pioneers from the Australian War Memorial: AWM4/Class 14/Sub class 17 /AWM4 14/17/15 – May 1917 page 4|
These works were p???d continuously & by 19th Railway completed to 100 yds beyond NOREUIL including 4 loops en route. Over 8000 yards of line had also been brought up from the rear. 5 dugouts were started on 11th for artillery but one position was abandoned on 13th & another on 14th. Two other dugouts were started in lieu of these,. First dugout (in easy ground) was completed on 18th. On 18th we were detailed to carry mining timber up to Hindenburg Line for the Tunnelling Coy. Had 5 men gassed from gas shells on night of 18/19th returning from Hindenburg Line – they returned to camp all right but did not feel effects til morning. On 18th as shelling in NOREUIL VALLEY had slackened considerably …
There seems no mention in the war diary of the incident in which George Cross was wounded.
In August 1917 a Miss E,. Brown of Homebush wrote to the Base Records Office seeking information about George’s address. In 1918, following his return to Australia, George married Elsie Agnes Brown. George had been discharged from the AIF, wounded, on 18 January 1918.
|Wedding Bells. (1918, July 17). Avoca Free Press and Farmers’ and Miners’ Journal (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151682981|
During the nineteenth century, many of my forebears and the forebears of my husband Greg lived in the Victorian goldfields area.
There were several hospitals in the goldfields and their admission records have been preserved and indexed. The indexes of the hospital records help answer some answers to family history questions such as on what ship the patient came to Australia.
The Maryborough hospital collected information about port of embarkation, name of ship, number of years in colonies. Apparently this information was collected as part of a disease tracking program.
On 5 March 1872 Margaret Plowright née Smyth, Greg’s great great grandmother, was admitted to Maryborough Hospital. According to the index of the hospital admission record, she was 37 years old, married, from Homebush, and a Wesleyan. She had arrived in the colony seventeen years previously on the Persian. The index does not tell us what her illness was.
The passenger lists for the Persian are available at the Public Records Office of Victoria. However, with a common surname such as Smyth it is useful to confirm that we were looking at the immigration of the right woman.
Margaret’s husband, John Plowright, came to Australia as a seaman and does not appear on any passenger list. However, when he was admitted to Maryborough Hospital in 1873, he stated he had been in the colony for 20 years arriving on the Speculation. His gave his occupation as mariner even though he had been a miner for 20 years. It is possible that the occupation was misheard by the clerk similar to the pirate / pilot confusion in The Pirates of Penzance.
|Maryborough District Hospital [ca. 1866] photograph retrieved from the State Library of Victoria http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/the-welsh-swagman/1591/maryborough-district-hospital.-/|
I have previously blogged about the hospital admission of another of Greg’s great great grandfathers, James Cross, who lost the use of a hand following the infection of a wound from a splinter. James was admitted to Ballarat Hospital in 1869. The hospital collected information about how long he had been in the colony, his age and his birthplace, but did not ask which ship he had arrived on.
|NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, February 16). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112883353|
The index to the Victorian Goldfields Hospitals’ Admissions produced by the Genealogical Society of Victoria is available on microfiche and CD and has been purchased by many family history societies. The index is well worth exploring if your family lived on the goldfields.
A hundred and fifty years ago there were no effective antibiotics. Brandy didn’t help.
|NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, February 16). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112883353|
James Cross married Ellen Murray on 28 November 1856 at Black Lead, Bunninyong. By 1869 they had seven children, with the youngest, Mary Gore Cross, born 28 September 1868 at Carngham, less than six months old at the time of her father’s accident.
|NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, August 27). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112891859|
|NEWS AND NOTES. (1869, August 31). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1870), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112891979|
This week’s Sepia Saturday blog prompt is an illustration of a little boy sick in bed.
My parents both spoke of serious illnesses in their childhood. Among these illnesses, my father had scarlet fever and my mother diphtheria. My father was an only child and my mother has one sister – neither suffered the death of a sibling.
Greg’s paternal grandmother Elizabeth Cross was one of ten children. They all lived to adulthood. Greg’s maternal grandfather Arthur Sullivan had four brothers and sisters, a half-sister and a half-brother, William Ernest Dare Morley, who died on 2 February 1880 at East Brighton of “congestion of the brain” aged 15 days. Greg’s maternal grandmother, Stella Esther Gilbart Dawson, was one of eight children, all of whom survived until adulthood.
Of my grandparents, only my maternal grandmother had a sibling who died young. Emil Oswald Manock was born on 17 April 1914 at Steglitz, Berlin and died there on 3 December 1914. My grandmother told me her brother died from “a hole in the heart”.
Our great grand parents’ generation
John Young, my husband’s great grandfather, had 12 siblings, five died young. The first child of George and Caroline Young was George Young who was born and died in 1854, probably at Beechworth. His birth and death predate civil registration in Victoria and there is no death certificate. He was remembered on each of his sibling’s birth certificates. Annie Young died 16 April 1873 aged 10 months of dysentery at Lamplough. In 1876 the Young family lost three children within a month. On 31 March Laura Young died aged 2 from diphtheria after an illness of 5 days. On 21 April her brother Edmund Young aged 6 years also died of diphtheria after an illness of 14 days. On 27 April Caroline Young aged 8 1/2 years died of scarletina maligna (acute scarlet fever) after an illness of 1 week.
Sarah Jane Way, the wife of John Young, had nine siblings of whom four died young. William John Way died aged 6 months on 18 January 1858 of “congestion of the brain” at East Collingwood, Melbourne. Mary Jane Way died age 4 months on 19 June 1859 of “cancer of the eye” also at East Collingwood. Martha Way died aged 13 months on 10 August 1875 of rubella at Parkes, New South Wales. Harriet Elizabeth Way died two days after her ninth birthday on 18 May 1879 of typhoid fever at Parkes.
Frederick James Cross had ten siblings. One died young. Thomas Bailey Cross aged 2 died at Carngham on 28 January 1875. In the photograph below taken about 1890, Thomas is represented by the dark cloth on the floor in the lower right hand corner of the picture. On the back of the photo his name was with those of his brother’s and sisters.
|Ellen Cross and family about 1890. Picture from Gale Robertson, great grand daughter of Frederick James Cross and great great grand daughter of Ellen.|
Ann Jane Plowright, wife of Frederick James Cross, had six siblings. Two died young. John Plowright died on 20 January 1872 aged 4 days old after a premature birth at Homebush near Avoca, Victoria. Frederick Edward Plowright died aged 14 years at Homebush on 24 April 1878. He was cutting down a tree and it fell on him, breaking his neck. He died instantly.
|“TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 26 Apr 1878: 5. Web. 21 Sep 2013 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5930194>.|
Anne Morley had seven siblings. Five died young. William Morley born about 1849 and Peter Morley born about 1851 had both died in England before the family emigrated in 1853. Elizabeth Morley died at Collingwood Flat on 10 March 1854 aged 5 years old of “Tabes Mesenterica“: tuberculosis or swelling of the lymph glands inside the abdomen. Children became ill drinking milk from cows infected with tuberculosis. This is now uncommon as milk is pasteurised. (“Tabes Mesenterica (Meaning Of).” Encyclo Online Encyclopaedia. Encyclo, 2012. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/tabes mesenterica>.) Harriet Ann Morley died at East Collingwood on 5 January 1858 of atrophy aged 15 months. Mary Jane Morley died age 3 in 1858.
Henry Dawson, the son of Isaac Dawson and Eliza Skerrit was born on 30 Jul 1864 in Corby, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. He had a twin brother, Charles, and at least eight other siblings, of whom one, George Dawson (1862 – 1863) died aged less than two years old.
Edith Caroline Edwards, daughter of Francis Gilbart Edwards and Caroline Ralph was born on 16 Sep 1871 in Sunnyside, Ballarat, Victoria. She had nine siblings of whom two died young. Benjamin Gilbart Edwards (1887 – 1888) was born in Ballarat and died aged 10 months at Richmond in Melbourne. Ernest Francis Gilbart Edwards (1891 -1901) died aged 10 in Brighton.
|Sketch by Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy of the grave of his son Philip who died at Heathcote aged 3 years. From opposite page 33 of his book Memoirs of Mrs. Poole and Mrs. Chauncy|
Philip Lamothe Chauncy (23 March 1851 – 19 May 1854) was the first son of Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy and his wife Susan Mitchell. He died before my great great grandmother, Annie Frances Chauncy was born. In his memoir about his wife, Philip wrote:
… our first son, named Philip Lamothe, was born on the 23rd March, 1851. I think my dear Susie’s maternal instincts were unusually strong, and oh how true she was to them! How devoted she was to that child! He grew up to be a lovely boy, the admiration of all who knew him; but he had too heavenly a look for this world. He was the source of the most inexpressible delight to his mother; her eyes used to feast on his beaming little face; she looked the most un-utterable blessings on him. But alas, he was too exotic a plant to live on this earth, and was taken from us by our all-wise God, at Heathcote, Victoria, on the 19th of May, 1854. To the day of her death, his words and looks and little actions were fresh in her memory. I think she never completely recovered from the shock occasioned by the death of our little Philip; indeed, I now remember she said, shortly before she was taken from us, that she had never got over it, although she was quite resigned to the will of God, and would not have been so selfish as to have wished him back again. (Chauncy, Philip Lamothe Snell Memoirs of Mrs Poole and Mrs Chauncy. Lowden, Kilmore, Vic, 1976.Pages 37-8)
In May 1854, our darling little Philly caught cold, and Dr Sconce, the Government Assistant Surgeon, was called in to attend him. On the 12th of that month, Dr Robinson happening to be in our parlor-tent, and hearing Philly cough, said, “That child has croup.” O what agony the information caused his dear mother. A day or two after this we removed him into the large new stone building which had just been erected for officer’s quarters, but he gradually sank, and expired on the 19th May 1854, after a week’s illness. (Chauncy Memoirs already cited, page 47)
|A recent photo of the grave of Philip Lamothe Chauncy at Heathcote with thanks to (and permission to reproduce from) Carol Judkins of http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ausvsac/Index.htm|
Summary of our aunt, great aunts and uncles and great great aunts and uncles who died as children :
- Gwendolyn Phillis Sullivan died age 2 in 1935 of meningitis
Great aunt and great uncles :
- Caroline Young died age 2 1/2 weeks in 1895 of “debility from birth”
- William Ernest Dare Morley died age 15 days in 1880 from “congestion of the brain”
- Emil Oswald Manock died age 7 1/2 months in 1914 of a “hole in the heart”
Great great aunts and great great uncles :
- George Young died as an infant in 1854
- Annie Young died age 10 months in 1873 from dysentery
- Laura Young died age 2 in 1876 from diphtheria
- Edmund Young died age 6 in 1876 from diphtheria
- Caroline Young died age 8 in 1876 from scarletina maligna
- William John Way died age 6 months in 1858 of “congestion of the brain”
- Mary Jane Way died age 4 months in 1859 of “cancer of the eye”
- Martha Way died age 13 months in 1875 of rubella
- Harriet Elizabeth Way died age 9 in 1879 of typhoid
- Thomas Bailey Cross died age 2 in 1875
- John Plowright died age 4 days in 1875 having been born prematurely
- Frederick John Plowright died age 14 years in 1878 from an accident
- William Morley died as an infant or small child before 1853
- Peter Morley died as an infant or small child before 1853
- Elizabeth Morley died age 5 in 1854 from Tabes Mesenterica
- Harriet Ann Morley died age 15 months in 1858 of atrophy
- Mary Jane Morley died age 3 in 1858
- George Dawson died before he was 2 in 1863
- Benjamin Gilbart Edwards died age 10 months in 1888
- Ernest Francis Gilbart Edwards died age 10 in 1901
- Mary Jane Cudmore died age 11 months in 1884
Frederick Beswick Cross was my husband’s grand uncle. He was born at Homebush, Victoria on 30 July 1893, the fifth of ten children of Frederick James Cross and Ann Jane née Plowright.
Fred joined the Australian Imperial Force on 11 May 1915 at Maryborough shortly after the news of Gallipoli. He was aged 21 years 10 months and his occupation prior to enlistment was labourer. His religion was Roman Catholic. (National Archives of Australia: Australian Imperial Force, Base Records Office; B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920; Cross Frederick Beswick : SERN 1689/2021 : POB Talbot VIC : POE Maryborough VIC : NOK W Cross Ethel)
On his first medical examination at Maryborough on 10 May his height was given as 5’9½“. He was re-examined in Melbourne on 15 May where his height was adjusted to 5’7½”
He was assigned to the 2/23 reinforcements in June and then he re-enlisted again at Broadmeadows on 24 August (page 10 of dossier). The outcome of his first service period is not clear but his initial attestation forms are stamped with “Deserter see BRM No. 7 192.” Late in his file (page 47) a handwritten note states that his date of enlistment is to be taken from his first attestation papers as 11 May 1915 and “do not show “desertion”. CC’s ruling.” On re-enlistment he was assigned to the 8th reinforcements of the 22nd battalion.
|Uncle Fred (Brother of Peter (Ernest) Young’s mother, Elizabeth Cross)|
Fred embarked at Melbourne on 26 August 1915 on HMAT “Anchesis”.
In December 1915 he was admitted first to the 19th General Hospital and then transferred to the 2nd Australian General Hospital (in Egypt at the time) with enteric fever. Enteric fever, also called typhoid fever, is an acute infectious disease characterized by high fever and intestinal inflammation, spread by food or water contaminated with the bacillus Salmonella typhosa.
|page 40 of WWI dossier|
|page 39 of WWI dossier|
Fred was discharged from hospital in April 1916. He transferred to the British Expeditionary Force and disembarked at Marseille on 18 May and joined his battalion on 7 July.
|page 43 of WWI dossier|
In January 1917 he was admitted to the Casualty Clearing Station with mumps, later transferred to hospital and discharged to rejoin the 22nd Battalion on 19 February. On 25 February he was wounded in action and admitted to the 5th Field Ambulance with a penetrating wound to the cornea. He did not serve on the front line again but was transferred to hospital in England in March 1917.
After convalescence the AIF assigned him to administrative jobs in England including with the 2nd A A Hospital, Admin headquarters and AIF Kit stores.
In the last week of Feb. 1917 the 22nd Battalion was manning a line of outposts facing Warlencourt. The 25th of February was a difficult day for the 22nd battalion. It is not clear if Fred was wounded in the morning or evening; there were two separate engagements.
In February 1918 Fred Cross married an English woman, Ethel Dunkley at Our Lady of Dolours Servite Church (Roman Catholic), Fulham Road SW10. In July 1919 he sailed for Australia on the “Main” arriving in October. he was discharged from the AIF in November 1919 as medically unfit – disability – enucleation of left eye.
Correspondence with Ethel’s family (prompted by this blog entry) has revealed how Fred and Ethel met.
Ethel’s closest sister, Ellen, worked in a munitions factory during the war. She used to write notes to the soldiers and put them in with the ammunition. A lot of them wrote back and she had too many to deal with so she gave some to Ethel. One was from Fred. When he lost his eye (as did his brother George) he ended up in a London hospital and Ethel went to visit him. Both families objected to the marriage. After their eldest daughter Peggy was born they came back to rural Victoria. Ethel had a terrible trip out and did not always enjoy living in Australia.
Ethel came to Australia with Fred and baby Peggy in October 1919 on the “Main”.
Departed Plymouth 29 July under Captain H. W. N. Evans.
First went to live in Homebush near Ballarat on family farm but later moved to the city [Melbourne] because Ethel (a city girl) had trouble coping with life in the bush.
Fred and Ethel had three daughters. The oldest was born in England.
Fred died in 1959. Ethel died in 1971.
|page 41 of WWI dossier|