Trove Tuesday: Arrival of Francis and Sarah Tuckfield

One of my husband Greg’s fourth great aunts was a Cornishwoman, Sarah Tuckfield née Gilbart  (1808-1854).

Sarah and her twin sister Thomasine were born on 22 July 1808 at St Erth, a sand and clay mining town about 5 km from St Ives. They were the seventh and eighth children of John Gilbart (1761-1837) and Elizabeth Gilbart née Huthnance (1774-1847).

John Gilbart was manager of a copper rolling mill at St Erth. He had been a member of the first Copperhouse Methodist Society (Copperhouse was a foundry and its associated district in east Hayle), and in 1783 he had founded the St Erth Methodist Class, the local Wesleyan group meeting.

Francis Tuckfield (1808-1865) was a miner and fisherman, who at the age of 18 was convinced by the truths of  Methodist nonconformism. He became an active local preacher and in 1835, at the age of 27, was accepted as a candidate for the Ministry. He received two years training at the Wesleyan Theological Institution in Hoxton in London. On the completion of his studies Tuckfield was selected to be a missionary to the Aboriginals of the Port Phillip District (later became the colony of Victoria, Australia).

On 13 October 1837, less than a month before his departure, Sarah Gilbart and Francis Tuckfield were married at St Erth. They were then both 29 years old.

Seppings 1838 arrival Hobart Tuckfield

SHIP NEWS (1838, March 20). The Austral-Asiatic Review, Tasmanian and Australian Advertiser (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1837 – 1844), p. 3. Retrieved from

In March 1838 after a long sea voyage Francis and Sarah Tuckfield landed in Hobart, Tasmania. In July the Tuckfields crossed Bass Strait to Melbourne on board the Adelaide. Sarah’s first child, a daughter, was born at Geelong on 12 August 1838.

Tuckfield made several exploratory trips about the Port Philip district looking for a suitable place to establish a mission station. (He is said to have employed William Buckley as a translator on these journeys. Buckley was an escaped convict who for a time had lived with Aboriginals. He had since been pardoned and given a job as a government interpreter.)

In 1839 he chose a site near Birregurra, 10 km east of Colac. Governor Gipps granted the mission 640 acres, a square mile.

The Birregurra experiment, however, was rapidly deemed a failure by the Victorian Government. In 1848 it was abandoned, and in 1850 the mission grazing licence was cancelled.


Geelong Advertiser 1848 07 01 pg 2

SATURDAY MORNING, JULY 1. (1848, July 1). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1847 – 1851), p. 2 (MORNING). Retrieved from


Francis Tuckfield was afterwards appointed to a succession of churches, first in Victoria and later in New South Wales. On 6 June 1854 Sarah died at the age of 45 in West Maitland, New South Wales. She and Francis had eight children.


Tuckfield Sarah death Maitalnd Mercury 1854 06 07 pg 3

Family Notices (1854, June 7). The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), p. 3. Retrieved from


In 1857 Francis remarried, to Mary Stevens (1823-1886). Eight years later, in 1865, he died at Portland, Victoria.

Portraits of Francis and Sarah Tuckfield are held by the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

With only the bare facts of her life to draw on, it is very difficult to form an impression of Sarah Tuckfield the person. A history of the Birregurra mission portrays her as a dutiful daughter, devout Methodist, and devoted and capable wife and mother:

Sarah shared not only her father’s love of music and deep Christian conviction, but also his generous strength of character. She was a practical girl, who made an excellent teacher in the Sunday School, and was thoroughly trained in the housewifely arts by her mother. She also took an interest in the sick and incapacitated people in St Earth, who loved her for her kind ways and skills in nursing.

Le Griffon, Heather and Orton, Joseph Campfires at the cross : an account of the Bunting Dale Aboriginal Mission 1839-1951 at Birregurra, near Colac, Victoria : with a biography of Francis Tuckfield. Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, Vic, 2006. page 18.

But this – no doubt well-meant – encomium gets us no further. ‘Love of music’ to a Methodist meant hymn-singing; ‘deep Christian conviction’ covers everything from humble faith to pharisaical self-righteousness; ‘generous strength of character’ sounds suspiciously like stubbornness; ‘thoroughly trained in the housewifely arts’ might mean a drudge; and her kind ways with the sick and infirm makes her look like the village Lady Bountiful.

Sarah’s marriage at the age of 29 to a penniless Methodist preacher and her willingness to endure the hardships of missionary life on the far side of the world seem rather noble and self-sacrificing, but these were the usages of the times. She was getting no younger, and her prospects, probably never great, were shrinking. Wives followed their husbands, and she perhaps found some satisfaction in being able to help with his missionary endeavours.

Sometimes, of course, images delineate character better than words. The National Portrait Gallery painting of Sarah Tuckfield conveys a certain measure of self-assurance and sense of purpose, especially when her image is viewed with that of her husband. The artist has drawn them with much the same mouth, giving her an air of steadfastness and strength of will; he looks feminine and ineffectual. He looks coyly at the viewer; she stares beyond, into the future.

We’re left wondering. Could it be that it was Sarah who turned the Cornish miner into the Methodist preacher, urged him to attend the Hoxton Institution, encouraged him to emigrate, and supported him in his mission?


Gabriel Crespigny and Thomas Caulfeild

My 8th great uncle was Gabriel Crespigny, a Huguenot refugee from Normandy.

Born in 1666, he was sent to England by his parents when he was just twelve years old, and had joined the army in 1686 at the age of twenty. In 1691 he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the First Foot Guards – later the Grenadier Guards – with effective rank as a Captain. Serving in Flanders against the armies of King Louis XIV of France, he was wounded in 1695 during the successful assault on Namur in present-day Belgium.


A soldier of the 35th Foot in 1742; the basic style of uniform was little changed from the beginning of the century. Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons

In 1701 Gabriel transferred to be Captain in a newly formed regiment commanded by Arthur Chichester the Earl of Donegall. Raised at Belfast in Ireland and numbered as the 35th Foot, the regiment was a strongly Protestant unit and had authority from King William to bear orange facings on the uniform.

The Nine Years War against Louis XIV – essentially the War of the English Succession – had concluded with the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, but conflict broke out again with the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702, and the Earl of Donegall’s Regiment was designated for “sea service” – amphibious attacks on enemy ports and shore positions. Following an unsuccessful raid on Cadiz in August, it was engaged in the West Indies but returned to Spain in 1704. In 1705 the regiment joined the garrison of Gibraltar under Spanish attack, and later that year it was engaged in the capture of Barcelona. On the following 9 April the Earl of Donegall was killed in the defence of that city; his place was taken by Sir Richard Lord Gorges, another Irish Peer, and the name of the regiment was changed accordingly.

Having taken part in the capture of the port of Alicante later that year, the regiment was brought into the main British-Portuguese field army, but in 1707 the allies were heavily defeated by the French-Spanish coalition at the battle of Almansa; Gorges’ Regiment lost its colours and many of its officers and men were killed or captured. The remnants were brought back to Ireland, where the regiment was re-formed; Captain Crespigny had escaped the debacle and was one of the officers in the new arrangement.


La Batalla de Almansa, Museo del Prado. The Battle of Almansa, 25 April 1707, landscape by Filippo Pallotta, figures by Buonaventura Ligli 

Forerunner of the present-day Army Board, the Board of General Officers of the British Army was established at the beginning of the eighteenth century, gathering men of that rank to deal with matters of discipline, disputes, recruitment and the provision of supplies.

At its meeting of 9 February 1708, however, a letter written by Captain Gabriel Crespigny had been presented in which he complained to Colonel Phineas Bowles, commander of another regiment, that, after the colonel of Gabriel Crespigny’s regiment,  Colonel Lord Donegall, was killed at Barcelona on 10 April 1706, Thomas Caulfeild, Viscount Charlemont, had appropriated a quantity of Donegall’s goods and papers. It appears that this matter had come to the notice of Lord Peterborough, leader of the English and Dutch armies in Spain, and was the initial reason for Charlemont bring summonsed to discuss his position. The minutes of the meeting then record that

After which all Persons being ordered to withdraw, as they were passing out, Mr Caulfeild, Son to the Lord Charlemont, gave Capt Crepigny several blows over the Face and Head with a Cane. Whereupon Mr Caulfeild was sent Prisoner to the Guard, to be kept there until Her Ma[jes]tys or the Princes Pleasure should be known.
The Disorder being then over….

At its meeting on 5 May 1708 the Board took official notice of the quarrel between two officers, Captains Gabriel Crespigny and Thomas Caulfeild. Captain Caulfeild had insulted Captain Crespigny, and the matter was considered extremely serious: the Prince Consort George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne, was advised that “to Repair so great an Injury and Affront to a Gentleman’s Honour,” Captain Caulfeild should be required

In the …Guard Chamber, during the [next] Sitting of the Board, on his knees, to ask pardon of Captain Crespigny, who is at the same time to have a Cane in his Hand, with Liberty to use it, as he please.

The background of Gabriel’s opponent was very different. Thomas Caulfeild was the second son of William, second Viscount Charlemont in the peerage of Ireland. A strong supporter of William of Orange against James II, in 1701 the Viscount was rewarded with command of a newly-formed regiment – later to be known as the 36th Foot. Like the Earl of Donegall’s Regiment, Viscount Charlemont’s was sent on sea service, and the two units took part in an attack on Cadiz and the campaign in the West Indies in 1702 and 1703.

Born in 1685, and thus twenty years younger than Gabriel Crespigny, at the age of sixteen Thomas Caulfeild had been commissioned as an Ensign in his father’s regiment at the time of its first formation in 1701. He took part in the attack on Cadiz, but received permission, with his father, not to join the enterprise in the West Indies. Rejoining the regiment on its return to Ireland in 1704, he accompanied it to Spain in 1705, where it took part in the siege and capture of Barcelona alongside the Earl of Donegall’s unit. When the city was attacked by a Franco-Spanish force in April 1706, Charlemont’s Regiment formed part of the relief force.

Viscount Charlemont had been made a Brigadier-General in 1704, but in May 1706 he was replaced as Colonel by Thomas Allnutt, and the name of the regiment was duly changed.

This gave cause for controversy. During an assault on Fort Montjuȉc at Barcelona, several men of Charlemont’s regiment had taken to flight, though he himself maintained the attack and did his utmost to bring them back to order. The fort was captured, and the Earl of Peterborough, commander of operations in eastern Spain, congratulated him on the success. Later, however, a document appeared, said to have come from Queen Anne herself, which ordered his dismissal, and Peterborough compelled him to relinquish his command. Charlemont subsequently appealed to the Board of General Officers, which found that he had properly carried out his duties and that the Earl of Peterborough had been deceived by a forgery and made a mistake – an elegant compromise. Charlemont was soon afterwards promoted Major-General, but the regiment remained under Allnutt’s command.

In the following year the two regiments – the 35th Foot commanded by Lord Gorges with Gabriel Crespigny serving as a Captain, and the 36th commanded by Thomas Allnutt with Thomas Caulfeild probably serving as a Captain – were part of the main field army which suffered defeat at Almansa on 25 April 1707. Like Gorges’ Regiment, Allnutt’s was all but destroyed, and Colonel Allnutt himself was wounded and taken prisoner. Released on exchange in September, he was commissioned to rebuild the regiment; enlistment, however, was no longer in Ireland but was based upon Cheshire.

Since their regiments were rebuilding separately, the 35th in Ireland and the 36th in England, one must assume that the quarrel between Thomas Caulfeild and Gabriel Crespigny had arisen while they were together on campaign in Spain. Though we have at this time no details, it was very likely related to some aspect of the defeat at Almansa, and the most obvious accusation which one officer could levy against another was that of cowardice.

One may wonder why the insult was not followed up by a duel between the two men: though duelling was formally outlawed, it was common at this time, particularly – as might be expected – among military men. Again, it is possible Caulfeild refused the challenge.

Caulfeild may have refused to regard Crespigny as a gentleman of appropriate rank: though both were commissioned officers, Caulfeild was of noble birth and Crespigny was foreign born and of uncertain heritage (Gabriel Crespigny and his brothers Pierre and Thomas had had their gentry lineage and pedigree certified by the College of Arms ten years earlier, but this may not have been enough for all whom they encountered in British society).

Alternatively, if Caulfeild was convinced his opponent was a coward, he may have refused to meet such a fellow on equal terms. Men of lower rank were unworthy of swords or pistols, and should be dealt with by the horsewhip or a cane.

In any event, the Board of General Officers found Thomas Caulfeild’s accusations and his conduct of the quarrel to have been quite unjustified – and the reference to his potential punishment with a cane makes one suspect the second explanation is most likely.

Prince George died in October 1708 and it seems that without his support the direction lapsed. Perhaps the humiliation of Caulfeild was held to be sufficient without Gabriel Crespigny actually using the cane. The minutes of the Board of 26 October 1708 record

Capt Crepigny [was] called in on his Petition for Satisfaction from Mr Caulfeild, and [was] told that Lt-Gen Seymour not being at the Board, who presided when the matter was first under Consideration, and had attended the Prince. Therefore the Pet[itioner] could not be then informed what Directions His Royal Highness had given therein.

Lieutenant-General William Seymour was Colonel of The Queen’s Regiment of Foot, now
part of the Royal Marines. He had presided at the Board Meeting of 5 May, but later joined his regiment in Spain; in September he and his men had taken part in the capture of the Mediterranean island of Minorca. Since there had been no written reply from the prince, nor any report of what he might have said, the matter was left to lie.

We may note that at this time Captain Crespigny was forty-two years old and had been on active service for more than twenty years. Captain Caulfeild was twenty-five; he had seen combat at Cadiz in 1702, followed by two years in Spain and the defeat at Almansa.

It does not appear that the two men had any further dealings, and their subsequent careers were very different.

Gabriel Crespigny returned to his duties with Gorges’ Regiment, but three years later he was wounded in a riot when engaged on recruitment at Wigan, north of Liverpool. With any system of regular conscription, recruitment – either voluntary or forced – was essential for any unit of the army, but it was often resented by the civilian population, and especially by friends of those who were tricked or compelled to join the colours. Gabriel was so seriously injured that he was obliged to leave the army, selling his commission to pay his debts, and was eventually granted a pension at half-pay. He died in Ireland in 1722.

For one reason or another, perhaps associated with the Crespigny affair, Thomas Caulfeild transferred his commission to the marines; since his original regiment had been involved in sea service, the change was not inappropriate. In 1710 his new unit, numbering four hundred men, was sent to America to militia regiments from the colonies of New England in an attack on the French base at Port-Royal in Nova Scotia. Having distinguished himself in the campaign, Thomas Caulfeild was named Lieutenant-Governor of the newly-acquired province of Nova Scotia, and had charge of the territory until his death there in 1717 at the age of thirty-two.


My Most Recent Unknown Ancestors

This week in his regular post ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ Randy Seaver asks “Who Is Your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor (MRUA)?”

The mission:
1) Who is your MRUA – your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don’t you scan it again just to see if there’s something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

The starting point for my ahnentafel list is my children, the list formed by combining my tree with that of my husband Greg.

I know all the names of our children’s 3rd great grandparents.

In the next generation, however, I don’t know the parents of George Young (c.1826-1890), Greg’s great great grandfather. George is number 32 on the index; I don’t know the names of his parents, numbers 64 and 65.

There’s no help from his death certificate; the informant does not name his parents. Other information about him is scanty. From his death certificate I know that he was born in Liverpool, and this corresponds with details that he provided on the birth certificates of his children, but I have not found his marriage certificate. The reason may be that he and his wife Caroline Clarke were married before compulsory civil registration was introduced in Victoria in 1855, or perhaps they never formally married. I have not found a shipping record for him, and I have no evidence that he had any near relations in Australia. Land records, and I have several that concern him, give no relevant information. George did not leave a will. Frustratingly, the name Young is too common to identify George from the many other births in Liverpool about the same time or from people with the same name listed on the United Kingdom 1841 census.

I feel my best hope in identifying George’s parents and finding out more about his life before he emigrated to Australia is through DNA. Several of Greg’s cousins descended from George have tested their DNA. I hope that DNA will lead me to one or more of the descendants of George Young’s siblings.  Their research might get me past the dead end I have come to with George himself.

Greg has a number of shared DNA matches (shown in green on the chart). I have not yet identified anybody descending from a brother or sister of George Young.

Young DNA tree

I do have some DNA matches from people with the surname Young who were born in Liverpool, descendants of Philip Young (1840-1910). I have not yet found the parents and grandparents of Philip to allow me to make the connection between our two trees, although we have several DNA matches. However, having an additional line to search, which appears to be connected by name, place and shared DNA, gives me a better chance of finding the family of George Young.

Sister Minnie Goldstein

Looking at some paintings by Nora Heysen recently, I was delighted to discover that one was of a relative of mine, my second cousin twice removed, Minnie Sutherland Goldstein (1908-1984). She was my grandfather’s second cousin, one of the children of Selwyn Goldstein (1873-1917) and Minnie Waters Goldstein née Sutherland (1883-1952).

Minnie’s father Selwyn was a mining engineer, manager of the Mount Cattlin Copper Mining Company near Ravensthorpe, a couple of hundred kilometres west of Esperance in Western Australia. Minnie was born there on 13 August 1908.

On 13 October, with Minnie only two months old, the family moved to England, sailing on the Runic from Albany to Plymouth.

In 1909 the Goldsteins moved to Mexico where for two years Selwyn managed a large mine. They were forced to return to England, however, by the upheavals and danger of the Mexican Revolution.

On 9 November 1915 Selwyn Goldstein enlisted in the 173rd Company of the Royal Engineers. On 8 June 1917, during the Battle of Messines, where he had a part in blowing up the ridge the day before, he died of a gunshot wound, self-inflicted.

In 1922, Minnie’s mother and her four children – Minnie was then 13 – returned to Australia, where they settled in Perth.

Goldstein Minnie Western Mail 1927 03 17 pg 4

THE DAUGHTER OF MRS. M W. GOLDSTEIN, OF WEST PERTH, MISS MINNIE GOLDSTEIN. from 17 March 1927. Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 4  Retrieved from

Digitised newspapers and other records held by the National Library give us glimpses of Minnie’s life. In November 1922 Minnie wrote to the Children’s Page of the Perth Daily News. In 1923 Minnie played lawn tennis for her school, but she lost the game. She was at school at St Mary’s Church of England Grammar in year V and won a prize for divinity; her sister Isobel was in the same year and won prizes for divinity and languages. In 1926 she was at many events including a party, a dance at the rowing club, the Children’s Hospital Ball.

By December 1926 Minnie was training as a nurse at the Perth Hospital. The social whirl seems to have continued, and Miss Minnie Goldstein was often mentioned in the society columns.

In 1930 Minnie became engaged to Jack Round-Turner. The marriage did not go ahead.

Minnie Goldstein enlisted in the Australian Army on 28 August 1942. In 1944 she was painted by the war artist Nora Heysen in Alexishafen, Papua New Guinea while working in the blood bank of 111 Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

Goldstein Minnie by Norah Heysen 1944

Sister Minnie Sutherland Goldstein, WX32605, of the Australian Army Nursing Service working in the blood bank of 111 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Alexishafen, New Guinea. She is working on medical equipment relating to blood bank services such as blood transfusions. She was painted by Nora Heysen, official war artist in 1944. The painting is in the collection of the Australian War Memorial ART23921

Alexishafen map

Map showing Alexishafen, 23 kilometres north of Madang on the north coast of Papua New Guinea

AWM 3871745

South Alexishafen, New Guinea. 1944-08-08. Officers and members of the nursing service on the staff of the 111th Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Identified personnel include WFX32604 Sister M.S. Goldstein (8). From Australian War Memorial photograph 075085.

AWM 3987777

South Alexishafen, New Guinea. 1944-08-08. Walking patients find humour in another patients getting a blood transfusion at the 111th Casualty Clearing Station. Identified personnel include:- WFX32605 Sister M. Goldstein (1) Australian War Memorial photograph 075083

AWM 3871746

South Alexishafen, New Guinea. 1944-08-08. Sisters of the 111th Casualty Clearing Station enjoying a walk along the shores of the bay in the cool of the evening. Identified personnel include:- WFX32605 Sister M.S. GOLDSTEIN (7) Australian War memorial photograph 075087

AWM 3923873

South Alexishafen, New Guinea. 1944-08-08. Sisters of the 111th Casualty Clearing Station outside their quarters. Identified personnel include:- WFX32605 Sister M.S. GOLDSTEIN (7) Australian War Memorial photograph 075086


Sister Goldstein was discharged from the Australian Army on 17 February 1947 with the rank of Lieutenant. Her posting at discharge was 2/1 Australian General Hospital.

Minnie returned to work as a sister at the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth.

In 1956 Minnie married Maxwell Percival Rose (1915-1973). Minnie died in Perth on 5 April 1984.

Related Posts


Progress on my tree

One way to measure how far you’ve got with your family history research is to count how many forebears you can name at each generation.

I know the names of all my great great grandparents and all my husband’s, Greg’s, great great grandparents.

A useful statistic is the number of forebears you can name in the previous ten generations. The possible maximum, including yourself, is 1,023 individuals. [Cousins sometimes marry, so there might be duplicates.]

On my side of the family I can name only 22%, 230 of the possible 1,023. On my husband’s side I know the names of only 13%, 138. If I look at our tree from our children’s perspective the figure is 31%, 319.

When I did these sums two years ago I could name only 25%, 253, of our children’s forebears back 10 generations. Since then I have documented the names of 66 more. There’s a lot left.

Family tree 2018-05-14

Chart generated by MacFamilyTree8. A larger version of this chart is available. Direct ancestors back to the tenth generation whose names I know are coloured; blanks represent those whose names are unknown to me. 

Generation Possible number Me Greg Children me % Greg %
1 1 1 1 1 100% 100% 100%
2 parents 2 2 2 2 100% 100% 100%
3 grand parents 4 4 4 4 100% 100% 100%
4 great grand parents 8 8 8 8 100% 100% 100%
5 great great grand parents 16 16 16 16 100% 100% 100%
6 3rd great grand parents 32 24 30 32 75% 94% 100%
7 4th great grand parents 64 35 32 54 55% 50% 84%
8 5th great grand parents 128 45 22 67 35% 17% 52%
9 6th great grand parents 256 49 19 67 19% 7% 26%
10 7th great grand parents 512 46 4 68 9% 1% 13%
Total 1023
Score to generation 10 230 138 319
as a % 22% 13% 31%

Some of my progress has been helped by DNA testing. I think DNA matching with cousins will be an important tool for finding my missing ancestors.

Several bloggers have reported on the completeness of their family tree as measured by this counting method. Among them are:

The wreck of the “Casino”

My third great aunt Helena Gill was drowned in a shipwreck in 1932.

Helena Lucy Gill née Hughes (1866-1932 ), seventh of the eight children of my 3rd great grandparents Samuel Hughes (1827-1896) and Sally Hughes née Plaisted (1826-1900), was the younger sister, by twelve years, of my great great grandfather Edward Walter Hughes (1854-1922).

Recently I came across a transcription of her headstone (in the series ‘Victoria, Australia, Cemetery Records and Headstone Transcriptions, 1844-1997’), which reads:

Name Helena Lucy Gill
Death Date 10 Jul 1932
Burial Place Victoria, Australia
Cemetery Melbourne
Section B
Religion Baptist
Transcription In loving memory of dear mother Helena Lucy GILL died heroically helping others in shipwreck of “Casino” at Apollo Bay, 10 Jul 1932, age 65 Duty nobly done.

Helena married Luther Albert Gill in 1892. They had two children:

  • Gwendoline Ruby Phyllis Gill (1893-1977) who married Henry Vincent Budge in 1910
  • Vera Ila Gill (1903-1986), known as Ila, who married Charles Dudley Care in 1926.

In 1909 Helena, then living in Maribyrnong Road, Moonee ponds, sued her husband in the Prahran Court for maintenance. His address was Chapel Street, Windsor. The court found in her favour.

From 1914 Helena appears on the electoral rolls as ‘stewardess’ with her address ‘SS Casino, Prince’s Wharf, S.M.’ On the 1913 roll her address was 68 Maribyrnong Road, Moonee Ponds, and her occupation home duties. It seems that when her daughter Ila turned 11, Helena went to work as a stewardess.


The Belfast & Koroit S.N. Co’s S.S. “Casino” . Image from the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H92.302/23

The SS Casino, 160 feet, was an rivetted-iron coastal steamer, based in Port Fairy on the south-west coast of Victoria, owned by the Belfast and Koroit Steam Navigation Company (Belfast was the early name for Port Fairy).  The company was formed in March 1882 and took delivery of the Casino the same year.

The ship, built in Dundee, Scotland and launched in February 1882, was intended to service the north coast of New South Wales and was named for the town of Casino, New South Wales. The owners of the new company successfully bid for her when she was travelling through Warrnambool, Victoria, and the Casino arrived in Port Fairy on 29 July 1882.

She carried cargo and 25 passengers between Melbourne and Portland, stopping at Apollo Bay, Warrnambool and Port Fairy, over the next five decades making around 2,500 voyages.

South west coast Victoria

South-west coast of Victoria from Google maps

Casino saloon

The saloon of the SS Casino with “swivel chairs that were bolted to the floor to allow passengers more comfort when the ship was moving through rough seas”. Image from the Port Fairy Historical Society retrieved from

Early on the morning of 10 July 1932 the SS Casino sank in Apollo Bay while trying to secure a mooring. There was a south-easterly gale and a heavy swell. Coming alongside the jetty the Casino grounded on its anchor, fatally piercing the hull. The captain first tried to get an offing, but realising the vessel was sinking, turned to beach her. A few cables from the shore she was overwhelmed and sank in three or four fathoms.  Captain Middleton and nine other members of the crew were drowned, Helena one of them.

S Casino wrecked

S. CASINO WRECKED (1932, July 11). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

Melbourne Herald 1932 07 11 page 1

(1932, July 11). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

Gill Helena Melbourne Herald 1932 07 11 page 1

Drowned Stewardess (1932, July 11). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

Helena’s body, with the bodies of four other crew, was recovered. She was buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.

Gill Helena burial Herald 1932 07 13 pg 6

STEWARDESS OF CASINO BURIED (1932, July 13). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

The wreck of the Casino, now a scuba diving site, lies in nine metres of water 400 metres from the shore. Her propeller and bell are part a memorial to the ship at King George Square in Port Fairy. The ship’s wheel is displayed in the Apollo Bay Hotel.


The name “Franklin Gill” is transcribed with the dedication on Helena Gill’s gravestone. I do not know who he was or how he was related to Helena. I have since visited her grave at Melbourne Cemetery and there is no mention of Franklin Gill – apparently a transcription error. I have amended my copy of the transcription above.

Gill Lucy headstone 20180606_134536

Headstone on the grave of Helena Lucy Gill at Melbourne General Cemetery Baptist section B grave 731.



Three little maids from school

3 schoolgirls Henderson Leslie 703607273

Three young women, dressed in school uniform. From left to right they are Marion Boyd Wanliss, Leslie Moira Henderson, and Joan a’Beckett Weigall. Marion, Leslie, and Joan attended the Clyde Girl’s Grammar School founded by Leslie’s aunt. Photograph taken in 1914 by Gainsborough Studio Photographers. The photograph belonged to Leslie Henderson and was donated to the State Library of Victoria: Accession no: H89.267.

Leslie Henderson (1896-1982), niece (and biographer) of the Australian feminist Vida Goldstein (1869-1949) , was my grandfather’s second cousin. Her paternal grandfather was the Presbytrian Reverend William Henderson (1826-1884) of Ballarat, and Leslie also  compiled and published biographical notes about her grandfather and his family.

Isabel Henderson (1862-1940), one of Leslie’s paternal aunts,  was the founder of the St Kilda  Clyde Girls’ Grammar School. The school later moved to Woodend, near Hanging Rock, Victoria.

The photograph above was captioned by Leslie as “Marion Wanliss, Leslie Henderson, Joan Weigall (Lady Lindsay)”.

Marion Boyd Wanliss (1896-1984) studied at the University of Melbourne (M.B., B.S., 1920; M.D., 1929) and conducted research into cancer as a postgraduate in Vienna. She practised as a physician at Camberwell, Melbourne, and later in Collins Street. She became an honorary physician at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. A member (1928) of the Royal College of Physicians, London, and a fellow (1954) of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, she was also a prominent conservationist. She never married.

The 1913 dux of Clyde Girls’ Grammar School was Joan à Beckett Lindsay née Weigall (1896-1984) , who became a noted author and artist.  From 1916-1920 she studied art at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. In 1922 she married the artist Darryl Lindsay (1889-1976), who was later Director of the National Gallery of Victoria. Joan Lindsay’s most well-known book was a novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock,  published in 1967. The story concerns the disappearance of three girls and a teacher from a school near Hanging Rock. This was adapted as a film in 1975, and a television series is being released in 2018.


Henderson Leslie Lorne 1913 703014995

Seven young women at a waterfall near Lorne. Written on verso: Photo taken at Lorne, 1913. Standing :- Keila Dillon, (girl in white not known), Leslie Henderson. Seated :- [Mira?] Scott, Joan Weigall, Marion Wanliss, Doris Chambers. Photo from the Estate of Leslie Moira Henderson in the collection of the State Library of Victoria: Accession: H2013.229/14

Marion, Leslie, and Joan, with four other girls, pictured in 1913 near Lorne, a seaside town south-west of Melbourne.   Marion’s brother, Harold Boyd Wanliss (1891-1917), took up 295 acres (119 ha) near Lorne, Victoria, to plant an orchard. The Wanliss Falls, which he discovered close by on the Erskine River, were named in his honour.

Henderson Leslie 1913 703014987

Leslie Henderson at Mandeville Hall, Toorak in 1913. In 1913 the previously grand mansion was a boarding house. It 1924 the mansion became a school. Picture from the estate of Leslie Henderson and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria Accession no: H2013.229/9

When my great grandparents Beatrix Hughes and Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny married in 1906, Leslie Henderson was the youngest bridesmaid.

Ch de Crespigny Trent and Hughes Trixie 1906 weddingfromslvh2013-229-20

1906 wedding of Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny to Beatrix Hughes at Beaufort, Victoria.

Leslie Henderson chart

Family tree showing Leslie Henderson


A to Z 2018 reflections

A to Z reflection 2018

This is my fifth “Blogging from A to Z Challenge“. This year I wrote about 26 people in my family tree whose personal name starts with a different letter of the alphabet.

It was quite a task, but that’s the “Challenge”, after all.

I chose the person for each letter well in advance, giving me more time for research.   X was a bit tricky, of course, and I had only one U to work with. Other letters gave me more choice.

Half the posts were about women (“Women hold up half the sky”, declared Chairman Mao), and many of the stories – though not intentionally chosen for it – had at least a touch of religious colouring. I am pleased to have been able to include one of my German forebears.


A to Z 2018 chart

My family tree, with my husband Greg’s, showing the locations of the people I wrote about. [This   Sun Chart generated using MyHeritage.]

  • A is for Arthur
    • My husband Greg’s maternal grandfather Arthur Sullivan (1891-1975)
  • B is for Beatrix
    • One of my great grandmothers was Beatrix Champion de Crespigny née Hughes (1884-1943)
  • C is for Collier
    • My first cousin three times removed was Collier Robert Cudmore (1885-1971), the cousin of my great grandfather, Arthur Murray Cudmore. Collier won an Olympic gold medal for rowing.
  • D is for Daniel
    • One of my seventh great grandfathers was Daniel Dana (1664-1749), a New England Puritan.
  • E is for Eliza
    • One of my husband’s great great grandmother was Eliza Morley née Sinden (1823 – 1908). In 1853 Eliza and her husband emigrated to Australia from Sussex, England.
  • F is for Francis
    • One of my husband’s great great grandfathers was Francis Gilbart Edwards (1848-1913).
  • G is for Gustav
    • One of my great great grandfathers on my mother’s side was Gustav Waldemar Alexander Karl Peters (1860-1904)
  • H is for Henry
    • My husband’s great grandfather Henry Sullivan (1863-1943)
  • I is for Ichabod
    • One of my 8th great grandfathers was Ichabod Chauncy (1635 -1691), another dissenter and puritan
  • J is for John
    • One of my husband’s great great grandfathers was John Way (1835-1911)
  • K is for Kenneth
    • One of my third great uncles was Kenneth George Budge (1842-1878)
  • L is for Lilian
    • My third cousin four times removed, who was also the sister-in law of my third great uncle, was Dr Lilian Helen Alexander (1861-1934), one of the first women doctors in Melbourne and a carer of her orphaned nephews.
  • M is for Mary
    • My husband Greg’s great aunt was Mary Ann Nichols, formerly Lack née Whiteman (1884-1945)
  • N is for Nellie
    • One of my first cousins four times removed was Eleanor Mary (Nellie) Niall (1858-1891)
  • O is for Orfeur
    • My third great uncle Orfeur Cavenagh (1820-1891) was one of several relations named after my fifth great grandfather John Orfeur (1695-1753)
  • P is for Penelope
    • My sixth great aunt Penelope Phipps (1775-1814) was left in France by her parents during the Reign of Terror. She was only 17 and had seven younger siblings to care for.
  • Q is for Queenie
    • My great great aunt Alice Magee née Mainwaring formerly Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1879-1952) was known as Queenie.
  • R is for Rosina
    • One of my husband’s maternal great aunts was Rosina Doidge née Sullivan formerly Saunders (1889-1969).
  • S is for Suky
    • One of my fifth great grandmothers was Susannah Lamothe née Corrin (1741-1803).
  • T is for Theresa
    • One of my fourth great aunts was Theresa Susannah Eunice Snell Poole formerly Walker née Chauncy (1807-1876). Theresa was a sculptor and artist.
  • U is for Una
    • Una Elizabeth Dwyer née Sneyd (1900-1982), first cousin twice removed of my husband Greg. After reading this post Una’s son, Greg’s cousin, contacted us.
  • V is for Valencia
    • Cicely Valencia Lancaster (1898-1996), known as Valencia, was my sixth cousin once removed. She left a trust to preserve Kelmarsh Hall where many Champion de Crespigny portraits and family documents are held.
  • W is for William
  • X, her mark, revisited
    • My husband’s great great grandmother Eliza Dawson née Skerritt (1838-1899) was illiterate but protested successfully when somebody tried to take advantage of her by wrongly recording her vote.
  • Y is for Yannasch
    • Jacob Robert Yannasch Goldstein (1841-1910) was the husband of my third great aunt. Jacob was  ‘an anti-suffragist’ despite his daughter Vida Goldstein’s (1869-1949) being a noted feminist and suffragette; or perhaps Vida was a feminist and suffragette despite her father.
  • Z is for Zacharie
    • One of my eighth great grandfathers was Zacharie Fonnereau (1636-c. 1685), a Huguenot linen merchant from La Rochelle.

This year there were more detailed categories to choose and one of those was “genealogy”. Through the month I was pleased to follow some fellow genealogy bloggers and I appreciated their support and encouragement through the month:

During the month I followed some other entertaining blogs as well.

I look forward to participating next year.

Z is for Zacharie

One of my eighth great grandfathers, born on 10 February 1636 at La Rochelle, was a Huguenot linen merchant named Zacharie Fonnereau (also known as ‘Zacharia or ‘Zachary’ Fonnereau).

In 1674 he married Marguerite Chateigner, and in 1677 they had a son, Claude.

British (English) School; Possibly Zacharie Fonnereau (b.1636)

Possibly Zacharie Fonnereau (b.1636) Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service: Ipswich Borough Council Collection Retrieved from

Denner, Balthasar, 1685-1749; Possibly Marguerite Fonnereau as an Elderly Lady

Possibly Marguerite Fonnereau as an Elderly Lady by Balthasar Denner (1685–1749) (circle of) Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service: Ipswich Borough Council Collection retrieved from

La Rochelle is a seaport on the French Atlantic coast. From 1568, La Rochelle became a centre for the Huguenots, and the city declared itself an independent Reformed Republic on the model of Geneva. La Rochelle suffered religious wars and rebellions including the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627-8 (which resulted in a victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics), the expulsion of 300 Protestant families in November 1661, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by Louis XIV who claimed to be entitled to do so because there were no more Huguenots in his kingdom and their special privileges were no longer needed.


Cardinal Richelieu at the Siege of La Rochelle, by Henri Motte, 1881


In 1689 Claude, 12 years old, was sent to England. In 1693 he received his certificate of denization (granting permanent resident status and the right to own land) and was naturalised in 1698.

In 1698 Claude Fonnereau married Elizabeth Bureau (1670-1735), who was also from La Rochelle. Claude and Elizabeth had eight children, among them Anne Fonnereau (1704-1782), who married Phillip Champion de Crespigny (1704-1765). Anne Fonnereau was my sixth great grandmother.

British (English) School; Claude Fonnereau (1677-1740)

Claude Fonnereau (1677-1740) Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service: Ipswich Borough Council Collection retrieved from


Claude’s mother Marguerite Fonnereau née Chateigner died in England on 1 October 1720 and is buried in St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London.

I do not know when Zacharie died. There is no record of the death of Zacharie in England. It may be that the record has not survived or that he never emigrated there. There is also no record of his denization nor can I find a record of him in an English Huguenot church. It would be useful to have témoignages credentials, for example, which were certificates of sound doctrine and good behaviour from his previous congregation presented by a person moving to a new church.

While I have been able to find records which refer to Claude Fonnereau as the son of Zacharie, I have not been able to find records of Zacharie’s parents. I have found family trees which suggest that Zacharie was the son of a Zacharie. The earlier Zacharie may have been a notable watchmaker but at present I feel unable on the evidence to claim Zacharie Fonnereau watchmaker of La Rochelle as my direct forebear.


Fonnereau watch

A pre-balance spring gilt-metal and rock crystal crucifix watch signed by Fonnereau a la Rochelle in 1650 and sold by Sothebys at auction on 11 May 2008 for CHF133,000 ($Au177,688).


Sotheby’s gives a biography of Zaccharie Fonnereau the watchmaker: “Originally from Geneva, he was apprenticed in Lyon in 1618 and then became Compagnon in 1622. As a master watchmaker in 1641, he settled in La Rochelle.”

The watch auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2008 was displayed in an exhibition of watchmaking in Geneva in 2011-2012.

a watch made by the watchmaker Zacharie Fonnereau will also be displayed. Circumventing the ban on crosses decreed by the goldsmiths’ guild in 1566, he created, like other Genevan masterwatchmakers, this cross-shaped timepiece. Dating from 1620 and worn around the neck at the time, the watch is more a piece of jewellery than a precision instrument. The valuable case is carved from rock crystal.


Related posts

Y is for Yannasch

None of my forebears has a first name starting with Y, so the third personal name of Jacob Robert Yannasch Goldstein (1841-1910), the husband of my third great aunt, will have to do.

His name ‘Yannasch’, probably a variant of John, means “Jehovah has been gracious”.

Jacob Goldstein was born about 1841 in Cork, Ireland, only child of Isaac Goldstein (c. 1811-1887) and Mary Goldstein née Pulvertaft (c. 1811-1890). Jacob grew up in Belfast, where his father was a general dealer, that is a shopkeeper, and his mother was a dressmaker. In 1852 the Goldstein family lived at 12 King Street, Belfast. Isaac Goldstein was still living at King Street at the time of his death in 1887.

In 1858 Jacob Goldstein, then 17, emigrated to Australia, arriving in Melbourne on 29 April 1858. He could read and write, was a native of county Armagh, and his religion was Presbyterian. He had sailed on the Arabian, which left Liverpool on 27 January with 365 government immigrants. The Argus reported that she had experienced fine weather during the passage, that she was very clean, and that the passengers were in good health. When he disembarked Jacob stated he intended to be employed on his own account.

From the early 1860s Jacob ran a general store in Portland, a Victorian coastal town. We catch a few glimpses of him there over the next decade: in 1863 racing a horse; in 1864 playing cricket with the Portland cricket club; in 1867 a lieutenant with the Western Artillery, part of the Victorian volunteer artillery (he served for 30 years without seeing any active service, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel); in 1868 writing about birds and ornithology to the local paper.

On 3 June 1868, ‘at the residence of the bride’, Jacob Goldstein married Isabella Hawkins (1849-1916), eldest daughter of the pastoralist Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819-1867).

Jacob and Isabella had five children:

  • Vida (1869-1949)
  • Elsie (1870-1953)
  • Lina (1872-1943)
  • Selwyn (1873-1917)
  • Aileen (1870-1960)

His marriage and the births of his children were announced in The Belfast Newsletter, an Irish newspaper.

Much of the Goldstein family history has been documented in The Goldstein Story, by Jacob’s grand daughter, Lina’s daughter Leslie Henderson (1896-1982).

Goldstein Jacob

Jacob Goldstein: photographs in The Goldstein Story by his grand daughter Leslie Henderson.


Leslie argues that Jacob was not close to his father nor to his own children.

Both Jacob and his wife Isabella were interested in social service, devoting much time and effort to work among the poor.

According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, ‘Jacob Goldstein encouraged his daughters to be economically and intellectually independent’. With her more famous daughter Vida, Isabella was a keen proponent of women’s suffrage;  Leslie Henderson believes that Jacob  was less enthusiastic. [The ADB calls Jacob an ‘an anti-suffragist’.]

In Melbourne, the Goldsteins attended the Scots’ (Presbyterian) Church, whose minister the Reverend Charles Strong was forced to resign over heresy charges in 1883. When Strong later set up his own ‘Australian Church’ the Goldstein’s became members. In the late 1890s Isabella and her daughters, though not Jacob, became Christian Scientists, followers of the spiritual healer Mary Baker Eddy.

Jacob died in 1910 at the age of 71.

LIEUT. COLONEL GOLDSTEIN. (1910, September 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 7. Retrieved from