Family Names

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Applying to Emigrate to the Australian Colonies

“The method adopted by all the Australian colonies in the nineteenth century to meet the need for paid domestic labour was to establish extensive programmes of assisted immigration aimed at offering very cheap or free passages to single British women, preferably those with some experience as paid domestic servants.”[1]

The decision to join one of these programs and travel to Australia in 1889 would be one of the pivotal points in my great Grandmother Martha Sarah Ellis’s life. If she had stayed in London her life would have been very different.   

Martha was 18 years old when she migrated to Australia.  She travelled with her sister Kate (aged 16). At the tender age of 18 Martha was a spinster as she had reached child bearing age and was of marriageable age.[2] During the Victorian era, most women married between 18 and 23. 
What prompted her to go is not clear, there were competing tensions.  On one hand, there was a lot of poverty and industrial unrest. Demographically there were also far fewer men than women.  The opportunities for woman earn to earn a wage to become independent and self-supporting were thin and often frowned on by Victorian society. The Australian colonies offered much-needed hope including higher wages for women (due to labour shortages) and a source of plentiful men, making marriage a much more likely scenario. A new land offered new possibilities.

The opportunities for emigration were advertised in posters which were distributed by the Emigrants' Information Office to every Post Office in the United Kingdom.  The aim of the advertising was to inform people giving them details as to possible Australian colonial destinations, passages, and demand for labour ect.[3] Circulars were issued regularly to those interested and considering applying for free, assisted or unassisted travel to the West Australian Colony by the same office which was “established under the supervision of the Colonial office for the purpose of supplying intending emigrants with useful and trustworthy information respecting emigration to the British Colonies.”[4] 

Figure 1 Western Australia Handbook, with Map / Issued by the Emigrants’ Information Office. Handbook. Australasian Colonies, no. 6. London: Printed for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1888. http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-3553543233.

A domestic servant either worked as either a live-in servant or they lived outside of the employer’s home.  

British Women's Emigration Society, (BWEA) Preliminary application Form

To qualify for free passage Martha and Kate the colonial government required the BWEA, to provide 3 certificates as part of their application one from her employer, a certificate from a doctor [akin to a medical certificate of fitness], and evidence of general capacity.[5]  In addition as part of the application process, an applicant had to fill out a "British Women's Emigration Society, Preliminary application Form"
Based on a newspaper report I have reconstructed what Martha’s completed form may have looked like, see below[6]

"Martha Sarah Ellis aged 19, no mother, only situation at home"
"10. Give name and address of following persons to whom you will refer,
  • ·         “a Minister of religion” — she gave the local minister’s name (not that she really knew him after all she had been 10 when she had been baptised.)
  • ·         "Two householders” —

o   “Mr. Smith” — although she wasn’t able to give any address for him
o   “Elizabeth Mary Ellis” - her step mother’s name     

"M. E. Forster" (Mrs.) may have signed the paper and recommended her as an applicant, although she may not have known her a year, however as often was the case she met Mrs. Forster shortly before embarking when she had gone to make inquiries about immigration.  Mrs Foster often signed the girl’s application to help expedite their application. Mrs Foster was the wife of Mr. Foster who was the Secretary of the Bristol Emigration Society, a branch, of the British Women's Emigration Society.
The selection process seemed to be fraught with problems, with the insinuation that many of the answers given by the applicants were “cooked”.[7]

Once this application was submitted to the BWEA a selection process would take place and successful applicants would be informed.  Qualifying for the program was not automatic "Elizabeth Quinn was refused passage on the steamer Port Pirie, on Mrs Joyce's instruction, as a result of her 'disobedience' and 'insubordinate behaviour'”[8]


Further reading & to learn more

  1. United British Women’s Emigration Association
  2. The Ship that Martha came out on the ss Nairnshire
  3. Travelling on the SS Nairnshire in 1889


Sources



  1. Gothard, J. “Protecting Labour. Carrie Hall and the Master and Servant Act.” Papers in Labour History, no. 6 (1990): 41–53. http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/14374/.
  2. Canot, Coralie. “The Undesirable Spinster: The Organised Emigration of British Single Women, 1851-1914.” (PhD), University of London, 1999. HAL. https://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-00935238/document.
  3. Great Britain. Colonial office. Combined Circulars for Canada, Australia, and South Africa. Vol. Circular 2 page 1. London: Printed for H.M. Stationery off., 1890. http://archive.org/details/combinedcircular00grea.
  4. Great Britain. Colonial office. Combined Circulars for Canada, Australia, and South Africa. [London, Printed for H.M. Stationery off.], 1890. http://archive.org/details/combinedcircular00grea
  5. Anon, 'CORRESPONDENCE - THE METHODS OF EMIGRATION SOCIETIES.', The West Australian, 8 February 1890, p. 4, Col.3. [http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3131910, viewed 13 Feb 2017]; Anon, 'Anglo-Australian.', The West Australian, 9 February 1892, p. 2, Col.4 ,  [ http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3031536, viewed 13 Feb 2017]
  6. Anon. “CORRESPONDENCE. - THE METHODS OF EMIGRATION SOCIETIES. To THE EDITOR.” Western Mail. February 15, 1890. TROVE. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32728296.
  7.  “Local and General.” The W.A. Record. February 13, 1890. TROVE. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article212688115.
  8. Gothard, J. “Protecting Labour. Carrie Hall and the Master and Servant Act.” Papers in Labour History, no. 6 (1990): 41–53. http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/14374/. P.47

Thursday, 26 January 2017

What happened to Thomas MANDERSON?

In May 1903 he married Lillian CRUMP in Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia, Lillian was only 19 years of age, Thomas was six years her senior.[1]  The couple’s whereabouts after their marriage is not known.  It is quite possible that Thomas took his new bride back to his usual place of residence in Kalgoolie, Western Australia. [2]

Figure Photographer - 1 G.L. Massingham, Wedding Photo of Lillian Crump & Thomas Manderson, 1903, Scan of original image.
By February 1906 Lillian had returned to Eaglehawk, Victoria to have her first child, Thomas does not seem to have returned with her[3]  By March 1906 there is a “Missing Persons notice” the Western Australian Gazette.[4]
Western Australia, "MIssing Friends," Government gazette of Western Australia, 16 March 1906, online archives (https://www.slp.wa.gov.au/gazette/gazette.nsf/searchgazette/F5F32A6A4046D57348257C6100257B4A/$file/gg020.pdf  : accessed 26 Jan 2017), p. 898, col. 1
Three months later he has been located, in Goomalling, near Newcastle in Western Australia which was reported in both the Government Gazette and the in the MISSING FRIENDS Column of The Daily News  in Perth.[5]   {Note - Newcastle, Western Australia is now known as Toodyay, it was known as Newcastle between 1860 and 1910, the  town situated on the Avon River,}

A year later on the 17 May 1907 in Quebec, Canada Thomas joins the crew of the Empress of Britain, and works as a Trimmer until June 1907 where he disembarks in Liverpool, England.[6]   The records show that he worked on the Everton Grange earlier in the year as crew before joining the Empress of Britain.

Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919;" Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool, England; digital images, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, "Crew lists (fishing boats). 387 FIS : 1907,"Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 24 Mar 2016), Entry for Thomas MANDERSON on the Empress of Britain - Cropped image
Eventually, Thomas winds up in California in 1910 where he is working as a labourer in a mine, He is living San Simeon, San Luis Obispo, California in the Cambria Precinct.[7] By 1920 he is in Big River, Mendocino, California in Road Street Winning West Lown Carpar.[8]

He eventually dies in 1938 Sonoma having worked as a farm labourer for 30 years.[9]

Further Research

We know where Thomas Manderson is on the
  •          30 June 1906, he is in Goomalling, WA;
  •          ?? date unknown he is on the Everton Grange
  •          31 May 1907 he joins the crew of the  Empress of Britain in Quebec, Canada
  •          17 June 1907, he is in Liverpool, England disembarking the Empress of Britain


How did he get to Quebec?  How and/or when did he leave WA?

Why?

Lillian CRUMP had four children. Her two eldest children Doris and Myrtle were born in Eaglehawk, Victoria; both were registered without a father.[10]  Her third child William BASSETT was born 1908 in Dundas, Tasmania with William BASSETT noted as the father in his military records.[11]  Her last child Gladys was born in 1912 in Eaglehawk, Victoria with William BASSETT listed as the father.  In 1912 Lillian and William BASSETT were living in Eaglehawk, Victoria as a married couple.[12] William BASSETT was Lillian’s long term partner in life.

Establishing where Thomas Crump was living will help to confirm or eliminate him as the possible biological father of Doris & Myrtle, Lillian’s two eldest children. 


References

[1] Birth Certificate Doris Lillian Manderson, born 25 Feb 1906, Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria, 2600/1906
[2] Western Australia, "MIssing Friends," Government gazette of Western Australia, 16 March 1906, online archives (https://www.slp.wa.gov.au/gazette/gazette.nsf/searchgazette/F5F32A6A4046D57348257C6100257B4A/$file/gg020.pdf  : accessed 26 Jan 2017), p. 898, col. 1.
[3] Marriage Certificate of Thomas MANDERSON and Lillian CRUMP, married 7 May 1903. Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria, 2358/1903
[4] Marriage Certificate of  Lillian CRUMP and Thomas MANDERSON, married 7 May 1903 [Thomas listed his usual place of residence as Kalgoolie, Western Australia at the time of their marriage]
[5] Anon, ‘MISSING FRIENDS’, 30 June 1906, The Daily News, p. 5 (SECOND EDITION). Accessed 25 November 2016 at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82405063; Anon., ‘MISSING FRIENDS’, The Daily News,  30 June 1906, p. 6 (SECOND EDITION). Accessed 25 November 2016 at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82404925 [note the same article is repeated twice in the same edition of the Daily News it appears on both pages 5 & 6]
[6] "Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919;" Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool, England; digital images, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, "Crew lists (fishing boats). 387 FIS : 1907,"Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 24 Mar 2016), Entry for Thomas MANDERSON on the Empress of Britain[The address given by Thomas MANDERSON in this document provides direct evidence that he came from Caldwell St., in Victoria, Australia and that he was born in 1877. It also mentions the previous ship that Thomas MANDERSON crewed for, the “Everton Grange”. ]
[7] "Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919;" Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool, England; digital images, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, "Crew lists (fishing boats). 387 FIS : 1907,"Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 24 Mar 2016), Entry for Thomas MANDERSON on the Empress of Britain [The address given by Thomas MANDERSON in this document provides direct evidence that he came from Caldwell St., in Victoria, Australia and that he was born in 1877.]; 1910 U.S. census, San Luis Obispo, California, population schedule, San Luis Obispo, enumeration district (ED) 0044, sheet 5B, p. 101, dwelling Cambria Precinct, family 90, Tom Manderson; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 25 Mar 2016)
[8] 1920 U.S. census, Mendocino, California, population schedule, Big River Township (part), Big River Precinct 1, Big River Precinct 2, Caspar Precinct, enumeration district (ED) 111, sheet 18B, p. 7015 (image 26 of 27), dwelling 678, family 468, Thomas Manderson; digital images,  Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Mar 2016)
[9] Death Certificate for Thomas Manderson, died 10 Mar 1938, Sonoma County Clerk's Office, California, USA,  20331/1938 [ Note Thomas parents were listed as Thomas Manderson and Anna Young, being born Australia]
[10] Victorian Birth Certificates 1906/2600-Eaglehawk for Doris Lillian MANDERSON and 1907/10233 Eaglehawk for Myrtle May MANDERSON
[11] NAA: B883, VX21203 William BASSETT
[12] Australian Electoral Commission, Australia, Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980, vol. 1912: 4 (image 4 of 37), Lillian Bassett; digital images, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, "Division of Bendigo, Subdivision of Eaglehawk," Ancestry.com (Ancestry.com.au : accessed 21 Mar 2016); Victorian Birth Certificate 1912/19781 Eaglehawk Gladys Irene BASSETT

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

An assault on a servant girl - poor Ellen Carey


Figure 1 Photographer unknown, Studio portrait of a young lady thought to be Martha Sarah Ellis possibly taken circa 1888 (before she leaves England for Australia), digital image,  Jim Bennett's Private Photo  Collection currently held by Dorothy Bennett

Martha met Sarah Jackson on the SS Nairnshire in 1889 on their way to Australia and had formed a friendship during the three-month journey.[1]  After arrival, they both secured positions as domestic servants.  On Thursday evening, 15th May 1890, Martha and Sarah had been out for the evening in the company of John Hayes and William George Arnold. 

The girls heard that Ellen Carey “had told several persons that they were bad characters, and had advised persons against associating with them.”[2]  According to the testimony given, they made their way to Mr. Justice Stone's house where Ellen was working as a domestic servant.  They must have decided to confront Ellen when they arrived.

Their companion Mr Haynes told the court that the assault “was provoked by the persisted efforts of the complainant [the victim Ellen Carey] to damage the characters of Ellis and Jackson.”[3]  On arriving at their destination Martha knocked on the door and spoke to Ellen.  Martha “went inside first, followed by [Sarah] Jackson. There was no disturbance whilst Ellis was inside, but when Jackson went in, I heard screaming.”[4] Ellen suffered a blow that dislocated her jaw and a beating “as soon as she opened the door, Jackson flew in, pulled her hair, and thumped her in the back.”[5] The fight broke up when Ellen called for Miss Stone, her employer’s daughter, to come to her aid.

Both Martha and Sarah were found guilty of assault and were fined 40s each.  The judge also commented that “if there was a suitable institution for their detention he would send them in for a time”.

The incident was reported in the following 4 papers over a period of 6 days:-
  1. Anon, "TO-DAY'S CITY POLICE NEWS," The Daily News, 19 May 1890, p. 3, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77286257 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitalised Newspapers.
  2. Anon, "NEWS AND NOTES," The West Australian, May 20 1890, p. 3, col. 1 & 6; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3134319 & http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3134312 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitised Newspapers.
  3. Anon, "TO-DAYS CITY POLICE NEWS," The Inquirer and Commercial News, May 21 1890, p. 2, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66930962 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitalised Newspapers.
  4. Anon, "ASSAULT ON A SERVANT GIRL," Western Mail, 24 May 1890, p. 6, col. 4; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32731935 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitised Newspapers.
Details of the Court case
The case of assault was heard before the Acting Police Magistrate, Mr, J. Cowan in the Perth Police Court, on Monday 19 May 1890. 
The crime was committed on Thursday 15 May 1890 allegedly by Martha Ellis, Sarah Jackson and John Hayes for assaulting Ellen Carey. Mr Hayes was discharged but the two girls Ellis and Jackson were fined but according to the judge if there "had been a proper institution, they would have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment,.

Research already conducted
WA Police Gazettes – no listing found in the indexes for 1890 or 1891 https://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/explore-discover/wa-heritage/police-gazettes

Further research required
At State Records Office of Western Australia possibilities include:-





[1] Shipping Records for the ‘Nairnshire’, Page 3 Passenger listing, 8 Oct 1889; Passenger and Crew Lists; Shipping Records for the ‘Nairnshire’; State Records Office, Western Australia
[2] Anon, "TO-DAYS CITY POLICE NEWS," The Inquirer and Commercial News, May 21 1890, p. 2, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66930962 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitalised Newspapers. 
[3] Anon, "NEWS AND NOTES," The West Australian, May 20 1890, p. 3, col. 6; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3134312 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitised Newspapers.
[4] Anon, "TO-DAYS CITY POLICE NEWS," The Inquirer and Commercial News, May 21 1890, p. 2, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66930962 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitalised Newspapers.
[5] Anon, "TO-DAY'S CITY POLICE NEWS," The Daily News, 19 May 1890, p. 3, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77286257 : accessed 26 Jan 2017), Digitalised Newspapers.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

What Genealogy Podcasts do you listen to?


A Few of my favourites listed below:-

Australian focus
Genies Down Under - http://geniesdownunder.com.au/
Jennyalogy Podcast - http://jennyalogypodcast.blogspot.com.au/
Dead and Buried Podcast - http://www.deadandburiedpodcast.com/dead-and-buried-podcast/

World focus
The Genealogy Professional podcast - http://www.thegenealogyprofessional.com/episodes/
The Podcast History of Our World - http://www.podcasthistoryofourworld.com/history-podcasts/

Other - more American-centric listens
Family Tree Magazine Podcast - http://www.familytreemagazine.com/info/podcasts
The Genealogy Guys Podcast - http://genealogyguys.com/
Extreme Genes - http://extremegenes.com/
The Genealogy Gems Podcast - http://lisalouisecooke.com/podcasts/

Jonathan Velasquez, https://unsplash.com/@jonathanvez?photo=c1ZN57GfDB0, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Let me know in the comments below of any that I have missed.

This article was inspired by "The Question of the Week" in the G2G forum on Wiki TreeDo you listen to genealogy podcasts?

Friday, 2 December 2016

John and Louisa's arrived to Australia prior to 1855, but when?

John lived for 19 years in Victoria before he died after immigrating at the age of 23 in 1853/4[1]

Louisa died in 1901 after having lived in Victoria for 47 years which indicates that she must have also migrated in 1853 or 1854.[2]

John & Louisa married in Oct 1853 in England, so we know they were in England at this time. [3]
 
Their eldest son Thomas is born on 11 Jan 1855 in Waugh Terrace, Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.[4]

They must have migrated shortly afterwards perhaps on the Mary Stoddart which sailed in April 1854 with only a small number of passengers including a Mr & Mrs Williamson (unfortunately first names and ages not listed).

This is the only possible match that I have been able to find  for the couple, the entry reads as follows:
WILLIAMSON ---- MR A
 WILLIAMSON ---- MRS A

It appears that they were travelling with no children and were both over 21. (Note the  “A” stands for adult not their first initial). [5]

Anon., 'SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE' The Argus, 3 April 1854, p.4 . Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4805280

There is no Louisa listed on the incoming passenger list at all in either the assisted or unassisted passenger lists for incoming shipping to Victoria in from 1853 to Jan 1855 time period.

Has anyone else found them? I'm desperately looking for help, any ideas of where to look next would be wonderful.

Links

To learn more about John & Louisa Williamson click here

Sources

[1] Death certificate of John Williamson, died 7 Jun 1874, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria 6427/1874
[2] Death Certificate Louisa Williamson, died 6 Sep 1901, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, 9613/1901
[3] Marriage certificate of John Williamson & Louisa Walker married 10 October 1853, General Register Office, England, Dec quarter 1853, Shoreditch registration district, 1c/364/311
[4] Birth certificate of Thomas Williamson, born 11 Jan 1855, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, 218/1855
[5] Taken from the Index of Inward Passenger Lists for British and Foreign Ports 1852-1899, MARY STODDART B 066 001.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Thomas & Jane Williamson born Ireland lived in England

Looking for my 2nd great grand Parents

Little is known about my 2nd great-grandparents other than what I have been able to glean from the English Census. I have not found any record of Thomas or his family in the 1841 census I am assuming that they left Ireland for England after 1841 and arrived before the 1851 census.
However it is possible that Thomas came out first, and because he came out alone we aren’t able to detect him in the 1841 English census.  He may have come out first to find work etc before the family followed. 
Or he may have followed his pregnant daughter/ daughter-in-law out for some reason, and/or he may have gone to stay with her while looking for work. The possibilities are endless ...

What we know from the census records

1851 (Series HO107 Piece: 2435; Folio: 561; Page: 11)
Wood Street, Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. Thomas Williamson, aged 54, Dock labourer
2. Jane Williamson, aged 50,
3. John Williamson, aged 19, Tailor apprentice
4. James Williamson, aged 15, ship carpenter apprentice

1861 (Series RG9, Piece: 3942; Folio: 17; Page: 27)
Nelson Street, Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. Thomas Williamson, aged 60 Labourer
2. Jane Williamson, wife aged 58
3. Jane Williamson, daughter aged 40 unmarried
4. James Williamson, son, aged 23, Ship carpenter
5. James Williamson, gson, aged 8, scholar

1871 (Series RG10, Piece: 5246; Folio: 77; Page: 35)
8 L Court, Nelson Street, Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. Thomas Williamson, aged 70, labourer
2. Jane Williamson, aged 69
I have not been able to find either one of the ageing couple Thomas or Jane in the 1881 Census.


Known children
1. Jane Williamson (born in Belfast Cir 1821 – death date unknown)
2. John Williamson (born in Belfast Cir 1832-died 1874)
3. James Williamson (born in Belfast Cir 1836-Aft 1891)

Their son John Williamson married Louisa Walker in the Holy Trinity Church, Hoxton, Middlesex, England on the 10 Oct 1853.  Soon after the couple migrated to Australia and John eventually set up a tailor shop in St. Kilda, Victoria. I am descended from John Williamson and Louisa Walker.

Summary of Information from the Censuses 

Thomas was born in Belfast, Ireland between 1797 and 1801 based on the various ages he gave in the 1851, 1861 and 1871 English Census. Thomas’s wife, Jane also was born in Belfast, Ireland.  Their known children were from Belfast Ireland; I have always assumed that the couple were also married in Ireland.

Based on the above information I applied for two death certificates as transcribed below:-

Transcription of Thomas Williamson’s death certificate (1872 June Qtr, Vol 10B page 352)

Registration District         Whitehaven
1872 Death in the Sub-district of Harrington in the County of Cumberland
No. 171
When and where died Fifteenth April 1872 Harrington
Name and Surname Thomas Williamson
Sex Male
Age 72 yrs
Yeoman
Cause of Death Paralyses Certified
Signature, description and residence of informant Henry Robison for attendance Harrington
When registered Sixteenth April 1872
Signature of registrar Edward Brydin Registrar

Transcription of Jane Williamson (1876 June Qtr Vol 10B page 372)

Registration District         Whitehaven
1876 Death in the Sub-district of Whitehaven in the County of Cumberland
No. 394
When and where died Twenty second May 1876 65 SAtrand Street
Name and Surname Jane Williamson
Sex Female
Age 77 years
Occupation Widow of John Williamson [--?--]
Cause of Death (Vascular disease of heart)
Signature, description and residence of informant – Jane Musgrave Daughter. Present at the Death 65 Strand Street, Whitehaven
When registered Twenty fourth  May 1876
Signature of registrar  William  [--?--] Hamilton Registrar

Conclusion

Thomas Williamson [death certificate (1872 June Qtr, Vol 10B page 352)] could be my ancestor but I have nothing to corroborate this at present.  Although the ages make a match the occupation does not.
Jane Williamson [death certificate (1876 June Qtr Vol 10B page 372)] is unlikely to be my ancestor as she was the widow of a John Williamson rather than a Thomas Williamson.  The information on the certificate is likely to be correct as her daughter Jane Musgrave provided the details.


So the challenge is where to next? Any ideas?

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Immortalised in a Poem

A poem published on the 20 Dec 1895 in the North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser featured my great grandparents.[1]    The newspaper article containing the poem compared two jurisdictional Melbourne court approaches to matrimonial cases.  Walter and Martha Todman were not mentioned directly but the preamble contained the words "put-them both in a bag and shake 'em up” an often mentioned quote taken from other newspaper court reports referring to their case. [2]
Figure 1 Ronuj, ‘Permiskus Pars’, North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, page 3. Accessed 20 November 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103238468

PERMISKUS PARS column transcribed 

“At Prahran, where Dr. Fetherston is the presiding Solon, it is ruled in court that woman when she marries must accept her bargain for better or worse, and the best thing to do when married people disagree is to "put-them both in a bag and shake 'em up" - literally force them into each others' arms again, so to speak. Apparently it is not only regarding the treatment of the ills of the body, but also those of the spirit, that the medical profession hold views as opposite as the pole.
When mammy wants papa to shout,
And bangs the blessed things about
Unless he does, he'd best go out
And get a blue prescription from
The Doctor ruling at Prahran,
Who, pitying the average man,
Will always do the best he can
To stiffen Poll, if she whacks Tom
In the mouth,
Down South. 
But Polly'll get full leave to flirt,
And pass her boss like so much dirt
When out of doors-and if he's hurt,
Get maintenance apart-if she
Consults the veteran Dr. Lloyd,
Who never gets so much annoyed
As when he cannot well avoid
Subduing his famed chivalry,
In his wrath,
Up North.”[3]

Courts of the Day

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a Solon as
 “a wise and skilful law giver”[4]  
The Solons mentioned were:-

  •  Dr. Lloyd from the North Melbourne court (Up North)
“Dr. Lloyd is known as the Friend of Women - he always leans to the side of the wives rather than to that of the husbands in cases of conjugal difference”[5]  


  • Dr Featherston  from the South Melbourne court  (Down south) 

“Dr. Fetherston is the presiding Solon, it is ruled in court that woman when she marries must accept her bargain for better or worse”[6]
 The different approaches of the two courts is highlighted when a claimant on losing her case in the South Melbourne court vows to take her case to the North Melbourne Court
 “afterwards declared her intention of taking the matter to the North Melbourne Court,” as she would get justice there!”” [7]

 Some interesting phrases of the day and what they mean

“a blue prescription from The Doctor ruling at Prahran”
 “A ‘blue prescription’ refers to a doctor’s prescription pads which were all coloured blue before the advent of computers.” [8]
“Who, pitying the average man, Will always do the best he can To stiffen Poll, if she whacks Tom In the mouth”
 “The meaning of stiffen in this piece is most likely to be ‘punish’, especially given the court context” [9]

 Post-Natal Depression

The preamble of the poem mentions what would probably be referred to as post-natal depression these days  
“treatment of the ills of the body, but also those of the spirit”.  
Could the word “spirit” be referring to post-natal depression? Did my Great grandmother suffer from post-natal depression?  It’s an interesting thought. 

Related Links

The early years of Walter & MarthaTodman's marriage click here

Sources

[1] "PERMISKUS PARS.". (1895, December 20). North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser (Vic. : 1895 - 1913), p. 3. Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103238468 
[2] "Domestic Troubles", The Argus, 10 December 1895, p. 5. Retrieved November 20 2016  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8883765; "Domestic Troubles", Mount Alexander Mail, 11 December 1895,  p. 2. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198250800; For Better or Worse, Warragul Guardian,  13 December 1895, p. 2 (Bi-weekly.). Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67446720; Prahran Police Court, The Prahran Telegraph, 14 December 1895, p. 5. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672; Prahran Court, Prahran Chronicle, 14 December 1895, p. 4. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165213885; Here and There, Warragul Guardian, 20 December 1820, p. 8 (Bi-weekly.). Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67446889
[3] ‘Permiskus Pars’, North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, 20 December 1895, p. 3. Accessed 20 November 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103238468
[4] "Solon." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
[5] Anon., ‘Magisterial Humour’, Table Talk, 17 May 1895, p. 13. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145921427  
Excerpt “Dr. Lloyd is known as the Friend of Women - he always leans to the side of the wives rather than to that of the husbands in cases of conjugal difference - but he never hesitates about publicly rebuking them for their own good when he thinks it desirable to do so. The other day, for instance, he informed a number of ladies conceited in a case of threatening language that it would be better if they stopped at home and minded their own business instead of gossiping, scandalising each other, drinking beer and wasting the time of the court. But in his heart he must have been thankful to them for giving him a chance to deliver one of his characteristic discourses.  It is a well-known fact that wives seeking alimony from their husbands, and women requiring orders of the court for maintenance for their illegitimate children, go to North Melbourne to reside for a time in order to be able to bring their grievances before Dr. Lloyd. And Dr. Lloyd is proud of his reputation in this way.”
[6] ‘Permiskus Pars’, North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, 20 December 1895, p. 3. Accessed 20 November 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103238468
[7] Anon., 'People We Know”, Melbourne Punch, 11 April 1895, p. 3.Retrieved November 27, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article178588178
Excerpt “A REPUTATION for consistency is rapidly bringing game to Dr. Lloyd and the North Melbourne Bench. Wives separated from their husbands, and unmarried girls with encumbrances are always sure of sympathy in the Court presided over by the Dr. We recently drew attention to the fact that the North Melbourne Bench had extended its old established business of giving verdicts to lovely women in distress or disgrace. Formerly the maintenance cases were local ones, but latterly the North Melbourne justices have constituted themselves a Court of Appeal from other courts, saying in effect—" If you can't get a maintenance order in any other court give Dr. Lloyd and Co. a trial. Satisfaction guaranteed." There is no necessity to advertise this in the papers, since it appears to be tolerably well known. At the Prahran Court on Monday a woman who had been granted a maintenance order for 25s a week applied for a further grant for her children. The application was refused, and the woman afterwards declared her intention of taking the matter to the North Melbourne Court, "as she would get justice there!" We shall watch with interest the appeal to the gallant and reliable Dr. Lloyd and his brother justices.”
[8] Andrea Buckely to Sandra Williamson, telephone conversation, 12 September 2016
[9] ‘To Stiffen Poll, Mail Bag’, Oz Words, Issue April 2016, p.4. Retrieved November 20 2016 from http://andc.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/Ozwords%20April%202016.pdf. This article that appeared in “Oz Words” with the response to my query about the meaning of “to Stiffen Poll, if she whacks Tom in the mouth”. A big thankyou to Julia Robinson for her help.