X, Y and Z – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

Well, I’ve come to the end of the line; I’m all out of ideas for these last three letters.  I’m seriously proud of myself for completing this challenge this month (well, except for the last 3 letters).  Thanks to GeniAus for the suggestion to do this during self isolation and also her blog posts on how to structure the posts over the month.

I appreciate those who have read my posts and made comments or liked a post.

I’ve realised that one advantage of blogging over writing a book is that you can go back any time and add to the information as you discover new resources or improve the post or add more pictures, maps or documents.  One advantage I found from completing this exercise is that i have had to check my sources or improve my referencing or do more research to fill out a post.

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W is for Wodonga – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

Wodonga is the one half of the border between NSW and Victoria, known collectively as Albury Wodonga.  At the time my HOUSE family were living there; it was the Victorian border – well, it’s still on the border of Victoria but it no longer has a Customs function since the colonies and state federated in 1901 and you now just drive over the bridge into NSW whenever you want to (except for this particular time in history when state borders are closed due to the Coronavirus).

Wodonga, Victoria2

This map shows where Wodonga is in relation to some of Australia’s capital cities.

My gg grandmother, Jane (1837-1904) HOUSE SINNETT moved to Wodonga after her marriage to James SINNETT on 19 Jan 1861 at St Matthew’s church (see B is for Bell Ringer and V is for Verger) in Albury and proceeded to have 11 more children. She had already had an illegitimate child, my g grandfather, James in 1857 while the family was still in Sydney.  Jane and James bought land on House Creek (see H is for House Creek for the position of their land in Wodonga) in 1879.

Wodonga, Victoria

This map shows Wodonga in relationship to Albury; the Murray River between the towns is the border between NSW and Victoria all the way to the SA border

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V is for Verger – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

I learnt from a 1917 article in the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express written by Harry Turnbull who wrote a wonderful series about his memories of growing up in Albury that my ggg grand father Charles (1808-1884) HOUSE was the Verger at St Matthew’s Church of England church in Albury.

1917 Charles and Ann HOUSE verger and asst caretaker of St Matthews, Albury cropped

 

 

This doesn’t surprise me because he was the Parish Clerk back in the old country (see P is for Parish Clerk).

The article also mentions that my ggg grandmother was the Assistant Caretaker as well.  It’s nice to read how involved they were in the Albury community.

 

 

St Matthew's , Albury

 

The church burnt down in 1991 and was rebuilt into this beautiful church.  I look forward to one day being able to worship there and walk in the steps of my HOUSE ancestors

You can check out the website for St Matthew’s, Albury  

 

 

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U is for Uncle – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

I didn’t know I had had an uncle Percy till the mid 80’s when I started my family history research; by then my mother had been dead a long time.  To compound things, she was an only child and her father had died when she was still in primary school and she never mentioned her cousins. All I knew was that her father’s name was Ray (1889-1928) HOUSE.

My research showed that he was the 5th child of James (1857-1889) and Pauline (1854-1930) HOUSE of Albury, NSW. His eldest sibling and brother was Percy Charles (1878-1938) HOUSE.

So far, I haven’t turned up more information on his early years. Percy doesn’t reappear again until 1901-1902 when ads in the Corowa Free Press showed he was in business with his mother in a Fruit and Tea Shop (see blog post                      ).

1898 Ad for Pauline and Percy's shop in Corowa Cropped

But Percy mustn’t have been happy in Corowa or wanted the bright lights of Melbourne as by 1904, he’s listed in the Sands and McDougall Victorian Directory as being a Confectioner and Pastry Cook in Collingwood.  In the 1909 Electoral Roll and again in 1910 when he married Florence J AYRES, he was working as a Tram Conductor for Northcote Tramway in Melbourne.

1910 Marriage of Percy HOUSE and Florence AYRES in

He died in 1938 at Northcote by suicide when he was Caretaker of the Northcote Theatre. I found it a very sad and unsettling experience sitting at PROV in Melbourne and opening his Inquest papers – perhaps the first time, they had been opened for several decades. Even sadder was seeing his final note written on a piece of exercise book paper in pencil and apologising to his landlady for his actions and telling her to ring the doctor and Thornbury Police. So thoughtful at such a desperate time of his life.

Interestingly, he was identified at the morgue by his brother in law, Clarice’s husband, David HAIG who told the inquest, he didn’t believe that the note was written by Percy while Mrs McArthur was sure it was his handwriting.  The coroner didn’t appear to comment on that discrepancy.

In Percy’s will which he made a couple of years before his death, he owned 4 Northcote houses which I think is amazing for someone who came from a poor family and didn’t have jobs which paid huge salaries. He left one to Lillian McArthur whom he was boarding with at the time of his death; she said he had boarded with her for 3 years. His wife, Florence was to continue to live in one of the houses he owned on Ballantyne St, Northcote till her death and also, she was to receive the nett income of his estate till her death which was in 1941.

After Florence’s death, the income from the estate was to be paid to his sister, Clarice (1886-1967) HOUSE HAIG till her death which wasn’t until 1967. Upon her death, the houses were to be sold and the money was to be divided equally between the Melbourne, the Alfred and the Austin Hospitals.  Such a generous act.  I notice there wasn’t any money left to his brother’s widow, my grandmother; perhaps they didn’t get on and that’s why my mother never mentioned his name.

I am happy to share the Will, Probate and Inquest documents with other HOUSE descendants, just email me.

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T is for Tasmania – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

Tasmania

Anne (1813-1866) HOUSE WILLEY and husband Joseph (1813-1887) were the first of her family to leave Somerset.  They arrived with 4 children in Port Philip Bay in 1849 on board the Hope.  There were 2 other WILLEY families from Somersetshire but there is no mention of where they lived in Somerset whereas Ann and her famiy were listed as coming from Drayton in Somerset. By 1859, they were in Port Sorell, Tasmania where they had their 6th child, Jane.  I wonder why they decided to go to Tasmania while her brothers went to Sydney some years later.  Perhaps a member of the WILLEY family can let me know?

Map of Port Sorell, Tasmania

Joseph worked as a labourer in Drayton but was a fisherman in Port Sorell.

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S is for the Sultana – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

“Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia”.

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

Charles HOUSE and his family arrived in Sydney on the Sultana on May 19, 1855. According to Migrant Ships for South Australia by Ronald Parsons, the Sultana was a 3 mast barque, built in 1849 in Durham and it made several trips to Australia.

1855 May 28th List of imports on board The Sultana croppedThey were preceded by his sister, Ann and her husband, Joseph WILLEY and their children who had arrived in Port Melbourne, Victoria on the Hope on 21st July 1849 with either Joseph’s brothers or cousins, Frederick and Alfred WILLEY with their families.

1855 Charles and Ann HOUSE arrive in NSW on the ship Sultana2

The family of Charles HOUSE arrived in Sydney in 1855

Charles’ brothers, John and William arrived with their families the next year on the Lloyd and I’ve been fortunate to find on the national TROVE catalogue (it isn’t just newspapers) items related to the Sultana.

1855 SMH report on the arrival of the Sultana in Sydney cropped

I’ve been able to find diaries by a couple of people travelling on the Sultana in the 1850’s and 1860’s at different State Libraries.  Then via their Copies Direct service I was able to order a copy for only $16.50 each.

1856 Diary unknown Cornishman p1

The best one that I’ve found is a partial (14 pages) diary by an unknown Cornishman who left Liverpool on the Sultana on 21st December 1857; so only 18 months after my family but it’s hard work transcribing it as the original held by the State Library of Victoria is a poor copy of the original.  They don’t have the original, don’t know if it exists and don’t know the name of author but they and we can deduce that he is a Cornishman (he mentions sailing from Penzance to Liverpool) and he’s obviously the son of a farmer.  He did say that he’d left because he was “dissatisfied with his prospects at home” and saved 40 pounds after his father “being unwilling to part with me, he having suddenly discovered that I was useful on the farm. I found myself on the eve of starting for the Golden Land with something over Forty pounds in my pocket.”

While waiting to sail, he met “an old chum who had been to Australia twice before” who advised him to buy some provisions “in the shape of hams, potatoes, chicken, jams as he having proved by experience that the ship’s fare is anything but luxurious.”  I’m afraid I don’t have a lot more detail apart from his description of the passengers including himself who were sick for many days and he noted that he “could scarcely taste anything for a fortnight” and but for the kindness of Mr. L who arranged for “arrowroot and bottled porter” he wouldn’t have recovered.  In the 3rd week, he found his appetite but found it was limited.  He “enjoyed the privilege of hearing the gospel preached by one of the ministers who were on board” and attended “a lecture on the country” but Rev P or B who especially made “some very good remarks on Colonial Life, the principle causes of successes and failures of those who went there.”

Pulsford diary p8

I’ve also purchased a copy from the National Library of Australia a transcription of Thomas Pulsford’s diary – he also travelled out to Australia in 1860 on board the Sultana before droving and doing other station work – such a change from working in Devon.  It was not the original but a copy of a transcription made by a family member in 1959 and donated to the NLA. He devotes less than a page to the trip out!  He mentions watching as a child was committed to the deep and another watching a sailor drowning after falling overboard.  One of other comments relates to the melting of his sealing wax in his writing desk when they were in the tropics.

 

Capture

 

I’ve also ordered a copy of the transcription of the diary of Tom BIRD who came out to Queensland on the Sultana  in 1862 to work for 2 years as a Shipping Agent.  His diary was originally sent back to his mother and stepfather in England, transcribed in 2012 by a descendant of the stepfather in the UK who thru research found Tom’s descendants in Australia and sent them the original and transcription.  They kindly donated it to the State library of Queensland.  I was only able to order the transcription as the original is too fragile to copy but I am looking forward to seeing it next time I’m in Brisbane.  This one has much more detailed information about each day; Tom tells us it was boring and he offered to do the captain’s accounts so he could be busy.

unnamed

Last item I’ve found is a small book called “A settler’s 35 years’ experience in Victoria, Australia, and how £6 8 shillings became £8000” by Edward Hulme and published in Melbourne in 1891.  I was able to find a facsimile copy on Book Depository this year.  He was an artist in London in the 1850’s and decided to travel to Australia – “the land of gold with his wife, six sons and baby girl”.  He devotes very little to the journey out here on the Sultana but his account of their life in Australia after their arrival in 1856 is very interesting.  I should write a detailed post about that one day. He does mention that the children found the hard ship’s biscuits impossible to eat so he used his carpenter’s plane which he’d packed to shave them and with a liquid made them into puddings!

 

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R is for Robbed – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

“Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia”.

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

I love TROVE for it’s free database of digitised Australian newspapers as do most genealogists. You never know what you might find out about your ancestors.  In this case, I learned about the jewellery which my great grandmother owned till it was stolen.

In the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, 18th March 1881 edition I found reference to a break in at the home of my great grandparents, James (1857-1889) and Pauline (1854-1930) HOUSE’s residence while they were at Cole’s Circus with their young family. Did all breakins make the paper or was it because he was the compositor and later foreman for the newspaper that this theft was written about.

1881 ABAWE Mar 18 James HOUSE's residence broken into cropped with border1881 ABAWE Mar 18 James HOUSE's residence broken into col.2

HOUSEBREAKING.—On Saturday last, during the absence from home of families at the circus, certain thieves appear to have turned the opportunity to account for professional purposes. The residence of Mr. James HOUSE amongst others was entered, and certain valuables removed. Mr. House, it appears, left home about half-past seven in the evening, and was absent for a couple of hours. On his return he found that one of the windows had been opened, and the contents of drawers and boxes in the various rooms ransacked. The only articles missing were a locket, two brooches, one ring, and an earring, the whole representing about £12 in value. Information was immediately given to the police, and Constable Murphy at once suspected a young man named Bedford, who had recently been released from gaol, where he had served a sentence for opium-stealing. On the following morning (Sunday) the constable started in pursuit, and succeeded in discovering his man camped under one of the bridges on the road to Wodonga. Being on the Victorian side of the river, Constable Murphy could not arrest the accused, but he appears to have obtained his permission to search him, with the result that the locket and one of the rings forming part of the missing property were found upon him. Bedford then (probably unaware of the technical difficulty in the way of his being arrested on Victorian side) accompanied Murphy to Albury, and on reaching this side of the river was taken into custody. He was brought up at the police court on Monday, and committed for trial at the next sitting of the Circuit Court. With a view to facilitate the recovery of the rest of the stolen property, we append a description of the articles still missing, as follows:—One large gold brooch, pheasant pattern, without pin ; one small gold brooch, grapevine pattern, with green stone in centre; one gold earring to match the last-named brooch ; and one gold keeper ring.  How wonderful to read those descriptions of Pauline’s jewellery.

Immediately about the report of the break in at James’ house was an interesting report on the Cole’s Circus that was performing in Albury that night.

1881 ABAWE 18 March Cole's Circus

 

 

 

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Q is for Quilt – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

“Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia”.

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

I know only from an article in the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express in 1884, that my ggg grandmother, Anne SALWAY HOUSE must have enjoyed crafts as she entered both sofa cushions and a rag rug in the competition at the Albury Border Pastoral Agricultural and Horticultural Society Annual Exhibition on Sept 18, 1884.  Although by today’s standards, the writer was very patronising.

What may be termed the “rag rug industry” is an innovation of comparatively recent date, and the name is perhaps hardly a pretty one. The results, however, are very pleasing, and several of the rugs exhibited were exceedingly pretty as well as useful The exhibitors in this section were Miss Isabella Waite, Miss N. McEachern, Mrs. Horsfall, Mrs.M’Gowan, and Mrs. House (Wodonga). The contribution of the last-named exhibitor was rather a quilt than a rug, but for taste and conscientious work, though made by a very old lady, was especially worthy of note. (She was only 74 years old)

1884 Ann HOUSE's Fancywork wins prizes

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P is for Parish clerk – A-Z Blogging Challenge

 

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

“Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia”.

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

The first time Charles HOUSE is noted on an official record as the Parish Clerk of Drayton in Somerset is in 1834 when his and Anne’s son, George was baptised at St Catherine’s Church of England.

2015 St Catherine's, Drayton SOM1

St Catherine’s Church of England in Drayton, Somerset (photo by J Gay)

In the baptisms of the previous 2 children, Charles was listed as being a Labourer.

1834 Baptism George HOUSE son of Charles (Parish Clerk) and Ann

This Baptismal Register was accessed on Ancestry and note that as well as George’s baptism, 2 of his cousins were also baptised on that day.

He probably remained as the Parish Clerk till at least the 1851 census which was 4 years before the family left for Australia.

1851 Census Charles and Ann House

1851 England and Wales census accessed on either FMP or Ancestry

I found this very useful explanation of the role of the Parish Clerk on the Family Search Wiki.

Much of the work of the parish was carried out for a small salary by the Parish Clerk, an office held for life and commonly passed from father to son. He attended practically every service, keeping dogs out and people awake and collecting pew rents and customary fees. He wrote the accounts if the wardens and overseers were illiterate, made out fair copies of the lists of church rates, assisted officers in their collection, and was capable of dealing with intransigent Independents and Quakers, perhaps assisted in a town by a beadle. He collected tolls on sheep pastured in the churchyard (too sour for cattle), on those who hung their washing there and from those who set up stalls along the path on market days.

When I first noted that my ggg grandfather was the Parish Clerk for several years in Drayton, I presumed it was a church role which it looks like it was but it seems to have evolved into a local government role setting taxes, deciding on Building approvals and numerous other civic activities.  I found this description from Wikipedia very helpful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_councils_in_England

 

 

 

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O is for Outback – A-Z Blogging Challenge

2020 A-Z Blogging Challenge

“Drayton’s Parish Clerk moves his family to Australia”

My GGG grandparents, Charles HOUSE and Anne SALWAY came to Sydney with several of their children in 1855 from Drayton in Somerset.  They spent a few years in Sydney before moving to Albury in New South Wales.

One of Jane HOUSE’s younger brothers’, Thomas (1845-1910) seems to have moved around a lot once he married.  After losing his first wife and child in 1970 in Albury, he re-married in 1874 in Albury, NSW marrying Ellen Macklin.  Their first 2 daughters, Mary and Jane were born in Wodonga, Victoria in 1875 and 1876; Mary sadly, died in Wodonga. Then two more girls (Emma and Elizabeth) were born but this time in Hay, NSW in 1878 and 1879 and Elizabeth died there.  So much sadness in one family.

In April 1888, the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express carried an article about “a parcel of nice-looking ore from Tibooburra goes down this evening to the Sydney Mint for assay.  As this is not picked stuff, much interest is felt in the result.  This parcel has been forwarded by Mr Thomas HOUSE, one of the original prospectors of the Elizabeth Reefs, who has been connected with the reefs for several years, and believes that when proper machinery is erected on the Albert goldfield there will be accrue substantial results from the auriferous deposits which have laid unknown for so long, some of the previous assays having gone as high as 27oz. of gold to the ton”.

1889 Thomas HOUSE sends ore sample to Sydney from the Albert goldfields ABAWE 13 April 1888 p37

Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, 13 April 1888 p37 (TROVE @ NLA)

We know the family moved to Milparinka and Warratta between 1879 and 1881 due to being able to track the births of Thomas and Ellen’s children.  The births of the last 6 children were registered in Milparinka, NSW from 1881 – 1894.

In the NSW 1891 census, Thomas is listed as living at Warratta* and from the entries on the page, it is between Tibooburra and Milparinka* which were part of the Albert Goldfields.  Thomas was the publican at the hotel; was it a proper building or just a tent?  He is one of only 10 entries for Warratta so it was very isolated and lonely. I can’t even find the town on Google maps  but found a couple of references online.  There is one other residence with females so it must have been very lonely for Ellen.  The census records that there were 5 males and 5 females living in the hotel and I’m presuming at the moment, that was Thomas, Ellen and 8 children – thankfully, the maths works out, 8 children had survived at that point. I can’t even begin to imagine how Ellen coped in such difficult circumstances with pregnancies and bringing up so many children in such difficult circumstances.

According to Google, it now takes 11 – 12 hours to drive from Albury to Milparinka so imagine how long it must have taken presumably using a horse and cart or coach (if it was available)?

Albury to Milparinka

*Warratta, New South Wales is a cadastralparish of Tongowoko CountyNew South Wales.[1]Warratta is located at 29°34′54″S 141°51′08″E between Tibooburra and Milparinka where the Silver City Highway crosses Warratta Creek. The Geography, of the parish is mostly the flat, arid landscape of the Channel Country.

* Milparinka town is right up close to Cameron’s Corner – the place where the borders of SA, NSW and Queensland meet.  It now has a minute population but for a while it was busy as it supported the Albert Goldfields and Thomas was a publican of one of the hotels there.
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