Tuesday, 25 September 2018



Taking a break from our travels this week.. to bring you a collection of birth, death and marriage notices from various states over several years as listed. More will follow in later blogs. 
There is also a puzzle to solve...

I have marked those born overseas with a blue line, or an asterisk *. Hopefully I haven't missed any.

Please click on images to enlarge..

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Tuesday 13 September 1859, page 9
National Library of Australia. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13030706

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Wednesday 4 January 1860, page 1

On the 24th ultimo, at her residence, Wargundy, county of Bligh, Mrs. James F. Plunkett, of a daughter.
On the 25th ultimo, at her residence, in Armidale, the wife of C. T. Weaver, Esq., P.M., of a son.
On the 29th ultimo, at her residence, 404, Sussex-street South, the wife of Jons Blomgren, of a son.
On the 1st instant, at the North Shore, Mrs. Henry Augustus Severn, of a daughter.
On the 1st instant, at Balmain, Mrs. P. S. Grant, of a son.
On the 3rd instant, at her residence, Maida, Mrs. William Russell, of a daughter.
On Wednesday, 28th ultimo, at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev. James Voller, Mr. Alexander Gray, of the Commercial Bank, Maitland, to Elizabeth, second daughter of Mr. James Glassop, of Balmain.
On Thursday, 29th ultimo, by special license, by the Rev. Dr. Mackay, at Ashmore Cottage, 98, Kent-street, Mr. William Munson, of Sydney, to Mary, third daughter of Mr. James Ewan, of Maitland.
On the 20th August, at Gambia, west coast of Africa, of yellow fever, Lieutenant Arthur Molony, 1st West India Regiment, aged 22 years, youngest son of the late Walter Molony, Esq. R.M., Belfast, Ireland. *

On September 23rd, suddenly, at Norwood-green, the Rev. A. C. Thomson, curate, formerly missionary of the S.P.G., Southern India, afterwards minister of St. James' Church, Melbourne, Victoria, and late chaplain at Evandale, Tasmania, aged 59.

On the 21st ultimo, at Ballina, Richmond River, Mrs. Ann Eyles, wife of Mr. Joseph Eyles, aged 41 years.

On the 26th ultimo, at Queanbeyan, from severe injuries received from a fall from his horse, Granville Faunce, second son of the late Captain Faunce, of Queanbeyan, in the 15th year of his age.

On Tuesday, the 27th ultimo, at Jarvisfield, Picton, of diphtheria, John Macquarie, elder son, in the third year of his age ; and on Sunday, the 1st instant, Celia Farrington, younger daughter of J. M. Antill, Esq., in the fifth year of her age.

On Monday, the 2nd instant, at Marlborough-street, Surry Hills, Frederick William Padwick, son of William and Ellen
Taylor, aged eleven months.

On the 3rd instant, at the residence of her parents, Brickfield-hill, of scarlatina, Elizabeth Clare, fourth child of Mr. Francis McMahon, aged four and a-half years.

On the 3rd instant, in childbirth, Mary Hannah, aged 43, the beloved wife of B. Dyer, builder, Jamison-street, leaving eight children, a disconsolate husband, and numerous friends to deplore their loss.

Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), Thursday 5 January 1860, page 1

On the 1st instant, at the North Shore, Mrs Henry Augustus Severn, of a daughter.

At the Scots Church, by special license, on Wednesday, the 4th instant, by the Rev. Dr. Lang, M.P., Mr. Sidney Richard Heath, of Brougham-place, Pitt-street, late of Rockhampton, a native of Deptford, London *, to Mary Ann Wheeler, of Pitt-street, Sydney, born at sea. #  (see extra notes below)

On the 3rd instant, at Pictonville, North Shore, Robert Fulcher, eldest son of Mr. Robert F. Pockley, aged 4 years and 7 months.

The charge for the insertion of Births, Marriages and Deaths, in the Empire, is One Shilling each. This will ensure their notice in both the Weekly and Monthly Summaries.

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), Thursday 5 January 1860, page 1

On the 3rd inst., by special license, at the Wesley Church, Singleton, by the Rev. G. Pickering, Henry Fenner Delves, native of Tunbridge Wells, England *, to Fanny Emily, second daughter of Mr. Sawkins, Singleton.
On the 28th ult., at Golden Grove, Manning River, Mrs. Richard Churchill, of a son.
On the 1st January, 1860, at his residence, Muswellbrook, Mr. Michael Jones, aged forty-nine years.

Launceston Examiner 12 Jan 1860

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Thursday 2 February 1860, page 4
National Library of Australia  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5696014

Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. / 1835 - 1880), Saturday 4 February 1860


At Government Cottage, Launceston, on the 27th January, Mrs W. H. Clayton, of a daughter. 

On February 2nd, the wife of J. J. Pollard, Pianoforte maker, York Street, of a daughter. 

On the 2nd instant, at Victoria Terrace, Mrs R. M. McDowall, of a son. 

DIED. At her residence, St John Square, Launceston, on Friday, the 3rd February, 1860, Mrs Grace Dodery, aged 63 years, relict of the late Mr George Dodery. The funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon, at 3 o'clock. All friends invited to attend. R. Sadler, Undertaker.

Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), Saturday 15 April 1865, page 14
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63512367

The Herald 20th January 1877

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Friday 9 March 1877, page 10
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13389529

Curiosity got the better of me, so I chose just one couple (see above)  to do a little more research on... The obvious choice was to look for any more on their wedding. I've included the whole notice as other names might be relevant to some... By doing so, we have some extra information... Mary Ann's full name was Mary Ann Maria Wheeler.. and she was the 'youngest daughter of John Wheeler, late of Greenwich College, London.' We also see that she is listed as 'native of Clapham, London', no mention of her being born at sea.

Sydney Morning Herald 7 Jan 1860


The same notice appeared a week later in the    
nla.news-article28629278.3  SMH 13 Jan 1860    so no extra news there.

The next mention of Mary Ann that I found was a notice of her death...
nla.news-article13738060.3 Mary Ann Heath SMH 15 Aug 1889..  
 Just to confirm it was her, I checked the NSW BDM... it seems it could be correct, father John... Mary A M.... 

The following year Memoriam Notices appeared...  

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW / 1842 - 1954),   Wednesday 5 November 1890

HEATH.—In loving memory of my dear wife, Mary Ann Maria Heath, who died at her residence, Newman-street, Newtown, on the 5th November, 1889. Inserted by her loving husband, Richard Heath.

HEATH.—In loving remembrance of my dear mother, Mary Ann Maria Heath, who died November 5, 1889. Though lost to sight, still to memory dear. Inserted by her loving son, Sidney Wm. Heath.

The pain you suffered, dear mother, Was long and painful, we know ; But to be with Jesus for ever Is worth all pain here below.
HEATH.—In loving remembrance of my dear mother, Mary Ann Maria Heath, who died November 5, 1889, aged ? years. Inserted by her loving daughter, A. Wheeler,
Thy voice is now silent, the hearth is now cold,
Where thy smile and thy welcome oft met me of old. I miss thee, and mourn thee in silence unseen.

But I dwell in the memory of days that have been.

 This is the original of the notice, which was the last of three family notices, inserted by her daughter, A. Wheeler. I can't make out the age, can you? What have we learnt from the three Memoriam notices... Mary Ann seems much loved and missed.. she had at least two children, Sidney Wm. (William), who by the way appears often in TROVE and not in a worthy way... and a daughter, A. Wheeler. 

This leads to a couple of questions... why does her daughter go under the name of Wheeler? Also, are these notices referring to the same woman, HEATH Mary A. M.? Note that the previous death notice gives the date of death as 11 August 1860, but Memoriam notices have the date of death as Nov 5, 1860.

You would expect that the family would remember the date of their much loved wife and mother's death... so, check yet again...maybe it's not all that it seems.

The purpose of this exercise is to remind us all that there is always more to the story. Check, check and check again, before accepting the first find as fact.

I chose to trust the family  memoriam notices and went back again, not accepting that the first death notice and the entry in NSW BDM as seen above, was of the same woman. Bingo...

The Sydney Morning Herald 7 Nov 1889 has 'our ' Mary Ann Maria Heath...her funeral notice for Nov 1889. Has this also explained the daughter called A.Wheeler? Perhaps she was a daughter in law... married to John Wheeler... or maybe divorced... I'll leave that for others to follow.

On a final note, there is a death of a Richard Heath in 1866.. not 'our' Richard, as 'ours' appears in later years as above. 

If you have managed to get through all this, I thank you for your patience. If you are connected to this family, I would love to hear from you in Comments below... we seem still to be missing part of the puzzle.

All images courtesy of Pixabay

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


Note: approximate position

Ever wanted to circumnavigate Australia? We still have a way to go...we'll be going on quite a journey, at least virtually, and clockwise. So as to make sure all states and territories are covered, we started in Western Australia and explored a little of the early history of a small part of this massive state via TROVE...from Rottnest Island to Broome..then across to Katherine Gorge, then Tennant Creek, from there to Darwin on the way to the Tiwi Islands, Bathurst and Melville.

We've had to travel back to Darwin, before leaving the Northern Territory, then across to Cairns, in North Queensland... but we didn't stop there, instead headed to the tropical north, to one of the most beautiful areas you can imagine... isolated yes, but perfect for that great getaway... to Cape Tribulation. It seems you loved that area so well, that Cairns was the obvious place to travel to next... not too far south. That was another very popular place...as was our visit to Fraser Island...

We then headed inland, on an approximately 6 hours flight to a place steeped in history.. what a contrast to the sub tropical island of Fraser ...no waterfalls or clear lakes or rainforest, but Longreach has so much to offer.

We then returned to Hervey Bay, by plane, and then took a short drive of approximately 25 minutes to a town founded in 1847... the charming historical town of Maryborough.

What a contrast this next place is, though it is also very much steeped in history... a beautiful place, but it was a place of horror, of deprivation and loneliness... St. Helena Island. To get there, we will go to Manly, just over three hours drive from Maryborough and then a ferry ride across to the island. It is just 5km from the mouth of the Brisbane River and approx. 8km northeast from Manly.

St. Helena Island is now heritage listed and is a national park. Only a few of the original buildings remain, the ruins still standing as if in defiance of nature. According to some, the island was named after the other St. Helena, of Napoleon fame, however others say it was only changed from the aboriginal name of Noogoon after an aboriginal called Napoleon was exiled there in 1826.

 It is close enough to the mainland to be seen from some of the bay suburbs. In the 19th century, it was a quarantine station, but then became a prison in 1867.. for the next 65 years.

The Age Melbourne 10 Oct 1912

Wikipedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.phptitle=St_Helena_Island_National_Park&oldid=843503739"
gives the following...

"In the early 1860s, as Brisbane's gaol at Petrie Terrace became more and more crowded, about 30 prisoners were transferred to an old hulk, called the Proserpine, anchored near the mouth of the Brisbane River. In 1866, as part of their labours, the prisoners were taken each morning across the waters of Moreton Bay by whaleboat to St Helena Island. Here they were put to work sinking wells, clearing scrub, quarrying stone and building accommodation for a new quarantine station.[3] They were brought back to the hulk each night.
Government plans for the quarantine station were scrapped later that year — because the conditions at Petrie Terrace gaol had become so unbearable, the prisoners from the Prosperpine were set to work building a gaol instead. On 14 May 1867, the Governor of Queensland signed a proclamation declaring the island 'a place whereat offenders under order or sentence of hard labour or penal servitude may be detained'. In the years that followed, St Helena was to become Queensland's showpiece prison.
The toughest years on St Helena were undoubtedly the early ones, and the ruins on the island testify to the hard work that the prisoners had to do. These, too, were the years of severe punishment — the lash, the dreaded dark underground cells, the gag, and energy-sapping shot drill. These were the years that gained St Helena its fearful reputation as 'the hell hole of the Pacific' and 'Queensland's Inferno'. But in these days tough measures were used, because St Helena housed some of the country's worst criminals. In 1891, for example, there were 17 murderers, 27 men convicted of manslaughter, 26 men convicted of stabbings and shootings, and countless individuals responsible for assaults, rapes and similar violent crimes.

By the turn of the century, the St Helena establishment had grown to accommodate over 300 prisoners in a maze of buildings surrounded by a high stockade wall. It operated as a self-sufficient settlement, and even exported some of its produce to the mainland, including bricks for many of Brisbane's buildings, clothes to be sold in Brisbane, and white rope for ships, which was made from imported Sisal Hemp plants. In the island workshops the prisoners were taught such trades as carpentry, boot making, tailoring, tinsmith, saddle making, bread baking and butchery.[3] The island boasted a prize dairy herd which won many awards at the Brisbane Exhibitions. The island was extensively farmed,
Plans for the prison, 1868

particularly in the later years as a prison.[3] Maize, potatoes, lucerne and other vegetables thrived in the rich volcanic soil and the sugar mill crushed over 75 tons of locally grown sugar annually by 1880. In many ways, St Helena was regarded as a model prison for the times, and held in high regard by visiting interstate and overseas penologists.
By the 1920s, the prison had begun to show its age. In its latter years, after the majority of prisoners and the workshops had been removed to the Boggo Road Gaol on the mainland,[3] the island became a prison farm for trusties, with a few dozen resident inmates tenaciously dismantling the ageing edifice. Many prison buildings remain. The last prisoner left the island on 15 February 1933. The last prison superintendent was Mr Patrick Roche."

1. Warders' buildings on St. Helena Island, 1928

2. One of the warder's cottages on St. Helena Island, 1939

3. Prisoners in the saddlers' shop on St Helena Island, 1911

4.Prisoners making uniforms in the tailors' workshop on St Helena Island, 1916. 

5. Horsedrawn tram with officials on
St Helena Island, Queensland, ca. 1928       

       6. Gun at St. Helena Island

Daily Herald 31 Mar 1914

Prisoners working on flax at the old sugar mill site on St. Helena Island, 1912

   Cell block on St. Helena Island, 1939

Old Gaol on St. Helena Island          

  Horsedrawn tram on St. Helena Island, 1928

All photos above are out of copyright, sourced via TROVE as are the similar photos below...
Most are available via the John Oxley Library, State Library Queensland

An extract from
Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), Saturday 15 September 1883, page 26  National Library of Australia  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71003785
talks about the plans and then the results 
Please click to enlarge..

Escape attempts happened regularly

The Mercury Hobart 22 Dec 1924

North West Champion Moree 17 Mar 1930

Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), Wednesday 30 September 1936, page 6
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160636407

In later years, even the Australian Women's Weekly featured an article on St. Helena Island..
Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Wednesday 17 January 1979, page 22
National Library of Australia    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article585886
Please click to enlarge.. read across the page..

Interior of the St Helena Prison 

Prisoner eating benches on St. Helena, ca. 1928

How St. Helena Island looks now..

                                                                                View of the Butchery and Bakery areas at St Helena, Queensland, Australia

 merlin9911 - My original work          CC0
File:St Helena Island - Butcher Baker.jpg
Created: 8 May 2010

St Helena Island Penal Establishment ruins, 2015.
Image courtesy of Georgia Grier, Museum Assistant.

Prisoners who were released from St Helena Island prison 17 November 1893.Mug Shots - Prisoners Barcaldine Shearers' Strike 1891. All released from St Helena Prison 17.11.1893. Julian Alexander S. Stuart; Patrick J. Griffin; Charles H. Smith-Barry; Edward H. Murphy; Alexander Forrester; Hugh O. Blackwell.

The Queensland State Archives has the following data set...

St Helena prisoners 1863 to 1936

This index records the names of all prisoners who were held at St Helena Penal Establishment between 1863 and 1936. Read more about these St Helena records.
St. Helena Prisoner Index

Do you have any connections with St. Helena? Maybe a missing ancestor can be found in the records..

There are tours of St. Helena available, both night and day and you can learn more about the history there. As mentioned previously the island is now a heritage listed national park.