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Friday, May 11, 2012

The Allen Family - Melbourne 19th Century

The reason why I have been researching this Allen family is that Fanny Allen married my Great Great Grandfather Edmund Harrison after he had left my Great Great Grandmother Ellen Lonergan and her children and had also had children prior to that with another young Irish woman by the name of Jane McGee.  I found the fact that Edmund could so casually take up with a young woman produce several children and then move on to the next one rather callous and cold behaviour. Fanny Allen was a 16 year old orphan on the 31st May in 1878 when Edmund married her at All Saints Church in St Kilda in Melbourne. Edmund even had the temerity to put Fanny's fathers occupation as a gentleman, when in fact he had been a Publican who had died when she was quite young. His own father was also described as a Gentleman, when if fact he was a Merchant. Perhaps his rise to the middle-classes meant being a gentleman was a more appropriate title.

Fanny's parents were John Allen, a Publican originally from Sheffield in Yorkshire, England and Hannah Maher (Meagher) of Roscrea, Tipperary, Ireland. John Allen would have been born about 1829 and came to Melbourne around 1851 and married Hannah in 1852 according to the St Peter's Church of England records Registration no. 29498. Hannah may have been born about 1836, the records are conflicting about dates. He and Hannah had a number of children:

  1. John Francis Allen died age 8 Collingwood 1862 registration 7006 so was born about 1854. According to The Argus he was buried at Melbourne Cemetery on Wednesday the 23rd July 1862 at 4 o'clock. He was taken from his residence at Parliamentary Hotel, Spring St. The undertaker was John Daley.
  2. Henry Arthur Allen died age 5 Melbourne 1860 registration 4751. From The Argus Newspaper it stated he died on 31st May at the Olive Branch Hotel in LaTrobe St.
  3. Alfred Allen died age 2 Collingwood 1860 Registration 724, so was born about 1858.
  4. Ann Born??Died before her father died.
  5. Frederick Allen born 10 February 1859 according to The Argus at The Olive Branch Hotel.Registration No 11304
  6. Fanny Allen Born Melbourne 1860 Registration 18278. Fanny Harrison died age 35 Melbourne east Hospital in 1896. Registration 6941. From The Argus Fanny was born on the 3rd November at the Olive Branch Hotel, LaTrobe and Stephen St.
  7.  Frank aged 12 in 1873 according to father's death certificate so makes him born about 1861.
  8. Mary Josephine Allen  Born on 27th November 1863 at the Royal Surrey Hotel in Bourke St, Melbourne. Registration 4104.
  9.  Henry according to father's death certificate aged 8 so would have been born about 1865. He later died at Fitzroy North in 1906.
  10. Hannah Allen Parents  born on the 10th November 1866 at the Carlisle Hotel, Bourke St, registration 9783. Hannah died age 21 mths Melbourne 1868 Registration 4627
  11. James Joseph Allen  born at the Carlisle Hotel on 15th February 1868.  Registration 10831. He later died in 1896 at Fitzroy North.
  12. Albert Allen Parents  Born Sth Melbourne 1869 Registration 17346.
  13. Alf found that he died in 1920 at Carlton aged 49. That puts him born about 1871.

    Trove Digitised Newspapers was an invaluable resource to gather information about this family including the whereabouts at the births and deaths of members of the family.

     Further on from that John Allen died on 27th December 1873 at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne in the Albert Ward. Deaths at Alfred Hospital is another good list to check out. His death was caused from a disease of the heart brought on from Alcoholism of which he had suffered for ten years. He was the son of John soft?. Goodsman and Mary Allen. He was buried at Melbourne Cemetery on 2nd January 1874. According to The Argus he was at the Sussex Hotel, Elizabeth St, Melbourne at the time of his death.  His wife Hannah died a few years later on 23rd July 1876 at Cotham Rd, Kew, the daughter of an Unknown Meagher who had been a farmer. The alcohol seems to have been the death of her too as she succumbed to a disease of the liver that she had for a considerable time. Frederick her son of 97 Elizabeth St Melbourne was the informant. Hannah was buried at Melbourne Cemetery on the 24th July at quarter to 3 o'clock by John Daley Undertaker. She had been a resident of the Duke of Sussex Hotel, Elizabeth St, Melbourne.
    Some other useful information was gathered from Probate of Hannah Allen I was able to download from PROV . She died intestate and Probate was granted to Mary Ryan (widow) of Johnston St, Fitzroy. Mary Ryan according to the documents was the sister of Hannah. As Hannah had liabilities more than the assets from the Duke of Sussex Hotel she would have had to settle these and take charge of the youngest children of the Allen family.

    To find a little more information about the families connection to Hotels in Melbourne I went to the State Library of Victoria and looked at the Cole/Tetlow Index of Hotel Records. This showed John Allen having licence of the Olive Branch from 1858 to 1861. I also found a digitised old map of Melbourne on the State Library site and was able to ascertain that the Olive Branch Hotel was at the top end of LaTrobe St on the corner of Stephen's St (now called Exhibition St) which is just down from Spring St. He went to the Parliamentary Hotel, Lonsdale St in 1861. John Allen had the Royal Surrey Hotel licence in 1863/64. He is then listed as having the Carlisle Hotel, Bourke St 1866/67. John was then listed at the Duke of Sussex Hotel, Elizabeth St in 1872/73 which was at the time of his death. His wife Hannah is then listed as having the licence in 1874 until her death.

     So what happened to Fanny?  Well maybe Edmund decided he needed to get out of town for awhile. So he hopped on a ship and was off to Auckland in New Zealand working as a journalist. However I have been unable to ascertain exactly what he was working on. I did however find a  birth registered (one of the only ones he actually registered) in the New Zealand BDM index . I very quickly ordered that record. George Berkeley Harrison was born on the 22nd August 1879 at Turner St, Auckland. Edmund was aged 50 at the time. Edmund and Fanny apparently had a daughter Violet Dunant in New Zealand as I ascertained later from British Census records. Edmund seems to have dumped poor Fanny back in Melbourne and taken the children back to England as I later found him in the 1891 census boarding with daughters Violet and Constance. Who is Constance you ask? Well Edmund obviously had another liasion somewhere along the way and took the child with him to England. Unfortunately, Fanny must have been left to struggle to make ends meet as I found her dying on 11th June 1896 in the Melbourne Hospital of acute pneumonia, phthisis and exhaustion at the age of 35. She was buried on the 13th June at the Melbourne General Cemetery.

    So Edmund happily went back to London and retired to live to a ripe old age of 92 while the women he had used all died quite young Jane at 57, Ellen at 55 and Fanny at just 35.

Violet taken around 1905 and kindly given to me by Phillip Bury
     As to what happened to Fanny's children George Berkeley seems to have disappeared rumoured to have gone to America and died in an earthquake. Violet stayed single and seemed to travel a bit she died in a lovely home in Cannes, France 17 April 1950.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Whiteford Family near Bathurst

On a recent trip to Orange in NSW I decided to do some hunting for the last resting place of my children's gggggrandfather John Whiteford. With a copy of his death certificate transcript in hand (purchased from Joy Murrin)we were off to the little hamlet of O'Connell. A township about 30 km south east of Bathurst. With my kind of luck the whole main street was blocked off for roadworks and we were sent on a detour around the town. We passed by the old Anglican Church and its cemetery but he wouldn't be there. John and his family were Roman Catholics. I had previously searched the internet in search of the family and found some useful information on the Australian Cemeteries Index site it has listings for O'Connell Cemeteries (including Anglican, Roman Catholic and the General Cemetery). You can also find a listing of the O'Connell General Cemetery at this site Family Lists

A visit to the local pub at O'Connell and a chat to the lady working there put us on the right track to finding the old Roman Catholic cemetery. She also informed us that the O'Connell Hotel had been running since 1865 so I it is more than likely that the Whiteford's frequented this establishment.

A short walk from the hotel to the old Roman Catholic Church and convent which is now a private residence was in a picturesque setting as shown. 

We knocked on the door and asked permission to go through to the cemetery as a courtesy because the cemetery is at the back of the residence.

The headstones are very old and most are in poor condition. Many are broken or were made from sandstone and the inscriptions are worn away.

We did not find John Whiteford senior but found his son John Whiteford junior who had died in 1868 aged 25 years. Perhaps John senior is buried with him and this was never recorded on the headstone. There were no other of the family buried here that we could find.

John Whitford was born in County Antrim, Ireland in 1805, the son of John Whitford (Farmer) and Jane Gow. He was tried in County Armagh on 14 February 1826 for stealing cloth and with no previous convictions for this petty crime he was sentenced to transportation for life. John was transported to Port Jackson in 1827 aboard the Countess of Harcourt. His age at this time was 21. A description given for him describes his height 5 feet 5 and 3/4 with a ruddy pock pitted complexion, light brown hair and grey eyes. He was a Protestant and could read and write and had an occupation as a farmer. In 1842 he was given permission to marry Catherine Bligh. He married her on 4th April 1842 at St Michael's RC Church, Kelso NSW. Catherine was a young 19 year old Irish girl born about 1823 in County Down the daughter of Andrew Bligh and Catherine Cain. She had come as a free on the William Turner to Botany Bay 5th October 1841. She worked as a house maid. 

A Ticket of Leave was originally granted on 9 March 1836 – at this time John Whitford was described as a Labourer and, as well as the above physical description, he was said to be deficient of the left hand.  As this was not mentioned in his indent,  John may have met with an accident in this time.  John Whitford’s original Ticket of Leave given on 9 March 1836 was cancelled and his recommendation for Pardon halted on 3 February 1843, having been had up for Aggravated Assault.  His Passport was re-issued on 22 August, 1843.  His Ticket of Leave was restored and his eventual date of Pardon was 22 January, 1848. AT this time John added an 'e' into his surname and became Whiteford. John was given a grant of land at Mutton Falls, Snakes Valley near Bathurst. He died at Snakes Valley on 3rd February 1877 age 74 of old age and was buried at O'Connell Plains on 5th February 1877. The informant was James Ryan, tenant, Snakes Valley. The undertaker Henry Whelan, Minister D. A. McGrath. His religion was RC and witnesses Edward Brennan and James Ryan. Apparently the land passed on to his eldest surviving son Thomas.

The headstone of John Whiteford(jnr). He was born 1843 at Bathurst and died in 1868. A farmer who married Mary Ann Hourigan on 14 June 1864. 

We took a drive along the Mutton Falls Rd to Tarana and lunched at the little old Pub there,that has been around since 1878. The area is very pretty as the road winds through the hills and crosses the little creeks and valleys through the area.

So we didn't find John Whiteford but we had a nice time looking.