It is early December 1812, and at the Old Bailey a young man is facing the Common Serjeant. He stands just 5’1″ tall, has a dark sallow complexion, dark brown hair, naturally black eyes, and is aged about 23 years. Three weeks earlier he had been caught in Church Lane St Giles, pocketpicking a watch valued by its owner, the undertaker Richard Andrews, as being worth £1. The young man, John Wood, does not contest the charge against him, only saying “They all swear so hard against me, it is of no use for me to say anything.” and is sentenced to transportation for life.
John Wood has been sentenced to transportation for life, life in a land he does not know, life in a land where he probably does not know another soul. Continue reading
Samuel Whitehead, seventh child and third son of William Whitehead and Marianne Carter, was born in June of 1853 in the town of Finchingfield in Essex England.
Although it is recorded on the 1861 census that Samuel was a scholar, he signed his marriage register with his mark and also signed as witness the marriage registers of two of his children, using his mark each time. As a farm labourer and horseman, he would have worked hard, and is recorded in later life as a Retired Parish Bailiff, although it is not known how long he held that position for, or in what exact capacity.
Samuel died in September 1934 in the home of his son in Bournemouth, and was buried in North Cemetery in a grave that is now unmarked.
Samuel Whitehead 1853-1934
My Great Grandfather
For one family in Bewick Street, South Shields, in Durham England, Thursday October 16th 1924 would become a day of sadness and ongoing remembrance. William James Mabley, aged 58, a coal merchant, died of Lobar Pneumonia and Heart Failure (1). William was survived by his wife Florence Mary (nee Barnes), his newly married daughter Florence (now Mrs Thomas Wood), daughters Caroline, Olive, Dorothy, and Edna, and sons William (from his first wife Hannah), Sydney & William. He was pre-deceased by his first wife Hannah (nee Forester) and their second son Henry, by his parents William Mabley & Elizabeth (nee Hins), and two children from his marriage to Florence, George & Audrey.
Although recorded as a coal merchant at the time of his death, William had worked since a teenager as a Lath Render (2, 3, 4), and in later years as both a Lath Render & Builders Merchant (5). He is also recorded as being an Employer (4, 5), indicating he may have owned or managed a business. Probate records indicate that he left effects valued at over £4,000. (6)
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William James Mabley
born about 1866 Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire, England
died 16 October 1924, South Shields, Durham, England
My Great Grandfather
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There are two definitions of a Lath Render, which is the more accurate for William’s line of work is unknown.
Lath Render: Someone who rends/rives (i.e splits) wood to form laths. (7)
Lath Render: Someone who worked in building industry, as a plaster’s assistant, applying the first layer of plaster to the lath. Laths were used mostly for interior walls and ceilings. They were strips of wood which were nailed to the wall studs, which allowed the plaster to be applied more effectively. (8)
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1) England and Wales, death certificate for William James Mabley, died 16 October 1924; citing 10a/773/444, December quarter 1924, South Shields registration district, South Shields Second sub-district; General Register Office, Southport.
2) 1881 census of England, Bedfordshire, Woburn, folio 16, page 26, William Mabley; PRO RG 11/1637
3) 1891 census of England, Durham, Westoe, South Shields, folio 142, page 43, William J Mabley; PRO RG 12/4160
4) 1901 census of England, Durham, South Shields, folio 70, page 25, William Mabley; PRO RG 13/4731.
5) 1911 census of England, Durham, RG 78 PN 1745B, RG 14 PN 30336, registration district (RD) 556, sub district (SD) 1, enumeration district (ED) 77, schedule number (SN) 345, 17 Bewick Street South Shields, William James Mabley.
6) Ancestry.com, England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 (Ancestry.com Operations Inc)
7) Michael & Janet Wood, Obscure Old English Census Occupations (http://www.worldthroughthelens.com/family-history/old-occupations.php : accessed 27 Aug 2013), http://rmhh.co.uk/occup/l.html.
8) Family Tree Service, Family Tree Service Census Occupations (http://www.familytreeservice.co.uk/census%20occupations.html : accessed 12 Jul 2014), http://www.familytreeservice.co.uk/census-occupations-l-Lath-Render.html
On 25 December 1885, the Parramatta made port in Sydney New South Wales, Australia. On board were a crew of 55, passengers numbering 59, (1) and a general cargo valued at £20,900 (2). Among the passengers there is a family listed: Fanny Holden and her children Harry, Fanny, Ellen K, Ethel, May, and Howard. But, there is a notable absence from this list. Where is Fanny’s husband, and the father of the children? Where is Henry Howard Holden?
The voyage was described in the Evening News (3) newspaper on 26 December 1885 as
Captain Goddard of the well-known trader Parramatta, which arrived yesterday morning from Plymouth, September 19, reports passing Madeira on the ninth day out, and carried brisk north-east trades to latitude 18deg north, fifteen days out. Thence to the Equator light baffling winds prevailed. Crossed the line on October 21, thirty two days from Plymouth. With moderate winds and very fine weather the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope was passed on November 14, fifty-six days out, and an extremely pleasant run of twenty-four days was had along the parallel of 40deg south to longitude 123deg east. Thence to the end of the passage nothing but light and contrary winds were experienced. On Monday, December 11; when in 40deg south, and 131deg east the wind set in at north-east, taking the ship south of Tasmania. On the south coast had extremely fine weather, but wind almost calm. Passed Cape Pillar on the 19th; the wind and weather on the east coast have been very unsettled and warm. On the 24th at 5 a.m. when off the Dromedary, a southerly set in which took the ship to the Heads. The vessel brings a large number of passengers, and comes into port in her usual good order. Two passengers died of consumption. Mr. A. G. Mickley on October 7, and Mr. John Spicer on December 12. The voyage with this exception, has been a very pleasant and social one, and the passengers speak in high terms of the kindness and courtesy shown to them by Captain Goddard and his officers.
After a voyage of just over 3 months with children aged 11, 9, 8, 4, 3 and 18 months, spending Christmas Day on board ship but in sight of the new country, probably knowing no-one in the unfamiliar town before her, probably not knowing where her husband was, knowing that two men had died of a potentially contagious illness while on the voyage, what sort of thoughts and feelings would Fanny have had as the new year approached.
Why did her husband Henry not travel with her? Did he come ahead to find work, find a home, and establish connections with others who could guide them in this new country? Did he stay in England to finalise matters there and follow at a later time, hoping that his wife and children would be able to find themselves a home at least in New South Wales?
Henry Howard Holden, when and how did you arrive in Australia?
(1) Mariners & ships in Australian Waters, PARRAMATTA, http://mariners.records.nsw.gov.au/1885/12/127par.htm
(2) MONETARY AND COMMERCIAL. (1885, December 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13607659
(3) ALONG THE WHARVES. (1885, December 26). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), p. 4. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111345173