Eason Cook Family History

Scotland

My maternal great grandfather Robert Eason Cook’s family tree can be traced back to 1837 in Dundee Scotland.

His father, James Eason Cook, was a boat builder and born about 1837 in Dundee Scotland, in Angus, a maritime county in the east of Scotland. On both his marriage and death certificates his place of birth is given as Dundee.

Map of Dundee
Area around Dundee Scotland

On his marriage certificate to Ann Lord Senior his mother’s name is Isabella Hodges. I have been unable to find his birth record or to find his family on any of the Scottish census records.

Dundee an aerial view
Dundee an aerial view

He came out to Australia about 1850. His death certificate states he spent two years in NSW and three years in Western Australia and 59 years in Victoria. A direct descendant of James and Annie Lord Senior told me the three years in Western Australia were in Kalgoorlie and he was gold mining there. Gold was discovered in Kalgoorlie in 1893 so it had to be some time after then. He also told me that James Eason Cook was married three times.

I have found a record for a James Cook who came out in 1854. This is possibly but not definitely him. If he was born in 1837 he would have been 17 when he arrived on the “Kurrajong” in Sydney. The “Kurrajong” was a merchant ship. He may have put his age up. If he was 17 that makes him 22 when he married Mary Condon in 1859.

Kurrajong 1854 cr

Ship’s Passenger List the “Kurrajong” 14 Oct 1854
James Eason Cook 1854 Kurrajong from Dundee to Sydney
Ship’s Passenger List the “Kurrajong” 14 Oct 1854

He married Mary Condon, an Irish woman from Co Cork, in 1859 at the Church of St Francis Melbourne Victoria. His occupation was given as seaman and his father was a boat builder.

St Francis' Church Melbourne 1861
St Francis’ Church Melbourne 1861

James Cook & Mary Condon Marriage 1859

Marriage Certificate of James Eason Cook and Mary Condon Melbourne 1859

Snapper Point Mornington by J. Crear c1855 nla pic an 5694871
Snapper Point Mornington Johannah Crear

They lived at Snapper Point Mornington and had eleven children between the years 1860-1879. The township of Mornington developed from the first settlement at Snapper Point. Mornington had a good deep water port and became the link between Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Snapper point Robert Bruce nla pic an 10328044
Snapper point Robert Bruce nla pic an 10328044

There is a record on the Victorian Heritage database of James Eason Cook having built the schooner “Sybil” at Mornington in 1874. In 1877 The Argus 31 July reported him as standing for election as mayor at the municipal elections. He was unsuccessful. Unfortunately in 1880 he was declared insolvent.

Melbourne’s cable cars began operation in 1885 so if James was involved he may have worked for this company.

Melbourne's First Cable Car
Melbourne’s First Cable Car

Gold was discovered in Kalgoorlie in 1893 and James may well have spent the next three years over there trying to get his finances in order.

James Eason Cook Insolvency The Argus 20 Nov 1880
James Eason Cook Insolvency The Argus 20 Nov 1880

His wife Mary Condon  died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1896 in Prahran Melbourne. She had been in Victoria for 39 years, so came out about 1857. She is buried with a Bridget Condon, most likely her sister, in Melbourne Cemetery. Bridget died when she was 22 in 1859, the same year that Mary married James Eason Cook. On Bridget’s death certificate it states she had been in the colony for six years which would mean she came out about 1853.

Bridget Conran (Condon) Death 1859
Bridget Conran (Condon) Death 1859
Mary Cook nee Condon Death 1896
Mary Cook nee Condon Death Certificate 1896
Cook nee Condon Mary Will & Probate 2 1896 c
Will of Mary Cook nee Condon Jan 1896
Cook nee Condon Mary Probate 1896 c
Assets of Mary Cook May 1896
James Eason Cook Sale of Farm Mornington Standard 25 Feb 1897 c
Sale of Mary Cook’s Mornington Farm. The Mornington Standard 25 Feb 1897

 

The sale of the Mary Cook’s farm at Mornington was advertised in The Mornington Standard on 25 Feb 1897.

After his wife’s death James Eason Cook moved from Mornington to the city of Melbourne.

In 1898 he married Annie Lord Senior and they had two children, Margaret Newbury and Joseph William. In 1909 James was living at 385 Swan St Richmond with Annie and working as an ironmonger. The descendant of Annie and James also told me that James Cook designed and built the first rail car (tram) in Melbourne.

James Eason Cook and Ann Lord Senior Marriage 1898
James Eason Cook and Ann Lord Senior Marriage 1898

Annie Lord Cook was 45 when James died in 1910. He was 75. James was helping to move a grand piano when he died. Annie lived at 28 Clyde St St Kilda for the rest of her long life and worked as a charwoman. She died in 1956 aged 89. She and James are both buried in Boroondara Cemetery in Kew Melbourne.

James Cook Death Certificate 1910
James Cook Death Certificate 1910

His will and probate papers are online at PROV.

James Eason Cook's Will
Will of James Eason Cook 1909
James Eason Cook Assets 1910 c
Assets of James Eason Cook 1910
James Eason Cook, Annie Lord Cook & William Henry Senior Boroondara Cemetery Kew
Grave of Annie Lord Senior and James Eason Cook Boroondara Cemetery to the right of the Lancaster Grave

The eleven children of Mary Condon and James Eason Cook were Isabella who married William Stanley, George who married Louisa Davie, John, James Thomas, Mary Ann who married Robert Alexander Jones, William, Ellen who married David Carrick Trainer, Alfred Eason married Rebecca Elizabeth Putt, Robert Eason married Annie McSweeney (See McSweeney Family History), Thomas married Amy Annie Drake, and Anna.

Robert Eason Cook was my great grandfather. He was born in 1874 at Snapper Point. He was a clerk. In 1893 he married Annie Teresa McSweeney.

Annie McSweeney and Robert Cook Marriage
Annie McSweeney and Robert Cook Marriage 1893
Annie McSweeney
Annie McSweeney

They had four children: Grace Annie Frances born 2 Nov 1893 in Prahran Melbourne, James Alexander Thomas Eason born also in Prahran in 1896, John Walter Clemont born South Yarra 1901 and a stillborn child born on 18 August 1904.

Robert died in Brisbane in 1906. He was working there as an indent clerk and his brother Thomas who was living in Perth WA was also there. Robert was living in Wickham Terrace.

Robert Eason Cook Wickham Terrace brisbane c1900
Wickham Terrace Brisbane c1900
Robert Eason Cook Death Cert 1906
Robert Eason Cook Death Certificate 1906

Robert Eason Cook was 32 when he died and was buried in Toowong Cemetery Brisbane Queensland Australia.

Annie was with Rupert Owen Croxton Collier, the son of James Lyon Collier, the long time Clunes post master and native of  Northamptonshire England. They had five children and married in 1908 in Collingwood Melbourne. Their first child was born in March 1906 in Bacchus Marsh and Robert Eason Cook died in Sept of that year in Queensland. I think we can assume their marriage had broken down.

Rupert Collier died age 37 in 1916 of the Spanish Flu. Annie died three years later of pneumonia aged 46. I remember being told by my grandmother that her parents had died during the Spanish Flu epidemic. They are buried together in Springvale Cemetery Melbourne.

After Annie’s death there were eight children as orphans. I was told some were put in an orphanage.

Ernest Wilson 1984 aged 100
Ernest Wilson 1984 aged 100

When my grandmother Grace married Ernie Wilson they came to live with her and she raised eleven children all together, including her own four.

Grace was married three times. After being married to Ernie Wilson and having three boys to him she met James Knighton and after divorcing Ernie married Jim Knighton.

James William Charles Knighton in uniform c1914
Jim Knighton c1914

He was my grandfather. They had two children but one was stillborn.  Jim left to live with a French woman Juliette  and the marriage broke down. In 1941 Grace wanted to remarry and divorced James Knighton to marry a Scottish seaman Arthur White.

Grace Cook and Arthur White Wedding Allan Turner on right and Bloss Skinner bridesmaid 20 Dec 1941
Grace Cook marries Arthur White Brother? Bloss Skinner nee Collier, Arthur White, Grace Knighton, Allan Turner 20 Dec 1941

Arthur was born in 1901 in Lerwick the capital of the Shetland Islands, in the very north of Scotland.

Lerwick Shetland Islands Scotland
Lerwick, Shetland Islands Scotland

They were living together in 1943 and 1949 but I was told he went back to Scotland to see his mother. His father was deceased when they married in 1941 he had been a fisherman. His mother’s name was Margaret Watt. I can only assume he didn’t come back.

Grace Annie Frances Cook
Grace Annie Frances Cook

 

Descendant Report of James Eason Cook

Descendant Report of James Eason Cook

 

O’Regan Family History from Limerick to Emerald Hill Melbourne

Map of irish Counties 2
Irish Counties Showing Co Limerick and Co Cork

The O’Regans are part of my mother’s family. Thomas Dobbins O’Regan is my ggggrandfather.

Thomas O’Regan and Grace Dobbins were the parents of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan. On his son Thomas Dobbins O’Regan’s death certificate his father’s occupation was given as teacher.

Thomas Dobbins O’Regan was born about 1819 in Co Limerick Ireland. He came out to Tasmania Australia about 1838.  He married Johannah Walsh in 1842 in Melbourne Victoria Australia in the Parish of St Francis.  At this stage Victoria was a part of NSW. Elenor and Michael McNamara witnessed their marriage.

Thomas Dobbins O'Regan and Johanna Walsh Marriage 1842_croppedagain
Marriage Certificate of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan and Johannah Walsh 1842

 

Johannah Walsh was born in Co Cork Ireland and had spent 38 years in Victoria at the time of her death. She must have emigrated about 1840 at age 20. As yet I haven’t been able to find any immigration records for her.

Thomas and Johannah had nine children:
William Augustus born 1844 and died in 1883 in Prahran Melbourne;
Cecilia Agnes born 1846 and died the following year after an accidental scalding;

Thomas Joseph born 1848 died 1899 in St Kilda Melbourne; John born 1859; Sarah Ann born 1851 South Melbourne and died in Prahran 9 May 1895; Edmond born c1853 died 17 Dec 1876; Annie born c1857; Grace born c1860 and Mary Anne. At the time of Johannah’s death in 1878 Mary Ann, John and Edmund were deceased.

Johannah O’Regan nee Walsh died age 58 in 1878.

Johannah O'Regan 1878 Death Certificate
Death Certificate of Johannah O’Regan Emerald Hill Melbourne 1878

Thomas Dobbins O’Regan died in South Melbourne on 20 May 1888 .

Thomas Dobbins O'Regan Death Cert 1888_cropped
Death Certificate of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan May 1888 Melbourne

His occupation is given as gentleman. He was wealthy and lived off the rent from The Australia Hotel in Bourke St in the center of Melbourne.  He spent five years in Tasmania and forty five years in Victoria. He must have came out to Tasmania at about age 19 around 1838. Family stories say he owned a silver mine in Tasmania. He married Johannah Walsh shortly after moving to Victoria in 1842.

When Thomas Dobbins O’Regan died in 1888 his estate was valued at 14,641 pounds. He was an extremely wealthy man. His marriage certificate has very few details and no occupation. He was listed in The Victoria Post office Directory of 1869 as living in Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) but no occupation. He was in Victoria during the Gold Rush which started in 1851 so he may have made his money then.

In the Australia Directory for Port Phillip 1847 Thomas O’Regan is listed as a farrier in Wrights Lane. Wright’s Lane extended from Lonsdale St to Little Bourke Street and was named before 1847 after an early settler. It was later renamed Hardware Lane.

O'Regan's Shoeing Business Moves Argus 12 Feb 1858 CR
O’Regan’s Shoeing Business Moves Notice in The Argus 12 Feb 1858

In the same directory is Peter McSweeney (listed as Peter M’Sweeney) a cooper working in Bourke St. Peter McSweeney’s son John Vincent married Thomas O’Regan’s daughter Sarah Ann.

The O’Regans and McSweeneys both lived in Emerald Hill in later years, so again there is a connection. In the Electoral Roll for Victoria 1856  Thomas O’Regan, a farrier, is registered to vote. His residence is a freehold and is off Bourke St in Melbourne in St Patrick’s Division.

On his daughter Sarah’s marriage certificate 1871 his occupation was given as veterinary surgeon.

At the time of his death  in 1888 he owned The Australia Hotel on Bourke St in the center of Melbourne which returned a rent of 350 pounds annually. It was leased to a Mrs Honor Bennett at the time of his death and valued at 14,000 pounds. Whether he was a publican himself we don’t know. There is no occupation given on his marriage certificate. He lived at 16 Bridport St South Melbourne in 1888 with his unmarried daughters Annie and Grace. He also owned this property which was valued at 650 pounds.

Australia Hotel
The Australia Hotel 62 Bourke St West Melbourne First of the right with horse and carriage in front. c1869

His will which can be seen at PROV Probate and Wills Online. The beneficiaries of his will were his children and two grandchildren. His grandaughter Hannah Ann Teresa McSweeney daughter of Sarah O’Regan was my ggrandmother. She was called Annie.

There is much more on the McSweeney family from Co Cork Ireland in this post.

Annie McSweeney cropped
Annie McSweeney daughter of Sarah Ann O’Regan

Below is the will of Thomas O’Regan who died in 1888.

O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 1

O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 2 O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 3 O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 4

16 Bridport St South Melbourne
Bridport St South Melbourne 2011 middle house likely no 16 where O’Regans lived

Thomas and Johannah O’Regan were buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.

Thomas O'Regan Melb Cemetery
O’Regan Family Grave Melbourne General Cemetery

In the O’Regan family grave these members of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan are buried with him. His son Edmund who died in 1876 aged 25, his wife Johanna aged 58 buried Mar 1978. Thomas Dobbins O’Regan himself buried May 1888, Sarah McSweeney his daughter buried May 1895 and his great grand child Babe Cook stillborn buried August 1904. These are all in Compartment D grave no 354.

In Compartment D grave 355, which I am assuming is in the same family plot shown in the photo, are buried William A O’Regan aged 38 buried on 5 Sept 1883, Thomas Dobbins O’Regan’s daughters Annie O’Regan aged 56 buried on 24 April 1918 and Grace O’Regan aged 86 buried on 16 Nov 1943.

Sarah O’Regan married John Vincent McSweeney, a school teacher, in about 1869 in South Melbourne and they had one child, Annie Teresa in 1872 in Camperdown Victoria.

In 2012 an O’Regan descendant commissioned research into the O’Regan family in Co Limerick. The researcher tried to find Thomas O’Regan who married Grace Dobbins. She wasn’t able to find anything conclusive but some of her observations were interesting. I have summarised below her observations and findings:

Apparently the birth dates given in census, marriage and death records are often incorrect, as people in the nineteenth century were often unsure of their age and year of birth and so ages were guessed at.

Illiteracy and human error could affect the accuracy of all information given on nineteenth century records and especially the recording of names involved. Even by the mid-nineteenth century less than half the population could read or write in Ireland. It seems that the priest recording names would not ask the family to spell the name but would guess at the spelling hence the variations in surname within the same family.

O’Regan could be recorded as Regan, Reagan, Reaghan, Reygan or Reegan. The prefix O’ was arbitrarily added and dropped on records within families. Also due to the use of the cursive script Regan could be mistakenly transcribed as Rynne, Ryan and Ruane. Dobbins could be recorded as Dobbin, Dobbyn, Dobins or Dubbin. The surname Dobbins and the christian name Grace would be quite unusual in nineteenth century Limerick.

It was not possible to find a baptismal record for a Thomas O’Regan born to Grace Dobbins and Thomas O’Regan in Limerick from 1814-1823. A considerable number of baptisms were not recorded or the O’Regans could have been living in a parish which does not have surviving records for this time.

There were also no records found of other children born to a Thomas O’Regan and Grace Dobbins in Co Limerick.

A search for the marriage of a Thomas O’Regan and Grace Dobbins also proved negative but there is a marriage record of a William O’Regan and a Grace Dobbins in Limerick City in 1811 which took place on Wed 3 July 1811 in the Roman Catholic parish of St Mary’s in the Diocese of Limerick in Limerick city. It is possible the priest mistakenly recorded the groom’s christian name as the name Grace Dobbins is so rare in Limerick records. The witnesses to this marriage were named as Mathew Bowin and John Power.

The researcher then tried to track Thomas O’Regan senior using the information given on his son’s death certificate that he was a teacher. In Bassett’s Directory of 1884  Limerick city she did come across a Mr O’Regan listed as an arithmetic and calligraphy teacher at the Jesuit’s Sacred heart College at the Crescent.

It was not possible to find any baptismal or death records for Thomas O’Regan or Grace Dobbins.

Thomas O'Regan Descendant Report Sept 2015

Ledwidge or Ledwich Family History

Eliza Ledwich was born in Ireland about 1842 and was my great great grandmother. Her marriage certificate has her being born in Dublin but her death certificate has her coming from Queens Co (Laois).

Map of irish Counties 2
Map of the Irish Counties showing Queens Co which is now called Laois county and Kings county which is now Offaly.

I believe that she came out to the colonies in 1859 on board the Dirigo which arrived after an eventful and long passage of 107 days. The Dirigo sailed from the Port of Liverpool England on the 28th of November 1858. Shortly after departure it was hit by a severe storm.  They put into Milford Haven on Dec 3 to repair damage and did not sail again until Jan 4 1859. The voyage was reported in The Argus 29 March 1859:

Dirigo Arrives 1859-1
Migrants on Board The Dirigo 1859 The Argus 28 Mar
Dirigo's Voyage-1
Dirigo’s Troubled Voyage Described in The Argus 29 Mar 1859

 

 

 

 

Eliza Ledwidge Emigration Dirigo 1859_NEW
Passenger list for Eliza Ledwidge on the Dirigo 1859
Dirigo and Goldfields 29 Mar 1859-1
Dirigo brings Women Out and returns with Gold

Eliza was twenty when she arrived at Port Phillip and her employer was a Sargent Ellis of Emerald Hill (later to become South Melbourne). She was a general servant.

The majority of the passengers were single women whose fares had been paid by the government. There were 352 females and 28 males and the fare was 13 pounds 7 shillings and 2 pence. There were 5 deaths on the voyage.

Gold had been discovered in Victoria in 1851 and huge numbers of migrants had arrived in Victoria to search for gold, in 1840 the population of the colony of Victoria was 10,000. By 1854 it was 123,000. One in four had been born in Ireland. From 1851 to the late 1860’s Victoria’s population nearly tripled.

Eliza married James Knighton, a coachman, on March 1 in 1864 at Scots’ Presbyterian Church Melbourne.  Knighton Family History has more pictures and information.

Her parents were listed on her marriage certificate as Michael Ledwick, a bricklayer and Mary Shiel. She did not sign her name but made her mark on the certificate. Her occupation was listed as servant and the witnesses were Thomas Reynolds and Mary Ledwidge.  At the time of her marriage she was 22 and James was 26.

James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich Marriage 1864

James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich Marriage 1864

On her marriage certificate her occupation is given as servant and her birth place as Dublin Ireland.  Her death certificate however lists Queens Co as her birth place. her marriage record is more likely to be accurate.
She had been in the colonies for 52 years. Two children were listed, William 49? and James Edward deceased.

Eliza Knighton nee Ledwick Death Certificate 1911.jpg cropped
Eliza Knighton nee Ledwick Death Certificate 1911

Even though she was illiterate Eliza died a wealthy woman. She owned considerable property: Numbers 6,8 and 16 Crown St Richmond as well as 137 and 138 Burnley St in the same suburb. She also owned land at Frankston on the outskirts of Melbourne. Her estate was worth 1,140 pounds. She left 800 pounds to each of her grandchildren, Mary and James. Her son William only got to live in one of her houses rent free for his life.

In her will she bequeathed a 100 pound legacy to to a Maria Hendy. Maria’s mother Eliza Ross was Irish from Co Fermanagh and worked as a servant for the Knightons. She fell pregnant with Maria. Maria sometimes signed her name Knighton and at other times Ross. She called one of her sons Frank Knighton Hendy. She lived with the Knightons. The story has it that she was the child of James Knighton. She was born in 1869 only five years after James and Eliza were married. Maria is buried with her husband Robert Hendy in Boroondara Cemetery. Maria was buried on May 26, 1952 and Robert buried Mar 6 1928, aged 58.

Hendy Grave Boroondara
Grave of Maria Hendy Borrondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne Australia

Eliza is also buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne.

Knighton Gravestone Boroondara Cemetery Kew
Eliza Knighton’s Gravestone Boroondara Cemetery Kew
Knighton Graves Boroondara Cemetery
Knighton Graves Boroondara Cemetery

Eliza’s sister Margaret Ledwidge and cousin Mary came out on the Caduceus from Southampton England arriving August 1863 after an 88 day voyage. They are listed as sisters but I think they were cousins. Could be wrong. Margaret was 20 and Mary 17 although on another part of the passenger list Margaret’s age is given as 18. Their occupations were general servants. Both were Catholic. They went straight off the boat to Eliza Ledwidge who was working at 154 Collins St East in Melbourne for a Dr James George Beaney, a surgeon at Melbourne Hospital.

Margaret Theresa Ledwidge, Eliza’s sister, married James Beamish from Coventry England in 1867.

Margaret Ledwidge 1867 Marriage_cropped
Marriage Certificate of Margaret Theresa Ledwidge and James Beamish 1867

Margaret lived at 35 Burnett St St Kilda. She died in St Kilda on 19 Dec 1895 and is also buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew. Her husband James had died on 27 June 1895. They are buried in the Baptist section of this cemetery.

Margaret Beamish nee Ledwidge 1895 Death Cert cropped
Death Certificate of Margaret Beamish nee Ledwidge 1895

Margaret Beamish could sign her name unlike Eliza. She also died an extremely wealthy woman in her own right. Her estate was worth 3,539 pounds and she owned 101 and 103 Swan St Richmond and two two storey shops and a five storey brick house in Stanley St Richmond as well as a half share with sister Eliza in land at Frankston. In her will dated 1891 she left one pound a week for life to her husband and the rest of her estate was to be divided up among her six children.

Beamish Graves Boroondara
Beamish Family Graves Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne

It is amazing that Eliza and Margaret who were servants when they arrived in the colonies should end up so wealthy.

Both Eliza and Margaret have their birth places as Dublin on their marriage certificates and Queens Co on their death certificates. I puzzled over this discrepancy for a while until I discovered there is a Catholic Diocese of Dublin in Co Leix on the border with Kildare Co. Most of this diocese is actually in Kildare Co.

The Mary Ledwidge who witnessed the marriage married John Williams in Ulupna, Echuca in 1872, the signatures are the same. He was born in Tasmania. She was a domestic servant and aged 24. She gave her father’s name as John Ledwidge, a carpenter, and her mother’s name was Mary, surname unknown. She also signed as witness for Margaret Ledwidge at her wedding.

Mary Ledgwidge 1872 Marriage_cropped
Marriage Certificate of Mary Ledwidge and John Williams Echuca Victoria 1872

Mary died in Queensland in 1926 age 76 years.

Michael Ledwick Descendant ReportThis descendant report updated Sept 2015.

McSweeney Family History, Cork to Emerald Hill, Victoria Australia

Map of irish Counties 2
Map of Irish Counties Showing Co Cork where Peter McSweeney came from

Peter McSweeney was the first of this family to come out to Australia. He was born in Co Cork Ireland about 1801 and came to NSW in 1838. He was a cooper. His father Michael McSweeney was described as a master cooper on Peter’s death certificate. The surname was often written as Sweeny and occasionally Swiney.

Peter McSweeney married Hannah Meehan on 7 June 1838 in St Patrick’s Parish Cork City Co Cork Ireland. The witnesses were Joseph and Mary O’Keeffe.

Peter McSweeney Arrival 1838
Arrival of Peter and Hannah McSweeney on the Calcutta 1838 NSW Family Search.org Card

The above card is from the records of The Latter Day Saints. Through Ancestry.com I found the passenger lists for the “Calcutta” and some of the information is different. Hannah’s maiden name has always been given as Meehan and I suspect Newboldt is a transcription error. Below are the ship’s list entries for Peter and Hannah McSweeney.

Hannah McSweeney Ships Entry The Calcutta 1838cropped
The “Calcutta”Arrived Oct 1838 Sydney NSW
Peter McSweeney Ships List Calcuttacropped
Entry for Peter McSweeney on the Calcutta Oct 1838 Sydney

The Calcutta’s passengers were all highly skilled bounty immigrants, their fare being 15 pounds each. Their occupations ranged from blacksmiths, plasterers, carpenters to one farmer. There were no laborers on this ship. Peter McSweeney was a cooper.

“Traditionally, a cooper is someone who makes wooden staved vessels of a conical form, of greater length than breadth, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads. Examples of a cooper’s work include but are not limited to casks, barrels, buckets, tubs, butter churns,hogsheads, firkins, tierces, rundlets, puncheons, pipes, tuns, butts, pins and breakers.

Traditionally there were four divisions in the cooper’s craft. The “dry” or “slack” cooper made containers that would be used to ship dry goods such as cereals, nails, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. The “dry-tight” cooper made casks designed to keep dry goods in and moisture out. Gunpowder and flour casks are examples of a “drytight” cooper’s work. The “white cooper” made straight staved containers like washtubs, buckets and butter churns, that would hold water and other liquids, but did not allow shipping of the liquids. Usually there was no bending of wood involved in white cooperage. The “wet” or “tight” cooper made casks for long- term storage and transportation of liquids that could even be under pressure, as with beer.”  Wikipedia

He married Hannah Meehan in Cork about 1834. They had seven children in Australia: Mary, Catherine, John, John Vincent, Eugene and Hannah. They lived in Emerald Hill now called South Melbourne.

The Australia Directory for Port Phillip 1847 has him listed as Peter M’Sweeney a cooper in Bourke St Melbourne. In the 1866 Victoria Post Office Directory he was living at Three-chain Rd Emerald Hill. The 1869 Post Office Directory of Victoria has him listed as a cooper in Emerald Hill.

He owned some property and in his will he is described as a gentleman. His estate was valued at 788 pounds. He owned land in Bridport St Emerald Hill and also two two storey houses of six rooms each. He also owned land in Gold St Collingwood and a four room cottage 17 Albert Rd Emerald Hill.

Peter McSweeney died on 7 Mar 1872, aged 70. He resided at 17 Albert Rd. South Melbourne and is buried in Melbourne Cemetery.

Peter McSweeney Death Cert 1872 cropped
Death Certificate of Peter McSweeney March 1872 Melbourne

In his will Peter McSweeney left his two houses in Bridport St South Melbourne to his daughter Hannah.

Peter McSweeney’s Will Mar 1872

His wife Hannah died the same year shortly after her husband.

Hannah McSweeney 1872 Death cropped
Death Certificate of Hannah McSweeney nee Meehan 1872 Melbourne

In Hannah’s will five living children are mentioned, Mary married to Frederick Pearce, James, Catherine, John and Hannah. So it appears that Eugene is deceased by 1872 and perhaps Micheal James is being called James. Money is given to John Vincent, Mary and Hannah. Michael James, Catherine and Eugene are not included.

Peter & Hannah McSweeney 1872 Melb Gen Cem.
Gravestone of Hannah and Peter McSweeney and their son John Vincent McSweeney Melbourne Cemetery

Their son John Vincent McSweeney married my gggrandmother Sarah Ann O’Regan on June 4 1871 at St Peters and Pauls Catholic Church in Emerald Hill. She was 19 and John 21 and a teacher.

John Vincent McSweeney and Sarah O'Regan Marriage 1871cropped
Marriage Certificate of John Vincent McSweeney and Sarah Ann O’Regan 1871 Melbourne Victoria Australia
St Peter and Paul's Catholic Church South Melbourne
St Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church South Melbourne where Sarah O’Regan and John McSweeney Married
St Peter & Paul's Church Interior
Interior of St Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church South Melbourne

Sarah McSweeney nee O’Regan died of breast cancer in 1895 she was 43 years old. She is buried in Melbourne Cemetery with other O’Regan family members.

There is much more on the O’Regan family in O’Regan Family History from Limerick to Emerald Hill Melbourne.

Thomas O'Regan Melb Cemetery
Sarah McSweeney is buried in the O’Regan Family Grave Melbourne Cemetery
Sarah McSweeney 1895 Death cropped
Death Certificate of Sarah McSweeney nee O’Regan 1895

They had one child Ann Teresa in 1872 in Camperdown Victoria in the Western District between Geelong and Warnambool. She was often called Hannah although she later called herself Annie.

Camperdown Mt. Leura and Mt. Sugarloaf, c1890
Camperdown Victoria c1890

 

Annie McSweeney Birth Certificate 1872 cropped
Birth certificate of Ann Teresa McSweeney 1872 Camperdown Victoria

John Vincent McSweeney died in 1916 at age 68.

John Vincent McSweeney 1916 Death cropped
Death Certificate of John Vincent McSweeney 1916

I have not been able to find John Vincent McSweeney on any electoral rolls. Below is a timeline for him:

1849 Born Melbourne

June 1871 marries Sarah O’Regan. He is 20 and a school teacher and resides in Emerald Hill.

7 March 1872 His father Peter McSweeney dies.

4 April 1872 Birth of daughter in Camperdown Victoria Teacher residing in Camperdown.

11 April 1872 His mother dies. John Vincent McSweeney is residing at Purrumbete Camperdown.

21 August 1888 In his father-in-laws will Sarah his wife is living at Blessington St St Kilda and he is described as from Sydney NSW.

1893 daughter Annie marries Robert Eason Cook. She lives at Inkerman St St Kilda and her father John Vincent McSweeney is described as a gentleman.

1895 Wife Sarah dies at 101 Union St Prahran where his daughter and her husband are living. On her death certificate Sarah is listed as living 2 years in Qld, 2 years in NSW and 39 years in Victoria.

1908 Daughter Annie marries for the second time, to Rupert Collier. Her father’s occupation was listed as civil engineer.

Sept 1916 John Vincent McSweeney died at 8 Woodside St Fitzroy. His occupation given as school teacher.

April 1919 His Annie daughter dies. His occupation was listed as civil engineer.

It seems that he spent some time in Qld and NSW but I can find no trace of him in electoral rolls, newspapers or teacher’s records. Strange that he wasn’t registered to vote.

Annie McSweeney cropped
Annie McSweeney

Their daughter Annie McSweeney married Robert Eason Cook in Armadale in Melbourne on 24 Jan 1893. He was 19 and a law clerk and Annie was 20. Annie is my great grandmother on my mother’s side.

The Scottish ancestry of the Cook family is covered in another post Easson Family History.

Annie McSweeney and Robert Cook Marriage cropped1
Marriage Certificate of Annie McSweeney and Robert Eason Cook 1893 Melbourne

They had four children: Grace Annie Francis born in 1893 in Prahran, my grandmother; James Alexander Thomas Eason born 1896; John Walter Clemont born 1901 and a stillborn child born in 1904.

Their marriage broke down at some stage and Annie married Rupert Owen Croxton Collier. (What I have on the Collier family is in another post still in draft, Collier Family History.) She had a child to Rupert Collier while still married to Robert Cook.

Robert Eason Cook died suddenly at age 34 in Brisbane Queensland. What he was doing there is unknown. His occupation was given as indent clerk. The informant on his death certificate was his brother Thomas Cook who usually resided in Perth Western Australia. What they were both doing in Brisbane at this time is a mystery.

Annie McSweeney married Rupert Owen Croxton Collier in

Annie Cook and Rupert Collier 1908 Marriage cropped
Marriage Certificate of Annie McSweeney and Rupert Collier 1908

Rupert and Annie had five children: Esther Helena in 1906; Winifred Mary in 1908; Inez Lorna c1911; Rupert Croxton c1913 and Nellie Constance in 1914.

Annie Collier Electoral Roll 1909 Hawthorn cropped
1909 Australian Electoral Roll
Annie Collier 1914 Electoral Roll 2
1914 Australian Electoral Roll
Annie Collier 1919 Electoral Roll 2
919 Australian Electoral Roll

I can remember being told that my great grandparents died in the Spanish Flu Epidemic 1918-1919 after the Second World War in which about 12,500 Australians died. Rupert Collier died in 1916 of broncho pneumonia aged 36 and Annie died in April 1919 age 43 from influenza, her youngest child was 4 years old.

She left three Cook children, my grandmother Grace being the eldest and at the time of her mother’s death. From her second marriage to Rupert Collier she left five children. I was told by my grandmother that the younger children by Rupert Collier were put in an orphanage and after my grandmother married Ernie Wilson she looked after them all along with her own children, a total of eleven children.

Annie Collier McSweeney Death Cert 1919 cropped
Death Certificate of Annie McSweeney 1919

Annie is buried in Springvale cemetery Melbourne with her second husband Rupert Collier.

Springvale Cemetery Annie McSweeny
Grave of Annie McSweeney and Rupert Collier Springvale Cemetery Melbourne

Michael McSweeney Descendants Sept 2015

Torpey Family History, Ireland to Collingwood Victoria Australia

My maternal grandmother told me we had Irish, English and Scottish ancestors. The Torpeys, the O’Regans and the McSweeneys were Irish, the Knightons were English and the Cooks were Scottish.

On my father’s side I always knew that his ggrandfather, William Patrick Fanning, Big Bill, came out to Australia on the Enmore in 1841 and eventually settled at Bulla north of Melbourne. I was lucky enough to know that he came from Thurles in North Tipperary. The Fannings rented land and were relatively well off so have been easier to track than the other branches of my family. They were mostly farmers but some were shopkeepers and publicans. This has meant I have been able to find them in directories and other documents.

Unfortunately, I only know that Daniel Torpey came from Kings county, his wife from Queens county, and their first child, Maria, was born in Co Tipperary. I haven’t been able to find any records for them in Ireland at this stage other than the baptismal record for Maria.

I have recently done some searching for Kilkeary records. In the Tithe Applotment books there was a Roger Kilkeary in Sopwell townland about 1824.

In Griffiths Valuations all the Kilkearys were all in one area of Ireland! in North Tipperary up in the northern most area around Borrisokane. However in the townland of Sopwell there were no Kilkearys or Torpeys in 1851. However there were lots of Torpeys in Tipperary and surrounding counties.

Sopwell Hall Co Tipperary
Sopwell Hall Co Tipperary

I think it is more than likely that Sopwell was where Ann Kilkeary was born and raised. I did come across a baptismal record for an Anne Kilkeary born Sopwell, Borrisokane, 15 Nov 1823. Mother was Catherine Nolan but the father was Roger Kilkeary. On Ann’s death certificate her father was listed as John but this could easily have been a mistake although none of her sons was named Roger but one son was named John.

Torpey Coat of Arms
Torpey Coat of Arms

I have also read that the Torpeys were actually of older Irish stock than the Anglo-Norman Fanning family.

The name Torpey is an Anglecized form of the Gaelic O Tarpaigh. Tarpey and O’Tarpey, O’Torpey are all variations on the surname. They held a family seat in Cork and are said to be descended from the ancient tribe of Erainn stock. The O’Tarpeys were also associated with Sligo Co.

The first Torpey to come out to Australia was Daniel Torpey. He came from Kings County Ireland, now called Offaly Co and was born around 1820.

His father was also Daniel Torpey, a farmer and his mother was Mary Rider.

I recently came across a Baptism record for his brother, Patrick Torpey. He was baptised in Dunkerrin Parish, Kings County (Co Offaly), on 28 Mar 1830. His godparents were Michael Torpey and Honor Cleary.

 

Map of irish Counties 2
Map of Irish Counties

He was 59 when he died of hepatitis. He was married to Anne Kilkeary in Ireland about 1850. She came from the next county Queens Co, now Laois. Most likely they both lived on the border of King’s and Queen’s counties but I have no towns or townland names for either of them. Daniel immigrated sometime around 1855. I haven’t been able to find the Torpeys on any passenger lists.

Anne and Daniel had seven children. Their first child, Maria, was born in August 1852 in Co Tipperary Ireland in the parish of Borrisokane.

Maria Torpey born Sopwell near Borrisokane Map
The area where Maria Torpey was born in 1852 in the Parish of Borrisokane Co Tipperary Ireland. A = Sopwell, their address on Maria’s Baptism record in 29 Aug 1852.

I had difficulty finding Maria’s birth/baptism record as her father’s name was written as Turpey!

Maria Torpey Baptism 1852
Baptism record of Maria Torpey 1852 Parish of Borrisokane Co Tipperary Ireland

Their second child, Patrick, was born in 1855 in Hawthorn Victoria Australia. So they immigrated between 1852 and 1855 and may have come from an area on the border of all three counties.

Anne and Daniel Torpey had seven children: Maria 1852-1873, Patrick 1855-1858, Katherine 1858-1930, Daniel 1861-1924, Margaret , my great grandmother, 1863-1896, John 1865-1931 and Annie 1868-1950. On his daughter Katherine’s marriage certificate his occupation is given as cab proprietor.

Daniel Torpey Death Certificate 1889 cr
Death Certificate for Daniel Torpey 1889
Anne Torpey nee Kilkeary Death Notice Argus 7 Nov 1907
Death notice for Anne Torpey The Argus 7 Nov 1907

Anne Kilkeary Death Certificate 1907CR

Death Certificate for Anne Torpey nee Kilkeary 1907

Maria Torpey 1871
Maria Torpey 1871
Hokitika in the 1860s
Ships at Hokitika during the gold rush 1860s

 

Torpey Marriage W Coast Times _0002

Marriage notice for the wedding of Maria Torpey and Llewellyn Trask

Hokitika Township in the 1870s
Hokitika Township New Zealand in the 1870s

Maria married Llewellyn Trask on the 9th of July in 1872 in Hokitika New Zealand. She was 21 and Llewellyn 22. Llewellyn was from Merriott Somerset Shire in England. He and his family had emigrated to new Zealand.

Rev Dean Martin
Rev Dean Martin who married Maria and Llewellyn.

I have always found it strange that Maria should be married in New Zealand or what she was doing there.

Hokitika experienced a gold rush in the 1860s. The population of 1,000 had swelled to over 50,000 by 1866. Many of the prospectors came from Melbourne and it was described as a “suburb of Melbourne”.

She was also not married in St Mary’s Catholic church in Hokatika but in the home of Thomas Tully, a butcher and his wife Bridget, in Fitzherbert St Hokitika. They were married by Father A Martin, the Catholic Parish Priest.

Birth Certificate Llewellyn Charles Trask born 1873_NEW
Birth Record of Llewellyn Charles Trask born June 2, 1873 Collingwood Victoria Australia

 

Maria Trask nee Torpey died nine days after giving birth. She is buried in the Torpey family grave in Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia.

Mary Trask nee Torpey Death 1873cr
Death Certificate of Maria Trask nee Torpey

Her child was reared by the Torpey family.  Llewellyn Trask went to Cleveland Ohio where he settled and remarried on Feb 4, 1876.  There do not appear to have been any children from this marriage. Annie was the daughter of Francis Norton and Christiana Lawrence and was born in Merriott in Somerset shire England in 1856.

Annie and Llewellyn came over to Australia in 1887 and Llewellyn junior went back with them and lived and worked as a butcher until his father’s death. He then  came back to Victoria and settled.

Llewellyn died on 3 September 1890, aged 39, from congestion of the lungs, which seems to have been after an operation. His death was reported in the New Zealand paper The Colonist on Nov 7 1890.

Llewellyn Trask Death Notice NZ_0003
Llewellyn Trask Death Notice The Colonist New Zealand

He lived at 1428 Pearl St Cleveland where he worked as a butcher. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery.

Francis Trask
Francis Trask

His brother Francis was Mayor of Nelsen on the south island of New Zealand.

Graves of Llewelyn Trask and family_0001 (2)
Grave plan for Llewellyn Trask and the Norton family in Cleveland Ohio USA

Llewellyn Trask junior married Catherine Miller  (1875-1954). Their children were  Llewellyn Trask born 1901, Francis Reuben born 1904 and Veronica born 1906. Llewellyn Charles born 1873 died in 1942 aged about 69. He is buried in Fawkner Cemetery in Melbourne.

His son Llewellyn married Selma Salisbury in 1930. He died in Hampton, Melbourne in 1976, aged about 74.

Daniel and Anne’s second daughter Katherine married John Horan in St Ignatius’s Church in Richmond Melbourne on 28 April 1886. She was 26. Her husband John Horan was born in Collingwood in 1860 and died there in 1931 aged 71.

Daniel  Charles Torpey married Gertrude Gardiner Woolley. They lived in Abbotsford, Collingwood.

Daniel Torpey Billiards Prahran Telegraph 28 Aug 1889
Daniel Torpey in a Billiards competition 28 Aug 1889 The Prahran Telegraph

He died in Kew in 1924, aged 63 and is buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne with his wife Gertrude.

Danel Torpey and Gertrude Gardiner Woolley Grave Boroondara
Grave of Danel Torpey and Gertrude Gardiner Woolley Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne Australia

Their third daughter was my great grandmother Margaret.

Margaret Torpey 3
Margaret Torpey

Margaret married William Charles Knighton in 1893. On her marriage record her place of birth is given as NSW which is mysterious or perhaps a transcription error. On the actual document it is Camperfield Sydney Rd. Hence the mistake.

William Knighton was a tram employee at the time of their marriage and Margaret a servant. They were both 28.

They had two children Mary and James, my grandfather. See the Knighton Family post for more on this side of my family.

Margaret Torpey Marriage William Knighton 1893 cropped
Marriage Certificate of Margaret Torpey and William Knighton 1893

Margaret died after the birth of her second child, Mary.

Margaret Knighton neeTorpey Death 1896 cr
Death record of Margaret Knighton neeTorpey 1896
Knighton Grave Boroondara Close Up (2)
Grave of Margaret Knighton nee Torpey in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne

Annie Torpey, the youngest child of Daniel and Anne, was married to Thomas Leahy in 1915 (1864 -1924). They lived at 104 Ford St Ivanhoe Melbourne. In the 1903 census she is listed as a saleswoman. She was living with her mother and brother John at 29 Baker St Richmond Melbourne. John was a driver. In 1914 he was living at this address with Llewellyn Charles Trask, a butcher and his nephew. Annie was 84 when she died in Ivanhoe, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1950.

Torpey Graves Melb Gen Cem
Torpey family graves Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia
Torpey Graves Melb Cem
Torpey gravestone Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia

Knighton Family History

The main family surnames on my mother’s paternal side are Knighton, Ledwich or Ledwidge and Torpey.

The first Knighton in our family to come out to Australia from England was James Knighton, my great great grandfather. There is a James Knighton, age 25, who arrived at Port Phillip bay from London on 9 July 1853 on the Sir Henry Hardinge. His birth date given as about 1828.  His death certificate says he had been in the colonies for about 30 years. If this is accurate he would have immigrated about 1853.

Scots Church
Scots Church Collins St Melbourne Victoria

He married Eliza Ledwich on March 1, 1864 in Scots’ Presbyterian Church Melbourne Victoria Australia.

James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich Marriage 1864
Marriage Certificate of James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich 1864

James worked as a coachman in 1864 and his father James’ occupation is listed as groom. The Mary Ledwidge who witnessed the wedding was a cousin of Eliza’s.

James Knighton Death Notice The Argus Mon 12 Nov 1883
James Knighton Death Notice The Argus Mon 12 Nov 1883

James Knighton died in November 1883 age 45.

James Knighton Death Certificate 1883_cropped
Death Certificate of James Knighton died 1883

At the time of his death he was living at Crown St Richmond and he died of renal cancer after a three month illness. His occupation was listed as manager. His father’s name was also James and his mother was Louisa. Her maiden name was not entered. The informant was James Beamish, his brother-in-law, who was living at Stanley St Richmond and married to his wife’s sister, Margaret Ledwidge. Two children are listed: William age 18 and James deceased.

On his death certificate it says he was born in Chelsea England whereas his marriage certificate has him being born in Jersey which is in the Channel Islands also part of England. I looked at all the census records for Jersey and no Knightons are listed at all. In the English mainland census records there are many Knightons. I think that his thick accent may have made Chelsea sound like Jersey. I have been unable to find any birth records for him with James and Louisa Knighton as parents.

James is buried with other family members in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Victoria.

Knighton Gravestone Boroondara Cemetery Kew
Grave of James Knighton, his infant son James, Eliza Knighton nee Ledwich and Margaret Knighton nee Torpey.
Knighton Graves Boroondara Cemetery
Knighton Family Graves Boroondara Cemetery Kew Victoria Australia

Eliza Knighton nee Ledwich died in Dec 1911. Eliza Ledwich’s family history is described more fully in this post Ledwidge or Ledwich Family History.

Burnley Rd Richmond 1905
Burnley Rd Richmond Victoria Australia 1905

The Knightons lived in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond their whole lives.

James and Eliza Knighton nee Ledwidge had three children. William James, my great grandfather, was born in 1864, James Edward was born in 1866 but died aged 20 months. Richard was born in 1867 but there are no other records other than his birth registration so it is likely he died as a baby.

St Ignatius Church Richmond Victoria Australia
St Ignatius Church Richmond Victoria

William James Knighton married Margaret (Maggie) Torpey in at St Ignatius’ Catholic Church 326 Church St Richmond Melbourne.

 

Margaret Torpey Marriage William Knighton 1893 cropped
Marriage Certificate of Margaret Torpey and William James Knighton 1893

She died in after giving birth to their second child Mary. This post  Torpey Family History has a lot more on the Torpey family.

In the census of 1909 for Victoria William was living with his mother Eliza at 8 Crown St Richmond. He worked as a labourer from 1909 to 1924. On his son James’ death certificate his occupation was given as coach builder. In 1914 he was still at 8 Crown St but from then on he was living at 4 Crown St Richmond. He died in 1925 aged 60 from cardiac failure. He is buried in Burwood Cemetery.

James William Knighton Death Certificate 1925
Death Certificate William James Knighton 1925

James, his son, was present when he died and was living at 160 Cowper St Footscray.

Jim Knighton Brighton FC cropped
Jim Knighton Brighton Football Team date unknown Second row first on left

Jim Knighton Football Team

1912 Jim Knighton 6th from the right in the second back row. Brighton Football Team

Brighton Football Club Player Lists 1912 & 1913

Brighton Football Club Player Lists 1912 & 1913

Brighton Football Club Players 1914 & 1915
Brighton Football Club Players 1914 & 1915

Jim Knighton Close Up

James Knighton in football jumper. Unknown club.

James (Jim) my grandfather served in WW1 and had injuries to his knee and leg. He was injured fighting on the Somme in 1918. This injury continued to give him pain throughout his life. He worked as a tanner.

James Knighton on horseback pre WW1
ames William Charles Knighton c1916

He enlisted on the 8th of May 1916 in Melbourne.

He was 5′ 9 3/4″ tall and weighed 162 lbs and was 22 years and two months old. His religion was listed as Catholic. He served in the 12th Army Field Artillery Brigade of the A.I.F. He was a gunner. He served on the Western Front in France and Belgium.

HMAT A30 Borda
Troopship “Borda”

He embarked on the “Borda” from Melbourne on Oct 20 1916.

Embarkation Roll:  Service number: 27845  Rank: Gunner Roll title: 24 HB [Howitzer Brigade] – 2 to 10 Reinforcements (May 1916 – February 1917)  Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918    Date of embarkation: 20 October 1916  Place of embarkation: Melbourne  Ship embarked on: HMAT Borda  Ship number: A30

On the 28th Nov 1916 he broke ship and was AWL from 8 pm on that date until arrested by the guard. He was given 24 hrs detention.

9 Jan 1917 Arrived in Plymouth England

10 months in England?

23 Nov 1917 He left from Southampton  for France.

24 Nov 1917 Marched in ex-England. Place: Rouelles France.

26 Nov 1917 Marched out to 12th (A) F A Bade Rouelles.

30 Nov 1917 12th Army Bde posted to B.A.C. Belgium (Flanders?)

7 Dec 1917 Belgium

19 April 1918 Drunk on the field on active service. Given 10 days ?

22 August 1918 Wounded in action France 12 Army Bde. at the second Battle of the Somme which commenced on August 21. The battle took place along the northern part of the river near Baupaume.

23 August in General Hospital Rouen France

25 August 1918 Transferred to England on “Panama”

28 August 1918 he was admitted to hospital in Cheltenham England for right knee and left thigh injuries.

20 Dec 1918 Back to Australia on the “Karoola”

29 Jan 1919 Disembarked Australia. He was medically discharged. His discharge papers state he is totally incapacitated.

James Knighton date unkown in suit center
James Knighton is in the centre. Date Unknown.

In 1921 Jim Knighton married Grace Annie Frances Cook in Richmond Melbourne.

Grace Annie Frances Cook
Grace Annie Frances Cook
James Knighton & Grace Cook Marriage 1921 cropped
Marriage Certificate James Knighton and Grace Cook 1921

They had two children, Winifred and James.  James died in hospital after birth.

The marriage foundered and James left and went and lived with a french woman, Juliette.

Jim Knighton’s sister Mary married Henry Edward Miller and they had four sons, Henry, Bruce, James and Edward.

James “Jim” Knighton died in 1945 aged 52.

James William Chas Knighton Death Cert 1945
Death Certificate of James William Charles Knighton 1945
James Knighton 188 Drummond St Carlton
Last address of James Knighton. 188 Drummond St Carlton Melbourne.

James William Charles Knighton was the last son of this Knighton family descended from James and Louisa Knighton. He is buried in Burwood Cemetery Melbourne with his father and wife Grace Cook.

James William Knighton, James Knighton and Grace Cook Grave Burwood Cemetery
Grave of James William and James Charles Knighton and Grace Cook Burwood Cemetery Melbourne

James Knighton and Grace Cook had two children. A boy died at birth. I was told “he didn’t come home from the hospital”. Winifred Helena Knighton their only daughter was born 14 Sept 1920.

Winifred Knighton's First Communion
Winifred Knighton First Communion Melbourne

 

Winifred Knighton at a birthday party
Winifred Knighton at a birthday party arrow pointing to her
Nana and Mum
Grace Cook with daughter Wyn Knighton holding the cat
Winifred Fanning nee Knighton
Winifred Fanning nee Knighton

 

James & Louisa Knighton Descendants Report 2015
James & Louisa Knighton Descendants Report 2015

 

Some Miller and Knighton Family History, Richmond Victoria Australia

Mary Knighton 2
Mary Knighton, my mother’s aunt.

 

My mother’s aunt, Mary Knighton, married Henry William Miller in Richmond, Melbourne,Victoria on February 15, 1916, during the time of the First World War. He was 21, she was 20 years old.

Mary was the daughter of William Knighton and Margaret “Maggie” Torpey. Her mother had died giving birth to Mary. Her elder brother, James, was my grandfather.

Margaret Torpey 3
Maggie Torpey 1863-1896

 

Jim Knighton Close Up
Mary’s brother James Knighton. He was born in 1894 and died in 1945

 

Mary Knighton
Mary Miller nee Knighton,1896-1964
Henry Edward Miller 1894-1986
Henry Edward Miller, “Harry”, 1894-1986

Mary and Harry had four sons: James Henry, Edward Vivian, Henry William and Bruce Leonard. My mother was close to Ted her cousin and I remember him and his wife Ann.

Harry’s father, also called Harry, but nicknamed “Darkie” lived on the west coast of Tasmania. He was a well known athlete and boxer.

Henry Miller 1864-1953

Young Harry Miller 1864-1953

Harry Darkie Miller
Harry Darkie Miller 1864-1953
Harry Darkie Miller Zeehan & Dundas Herald 24 June 1921
Harry Darkie Miller Zeehan & Dundas Herald 24 June 1921

 

Harry Miller Fight 1904 Hobart Mercury June 6 1904
Harry Miller Fight 1904 Hobart Mercury

 

 

Harry Miller Benefit 20 Aug The Hobart Mercury 1921
1921 Hobart Mercury Benefit for Harry Miller

 

 

Harry Miller The Mercury Hobart 29 Aug 1921
Harry Miller The Mercury Hobart 21 August 1921

 

 

 

He is also said to have been a circus circus performer but I have no evidence of this.

Lydia England 1876-1895
Lydia England 1876-1895 mother of Harry Miller who married Mary Knighton

His first wife Lydia died young.

He remarried Isabella Kalmbach and had three more children with her in Zeehan on the west coast of Tasmania.

 

Ted Miller was the grandson of Harry Miller “Darkie”and the second son of Mary Knighton and Henry Edward Miller. Ted was born in 1919 and died in 1992 in Victoria.

Electoral records show that in 1942 Ted was working as a polisher and living at 126 Elizabeth St Richmond with his parents and brother James. His father worked as a masseur with a football club. Not sure which one?? anyone know…probably Richmond. James was in the boot trade. Ted lived here until his marriage to Ann Edwina Tribe. They lived in Bentleigh until after 1977 when they moved to Arthur’s Creek Diamond Valley Victoria.

During the Second World War Ted was in the medical section of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Edward Vivian Miller Service Record WW2
Service Record of Ted Miller WW2

Ted was injured during the war. While he was convalescing he decided that he wanted to train as a nurse.

He was an early graduate of the St Vincent’s School of Nursing. He went on to hold senior nursing positions including nurse in charge of the Microsurgery Unit and of the Bolte Rehabilitation Center  His career also included several years spent in British Columbia Canada in the early 1960s to obtain obstetric nurse training.

His wife Ann was also a nurse. They met while they were training at St Vincent’s Hospital.

 

Ted Miller and nurses
Graduation photo St Vincent’s Hospital melbourne 1951
Edward Vivian Ted Miller Passes Nursing Exam The Argus 23 Nov 1951
Edward Vivian Ted Miller Passes Nursing Exam The Argus 23 Nov 1951
Ted Miller
Ted Miller, on the right, with fellow workers at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Below are photos of Ted’s three brothers:

Henry William Miller 1921-2011
Henry William Miller 1921-2011
James Henry Miller 1916-1976
James Henry Miller 1916-1976

 

Bruce Leonard Miller 1923-1968
Bruce Leonard Miller 1923-1968

 

Harry & Jimmy Miller boxing featured image

Harry and Jimmy Miller Boxing

Harry Miller Boxing gloves
Harry Miller
Harry Miller Snr second fr right, Harry jnr schoolboy in Melbourne High School uniform
Harry Miller Snr, second fr right, Harry jnr, schoolboy in Melbourne High School uniform

All of the Miller brothers, Ted, Harry, Jimmy and Bruce, enlisted and served in WW2.

James Henry Miller Service Record WW2
WW2 Service Record of James Henry Miller
Henry William Miller Service Record WW2
WW2 Service Record for Henry William Miller
Bruce Leonard Miller Service Record WW2
Bruce Leonard Miller Service Record WW2
Miller Brothers in Uniform 1
Ted, Jimmy, Bruce and Harry Miller in Uniform WW2
Ted and Jimmy Miller
Ted and Jimmy Miller WW2
Bruce and Harry Miller
Bruce and Harry Miller WW2

Charles Miller Descendant Report 2015Descendants of Charles Miller Report 2015

Wilson Family History

Grace Annie Frances Cook
Grace Annie Frances Cook 1893-1966

My grandmother Grace Annie Frances Cook married Ernest Ralph Wilson in 1911 in . She was 18 and he was 27 years old.

I remember hearing stories about Ernie and his sister Flo. I was told Ernie was a famous boxer. The famous boxer was actually Ernie’s brother, Herbert James Wilson, who fought under the name Herb McCoy. Flo, Ernie and Herbert were all very colourful characters. Flo lived to 103 and Ernie to 101, and Herb to 82.

Ernie used to ride around in a motor bike which had a sidecar and Flo used to be in that. Apparently the police very regretfully had to take his motor bike license off Ernie as he was still riding well into his 80s.

My  parents were very fond of Ernie and used to visit him. They used to tell the story of when they went to visit Ernie in Richmond. There was no response when they knocked. They stood there debating about whether to knock again as maybe Ernie was sleeping being of advanced years at the time. They went around the back and there was Ernie chopping wood!! so much for being old and resting.

I also remember that he came to my grandmother’s funeral in 1966. They were divorced in  1921 when Grace married Jim Knighton and Ernie married Ellen Jessie Black. The divorce came after the marriage in the case of my grandmother!

Ernie and his second wife Ellen Jessie, and his sister Flo and brother Herbert, the boxer, are all buried in Springvale Cemetery in the Catholic section.

And of course I remember my mother’s half brothers, my half uncles: Bobbie, Jacky and Jimmy Wilson.

Ernest Wilson 1984
Ernie Wilson age 100
Ernest Wilson, Richmond Times Article, 16 Oct 1984
Ernie Wilson in The Richmond Times 16 Oct 1984
Ernie and Flo Wilson 1984
Ernie and his sister Flo in 1984 on Ernie’s 100th birthday.

Ernie on a Motorbike 1984

Ernie on his motorbike or a motorbike in 1984 aged 100

Ernie Wilson Age Story with Bike Photo 1984
The story that went with the motorbike photo 1984
Ernie Wilson and Flo Crilly, newspaper article, 1984
Ernie Wilson and Flo Crilly, newspaper article, 1984
Flo Crilly nee Wilson, her nephew Jimmy Wilson and his friend June 1991
Flo Crilly nee Wilson, her nephew Jimmy Wilson and his friend June 1991
Florence Crilly age 102
Florence Crilly age 102 still living at home

Grace Cook and Ernie Wilson had three sons: Robert (Bobbie), John (Jacky) and James Jimmy).

The three Wilson Boys fishing in thew Footscray River
The three Wilson Boys fishing in the Footscray River
Bobby Wison and dog
Bobby Wilson
Bobby Wilson on motorbike
Bobby Wilson
Jacky Wilson
Jacky Wilson
Jimmy and Evie Wilson 2
Jimmy and Evie Wilson
May Pavier and Jacky Wilson
Jacky and May Wilson nee Pavier
Bobby and Kath Wilsons wedding, Jacky Wilson best man on left
Bobby and Kath Wilsons wedding, Jacky Wilson best man on left
Charles Wilson Descendant Report 2015
Charles Wilson Descendant Report 2015

Collier Family History Kent England to Clunes Victoria Australia

Rupert Owen Croxton Collier married my great grandmother Annie McSweeney in 1908 in Bacchus Marsh Victoria Australia. She had previously been married to my great grandfather Robert Eason Cook.

Annie McSweeney cropped
Annie McSweeney 1876-1919

Rupert Collier’s ancestry has been traced back to Edward Norwood born 1688 in Kingsnorth Kent England.

Rupert’s father, James Lyon Collier, was the Clunes postmaster for 26 years from 1860 -c1886. After this he was postmaster at Portland.

James Lyon Collier and William Collier Post Masters Vic Gazette 1861
James Lyon Collier appointed postmaster 1861 Vic Govt Gazette

There are quite a few interesting newspaper articles mentioning James Lyon Collier which I found on Trove:

James Lyon Collier Marriage 31 May 1871 Bendigo Advertiser 31 May 1871
Marriage of James Lyon Collier and Esther Croxton 1871

 

James Lyon Collier Super Claim Portland Guardian 1 Sept 1901 cr
Account of an unsuccessfull claim for superannuation payment by James Lyon Collier as reported in The Portland Guardian Sept 1 1901
James Lyon Collier Death Notice in The Argus 22 Dec 1902 cr
James Lyon Collier Death Notice in The Argus 22 Dec 1902
James Lyon Collier Death Notice in Bendigo Advertiser 27 Dec 1902 cr
Death Notice for James Lyon Collier in The Bendigo Advertiser 27 Dec 1902
James Lyon Collier Obit The Portland Guardian 24 Dec 1902cr
Obituary for James Lyon Collier in The Portland Guardian Dec 24 1902

 

View of Clunes c1860-1869
View of Clunes Victoria in the 1860s
Rupert was born in Clunes in 1879. His father was postmaster there until 1883 when they moved to Portland where he was postmaster until 1888. Rupert would have been four when he lived in Portland. He won first prize at the Horticultural Show in 1888 in the six button-hole bouquet section.
Rupert Collier Wins Prize 1888 9 Nov Portland Guardian
Rupert Collier wins a prize at the Portland Horticultural and Floricultural Society. Portland Guardian 9 Nov 1888

Annie was married to Robert Eason Cook when she became involved with Rupert Collier. Annie had four children to Robert the last being still born in 1904. In 1906 Esther Helena “Bloss” was born to Rupert and Annie. They married two years later. I don’t  know what happened to the first marri8age. Robert Eason Cook died in Brisbane at the age of that was in 1906. What he was doing up thee is another mystery. To add to the mystery his brother Thomas who lived in Perth was there as well. Robert’s occupation was an indent clerk. He is buried in Toowong Cemetery in Brisbane.

To get back to Rupert and Annie. Theirs is a sad story as they both died young leaving Annie’s three children from her first marriage and the five from her marriage to Rupert orphans.

Annie Cook and Rupert Collier 1908 Marriage cropped
Marriage Certificate of Annie Eason Cook and Rupert Owen Collier 1908

When she and Rupert married her children from Robert Cook were Grace, my grandmother, aged 15, James aged 12 and John aged 7.

Rupert and Annie had five children: Esther Helena called Bloss, Winifred called Winnie, Big Winnie to differentiate her from my mother who was also a Winifred, Inez, Rupert called Bertie, and Nellie.

From Electoral Rolls we can trace where they lived and Rupert’s occupation.

In 1909 they were living at 26 Lennox St Hawthorn and Rupert was a produce merchant. In 1914 he was working as a gardener and living at 19 Canning St Carlton.

Rupert enlisted on Feb 2, 1916:

Rupert Owen Collier Enlistment Application 1916
Enlistment form for Rupert Owen Collier Feb 2 1916

Rupert died seven months later.

Rupert Collier Death 1916 cr
Death Certificate of Rupert Owen Collier Sept 1916

Annie died during the Spanish Influenza Epidemic in 1919. An estimated 50 -100 million people were killed by this virus around the world. It is said to have been brought into Australia by soldiers returning home from WW1.

Annie Collier McSweeney Death Cert 1919 cropped
Death Certificate for Annie Collier nee McSweeney 1919

Annie and Rupert are buried together in Springvale Cemetery in Melbourne Victoria Australia. There is no headstone .

Springvale Cemetery Melbourne Grave of Annie McSweeney and Rupert Collier
Grave of Annie McSweeney and Rupert Collier Springvale Cemetery Victoria

When Annie died my grandmother was 26, James 23, Jack 18. The children of Rupert and Annie would have been Esther 14, Winifred 10, Inez 8, Rupert 6, and Nellie 4. Apparently they stayed in a house with a housekeeper but eventually had to be split up and put into orphanages. My mother told me her mother got married to an older man, Ernie Wilson, so she could take them out of the orphanages. My mother also said her mother had all her half sisters and brother as well as her own four children to rear. I don’t know how true this is after talking to other family members. My grandmother married Ernie Wilson in 1911, well before her mother’s death in 1919. My grandmother being the eldest would have done a lot of caring for her younger half sisters and brother. From what I have been told Nellie and Bertielived for some time with Winnie Munro nee Collier.

John “Jack” Cook took the name Collier and married Evelyn Hutson. He lived in Ballarat and was a showman, whatever that was.

James Alexander Thomas Eason Cook married Nellie Graham and lived in Melbourne.

Esther”Bloss” Collier married Herbert Skinner, Winnie married George Munro and lived at Marian Ave Coburg, Inez had a disability and lived with Winnie and Nellie’s families, she did not marry, Bertie was single as far as I can tell and Nellie, the youngest married Allan Turner.

Descendants of William Collyer 2015
Descendants of William Collyer 2015