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.
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.
There are quite a few interesting newspaper articles mentioning James Lyon Collier which I found on Trove:
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.
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 marriage. Robert Eason Cook died in Brisbane in 1906. What he was doing up there 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.
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 died seven months later.
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 and Rupert are buried together in Springvale Cemetery in Melbourne Victoria Australia. There is no headstone .
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 Bertie lived 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.