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 sister 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

 

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

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