“Slavery in Manchester”

Flowering Gum on my street

The Faulder family is known to me through pedigree tables, older family reminisces and heirlooms. I don’t know that I have ever met a Faulder – only their descendants who speak of them with a degree of awe. Oral family history tells me they were wealthy and somewhat connected.

I have never quite understood the awe and deep respect and that is likely due to being so many generations removed from the relatives that are always spoken of. Which is possibly why I have no compunction to write of the flaws I find when searching newspaper archives – and that’s what happened today.

Frederick John Faulder is my fourth great uncle. For those who are interested – he’s my mother’s, father’s, grandfather’s uncle … I think. He was the son of William Faulder and Mary Jane Moorby; younger brother of Joseph Thomas Faulder who emigrated to New South Wales.

He was born in 1817 in Oswestry, Shropshire – by my records, he was the youngest of nine children. His father, William, was an Excise Officer – a distant relative’s research states that he is listed in the Pigot’s Directory in 1818 as an Excise Supervisor and in 1830 as Superintendent of Excise. In 1851, he is retired and listed as a gentleman annuitant. William was a man of some means.

He married Sarah (possibly Taylor, possibly Wareing) and by 1851 he was living in Manchester when his eldest son was born. On his son’s baptism record he is listed as a Merchants Clerk. By 1854, he is listing himself as a silk mercer.

He is still pursuing this line of work when we find him before the Manchester Police Court in 1878. The case was reported in several newspapers however, the headline that caught my eye was in the Huddersfield Daily Chronicle – “Slavery” in Manchester.

Frederick is described as owning/managing one of the largest millinery establishments in Manchester employing approximately 30 “young persons” and women. According to the article, Frederick’s employees worked a twelve hour day – from 8am to 8pm five days per week and till 4pm on Saturdays.

Frederick was before the court for breaching the Act that modified the Workshops Regulation Act – possibly the Factory and Workshop Act 1878. The new Act allowed proprietors the ability to apply for approval to employ “young persons and women” for “24 days, two hours extra each day”. The Act required that a notice denoting permission granted to be hung in the shop which had not been done. In addition, Frederick has extended the work day from 8pm to 10pm however, the employees actually worked till 1am the following morning.

“This was the most flagrant violation of the law that [Mr King] had ever had to bring before the court.”

An employee gave evidence stating that she had worked on 4 Nov 1878 from 8am till 4am on 5 Nov 1878. She resumed work at 8:45am on 5 Nov 1878. Frederick stated that he was not aware that work had continued after the hour he had given in evidence (namely 10pm).

This was the first complaint that had been made against Frederick and his defence was that he had not known nor had any intention to violate the law. The magistrate instructed Frederick to engage more “girls” if he was unable to “do his work” with the current number. The work practices at his establishment was denounced as slavery and he was fined for each of the six counts plus costs – a total of 21 pounds 19 shillings.

Frederick died 10 or so months later in Aug 1879 at the age of 62. His estate, under 5000 pounds, was left to his widow, Sarah.

Huddersfield Daily Chronicle, 21 Nov 1878, pg 4
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Who is Bernadette Copsey??


Middlesex County Times – Wednesday 15 April 1914

In the endless quest to find Elizabeth Miles who owned a corset business, I stumbled across Bernadette Weare – a lady who owned her own corset business in 1930’s London.

I first became aware of Bernadette when she was known as Bernadette Copsey marrying Frederick Weare in London in April 1893. Continuing to click around the Ancestry search screen, I found Bernadette in 1891 working as an assistant to Ann Drake, a 64 year old corset maker located half a mile from Buckingham Palace, born in Bristol, with a 26 year old son, Frederick Weare. Ann Drake’s business was situated alongside a butchers, a dressmaker, a trunk maker, a tobacconist, a blindmaker and a chemist.

Ann Drake, was twice a widow, the daughter of John and Mary Ann Groves, the sister to Elizabeth Groves and aunt to William Henry Miles and fourth great aunt to myself. In 1851, Ann was living in Clifton Rd, Bristol with her sisters Mary and Elizabeth working as a stay maker. In 1861, Ann was living with her sister, Mary a dressmaker in South Molten St, Mayfair and working as a stay maker. Elizabeth Adams and her daughter, Emma, were dressmakers living in the same building. Emma was the of a similar age to Mary and born in Bristol. I’ve yet to find Elizabeth nor Emma in records relating to Bristol but can only imagine that the Groves sisters had known the Adams family in Bristol and found opportunity through them when they moved to London.

Bernadette and Frederick were married in the months following Ann’s death and in the 1901 census they are living in Ann’s house continuing Ann’s business. Ten years later they are in their late 40’s with no children continuing the corset making business. After Frederick’s death, Bernadette continued the business operating in different addresses in Kensington and retiring (possibly) in Blyth, Suffolk according to the 1939 England and Wales Register.

This all appears relatively straight forward and doesn’t warrant the title of “Who is Bernadette Copsey?” That is until I began delving into her past.

In 1891, there was an additional assistant to Ann Drake also bearing the surname Copsey. Her name was Alice and she was 15 (thirteen years younger than Bernadette) and one supposes she was Bernadette’s sister. However, when I went searching for Bernadette and Alice’s family, I could find Alice’s but not Bernadette’s. Furthermore, all the hints suggested records for Emma Copsey. In addition, searching for Bernadette resulted in no success.

I suspect that Emma is Bernadette and Bernadette is Emma .. however, I can not know for sure. In any case, Bernadette is a peer of my very great aunt, Elizabeth. A woman who pursued a career with success.

Posted in Miles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Accident in Port Adelaide


Port Adelaide, looking from the Company’s Basin. This photo was taken on July 31, 1867. (Mr. A.T. Saunders’ information.). https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+948

My research techniques can best be described as unique and without any form of discipline. Random clicking that follows a path with very blurred boundaries yet curious and open to almost any possibility. So on the back of seeing the results of my Nan’s DNA results, I started focusing on the outer edges of the Miles family located in Bristol during the mid 19th century (previously visited in “Letters to Gentlemen“,”Elizabeth Miles” and “W H Miles“). I found myself in the profile of Philip John Miles (uncle to W H Miles) and his extended family finally clicking on his son, Philip.

Glancing down the list of facts, I saw that I had linked him to a birth record in 1859, Port Adelaide, Australia. Clicking my tongue, I wondered what I had been thinking and set about double checking the documents. In the 1861 census, I saw a record for Philip Jnr and when opening it, the census had recorded his birth as Australia and he’s aged one living with his mum at the home of his maternal aunt. So now my curiosity is piqued. Why had Philip Snr been in Port Adelaide in 1859 and what had happened that his wife and son had returned to Bristol by 1861?

My first thought was that he may have been a convict. There are criminal records for a Philip Miles in Bristol for minor theft in the 1860’s however, there was nothing definitive linking these to Philip Snr. Frustrated, I began searching Trove.

In July and August 1859, there are several items in the classifieds stating the following:

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 12.01.35 pm

Classified Advertising (1859, August 3). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), p. 1. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1195732

I was engaged … Philip’s name was Philip John and he had a brother Henry – although I don’t know a great deal about him … yet! (I’m nothing if not optimistic).

As I continued to scroll through the newspaper articles my search criteria had identified, I found the one article that answered a great many of my questions about Philip including his demise and why his family were to be found in Bristol within two years of his son’s birth in Port Adelaide.

The Henry Miles and Philip John Miles mentioned in the classified do appear to be two of my very great uncles.

In December 1856, Philip, a mariner, married Elizabeth Tucker at St John’s Parish Church, Bedminster (Bristol). They must have left England shortly after as the journey was usually 2-3 months in length and they had arrived in Adelaide in February, 1857 (per the ‘Adele’).

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 12.38.19 pm

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1857, May 23). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 – 1904), p. 5. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158117853

In August 1858, they celebrated the birth of their first child, Edward although this was short lived as he died at 3 weeks of age.

Throughout July and August 1859, Henry Miles placed advertisements in the the South Australian Advertiser seeking contact with his brother.

In December 1859, Philip and Elizabeth celebrated the arrival of their second son, Philip.

It appears that Elizabeth and baby Philip left for England in November, 1860 for reasons unknown.

Three months later, Henry and Philip managed to catch up when the ship, the “Asa Packer” Henry was captaining arrived in Port Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 1.14.56 pm

SHIPPING NEWS. (1861, February 18). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), p. 2. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article830560

On Tuesday, 19th February 1861, Henry and Philip had spent the evening together. They had tea onboard the Asa Packer and then left to go visit a friend. They were chatting as they returned and were boarding the ship at about 10pm, when Philip missed his footing and fell between the wharf and the ship. Henry also fell in as he attempted to save his younger brother. He managed to pull himself out of the water and began looking for his brother but was unable to see him as the night was very dark. Philip’s body was not able to be recovered till 7am the next morning. At the inquest, the verdict by the jury was one of accidental death.

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 12.11.49 pm

No title (1861, February 21). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), p. 2. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article830684


Philip Jnr grew up in Bristol and became a seaman himself just like his father and his uncle. In the 1911 census, his occupation is listed as Master Mariner.

Elizabeth remarried in 1867 – this time to a publican.

As for Henry, I have a theory that I am working on. We do know that he was not the captain of the Asa Packer when she sunk off the coast of Port Nepean in June 1861.

I believe that he may be the Henry Miles that died in Narrabri in 1924. There are articles in the papers of shipbuilder based in Narrabri (odd, I know) … this could be him. If this ship builder in Narrabri is my very great uncle, Henry Miles it might explain why his nephew, W H Miles was in Girilambone (approx 360 kms away) in 1884 mourning the death of his first wife and son.

Stay tuned.

Posted in Miles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brothers Who Have Sacrificed Their Lives for the Empire

Screen Shot 2020-04-19 at 11.07.17 am

I have been wanting to write about a member of the Dawson family for a long time. The first Dawson in my tree is four generations back – so far back that the information I have is through research and connections. No one I know ever met a Dawson we were related to. In this circumstance, I find it difficult to find a hook to draw me into the family story … and then I found the pictures above in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1916.

Losing a son in the war is tragic. Losing three sons is beyond belief and, I would think, beyond what a heart should have to bear. And yet, Rachel Cameron (nee Dawson) did suffer and bear her loss with grace.

Rachael Charlotte Dawson was the younger sister of 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann Dawson. Mary Ann was 7 when her younger sister was born – similar to the age difference between my sister and I. However, unlike my family, the Dawson girls were 2 of 12 siblings – 6 of each.

Rachael was born in 1863 in Ollera, north of Armidale, NSW. Her parents (Thomas Dawson and Mary Ann Garner) were from Bedfordshire and had arrived in New South Wales in 1848. Thomas Dawson emigrated with his parents, siblings and family creating an extended family community.

At the age of 18, Rachael married John Cameron. Over the course of fifteen years, Rachael gave birth to 8 children – 5 sons (one died in infancy) and four daughters.

In 1897, when her youngest son, Norm was 2 years old, Rachael’s husband, John, died. The Glen Innes Examiner and General Advertiser reported on 23 July that John had been hanging a loaded gun “on a nail and loop on the wall in his bedroom when by some means it fell to the floor stock downwards.” A bullet went through his right arm just below the elbow almost severing it. A message was sent to the doctor who decided that there was little chance of John surviving his injuries and decided not to attend to him. Neighbours organised themselves to assist however, John had died by 8:30 am the next morning. Rachel placed a thank you in the The Armidale Express and New England Advertiser on 21 Sept, thanking the residents of Wandsworth for their assistance.

In 1903, her daughter, Isabella died at the age of 19.

In 1914, when Rachael’s youngest son was 18, the first World War began. On 29 Sep 1914, Rachael’s another son, John, enlisted at the age of 20. On 22 Dec, he had embarked for Europe.

On 4 Jan 1915, her second eldest son, Hughie enlisted. On 13 Feb he embarked for Europe.

On 11 June 1915, her youngest son, Norm enlisted – five weeks after his elder brother, John, died at Gallipoli. Norm embarked for Europe on 30 Sep.

Norm died from wounds in May 1916 and Hughie died in battle in France on 1 June 1916. Of her four living sons, three had gone to war and three had died.

Rachael died in 1924 at the age of 62. Her obituary is as follows:

An old and highly respected resident, in the person of Mrs Rachel Cameron, passed away in Glen Innes Hospital on the 11th inst. at the age of 62 years. The cause of death was Bright’s disease. She enjoyed good health up to twelve months ago, but continued to fail gradually till the end came. Her husband, Mr John Cameron, predeceased her by some 28 years. She was ever of a kind and genial disposition, and will be greatly missed in our little community. She was born at Ollera, and had resided here for about 43 years. She had three sons, Hugh, John and Norman, in the Great War, all of whom made the supreme sacrifice. It is rather a singular thing her husband met his death by a gun accident.
The remains of the deceased lady were interred on the 12th inst. in Ollera Cemetery, in the presence of a large assemblage, proving the respect and esteem in which she was held. – Guyra Argus (NSW : 1902 – 1954), Thursday 21 August 1924, page 2

Beyond the births and deaths recorded, there is little else I know about Rachael’s life. It intrigues me that her name appears in several articles promoting universal conscription and I wonder how she would have felt about this. What her thoughts were at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the war. Whatever her thoughts, the evidence shows her to be a generous woman (she contributed 5 shillings to the YMCA’s ‘Red Triangle Fund’ in 1917 *) who was well liked and respected by family and friends alike.

* “WANDSWORTH COLLECTIONS.” The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 – 1861; 1863 – 1889; 1891 – 1954) 5 June 1917: 8. Web. 26 Apr 2020 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191974872&gt;.



Posted in Dawson | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Fatal Wrestling Match

Greta CourtHouse

Greta Court House credit: Google Maps

The man John Rylatt, who was injured at Greta last Saturday in a wrestling bout, died in Maitland Hospital yesterday… Rylatt was 31 years of age, and leaves a wife and two children.
– Singleton Argus, 24 Dec 1898

It seems unfair to post a picture of the old Greta Court House as the main picture to a person’s blog post … in this case it seemed fitting. Almost every newspaper article featuring John Rylatt mentions a session in court. In direct contrast to his father, Alderman John Rylatt – the comparison is not favourable when their names appear intermixed in a list of articles in Trove.

To me, John never really stood a chance. He was the corespondent in the divorce proceedings between my 2x great grandparents – never the hero of the story … always the rascal.

John Rylatt was born to John and Isabella Rylatt in Durham approx 1867. The family travelled to NSW aboard the “Earl Dalhousie” and arrived in 1877 when John was ten year of age. The family appear to have travelled directly to the Hunter Valley and settles in Greta where John’s sister, Mary, was born the following year. Isabella continued to have children every 2-3 years until 1894.

1894 is about the same time that John met Ellen Scarlett. Ellen was married to Henry Scarlett however, he had left Ellen to pursue work in Wollongong and later Queensland (possibly due to the tensions between the miners and mine owners and the hopes of the goldfields). While Henry was away, Ellen gave birth to a daughter. By 1897, Henry had filed for divorce having found Ellen cohabiting with John.

During the 1890’s, John was a miner working in the Greta mines – I assume the Anvil Creek mines as there is a record in the NSW Gazette showing a John Rylatt living at Anvil Creek (though this could be his father). This period was also the time of the Great Strikes and the 1890’s depression.

On 23 January, 1894 the following two excerpts were published in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate giving details of the arguments on both sides of the conflict in Greta:

Greta Miners 1

and a few paragraphs later,

Greta Miners 2

Twelve months later, the condition of the miners was described in the Maitland Daily Mercury:

Maitland Daily Mercury 21 Feb 1895

Maitland Daily Mercury, 21 Feb 1895

Times were tough in Greta during this time. There was civil unrest in the form of strikes, conflicts between union and non-union workers and assaults on individuals. During this time, John appears before the courts for drunken behaviour, obscene language and leaving his horse to wander in the street – he was convicted of all of these several times between the years 1892 – 1898 and each time incurred a fine.

By the time of his death, he was likely unemployed (possibly due to his father’s sympathy’s with the unions or even his own), with four children and a wife dependent on his income. (Although the article at the beginning states he has two children, it is to be assumed that Ellen’s children, born during her marriage to Henry, were also living with them).

The manner of his death sums up his personality for me … he was reckless, careless and not entirely responsible, in my opinion. He may have been a better man in better times.

Posted in Genealogy, Rylatt | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hannah Allsop

Previous to this morning, the most remarkable thing I knew about my 3x great grandmother, Hannah Allsop, was that she had born 16 children of which my 2x great grandmother, Charlotte, was number 11.

Hannah was born abt 1823 in Geddington, Northamptonshire. (Her death record states that she was 90 in 1910 giving her birth date as 1820; the 1841 census states she was 18 giving her a birth date of 1823.)

Hannah was the daughter of William Allsop, a labourer. In 1841, William is living in the Kettering Union Workhouse in 1841; his wife, Sophie is living with her children in West St and Hannah appears to be living with her aunts and young cousin (although I may have this incorrect).

Hannah sparked my interest again when I realised that Geddington is the home to an Eleanor Cross. The erection of elaborate crosses in dedication to Edward I’s wife, Eleanor, struck a chord in me when I first learnt of it at university. To know that my ancestors lived in a town where one stood – in fact was at the end of the street in which Hannah was born … well! Was Hannah aware of the history or was the cross merely a landmark she walked past each day.

How the Allsop’s felt about living so close to such an elaborate an expensive structure, I will never know. What I do know is that the family were poor and had been for generations. Hannah’s father, William is living in the Kettering Workhouse in 1841. Hannah’s mother, is living with her grandson in 1851 and described as a pauper. Her great grandfather’s baptismal record states that the family were poor in 1702.

No wonder that Hannah and her husband, John, decided to emigrate to South Australia in 1848.

In the biography I wrote on John West, I described the area in which they settled in South Australia. It was populated by the ‘rough and ready’.

Hannah was pregnant for roughly 35 years of her life her eldest child was born in 1845 prior to them leaving England. Her last, was born after 1879. In notes that I have received from another descendent, Hannah is described as a midwife – what better profession to adopt as she obviously had the experience.

With so little on record, beyond the vital statistics of herself and her children, it is difficult to surmise what Hannah thought of her new environment. Whether the infinite blessings we take for granted were recognisable in the new colony. Whether she missed the culture and landmarks of her home or was happy to participate in the building of a new one.



Posted in Allsop, West | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staring at the Harbour


(photo my own)

Sydney Harbour is possibly my favourite place to just sit and be. I love the smell, the air, the peace.

I visited Susannah’s Place Museum in the Rocks earlier this year and stood in a room that I suspect my great, great grandfather spent many an hour. It was a room with great views to the Harbour.

After touring the museum, we asked the tour guide if they knew of the Snedden’s who had operated the store at number 64. They were able to tell us a little of Robert’s last years.

Robert & Eliza likely responded to this advertisement (or one similar) from the Sydney Morning Herald in 1930. They had previously run a store in Martin’s Creek and perhaps wished to be closer to their daughter, Margaret who was living in Botany.

Grocery Tender - Snedden

1930 ‘Advertising’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 17 December, p. 11. , viewed 16 Oct 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16739451

I was told that Robert, who had one leg due to a mining accident, lived on the top floor of number 64 (pictured below). The stairs to the top floor are at a steep angle – Robert would have been unable to manoeuvre them without assistance. In essence, he was trapped staring either at the street below or across the rooftops to the harbour. Dependent on his wife who was running a business during the tough days of the Great Depression.

I imagine in these circumstances, the harbour loses much of its appeal – although it must have been interesting to watch the Sydney Harbour Bridge take shape.


64 Gloucester St (photo my own)

In the year of Robert’s death, Walter Jago romanticised Gloucester Street in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Old people at their windows, with the last rays of life meeting the morning sun, see the younger people go by. Occasionally one stops. There is a gift from a better-to-do neighbour; a cloth-covered tray. Such a tray is always beneficent; the white, smoothly ironed cover inspires anticipation, quickens the heart, and evokes gratitude. The formality of bellringing is unnecessary; the windows open to the street; the people outside brush past the people inside or stop to greet them, When they brush past they do so in a sociable fashion, without envy or disdain. There is no class-pride in this street, for here is the equality of heart; here is the outer church of humanity; here is the flesh and blood of self-cultivation.” 

(1934 ‘GLOUCESTER-STREET.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 5 October, p. 17. , viewed 16 Oct 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1713)

In July 1934, the following advertisement appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Snedden Selling SMH 6 Jul 1934

1934 ‘Advertising’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 6 July, p. 17. , viewed 16 Oct 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17080425

On 31st March, Robert had passed away. His death certificate states that he had been suffering from endarteritis obliterans (an inflammation of the artery wall so says Google) for ten years and a died of a stroke an hour before.

The death certificate says that the informant was Alexander Snedden whose address is also given as 64 Gloucester St. I like to hope that he was living with them and assisting his parents in his father’s last days.




Posted in Snedden | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

New Horizons in New Tiers


Clematis growing by the fence

Once upon a time in a classroom far away, a classmate of mine explained how Adelaide was superior to the eastern states as it had not been colonised by convicts. Kim being Kim, I couldn’t let this pass without comment and pointed out that the lack of a convict settlement did not lead to a heritage devoid of a criminal past as the Adelaide Hills had been populated by escaped convicts and other unsavoury characters. Being declared correct by the nodding of the teacher’s head was icing on a delicious cake.

Fast forward several decades, and I find myself googling a town called New Tiers as this is the area my 3rd great grandparents were living in the 1850’s. Google also illustrated that in 1990 my family were living 11kms from where they settled.

The Tiers were described in this 1935 article:

“The Tiers were the rendezvous of some rather ‘tough guys.’ Ticket-of-leave men from New South Wales or Van Dieman’s Land (engaged there felling stringy-barks, and cutting posts, rails and palings), out and out cattle stealers, escaped prisoners, and rough but honest bushmen, all helped to comprise the tough class known as the ‘Tiersmen’.
(1935 ‘“THE TIERS.”’, Sport (Adelaide, SA : 1911 – 1948), 3 January, p. 2. , viewed 31 Dec 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216264103)

John and Hannah West arrived in South Australia aboard The Marion in 1849. Initially they lived in an area called Fourth Creek. Four years later they were living in The Tiers. I can only assume that the West’s were rough but honest bushmen as there is no evidence to suggest any of the other possibilities listed above. The family lived in the Adelaide Hills (in the Tiers and Norton Summit) for the next 36 years where they raised 15 children.

In Cottingham, Northamptonshire, John’s occupation was that of a sawyer as was his father’s – the only two in Cottingham !! After marrying in Hannah in 1845, the couple settled in Geddington where two children were born to the them. The eldest, Henry died at 3 months.

Throughout the 1840’s there were articles in the Northampton Mercury discussing emigration to the Australian colonies. In Nov 1849, the Bishop of Adelaide wrote a letter to the Guardian providing detail of what new emigrants to Adelaide could expect:
(1849 “EMIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA”, Nothampton Mercury, 24 November, p. 2., viewed 31 Dec 2016, http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/BL/0000317/18491124/014/0002?)

  • an emigration would meet with them upon arrival and evaluate their “condition and discipline”, provide guidance as necessary as well as provide them with a fare to Adelaide if the arrived destitute
  • housing is available in Port Adelaide where passengers fail to procure accommodation before being forced to leave the ship (generally after 14 days)
  • passengers can look for employment at the Colonial Labour Office
  • he advised against arriving penniless however, noted that wages remained high and “there is no fear of starvation” and cautioned that South Australia “is no place for weak or unskilled labourers”

I can only imagine that emigration to Australia was a hot topic and this is how John and Hannah learnt of it as neither could write and it is possible they could not read either.

John and Hannah were government emigrants so we can safely assume that they were “sober, industrious, of general good moral character and have been in the habit of working for wages.” (http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/SAassistedindex.shtml).

Unfortunately, that is all I know about John and Hannah’s life in Australia. John died in 1889 and twenty-one years later, Hannah died in Hahndorf.

Posted in West | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Uncle Boop Boop

My great uncle, let’s call him Chuckles, died on Nov 23rd this year. If one was to search the internet for a hint of the man, you would be left with the distinct impression that his only achievement in life was marrying my aunt. However, if you dig a little deeper, you do find glimpses of him and they hint at the full and fascinating life he led.

You will find a photo of him as a bombardier during WWII, newspaper articles describing his time as a journalist in Moscow, a picture of the back of his head at a printing show and, in the records of Ancestry, old high school yearbook photos.

To our family, he was my aunt’s husband and, as a child, the closest I had ever been to anyone foreign. I viewed the two of them as exotic – creatures that flew in every couple of  years for Christmas with presents for all – much more exciting, in some ways, than Santa Claus (although we still loved Santa). He had some weird quirks, was a little distant … and then I would run off and play with my cousins.

Later when my husband and I visited, and later moved, to New Jersey, we had the opportunity to spend quality time with him and, in my mind, this is when Chuckles came to be more than a two dimensional childhood uncle. I saw him in his own, relaxed space. In the town that he loved I was able to get to know him.

He was a man that I rarely asked for an opinion as he would give it with an honesty I was unprepared for. Which meant that when he tasted my first ever Thanksgiving turkey and said that it was good. Well!!! I couldn’t have been more pleased if I had won MasterChef.

Chuckles had a special affection for my children and enjoyed spending time with them. He and my aunt were substitute grandparents for the kids while we were in NJ … and boy, did they lap it up! A walk in the city would always find us in Central Park, on the carousel, followed by ice-cream. Chuckles was never one to shower the kids with toys however, they both knew who to ask for ice-cream. I never heard him say no and there were always supplies in the fridge when we visited.

He noticed their growth in height and marked it by their ability to navigate the dining table in their apartment. When we first arrived, my daughter could walk straight under (and did). As she grew, she still walked under but had to tilt her head to the side. He was a man of detail who loved observing and would say “boop boop” to them as they toddled around.

My memories of Chuckles are not complete without a mention of his folder of takeaway menus. I don’t know that I have ever been so impressed with anything so mundane. The first time it was pulled out was so that I could “organise” dinner. I expected to be handed a pile of menus as they were found from the “junk” drawer. What I received was a folder with each menu in its own sleeve. He then marked our selections to help inform us for next time. To my mind – simply brilliant. To his – logical. It was inspiring – yet not so inspiring that it changed my habits.

Chuckles was a man who loved to scrapbook. He compiled a collection of every article written on my aunt that chronicles her career. I can not even begin to imagine how many periodicals and newspapers he subscribed to and suspect that it was immense. I remember arriving one day to the news that my aunt’s name had appeared in a crossword (from memory, the New York Times). He was so amused and considered that she had officially “made” it.

During our time in NJ, I would frequently receive newspaper clippings in the mail from Chuckles. They would always be on a topic that he thought I would be interested in. They would arrive in the same style of envelope (Chuck Style?) with beautiful calligraphy denoting that the contents were for me. And there would always be more than one stamp. A letter from Chuckles was like a beautifully wrapped gift.

Each Christmas, we would receive a Chuckles made Christmas card telling us what the New Year would bring. Chuckles printed these himself on his own press and distributed them far and wide. Inside would be a slip of paper succinctly detailing what had occurred in his and my aunt’s year. For those keen to know – 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

Chuckles was very supportive of my efforts to document my family history. He provided me with style guides, resources, data collections and biographies that he (and others) had written. I once asked him if he had a timeline of his life and his career. Unfortunately no.

This piece I have written is not a timeline, it is not a biography nor is it a full picture. It is one girl’s reflection of a man she had the pleasure of knowing. He was quirky, interesting, and thoughtful. A man who’s company I enjoyed.

He’ll be missed.

Boop Boop xxx

Posted in Aeschbacher, Genealogy | Leave a comment

Racing at Kedron Park


Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 2 June 1929

It seems fitting today, Melbourne Cup Day, to write what I know of my 2nd great uncle, James Rylatt.

James Rylatt, the son of my great, great grandmother by her second husband, was a jockey in the 1920’s. He died on 1 June 1929 due to injuries sustained during a race at Kedron Park.

An enquiry was held into the circumstances of James’s death. It was ruled an accident in August 1929 (Bowen Independent, 13 Aug 1929) although allegations were made that jockeys were placing bets and interfering with horses during the race.

A summary of the trial was published in the The Week on 26 Jul, 1929. In this publication, James is described as a “straightforward rider” who “had not complained to the stewards about being interfered with in every race he rode”. It appears that there was a “ring” of jockeys that regularly targeted James during races.

James was survived by his wife Winifred and “children”.


Posted in Rylatt | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments