Sunday, 7 October 2012

U is for .... Unknowns


Everyone has  "Unknowns"in their family trees.  These are just a few of mine.

The date and place of the death of  my 3rd Great Grandmother, Margaret Mason, nee Carstairs b 1823 Cupar, Fife, Scotland.
Her husband, Peter Webster Mason, died on the 1st of March 1892 at the Bendigo Benevelont Asylum. He was aged 77 years.
Quite a few think they have found death information from the Vic BMD Indexes but these certificates have been purchased by family members and none match Margaret.

The date and ship my Great Great Grandfather, George Adams (b 1831 - d 1921) arrived in Australia.  He married Catherine Barry on the 19th of June 1853 in Fremantle, Western Australia.  He came from Saffron Walden, Essex, UK.

Where in Limerick, Ireland, my Great Great Grandmother, Catherine Barry was from.  Born about 1832 to John Barry and Mary Boyle she arrived in 1853 at Fremantle, Western Australia on the Ship Travancore.

I purchased the book THE BRIDE SHIPS by Rica Erickson from Gould Genealogy a few years ago.
The following is an excerpt about the Travancore arrival.
"The Travancore arrived in the full heat of Summer. .  The 115 Irish girls were taken in parties of forty or fifty up the Swan River to Perth where a large crowd gathered at the William Street jetty to greet them.  Some of the girls were barefoot and most of them wore simple gowns with shawls for head coverings.  They were soon dubbed "bog Irish"

At first the employers were reluctant to take girls who were not trained as cooks, scullery maids or nursemaids, especially when they were Catholic.  Protestants naturally preferred Protestant servants to avoid embarrassment in their homes.  But the Irish girls were good natured, healthy, willing to work and were not averse to leaving town and going into service on distant farms.  Within a few weeks ninety of the girls were in employment, some going to Albany and sixteen to Bunbury.  By February the Immigration Officer reported with satisfaction that:
'The exemplary good conduct of the Travancore girls while at the Home, and their general willingness to learn, quite dispelled any feeling of prejudice against them on account of their Catholic faith'"

Is the Peter Hart in 1851 census a "prisoner in custody" Huntingdonshire, Great Stukeley, Huntindon, Ramsey, my Great Great Grandfather?
According to dates on marriage and death certificate Peter may have migrated to Australia around 1854.
He died at Echuca, Victoria on the 2nd of September 1900.

Who was the mother of my Great Great Grandmother, Anne Jane Knight?  Her father was John Knight and they were from Gloucestershire.  Anne Jane was born about 1832.

Any further details or information on one Great Grand Uncle, David Adams b 1866 Hotham Victoria - died after 1921.  Son of George Adams and Catherine Barry.

Any further details or information on Great Great Grand Uncle, Edmond Kelly baptised 16 September 1838 at Dualla, Ballysheehan, Tipperary. His parents were Cornelius Kelly and Mary Moloughney.  Baptism sponsors were Thomas Ryan, Julia Kelly

These "Unknowns" are from relatively (pardon the pun) latter years in my research.
Further generations back of course hold many many more Unknowns.

This is my contribution for the Letter U in the

 My family history through the alphabet list

©AncestorChasing 2012


  1. We all have our unknowns don't we. And its the searching and getting the answers that makes it all worthwhile. All the best getting answers to yours.

  2. Those wretched unknowns keep us mystified and on our toes and niggle our thinking time. I "liked" the book extract...there was so much prejudice against them and yet they were so well suited to the difficult pioneering life. Might your Limerick woman have come across the border from South-east Clare?