Monday, 8 December 2014

Mystery Monday - George Musson

A few years ago I received an email from Shona telling me she thought her great great grandfather, George Musson, and my great great grandfather, William Musson, were brothers.

Shona and her sister in law, Dianne had been working back from Shona's father, Brian to her grandfather James, great grandfather, George and then hitting a brick wall with her great great grandfather George.  

As we have not found a death for this George Musson I am recording a timeline for him with hopes of perhaps flushing out some information.

The death certificate of my ggg grandfather, William Musson, gave his parents names Elijah Musson and Mary (former name unknown). I found Elijah and Mary at Stonesby, Leicestershire in all the census.  There was only one other Elijah Musson in the area and he was a nephew born 1836.

Following all the census Elijah and Mary Musson had six children.  

In the 1841 census there were William b 1832 and Emma 1839.  

The 1851 census then included Richard b 1842,  Elizabeth 1845 and George 1847. 

In the 1871 census Elijah and Mary were aged 56 and 60 with a 9 year old daughter named Ann living with them.  Ann was the only child there on that night.  Perhaps a granddaughter?

I know that my great great grandfather William had already left for New Zealand in 1862.  

It seems George may have soon followed.

On the 16th of April, 1867 a George Musson married Annie Gough in Christchurch New Zealand. They were living at Rangiora, near where William had settled.  

George  may have fallen out with his brother William after signing his name on a promisory note without his knowledge.
In mid 1869 he spent a couple of years in "penal servitude" for perjury. 

George and Annie went on to have five children all born in that area. They were Richard  born 1868, George born 1869, James born 1871, John born 1873 and  Annie born 1876.  From here it gets confusing as all the later generations included a George Musson.


It seems George had money woes and was also facing bankruptcy.


Maybe that was why Annie was putting the land into her own name.


The following notice appeared in 1891, the same year that Elijah Musson, father of William and George, died at Stonesby.  This is our main reason for thinking George is William's brother.
from The Press, 21 July 1891

The family at some stage moved to Cobden on the Grey River.  

George Musson senior's paper trail  either disappeared or became entwined/confused with George junior.

A George Musson became renowned for his boxing skills. Because these stories appeared through until 1937 we can't be sure if they were only about George junior or both or are there other Georges, such as a son of Richard or John Musson.


Perhaps Annie moved the family to Cobden because her sister lived there.  
Her poor sister met a very sad end.

Still searching for the death of George Musson born 1847 Leicestershire.


  1. You certainly have some interesting people in your family.

    1. Another reason I love researching family history so much Sharon :)

  2. Kerryn, did you ever find the death of George Musson born 1847? I haven't managed to do so yet

  3. I haven't had any luck either Joanne. Are you a descendant?

  4. Hi, I'm a descendant of George Musson and Annie Gough so very interesting to read.

    I know it's an old post but I was wondering if you'd looked at alternate spellings for Musson.

    I searched
    for Mussen and came up with a death of George Mussen in 1918 "age 65 years". Which is not exactly right but ball park?

    George & Annie's son, George (b. 1869), married Mary Miles & had 8 surviving kids. George & Mary went to Australia permanently in 1927 with their 3 youngest kids, & one of these was my grandma, Leonore.

    It was interesting about the boxing as one of George (b. 1869) & Mary's sons, Frederick, died suddenly while sparring in a gym, in 1931, aged 22. According to family stories he was hit on the heart.

    1. Hi, happy new year and thanks so much for reading and commenting. As you say it was a while ago that I did that post so I had to back and look through my files. Yes I did get the certificate for that George Mussen. The Mussen must be a transcription error as it is definitely Musson on the certificate. He died in the district of Hastings on 1st Dec 1918. HIs parents were listed as George Musson, a farmer and Elizabeth nee Hayes. He was buried at Hastings. It states he was born at Waltham on the Wolds and had been in NZ for 59 years. His wife was Agnes Limpus and it looks like they had several children.
      I'd love to hear more of your family's story in Australia if you wouldn't mind sharing information with me. My email is geekaytay @ (no spaces)