Thursday, 1 September 2011

Taking advantage of tangents and turns

PHOTO: Charleston in the Adelaide Hills.

Going off on a tangent is part and parcel of ancestry research. If the direct approach does not work then try taking a turn toward something less direct.

In this case I have decided it might be useful to do some research on the one Joseph Atkins we have found in South Australia.

He is too young to be the father of our Edward but there is always the possibility that he could be the brother. I came across some information on this Joseph and have sent off emails to those who were posting the information. In the meantime here is what we have on Joseph Atkins, possible brother of Edward Atkins.

This Joseph Atkins lived in the tiny hamlet of Charleston in the Adelaide Hills and he was born in 1816, just three years before the birth of our Edward Atkins, if the age on his marriage certificate with Elizabeth is correct. Even if not, it is close enough for them to be brothers.

Joseph Atkins, his wife Leah, nee Clarke and their two children, William and Harriet are listed as passengers on the David Malcolm which arrived from London, via Plymouth on December 21, 1847.

If it was our Edward who arrived with Hannah and Daniel McLeod, on the Eliza, May 14, 1840 then this is seven years later and certainly could fit with family emigrant reunion.If it is not our Edward then it is possible that our Edward followed his older brother and family out to the colonies because we have a record of him for 1849.

Joseph's wife, Leah Clark(e) was born in Aston Abbotts, Buckinghamshire, in 1820 and she married Joseph Atkins on June 2, 1844 in Cublington, Buckinghamshire. This is not to say he was from Buckinghamshire but there is a good chance that he was. Buckinghamshire is an 42 miles north-west of London, from where Joseph Atkins and his family and the E. Atkins who travelled with Hannah McLeod, took ship to Australia.

A Joseph Atkins was recorded as being destitute in the mid 1850's with four children. Records posted show Frederick baptised 21 Jun 1844  just 19 days after his parents married; Harriet born 12 Oct 1846 both born in England before the family emigrated; Thomas born 19 May 1849 Kensington,  Adelaide;William 1851; Leah/Eliza 17 Nov 1853 and Mary Ann (25 Sep 1855 - 15th mar 1856) Charleston.

Joseph's wife Leah, baptised 18 Feb 1821 died August 30, 1858 Charleston. Within four years it looks like the children were orphans.

The obituary for Harriet nee ATKINS says both her parents were deceased by Harriet's sixteenth year, meaning Joseph ATKINS died c1862 and this fits with a death record:

South Australian Deaths Registrations 1842 to 1915
Joseph ADKINS (incorrect spelling but par for the course with this research)
Date: 1862-12-06
Age: 46y
Status: N
Relative: (not recorded)
Residence: Marryatville
Death Place: Marryatville
District Code: Ade / Book: 15 / Page: 13

There is also a record of a William Atkins marrying in South Australia, father Joseph Atkins, in 1861, aged 24 years to Sophia Staples and again, seven years later, presumably following the death of his first wife, to Emma King (nee Palin).

This means the Wm. on the ship's record was ten when the family arrived in South Australia and the Hr. which is Harriet was one or two. Frederick would have been two or three but he appears not to be listed on the ship's record. None of this is exceptional and such records are as variable and unreliable as ages.

Or this William is not the son of Joseph and Leah given the fact that the death notice for Samuel Frederick states that he was the eldest son. Not that it matters. Establishing facts for this family is not what it is about. The goal is putting information out into the ether which might bring facts to hand which link our Edward to this family and therefore make their ancestry of use to us.

Harriet married 1866 aged 21years and Eliza married 1876 aged 27years. William died at the age of 42 and his death notice states that he is the youngest son of the late Joseph and Leah Atkins.
'Brother of Mrs. D. Guidi (Harriet),Mrs. J. P. Edgecombe (Eliza-Leah),and Thomas. Atkins, Victoria.'

Samuel Frederick Atkins moved to Victoria and went on to have a large family:

Pioneer Index. Victoria 1836-1888
Samuel ATKINS,
Birth Place: ADELAIDE
Event: M
Year: 1871
Spouse: Rosanna MCKENNA
Reg Number: 353


Leah Harriet ATKINS
Father: Samuel Frederic
Mother: Rosan MCKENNA
Birth Place: MORTLAKE
Year: 1873
Reg Number: 18694

Isabella ATKINS
Father: Samuel
Mother: Rosanna MCKENNA
Birth Place: STAR
Year: 1875
Reg Number: 12596

William Frederick ATKINS
Father: Samuel
Mother: Rosannah MCKENNA
Birth Place: STAR
Year: 1876
Reg Number: 19448

Sarah Jane ATKINS
Father: Samuel
Mother: Rose Ann MCKENNA
Birth Place: STAR
Year: 1881
Reg Number: 12633

Catherine ATKINS
Father: Samuel
Mother: Rosanna MCKENNA
Birth Place: STAR
Year: 1883
Reg Number: 12662

Joseph Samuel ATKINS
Father: Samuel
Mother: Rosanna MCKENNA
Birth Place: STAR
Year: 1885
Reg Number: 29065

Pioneer Index. Victoria 1836-1888
Samuel Frederick ATKINS
Event: D
Father: Joseph
Mother: Leah CLARK
Age: 41
Birth Place:
Death Place: ST ARNAUD
Year: 1886
Reg Number: 14636

ATKINS -On the 10th November 1886, at St. Arnaud. Victoria, of typhoid, Frederick. beloved husband of Rose Atkins, eldest son of the late Joseph Atkins, of Charleston, and beloved brother of T.W. Atkins, Mrs. D. Guidi. and Mrs. J. P. Edgecombe, of this city, aged 41 years. Blessed are they who die in the Lord.

There may be absolutely no connection between this family and ours but it is worth putting the information out on the internet to see if something comes up. If there is a connection then it raises the chances of finding out, circuitously where our Edward is from.

It is a flimsy link but with nowhere else to go for the moment it is worth a try.

I also finally heard back from the Anglican Church Archive and have sent them some questions which may or may not bring results.

N.B. And a note from Luke suggesting an Atkins connection which may mean I am on a better track than I thought. Given the tendency of early settlers to emigrate where family members were living and to remain close to family members and if we are 'related' to most of the Atkin's in South Australia, I would not be surprised to find that Hannah's Edward is our Edward. But we are not there yet.

'I do not think you are going out on a tangent at all. exploring ever angle is important I think. It would not surprise me if Edward Atkins had brothers and sister in South Australia it is just finding the link. It reminds me of something my grandmother use to tell my mother "nearly all the Atkins you met we are related to somehow" that is a good clue that maybe Edward Atkins had an extended family in South Australia.'

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