Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Time to stop circling and return to ponder the purpose...

I have not gotten far in Finding Charlie Ross as planned in the beginning, but I have gotten far in finding the family into which he married and the family he founded.

Perhaps as Cavafy said, it is the journey which matters, not the destination. And, as the words which begin his poem predict, this journey is full of adventure, full of discovery.

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.

I feel confident that what I want to know about Charlie Ross will be found - his Greek name and the confirmation of his place of birth - I just do not know when.

Photo: Greek singers in the 19th century.

But, what I can do is learn as much as possible about 19th century Greece in general and Ithaca in particular in order to get a feel of the culture into which my great-grandfather was born and the society he left behind.  The magical thing is that as I hunt for traces of him in the 19th century I can do so online, finding books, written by literal travellers to Greece, which will paint a picture of the world in which he grew up and the world he chose to leave behind.

One such book is Ithaca in 1850 by George Ferguson Bowen and another is, A Journal Kept in Turkey and Greece in the Autumn of 1857 and the Beginning of 1858, by Nassau William, Senior.  I have ordered both.

I may not be able to touch Charlie Ross as yet, in any tangible form, but I will chase him through the shadows of his past, and mine, until I can paint as clear as picture of him as possible. And perhaps, in that way of life, as I put together the pieces of his general past, it will draw, from the mists of Ithaca, pieces of his personal past.

Some snippets from the past:

'Access to the sphere of female socialization, which fascinated British travellers and observers, was even more severely restricted. It is worth turning to the clearly postcolonial context of the Ionian Islands which, again,may suggest the origins of British observations on this subject. Ansted, an observer acquainted with Greek Ionian culture, argued that it was imposs-ible to gather any information on women because Greek men ‘guarded’ them zealously, forbidding their interaction with the ‘Lords’ (1863: 58). No more information is provided by this account, but, intriguingly, we encounter the same comment on Greek attitudes in another travel diary by an anonymous expert on the Eastern Question.

This recorder travelled in the Greek kingdom before the Crimean War, but his work was edited and modified by John Murray in the 1870s. In the ‘Roving Englishman’s’ narrative, foreigners cannot approach women, who flee the encounter to find refuge in domestic spaces:I am lightly shod and I do not make much noise, nor am I a very fearful apparition;... but I have no sooner entered the street than a change comes over it.

 When I first turned the corner, young women were gossiping and laughing together in the doorways, and from the windows:now I hear the click of many doors closing stealthily; and the lattices are shut everywhere. A Frank is a rare sight in this obscure quarter, and the women are wild as young fawns. They are watching me from all sorts of places; but if I stayed there for hours, not one would come out till I was gone.'
'Greek deception would soon be associated with actual stage performance. According to a traveller, the Greeks were‘born actors’. Self-consciousness, which brings with it the usual train of mannerisms and affectations, is said to be the curse of the English stage, if not of English society. On the stage and off the stage it is apparently unknown to the Greeks, who, bumptious and boastful though they often are, do not look conscious or self-absorbed; never seem, when in public, to trouble themselves the least in the world whether or no people arelooking at them, admiring them, or criticising them, and, consequently,never appear nervous or ill-at-ease among themselves, as is the case with  so many of our countrymen.
Their habit of gesticulation, which we may call forced and exaggerated, is in reality as much part of their nature, as it is part of an Englishman’s nature to carry an umbrella '!(Young, 1876: 201) (History of the Human Sciences.)

A list of qualities which Greeks were said to possess:

a desire for what the rival/other has
entrepreneurial spirit:
acting on this desire
 performance of mannerisms:
the means for acquisition of what is desired
Greek lying:
the deceived ‘other’s’ feeling of exploitation/ privation
 From a History of the Human Sciences.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The goal is to 'find' Charlie Ross but in the meantime.......

I am still waiting to hear back from the Gladstone Historical Society who were going to look through the newspapers between 1890 and 1908 to see if there was anything more about Charlie Ross other than his obituary.

It is a slow process and moves at country speed and I was told in response to an email weeks ago that something would be coming before too long! I am beginning to think 'before too long' means sometime in the next year or so. But, given that I cannot get to Gladstone for the moment to do the work there really is no choice but to remain patient.

In the meantime I have taken another 'fork' in the ever-turning road which is ancestry research and found out a little bit more about my paternal Scottish ancestors. While the Scottish researcher did not manage to find out just who my male G7's parents were, (we can follow his wife's line back two more generations) she did come across his military records which  in terms of ancestry research are quite a find indeed.

Livingston(e) Muirhead it seems, after serving his time with the Lanarkshire Militia, joined the Coldstream Guards, Second Foot,  and served some 20 years with them, including fighting at the Battle of Waterloo and receiving a medal for his part in the defence of Houghounot Chateau, the pivotal point of the battle to defeat Napoleon.

He was born in 1785 in the parish of Barony, Glasgow and joined the Coldstream Guards in 1813 at the age of twenty-eight. He is listed as a weaver and one assumes, given the times and place where he was born, that he worked in the cotton mills as a child, as another more famous Livingstone - David Hunter did. Given that Livingston Muirhead and David Hunter Livingstone were born in the same area and given that Livingston is likely to be a maternal surname, there is a good chance the families were connected at some point.

Livingston and his wife Helen (Storie) called their youngest son, my G6, Robert Hunter Muirhead. He was born  in1812, a year earlier than David Livingstone, and the Hunter looks to have come from her grandmother, Marion Hunter. While Marion was born and died in Tranent, East Lothian, where Livingston Muirhead lived after marrying Helen (Storie), who had been born in Haddington, East Lothian, a few miles outside Edinburgh,  the distances between Glasgow and Edinburgh are not great and the population of Scotland at the time a mere 1.5million people, with less than 40,000 of them living in Glasgow, means that shared family names mean shared family relations at some point in history.

Helen Storie or Storrie was born November 5, 1783 in Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland. Tranent is some 18 kilometres east of Edinburgh and one of Scotland's oldest towns. She was the daughter of  Thomas Storie (Storrie) and Agnes Blair(e). Both Thomas and Agnes were born in Tranent. Thomas in 1740, with his christening recorded for August 28 of that year and Agnes in 1744 with her christening recorded on November 9. One presumes Thomas was born in late August and Agnes in early November.

Thomas's grandparents were George Storie born in 1714 in Tranent and his wife, Marion Hunter and Agnes's grandparents were James Blair(e) and Helen Forsyth. They married in Tranent, East Lothian on July 6, 1739 and it is a reasonable guess that they were all born in Tranent as well.          


 Photo: Coldstream Guards from the Battle of Waterloo. This would have been Livingston Muirhead's uniform.

Livingston was illiterate, signing his military records with a cross and this explains why his name is often registered as Levingston and he is recorded as a winner of a Waterloo Military Medal under the name Lev, which I probably would have missed but the researcher did not. He served a couple of years in Paris after Waterloo and would have been often based in London.

Livingston resigned from the army in 1834 for health reasons. The surgeon recorded that he had difficulty breathing and this was a condition caused by his service but not through indulgence or lack of care. One presumes a childhood spent working in a cotton mill may have contributed to the condition.

He died in 1851 on December 2 at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh. Livingston and Helen had three children: James born 1808, Agnes born 1810 and Robert Hunter born 1812. Four years after his father's death Robert, a bootmaker and his wife Christina (Mitchell) and their seven children, James, Francis, Alison, Robert, Florenia, Helen and Anne along with James's wife, Euphemia (McLean) and their two children, Mary and Robert, would set sail for South Australia. All would arrive safely at Port Adelaide in 1855 but seventeen-year-old Francis would die before the first year was out.  Helen Storie Muirhead would die in 1858, never to see her youngest son or his family again.

Robert's grand-daughter Florena, born in Adelaide in 1873 to James and Euphemia, the 11th of their 12 children, would be my paternal great-grandmother, marrying Robert Jones (Jonas) in 1891 and producing another dozen children herself. No shortage of relatives on my father's side.

I shall put together a more concise history of the Muirhead family in the coming weeks.

Friday, 1 June 2012

There is no real news but research continues

Photo: Gladstone, South Australia.

I am still waiting to hear from the Gladstone researchers who are looking into copies of The Areas Express in the hope of finding an article about Charlie Ross. If only, if only.... what a gift it would be to have a place of origin confirmed and even better, but less likely, a surname.

I have also taken on a Scottish researcher to see if we can take the Muirhead line back further than Livingstone Muirhead, my GG7 on my father's maternal side. Beyond that nothing much else has happened or seems to be happening. But who knows what the ether holds to bring forth.

And while I have done little, other family researchers have been adding to the information trove. Luke wrote:

I have looked at the shipping records in which Barry Leadbeater has the sources in his
website “Family History SA”  “Passenger Lists of Ship arriving in SA
1803-1854” for when Hannah McLeod and Edward Atkins came out to South
Australia upon the ship called the Eliza and arrived on the 14/5/1840.

I have read his information the same way you have Ros that Edward
Atkins was on the ship called the Eliza with Daniel and Hannah McLeod
because it states “Also Edward Atkins” however this is wrong and
indeed misleading.

I found the original record for Hannah and Daniel McLeod. It states
“Daniel McLeod, Servant, made application to come to SA 3/12/1839,
From Charleville, 18 years old. Hannah McLeod, Worker women made
application 3/12/1839, 16 years old from Charleville.” Both were
single because Hannah was only 16 years old.

If Hannah was 16 years old in 1839 then she was born c1823 and would
have been c20 years of age when she married Edward Atkins in 1843. It
would also mean that if she died sometime after the birth of Emily
Puddy nee Atkins in 1854 and before the marriage of Elizabeth Mashford
and Edward Atkins in 1857 Hannah would have been around c34 c36 years
when she died.

There is no shipping records for Edward Atkins. I talked to the family
history librarian who said that all Barry Leadbeater has done is that
he is just stating that Edward Atkins was not on the ship with Hannah,
but there is a cross reference for a person called Edward Atkins with
the person called Hannah McLeod. The cross reference is their marriage
certificate and the birth record for their first child Henry Atkins.

Furthermore, she said that if there is no shipping record for Edward
Atkins then it means he arrived in South Australia overland or on a
local ship from Sydney or Melbourne. We had a good talk about Edward
Atkins and she said that the South Australian authorities in the early
1800s were very carefully about keeping records of who arrived in
South Australia from overseas because they did not want certain types
of people living in South Australia. Many people who applied to come
to South Australia from England were rejected because they were seen
to be the wrong type of people. As a result, the South Australian
authorities kept very good records.

However, the South Australian authorities could do nothing about
people arriving in South Australia overland and there were too many
people coming backwards and forwards to local ports for the
authorities to keep records or to track.

She said because there is no shipping records for Edward Atkins he
more than likely arrived in Sydney or Melbourne and then travelled to
Adelaide in a local ship this way he avoided the local South
Australian authorities.

As a result, there is no shipping records of an Edward Atkins arriving
in South Australia from the UK as he did not come upon the ship called
the Eliza with Hannah McLeod or any other ship to South Australia from
the UK. However, it does add weight to the theory that the convict
called Henry Edwin Atkins could be our Edward Atkins, but does not
prove it.

This would mean that if Henry Edwin Atkins is our Edward Atkins once
he was released in NSW he did not go back to England and then
immigrated to South Australia, but just stayed in Australia. She said
it may be the case that if Henry Edwin Atkins is out Edward Atkins
then once he was released  he decided to come to South Australia
because he knew there was no convicts in South Australia and could
start a new life without his past catching up with him. It is all just
theories, but it seems to fit at this stage.

Also I have been looking at the Areas Express and Farmers
Journal and I found this, but I do not know if the George Lewis
mentioned in the paper is your George Lewis or another person called
George Lewis living in the area. It states: - “George Lewis, Fred
Simpson and Sydney Heaslip are off to the war” Areas Express and
Farmers Journal Friday January 25th 1901. The only war I can think off
would be the South African war. Do you know if George Lewis ever
joined the army at all?

Photo:Cirencester, Gloucestershire, some sixty years after Edward Atkins may have lived there.

And he went on to say:

 As with a lot of family history research something just cannot to proved to the degree we would like, but I am learning that is just how it goes sometimes.

 There is no real evidence that the Edward Atkins who married Hannah McLeod and then Eizabeth Lewis nee Mashford and the convict Henry Edwin Atkins or Edwin Atkins are the one and same person. However, there are a lot of similarities between the two people which an arguement can be developed to suggest that they are the same person.

I have done a list of all the similarities between the two people. One of these similarities could just be described as a coincidence, but I have found at least 10 similarities between the two people. Again it all could just be coincidence, but on the other hand, there lies the possibility that they are the same person.

·       Both people have the same last names.

·       The name Edwin and Edward are so close together that they could be interchangeable without a lot of problems.

·       Edward Atkins was born in Gloucestershire.[1]

·       Henry Edwin Atkins was born in Cirencester Gloucestershire.[2]

·       Edward Atkins was born sometime between 1807[3] and 1813.[4]

·       Henry Edwin Atkins was baptisms on the 23/2/1812[5] which is very close to the year of Edward Atkins birth of around a possible year of 1813. The reader should not be disturbed if ages and years do not correspond exactly because people just did not know there own age sometimes and often guessed their age.

·       Edward Atkins’ father was called Joseph Atkins.[6]

·       Henry Edwin Atkins’ father was called Joseph Atkins.[7]

·       Edward Atkins trade was a blacksmith.[8]

·       Henry Edwin Atkins trade was a blacksmith.[9]

·       Henry Edwin Atkins was convicted for sheep stealing.[10] Although the following statement is tenuous it could imply that he may have had some knowledge of sheep.

·       Edward Atkins occupation in 1862 was a shepherd.[11] This could indicate that he had knowledge of sheep.

·       During the 1800s it was a common custom or practice to name at least one son after the father. Edward Atkins first son was called Henry Edward Atkins. This provides a clue that Edward Atkins first name may have been Henry and if he was an ex convict he may have wished not to have been known by his real name which was Henry Edwin Atkins and just used the name Edward Atkins. However he felt it was safe enough to call his son Henry Edward Atkins.

·       Edward Atkins only known surviving son was called James Haines Atkins. It was also a common custom or practice in the 1800s to incorporate a mother’s maiden name or grandmother’s maiden name as a middle name of a child. Henry Edwin Atkins mother was called Ann Haines. She married Joseph Atkins on the 14th August 1809 at Cirencester in Gloucestershire.[12] James Atkins middle name is not a common middle name for a child and thus could be an indication that his middle name may be related to some other family member like his grandmother. Thus this could connect Edward Atkins son James Atkins with the family of Henry Edwin Atkins.

·       The person Henry Edwin Atkins disappears from the historical records in New South Wales after 1838 when he had served his sentence and a person with the name Edward Atkins appears in the South Australian historical records in 1843 when he married Hannah McLeod.

[1] South Australian Register Tuesday 22 December 1891 p3.

[2] Unpublished report concerning the family of Atkins by John J Tunesi Beacon Genealogical and Heraldic Research 31.12.2011.

[3] South Australian Register Tuesday 22 December 1891 p3.

[4] Marriage certificate of Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Lewis nee Mashford & South Australian

[5] Unpublished report concerning the family of Atkins by John J Tunesi Beacon Genealogical and Heraldic Research 31.12.2011.

[6] Marriage certificate of Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Lewis nee Mashford.

[7] Unpublished report concerning the family of Atkins by John J Tunesi Beacon Genealogical and Heraldic Research 31.12.2011

[8] Marriage certificate of Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Lewis nee Mashford & Marriage certificate of Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod.

[9] New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1827-1867 record for Edwin Atkins.

[10] New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1827-1867 record for Edwin Atkins.

[11] Birth Certificate of James Haines Atkins.

[12] Unpublished report concerning the family of Atkins by John J Tunesi Beacon Genealogical and Heraldic Research 31.12.2011.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Not a lot has been happening but the work goes on....

 Photo: My grandfather Charles Vangelios Ross in the 1930's.

My British researchers seem to have disappeared into the ether. Either they are very busy or my requests are too much like hard work or both. I do however have great faith that progress will be made when the time is right.

I have taken on some new researchers in Gladsone, South Australia having found a reference to the Areas Express and Farmers Journal when doing further research after Charlie's obituary was found which said that from 1902 there were more articles done of a personal and biographical nature - here's hoping for one on Charlie Ross which gives at least his place of birth because I doubt his Greek name would be published. But who knows?

Apparently, From 1924 to early 1925 a series of articles about old residents, titled '80 years or over', gave detailed information about the lives of ten elderly local men. But Charlie had been dead for many years by this time and Mary was not quite old enough but female anyway - the doings of men being of far greater import than that of women.

The Areas express newspaper served the small towns and farming communities around Gladstone for over 70 years. It took a strong politically conservative stance, and included articles about a wide range of agricultural topics. The Express was a weekly through most of its existence, but enjoyed enough success to be published twice-weekly from February 1878 to July 1886.

There is no doubt that a specific place of birth or at least a confirmation of Ithaca, would lay open the way to do what this blog was and is about - Finding Charlie Ross! Here's hoping.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Making sense of more Mashford meanderings

Photo: Parish boundaries of Zeal Monachorum.

 A few possible threads have tied themselves together of late although they are lightly tied in place and may have to be undone should they not be established as fact.

It looks like we can now take the Mashford line back a couple more generations and possibly to the John Mashford of Zeal Monachorum who signed an oath to the King in 1723.
"ZEAL MONACHORUM is a village and parish in Taw vale, 8 miles W.N.W. of Crediton, and contains 649 souls, and 2946 acres of land, including the hamlets of Loosebeare or Loxbeare, Burstone, and Tuckingmill. It was anciently called Sele Monachorum, and had the latter part of its name from its being long held by the monastery of Buckfast, to which it was given by King Canute. J.H. Ley, Esq., is now lord of the manor; but Loosebeare belongs to the Kelland family, and Burstone to J. and W. Wreford, Esqrs. Messrs. J. and R. Pedler, John Sweet, and a few smaller owners, have estates in the parish. The Church (St. Peter,) has a tower and five bells; and the living is a rectory, valued in K.B. at £17. 8s. 9d., and in 1831 at £401. The Rev. John Comyns, M.A. of Bishop's Teignton, is the rector, and has sold the patronage to Mr. Tombs. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)] - GenUKI, UK and Ireland Genealogy.

The emails have been flowing thick and fast again of late and Luke wrote:
There are too many people called John Mashford for me to think clearly so I thought I would confirm with the both of you about what we know to make sure I have it right.

We know Elizabeth Mashford’s father was called John Mashford and his dates are c1797-c1836. Is this right? We only think that John Mashford’s father was also called John Mashford who was the Parish Clerk at Coldridge c1799-c1871. However, we have no real proof of this. Is this right?

Photo: Zeal Monachorum 1965.

Ros you mentioned again about the family oral history which passed down to both sides of our family that Elizabeth Mashford was an illegitimate daughter to a wealthy noble man in England and she was sent out to South Australia to stop a scandal. I may have mentioned this before in one of my emails, but cannot remember so I will raise it again. I have found with other family oral history that some of it is true, but it has seemed to have be somewhat twisted over the generations.

For example, I was told that my GGGrandfather Cornelius Clavin lived at Alma Plains and moved to Laura where he died in a tug of war game. It is true that he lived at Alma Plains and that he moved to Laura, but he died when he was drunk in the local pub after a fight with another man. So half the story is true. I was also told that his wife Margaret remarried a man called Cassidy in Laura had more children and then moved to New Zealand. It was true that she remarried another man called Cassidy and had more children, but she moved to Melbourne and not to New Zealand. However, her daughter was also called Margaret Cassidy and she did move to New Zealand. As you said in your last email “stories are usually true, but often about the wrong person - and the wrong time”

I still find it interesting about the story of Elizabeth Mashford being an illegitimate daughter especially as it has survived in both branches of the family, but as we know there is no prove of it. I think may be the story origins arose from Peter Lewis. From the newspapers story of the court case about Peter, Elizabeth and her brother:-

He made use of the threats complained of on that occasion, and he had circulated the most abominable stories of the witness and his sister. Mrs Lewis stated that she feared her husband would some times put his threats into execution, particularly as he was in the habit of getting drunk purposely to increase his violence.”

Maybe Peter Lewis told stories that his wife was illegitimate. Maybe Elizabeth Mashford would say something along the lines, “And that man use to say that I was an illegitimate daughter.” Over the generations was story then became “grandmother use to say she was illegitimate” and the story has persisted today. It is only a theory, but it could make sense.

I have also sent an email to the National Archives of England. I think I have may have mentioned it before that there is a reference on the National Archives of England website, of the matter of the estate of John Cann Yeoman of Chawleigh and his widow Mary Cann. I really could not work out on their website how to order it or how much it cost. If they email me back and it does not cost a lot of money I will order it to see if I can get any more information about the Cann family.I will let you both know.

Also to let you both know that I have tried to get in contact with possible descendants of Anne Pole nee Atkins (Edward Atkins daughter by his first marriage) and her husband John Pole. I noticed on the white pages that they were a few people with the last name of Pole still living in the Bangor, Wirrabara area. As a result, they may be descendants of Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod and may have a family bible with information or old photos etc. You never know what people have sometimes. If they write back to me I will let you both know.

Photo: St. Peter's Church, Zeal Monachorum.

The information I had was that the John Mashford who married Mary Cann was the son of John Mashford who married Mary Labbett in Eggesford, Devon in 1796 which would have had him born circa. 1766.

Sandra, the Devon researcher, in the recent exchange posited the following:
The John Mashford mentioned is not either of the two John's mentioned in the previous paragraph although he may be connected to either of our John's.  According to my records, John Mashford married Martha Godbeare 1st February 1702/3 at Zeal Monachorum and was buried there in 1725.  I have found baptisms for five children of this couple, including a John in 1715/16 who is the only surviving son.  That is where the trail goes cold as I, although I have found a marriage for John, junior in 1736, I have only found two children's baptisms (Mary and Henry) - and nothing further about either of the two children.  I THINK, but can not prove, that they also had a son John born around 1743 who became the Parish Clerk at Coldridge and was your progentitor.

So the John Mashford, Parish Clerk at Coldridge, born 1743 could be the father of John Mashford (married Mary Labbett) born circa. 1766 - Elizabeth's grandfather.  If this is the case this would make John Mashford, Parish Clerk, Elizabeth's great-grandfather.

John Mashford, born around 1715/16 could be the father of JM, Parish Clerk and therefore be Elizabeth's great-great-grandfather and the John Mashford who married Martha Godbeare (love that name) at Zeal Monachorum, 1702/3 could be Elizabeth's G3 grandfather. He would have been born circa. 1675-90 I would imagine. This John Mashford died and was buried in Zeal Monachorum in 1725 and it is highly likely that he is the John Mashford recorded as signing an oath of allegiance to the King as previously written about on the blog:

This reminded me of earlier research into the earliest John Mashford I could find, who was recorded in Zeal Monachorum swearing allegiance to the King, in 1723. Zeal Monachorum is barely four miles from Coldridge which makes him a very likely ancestor for our lot and a possible shared ancestor for Albert's family.

John Mashford of Zeal Monachorum swore his oath nearly one hundred years before Elizabeth was born at The Blue Anchor, Crediton on September 23 before Bampfylde Rodd and John Gibbs esq. There were still some Mashfords in Zeal Monachorum in the 1841 Census.

As to the oral history Luke, regarding Elizabeth, I do agree, as I have said, that stories can be right but about the wrong people at the wrong time. Although interestingly, and I did think this when I first read the Peter Lewis comments, that this does raise some more questions because here is my theory:

When I first read about Peter's 'circulating the most abominable stories of the witness and his sister' I took it to mean he was accusing them of having sexual relations. Which is the most logical sort of abominable one would think of a husband to say about his wife and her brother. And this 'fits' with my theory (and instinct) that Elizabeth Mashford may not have been the biological daughter of John and Mary, but a relation, brought in because she needed a home and George May was therefore not a brother, but a cousin - close or distant.

It is only theory and rather impossible to prove, at least at this point, but the claims Peter Lewis made could be seen in this light. Given how common illegitimacy was in the times and this was the colonies where probably the worst thing you could be was an ex-convict rather than illegitimate, I doubt the 'abominable stories' .... and they are about George and his sister remember.... are about Elizabeth's illegitimacy, particularly if there was knowledge of a 'noble' connection.

I know that John and Mary have the birth of a daughter Elizabeth recorded but this does not mean that the child could not have died young and we do not have a death record and our Elizabeth came to take her place at a young age.

Illegitimacy was shameful in the times and the sort of thing to be hidden, not talked about, unless there was a good reason to talk about it such as 'noble connections.' So I don't see that an ordinary illegitimacy would be talked about in the first place, nor have noble connections woven into it over the generations. The two either go together as an absolute or they do not.

Friday, 17 February 2012

A few more Mashford loose ends for the mix

Photo: Zeal Monachorum in winter. The home possibly of our earliest Mashford ancestor.

Another researcher has gotten in touch with us in regard to the Mashfords. She thinks her Albert Langmaid Mashford might be a cousin of our Elizabeth.

It is certainly possible and if that is the case then it might open up some new avenues of research for Elizabeth and her family. Albert is also a Devon Mashford but at this stage it all remains possibles or perhaps probables but not absolutes.

I remain curious about the Elizabeth Mashford as illegitimate daughter of a nobleman story - and thus being forced to leave England for Australia. If I have learned anything it is that these oral histories, or stories, are usually true, but not necessarily about the person to whom they are attributed nor to the time-frame suggested. Getting more information about the Devon Mashfords may actually throw enough light on that story to make sense of it and to finally put it to rest.

There are some synchronicities between our family and these Mashfords which may be merely curiosity value or have more substance: both Albert's  father, Robert and Elizabeth's mother, Mary (Cann) were recorded as publicans in census records and Albert, like Elizabeth's brother, Josiah, was in court for insolvency.

Interestingly Albert and his siblings were also literate and while there is some doubt about the level of Elizabeth's literacy, given the illiteracy of my great-grandmother Mary, it seems that her 'siblings' were literate. This discrepancy as I have said before is one thing which makes me wonder if Elizabeth was the daughter of John Mashford and Mary Cann as opposed to a poor cousin, taken in after the death or departure of their daughter Elizabeth.

That however is conjecture. Literacy levels of family members remain in the realm of conjecture given the times but evidence of literacy does confer upon those involved a higher social status than one might otherwise suppose.

Photo: Tavistock Town Hall.

These new Mashfords are from the Tavistock, Stoke Damerel (Plymouth) and Bickleigh areas as opposed to Coldridge from whence our ancestors came. Interestingly though Tavistock is about half-way in a direct line between Coldridge and Plymouth and Bickleigh is between Tavistock and Plymouth.

This reminded me of earlier research into the earliest John Mashford I could find, who was recorded in Zeal Monachorum swearing allegiance to the King, in 1723. Zeal Monachorum is barely four miles from Coldridge which makes him a very likely ancestor for our lot and a possible shared ancestor for Albert's family.

John Mashford of Zeal Monachorum swore his oath nearly one hundred years before Elizabeth was born at The Blue Anchor, Crediton on September 23 before Bampfylde Rodd and John Gibbs esq. There were still some Mashfords in Zeal Monachorum in the 1841 Census.

The records where John Mashford was found are interesting:

Hidden away amongst the mass of documents created by the Devon Quarter Sessions and now held by the Devon Record Office in Exeter is a little known and seldom consulted series of manuscripts compiled in the aftermath of the Jacobite Atterbury plot of 1720-22. 
These 1723 oath rolls contain the names of over 25,000 Devonians, amounting to some one in five of the adult population of the time. They provide the key to unlocking the history of local communities during the early eighteenth century, as the men and women of the county paraded before the Justices of the Peace in order to swear their loyalty to King George I.

 In their original form they are virtually unusable, with the names of individuals listed in no systematic order. Inhabitants of a single parish can appear on numerous separate oath rolls, with many people swearing at towns and villages some miles from their place of residence. The documents are large, cumbersome, and occasionally difficult to read due to centuries of wear and numerous corrections and crossings out. It is for these reasons that they have been selected as the first in a series of documents to be transcribed and published online as part of the Eighteenth Century Devon: People and Communities project.

They will be of use to local researchers, family historians and scholars engaged in the study of eighteenth century Devon society. As the following overview demonstrates they provide insights into levels of literacy, travel and transportation networks, population distribution and the nature of public political engagement. 

This John Mashford may also be a link for another family researcher with whom I was in touch last year, Sandra Robinson and who wrote:

 I too have a connection with the surname of Mashford - my father's maternal grandmother was Catherine Mashford, born 1849 in Newton Ferrers, near Plymouth.  Incidentally that is also where my father was born!  I can only trace my Mashford line back to a marriage of John Mashford at Kenton, near Exeter, in 1752.  I have no leads as to where John was born, although I suspect that it was in the Coldridge (mid Devon) area. 
I note that you also show your interest in the surname of Cann and from that I deduce that you descend from the marriage of John Mashford (son of John Mashford and his wife, Mary Labbatt) and Mary Cann. I am aware that several members of the family emigrated to Australia in the 1840's. John's nephew Joseph (only surviving son of John's brother Josiah) also married a Cann, namely Susan. Their daughter Ellen Jane Mashford married 1887 Charles Gove and emigrated to Queensland, Australia.

I had missed the Josiah link when this email arrived more than a year ago but of course it makes sense given the fact that John and Mary named one of their sons Josiah and the fact that Elizabeth's cousin, Ellen Jane Mashford emigrated to Queensland in 1887 may well also be another link given that Albert Langmaid Mashford had emigrated to Australia, eleven years earlier, disembarking in Brisbane in 1866. He soon moved on to New South Wales and eventually to South Australia but if he was a cousin then the Brisbane connection could make more sense than we know.  

Sandra's family actually provides something of a link between our family and Albert's. Kenton, near Exeter, where she found her John Mashford in 1752 is about twenty miles from Zeal Monachorum and a Coldridge origin, as she suggests is certainly likely. In addition, her maternal grandmother and father were born in Newton Ferrers which is barely eight miles from Plymouth and seventeen miles from Bickleigh where Albert Langmaid Mashford's family are found.  Given the travelling times of the 18th and 19th century these three Mashford families are certainly within reach of each other.

 I have written to her again in regard to Albert and sent her this information in the hope that tying a few threads together from a number of families may actually create something of substance in terms of the Devon Mashfords.

There is also the possibility that after living in New South Wales for four years and then in Victoria for about two years, that Albert made the decision to move to South Australia having heard about opportunities at the Wallaroo Mines through South Australian Mashfords. In 1873 when Albert settled in Wallaroo Elizabeth and her husband Edward Atkins, were living in Wirrabarra, admittedly some 145 kilometres to the north, but in the same State and also involved in the mining industry through the Charlton Mine.

Photo: Bickleigh, Devon.

In the meantime, given how often we connect with people through the blog I am going to post some of the information which Albert Langmaid Mashford's researcher has found.


Groom's Name:
Robert Mashford
Groom's Birth Date:

Groom's Birthplace:

Groom's Age:

Bride's Name:
Hannah Langmaid
Bride's Birth Date:

Bride's Birthplace:

Bride's Age:

Marriage Date:
16 Sep 1836
Marriage Place:
Stoke Damerel,Devon,England
Groom's Father's Name:

Groom's Mother's Name:

Bride's Father's Name:

Bride's Mother's Name:

Groom's Race:

Groom's Marital Status:

Groom's Previous Wife's Name:

Bride's Race:

Bride's Marital Status:

Bride's Previous Husband's Name:

Indexing Project (Batch) Number:
System Origin:
Source Film Number:
Reference Number:

Photo: Coldridge, Devon.

Newspaper articles- transcripts

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954) Tuesday 28 June 1892 p 2 Family Notices

MASHFORD-BENNETTS.-June 25. at the Primitive Methodist Manse, Broken Hill, by Rev. Samuel Gray, Albert Reginald, fourth son of Mr. Albert Mashford, of Kadina, to Elizabeth Hannah, eldest daughter of Mr. Richard Bennetts, Of Kadina.    
The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Friday 21 March 1879 p 7 Article
Insolvency Court (listing)

Albert Mashford, of Wallaroo Mines, miner.
South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Tuesday 11 March 1879
In re Albert Mashford, of 'Wallaroo Mines, miner; a final hearing. The Accountant's report was as follows: — 'Insolvent only appeared yesterday. The schedule was only filed this morning. Insolvent says that he came to the colony in 1871; that for 1S71 and 1872 he earned £2 per week; for 1873 and 1874 and 1875, 28s. per week; 1878 and 1877. 30s. a week; and for 1877, 1878, and 1879, 35s. per week. Adjourned for a fortnight.
South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Wednesday 26 March 1879 Supplement: 

Photo: Wallaroo Mines circa. 1900.

In re Albert Mashford, of Wallaroo Mines, miner; adjourned final hearing. The Accountant reported :— Liabilities, £109 18s. 4d. Assets — Lease of allotment in the Wallaroo Mines township, on which insolvent has built a four roomed pug hut, tank, &c, value doubtful. The insolvent says that he arrived in the early part of August, 1S71, and during 1871 and 1872 earned about £2 a week. During 1S73 and 1874 and 1875 he earned about 2Ss. a week, during 1S76 and 1877 about 30s. a week, and during 1S78 and 1879 about 35s. a week.' Mr. Cherry examined the insolvent, after which he obtained an adjournment for another week. In re Edward Francis Opie, of Aberdeen, mail contractor; adjourned final hearing. Sir. Synson for the insolvent, Mr. A. G. Downer for the assignee. and Mr. Ashton for Mr. William Cockrum. The Accountant reported :—'? Liabilities— Unsecured creditors, £638 18s. 91; secured creditor, Mr. Cockrum. £1,053 18s. Si. =£1,692 17s. 5d. Assets— Seized and sold by Mr. Cockrnm under bill of sale— Coaching horses, £545; farm horses, £100; farm imple ments, £153 ; coach and traps, £140 15s. ; buggy, £20; harness and sundries, £14 14s. 6d=£73 8s. &d. Seized and sold by Mr. Cocburn, but not included in the bill of sale given him— Cattle and pigs, £22 10s.; horses, £100; farm implements and sundries, £93 2a. 6d. ; coaching harness, £9=£224 12s. 6d.=total seizure by Coikrem, £1,198 2s. Twenty-one horses a dray included in bill of sale, £54 5s. ; seven horses, not included, £141 1O3.=£195 15s. Trap at O'Leary's, near Outilpa, included in bill of sale, £20 ; 23 acres at Banbury, purchased, £46 ; estimated value of selection above amount payable to the Goverment, £640 ; claim upon Northern Stage Company, £36 ; property seized by bailiff. £60 18s. Sd; claim upon Liston and Shakes, £18 15s; claim upon Mr. Boase, horse sold, £7 ; book-debts, £152 19s. 7d.=£2,375 10s. 4d. _ Estimated surplus, £632 12s. lid. At the beginning of 1878 the insolvent's coaching plant was valued by Liston & Shakes, and the balance sheet was made out on April 1 on the basis of the valuation, showing a surplus of £1,792 17s. 8d. The subsequent earnings have been.—. From coaches. North-East, £5?$  gj ; Jamestown lme, £204 ; from Northern Stage Company, £12 ; CDS From do., £36 ; carriage of mails orth-E8t, £324; and bonus from J. G. Terry, £'50=jei,S62 6s. Sd. £3,655 4s. 4d; and the expenses: wages, £$23 16s. 2d; forage, £632 16s. lid; sundry expenses, £373 9s. 8d.; interest, £97 3s. 6d.; law coetev, commission, &c, £41 19s. 2d.=£l,669 5s. 5&; Josses on horses dead and a dray, £494 ; on coaches, traps, sc , £467 8s. 9d.=£961 8s. 3d.; living ex penses, £161 17s.; balance of cash cot explained, £381 Oa. 2d.=£2,973 11s. 4d.=£681 13s ; difference in balance, 19s. lid.: estimated surplus, £682 12s. lid. The bill of sale to Mr. Cockrum has not been produced, but insolvent says that it was identical with Liston and Shakes' valuation, and it will be observed that a great deal was sold by Mr. Cockrum which was not in the valuation. The books for the coaching business were regularly kept from April to July 1, 1878.
[full article on file]
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Monday 14 January 1918 p 4 Article
[family notices]

Another pioneer, Mr. Albert Mashford, died at the Wallaroo mines on Tuesday. He was born in Devon, England, in 1842. He and Mrs. Mashford, who predeceased him by six years, came to Australia 52 years ago in the Commodore Perry, and landed at Brisbane, -where he followed the occupation of a miner. Mr. Mashford was similarly engaged in New South Wales and Victoria for seven years, and then settled at the Wallaroo Mines, where he lived for 45 years. Of a family of 10 children, six sons and two daughters are living. There are 20 grandchildren and eight great grand children.
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954) Tuesday 15 January 1918 p 2 Article

Photo: Wallaroo, South Australia.

Another South Australian pioneer, Mr. Albert Mashford, died at the Wallaroo mines last week (says the "Register"). He was born in Devon, England, in 1842. He and Mrs. Mashford, who predeceased him by six years, came to Australia 52 years ago in the Commodore Perry, and landed at Brisbane: where he followed the occupation of a miner. Mr. Mashford was similarly engaged in New South Wales and Victoria for seven years, and then settled at the Wallaroo mines, where he lived for 45 years. Of a family of 10 children, 8 sons and two daughters are living. There are 20 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Wednesday 12 August 1942 p 10 Family Notices

MASHFORD (nee Elsie Daddow). —On August 8. at Sister Berry's Private Hospital, to Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Mashford. ot Kadina—a bonny daughter (Margaret Joylene).

Vital Statistics: BDM
(transcripts of BDM records from
Birth Record for Ellen Mashford
Ellen Mashford
Birth Date:
7 Jul 1875
Father's Name:
Albert Langmald Mashford
Mother's name:
Ellen Lukey
Birth Place:
Wallaroo Mines
Registration Place:
Daly, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Death Record for Albert Mashford
Alfred John Langmead Mashford
Death Place:
South Australia
Registration Year:
Registration Place:
South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Photo: Moonta Railway Station, South Australia.

Marriage Record for John Mashford (Albert’s brother)
John Lukey Mashford
Father's Name:
Albert Langmaid Mashford
Spouse Name:
Lily Olds
Spouse's Father's Name:
William Henry Olds
Marriage Date:
7 Sep 1907
Marriage Place:
Moonta Mines
Registration Place:
Daly, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Marriage Record for John Mashford (unknown connection?)

John Mashford
Spouse Name:
Susanna Heanes
Marriage Date:
4 Oct 1847
Marriage Place:
Registration Place:
Adelaide, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Marriage for Alfred John Mashford

Alfred John Mashford
Father's Name:
Albert Mashford
Spouse Name:
Mary Jane Veal
Spouse's Father's Name:
Edmund Veal
Marriage Date:
13 Aug 1885
Marriage Place:
Registration Place:
Daly, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Death Record for Hannah Mashford

Ellen Mashford
Death Date:
19 Mar 1912
Death Place:
Wallaroo Mines
Residence Place:
Wallaroo Mines
Registration Place:
Daly, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:
Estimated Birth Year:
abt 1844

Birth Record for Frederick John Mashford
Frederick John Mashford
Birth Date:
23 Dec 1870
Father's Name:
Robert John Langmald Mashford
Mother's name:
Annie Wearne
Birth Place:
Wallaroo Mines
Registration Place:
Daly, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Birth Record for Ernest Mashford

Ernest Mashford
Birth Date:
12 Sep 1877
Father's Name:
Albert Mashford
Mother's name:
Ellen Lukey
Birth Place:
Wallaroo Mines
Registration Place:
Daly, South Australia
Page Number:
Volume Number:

Birth summaries
Name Year Parents Place

Albert Reginald Mashford
Albert, Ellen
Clunes, Victoria
Robert Mashford
Albert, Ellen
Wallaroo Mines, South Australia
Ernest Mashford
Albert, Ellen
Wallaroo Mines, South Australia

Walter Mashford
Albert, Ellen
Wallaroo Mines, South Australia