Monday, 6 February 2012

The long shot which was way too long it seems

It was a long shot but too long it seems, for the Port Pirie researcher says the Charles Stuart Ross I thought might have been a missing child of our Charlie,was actually a baby who died at 22 months, not 22 years, his parents are clearly listed and  his father was Alexander Ross.

As the email states:

Sorry to disappoint you on the thought of Charles being married twice. I can only find the one marriage on record and the person below was born to Alexander Ross and Philis Mudie in Pt. Pirie. Alexander and Philis had several other children besides Charles Stuart and unfortunately did have some bad luck with children surviving at that time. Alexander and Philis married in Adelaide and had their first child also called Charles in Adelaide. The first child lived 2weeks. Charles Stuart was in actual fact only 22mths old when he died, not 22yrs as you have quoted below. The council is going through old records and at times they are a little hard to decipher so I can understand that it would be easy to get it mixed up with yrs and mths if the record just shows 22 recorded. This is why we go to the death records to confirm the age at death which shows him as being 1yr and 10mths old.

I am having a little trouble finding any records of Charles Ross in Pt. Pirie. I have yet to go through the old Recorders but not having an exact year this might be a long drawn out exercise. We have been through some of the old Advertisers and as yet have not found his name among those that have jumped ship. Pity we do not know his Uncles name or the name of the ship he may have been on.

This is not to say that Charles Ross was not married more than once and there is not a first wife from Port Pirie or even children but just to say these children are definitely not his.One would have thought an earlier marriage would be found and if no such record exists it suggests our Charlie was a somewhat exceptional man remaining single for so long. Or perhaps just a poor one, money being the crucial ingredient at the time, if one were to wed.

Then again, perhaps he had a family back on Ithaca and was sending money home. If something happened to that family in the mid 1880's it might push him to find another wife and to irrevocably commit to Australia as home.

The Port Pirie researcher is finding it tough going to track anything down which might relate to our Charles Ross but I shan't give up hope yet. Another long-shot thought dropped into my mind today and that was, given the independence of thought seen in many of Charlie's descendants and noticing an image of the Freemason's from Port Pirie, I am wondering if it is worth checking any connection with that organisation. I have sent a note to the researcher to that end.

I am thinking if nothing comes of this then the next step is to settle myself in the South Australian State Library for the time it takes to go through copies of the Areas Express and look for other stories about Charlie.

From the tone of his obituary I would hazard a guess that he had been written about previously and his roving career detailed in a general article on a local personality. He was well liked by many and it sounds as if he had an interesting life before moving to Gladstone - more than enough to whet the interest of any journalist on a quiet day.

Time will tell.

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