Looking for William Sullivan (1839 – ?)

My husband Greg’s great grandfather Ebenezer Henry Sullivan, known as Henry Sullivan, was born on 7 August 1863 at Gheringhap, a small settlement near Geelong, Victoria.

Henry’s birth was registered by Matilda Hughes, his maternal grandmother. According to the birth certificate, his father was a labourer named William Sullivan, about 24 years old, born in London. His mother was recorded as Matilda Sullivan, maiden surname Hughes (but actually born Darby), aged 18, born in New Zealand. William and Matilda had been married in 1862, the previous year. Matilda had another child, Eleazar Hughes, born in 1861 to a different father, unnamed.

Birth certificate of Ebenezer Henry Sullivan

The 1862 marriage of William Sullivan and Matilda Frances Hughes took place on 6 October 1862 in Herne Hill, a suburb of Geelong, at the residence of the Reverend Mr James Apperley. The marriage certificate records William as 23, labourer, a bachelor, born in London, living at Gheringhap. William’s parents were named as William Sullivan, painter and glazier, and his wife Mary Barry.

1862 marriage certificate of William Sullivan and Matilda Hughes

On 12 June 1865 at Ashby, Geelong, William and Matilda had a daughter, Margaret Maria Sullivan. The informant on the birth certificate was her maternal grandmother Matilda Hughes. The father was named as William Sullivan, farmer, deceased, aged about 25, born in London.

On 20 November 1865 Margaret Maria Sullivan died, five months old. A Coronial inquest was held, where it was revealed that six months after their marriage, a few months before Henry was born, Matilda was deserted by her new husband William. Matilda Sullivan maintained that the father of the baby Margaret Maria was William Sullivan, who had visited her twice since their separation. At the time of the baby’s death Matilda Sullivan worked at Geelong Hospital. Her two younger children were cared for by their grandmother.

The inquest heard medical opinion that the baby had starved to death. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against the grandmother [Matilda Hughes], and the mother [Matilda Sullivan], as being an accessory to it.

In April 1866 Matilda Hughes and her daughter Matilda Sullivan were called upon to surrender to their bail, but they did not answer to their names.

On the 15th May 1866 the ‘Geelong Advertiser‘ reported on court proceedings relating to the abandonment of two year old Henry Sullivan. It was said of his mother, Matilda, that “her husband had left her, and was supposed to have gone to New Zealand, whence no tidings were heard of him, and she had recently left Geelong with some man with whom she had formed an intimacy, and had deserted her children”. The child, Henry Sullivan, was admitted to the orphanage.

I have found no subsequent trace of William and Matilda. Nor have I found any record in London of William Sullivan before he arrived in Australia. I have also not been able to trace his parents William Sullivan, painter and glazier, and his mother Mary Barry.

Moreover, other than as descendants of Henry Sullivan, neither Greg nor any of his Sullivan cousins have any Sullivan relatives among their DNA matches.

When Greg first tested his DNA he had a strong match to Helen F. from New Zealand and also to her great uncle Alan W. Since 2016 I have been in correspondence with Helen who, with me, is attempting to discover how we are related. Helen has a comprehensive family tree. We have since narrowed the relationship to her McNamara Durham line.

Helen recently wrote to tell me that she had noticed some matches descended from a William Durham, son of a Patrick Durham. Patrick Durham, it seems, was the brother of Joanna NcNamara nee Durham, Helen’s 3rd great grandmother.

I have placed the matches in DNAPainter’s ‘What are the odds?’ tool. It appears likely that Greg and his Sullivan cousins are descended from Patrick Durham. We don’t yet have quite enough data to be sure whether they descend from William Durham or one of his cousins.

What are the Odds tree (tool by DNAPainter.com) with shared DNA matches of Greg with descendants of Joanna Durham; at the moment we do not have a great enough number of sufficiently large matches to form a definite conclusion. The cousin connections are a bit too distant.

William Durham was born about 1840 in Finsbury, Middlesex, England, to Patrick Durham and Mary Durham née Barry. When William Durham married Jemima Flower on 9 April 1860, he stated that his father was William Durham, a painter and glazier. (There are several other records where Patrick Durham is recorded as William Durham but is clearly the same man.)

1860 marriage of William Durham to Jemima Flowers
Comparing the signatures of William Durham on the 1860 marriage certificate to William Sullivan on the 1862 marriage certificate. They seem to be similar.

William and Jemima had two children together, one of whom appears to have died in infancy. The other, also called William Durham, left descendants, and some of these share DNA with Greg and his Sullivan cousins and also with Helen and her Durham cousins.

On 19 October 1861 William Durham, his wife and two children, were subject to a poor law removal. The record mentions his parents.

London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; London Poor Law Registers; Reference: BEBG/267/019 retrieved through ancestry.com

Jemima died about a week later and was buried 27 October 1861 at Victoria Park Cemetery, Hackney.

I have found no trace of William Durham after the Poor Law removal. Did he emigrate to Australia and change his name?

Related posts

Wikitree: are these two the same man?

Using Transkribus to decipher the death certificate of Gustav Grust 1839-1901

Since I have German ancestors I am very pleased that so many German birth, death, and marriage certificates are being digitised and made available.

However, well into the twentieth century German printed documents used the so-called ‘blackletter’ typeface, and this is difficult for an inexperienced modern reader of German to understand. The handwriting of the clerks who filled in official forms is often also quite hard to read.

[ I have written previously about the difficulty of reading German family history material. See: https://anneyoungau.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/g-is-for-gustav/ ]

Software has been developed to help readers with these documents. Transkribus, for example, is a platform using Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology for automated recognition, transcription, and searching of historical documents. Website: https://readcoop.eu/transkribus/

Transkribus has handwriting recognition for in many languages, not just German. The developers are even experimenting with methods of reading ancient Chinese documents.

This 10 minute video gives an idea of how the software is being used to make archive records more accessible: Transkribus: AI-based recognition of historic handwriting

Karl Gustav Grust (1839 – 1901) was one of my third great uncles. I recently came across his 1901 death certificate, and I wanted to know what was recorded about his parents. I was struggling to understand the handwriting.

Karl Gustav Grust death 15 May 1901 (age 61) in Hamburg, from “Hamburg, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1950” Hamburg State Archives; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950; Bestand: 332-5; Signatur: 332-5_7944 retrieved through ancestry.com

I decided to try the Transkribus software. If you scroll down the webpage at https://readcoop.eu/transkribus/ you come across this
trial-run facility.

I downloaded the image of the death certificate and uploaded it to the page. I left the model option as “Transkribus German handwriting M1”

I immediately received the following text:

No. 1151.
Bambung am 17. Mai 101.
Vor dem unterzeichneten Standesbeamten erschien heute, der Persönlichkeit
durch Geburts
der Lehrer Austar
Hamburg, Bussestrafe 25
der Privatier
Karl Gustav Grust,
61 Jahre 11 Monat lutherischer
Hamburg Bussestraße 23
Men Nuppin, verheirathet
mit Johanna Mean Cäroling gebe
renen Peper, genannt Rathje
Sohn er verstorbenen Eeleute,
Tuchmachers Gustar grust und
Wiemimine geborenen
Banbg, in seiner Wohnung,
fünfzehnten Nai
des Jahres tausend neunhundert l
woen e, und zwar indes Anzeigenden
Vorgelesen, genehmigt und unterschrieben
Gustav Grust
der Standesbeamte
ne aeerre

The transcription is not perfect but for me it is much better than being bamboozled by the handwriting. What I was particularly looking for was my great-uncle’s father’s occupation. The document confirmed this as ‘Tuchmacher’, cloth maker.

I had a quick try at correcting some of the transcription, which left out many of the proforma headings. I have shown the form details in bold font and corrected handwritten transcription in bold plus italic.

No. 1151.
Hamburg am 17. Mai 101.
vor dem unterzeichneten Standesbeamten erschien heute, der Persönlichkeit
nach ??? Geburts
Shanen ??? ??? kannt
der Lehrer Gustav
wohnhaft in Hamburg, Bussestrase 25
und zeigte an, daß der Privatier
Karl Gustav Grust,
61 Jahre 11 Monat alt, lutherischer Religion,
wohnhaft in Hamburg Bussestraße 23
geboren zu Neu Ruppin, verheirathet
mit Johanna Maria Carolina gebe
renen Peper, genannt Rathje
Sohn der verstorbenen Eheleute,
Tuchmacher Gustav Grust und
Wilhelmine geborenen
zu Hamburg, in seiner Wohnung,
am fünfzehnten Mai
des Jahres tausend neunhundert ein
??? mittags um sechs Uhr
verstorben bei, woen e, und zwar indes Anzeigenden
Vorgelesen, genehmigt und unterschrieben
Gustav Grust
der Standesbeamte

This roughly  translates using Google translate:

Hamburg on May 17, 101.
Before the undersigned registrar appeared today, the personality
after ??? birth
??? ??? know
the teacher Gustav
lives in Hamburg, Bussestrasse 25
and indicated that the privateer
Karl Gustav Grust
61 years 11 months old, Lutheran religion,
lives in Hamburg, Bussestrasse 23
born in Neu Ruppin, married
with Johanna Maria Carolina
Born Peper, called Rathje
son of deceased spouses,
Clothmaker Gustav Grust and
Wilhelmina born
to Hamburg, in his apartment,
on May fifteenth
of the year one thousand nine hundred one
??? at six o'clock in the afternoon
deceased at, woen e, while indicating
Read out, approved and signed
Gustav Grust
the registrar

It took some work to make the additional corrections but it was much easier to work with the beginning transcription than to start from scratch. Transkribus is not perfect but thanks to it I now have the gist of the meaning and enough information to continue the family tree.

Related posts:

Wikitree: Karl Gustav Grust (1839 – 1901)

Karl Gustav Grust 1802 – 1872

A hundred and fifty years ago tomorrow, on 22 November 1872, my fourth great grandfather Karl Gustav Grust (1802–1872) died at the age of seventy at Neuruppin, a small Brandenburg town about 80 km northwest of Berlin.

He was a Tuchmacher (cloth maker); a skilled worker in the textile industry.

The collection of the museum at Neuruppin includes a Stammbuch der Tuchmacher-Meister zu Neu-Ruppin, Neuruppin, 1584-1887, a Register of master cloth makers in Neu-Ruppin, Neuruppin, with entries from 1584 to 1887.

The importance of the guilds declined when freedom of trade was introduced in Prussia in 1810, and there was a diminishing number of master cloth makers in the register from 1887. I have emailed the museum to ask if the register lists my fourth great grandfather Karl Grust.

Karl Gustav Grust married Charlotte Wilhelmine Berg in about 1829. They had at least four children during their marriage.

  1. Auguste Charlotte Wilhelmine Grust 1830–
  2. Emilie Louise Albertine Grust 1832–1832
  3. Auguste Henriette Amalie Grust 1835–1893 (my 3rd great grandmother)
  4. Karl Gustav Grust 1839–1901

His daughter Auguste Henriette Amalie Grust was born on 28 June 1835 in Neuruppin, Brandenburg, Germany. She married Karl Detlof Albert Peters on 10 March 1859.

Gustav Grust’s grandson, Gustav Waldemar Alexander Karl (Alfons) Peters was born on 11 December 1860 in Alt Ruppin, Brandenburg, 8 kilometers from Neuruppin. Gustav junior, known as Alfons, was the father of my great grandmother, Helene Auguste Minna (Peters) Manock (1889 – 1944).

The guardhouse at the entrance to the Friedrich Franz barracks in 1908

Neuruppin was a planned town first mentioned in 1238 and founded by the Counts of Lindow-Ruppin. It was fortified from the 13th century. In the Middle Ages Neuruppin was one of the larger north-east German towns. In 1688 Neuruppin became one of the first garrison towns in Brandenburg. (It remained a garrison town until the late 20th century; Soviet troops were stationed there until 1993.)

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 26, 1787, a fire broke out in a barn filled with grain and spread quickly. Only two narrow areas on the east and west edges of the city survived. 401 houses, 159 outbuildings, 228 stables and 38 barns, the parish church of St. Mary, the town hall, the Reformed Church and the Princely Palace were destroyed. Neuruppin was rebuilt between 1788 to 1803, following a new design with long wide streets and many squares.

Frederick the Great (1712–1786), lived in Neuruppin in his years as crown prince of Prussia.

In Gutav Grust’s lifetime Neuruppin is associated with a number of notable people including the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841), the novelist and poet Theodor Fontane (1819–1898), and the pharmacist and founder of Beiersdorf AG Paul Carl Beiersdorf (1836–1896). 

In 1875 the population of Neuruppin was 20,000.

Related post:


Visiting the Avoca and District Historical Society

In the 1850s and 1860s George Young, my husband Greg’s great great grandfather, followed the Victorian gold rushes from Beechworth to Maryborough. He settled finally at Lamplough, a few miles south-east of Avoca.

On his father’s mother’s side Greg’s great grandfather Frederick James Cross, who had been born at Buninyong near Ballarat to a gold miner, took up mining and later farming near Homebush, a few miles north-east of Avoca. John Plowright, another of Greg’s great great grandfathers, also worked as a miner at Homebush.

The Avoca and District Historical Society http://home.vicnet.net.au/~adhs/ was founded in 1984. It has amassed an extensive card-index of references to Avoca people and events, compiled from many differerent sources. This material has not been published online, so if you are researching Avoca family history it is well worth a visit. For a small fee the Society will look up material on your behalf.

The Avoca and District Historical Society is located in the former Avoca Court House on High Street
The Society is open the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm from February to mid-December but special openings or research by the Society can be arranged

Greg and I have visited the society many times. Some of the index material there includes information from

  • Church congregations
  • Funeral arrangements
  • Lower Homebush school register
  • Honor Roll
  • letters
  • Newspapers
  • petitions
  • Photograph collection
  • Police
  • Rates books
  • School committee
  • Vaccinations register

I also belong to the:

200th birthday of Wentworth Cavenagh 1822 – 1895

My great great grandfather Wentworth Cavenagh (1822 – 1895) was born 200 years ago on 13 November 1822 at Hythe, Kent, England to James Gordon Cavenagh and Ann Cavenagh nee Coates, the fifth of their eight children. He was baptised on 12 March 1823 at St Leonard’s, Hythe.

Wentworth’s father James Gordon, born Irish, was a surgeon of the Royal Staff Corps, an army engineering corps with its headquarters in Hythe, responsible in part for supervising the construction of static defence measures including the Royal Military Canal against Napoleon’s threatened invasion.

After their marriage in March 1815, the Cavenaghs lived at Hythe. In 1825 Cavenagh retired on half pay.

The Cavenagh family returned to Wexford in Ireland in 1837 and lived at Castle House. Wentworth Cavenagh attended the Ferns Diocesan School. It is believed he began training as a pharmacist in Wexford, but after the potato famine struck in the 1840s the economy was so bad he realised there was no future for him in Ireland and emigrated.

Wentworth Cavenagh emigrated to Canada, hoping to become a farmer there. He later moved to Ceylon to take up coffee-planting, then to Calcutta where he unsuccessfully sought a Government appointment. In 1852 he sailed from Calcutta to Australia and joined the gold rush to Bendigo then moved to South Australia to farm at Peachey Belt some twenty miles north of Adelaide.

Map of Wentworth Cavenagh’s travels

In 1863 Cavenagh was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly for the District of Yatala. He served in the Legislature for nineteen years, including period as Commissioner of Crown Lands from 1868 to 1870 in the Strangways Ministry, and Commissioner of Public Works from 1872 to 1873 in the Administration formed by Sir Henry Ayers. At the time Darwin was surveyed in 1869 Cavenagh was Commissioner of Crown Lands; a main street is named after him.

In 1865 at the age of 42 he married Ellen Mainwaring, the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. They had ten children.

Portrait of Wentworth Cavenagh, from the collection of a cousin

Wentworth Cavenagh returned to England in 1892. On his departure the Adelaide Evening Journal of 27 April 1892 published a brief biography:

PASSENGERS BY THE BALLAARAT.—The following. are the passengers booked to leave Adelaide by the Ballaarat to-day:—For London —Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring, Misses Eva, May, Kathleen, Helen, Queenie, and Gertrude, and Master Hugh Cavenagh-Mainwaring, and Misses Herring, Schomburgk, and Horn. For Albany—Messrs. Green, Richards, and Radcliffe.

THE HON. WENTWORTH CAVENAGH-MAINWARING.—This gentleman, accompanied by his wife, six daughters, and one son, leaves by the Ballarat to-day for England, where he is about, to take up his residence at Whitmore Hall. He is a son of James Gordon Cavenagh, who was army surgeon in the Royal Staff Corps. He served in the army for thirty-five years, and went all through the Peninsula War. while he was also present at the Battle of Waterloo and the taking of Paris. He was a brother of General Sir Orfeur Cavenagh, K.C.S.I., lately deceased, who served in India in various campaigns, and who, as Town Major of Fort William, is supposed to have saved Calcutta during the mutiny. He was afterwards for several years Governor of the Straits Settlements. Another brother, General Gordon Cavenagh, served in various actions in China and India. The Hon. Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring was born at Hyde, Kent, on November 13, 1822. He was educated at Ferns Diocesan School, County Wexford, Ireland, and when eighteen years of age he left home for Canada, where he was engaged for some years farming. He subsequently relinquished this occupation and started coffee planting in Ceylon. Afterwards he tried to obtain a Government appointment at Calcutta, but was unsuccessful. Attracted by a Government advertisement he came to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in 1852. Thence he went to the Bendigo diggings, and from there he came to South Australia and started farming at Peachy Belt. He stopped there for several years, and in 1863 was elected to Parliament with the late Hon. L. Glyde for the District of Yatala. For nineteen years he remained in the Legislature without a break, and during that period he was Commissioner of Crown Lands in the Strangways Ministry, and Commissioner of Public Works in the Administration formed by Sir Henry Ayers. In the elections of 1881 he was rejected when the Hon. D. Murray and Mr. Gilbert (the present member) were elected On February 16, 1865, he married Ellen Jane, the eldest daughter of Gordon Mainwaring, an officer in the East Indian Civil Service, who was at one time Inspector of Police in the early days of South Australia, and on the death of his father, Admiral Mainwaring, he succeeded to the family estates in Staffordshire. On the death of her brothers without heirs Mrs. Cavenagh-Mainwaring became entitled to the estates and adopted the name and arms of Mainwaring.

Wentworth Cavenagh died at the age of 72 in Southsea. He was buried in Whitmore, Staffordshire.

Related posts

Wikitree: Wentworth (Cavenagh) Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1822 – 1895)

John Percival Young (1896 – 1918)

Remembering John Percival Young and all those who served and died in World War 1

Anne's Family History

John Percival Young (1896 – 1918), known as Jack, was the older brother of my husband’s grandfather Cecil (1898 – 1975).

I have previously written about Cecil’s early life.

Jack enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces on 6 October 1916. He gave his age as eighteen years, two months; but in fact he was twenty years and two months.  His trade was engineer (fitter).  He was unmarried; his father was next of kin.1

Jack was assigned to the AIF signal school. He was there from 12 October to 30 November 1916. On 16 December 1916 he embarked at Melbourne on HMAT A7 Medic for Plymouth.

Departure of Medic on 16 December 19162
Departure of Medic on 16 December 19163
Departure of Medic on 16 December 19164
HMAT Medic (A7) departs Melbourne assisted by a tug, and watched by a crowd of well-wishers on the wharf.

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U is for unknown fate of Gerald Mainwaring

An aborted jury trial has been in the Australian news headlines this last week and it reminded me of another jury trial in my family history where the jury effectively voted on the fate of the accused. Found guilty of murder, Gerald Mainwaring was sentenced to hang. It transpired, however, that the jury, unable to agree, had drawn a ballot to decide Mainwaring’s fate. There was an appeal to the Home Secretary and his sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life.

Anne's Family History

In 1879, Gerald Mainwaring, my first cousin four times removed, just 24 years old, was tried and found guilty of murder. The case, widely reported, caused a sensation.

From the mid-1870s Mainwaring had lived in Canada, farming in Manitoba. In April 1879 he returned to England to attend the wedding of his sister Julia.  A few months later, due to return to Canada, he went on a spree in Derby.  He got drunk, and driving a trap with a ‘female companion’ too fast through the town, was pulled over by the police. When they began a search of his lady friend, Mainwaring fired several shots from a revolver, wounding two policemen, one fatally.

Found guilty of murder, he was sentenced to hang. It transpired, however, that the jury, unable to agree, had drawn a ballot to decide Mainwaring’s fate. There was an appeal to the Home Secretary

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Trafalgar Day 21 October

In Great Britain 21 October is celebrated as Trafalgar Day. During the Napoleonic Wars, as part of Napoleon’s plan to invade England, the French and Spanish Naval fleets combined forces to take control of the English Channel. On this day in 1805, the Royal Navy under the command of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson intercepted the would-be invasion off Cape Trafalgar, on the south-west coast of Spain. Nelson’s battle tactics claimed 22 of the 33 allied ships, while the smaller British fleet lost none. Nelson was fatally wounded in the battle.

The Battle of Trafalgar painted by Clarkson Frederick Stanfield retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
Order of battle
Nelson’s message via flag signal – “England Expects Every Man Will Do His D U T Y” from the The Boy’s Own Paper, 1885, employing the flags as shown in the 1804 copy of the Signal-Book.
Nelson instructed his signal officer, Lieutenant John Pasco, to signal to the fleet, as quickly as possible, the message “England confides [i.e. is confident] that every man will do his duty.” Pasco suggested to Nelson that expects be substituted for confides, since the former word was in the signal book, whereas confides would have to be spelt out letter-by-letter. Nelson agreed to the change (even though it produced a less trusting impression).
Image retrieved from http://navalmarinearchive.com/research/signalflags10.html

Naval General Service Medal*

The Naval General Service Medal (NGSM) was a campaign medal approved in 1847, and issued to officers and men of the Royal Navy in 1849. It was awarded retrospectively for various naval actions during the period 1793–1840.  Each battle or campaign covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon. The medal was never issued without a clasp, 231 of which were sanctioned. The clasps covered a variety of actions, from boat service, ship to ship skirmishes, and major fleet actions such as the Battle of
Trafalgar. The medal was awarded only to surviving claimants. A combination of factors, from illiteracy to limited publicity, meant that many of those eligible did not apply for the new medal. The Admiralty awarded 20,933 medals in total.

I have several relatives who served in Trafalgar. They are remembered in the 1913 book compiled by Colonel Robert Holden Mackenzie: “The Trafalgar Roll : Containing the Names and Services of All Officers of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines Who Participated in the Glorious Victory of the 21st October 1805, Together with a History of the Ships Engaged in Battle.” Mackenzie’s Trafalgar Roll, compiled 107 years after the battle, was the first attempt to list “the names of all the officers of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines who by their valour contributed to the day’s success”.

Mackenzie wrote: “… with the exception of the admirals, and the captains of ships, who were rewarded with gold medals, comparatively few of those who contributed to the victory of Trafalgar received any official recognition of their services: the majority had gone to their last berths by the time Queen Victoria, on the 1st June 1847, nearly forty-two years after the fight, graciously repaired the omission of her predecessors by bestowing a silver medal with clasps on the survivors of the various actions, including Trafalgar, fought between 1793 and 1840.”

James Bayly was a midshipman on the Euryalus, a 36 gun frigate

Captain J. Bayly, one of five brothers in the navy and army, was the son of the Rev. Henry Bayly, Rector of Nenagh and Nigh, Co. Tipperary. Born at Nenagh, and entered the service in 1799 as a Volunteer. Served in Penelope at blockade of Malta, and at the capture of the Guillaume Tell, 1800 ; and in the expedition to Egypt in 1801. Served as Mid. of Euryalus at Trafalgar, 1805—promoted to Lieutenant. Lieutenant of the Ganges at capture of the French frigate Le President, 1806; and in the expedition to Copenhagen, 1807. Did good service in rescuing the Euryalus and Shearwater, brig, from six of the enemy’s ships in a gale off Toulon, 1810. Commander, 1828. Retired Captain, 1856. War medal and three clasps. Died in 1857.

August James De Crespigny was a midshipman on the Spartiate, 74 guns

Commander A. J. De Crespigny, was 3rd son of Sir William Champion De Crespigny, 2nd Bart., M.P., and Sarah, daughter of the 4th Earl of Plymouth. Born in Italy. Entered service as Volunteer 1st Class, 1805. Mid., 1805. Mid. in the Spartiate at Trafalgar, 1805. Lieut., 1811. Received Royal Humane Society’s medal, 1815, for gallantry in saving life from drowning. Commander, 1825. In command of Scylla, and died off Port Royal, Jamaica, of yellow fever, 1825.

Benjamin Mainwaring was a volunteer 1st class (rated as A.B. able seaman) on the Temeraire, 98 guns

Lieut. B. Mainwaring was son of Edward Mainwaring, and second cousin of Vice-Admiral T. F. C. Mainwaring, who served in the Naiad at Trafalgar, and died in 1858. Born in 1794. Borne on ship’s books of Temeraire as A.B. at Trafalgar, 1805. Served in boats of Revenge at cutting out of two privateers from under the enemy’s battery on the coast of Catalonia, 1814. Lieut., 1814. Served in Coastguard, 1831-36. Medal and clasp. Died in 1852.

Thomas Francis Charles Mainwaring was a lieutenant on the Naiad, a 36 gun frigate

Vice-Admiral T. F. C. Mainwaring was the eldest son of Charles Henry Mainwaring, of Whitmore Hall, Co. Stafford, and Julia, daughter of Rev. Philip Wroughton. He was second cousin of Lieut. Benjamin Mainwaring, R.N., who served in the Temeraire at Trafalgar. Born in 1780, he entered the service from the Royal Naval Academy in 1796, as a Volunteer 1st Class. Lieut., 1800. Lieut, of Naiad, 1802-6, including the battle of Trafalgar, 1805. Commander, 1806. Commanded the Tartarus, fireship, in the expedition to Copenhagen, 1807; at the sinking of two French privateers off Pillau, 1810; and conveying the ex-King of Sweden from Riga to England, 1810. Captain, 1810. Retired Rear-Admiral, 1846. Medal and clasp. Died in Marlborough Buildings, Bath, 1858.

Further reading and related posts


J is for jaundiced in Jamaica

Today is Trafalgar Day. In Napoleon’s effort to invade England, the French and Spanish Naval fleets combined forces to take control of the English Channel. On 21 October 1805, under the command of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, the British Royal Navy intercepted the would-be invasion off Cape Trafalgar, along the south-west coast of Spain. Despite being greatly outnumbered, Nelson’s battle tactics claimed 22 of the 33 allied ships, while the British fleet lost none, though Nelson was fatally wounded during the battle.
Augustus James Champion de Crespigny (1791-1825) was at the battle on board HMS “Spartiate”. He was 14 years old.

Anne's Family History

Augustus James Champion de Crespigny (1791-1825), my second cousin five times removed, died of yellow fever on board HMS Scylla. and was buried at Port Royal, Jamaica. Augustus was the third son of the second baronet, Sir William Champion de Crespigny (1765-189) and his wife Lady Sarah née Windsor (1763-1825).

Augustus James Champion de Crespigny, portrait in the collection of Kelmarsh Hall. Published on artuk.org

The monumental inscription at the Port Royal Parish Church in Jamaica reads:

Sacred to the memory of Augustus James DE CRESPIGNY, 3d son of Sir W. Chn & Lady Sarah De Crespigny, who died on board H.M.Ship ‘Scylla’, Oct. 24, 1825. Capt De Crespigny went first to sea under the patronage of Ld. St Vincent & served under the flag of Nelson, at Trafalgar. From thence he was taken under the patronage of Ld. Collingwood, who made him study the duties of a…

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The 1898 will of Ellen Cross

In May 1898, three years before her death, my husband Greg’s great great grandmother Ellen Cross née Murray (1836–1901) made a will providing for her unmarried daughters and leaving two specific bequests, her piano and her husband’s medicine chest.

Ellen, born in Dublin, emigrated to Australia in 1854 She was 17 years old and her occupation on the passenger list was domestic servant. In 1856 at Buninyong near Ballarat she married James Cross, a gold miner from Liverpool, trained as a chemist (druggist). They had eleven children, ten of them born in the small mining town of Carngham, west of Ballarat, where she and James had settled with their first child in about 1858.

James died of dysentery in 1882, and Ellen, forty-five years old, became a widow with ten children (one child had died young). The youngest child was three. Ellen continued to live in Carngham. I do not know how she managed to support herself and her large family.

From her will it appears that Ellen was a straightforward and practical woman. I was interested that she had a piano. I am not sure when she would have learned to play. Also caring for so many young children as a widow, when she might have had a chance to play.

As they grew older the children remained close and in touch with each other. Most of them, however, moved away from Carngham.

Ellen Cross and family about 1890. Picture from a great grand daughter of Frederick James Cross and great great grand daughter of Ellen.

This is the last Will and 
Testament of me 
Ellen Cross 
of Snake Valley 
Widow of the late James Cross.

After payment of all my just debts and funeral & testamentary expenses I Give Devise and Bequeath unto my children Frederick James Cross, Ellen Hawkins, George Murray Cross, Ann Bailey Cross, Elizabeth Grapel Cross, Jane Bailey Snell, Mary Gore Cross, Isabella Murray Bowes, Harriet Mercer Cross, and Margaret Plowright Cross, all monies now in my possession, or that I may become possessed of, to be divided in equal parts among them.

I devise my house & furniture to my unmarried daughters, Ann Bailey, Elizabeth Grapel, Mary Gore, Harriet Mercer and Margaret Plowright. In the event of either of these marrying, the property shall remain for the benefit of those still unmarried, and in the event of all marrying, the house and furniture shall be sold and the proceeds divided among all my children then living, in equal parts.

I will and devise my “Piano” to my two daughters Harriet Mercer and Margaret Plowright, jointly.

I bequeath my late husbands medicine chest to my son George Murray Cross for his sole use and benefit.

And I hereby appoint Frederick James Cross and Ann Bailey Cross Executors of this my Will in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of May 1898

Witnesses to Ellen’s signature were Josephine Margaret Williams and Matthew Daniel Williams of The Vicarage, Smythesdale.


WikitreeEllen (Murray) Cross (1836 – 1901)