W is for Willunga

In 1849, diagnosed with tuberculosis and possibly hoping to benefit from South Australia’s drier, warmer climate, my fourth great grandfather John Plaisted (1800-1858) emigrated there from England. With him was his wife Ann, their six children, and Ann’s sister, Abigail Green.

Several of their relatives had already established themselves in the new colony. In 1838, eleven years previously, Sarah Bock (sister of Ann Plaisted) with her husband Alfred Bock, and Ann’s brother William Green with his wife Tabitha (sister of John Plaisted) had settled there.

The Plaisted family travelled on the ‘Rajah‘, reaching Adelaide on 12 April 1850 after a passage of 4 1/2 months from London.

A month later, on 16 May 1850, the Quarterly Government Sale of Crown Lands was held at the Police Commissioners Court. John Plaisted successfully bid on seven blocks in the Hundred of Willunga, one of eleven cadastral units in the County of Adelaide, about 50 km south of the city. John Plaisted’s brother-in-law, Alfred Bock, was the licensee of the Horseshoe Inn at nearby Noarlunga.



Price £ s.
£80 1s.
£80 1s.
£86 0s.
£80 1s.
£573 0s.
£88 0s.
£83 1s.
£103 0s.

John Plaisted’s blocks formed two contiguous areas, one of 320 acres near the coast, the other 742 acres close to what has since become the settlement of Willunga.

Allotments purchased by John Plaisted in May 1850. J.P. Manning bought section 519 marked in blue.
Map of Hundred of Willunga retrieved through Wikimedia Commons. (Section 714 on this map is numbered 514 on the November 1850 version of the map)
Willunga district photographed in 1924 by State Government Photographer – The History Trust of South Australian, South Australian Government. Image retrieved through Wikimedia Commons.

One of Plaisted’s neighbours was John Pitches Manning, who bought an adjacent block, later called Hope Farm, at the same auction. A family history of Manning and Hope Farm describes his purchase:

"During May 1850, George Pitches Manning journeyed south to Aldinga in search of suitable farming land but was not impressed with the country, which was covered by stunted gum and sheoak trees. His attention was then drawn to a parcel of Crown Land at McLaren Vale, which was, in later years to be the property known as Tintara Vineyards, of which more will be said later. This property was put to public auction but unfortunately he was outbid by a Mr Plaisted."

(Tintara winery was acquired by Thomas Hardy in the 1870s)

Advertising postcard for Hardy’s Tintara Wines – 1906 Image retrieved from flickr.com

There are several newspaper reports of the Plaisted family’s activities in the district. A few months later on 28 July 1850, Alfred Bock, John’s wife’s brother-in-law, hosted a divine service at his hotel in Noarlunga after the laying of the foundation stone for a new church. John’s daughter Sally, my 3rd great grandmother, played the organ for the service.

"Noarlunga—The foundation stone of the new church to be dedicated to St. Phillip and St. James, was laid on Friday, the 28th ultimo, by the Bishop of Adelaide, in the presence of a numerous, and highly respectable, concourse of the inhabitants. His Lordship read the impressive service used on such occasions, which was listened to throughout with profound attention. Divine service was performed for the first time on Sunday last, at the "Horse Shoe" Inn. Mr Bock, the worthy landlord, fitted up the room for the occasion, and Miss Plaisted led the various hymns on a splendid organ. The arrangements for the accommodation of the congregation were simple yet comfortable, and, in fact, the whole was a great improvement upon the pro tempore places of worship previously used at Noarlunga."
St. Philip and St. James Anglican Church, Old Noarlunga, South Australia, photographed 2013 by Les Haines and retrieved from Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0
By 2018 the church had been deconsecrated and was being sold.
Horseshoe Inn Noarlunga, about 1860. Taken on the day of the Oddfellow’s Picnic to Aldinga, a band sits atop the horsedrawn coach. Image from the State Library of South Australia B7931
My 3rd great grandmother Sally Hughes nee Plaisted (1836 – 1900) from the book Cherry Stones by Helen Hudson

The next year in April 1851 John’s eldest daughter Sally Plaisted married Samuel Hughes of Noarlunga.

On Tuesday, 29th April, at Willunga, by the Rev. A. B. Burnett, Mr. Samuel Hughes, of Noarlunga, to Sally, only daughter of John Plaisted, Esq., of Hornsey, late of Muswell Hill, near London.

In September 1851 John Plaisted, Alfred Bock, Samuel Hughes, and John’s son John Plaisted junior attended a meeting called to establish a monthly market in Noarlunga township. John Plaisted addressed the meeting.

In December 1851 John Plaisted sailed for Melbourne. In the 1850s he and and other members of his family seem to have travelled quite frequently between Melbourne and South Australia.

In February 1852 John Plaisted of Market Square (Melbourne) was one of the merchants and brewers who registered their names and residences with the Chief Inspector of Distilleries in Victoria.

In February 1852, back in South Australia, Mr Plaisted (it is not clear whether this was John or one of his sons) won a prize of potatoes at the Noarlunga monthly market.

In March 1852 Thomas Plaisted was receiving cargo in Adelaide of 179 bags of flour and 35 bags of bran. In March and in May Job Plaisted (probably John) received mail in Adelaide. In May 1852 a Plaisted received 32 bags of flour.

In November 1852 J Plaisted, S. Hughes and A. Bock were subscribers to a fund for erecting a church at Noarlunga. The three men were generous in their donations, especially. J. Plaisted, who donated 10 pounds.

In 1853 John Plaisted was described as a farmer Hornsey Farm, Long Gully, McLaren Vale

In August 1854 Messrs. Bell and Plaisted, were in business as grocers at 67 Queen-street. In March 1855 they had moved to 57 Queens Street, advertising a range of goods from pianos to barrels of haddock.

When John Plaisted died of tuberculosis in Melbourne on 4 May 1858, his death certificate stated he had been in Victoria 5 years, thus since 1853; he had been in South Australia for only 3 years.

In his will John Plaisted left to his wife the rent of Hornsey Farm, McLaren Vale, South Australia, and the rent of the Blacksmiths Shop at Noarlunga.

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V is for Vaucelles v. Trévières

On 13 December 1617 my ninth great-grandfather Richard Champion, eldest son of Jean Champion and his wife Marthe nee du Bourget, was married according to the rites of the Reformed [Protestant] Church at Condé sur Noireau to Marguerite, daughter of Adrian Richard Esquire, Squire of Crespigny in the Parish of St Jean le Blanc near Aunay, Lower Normandy, the marriage contract having been drawn up the week before at the neighbouring town of Vassy.

Portrait of Richard Champion died 1669 from the collection of Kelmarsh Hall

Until then, the Champion family had been Catholic. It seems likely, however, that Adrian Richard, Esquire of Crespigny, was a Huguenot—a Calvinist Protestant—and it is probable that his permission for the marriage of his daughter to Richard Champion was given on condition that his future son-in-law should adopt the creed of his wife’s family.

King Henry IV of France (1553 – 1610) was a Huguenot, who converted to Catholicism to obtain dominance over his kingdom (reportedly saying, “Paris is well worth a mass”). A pragmatic politician, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes (1598), guaranteeing religious liberties to Protestants, thereby effectively ending the French Wars of Religion.

Over the next 87 years, until 1685, with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by the Edict of Fontainebleau, those religious liberties were steadily eroded.

By 1620 the royal government had embarked upon a deliberate program to break the independent power of the Protestants. Soon after the marriage and his evident conversion to Protestantism at that time, Richard Champion was required to swear an oath of allegiance to the king, with a declaration that he did not adhere to the Protestant rebels of La Rochelle; he did this on 3 July 1621.

Richard’s son Claude Champion (1620-1695) married Marie née de Vierville (1628-1708) at Bayeux on 9 June 1651. Claude and Marie also followed the Reformed Religion. Claude and Marie had eight children:

  • Pierre 1652–1739 
  • Margaret 1654–1741 
  • Mary 1655–1736 
  • Suzanne 1656–1727 
  • Thomas 1664–1712 
  • Gabriel 1666–1722 
  • Renee 1667–1744 
  • Jeanne 1668–1748

In the 1670s Daumont de Crespigny, believed to be the same man as Pierre Champion, was deputy of the congregation of Protestants at Trévières near Bayeux. Between 1678 and 1682 he wrote letters concerning a court case involving the church at Trévières was involved. (The family later took the name Champion de Crespigny after arriving in England.)

Although Protestant churches or “temples” were allowed under the Edict of Nantes in all places where such worship had taken place in the two years before 1598, this clause was interpreted with increasing stringency, so that a number of temples were ordered to be destroyed on the grounds that they had been built since 1598. A prosecution was raised in the Court at Paris against the Temple at Trévières. The proceedings lasted from 1678 to 1681.

The case concerned the dispute between the congregation and church at Trévières, west of Bayeux, and that which had been maintained at Vaucelles near Bayeux. It had been decided by the government that one of the two was in excess of the provisions of the Edict of Nantes, and one must be disestablished. The decision as to which it was to be was left to the Royal Council of State.

Trévières now lies a short distance south of the N13, some twenty kilometres from Bayeux and about ten kilometres south of Vierville-sur-Mer. It was on the direct road between the property at Vierville and the more distant region of Crespigny, and it was evidently the local parish for the family.

The congregation at Trévières claimed that its church had been established before the church at Bayeux, and indeed that the Bayeux church was a colony of the original foundation at Trévières. It appears that the Council was at first inclined to favour Bayeux, presumably, among other reasons, because it was a large and influential city, while Trévières was and is no more than a village.

On 27 January 1681 the Council, meeting at St Germain en Laye, a chateau maintained by Louis XIV north of Versailles, held in favour of the congregation of Trévières. In the statement of settlement, M. de Crespigny is referred to as “Deputy”, agent for the congregation at Trévières, and the Advocate was a M. Soulet, a practitioner of law at Paris.

The case was extremely long-drawn, and must have cost everyone a great deal of money. It seems remarkable that the Royal Council, headed by its president the Duke of Villeroy, and attended by ten other senior officers of state, should spend its time arguing about two heretic congregations. However, the two contesting communities had to find the money to pay for the expenses of their representatives in Paris and at Rouen, and also the legal costs. Some of the correspondence deals with the problems this caused, and there is a sorry collection of letters at the end concerning the delays in paying M. Soulet the advocate his fees. Soulet eventually got his money almost a year later, and in his letter of thanks he remarks to Pierre:

All my regret is for the great trouble and the many useless journeys you have taken on account of so inconsiderable an affair…

It appears an incidental part of the royal policy in fostering these disputes was to make it inconvenient and expensive to be a Huguenot.

Pierre commented when the case was won:

It is true that our joy must be very imperfect, since the same decree that preserves our Church, condemns that of Vaucelles [at Bayeux] to be abolished. 
But that one of the two must fall, was a fatal necessity, and an inevitable misfortune; and it is by far better, both for our private interest, as well as the public good, that the church of Trévières should be preserved, since by its situation it is well adapted for collecting the scattered flocks of the neighbouring Churches.

The triumph of the success in maintaining the right to worship at Trévières was short lived. In 1681 the government commenced a policy of ‘Dragonnades‘, meant to intimidate Huguenot families into returning to Catholicism. The policy, in part, instructed officers in charge of travelling troops to select Huguenot households for their billets and to order the soldiers to behave as badly as they could. Soldiers damaged
the houses, ruined furniture and personal possessions, and attacked the men and abused the women. Huguenots could escape this persecution only by conversion to Catholicism or by fleeing France.

Protestant engraving representing ‘les dragonnades’ in France under Louis XIV From: Musée internationale de la Réforme protestante, Geneva and retrieved through Wikimedia Commons.

When in 1685 Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes with the Edict of Fontainebleau, Huguenot churches were ordered to be destroyed and Protestant schools closed. On 17 January 1686, Louis XIV claimed that out of a Huguenot population of 800,000 to 900,000, only 1,000 to 1,500 had remained in France. It was cynically asserted that Huguenots were so few they no longer needed the protections offered by the Edict of Nantes.

It was illegal for Protestants to leave France. The borders were guarded, and disguise and other stratagems were employed to cross them. Despite the difficulties it is estimated that between 210,000 to 900,000 Protestants left France over the next twenty years; about 50,000 Huguenots fled France to England, others settled in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Brandenburg-Prussia, Ireland, South Africa, and America. The refugees left their land and most of their possessions behind.

Claude, Marie and their children escaped France for England at different times. The two younger sons Thomas and Gabriel travelled to relatives in England when they were about 12 in 1676 and 1678. Claude, Marie, Pierre and three daughters were in London by 1687. The other two daughters had travelled earlier.

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U is for Upton upon Severn

My fifth great grandmother Dorothy Scott was born on 15 November 1765 at Betton Strange Hall, near Shrewsbury in Shropshire to Richard Scott (1731 – 1770) and Elizabeth Scott nee Gough (1735 – 1772). She had three older brothers.

In 1770, with Dorothy not yet five years old, her father died, and two years later her mother. I do not know who brought up Dorothy when she was orphaned.

On 20 January 1783, at the age of seventeen, Dorothy married Philip Champion Crespigny, a lawyer, forty-four years old; she was his fourth wife. Of the nine children by his previous wives, seven were living at the time of his marriage to Dorothy Scott.

Dorothy and Philip had four children, one of whom died in infancy. The polyphiloprogenitive Philip died, on 1 January 1803; he and Dorothy had been married for nearly 20 years.

Portrait of Dorothy Crespigny painted by George Romney in 1790 and now in the collection of the Philadephia Museum of Art

On 27 March 1804 at St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, Bath, Dorothy married for a second time, to Sir John Keane (1757 – 1829).

Keane was an Irish Tory Member of Parliament, who had been made a baronet in 1801. In the Irish Parliament he represented Bangor from 1791 to 1897; Youghal from 1797 to 1800; and he represented Youghal in the House of Commons from 1801to 1806 and from 1807 to 1818. The ‘History of Parliament‘ notes that “evidence of his presence at Westminster is very thin”. “In February 1817 the chief secretary was informed that he was living at Southampton and should be asked to pay a visit to Westminster. On 15 April 1818 he turned up to vote with ministers on the Duke of Clarence’s Marriage Grant. He did not seek re-election that year.”

Dorothy and John Keane had one son, George (1805 – 1880). Keane had been married previously and had at least four children by his first wife. He died on 18 April 1829 at his house in the Royal Crescent, Bath.

The dowager Lady Keane died on 5 July 1837 at Malvern Wells, Worcestershire. Her death was registered at Upton upon Severn, six miles to the east. (New legislation concerning civil registration had come
into effect on 1 July 1837 and her death was one of the first to be registered under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1836. The new law required that “within Three Days after the day of such Death…[notice should be given] to the Registrar of the District”.)

Index of deaths in the July quarter 1837 from the registers maintained by the General Register Office for England and Wales

The death of the dowager Lady Keane was announced in several newspapers. The London ‘Morning Post‘ of Saturday, July 8, 1837 wrote: ‘Died: At Malvern, on the 5th inst., the Dowager Lady Keane, relict of Sir John Keane, Bart., of Bath’. The Worcester ‘Berrows Worcester Journal‘ of Thursday, July 13, 1837 had: ‘July 5th, at Malvern Wells, aged 72, the Dowager Lady Keane, relict of Sir John Keane, Bart., of the Crescent, Bath’.

Great Malvern – St Ann’s Well
The spring or well is named after Saint Anne, the maternal grandmother of Christ and the patron saint of many wells. The building housing the spring dates back to 1813.

Malvern Wells, where Lady Keane seems to have resorted after the death of her husband, was a spa town, whose water was thought for centuries to have beneficial properties. In 1817 an enthusiast named John Chambers published A General History of Malvern, embellished with plates, intended to comprise all the advantages of a Guide, with the important details of chemical, mineralogical and statistical information. In the 19th century Malvern became famous for the water cure, and it rapidly developed into to a busy town with many large hotels. Hydrotherapists promoted the cure, and the resort’s many well-known patients and patrons—one was Lord Lytton, who in 1845 published “Confessions of a Water-Patient“– contributed to Malvern’s renown.

Dorothy was buried with her second husband in St. Nicholas’ Churchyard, Bathampton, Somerset.

The grave of Dorothy Scott Keane at Bathampton. Photograph by K. C. Mellem and retrieved from FindAGrave; used with permission.

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Further reading


T is for Tattaila

My husband Greg’s great-great-great grandfather was a gold-rush digger named George Young. He and his wife Caroline had thirteen children, including twins, Charlotte and Harriet, who were born on 13 July 1861 in Lamplough, a mining settlement about four miles south of Avoca, Victoria.

On 2 October 1882 Charlotte married George Edward Wilkins at the Avoca Anglican church, St John’s. Charlotte was 21, employed as a domestic servant. George was 25, a miner from Percydale, five miles west.

St John’s Church, Avoca

Charlotte and George had three children: Ethel born in 1883 in Avoca, and George and Eva, born in 1884 and 1886 at Tattaila (sometimes spelt Tataila or Tattalia), near a large grazing run of that name at Moama in New South Wales, across the Murray river from Echuca.

Satellite view of Tattaila and countryside from Google maps
Google street view of Tataila Road

They had moved to Tattaila because, no longer a gold miner, George Wilkins had become a teacher, appointed in October 1884 to the school there, with his position formally recorded as Classification 3B on the New South Wales Civil Service list in 1885.

Sadly, George and Charlotte’s daughter Eva, born on 21 January 1886, died three days later, according to her death certificate from premature birth and inanation (exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment). She was buried on 25 January in the grounds of the Tattaila Public School.

Why in the school-grounds? Sadly, there seems to have been nowhere else, no suitable burial place within range. Perhaps this arrangement provided some consolation for the parents.

In July 1887, a year and a half later, with George Wilkins still the Tattaila schoolteacher, Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales, passed through on a tour of inspection. The Sydney “Australian Town and Country Journal” wrote:

'EDUCATIONAL.-Not long ago I was in the Moama State School, listening to the children practising " God Save the Queen" for the Governor's visit. On that occasion the children of Latalia [sic], under the charge of their teacher, Mr. Wilkins, amalgamated with those of the Moama School under the charge of Mr. Bruce, and the practising was done under Mr. Wilkin's tuition. The children acquitted themselves admirably, subsequently earning praise from Lord Carrington, and, what was, perhaps, much dearer to the infantile heart, a whole holiday. I was considerably impressed with the progress evidently being made by the children, and not a little astonished at the advanced curriculum of the State schools in this colony. Children in New South Wales are being educated in many things of a practical as well as a scientific nature which are neglected across the border. The inference is obvious.'

The local Riverine Herald“, published in Echuca, had predicted on 16 July that:

'Mr Wilkins has taken a good deal of pains to coach the scholars up, and their singing yesterday showed that they had profited by his teaching. The children kept time very well and sang the Anthem with considerable expression, so that they should acquit themselves very favourably on Tuesday next.'
His Excellency Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales, photographed about 1887. Retrieved from the National Library of Australia.

In 1889 George E Wilkins of Tattaila was promoted by examination to Classification 3A.

At the end of that year, he transferred to the Victorian education system, appointed in December 1889 as head teacher at School 1798, Major’s Line, near Heathcote. (‘Major’s Line’ refers to wheel tracks left by the NSW Surveyor-General Major Mitchell in his 1836 journey of exploration.)

On 1 January 1891 George was ‘certificated’—approved to teach, and appointed as a teacher—by the Victorian Department of Education. In October 1891 he transferred to School 1567 in Richmond and appointed junior assistant on probation. It was noted on his file that George gambled, but otherwise the probation inspection was satisfactory.

In 1892 George Wilkin’s appointment was confirmed, and he was also qualified to teach military drill. In 1893 he was transferred to School 2849, Rathscar North. His annual reports were positive. In 1899 he was
transferred to School 1109, Mount Lonarch. In 1901 he transferred to School 3022, Warrenmang. In 1902 he was at School 2811, Glenlogie. Later that year he returned to Warrenmang. In 1907 he was transferred to Homebush School, 2258. All these schools were in in the Central Highlands administrative region. He remained at Homebush until December 1921, when ill-health forced his resignation.

George Wilkins with his pupils in about 1896 at Rathscar North. From the 1988 book by Neville Taylor (1922 – 1992): Via the 19th Hole : Story of Convicts, Battlers and High Society. Neville was the son of Eva Taylor nee Squires.
George Wilkins, his children Ethel (1883 – 1955) and George (1884 – 1909), and wife Charlotte. Photograph about 1898.

Though not formally employed by the Education Department Charlotte Wilkins helped her husband with his teaching duties, brought up their children, and raised two of her nephews after their mother, her sister-in-law, died in childbirth. Charlotte was also busy in her local community. I have found no mention of Charlotte in Tattaila district newspapers, but in later years the Avoca newspapers give some better account of her activities there. for example as a hostess for various functions associated with the Homebush Soldiers Comforts Fund during World War I.

Lower Homebush School photographed some time between 1910 and 1920. In the back row are Laura Squires, Charlotte and George Wilkins. Laura Squires was sewing mistress from 1910 to 1920. She married George Wilkins after Charlotte’s death in 1925.

On 2 April 1925, following three years of paralysis, Charlotte died in Lower Homebush at the age of 63 and was buried in Avoca Cemetery.

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S is for Stockach

I don’t know very much about my German forebears—my mother’s side of the tree—but recently I’ve made some progress with names and dates, and now I’ve got a place, Stockach, a few kilometres from the northwestern arm of the Bodensee (Lake Constance).

On the basis of FamilySearch records and some images of parish registers at Stockach kindly photographed for me by one of my German cousins, I have been able to find out more about my family connections there.

My great great grandfather was a Stockach man named Matthias Martin, known as Matthias Manock.

Matthias married Agathe Lang in Karlsruhe in 1880. Their marriage certificate recorded that he was born on 2 November 1851 in Stockach, the son of Crescentia Martin, née Manock, widow of Johann Martin; Crescentia was deceased at the time of the marriage. Both Crescentia and Johann were Taglöhners, ‘day labourers’.

Matthias was baptised on 2 November 1851, son of Crescentia Martin born Manogg, widow of Johann Martin. No father was named on the baptismal record.

St Oswald’s Church: 1925 painting by Gustav Rockholtz of  St. Oswald mit Gasthaus Löwen, Stockach. The church is named after Oswald , King of Northumbria, who is venerated as a saint. The first building was consecrated in 1402 but destroyed by fire in 1704 during the war of the Spanish Succession. The church was rebuilt between 1707 and 1733 and had a tower with an onion dome. In 1932 the old church was demolished to make way for a new building. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

I have been able to work backwards to my sixth great grandparents. To keep this account chronological order I start with my sixth great grandparents, Adam Manogg and his wife Verena Huggin (they were from Boll, part of the municipality of Sauldorf, fourteen kilometres north of Stockach).

Adam Manogg and Verena Manogg née Huggin were married at Boll on 12 January 1743. They had at least ten children. Their fourth, Sylvester, was born in 1748 and baptised at Boll on 30 December 1748.

Sylvester Manogg married Theresia Stähl on 24 Nov 1773 at Raithaslach, twelve kilometres southwest of Boll and 6 kilometres northwest of Stockach. It seems Theresia died, for six months later on 24 May 1774, Sylvester Manogg married Genoveva Schrof in Raithaslach. Sylvester and Genoveva had at least seven children; their fourth was Fidel Manogg, who was baptised on 27 April 1780 at Raithaslach. Sylvester died in April 1801 and was buried 7 April at Raithaslach.

Fidel Manogg [sometimes spelt Monogg] married Marie Anna Beck on 23 September 1811 at Raithaslach. They had at least four children. Their oldest child, Kreszenz (Crescentia) Manogg, born in 1812, was baptised on 15 April at Stockach. (Saint Crescentia was a 4th-century companion of Saint Vitus, the patron saint of dancers). Crescentia married Johann Martin at Stockach on 26 October 1838. They had at least six children. Johann died in January 1850. I have not found Crescentia’s death record.

Stockach was an important postal station; its post office, one of the oldest in Germany, was first mentioned in 1505. Several major roads crossed at Stockach, including Ulm – Basel , Stuttgart – Zurich, and Vienna – Paris. In 1845 the local post office still had 60 horses, but as railways began to replace coach-roads Stockach declined in importance..

Stockach suffered in several wars. In 1499 it was besieged but not captured. In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria set fire to it. In 1799 and 1800 the French and Austrian armies fought in the region, and disputed possession of Stockach. The Austrians won the Battle of Stockach on 25 March 1799. A year later, on 3 May 1800, the French regained the town. Many tens of thousands of men and horses were involved in these battles.

Death of the Austrian field marshal, Karl Aloys, Prince of Fürstenberg while leading Austrian infantry during the during the Battle of Stockach. Despite the loss of their field marshal, on 25 March 1799 the Austrians won the Battle of Stockach. The French army had 26,164 infantry, 7,010 cavalry, 1,649 artillery, and 62 guns; the Austrians had 53,870 infantry, 14,900 cavalry, 3,565 artillery, and 114 guns. 4,000 French and 5,800 Austrians were killed, wounded or captured. The battle, which lasted all day, was fought at the junction of the east west and north–south roads on the eastern side of the Black Forest.

Stockach suffered in later wars of the nineteenth century and during the two world wars of the twentieth century.

In 1770, travelling to Paris for her marriage to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, stayed overnight in Stockach. On 20 March 1770 the Stockach magistrate decreed that the road Marie Antoinette was to take must be repaired. It is said that stones from the nearby ruined castle were used for the purpose. As she passed through the town, the people of Stockach used borrowed guns from neighbouring towns to salute the future queen appropriately. Six oxen and 80 loaves of bread were set aside for Marie Antoinette’s large entourage. The town hall was renovated for the feast.

From 9 April Stockach houses were required to be newly whitewashed. Pfailure to do this—pfor not giving a pfig—attracted a pfine of pfive pfennigs. On 2 May the future queen arrived, with an entourage of 21 six-horse state coaches, followed by 36 fine carriages. There were 450 horses and an accompanying personal suite of some 250 people. The future wife of Louis XVI spent the night in the “White Cross”. After resting the night in Stockach, Marie Antoinette and her entourage continued to Paris; her journey there from Vienna took two and a half weeks.

My 5th great grandparents Sylvester Monogg, then 22 years old, and his future wife Genoveva Schrof probably witnessed the procession and were likely involved in the preparations.

Arrival of the procession driving the archduchess Marie-Antoinette to Versailles, on May 16th, 1770. Image from historyanswers.co.uk

When I told my mother that I had traced our forebears to Stockach near Lake Constance she told me that, yes, it had always been said that the Manock family was not from Karlsruhe but from the area of Lake Constance. There is still more research to be done, but I am pleased to have extended my knowledge of this branch of my tree.

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R is for Rushton

I have written previously about my great great grandfather’s first cousin George Harrison Champion de Crespigny (1863-1945) and his wife Gwendoline (1864-1923).

George Harrison Champion de Crespigny, known as Harry, married Gwendoline Blanche Clarke-Thornhill (Gwen) youngest of six children of William Capel and Clara Clarke-Thornhill, on 18 December 1890 at Rushton, Northamptonshire.

“SOCIETY.” John Bull, vol. LXXI, no. 3,660, 10 Jan. 1891, p. 16.

In the census taken on 5 April 1891 Harry and Gwen, who gave their surname as Champion Holden de Crespigny, were living at Pipewell (pronounced Pipwell) Hall, a couple of miles from Rushton. There were five servants in the house: a butler, a lady’s maid, a cook and two housemaids. Other workers on the estate were housed separately.

Harry, who had been adopted by the owner of Pipewell Hall Oscar William Holden-Hambrough as his heir, now included ‘Holden’ in his surname.

Pipewell Hall Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, photograph by user Maypm CC BY-SA 4.0
The hall was sold in 2021 and a video of the property can be seen on YouTube.
Pipewell Hall is between Market Harborough, Corby and Kettering. It is two miles from Rushton Hall, now a hotel, and eight miles from Kelmarsh Hall, which once had a de Crespigny connection and now displays several de Crespigny family portraits.

Harry and Gwen had three children: Mildred born 1892, Arthur born 1894, and Gwendoline born 1900.

On 28 February 1893 Gwen attended the Queen’s Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. Her dress was widely described in the newspapers, with a report even appearing in Queensland. The Rockhampton ‘Capricornian‘ wrote:

Very effective and most successful was the Japanesque Court costume worn by Mrs. Holden de Crespigny, that is to say, Japanesque as to material, for the style was strictly modern English. The train was of white brocade made in Japan, the design a large floral one. At the corner of the left side it was trimmed back and faced with a piece of embroidery in golden thread, having a similar design to that in the brocade, raised from the surface in the rich metal. The dress was a very beautiful one, in soft Japanese satin, draped and trimmed with rare old lace.

There are several pictures of the Queen’s Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace that year. Sad to say, I haven’t found one of Gwen.

From The Graphic 11 March 1893 page 7 retrieved through British Library Newspapers
From The Graphic 20 May 1893 page 18 retrieved through British Library Newspapers
From The Graphic 13 May 1893 page 15 retrieved through British Library Newspapers

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Q is for Monkira Station in Queensland

Orfeur Charles Cavenagh, fifth of the ten children of Wentworth and Ellen Cavenagh, and so one of my great great uncles, was born on 24 April 1872 in Kensington, a suburb of Adelaide.

He died of fever at the age of 18 on 17 December 1890 at Monkira Station in Queensland. My grandmother told me that at the time of his death her uncle Orfeur was a jackaroo (a young man working on a station—a large farm—to learn at first hand the business of sheep or cattle grazing).

Apart from these few facts, I know nothing about my great great uncle Orfeur Charles. I do not even have a photograph of him.

Monkira Station is in the Channel country 120 kilometres east of Bedourie, the closest settlement; Bedourie has a population today of about 120. It is 1300 kilometres north of Adelaide, 170 north-east of Birdsville.

The Channel Country is called this from the many intertwined rivulets that cross the region. The major rivers, which run only after flooding rain upsteam, are the Georgina River, Cooper Creek, and the Diamantina River. The primary land use continues to be cattle grazing.

The Diamantina River runs through Monkira Station which runs 7,800 cattle on 373,000 hectares (921,700 acres). Monkira is owned by the North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCo). When it floods the river spreads out widely between sandhill country to the west and lightly grassed low hills to the east.

The Diamantina River runs through Monkira Station which today is a cattle station with 7,800 cattle on  373,000 hectares (921,700 acres) owned by the North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCo). The river floods the country which has some sandhill country and some lightly grassed low hills on the eastern side.

Monkira Station, south west Queensland. Satellite view from Google maps.

Monkira Station set a record which lasted for over 40 years from 1892 with the Monkira ox, the heaviest bullock ever slaughtered in Australia. It was bred at Monkira and walked to Adelaide. Its live weight was 1,378 kilograms (3,042 pounds); dressed 902 kilograms (1,992 pounds). When it was slaughtered in 1894 it was claimed to be the heaviest ox in the world.

Monkira has a claim to another world record. One of the world’s largest trees, known as the Monkira monster, is a Coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah) growing at Neuragully Waterhole on the property, 24 kilometers south west of the homestead. Its crown has a diameter of 73 metres (240 feet).

Mr Bob Gunther, manager of Monkira, and the giant coolabah, 46 feet around the girth. Photograph by Arthur Groom in 1952. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-146211212

In 1995 some of my cousins visited the grave of Orfeur Cavenagh and sent my grandmother a photograph of it.

Related posts:

Further reading:

  • Website of the North Australian Pastoral Company https://napco.com.au/ 
  • Kowald, Margaret & Johnston, W. Ross (William Ross), 1939- & North Australian Pastoral Company (1992, 2015). You can’t make it rain : the story of the North Australian Pastoral Company 1877-1991. Boolarong Publications with North Australian Pastoral Company, Brisbane viewed through Google Books pages 133 ff 
  • Encyclopedia of Australian Science and Innovation entry for Brooks, Albert Ellison (1908 – 1978) at https://www.eoas.info/biogs/P005128b.htm :
    • “In his 1964 book Tree Wonders of Australia, Albert Brooks mentions a giant Coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah Blakely & Jacobs 1934), also known as the ‘Monkira Monster’. The tree is located at Neuragully waterhole in Western Queensland. In 2010 the tree was still alive and has been protected from stock.”


P is for Pankow

My mother Christa, born in Berlin in 1939, came to Australia in 1950 with her immigrant parents Hans and Charlotte. She remembers visiting cousins in Pankow and at an allotment garden in Kladow shortly before they left.

My father has recorded some of my mother’s memories from her childhood:

"A cousin of Charlotte, Hilde lived with her husband in Pankow, part of the Soviet Zone in East Berlin. Christa cannot now remember the family surname nor the husband's personal name, but she and Mutti [her mother] visited the apartment, and she played quite frequently with their daughter Marianne, her second cousin and close to her in age.
The family also had an allotment in Kladow, just across the Havel from Zehlendorf, but in the British rather than the American sector, and close to the Soviet Zone of Germany which surrounded Berlin. Christa has little detailed memory of travelling there, but does recall passing through a frontier post with armed Russian soldiers, so it is probable that they travelled by bus through Potsdam,which was in the Soviet Zone – she does recall that there followed a long walk to the allotment and that it was quite close to a lake. The property itself was about an acre in extent, with a small cottage and fruit trees: in a letter of on 2 September 1949 to Hans in Australia, Charlotte mentions that Hilde had arranged a children's party there on the previous Saturday, 28 August – presumably for Christa's tenth birthday – and had also given her forty pounds of pears. For their part, they had given Marianne Christa's satchel, and Christa was now taking a briefcase to school.
My mother on her first day of school in 1945 carrying the briefcase later given to her cousin Marianne
Christa and her family kept in touch with Hilde and Marianne, but a few years later, when the Berlin Wall was built dividing the city in 1961, they were asked not to write any more: Pankow was under the control of the East German communists, suspicious of anyone with contacts in the West."

I think my mother’s cousin Hilde was Hildegard Kabis born Gartz, born in 1907 to Gustav and Auguste Gartz born Stern formerly Peters. Auguste Gartz was the sister of my great grandmother, Helene Auguste Minna Manock born Stern formerly Peters.

Hildegard married Gustav Kabis in 1932. Her daughter Marianne was probably just a little younger than my mother, so born in the early 1940s.

Hildegard’s mother Auguste died on 16 September 1945. From her death certificate registered at Prenzlauer Berg civil registration office (viewed through ancestry.com), she was living at Flandern Straße 34 at the time of her death. This street was renamed as Sültstraße in 1952 and is in Pankow, district of Prenzlauer Berg.

I do not know where the Kabis family lived.

From my mother’s description of her journey there, the allotment seems to be close to a teaching garden on the banks of the Havel in Kladow. The garden featured in a 2018 news article in Der Tagesspiegel. The journey to Essbarer Garten Kladow includes a ten-minute walk along the a path beside the Havel. Perhaps the garden my mother remembers was in this area.

Pankow became part of East Berlin; Kladow remained in West Berlin. It may be that Hilde and her family were no longer able to visit their garden after the Berlin Wall went up.

Map showing Pankow and Kladow and my mother’s home in Zehlendorf at Eschershauser Weg 27

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O is for ‘Ottawa’ Gladstone Parade Elsternwick

My great great grandfather Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850-1927) worked for the Bank of Victoria. His obituary in the Argus (Melbourne), on 12 March 1927, outlines his career:

[Crespigny] joined the service of the Bank of Victoria in June, 1866, as a junior clerk. After spending a few years in country districts in service of the bank he was promoted to the position of manager at Epsom, and he filled a similar position at other country towns. Subsequently he was placed in charge of the South Melbourne branch of the bank. At the end of 1892 he was appointed assistant inspector, and he continued to act in that capacity until 1908, when he took the office of chief inspector. In 1916 he became general manager of the bank in succession to Mr George Stewart.

As a branch manager Philip was entitled to accommodation provided by the bank. In 1887 he moved from the Elmore to the South Melbourne Branch. In 1888 he was appointed Assistant Inspector of the Bank of Victoria. This position no longer came with a house.

The 1889 rate books for the City of Brighton record Philip C Crespigny, Banker, renting a 9-room brick house on the Esplanade.

The household comprised Philip, who had been widowed since 1883, his two sons Philip and Constantine Trent (known as Con when young) who were aged aged 10 and 7 in 1889. Philip’s mother Charlotte had been widowed in September 1889. She probably spent time helping Philip raise the two boys but at some stage seems to have moved to live with her married daughter Rose at Eurambeen near Beaufort. Viola, one of her two unmarried daughters, was also living there. Charlotte’s second unmarried daughter, Ada, probably lived with her brother Philip.

After only a year or two Philip was renting “Wyndcote”, a 7-room weatherboard house on Tennyson Street in Brighton.

In June 1891 Ada lost a bracelet and advertised for its return in The Age:

LOST, lady's Bracelet, Brighton, between St. Andrew's Church and Tennison sts., Sunday. Reward. Miss De Crespigny, Tennison st, Brighton.

Philip married for a second time on 2 November 1891 to Sophia Beggs .

CRESPIGNY—BEGGS.—On the 2nd inst., at Holy Trinity Church, Balaclava, by the Rev. Dr. Torrance, Philip, only surviving son of the late Philip Robert Champion Crespigny, police magistrate, to Sophia Gratton Montgomery Beggs, fourth daughter of the late Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs, of Bushy Creek Station, Glenthompson.

Philip and Sophia’s son Frank was born in September 1892. From The Argus 27 September 1892:

CRESPIGNY. —At Wyndcote, Tennyson-street, Brighton, the wife of Philip Champion Crespigny—a son.

In July 1892 Mrs Crespigny advertised in The Age newspaper for a general servant:

SERVANT, general, wanted, must be good cook. Mrs Crespigny, Wyncote, Tennyson-st. Brighton Beach.

In January 1893 the Crespigny family sought a nursegirl in The Age and placed a similar advertisement in The Argus:

NURSEGIRL, young, wanted. Mrs. Crespigny, Wyncote, Tennyson-st., Brighton Beach.

Less than a year later, in June 1893, Mrs Crespigny advertised again in The Age newspaper for a general servant:

SERVANT, general, must be good cook. With references, Mrs. Crespigny, Wyndcote, Tennyson-st., Brighton Beach.
Philip Crespigny at “Wyndcote”, Tennyson Street in Brighton with members of his family in 1894: Constantine Trent, Sophia Montgomery Grattan nee Beggs, and Francis George Travers

The boys, Philip and Con, attended Brighton Grammar School. The family were parishioners of St Andrews Brighton.

In 1894 Philip and his family moved to ‘Ottawa’, a 10-room brick house at 16 – 18 Gladstone Parade, Elsternwick, leased from Alfred Felton, a wealthy businessman, remembered for his philanthropy. The villa was built between 1890 – 3; Philip Crespigny was the first recorded occupant.

A photograph of Ottawa, then named Kambroona, when it was being sold in 1933.

In September 1894 Sophia Crespigny was again advertising in The Age and in The Argus for a nursemaid, from the new address:

NURSEGIRL wanted. With references, Mrs. Crespigny, Ottawa. Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.

The Crespigny family seems to have been a little careless about its portable property, scarcely able to venture abroad without losing something. In 1896 there was a reward offered in The Age for a lost brooch:

LOST, between Elsternwick station and Gladstone-par., gold Brooch. Return to Ottawa, Gladstone-par. Reward.

In 1897 Con lost a bicycle cape:

LOST, on Saturday, Boy's Bicycle CAPE, on Mornington-rd. Apply C. Crespigney, Gladstone-parade, Elsternwick

In 1901 a puppy went missing:

LOST, Sunday, between Regent-st., Elsternwick, and Balaclava, Black Cocker Spaniel Puppy. Reward. Ottawa, Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.

In July 1906 another brooch was lost and a reward offered in The Age:

LOST, in St. Mary's Church, Caulfield, or between it and Gladstone-par., Elsternwick. Gold Brooch, with diamond in centre. Finder rewarded on returning to Mrs. de Crespigny, Ottawa, Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.

The same month there was an advertisement for lost eyeglasses:

LOST, Eyeglasses, Elsternwick, between Gladstone-par. and station. Return Ottawa, Gladstone-par

I wonder if any of the advertisements produced results and the items were returned?

In 1907 more staff were sought through The Age:

SERVANT, general; also Nursery House Maid. Crespigny, Ottawa, Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.

Philip and Sophia had two more sons in Elsternwick: Hugh Vivian on 8 April 1897 and Royalieu Dana on 11 November 1905. On 15 March 1908 their youngest son, Claude Montgomery, was born in “Vierville”, 20 Black Street.

Philip had been promoted to Chief Inspector at the Bank of Victoria in 1908, and perhaps on the strength of this, he purchased a house in Black Street, which remembering the family origins in France, he named “Vierville”. Philip lived in the house until his death in 1927.

“Vierville” in Black Street, Brighton, photographed in 2019
20 Black Street, Brighton [now renumbered as 18 Black Street]
Philip and his wife Sophia lived here from 1908 until his death in 1927

“Ottawa” is still standing. It was sold in 2014; the real estate advertisement described it as:

'Ottawa' Circa 1885 - A Grand Victorian Mansion Home Unlike Any Other
The unique romance and whimsical character of this 14-room home will appeal to families requiring versatile accommodation in a prize position.
Set amongst quality homes within easy walking distance of the best schools, Glenhuntly Road, Martin Street, parkland and bayside.
The property is sited on 915m2 with a broad frontage of 24.4m, charming gardens and views of the bay.

The house was converted into flats and altered in the 1930s, given what the Heritage report describes as ‘an eclectic make-over’.

Google Street view of Ottawa in 2010. The tower-like bay at the front is a 1930s addition.

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N is for Norfolk sampler

A typical Norfolk field in summer with poppies and daisies in abundance. Taken near Fring.
All Saints’ church in Fring from the driveway to Church Farm.

My husband Greg says he has a great number of great aunts.

One, a 3rd great, was Ellen Claxton nee Jackson, born in Fring, Norfolk in 1791 or 1792. In 1817 Ellen married William Claxton in Docking, a mile to the north, also a small and undistinguished village (which Wikipedia delicately notes ‘has experienced no noteworthy historical events peculiar to itself’).

William Claxton was a shepherd and agricultural labourer who, caught up in Wesleyan revivalism, became a Primitive Methodist preacher. Ellen was one of his converts. The Claxtons moved to Wolferton in 1820. William and Ellen Claxton had at least six children. She died in 1875, he in 1859. (One of Ellen’s sisters was Greg’s 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Ann Plowright nee Jackson (1797 – 1864).)

In 1806, and probably often enough in other years, for the craft generated a small cash income, Ellen Elizabeth Jackson embroidered a sampler, a piece of embroidery worked in various stitches as a specimen of skill, often decorated with letters of the alphabet and a motto or verse.

Some years ago a family historian from Georgia, USA, told me that information about a sampler by Ellen Elizabeth Jackson had been included in a 2013 book on samplers called Imitation & Improvement: The Norfolk Sampler Tradition, by the American textile historian Joanne Lukasher. There was further information about Ellen Jackson’s work in notes to a 2019 exhibition of samplers by the Lycoming County Historical Society [Pennsylvania]. Gary Parks, its curator, was the owner of the Jackson sampler. He kindly sent me a photograph of it, explaining that, “I purchased the sampler a number of years ago at an antique show. My justification for buying it was that my Mother’s name was ‘Ellen Elizabeth’. It is beautiful needlework.”

NEEDLEWORK SAMPLER- Ellen Elizabeth JACKSON, [Norfolk, England], 18[0]6. Linen gauze with reinforced woolen backing ground, applied silk thread Stitches: Cross stitch, crewelwork- satin and stem. Ellen Jackson’s sampler belongs to a large body of needlework produced in Norfolk, England. The diamond-shaped inner border is one of the elements tying them together, as well as the bouquets of flowers in each corner.
Collection of Gary W. Parks and image used with his permission.
Detail from Ellen’s sampler. As she aged, she apparently became more self-conscious about her age. She deliberately picked out the ‘tens’ digit of the date she produced her sampler.

Most of the samplers included in Joanne Lushaker’s book were produced by girls “descended from the established middle class of skilled and hereditary craftsmen, merchants and entrepreneurs.” There were some examples from the working poor; “needlework, along with harvest work and poultry breeding, was a standard way in which women contributed to the family income”. (The Jacksons would certainly be classed as “working poor”. In the 1841 census Ellen’s father, then 81, was described as an agricultural labourer.)

In Norfolk poor and needy children were educated in charity schools. Part of the curriculum was vocational training, and girls learnt to embroider. Shawls, and other small craft items were sold to raise money for the schools.

The 1812 Annual Report of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church reported that the village of Fring had a Sunday school attended by 36 children. Ellen, recorded on the 1851 census as a schoolmistress, appears to have gained a broader education, possibly in a larger charity school in the district.

Ellen’s sampler is arranged as a stepped lozenge. The central framing element is common to many Norfolk samplers, with surrounding floral bouquets also a typical design element. The verse embroidered by Ellen, popular in 19th century books of religious verse and Sunday readers, was also used by some other embroiderers.

The verse was included in an Introduction to the English reader; or, A selection of pieces in prose and poetry … with rules and observations for assisting children to read with propriety. The second edition, enlarged and improved, published in 1803:

Love to God produces love to men.
Let gratitude in acts of goodness flow;
Our love to God, in love to man below.
Be this our joy—to calm the troubled breast,
Support the weak, and succour the distrest;
Direct the wand’rer, dry the widow’s tear;
The orphan guard, the sinking spirits cheer.
Tho’ small our pow’r to act, tho’ mean our skill,
God sees the heart;—he judges by the will.

These lines had previously appeared as part of a much longer poem “The Prospect” by C. Whithorne in the 1755 edition of The General Magazine of Arts and Sciences.

At the time of the 1841 census William and Ellen Claxton were living in Wolferton, near Sandringham, 10 miles to the south of Docking. William was a labourer. Five children were living in the household; the older two were a shoemaker and a labourer.

On the 1851 census Ellen is listed as a schoolmistress, her husband William as an agricultural labourer. They lived in Wolferton. Their children had left home.

William died in 1859. The Primitive Methodist Magazine published a long obituary.

In 1861 Ellen was living with her unmarried son Abraham. Her occupation was given as ‘formerly school mistress’. Abraham was described as shoemaker and local preacher. Abraham was a Primitive Methodist like his parents.

In 1871 Ellen was living in Wolferton with her son Abraham, now ‘a shoemaker and coal agent’, and Abraham’s wife. No occupation was given for Ellen on the census.

In 1875 Ellen Claxton died in Wolferton. She was eighty-three. For the times, hers had been a long life, a long struggle with poverty an hardship. Even so, Ellen’s embroidery is a reminder that prettiness can be found in strange places and small things; we can only hope that she was rewarded from time to time by the joy that comes of creating something beautiful.

Fring, Docking and Wolferton in Norfolk. Map also shows King Lynn and the Sandringham estate.

Wikitree: Ellen Elizabeth (Jackson) Claxton (abt. 1792 – 1875)