The wedding of Rose and Frank Beggs 3 Feb 1876

My great great aunt Helen Rosalie Champion Crespigny, called Rose, was born on 15 October 1858 at Daisy Hill, later known as Amherst, near Talbot, Victoria to Philip Champion Crespigny and Charlotte née Dana, the youngest of their five children.

On 3 February 1876 she married Francis Beggs in Ararat by license, according to the rites of the Church of England. Rose was 17 and her father provided his written consent to the marriage. Rose lived in Ararat, where her father was the Police Magistrate. Francis Beggs was 25, a squatter living at Eurambeen. Eurambeen is about 40 kilometers south-east of Ararat.

Marriage certificate of Francis Beggs and Helen Rosalie Champion Crespigny

From the Melbourne Argus of 9 February 1876:

BEGGS-CRESPIGNY. — On the 3rd inst., at Christ Church, Ararat, by the Rev. Canon Homan, Francis Beggs, eldest son of Francis Beggs, Esq., of Eurambeen, to Helen Rosalie, third daughter of P. C. Crespigny, Esq., P.M., Ararat.

[The marriage notice seems to be in error. The Anglican Church in Ararat was then known as Trinity Church, later Holy Trinity.]

The photograph album compiled by Rose Beggs includes photographs of them taken at the time of their wedding. The photographer was Johnstone, O’Shannessy & Co. of 3 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Perhaps they travelled to Melbourne after the wedding and had their photographs taken then as a memento. Or perhaps a photographer from the studio was visiting Ararat at the time.

Frank died in 1921. Rose Beggs died on 28 March 1937 in North Brighton,Victoria. They had no children.

From the Argus 29 March 1937:

BEGGS -On the 28th March at her residence St Marnocks, Hampton street, North Brighton, Helen Rosalie, widow of Francis Beggs, of St Marnocks, Beaufort.

From the Argus 6 April 1937:

BEAUFORT.-The death occurred at North Brighton of Mrs. Helen Rosalie Beggs, widow of the late Mr. Francis Beggs, the original owner of St. Marnock's Estate, Beaufort. She lived in the district many years and was closely associated with the local branch of the Australian Women's National League. The burial took place in the family burial ground at Eurambeen Estate.

Related posts:


Marjorie: ‘throwing my hat over the fence’

We were talking about rarely-used figures of speech and Greg recalled one of his mother’s expressions, ‘to throw one’s hat over the fence’.

Marjorie was a keen painter, but from time to time she’d lose interest and put her brushes aside. She found it difficult to get going again.

Her solution was to get a fresh canvas and squeeze a dob of paint onto it. This she called ‘throwing my hat over the fence’, meaning that she was forcing herself to continue. The hat had to be retrieved and the painting had to be finished. The trick was often enough to get her back painting.

Where is the phrase from?

In 1961 President Kennedy advocated a space exploration program in a speech to a joint session of Congress, “…I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon…” In November 1963 in a speech at the dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center in San Antonio, Texas, the President reaffirmed his commitment to the space program, he ended his speech by saying, “This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space, and we have no choice but to follow it. Whatever the difficulties, they will be overcome…we will climb this wall…and we shall then explore the wonders on the other side.”

Kennedy attributed the phrase to the Irish writer Frank O’Connor (1903-1966), who wrote in his autobiography “An Only Child“, ‘When as kids we came to an orchard wall that seemed too high to climb, we took off our caps and tossed them over the wall, and then we had no choice but to follow them. I had tossed my cap over the wall of life, and I knew I must follow it, wherever it had fallen’.

I think the phrase, or something like it, has probably been around for a long time.

Related posts:

Wikitree: Marjorie (Sullivan) Young (1920 – 2007)

George Dana 1849 – 1872

The photograph album of my great-great aunt Rose includes many people whose portraits I had never seen. One of these is of her first cousin George Dana (1849—1872), who died accidentally 150 years ago on the remote Pacific island of Tanna.

George Kinnaird Dana, christened George Jamieson Dana, was born in 1849 in Dandenong, Victoria, fourth of the five children of Henry Dana, commandant of the Native Police, and his wife Sophia Cole Hamilton née Walsh. Henry was the brother of Rose’s mother Charlotte.

In 1852, when George was three years old, his father died of pneumonia, and his mother Sophia moved to Tasmania. In 1854 George’s older brother, William, died in Launceston. Henry’s brother—George’s uncle William—discovered that Sophia and the children were living in poverty and distress, and he arranged to have them provided with food and financial help. [At that time William was a Victoria Police Inspector at Kilmore, sixty kilometres north of Melbourne.]

In 1856, two years after Sophia was rescued by Uncle William, they were married in Launceston. She was 29; he was 30. The family returned to Victoria, and a son was born—half-brother to George. He died in infancy.

In 1860, when George was ten years old, his mother Sophia died of tuberculosis.

For about two years, from 1863 to 1865, George and his brother Augustus attended Mr Morrison’s College in Geelong, later known as Geelong College.

On leaving school George was employed as a clerk in the Bank of Victoria in Melbourne. He appears to have enjoyed football; he played for the South Yarra Football Club [following the code now known as Australian Rules].

About 1867 or 1868 George left the Bank of Victoria with the intention of setting up as a trader in the islands of the South Pacific. Within a year or so he had established a trading firm in the New Hebrides group (present day Vanuatu) in partnership with two young men: James Fraser Bell and William Alister Ross. His partnership with James Bell gave him a share in a small cutter, the Gem 52 tons, and he took up land on the island of Tanna to establish a plantation for the production of copra. [Copra is the dried meat or kernel of the coconut, from which coconut oil is extracted.]

Port Resolution, Tanna, from A year in the New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, and New Caledonia by F. A. Campbell (1873) opposite page 32 retrieved though

On 28 July 1871 Bell and Ross were murdered by Tanna tribesmen. Australian newspapers published several reports of this, with the Melbourne Leader and the Geelong Advertiser of 31 August carrying a full account of an inquest held immediately afterwards, with statements from George Dana and several other witnesses, including natives whose reports were taken by translation.

Bell and Ross had been on their way to a plantation owned by a man called Henry Lewin, guided there by a native employee. A group of five tribesmen offered to take over, killed the two young men, and stole their clothes and revolvers. The five murderers were described and named, but nothing more could be done: they were members of a tribe known to be troublesome, and there was no military or police presence to make arrests or undertake a punitive expedition.

On 20 December 1872 George Kinnaird Dana also died tragically, of tetanus, contracted when he accidentally shot himself in the leg.

A traveller passing through, named Frederick Campbell, who in 1873 published an account of his journeys, described George’s death:

Port Resolution, Tana,
December, 1872.
AFTER a stay of two months at Kwamera, I went round by boat to visit Mr. and Mrs. Neilson at Port Resolution. The station here occupies a fine position on the banks overhanging the bay, and commands a very fine view towards the lofty Mount Mirren. The general aspect of the country is much the same as that around Kwamera, only the land is more flat and the forests are more free of underwood. There are two traders’ establishments here, the occupants of them being engaged principally in the manufacture of cobra from cocoanuts and the collection of sulphur. Until lately one of these establishments was in charge of a young man named Dana. He was one of that unfortunate expedition that left Melbourne some years ago to settle upon this island. Two of them—Messrs. Ross and Bell—were killed by the natives ; and now Dana, poor fellow, has met his death here too. Going out one Sunday alone, with his gun, it went off accidentally, inflicting a very bad wound in the leg. He was conveyed home by natives, and Mr. Neilson went down to attend to him. For some days he seemed to be in a fair way of recovery, but then, quite unexpectedly, he took lockjaw, and shortly afterwards died. It was sad to see a young man like that dying alone, on a heathen island, far from his friends and relatives, with no one to care for him except the kind-hearted missionary, near whose station the accident happened to occur.
Mission cottage at Port Resolution from “Nineteen years in Polynesia: missionary life, travels, and researches in the islands of the Pacific” by George Turner (1861) page 133 retrieved through

An announcement of George Dana’s death was published in the Melbourne Argus just over three months later, on Tuesday 1 April 1873:

DANA.– On the 20th December, 1872, at Port Resolution, Tanna, of an accidental gunshot wound, George Kinnaird Dana, aged 23 years and seven months, the last surviving son of the late Captain H E P Dana.

Related posts


240th birthday of Rowland Mainwaring

My fourth great grandfather Rowland Mainwaring (1782 – 1862) was born 240 years ago on 30 December 1782, two days before the end of the year. He married, at the age of 28, on the last day of 1810.

Some records give Rowland’s date of birth as 31 December 1783. However, his baptism, at St George Hanover Square, recorded on 18 January 1783, gives his date of birth as 30, that is, 30 December 1782. Two pages earlier in the register, the month of December is shown as 1782, with the register dates conforming with the new style of dating adopted in England in 1752, when the start of a new year was changed from Lady Day (25 March) to 1 January.

Rowland Mainwaring joined the Royal Navy at the age of 12 and saw continuous service from 1795 to the end of 1810, when he took leave to marry. This was followed by eight months of half-pay. At the time of his marriage he was a lieutenant with the Narcissus.

His bride was Sophia Duff (c. 1790 – 1824), whom he met at a picnic in Devonport, near Plymouth, on 11 July 1808. They became engaged two years later, in November 1810, and were married on 31 December at Stoke Damerel (now part of Plymouth). In “The First Five Years of My Married Life”, which he published in 1853, Mainwaring described their meeting as love at first sight.

Stoke Damerel Church, the Church of St Andrew with St Luke, from an 18th century etching. In the 19th century, after the Mainwarings’ wedding, the church was renovated including a clock being added to the tower in 1811, the rebuilding of the chancel in 1868 and a restoration in 1883. Image from
Devon Marriages And Banns retrieved through FindMyPast

From The First Five Years of My Married Life by Rowland Mainwaring, 1853, pages 21-25:

It was on a cold winter's morning, at the earliest possible hour of December 31st, 1810, that our marriage took place, at the retired village Church of Stoke Damarel, just one short mile distant.

It was of the most unassuming and simple description.

Bride maids were dispensed with; white favours, to call public attention, those emblems of a man's wisdom or folly, (as the case may be,) which one sees now and then on such occasions, were especially prohibited; in short, we endeavoured to steal away unobserved; and certainly, neither our dresses or retinue bespoke a bridal party.

My Wife, attired in a dark riding habit, and close cottage bonnet, ready, if needs must, to travel to the world's end with me, and myself in a non-descript costume, half naval, half civil, with the contents of my wardrobe packed in a kind of sea chest, indicated neither wealth or ostentation.

Two post chaises, (wretched vehicles,) which every one who travelled in those days, not possessing the luxury of their own carriage, must remember, formed the interesting cortége, and conveyed us to the church door; one contained the good old Admiral Kelly, with the bride, (who officiated in the absence of her Father; ) the second, myself and the Lady's maid, under the travelling name of “Kitty Rags,” a plain unsophisticated kind of being, wife of a Boatswain's Mate in the Andromache, (or, as she used to call her, the Andrew Mac,) a first class frigate, commanded by my wife's step-father, then at sea.

In this vehicle, after the ceremony, were we launched, for better for worse, into the great uncertain matrimonial world. What a change, thought I.

The battles, the hurricanes, and heaven knows the host of incidents which all sailors partake of, more or less, in their professional career, sank into insignificance, as I drew a comparison and looked back on my bachelor life on ship board. And thus we rattled along, (in every sense of the word,) from stage to stage.

Three days brought us to London, the last of which lay across Bagshot heath. It was late in the evening, and quite dark. I had heard a great deal about robberies, and such like unpleasant incidents on Bagshot, and other heaths in the vicinity of London, and concluding (as a matter of course) that we should be robbed, a consultation was held, how, or in what way we should conceal our valuables ; not that we had many to lose, still what we had were worth preserving, and Kitty Rags undertook to stow away our watches.

Where she put them I had not the most distant idea, but she assured us they were perfectly safe, and I thought it unnecessary to make further inquiries. However, good honest Kitty and ourselves were spared the painful operation of a search, and at a late hour we drove up to the Adelphi Hotel, in the Strand, happy in having arrived so far towards our destination without accident or mishap. I had been particularly recommended to this Hotel, as one of a fashionable and first-rate description; and really, if enormous charges constitute fashion, we had arrived at the right place; but the locality did not appear to me very first-rate, and in a few days we cut and run to more suitable lodgings, that is to say, better suited to the confined state of our finances.

Never was poor amphibious creature more out of his element than myself ; scarcely had I passed a month ashore than my heart yearned for the sea, and although I was as happy as mortal could wish, I longed to be again pacing the quarter deck. Such is the perverseness of human nature. I soon became tired of the great Metropolis, had seen all there was to be seen, whereupon we weighed anchor, left our lodgings, and started for the country.

We had many invitations, and many kinsfolk to whom I wished to introduce my wife, and between whom we passed the first six months of my married life. It was at one of these hospitable houses that I underwent the process of Christianizing, (if I may so express myself,) for I was told that really I was but an elder species of unlicked cub, quite unacquainted with men and manners, scarcely advanced beyond a cockpit education, and that, occasionally, I made use of expressions very offensive to ears polite, and, therefore, it was actually necessary I should be taken in hand, polished up and reformed. I had an entire new outfit from a first-rate Northampton tailor; my old sea chest was exchanged for a handsome travelling trunk, and the odour of pitch and tar, with which my clothes were dreadfully impregnated, in process of time, by the friendly aid of soap and soda, completely purified.

Mainwaring and Sophia travelled to London for their honeymoon. The coach took three days; they were a little concerned about being robbed on the way.

Their first London hotel was the Adelphi, but though, Mainwaring said, it had been recommended to them as one of a “fashionable and first-rate description; and really, if enormous charges constitute fashion, we had arrived at the right place…the locality did not appear to me very first-rate, and in a few days we cut and run to a more suitable lodgings, that is to say, better suited to the confined state of our finances.”

[The Adelphi Hotel was located at 1-4 John Street in the Adelphi Buildings designed the Adams brothers in the 1780s. The buildings were demolished in the 1930s.]

Adelphi from the Thames in London, etching by Benedetto Pastorini in the collection of the Rijksmuseum

Soon afterwards, tired of London and having “seen all there was to be seen” they left to visit family and friends in the country. They then settled at Stoke, the village they had married in, near Devonport.

After 8 months on half-pay Rowland returned to sea; on 16 August 1811 he was appointed as senior Lieutenant to the Menelaus, a 38-gun fifth rate frigate.

Rowland and Sophia had eight children. She died aged 33 on 11 October 1824 in Bath, two months after the birth of her eighth child.

Related posts and reading:


Kathleen’s cocktail

A while ago, when I was visiting my parents, my mother recreated a potent and delicious cocktail often made by Kathleen, her mother-in-law, often enough anyway not to require being written down.

My parents remember it as gin, dry vermouth, and sweet vermouth, in proportions of 3:2:1 with a dash of lime juice cordial.

In the late nineteenth century a martini was made with equal proportions of gin and vermouth, for example an 1888 Johnson’s Bartenders’ Manual listed a recipe for a “Martini Cocktail” that consisted in part of half a wine glass of Old Tom gin and a half a wine glass of vermouth. By the 1920s this had become two parts gin to one part vermouth. Kathleen’s cocktail was made in the earlier proportions. Today the less vermouth, the drier the Martini.

A so-called “Perfect” cocktail is a drink that includes equal parts of sweet and dry vermouth, so a Perfect Martini is a variant of the classic Martini which adds sweet vermouth to the original cocktail’s gin and dry vermouth.

Kathleen’s cocktail was similar, with a slight variation on the proportions of the sweet and dry vermouths.

Delicious, and good for you, too.

Drink up! 😉.

Related post

Wikitree: Kathleen (Cudmore) Symes (1908 – 2013)

2022 – continuing progress on my family history

Jill Ball, who blogs as GeniAus, encourages us to look back on our family history research each year and Accentuate the Positive. Following some of her prompts, I can report that this year:

  • I published 80 posts, not counting this post and any I might fit in before the new year. In 2022 I participated in my ninth A to Z April challenge (2022 A to Z reflections). Each year’s challenge encourages me to expand my family history research; I am already planning and researching for the next A-to-Z in April.
  • I am pleased to contribute to Wikitree. (Wikitree – what is it and should I use it?) For a few years now I have been making an effort to transfer my research to WikiTree, a collaborative project intended to produce a single worldwide family tree. I have found that adding my family tree to WikiTree is an excellent way to review and verify my family history research. My family members and distant cousins can make use of what I’ve discovered and review sources to make sure that I didn’t get any of it wrong. In September I looked back on the progress I had made (Tree progress September 2022)
Chart generated from Wikitree of my daughter’s identified ancestors as at September 2022

I look forward to doing—and sharing—more family history research in 2023.


Photograph albums from great great aunt Rose

A few weeks ago I received an email from my father’s cousin, the son of my great aunt Nancy Movius nee Champion de Crespigny (1910-2003), offering me the custody of several collections of photographs:

“We have unearthed three Victorian photo albums that my mother seems to have brought from Adelaide with her.  They came to light when we moved out of our house by the seaside, and are filled with deC's and others among our forebears. We are no longer living in space sufficient to store them safely. You should have them for your archive. It would be a shame not to have them preserved and I am happy to ship them to you. Please say you want them and furnish an address.

The three albums have arrived, a most exciting event. They include more than 200 photographs, most of them cartes de visite, with some cabinet cards.

Pages of cartes de visite. Not all the photos are identified.
Cabinet cards of Rose and Frank Beggs

Cartes de visite, first produced in the 1850s, were small photographs. They were usually made of an albumen print, with the thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. Cabinet cards, of a larger format, date from the 1870s.

One the albums is inscribed “Rose from her brother Loo”. Loo or Loup was the pet name for my great great grandfather Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850-1927). Rose (1858-1937) was his youngest sister. She married Frank Beggs. This album has an index to people in the photos, and my great aunt Nancy has also annotated some of the photographs.

The second album has no inscriptions nor annotations.

The third album has been partly annotated by Nancy, who refers to the album as belonging to Charlotte Frances Champion de Crespigny nee Dana. Charlotte was my third great grandmother, the mother of Philip and Rose.

I think that Rose gave the albums to Nancy, her great niece.

Most of the photographs are new to me. It is marvellous to be able to see photographs of people I had previously only known as names. I look forward to sharing the photographs, and perhaps some of the stories that go with them, in forthcoming posts.

Related posts:


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 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

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: ]

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:

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

I decided to try the Transkribus software. If you scroll down the webpage at 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.

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