17 Feb

52 Ancestors #5 Elizabeth Tremellan Trewheeler

Elizabeth Davey, nee Trewheeler (c1802 -1868), ElizabethT to memy great great great grandmother, was the fifth of my direct ancestors to migrate to Australia. This makes her the fifth of my ‘boat people’.

Very little is known of Elizabeth’s early life. According to the informant for her death certificate, she was born in Truro, Cornwall and married there at the age of 20; her father was unknown and her mother was Catherine Trewhaler.

Elizabeth Tremellan Trewheeler was married, after Banns, to Ebenezer Davey on 7th January 1822 in Kenwyn Parish (about ½ mile north of Truro). Both were listed as “of this Parish”. Elizabeth signed her name as Elizabeth T. Trewheeler but the Minister clearly wrote her middle name as ‘Tremellan’.

As I have not found any examples of the surnames ‘Trewhaler’ or ‘Trewheeler’ in the 1841 or 1851 Census for Truro, I suspect that Elizabeth’s surname is a version of the much more common name ‘Trewhella’. Perhaps Tremellan is a clue to an earlier family surname? Continue reading

27 Jan

52 Ancestors # 4 Ebenezer Davey

Ebenezer Davey (c1792 -1862), my great great great grandfather,Ebenezer to me was the fourth of my direct ancestors to migrate to Australia. This makes him the fourth of my ‘boat people’ and, at 61, the second oldest!


Ebenezer and his brother Elijah appear to have been born in Truro, Cornwall in about 1792 and 1794 respectively. I have yet to identify their parents or any other siblings. In 1814, Ebenezer was a witness at Elijah’s marriage to Johana Randall in St Mary’s Truro.


By 1823, Ebenezer is listed as watchmaker at West Bridge in Truro. He also married Elizabeth (Trewhella?) at about that time. They had four children: Ebenezer (c1824), Mary (c1826), Elizabeth (c1828) and Jane (unknown). Read More

25 Jan

52 Ancestors #3 Mary Davey

Mary Davey (c1826 -1904), my greatMary to Me great grandmother, was the third of my direct ancestors to migrate to Australia. This makes her the third of my ‘boat people’.

Mary was one of 235 “assisted” immigrants on the barque “Elizabeth” which sailed from Plymouth on 11th April 1849 and arrived in Port Phillip on the 23rd July 1849.

The ‘Nominal List’ of the passengers on the “Elizabeth” listed her as Mary Davey; a nursemaid aged 23, from Truro, Cornwall. Her religious denomination was Independent, and she could both read and write. Read More

21 Jan

Trove Tuesday: Who was the Mrs. Ferris who lost £300?

Most searches for family information on Trove have at least one unexpected and intriguing result. Sometimes it brings up previously unknown (to this generation, at least!) information about a family member. Other interesting side-paths result from the combination of our search parameters and the limitations of the OCR software in dealing with unclear images of old newspapers.

A recent search for ‘Ferres 1898’ looking for responses to the death of John Ferres brought up this unexpected article from the Bendigo Advertiser quoting the Argus as its source. It caught my eye due to the mention of two surnames of interest (Ferris and Ferres) in connection with losses due to the massive bush fires in Gippsland during the early part of 1898. Read More

20 Jan

Australia Day Challenge 2014: C’mon Aussie

Here are my responses to the Australia Day Challenge 2014: C’mon Aussie geneameme conceived by Cassmob and posted on her blog, ‘Family history across the seas’.

Gum tree I planted about 20 years ago when it was only a few cm high.

Gum tree I planted about 20 years ago when it was only a few cm high. I have no intention of climbing it!


My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was: Esther Ferres who arrived in Port Phillip 11th August 1848.on the ‘Cornwall’. She was 64 years old and listed as a laundress.

I don’t have any ‘Australian Royalty’ (convicts) amongst my known ancestors. The possibility still exists, as details of one line are unknown.

Neither can I claim to be an ‘Aussie mongrel’ as all my ancestors came to Oz from the southern counties of England.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? Most were ‘assisted’ immigrants but some paid their own fare and one family is said to have been brought out by an organ-building firm to work on the town hall organ. Read More

16 Jan

52 Ancestors #2 John Ferres

John Ferres (1818-1898),John to memy great great grandfather, was the second of my direct ancestors to migrate to Australia. This makes him the second of my ‘boat people’.

John was one of 203 “assisted” immigrants on the barque “Aurora” which sailed from Plymouth on 17th August 1848 and arrived off Point Henry, Geelong on the 7th December 1848.

The ‘Nominal List’ of the passengers on the “Aurora” listed him as John Ferries (or Fernes?); a carpenter aged 30, from Bath, Somerset. His religious denomination was given as Baptist. John could both read and write and owned a Bible. Read More

11 Jan

52 Ancestors #1 Esther Chancellor

Esther Ferres, nee Chancellor (c1784-1865), Descent - Esther to Maureenmy great-great-great-grandmother, was the first of my direct ancestors to migrate to Australia – at the tender age of 64.

This makes her both the first of my ‘boat people’ and the oldest!

Esther was one of 278 “assisted” immigrants on the barque “Cornwall” which sailed from Plymouth on 28th April 1848 and arrived in Port Phillip on the 11th August 1848. Read More

05 Jan

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Accepting the Challenge

I have decided to take up the challenge of writing blog posts about “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” that was proposed by Amy Johnson Crow on her No Story Too Small blog a few days ago.


“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

I will start with as many of my family ‘Boat People’ (ancestors who emigrated from England to Australia in the 19th Century) as I can find information about Read More

30 Dec

Accentuate the Positive 2013 Geneameme

Here are my responses to the end of year challenge posted by Jill Ball (GeniAus)

An elusive ancestor I found a snippet about was my great grandfather Arthur William ROBERTS. I never met him as he died before my mother was born. Details about his early life are undeniably hard to find/hard to pin down so he certainly fits the definition of ‘elusive’. Last year I managed to find his address in London just before he married Ellen Louisa BENNETT and they emigrated to Australia in 1889. This year I searched through land selection files at PROV and found many details about Arthur and Ellen and their family’s housing and farming activities as very early settlers in Monbulk, Victoria. Unfortunately there were no clues about his date and place of birth. Read More

28 Nov

Thankful Thursday – some new records

It is not often that I am pleased (thankful is probably a bit too strong a word!) to have a cold. But, because I stayed home from my usual session at the gym and watched Jill Ball’s Online Resources for Australian Research Hangout on Air, today has turned out to be one of those days.  Thanks to Jill and her guests, I have an extra record and a new lead! Read More