29 November 2012

The Baumgartens from somewhere in Germany

Quite some time ago I found out the names of the siblings of my 5x great grandfather the bassoonist Samuel Christian Frederic Baumgarten, according to the will of their brother John Henry Baumgarten. Although both Samuel and John lived and died in England, it has long been believed that Samuel was of German birth (according to musical history sources), but no one knew exactly where he was from. Once I knew names of Samuel and John's brothers and sisters I hoped that information might help me narrow down where the Baumgartens came from. The names were Leopold Baumgarten, Frederick Baumgarten, Gertrud Schwein, Magdalen Schmied, Julia Haberkorn, and Frances Baumgarten.

My best hope was FamilySearch, so I plugged all the names into FamilySearch, focusing particularly on the married sisters - this was because I had an extra name to work with - not just the maiden name but also the married name. I possibly found something with Julia Haberkorn - a marriage record for a Juliana Ernestina Baumgarter to a Johann Friedrich Haberkor in a protestant church in Lahr, Offenburg, Baden, Germany on 17 February 1757. Despite the slightly different spellings I thought it was enough to order the microfilm of the parish records for Lahr in to my local LDS Family History Centre.

The microfilm arrived this week and I was able to make the time to have a look. I found February 1757 and looked for the names Baumgarten and Haberkorn. I was confused to find an entry for Christian Leopold Baumgarten rather than Juliana Ernestina Baumgarter/n. But she was there as well, only her brother Christian Leopold was married ten days before her.

Going back to Juliana though - in the parish records her surname was actually Baumgarten, not Baumgarter, and Haberkor was actually Haberkorn - they have evidently been transcribed incorrectly by the FamilySearch transcription volunteers. Although I haven't quite worked out exactly what the entry says (it's written in German language in the German Kurrent script), it does tell me that Juliana's father's name was Nicolaus Baumgarten, and seems to suggest that both he and the groom - who was a widower - were possibly secondary teachers (Praeceptoris secundari)?

The entry for Christian Leopold Baumgarten's marriage to Maria Salome Dieterlin on 7 February 1757 shows that his father was Joh. Nicolaus Baumgarten, with the same occupation as Juliana's father. I'm pretty sure that means they were one and the same father. Interestingly, if I'm translating it correctly, it suggests that the father Johann(es?) Nicolaus Baumgarten was from Usingen (...Joh. Nicolaus Baumgarten Cantoris und Praeceptoris zu Usingen...).

So the question is: are Juliana Ernestina Baumgarten and Christian Leopold Baumgarten siblings of Samuel and John Baumgarten?

  • Names: Julia could well be a diminutive form of Juliana, and with the baptisms of his children Christian Leopold was sometimes named as Leopold Christian.
  • Church: that they were married in a Protestant church rather than a Catholic church fits well with the fact that Samuel Baumgarten's children were baptised in a parish of the Church of England.
  • Usingen: if Johann(es) Nicholas Baumgarten was from Usingen that gives me a link to Samuel Baumgarten's daughter Marie, who was, according to the Burgerbuch of the city of Mulhouse, from Nassau-Usingen. As far as I know, none of Samuel Baumgarten's other children were born there, so what were they doing there if they weren't visiting family? It is possible he could have been on a music tour, but there is little evidence that he did anything like that - apparently only being well known as a musician in England. And would you take your apparently heavily pregnant wife with you on a music tour anyway?

So if these are Julia Haberkorn and Leopold Baumgarten, sister and brother of Samuel and John Baumgarten, where are the rest of the siblings? I haven't seen the baptism and burial records for Lahr to see if the Baumgarten siblings were born/baptised in Lahr, or if their father/parents was/were buried there. That may be my next step. And I also need to investigate the Usingen link and see where that takes me. So the circumstantial evidence points to them possibly being the siblings of Samuel and John, but there is nothing at this stage that indisputably links them. More work needed!

20 November 2012

Trove Tuesday: An unexpected hotelier's license

The license of the Exchange Hotel, King-street, was transferred from James Merrick and Samuel Harper, executors under the will of the late Edward Sadler to Joseph Gordon.
1874. Licensing Business, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December, p. 5, viewed 17 November 2012. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/13338044.

I've been putting old searches back into Trove of late, as they've been adding a whole lot of new newspapers into their databases. I was quite surprised to find this notice in the Sydney Morning Herald. I had no knowledge of there being any hotelier's licenses in the Merrick branch of the family - even if only briefly. Samuel Harper was married to James Merrick's wife's sister. Edward Sadler was the previous owner of the Exchange Hotel, where James was apparently a regular. There is an article in The Empire about a man up on charges of assault, and one of the people deposed was James Merrick, who carried on business locally in King St as a shoemaker. Apparently he was in Sadler's hotel with the accused, and swore he ate oysters with him some time around midnight, as was his custom to eat oysters at night (The Empire, 25 May 1874, page 3). This was after his first wife Mary Ann had died (Jan 1870), before he married Eliza Jane Ball (1875). I do hope that after he married Eliza Jane that he didn't stay out till all hours of the night like that!

16 November 2012

The missing Smith children

In my last post I wrote about the children of James and Sarah Smith. And there were three for whom birth records just don't exist.

Ellen Smith was definitely born, around 1859, because she was listed as 20 years old when her father died in 1879. But her birth clearly wasn't registered. And she didn't die as Ellen Smith, in NSW at least. I looked at marriage records for Ellen Smiths, focussing on those registered in St Leonards because that's where the family was located. The most likely options (based on the date) were a marriage in 1881 to Jonathan Hinks and and an 1883 marriage to Robert Pymble. Death records for Ellen Hinks and Ellen Pymble revealed an 82 year old Ellen Hinks dying in Penrith in 1941 (no parents recorded, only her age and place of death), and Ellen Pymble dying in 1950 in Chatswood, parents Samuel and Mary Ann. So Ellen Pymble was a no-go, but Ellen Hinks could definitely fit - she was the right age if she had been born in 1859. But there the trail went cold because there didn't seem to be any obvious way of verifying the information.

Later I was filing some of my family history notes and came across some I made with Mum when she passed on the Nell Brell's Cookies recipe. And there was a reference to one of my Great Nanna's cousins - one Hilda Jouning née Hinks, whose parents were Jonathan and Ellen Hinks. Mystery solved!

Not so lucky with the missing sons. According to James' death record he had two sons who were deceased at the time of his death. In the NSW BDM no records, birth or death, can be found that relate to these two boys. And I don't think the family was elsewhere at the time of their births, I think they just weren't registered.

I rang the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages to ask about the missing registrations. The nice lady I talked to said that although civil registration started in 1856, they didn't really crack down on it until the 1890s, and some children were just never registered. The fact that there is no birth or death record for either of them suggests that perhaps the boys were stillborn or died when only a few days old. She also said that sometimes in very remote locations the births were never registered but this doesn't apply in this case - they were in St Leonards, which although it was on the north side of Sydney Harbour, wasn't that hard to get to and from!

The nice lady suggested I try church records, because although there may have been no official registration, it is possible the boys may still have been baptised. I'll have to see if I can locate parish records for St Thomas' to see if there is anything in them. I believe the pre-1930 Anglican Sydney diocese parish registers have all been microfilmed by the Society of Australian Genealogists. Looks like I might have to take a trip into the city!

14 November 2012

More on James Smith

I received the transcript for James Smith's death certificate yesterday.

He died on 4 July 1879 at Hill St, St Leonards (now North Sydney). This doesn't surprise me because I have found records of Sarah living there after James' death.

James was listed as a labourer. I have found records which suggest he worked as a gardener, in a dairy, as a carpenter and as a quarryman. This all fits with my thought that he was a general labourer - perhaps the sort of man who could turn his hand to anything.

He died of "broncho pneumonia", which he had been suffering from for 14 days.

James' father was listed as John Smith, labourer, his mother Susan Tedfort. So obviously my speculation in this post was wrong. John Smith is the sort of name which would cause you to throw your hands up in the air and give up, however Susan Tedfort is a much more distinctive name. The only problem is that I can't find any Susan Tedforts anywhere. I suspect that the surname was not spelled correctly on the death record. Surnames I can find are Thetford, Tedford, Telfort, Titford, etc. I'll have to look into it.

James was born in Ireland, and he had been in the colony/state about 28 years (which suggests he arrived about 1851). This still doesn't help me work out how he got here - there's nothing that I can find that fits with that or is clearly him. On his son William's birth record his place of birth is listed as County Armagh, Ireland.

The children of his marriage to Sarah Ann Adamson (and their ages at the time of his death) were:

  • Ann Jane, aged 24. Ann Jane was my great great grandmother and married Robert Wickham. I'm guessing she was named after Sarah's mother.
  • James, aged 23. Named after his father. I haven't yet worked out what happened to James - what he did, when he died etc.
  • Ellen, aged 20. I cannot locate a birth registration for Ellen in the NSW BDM. Not sure why. Also, I can't find her death record either, but that's because I have no idea who/whether she married. Named after one of Sarah's twin sisters.
  • Eliza, aged 16. Full name Eliza Annie. Married Thomas William Stilling. Most likely named after Sarah's other twin sister.
  • Susan, aged 14. Susan died a couple of years later, aged 16. Probably named after James' mother.
  • William, aged 8. I haven't yet worked out what happened to William either. I also don't know who he was named after, but considering all the other children were named after someone in the family, perhaps his father James had a brother called William?
  • 2 boys and 1 girl deceased. Absolutely no idea who the two boys were. There are no obvious birth or death records for them in the NSW BDM. I've seen the birth record for William, and they are not listed on that, so perhaps they were born after that. The girl was Maria, who died when she was 8 months old, in 1861. I also don't know who she was named after - perhaps a sister of her father?

So, how could you get away without registering the births of some of your children? I wonder how common it was? Are the NSW BDM records infallible?!

I must acknowledge the assistance of a distant relative, Joanne, with whom I have been collaborating on this Smith research. Thanks Joanne!

13 November 2012

Trove Tuesday: George Beringer's prize for art

Amy of Branches, Leaves and Pollen started up Trove Tuesday a while ago - the aim being to write about things of interest found on Trove. I think it's a great idea so I thought I'd join in.

I was searching for references to the Beringer family today and came across a lovely article about prizes given at North Granville Superior Public School in 1906. The article is quite long so I am showing the opening paragraph and then the important one - to me anyway!

1906. North Granville S.P. School Prize Distribution, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 21 April, p. 2, viewed 13 November 2012.  http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/85934165.

So it appears that George Beringer - who was later known as André de Beranger, silent film actor - always had an artistic bent.

And I must say, I do like the reason for Reginald Towle's prize.

The Adamsons from Ballymacanallen

Sarah Ann Adamson was married to James Smith and was my great great great grandmother. She was born in around 1828 in Ballymacanallen, Co Down, Ireland. Her parents were Thomas and Ann Jane.

Sarah Ann's whole family came out to Australia, in dribs and drabs. The following table shows the details:

Name Year of emigration Ship Religion Native place and county Relatives in the colony
Margaret Adamson 1849 John Bright Church of England Near Gilford, Co Down No relatives in the colony
Thomas Adamson 1849 John Bright Wesleyan Near Gilford, Co Down No relatives in the colony
Mary Jane Adamson 1851 St Vincent Presbyterian Gilford, Downshire Sister and brother living in Sydney
Sarah Ann Adamson 1852 David McIver Church of Scotland Ballymacanallen, Co Down Brother and 2 sisters living at North Shore
George Adamson 1852 David McIver Church of England Tullylish, Co Down Thomas living somewhere in Sydney, Mary Jane and Sarah Ann living at North Shore
Thomas (father), Anne (mother), Martha, Ellen, Eliza, Nancy, Alexander and Robert 1855 Nabob Presbyterian All from Sego, Armagh, apart from Anne, who was from Tullylish, Armagh (actually Co Down) A son, Thomas Adamson, living in York St, Sydney

Margaret and Thomas were the first of Sarah Ann's siblings to come out. Although it seems that Mary Jane arrived by herself, she actually arrived with her husband Henry Donaldson, also from Gilford, whom she married on the voyage - they were married by the ship's surgeon apparently. George and Sarah Ann arrived next, though George seemed quite confused about which sister he was travelling with - presumably because the single men and women weren't allowed to mix on the ship. Then the parents Thomas and Ann Jane brought all the rest of the children out - son Thomas paid immigration deposits for Thomas, Anne, Alexander and Robert a year before they emigrated (interesting that deposits were not required for the girls). Curiously, Thomas and Anne seem to have dropped their ages by about 20 years in order (I assume) to qualify to emigrate.

Ballymacanallen is a townland 4km north of Gilford, in the parish of Tullylish, Co Down, Northern Ireland. I tend to think they were probably all from Gilford, but the parents Thomas and Anne and the younger children may have moved on to Sego before they emigrated to Australia - who knows why. Ballymacanallen seems to have been a small farming community at the time.

Thomas was listed as farm labourer when he emigrated, as were his sons Thomas and Alexander, with son George listed as a labourer. It would appear that they all worked in labouring jobs here in Australia as well. Son Thomas bought 12 acres, 3 roods of land in "Willoughby" (possibly Crows Nest now) in 1853, though I can't work out exactly where this was - having more than one Thomas Adamson living in the North Sydney area makes it hard! Thomas the son (who, confusingly, is generally known as Thomas Adamson snr) built a weatherboard cottage at 10 Munro St, North Sydney, which still stands, and perhaps this is on part of the land he bought in 1853.

The thing which surprises me the most is the listed religion for each of the family members - there's a variety - Church of England (presumably this was "translated" from Church of Ireland), Church of Scotland/Presbyterian (are they the same thing?) and Wesleyan. Firstly I was totally surprised that there was a Presbyterian presence in Ireland. I does suggest to me that somewhere along the line the Adamsons had ancestors who moved to Ireland from Scotland. Secondly, I do wonder how attached the members of the family were to their listed denominations - afterall Mary Jane said she was Presbyterian, her husband Henry was listed as Church of Scotland, and although they married on the voyage, their marriage was registered at the Sydney Wesleyan Methodist church. Sarah Ann was Presbyterian, but married her Wesleyan husband James Smith in the same Wesleyan Methodist church. Some members of the family were buried in the Presbyterian section of Gore Hill Cemetery though, so I guess some did keep to the Presbyterians.

06 November 2012

James Smith of St Leonards

James Smith was my great great great grandfather. I have found it difficult to find much information on him, but at least his name was not John Smith - though I believe that was his father's name!

James Smith died on 4th July 1879, and was buried in the St Thomas Cemetery, North Sydney. Although many of the headstones were removed when the site was redeveloped into a rest park in the 1970s, I think that the headstone for James Smith may still be there. I'll have to go and check it out one day. According to his headstone he was 49 years and 7 months old when he died, which suggests that he was born around Dec 1829.

James Smith married Sarah Ann Adamson in 1853 at the Wesleyan Chapel in Princes Street, Sydney. They had six children that I know of: Ann Jane (born 1854, my great great grandmother), James (1856), Maria (1861), Eliza Annie (1862), Susan (1865) and William (1871). All the children who have a district recorded on their birth record were registered at St Leonards. On Ann Jane's marriage record (1876) her father's occupation is not listed, but the ceremony is recorded as being held at the bride's residence on the North Shore. In those days it would seem that the "North Shore" was pretty much all the settlement on the northern side of the harbour, rather than the geographical area which is now known by that term (being a lot larger now). Later, in 1885 after her father's death, when Eliza Annie was married, it only lists her as living in Sydney, but her father's occupation was noted as carpenter.

I have looked at James' probate packet, held out at the State Records Centre at Kingswood. In his will he mentions real estate, though I have not been able to work out exactly where he might have owned real estate - anyone have any ideas on how to find it? At a guess it might have been in St Leonards. Interestingly, in the will, he appoints his wife Sarah as the guardian of his infant children. I calculate, of the known children, that only William was an infant at the time the will was written (24 June 1879), so I suspect that it is quite possible there were more children than the six I know of. The probate information records that the personal estate of the deceased was under the value of £40. I don't think this was a huge amount.

The will records that James was a quarryman, living in St Leonards (St Leonards seems to have been the name for what is now known as North Sydney. There was also an area in the south western part of what is now North Sydney, going down to Blues Point, which was called Victoria). There was a quarry where the corner of Blue and Miller Streets is now, so perhaps he worked there. I have also found a record from 1876 for a James Smith living in Walker St, Victoria as a dairyman - which may or may not have been him. It is my thought that James was a bit of an odd-job manual-labour sort of man, and changed his occupation more than once.

Where James Smith was born is completely unknown. I've applied for his death record to see what information that contains. There are, of course, only two options - he was born here (presumably NSW) or somewhere else - likely in Britain, at a guess. If he was born here his parents were either convicts or free settlers. If he was born elsewhere, he was either a convict or a free settler himself.

According to the death record information available online, James' parents were John Smith and Susan. There is no record of a James Smith born to a John and Susan Smith around 1829-30 in NSW. However, working on the theory that not all information on death records is correct, I thought I'd see if there was a James Smith born to any John Smiths in Sydney, about that time. Yes. In 1829 there was a James Smith born to John and Jane Smith. If he was born in December 1829 they would have had to get him registered quick-smart to be included in the 1829 records, but perhaps it is him. Looking at other possible children born to John and Jane Smith around that time there is: Elizabeth J born 1817, Sarah (1821), Maria (1822), William (1824), Thomas (1826) x2, Eliza (1830), Charlotte (1832) and Jane (1838). Looking at his own children's names, James and Sarah had a Maria and a William. Whilst William was a common enough name, Maria was not so common - Mary and Mary Ann were much more common than Maria. So perhaps James had a sister called Maria. This is all pure speculation though, and I have no idea if I'll ever know if it is actually true.