Saturday, February 6, 2016

Neil and the Bean

In the first half of the 20th century Neil Phelan's father, Roy, operated a general store in the small town of Mitiamo north of Bendigo in Victoria. Their home was right next door. (I've written about the store, Mitiamo and the family a number of times in this blog and the links are in the tags on the right.) The store had been previously operated by Neil's grandparents, Charles and Euphemia Sims who lived nearby.

Quite a few family snaps were taken in the backyard of the Phelan home and the store and it's interesting to see what is in the background of the photos. In this case I'm looking at a particular car. Neil was photographed in their car, a Bean, in about 1925. He's wearing a pair of sunglasses that must have belonged to uncle Chas Sims I think - he was a bit of a lad. The Bean was owned by his grandfather Sims who bought it new.

Young Neil Phelan in his family's Bean car, c1925.
The Bean and Neil Phelan c1925
The Bean vehicles were manufactured in England. This one could be either the model 11.9 four-seater that started rolling off the production line in 1922 or a Fourteen Tourer, that was produced in 1924. I'm thinking it's the latter but I'm happy to be told one way or the other.
Company catalogue
From the 1919 Bean catalogue.
Neil Phelan, backyard of the Phelan home in Mitiamo c1925.
The Bean car is in the background.
A restored Bean 11.9, England.
A restored Bean Fourteen Tourer, England
This post has been in response to the Sepia Saturday theme photo for this week, a film crew on an Australian beach. I've chose to match the element of people wearing sunglasses.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

James Taylor's aunties

I have written a little about my grandmother's grandfather here. His name was James Taylor and he lived forty years in Eldorado in the Ovens Valley, Victoria where he was a gold miner. He died there in 1916.

James was born in 1831 in the beautiful city of Durham in Durham county, England. His father, a woolcomber, was John Taylor and his mother Ann Coultman. By 1851 they were living in Back Lane, Durham. Quite a few family events, baptisms, marriages and burials, occurred in St Nicholas Church. We visited Durham, and had a coffee in the St Nicholas drop-in centre, several years ago and we thought this loop of the River Wear and the buildings it encloses very beautiful.

Old postcard of the beautiful Durham Cathedral
Back Lane, Durham, England. A loop of the River Wear encloses the cathedral and the
castle as well as the market square and the little St Nicholas church.
Many of the Taylor and Coultman families lived in the St Nicholas parish. 
Durham market square and St Nicholas parish church
Community Coffee Centre, St Nicholas Church, Durham in 2010.
James, aged 20, was working as a hand loom weaver but about that time gold was discovered in Australia and he decided to join in the goldrush. His death certificate states that he arrived in Victoria about 1852 but I haven't been able to confirm that because there are so many 'James Taylor' arrivals about that time.

The next ten years of James' life are a blank but I assume he was mining gold somewhere in Victoria. In 1864 he was mining at Beaufort when he married Ann Chellew (nee Chaundy) there. She was widowed when her husband was suffocated by bad air in a mine. Ann's sister Leah (Raby) was living in the Ovens Valley in northern Victoria and three of her sisters also moved into that area - Emily (Young), Alice (Cameron) and Ann (and James) who were at Eldorado in 1869. James and Ann never had any children (although James had a son with Ann's sister Emily but that's another story).

James Taylor's mother was Ann Coultman, daughter of Richard Coultman and Elizabeth Shafto  I had done some research on her family, who also lived in Durham city, but one day recently I was searching the name on the public family trees on Ancestry and discovered that two of Ann's sisters, James' aunties, had also migrated to Victoria. Well, stone the crows!!!

As we all know, the public family trees on the web are notoriously inaccurate, so I was cautious in accepting the information. Several of the trees claim that Elizabeth's surname was Weaver rather than Shafto but I'm convinced that Shafto is correct. I checked the sources and attached documents and will continue to check as well as try to contact living descendants, but on the whole I think it's probably right.

The two aunts who came to Victoria are Camilla and Elizabeth.

Camilla Coultman was born in 1809 in Leeds and married William Close at Durham city in June 1840. They had six children in Durham before migrating to Australia some time after 1852. They lived at Williamstown across the river from Melbourne. Camilla Close died at Douglas Parade, Williamstown in 1889 and William died there the following year.

Elizabeth Coultman was born at Durham in 1815, married James Thompson at Durham in July 1840 and had four children. They migrated to Victoria about 1852. Elizabeth was widowed in November 1853 when James Thompson died at Maribynong near Williamstown. She remarried the following year, in Melbourne in June 1854, to John Petty. They were living at Sandridge (now called Port Melbourne) across the river from Williamstown when Elizabeth Petty died in 1868.

So, I have a lot of questions.

  • Did James know his two aunts and his cousins were in Victoria? I think he must have done because his parents, his Coultman grandparents, his uncle William Coultman and his family, and his other aunt, Hannah (Baker) and her family were living in the same lane, Back Lane, in Durham in 1851. (Back Lane is called Back Silver Lane on Google Maps.) 
  • They all arrived in Victoria in about 1852 so did they all emigrate on the same ship? 
  • Was he in touch with them or did they ever visit each other? 

I have some work to do.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Henry Perryman: a parish constable?

The last post was about my ancestor's brother, Alfred Perryman. This one is about their father, Henry Perryman. Coincidentally the year 1842 features again.

Henry and Elizabeth Perryman lived in Buckinghamshire, England at Dorney or the hamlet of Eton Wick just down the road. Henry worked as a servant or agricultural labourer.

By 1842 (the year his son Alfred was in court for some shady dealings involving fish and his younger brother John was sent to jail for dangerous driving*) Henry was 50 years old. This notice appeared in the paper:
Windsor and Eton Express, 1 Oct 1842
It refers to a meeting of ratepayers in Eton for the purpose of agreeing on a list of 17 men in the parish recommended to the justices of the peace to appoint as parish constables. Henry Perryman is the last name on the list. After 1842 (The 'New Constabulary Act' mentioned in the headline above) Chief constables were appointed at the quarter sessions for each hundred and parish constables were appointed by the Justices of the Peace. A Parish Constable was unpaid (except for expenses) and it was an annual appointment. The position was almost obsolete because the Parliament in 1839 passed the County Police Act that gave counties the chance to create paid police forces throughout the country. Prior to this, for hundreds of years, constables had been appointed to help keep order in the parish. The job was actually onerous and unwanted because they could be called on to escort prisoners, collect taxes, police non-attendance at church, police alehouses, watch out for drunkenness, detain fathers of bastard children, appear at inquests and so on.

If the Justices approved Henry's appointment I wonder if this was the first time he had been called upon to act as constable. And I wonder if he welcomed the task. By 1842 his youngest child was 15 so he didn't have a large young family to support so he probably had more time to devote to the task. It would be interesting to have a look at the Parish Chest for the area because that's where the constables' accounts were kept.

Update: My friend Jo has found an article, published a month after the one above, that confirms Henry's appointment to the constabulary.

Windsor and Eton Express, 12 Nov 1842
* Read about it here

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Alfred Perryman in court

My grandmother's grandfather, Zechariah (Zachary) Perryman, migrated to Australia in 1849. Zechariah and his siblings were all born in Dorney, Buckinghamshire, across the Thames River from Windsor Castle. This post is about one of his older brothers, Alfred Perryman. (According to Family Tree Maker Alfred is my '3rd great uncle'.)

In  July 1842, when Alfred was about 19, he was working as a fishmonger and his actions required a court attendance. It was reported in the local paper, the The Windsor and Eton Express on 9 Jul 1842:
Windsor Police - Monday [Before John Clode, Esq.,(Mayor) and Robert Blunt, Esq.] 
Alfred Perryman was charged with embezzling the value of some fish he had been entrusted to sell for John Fullilove [?]. The case appeared however not to amount to the charge, and the magistrates dismissed it, advising them to settle it between themselves.

In December of the same year Alfred was in court again, this time as a witness. Apparently he was a passenger in a cart being driven by his uncle, John Perryman, when he crashed into a cart being driven in the opposite direction. According to the report in The Windsor and Eton Express, on 10 Dec 1842, the driver of the other cart was thrown off but John Perryman failed to stop and render assistance. Uncle Alfred supported his uncle by stating that Charles Cannon appeared to be drunk and driving erratically but the magistrates weren't convinced. They were particularly unimpressed by John Perryman's failure to stop.

It's worth reading the final discussion between John Perryman and the magistrate just for entertainment value.

John Perryman, of Dorney, was charged with wilfully driving his cart against the cart of Charles Cannon, of High Wycombe, chairmaker, and damaging it, and also with causing severe injuries to the said Charles Cannon.

The complainant, an aged and infirm old man, stated that on the afternoon of the 19th of November, as he was driving his pony and cart (in which there were 17 chairs) along the road leading from Slough to Salthill, he saw at some little distance the defendant driving his cart in the opposite direction. Witness drew to his own side, close to the grass, leaving, as he said (for he had since measured the width of the road) full 14 feet of road for the defendant to pass him. The defendant, however, crossed the road, and drove against his cart, breaking one of the shafts off, and pitching him into the road on his head, his pony going on, one of the wheels passed over his leg, and he was dragged along for some yards until he let go his hold of the reins. His head and leg were much bruised by the occurrence.

The defendant, who was a perfect stranger to him, drove off without rendering him the least assistance. Witness returned to Eton directly, and went to the Rev. Mr. Cookesley.

Mr. Cookesley said when the complainant came to him he was certainly in a very bad state from his injuries, and he was covered with mud. The witness added, that the same evening, being unable to go home from the injuries to himself and the damage to his cart, he went to Mr. Harding's of Eton, where he saw the defendant, and told him he must recompense him, but he refused to pay anything. Witness had ever since, until yesterday, been confined to his bed. The damage done to his cart was about £1, but he did not know what amount his doctor's bill would be.

Mr. Nathaniel Bacon, of Eton, said he was going along the same road and met the defendant in his cart, directly after which he saw the complainant and his cart, damaged as described. Complainant asked the witness to take notice of his wheel tracks, which he did, and he found that there was plenty of room, for the defendant to have driven by, for the complainant's cart wheels tracks were within five or six inches of the grass on his proper side.

The defendant, in his defence, said the complainant was driving in a zigzag direction from one side of the road to the other, and that it was he who caused the collision. The complainant appeared, from his manner of driving, to be drunk, and his (defendant's) nephew, who was in the cart with him, noticed that before the carts met each other.

Mr. Cookesley said, the complainant came to him directly after the occurrence, and he was perfectly sober.

The defendant called his nephew, Alfred Perryman, who swore to the best of his belief that Mr. Cannon was drunk; he inferred so from his driving from one side of the road to the other, and he remarked it to his uncle at a distance of twenty or thirty yards.

Mr. Cookesley said the conduct of the defendant was most brutal in leaving the complainant in such a state without offering him the slightest assistance.

The magistrates inflicted a fine of £4 5s and 15s costs making £5.

Defendant - I can't pay it, and I won't pay it.
Mr. Tower - Then you will have six weeks hard labour in the House of Correction at Aylesbury.
Defendant - Very well, then I will go to prison.
He was then ordered to be committed, on which he asked if he might not be allowed some time to pay the money.
Mr.Tower - No, you said you would go to prison.
Defendant - I thought, sir, you meant you would give me six weeks to pay the money [a laugh]
Mr.Tower [laughing] - Oh!  No, after what you said, you must go to gaol.

He was then taken away in custody.

Alfred married Emma Ayres three years later, in 1845, and continued to work as a fishmonger. In the 1851 census they were living in Peascod Street in the parish of Crewer, a street that is a stone's throw from Windsor Castle, and had a son Edward aged nine. Alfred Perryman died at Windsor in 1854. He would have been only 33 years old. His son, Edward Perryman aged 19, was working as a butcher's man in Peascod Street in 1861. He was probably working with his stepfather Richard Cox, a master butcher, whom his mother had married in 1858.

Peascod Street, Windsor. The castle is in the background.