Archive for the ‘Matthews’ Category

I have been trying to find information on William Matthews. He was born to George Thomas Matthews and Ellen Shoulders at Moseley Village, Narrabri, on the 10th November 1887. William was the brother of my Great Great Grandmother Ellen Matthews. You can read other posts, I have written on the Mathews families here:

I have no other information on William. I have searched the NSW BDM marriage records and can find no record of William after his birth.

Though I did find the following death on the QLD Historical death indexes and find the below:

1963     C4184   William            Matthews         George             Ellen Beazley

Could this be William? Even though the surname of Beazley for the mother is not his mother’s maiden surname, Beazley is though the surname of Ellen’s step-farther.
Ellen Shoulder’s mother was Mary Hanratty who married twice, firstly to John Shoulders in 1851 and secondly to Edward Beasley in 1858.

I need to decide whether to purchase a copy of the death certificate at $28 or not. Unfortunately the historical death image at $20 is not available for purchase.

I post this, in the hope that maybe one someone researching William will be able to fill in the gaps.

Emily Matthews (born 1892), Married David Henry Cooper in 1910 and Bert Talbot in 1919

Going through my information on the children of George Thomas Mathews and Ellen Shoulders, I noticed that I didn’t have the death details for 3 of their children being Maryann (born 1890), William (born 1887) and Emily (born 1892). Maryann’s death I located and you can read about how I came to find this here. For William I can find no trace of a marriage or death.

For Emily, I am still searching. Emily was born in 1892 at Boggabri New South Wales.  She married David Henry Cooper on the 3 February 1910 at Manilla, New South Wales, Australia. David died on the 8th June 1918. Emily was 18 and David was 36.  David died in 1918 and then Emily married again to Bert Talbot on the 7th October 1919 at Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia

My guess is she died sometime after 1963. She is found on the electoral living with Bert on the cnr of Stella and Stanely Street Fairfield. I’ve done a search of the NSW death indexes but no luck. Bert Talbot died in 1980.

I then took my search back to David Cooper, Emily’s first husband. I looked up the Australian Cemeteries Index to see if there was a photo of the grave for David, who was buried at Wollar General Cemetery, Wollar, New South Wales, Australia. I noticed the following information:

Cemetery: Wollar General NSW
• Person Id: 7803230
• Surname: Cooper
• Given Names: David Henry
• Birth Date: 1873?
• Death Date: 2 Jun 1918
• Age: 45
• Gender: M
• Portion: Ang
• Remarks: husband; father; acc. shot

What caught my eye, was ‘acc shot’. Now that’s two in one day, I found that had died due to being shot. I looked up the New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners’ Inquests, 1821-1937 on Ancestry and found the coroner finding was ‘Gunshot wound accidently self-inflicted’. I did a search on Trove, but could find no reports on David’s death.

The inscription on David headstone by his wife is:

In Loving Memory of
My Darling Husband David Henry Cooper
Died June 8 1918
Age 46 years
Nearer my God to the,
No One knows the parting or what the farewell cost,
But God and his loving Angls have gained Dave what I have lost

John William Wilson and Mary Ann Mathews

Going through my information on the children of George Thomas Mathews and Ellen Shoulders, I noticed that I didn’t have the death details for 3 of their children being Maryann (born 1890), William (born 1887) and Emily (born 1892). You ca read about my search for Emily here.

I knew that Maryann had died after 1960, as she was the informant on the death of her eldest brother George Thomas who died in 1960. I did previously do some searching but couldn’t find her death on the NSW Death Indexes. Last Sunday I found it, though not before spending some time looking up information in relation to her husband John William Wilson.

Maryann Matthews was born in Boggabri NSW in 1890 to George Thomas Matthews and Ellen Shoulders.

John William Wilson was born in New York in about 1876 to William Wilson and Mary Nash.

John and Maryann married on the 14th August 1914. I don’t know the names of their John & Mary’s children as access to birth records in New South Wales are only available up to 1913.

Looking at a few trees on Ancestry, I found the information for John’s death. and attached to one of the trees I found the below record:

Report of the Death of an American Citizen for John William WilsonReports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1835-1974

Checking Ancestry I find that John’s parents, William Wilson and Mary Nash were married on the 10th July 1873 at Temple,New Hampshire.  William’s parents are listed as William and Mary Wilson and he was born in Canada. He was aged 35. Mary’s parents are listed as John & Mary Nash and her birth place was Stoddard.

The above document showed that John was buried at Sandgate, I did a search of the Sandgate Cemetery online index and I found the below photo:

His headstone was erected by the Newcastle Coaltrimmers’ Branch. From what I can gather from a few google searches, the Coaltrimers were:

“The Newcastle Coal Trimmers’ Friendly Accident Society was registered as a trade union in 1882 but went out of existence in the 1890s. The union was resuscitated and registered in 1901 as the Newcastle Coal Trimmers’ Federal Union, after coal trimmers stopped work out of respect for the death of Queen Victoria and were penalised by employers. Coal trimmers were the waterside workers who loaded coal as cargo and into bunkers on steam ships. The union became the Newcastle Coal Trimmers Branch of the Waterside Workers’ Federation in 1921”

Headstone John William and Maryann Wilson(source: Sandgate Cemetery)

This was when I went, yes! Found it as this also shows that Mary Ann was buried with her husband and she died on the 10th July 1973 at the age of 84.

Yesterday as I was writing my post on George Thomas Matthews, I was rechecking some of the birth & death certificates of his children. One of them James Matthews died in 1914. His cause of death was accidentally shot and that a verdict was held at Muswellbrook on 31/12/1914.

This morning I thought I would check Trove to see if there was any record of incident.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 30th December 1914, James was with Harry Perkins and Geoffrey James Roberts been out shooting rabbits with pea rifles when Roberts accidentally shot James.

Harry Perkins testified that they had pea rifles with them and that they were 100 yards away from the camp when Roberts had the first shot at a rabbit on the side of the river. He heard the shot and thought that Roberts had hit a rabbit but saw that Matthews had fallen down.

Roberts testified that they had been out shooting several times before and were the best of friends. Roberts at the time of the shooting know whether it was his gun or Perkin’s gun that shot James. Perkins had said that it couldn’t have been his, as there was no cartridge in the gun. It was not until later that Roberts examined his rifle and found an empty shot in the rifle and that he had no doubt he had accidently shot James.

James’s wife Ellen Ethel Matthews gave evidence at the inquest and said that Roberts and her husband were on the best of terms; they never had a quarrel and that her husband was 31. Roberts and my husband went rabbit shooting a few times before.

Alfred Powell gave evidence and said that he knew the deceased and that he had been talking to the deceased between four and five pm and described that he was in a wounded condition with a small hole in his back. He had asked Jim (James), How did this happen. Jim replied with ‘little George (meaning Roberts) was holding his rifle and it went off and shot me. He said that Roberts gun had gone off accidently. After this, James’ thoughts were only on his wife and family.

James died in the early hours the following morning; he left behind a wife and three young children, James 4, Herbert 2 and Huldah 6 months. James is buried at the Church of England Cemetery Muswellbrook.

The Coroner’s verdict was as follows:

I find that the said James Matthews at Muswellbrook, in the Hospital, in the Police Diotrict of Muswellbrook, in the State of New South Wales died from the effects of a pea rifle bullet wound in the back accidentally inflicted on him on the 30thDecember 1914, at the two mile camp, near Muswellbrook, in the said State, while rabbit snooting, by one Geoffrey James Roberts.

You can read the full story and details of the corners report here The Muswellbrook Chronicle 6th January 1914 and here Maitland Mercury 9th January 1914

As I was driving to my training session with my Personal Trainer this morning, I started to think about my enigma, my biggest brick wall. George Thomas Matthews.

I don’t think I will ever be able to knock this one down, but every so often I do come back to him just to see if maybe there is something I might have missed the last time I researched him.

I do not know George’s exact birth date, or who his parents were nor have I ever found his death.

The following is what I know which I have gathered from various sources, such as birth and marriage certificates, Police Gazettes and other documents.

Event Year Father’s Age Possible birth year based on age at time of event
Birth of Son George Thomas 1875 27 1848
Birth of Son James 1879 30 1849
Birth of Daughter Ellen 1881 39 1842
Birth of Son William 1887 44 1843
Birth of Daughter Maria 1894 49 1845

 

So you can see from the above, he was born between 1842 & 1849. All of the children’s birth certificates say that George’s birth place was Prospect, Parramatta or just Prospect NSW.

George married Ellen Shoulders on the 12th May 1873 at Laura Station, Bundarra. The details of George’s parents or his age are not listed on the certificate:

They had the following children:

  1. George Thomas 1875-1960
  2. Louise 1877-1920
  3. James 1979-1914
  4. Ellen 1881-1966 (my Great Grandmother)
  5. Susan Jane 1883-1916
  6. Elizabeth 1885-1924
  7. William 1887 – ??
  8. Mary Ann 1890 – ??
  9. Emily 1892- ??
  10. Maria 1894-1895

Can the names of George’s parents be taken from the names of his children? I think maybe his father was named George, Thomas, or William.  I have checked all of the births for George Matthews/Matthews located in NSW between 1840 and 1851. I have looked at them all and from what I can gather none of them match to my George. When I thought maybe one of them did, I found the corresponding death certificate or another marriage which proved otherwise.

The notable ones are:

George born 1840 to Hugh and Elizabeth at Patterson, Muswellbrook – married a Mary Jeffers and died in Tasmania.

George born 1843 to William and Jane at Campbelltown. This George died in 1863

George born 1851 to George and Jane at Maitland. This George married a Ellen Cavanagh and died in 1900.

Other information:

  • George can be found on the NSW Electoral Roll btw 1881 and 1882 (age 38-40) at Barraba, New South Wales, Australia, Police District Tamworth
  • George can be found on the NSW Electoral Roll btw 1882 and 1883 (age 39-41)   Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia George Mathews – Residence – Gunnedah -Police district of Gunnedah
  • George can be found on the 1891 NSW Census with his family living at  Laidlow Street Boggabri New South Wales.

In February 1895, a warrant was issued by the Boggabri Bench for George’s arrest.

6 Feb 1895, New South Wales Police Gazette, Page 47

 Boggabri -A warrant has been issued by the Boggabri Bench for the arrest of George Matthews, charged with unlawfully deserting his wife, Ellen Matthews, at Boggabri, since the 17th September last, leaving her without means of support. He is about 50 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches high, light hair, beard, and moustache, bow-legged, blue eyes, slovenly appearance, right leg has been broken and is shorter than the left leg ; a horse-driver and shearer. May probably be heard of at Woolshed Station, near Bundarra.  

This is where George just goes missing. I have checked every possible death certificate for George between 1894 and 1920 without success. So not being able to find his death or any other document to show the name of his parents, it is hard to determine where and when he was born, though unfortunately to confuse the issue for some (though not me), there are websites, including public trees on Ancestry that indicate that George Thomas Mathews’ parents were Henry Mathews & Susan or Susannah Morris. One particular tree has these parents listed and George being born in 1849 but also arriving on a ship in 1841 at the age of 5 and when you look at the shipping index the names of the parents are different. This tree also has George living in Cambridgeshire in 1841 & 1851. This is clearly incorrect. I have attempted to contact the owners of the tree but no one has responded to provide the details or sources as to how they came about this.

His wife Ellen remarried in 1921 to a Horatio Henry Baker at Bingara and died at Bingara on the 22 September 1922.

So, another couple of hours trolling through ancestry, Trove and my notes from my previous searches and still no closer to finding George.