Archive for the ‘Weekly Research’ Category

I am sitting here wondering if I should get excited or just stay calm.  I’m wondering if after 20 odd years, I’ve actually found when my ancestor John Shoulders arrived in NSW.

All the information that I know up today, was that he married Mary Ryan (Ryan is on the marriage certificate but actual maiden name was Hanratty), in 1851 at Armidale.

John & Mary had 4 children, of who the youngest Ellen Shoulders was my GG Grandmother.  According to her birth certificate in 1856, John was aged ‘40’ and had been born in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire.

John died in May 1858 at Hernani, New South Wales.  His death certificate stated that he was 42   and had been in the colony for 26 years, making his arrival to be about 1832 and therefore making his age to be about 16 when he arrived. I’ve never been able to find what ship he arrived. With his age and the year of arrival, I always wondered, was he a convict?

A few weeks ago I requested a research service from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society to provide a list of all the baptism’s, burials & marriages for the surname of Shoulders, spanning from 1750-1850 across Buckinghamshire, using all possible variant spellings, including Shouldar, Showler, Shouler, Shouldar. With this, there were a few possibilities with baptisms in Aylesbury ranging from 1804 to 1816.

I then did a search on the NSW State Record Online Index for John, using a number of different variant spellings, which I had not considered doing before.

This is what I find:

  • SHOWLER        John     Countess of Harcourt   1828     33/758  Ticket of Leave            [4/4090; Reel 920]          District: Inverary; Tried: Bucks QS
  • SHOWLER        John     Countess of Harcourt   1828     40/0846  15 May 1840    Certificate of Freedom   [4/4358; Reel 1006]            TL 33/758

I then checked the UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849 Record for John Showler and find that he was tried at Aylesbury Buckinghamshire on the 15th January 1828 for stealing bacon, and pork. Another record shows that John was 21 and that he is listed as being in custody before and of ‘bad character’.  His NSW convict indent in 1828 though shows that he was only 20.  He arrived in April 1828 but does not appear in the NSW 1828 Census.

From checking the baptism records a John Showler, the closest possible baptism is one that is recorded in 1804 to parents James & Esther both of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Despite this John Showler being about 10 years older than John Shoulders, could he actually be John Shoulders?  There are no records of John Shoulders prior to his marriage in 1851 in NSW or any of the other Australian states and apart from the TOL and CF that John Showler received in 1840, there appears so far to be no other record of John Showler in NSW. I note that at this  present time I am in no way confirming that John Showler is John Shoulders but just putting it out there that MAYBE they might be the one and the same. So if you are connected to the Shouler/Showler family in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire, let me know and maybe we might be able to confirm the connection.  I am the type of person who will not confirm a connection until I have positive proof.

I also note that a Thomas Showler, also arrived in 1832 on board the Georgina. On his convict indent, it states that he had a cousin John Showler living in the colony for 3 years.

  • SHOWLER              Thomas                 Georgiana                             1831       38/1157              Ticket of Leave      [4/4121; Reel 930]        District: Goulburn; Born: Bucks; Trade: Ploughs; Tried: Bucks QS
  • SHOWLER              Thomas                 Georgiana                             1831       49/0225                11 May 1849        Certificate of Freedom                [4/4412; Reel 1026]            TL 39/1157

 I’ve also found reference to a James Shoulder born Aylesbury, who had served in the 11th Dragoons. From checking James’ military record on Find My Past, James had enlisted in 1817 and was discharged in 1838.  He is in the 1841 census and living at Aylesbury, also in the household is a Mary Showler (45), Thomas Wheeler (20) and Joseph Freman (10).  The next census I find James is in the 1871 census and he is living at Chelsea London with his wife Elizabeth (60) and with two children Henry (20) and Sophia (19). From checking and comparing the baptism records for Aylesbury, it appears James’s parents were Thomas & Mary or Maria and is ‘possibly’ the brother to Thomas Showler, the convict who arrived here in 1832, as his parents appear to have been Thomas & Maryann.

As per my post a few days ago, I’ve been checking out the new search function on Irish Family History Foundation. So far for all of the records I have viewed, I have come up trumps in my search for my Quirke Family from Kilkenny.

From a transcript of the life of Thomas Quirk, which was written in the late 1890’s, Thomas wrote that his paternal grandparents were James & Alice Reid and had married around 1796 in Tipperary and shortly after marriage, “They went to reside at Mount Nugent House near St John’s Well County Kilkenny. My grandfather acted as agent for the landlord named Millet who resided at St John’s town”.

The ability to search on full names for marriages is only available for some counties, including Kilkenny and South Tipperary.  I found no marriage in South Tipperary for a James & Alice Reid (variant spellings, Read, Reade & Reed) but I did find the following marriage in Kilkenny in 1797 at St Johns Parish, which fits will in to where my Quirke’s lived.

  • Date of Marriage:        02-Jul-1797
  • Parish / District:          ST. JOHN’S      County:           Co. Kilkenny
  • Husband: James Quirke
  • Wife: Ally Reed
  • Denomination:            Roman Catholic
  • Parents Names: Not listed
  • Witness 1 John Reed                  Witness 2   Mary Quirk

James & Alice had a total of 12 children, 10 males and 2 females. Up until the last couple of days, I only knew the names of 4 of the males, Peter, John, Thomas & Nicholas, 3 of which came to NSW to live in the 1850’s & 1860’s.  Now after finding the baptism records, I believe I now have a few more of the names of the children of James &Alice:

For the following, the father’s name is consistent; being James Quirk, but the mother’s first name or last name is spelt differently.

  • Peter – 17/05/1798 – Parish St Johns’ – mother listed as Alice Rice
  • William – 3/07/1803 – Parish St John’s – mother listed as Ellis Reed
  • Patrick – 24/02/1805 – Parish St Johns’ – mother listed as Alice Reed
  • Martin – 25/03/1809 – Parish St John’s – mother listed as Ally Reed
  • Michael – 14/06/1813 – Johns Well, Parish St John’s – mother listed as Alice Reade
  • Nicholas – 19/04/1817 – Johns Well, Parish St John’s – Mother listed as Ally Reade

The only baptism record that almost matches to my direct ancestor, John Quirk is this one:

John Quirk – 26/01/1800 – Parish St John’s – Father listed as John Quirk, Mother listed as Ally Read. It’s likely that the father’s name was listed incorrectly as John, instead of James on the original parish record.

The next thing to do is to find the names of the other 3 males and the 2 female children.  From the transcript of Thomas Quirke’s life he also wrote that ‘after my grandfather’s death my uncle John was appointed Agent for our Landlord and held the position until he was accidentally killed by being crushed between a gatepost and a vehicle.  My paternal Uncles and Aunts were all well-educated. Some died young, and others emigrated to America. One was a Master Tailor in Liverpool England, and another a grocer’s assistant in Kilkenny. The other an officer in the army.

I’m not sure when James Quirk died, but John died sometime prior to 1853, as on the NSW shipping record, for his daughter Mary, who arrived on the ship Athenian, it’s listed that her father was deceased and mother was living in Johns Well Kilkenny and I’m thinking also that he died prior to 1847, as he is not listed on the Griffith’s valuations at Mount Nugent, though three of his brothers are. There is a John Quirk who was in the parish of St John, listed as a Tenant & Landlord at the place name of ‘McGrahth’s Lane’ in 1849 & 1850. I’m not sure if the John Quirk at McGrath’s lane is mine or not, as mine was the ‘agent for Millet up until his death.

County: Kilkenny, Parish: Rathcoale, Lessor: James Millet

Townland: MountNugent – Lower

  1. Nicholas Quirke – Land. – Total net value of Land : £3.
  2. Peter Quirke – House, Office & Land. – Total net value of Land/Buildings: £18.5
  3. William Quirke – House, Office & Land. – Total net value of Land/Buildings: £13.10

Townland: MountNugent – Upper

  • Nicholas Quirke – Land. – Total net value of Land : £4
  • Catherine Quirke – House, Office & Land. – Total net value of Land/Buildings: £3.5 –
  • Nicholas Quirke – House, Office &Land. – Total net value of Land : £21

The below are the online databases or websites that I have looked at today and the corresponding information I have found for my ancestors.

Family History South Australia

  • HURST Frederick John arrived 1848-12-05 on Hooghly from London 1848-08-24 v Plymouth
  • HURST John married DOHERTY Eliza on 1850-02-20
  • HARRIS George Peter, adult, married FISHER Caroline, adult, on 1854-11-14 at Wesleyan Chapel, North Adelaide
  • HURST Frederick John arrived 1848-12-05 on Hooghly from London 1848-08-24 v Plymouth [Source:6,8,20].  I note that the Hooghly is not listed on the ‘The Ships List’ site.
  • FreeBMD (UK)
    • Harris George Peter – Age 51 Lewisham  (Kent) 1d 602
  • Adelaide Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858-1889) Saturday 7 March 1874

In the Matter of the ESTATE of GEORGE PETER HARRIS, formerly of Adelaide, in the province of South Australia, but late of Shooters Hill, in the county of Kent, in England, Ironmonger, Deceased. Notice is herby given in pursuance of clause No 24 of Act No.6 of 1860 or of any other Act relating there to that the CREDITORS of the above named George Peter Harris, who died on or about the 26th Day of November, 1873 at Shooters’ Hill aforementioned are, on or before the 30th November 1874 to SEND by post, prepaid to the Undersigned the Solicitors of the executors’ of the will of the Said George Peter Harris, deceased their Christian and Surnames, addresses and descriptions, the full PARTICULARS of the claims, a statement of their accounts, and the nature of the securities (if any) held by them or in default thereof, they will be peremptorily exclude from the benefit of enforcing their claims against the estate of the said George Peter Harris, deceased which is now in course of the administrators of the said Executors.

Dated this 25th Day of February 1874.


Wayrouth Street Adelaide