The HUNT family of South Australia (formerly of Northamptonshire, U.K.)
By way of introduction to this genealogical study we may consider the question; why do we wish to embark on such an enterprise in the first place? Some of the answers may be couched in prosaic terms, others poetic; but surely, however we couch them, the foremost drive is curiosity. Curiosity seems part of the human condition and in general terms may be considered the reason why we survive as a species. We seek answers to problems that threaten our existence and discover and preserve those features which enhance or prolong it.
This curiosity may lead us to study objects/subjects closely allied to matters which touch upon our own existence, our place in the world, our niches in the continua of time and family. The study of family is therefore possibly the most personal and absorbing of studies when seeking answers to the intriguing question: "Who am I?" This curiosity is not self-indulgent, self-obsessed, a luxury, but a valid motivation for the study of family and the conditions under which they lived.
There is a thought that goes something like this: "A family will always have history whether we heed it or not. Should it remain as hazy recollections, faded names on gravestones, entries in official registers, blurring images in photographs? I think not. Worse is when that history is never part of one's consciousness and worst of all, exemplifies a total indifference to one's heritage. The family deserves more than these remnants, lack of curiosity or manifest indifference.
By studying them we honour their memory and contribution to the making of family. Insofar as we accept strengths and failings in ourselves we accept their strengths and failings. As we research and recall their existence we grant them a degree of immortality as we may understand that term. In our imaginations they live again. Some of their contributions will bring a smile to our faces, will allow us to exhalt in their victories, sometimes heroic ones. Others we will find distressing, embarrassing and saddening but we can't change any of these, they all remain in the immutable pages we call "history"."
On a more poetic, perhaps a trifle twee, level we can say that family leave their footprints in the drifting sands we call "time" waiting for us to brush away the sand and retrace those steps; discover, absorb and relive in our imaginations their lives and times. In this way we offer them a degree of immortality and a presence in our day-to-day existence.
George HUNT (1806-1874) married Elizabeth PRATT (1814-1881) in December 1833 and they arrived in South Australia on 21.11.1849 on the "Ascendent" from London via Plymouth, starting their voyage on the 18.8.1849 (familyhistorysa.info; SA passenger lists). The couple appear to have had seven children with the first five born in the UK.
The names of the children, the eldest first and in descending order of age: Willian Thomas, Elizbeth, John Chapman, George, James Edward Yeomans, Martha Ann and George Harry (this last "George" presents a problem in that it gives two of the children the same first name. However from the sketchy records that are held it does appear to be the case. Perhaps it should have been "Harry George" in the official records).
A number of the above are interred, including the parents, at Magill cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia.
Speculating further on the second George. Genealogist, Graham Jaunay, is quite clear that George Harry was the son of George HUNT and Elizabeth PRATT and has suggested a number of explanations why there may have been two children of the same name. He stated that while it was uncommon, this was not so in northern Scotland; secondly, sometimes a sickly child's name would be repeated down the line but this was not so common; a third possibility is that one of the Georges was someone else's child taken up by the family. For example exnuptial children of daughters were sometimes taken on by their mothers and often these shared a same name with other children.
In this case none of the possibilities are supported because the family was not from northern Scotland, the children all appeared to be healthy and the only daughter who came close to fitting the exnuptial birth theory was not old enough to conceive.
It seems the older George was certainly the son of George HUNT and Elizabeth PRATT in that he is mentioned as the last of the family born in the United Kingdom and his name appears in the passenger manifest of the "Ascendent" along with the older HUNT children.
The area now known as Magill was founded by two Scots who subdivided the land in 1838 naming it the village of "Makgill" which included the cemetery and a chapel as part of the development. The chapel was never built but the cemetery eventuated and was donated to the Methodist Church in 1878 (City of Burnside Resident Information).
The Adelaide Hills Council Historical Town Information (AHCHTI) cites the following: "In 1868 (Wikipedia nominates 1858. This date seems the more likely) George HUNT, senior, subdivided his land and created the township of Ashton in the Adelaide hills (author's note: between Norton Summit and Uraidla). The district's early population was sparse and most probably centred on the South Australia Company, judging from the area's early name of Company's Tiers." (Wikipedia suggests that "Ashton" is derived from the word "aesctun" which means ash free town.)
Continuing the AHCHTI quote: "How many George Hunts, at this period, hailed from the same area of Northamptonshire? There was the one who farmed at Third Creek and was responsible for Ashton's genesis (named after his English country town). (author's note: the Third Creek catchment drains through Magill, Tranmere, St Morris etc. onto the Adelaide flood plain. These areas are significant for the Hunt family).
There was his son, George, who prospered as a draper and in the 1880s bought the impressive Tranmere House which stands near the Tranmere Bowling Club."
(Author's notes:the bowling club stands upon land which was once part of the Tranmere estate which according to the Adelaide newspaper "The Advertiser" of Monday 5 June 1916 covered about 67 acres and was originally selected under land grant by Mr David Wylie...who arrived in Adelaide, South Australia in 1838 and named it Tranmere after a place of that name near Liverpool- "Trans" (across), "Mere" (a sea)...Later the property was acquired by the late Mr G. Hunt who planted it as a garden and built the large residence, "Tranmere".)
"The Advertiser" of Monday 15 May 1911, reports that Mr George HUNT who was well known as senior partner in the firm of Hunt, Corry and Co., drapers, died at his residence, "Tranmere", Magill on Saturday evening. He was 65 years of age...and was in business latterly with the late Mr Corry opposite the Arcade...Mr Hunt retired in 1897.
George Hunt's obituary in "The Observer, Adelaide" May 20,1911, p.39 reads:
"Mr. George Hunt.
Mr. George Hunt, of Tranmere, Magill, died at his residence on Saturday evening at the age of 65 years. He was born in Ashton, Northamptonshire, and arrived with his parents when only three years old. His father took up land, and subdivided and named Ashton, in the Mount Lofty Ranges. The son assisted him for several years, but before he had attained his majority he entered into the drapery business in Adelaide. Forty years ago he launched out on his own account, and afterwards went into partnership with the late Mr. Corry. The firm of Hunt, Corry & Co. had four large shops opposite to the Adelaide Arcade, and was one of the most prosperous in Rundle street (sic). Mr. Corry died in 1895, and Mr. Hunt carried the business on for another two years, when he retired and built the mansion at Magill known as Tranmere, which is surrounded by a magnificent garden. The deceased enjoyed a spotless reputation for business integrity, and his enterprise extended to branches in Northam, Albany, Esperance Bay, and Perth, Western Australia. He was a prominent Methodist. For 20 years he was an office bearer in the Pirie street (sic) church, and was associated with the choir, and for the last 29 years had been identified with the Kent Town church, of which he was a trustee. Mr. Hunt was twice married, and a widow survives him. The children of the first marriage now living are Mrs. A.Scrymgour and Mrs. E Cocking, and the surviving members of his second family are Mrs. F. Wilson, Mrs. A. Campion, Miss Hunt (probably Mabel Gladys), and Master Claude Hunt."
(Author's note: it would appear that George HUNT "acquired" the property in the early 1890s [c.f., the date above with the Adelaide Hills Council Historical Town Information which cites 1880s] as his daughter, Edith Guthrie HUNT on the occasion of her wedding in 1890 [see description below] returned to her parents' residence at "Hazelholme" St Peters which is thought to be at 89 Payneham Road. (Number 89 is now called "Dechert House" and is the consulting rooms for four surgeons and a dietitian: source; Denise Schumann, Cultural Heritage Adviser for the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters). "Acquisition" therefore of "Tranmere" would have been in the 1890s. It would also appear that George HUNT did indeed build the house known as "Tranmere" rather than aquire it.)
Attention is drawn to 1891 as being the point at which Tranmere was acquired. There is an advertisement (actually over several weeks) which seems to assist. In "The Advertiser" of 14.12.1891 there is notification of the auction of Tranmere on 17.12.1891. The advertisement lists 53 acres for auction. Peter Matthews a family researcher, offers that the big land boom of speculative activity was at an end and so the sale was probably the result of someone having to liquidate assets including Tranmere to meet debts. In all likelihood it was bought by George at a bargain price.
AHCHTI delving into English history reports that there was another George. "In London, Benjamin Disraeli's Chancellor of the Exchequer was George HUNT from a well-known family at Wadenhoe, a stone's throw across the River Nene from the village of Ashton. It poses intriguing questions about the family background of the man who started the Adelaide Hill's town. By the early 1880s there was a store, post office, church, Rechabite Hall and scattering of homes. Now Ashton is a small hamlet which relies largely on apples and pears for its livelihood. ..."
George HUNT, the draper, the fourth child of George and Elizabeth, is of particular interest to my wife's family. He married twice, first, Elizabeth Fea GUTHRIE (1846-1875) and subsquent to her death Eliza Ann BRUSEY (1854-1912). He had eleven children by his two wives and his youngest child, Claude Leslie HUNT, was my wife's grandfather. (Claude had three daughters by his wife, Mabel Annie RAGGATT. They were Zadel Claudia, Patricia Laurel and Claudia Barbara). (Mabel Annie appears to have had five (?) children by her first husband, Herbert (Bert) CONWAY: Mabs (Mabel Teresa Alice), Mia (Marie Genevieve), Herbert Vincent? (appears to have died in infancy) Desmond and Bonnie (Bonaventure Ursula). More will be said about Mabel Annie in the Raggatt family history section.
(N.B. Bert CONWAY died in 1921, possibly from tuberculosis).
The eldest child of George and Elizabeth Fea was Edith Guthrie HUNT and there is a record of her wedding in what appears to be a local newspaper (may have been a church newsletter) called the "Quiz and Lantern" dated 21 November 1890. It reads as follows:
"Miss Edith HUNT, eldest daughter of George HUNT of St Peters married to A.G.SCRYMGOUR (author's note Albert George S.) of the Public Works Department. The wedding took place at the Kent Town Wesleyan Church on Wednesday (19 November 1890). Whoopza daizi (Rootschat source) questions this date and records the wedding as occurring a week earlier on the 12.11.1890.
The church was very tastefully decorated with flowers and arches. The bride looked charming in a lovely dress of white pongee silk, profusely trimmed with inches of the same material and with orange blossom. She carried a beautiful bouquet.
Bridesmaids were Misses Lily (author's note: Lillian), Ethel, Blanch (sic) and Hilda HUNT(author's note: sister and half sisters of the bride) and Miss Smith, who were prettily attired in dresses of cream and coral pink nun's veiling and carried baskets of flowers and floral designs in the shape of horseshoes. Mr Fred LEAK was best man, with Mr Wm GUNN and Master Arthur HUNT (author's note: Edith's half brother who died aged 26 years in 1906) as groomsmen.
After the ceremony the bridal party and guests returned to the bride's residence, Hazelholme, St Peters, where the breakfast was laid out.
After disposing of the usual toasts, the party adjourned to the St Peters Town Hall, where they were joined by a large number of friends, and the small hours of the morning were reached before the company dispersed. (author's note: the St Peters Town Hall's foundation stone was laid in 1885 so the hall was quite new when Edith and Albert had their post wedding party there).
A large number of beautiful presents were laid out, including a handsome clock from the old members of the Austral Cricket Club, with whom the bridegroom was for many years associated. The happy couple leave for a trip to Melbourne and Sydney."
This marriage was not to last. Sometime between 1900 and 1917 and after having two children the couple divorced. Edith died in 1920 and Albert in Rosanna, Victoria, aged 89 in 1946 (whoopza daizi: Rootschat; Vic. registration number 2332). It seems that the couple lived in Perth for a time as their elder child, Leslie, was born there. The records in hand (ibid.) indicate that in 1917, Edith married Henry Charles Wilson PEARCE and she was buried under the name of PEARCE at Magill Cemetery. She had no further issue. Edith was still known as Mrs A. Scrymgour at the time of her father's death in 1911.
It is possible, although it is only a guess, that when Edith separated from Albert that she and the children returned to Adelaide and moved into the HUNT family home at Tranmere.
Edith and Henry married at Unley Baptist Church, 16.4.1917. They were both aged 46 years. Edith's and Albert's children, Leslie and Lillian, would have been aged 22 and 17 respectively when Edith remarried.
A second marriage for Edith at this time, in a church, raises some interesting prospects. Mainstream churches usually frowned upon divorcees marrying and some churches observed a code whereby they would refuse to undertake the solemnisation. Only in exceptional circumstances would a religious officiate. The exceptional circumstances in Edith's case could have been that the grounds for the divorce were not attributable to her.
Unlike contemporary "no fault" divorce laws, the laws at that time required "grounds" for divorce; desertion and adultery being two prominent "grounds". I do not at this stage intend to venture through divorce court records to determine why the marriage ended this way. This research may be undertaken at a future point.
I depart from the HUNT family story briefly to explore the Scrymgour connections and particularly Albert's and Edith's children and grandchildren. The main source for this information is whoopza daizi: Rootschat.
Albert's parents were William and Mary (maiden name unknown).
Albert's and Edith's first child was Leslie George Scrymgour born 3.11.1895 in WA and died 3.1.1973 in SA.
Leslie married Helen Catherine Sybil Woods born (?) died 18.8.1970 in SA (date?). The couple had a daughter, Shirley Helen born 30.9.1928, Maylands, SA.
Shirley married Harold Raymond BARBER, born 20.9.1925 and had three children, Carolyn Helen, Michael David and Kerry Ann.
Albert's and Edith's second child was Lillian Hilda Marguerite SCRYMGOUR born 5.5.1900, died 9.7.1952 possibly in Victoria. Lillian married Archibald Edway HEATH (born about 1898) in 23.8.1922 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Kent Town, SA. They had one child, Elaine Edith Patricia HEATH born 6.3.1927, Evandale? but more likely Burnside, SA (whoopza daizi: Rootschat).
Elaine married twice: first to Norman Henry MOSS by whom she had one child, Cheryl Elaine born 31.5.1947 in Victoria and: secondly to Dean Pearce SMITH by whom she had Deanne Rosemary, born 18.4.1949 also in Victoria.
Returning to the HUNT narrative it is noted Edith and Albert were in Perth at the time of their first child's birth (Leslie George: 3.11.1895-3.1.1973). This fact raises some questions. One explanation could be that the drapery firm of Hunt, Corry and Co., had set up businesses in Western Australia and that Edith and Albert may have become part of the management of the company and had moved to Western Australia to oversee the company's operations there.
"The Advertiser" of Monday, April 1 1889 lists an advertisement by Hunt, Corry & Company, Wholesale Drapers and Importers 112,114,116 Rundle Street and LONDON. A still later advertisement "The Advertiser" adds 118 to the business address and later still lists business branches at Perth, Esperance Bay, Albany and Northam, Western Australia ("The Advertiser": George HUNT'S death notice in the PERSONAL column; 15 May 1911).
"The West Australian" newspaper of 24 April 1897 on page 6 reports the calling of tenders to build two shops at Northam for Messrs Hunt, Corry and Co., of Adelaide. This diversification may well have been a shrewd move on the part of the company. A number of drapery and clothing businesses had set up in the central business district and inner suburbs of Adelaide and regularly advertised on page one of the "The Advertiser". Notwithstanding Adelaide's and South Australia's increasing population and vibrant rural sector the competition among businesses would likely have been keen.
As "The Advertiser" archives have become readily accessible through its digital format storage, the newspapers from 1889 have facilitated the search of a number of drapery company names of the decade 1889-1900; a few of these companies traded well into the twentieth century. Some of the larger companies in 1894 were: James. Marshall and Co., Chas.Birk and Co., Peter Smith and Co. (late R.N.Gault and Co.), Chas. Moore & Co., Craven and Armstrong's, J.T.Fitch, Hunt, Corry and Co., Shierlaw and Co.' Martin Bros., J.Miller Anderson and Co., F.Smith and Co.,
The Aldine History of South Australia Illustrated (in two volumes 1890) by W. Frederic Morrison M.A., M.D. Vol II "Sydney and Adelaide" by the Aldine Publishing Company (archived in the Mortlock Library of SA) provides a biographical sketch of George HUNT and his drapery business. Page 745 has the following:
"HUNT, CORRY & CO., Wholesale and Retail Drapery Warehouse, 112-114-116-118 Rundle Street, Adelaide. This business was established by Mr. George Hunt in June of 1871. He is a native of Northamptonshire, England, and arrived in the colony as early as 1845, when only three years old, so that it will be seen he is not only an old colonist but one of the successful men of South Australia. He has resided in this city ever since his arrival, with the exception of a trip to the old country, some eight years ago, when he visited some of the principal cities and historic places, combining business with pleasure. He visited some of the best manufacturing establishments of the old world, specially some of the lace and glove factories, in which the firm deal largely. From a small beginning this business has grown to be one of the principal houses in South Australia. Owing to the increase of business Mr. Hunt took one of his old employees, Mr Samuel Corry, into partnership some four years ago, since which time the business has been known in connection with the firm's name we mention above. The prominent feature of this house is that the firm buy and sell for cash only. The premises are centrally situated, and are lofty, well let, and comprises four separate shops, joined by archways, and, to give some idea of the business, about fifty or sixty hands are employed in all branches in connection with which a drapery warehouse are taken up, such as tailoring, dressmaking, etc. While Mr. Hunt was home he established a business connection in London, which is now being carried on in Moorfield Chambers, Finsbury Pavement, E.C., and through which all his importations now come. During Mr Hunt's visit abroad he had the pleasure of taking a cup of coffee with Arabi Pasha in Ceylon."
The premises of Hunt, Corry and Co., occupied the area bounded by Charles Street and almost to the arcade known these days as the Renaissance Arcade which is adjacent to and east of the Richmond Hotel. (This hotel was known as the "Plough and Harrow" during the days of George's drapery business.) On old site maps of the CBD of Adelaide the drapery business partially occupied "acres 40 and 41".
Two historical notes are: first that horse drawn trams were in use in Adelaide in the 1890s and one branch extended into Rundle Street past the Hunt, Corry and Co., premises and secondly in 1894 the state parliament extended the vote to woman. It is interesting to wonder how women suffrage would have altered the dynamic within the retail industry as many of the employees would have been women who now had a collective legitimate voice all the way to the parliament.
An aside in this account is that another two Adelaide companies, mentioned in the family history, trade to this day: Jackman and Treloar; property developers who developed the Tranmere estate into a residential and light commercial suburb have a real estate agency at Unley and Messrs Pengelly and Knabe; funeral directors who arranged the funeral of Mrs John LAPTHORNE (Lillian Maude HUNT). (Pengelly and Knabe are now part of the Blackwell Funeral Provider Group). (author's note: Mr. Treloar was a trustee of the Kent Town Wesleyan Methodist Church at the same time as George was).
I divert in this narrative to comment on Lillian's funeral. There is an article in "The Advertiser" 19 February 1895 concerning the funeral which provides some interesting insights into the social standing of the family. It is clear that the HUNTS were a prominent Adelaide family. A number of factors about the funeral attest to this which add substance to the citations already quoted. First, The cortege is recorded as comprising a very large number of vehicles and that they proceeded from George's home at St Peters (the move to Tranmere had not yet been made). Secondly that among the many tributes of affection was a beautiful wreath from the assistants of Messrs Hunt, Corry and Co., by whom she was much esteemed (this act and turn-of-phrase is often code for acknowledging someone considered very important, socially). Thirdly, there were two officiating clergy, The Revs. J. Haslam and T. Lloyd. Fourthly, apologies were received from many who were unable to attend. Fifthly, there is a considerable list identifying chief mourners and a further list identifying many who gathered around the grave.
Some of the people who attended the funeral are listed in the newspaper article. Chief mourners included Lillian's husband John, the Hunt family, Mrs Lapthorne (mother-in-law), Mrs Leaver and Miss Lapthorne (sisters-in-law), N Leaver (niece), Mr D. Fea sen., (probably Lillian's maternal grandfather), Messrs. John, David and James Fea (probably cousins), Joseph and S. Emery (uncles?). Other people mentioned are Messrs S. Corry (the partner in Hunt, Corry and Co.,), R. Knowles, E. Briston, C. Hannam, F. Ochernal, R. Daws, G. Crocker Smith, V.O. and R.Cheek, R. Rowe, P. Barlow, E. Glover, W. Lapthorne, C. Ernst, Haynes and Witty, Mesdames Daws, Johnston, Rowe, Haynes, Booker and Lloyd and the Misses Thomas and Rowe.
An observation can be made with reference to the terminology and role of those involved with the funereal business compared with the same service industry today. Pengally and Knabe at the time of Lillian's funeral advertised their services as those of "Undertakers and Embalmers". The term "undertaker" is probably now considered archaic and obsolete and one notes that this service industry nowadays seems to prefer the name and descriptor "Funeral Directors". I have not made a detailed comparative study but it is my guess that in earlier times undertakers prepared the body for burial, embalmed it, provided the coffin and hearse. The funeral service would invariably be held in a church with a religious conducting the service. The coffin would then travel, leading a procession, to the place of burial. A "wake" at the deceased's home or that of a close relative may follow. The family would be responsible for making the ancillary arrangements. Burial would occur within a short period following death.
Funeral directors on the other hand seem to have assumed a much wider role and will organise the funeral's every detail. Some of the changes have been driven by occupational health and safety requirements while others have been driven by changes in client expectations and marketing considerations.
Funeral premises have cold rooms where bodies may be held, sterile rooms with stainless steel benches upon which the bodies are prepared. Bereaved families are offered a range of coffins and caskets which vary in price, construction materials and elaboration. Some coffins are now made of wickerwork or even a form of cardboard.
With the advances in storage technology, bodies may be held for weeks before interment/cremation. The funeral company's premises usually incorporate a chapel, viewing rooms and a lounge where light refeshments are served following the service. The service may be conducted by a celebrant other than a religious and indeed often by one of the funeral director's staff. The coffin may not be accompanied to the place of interment or increasingly, cremation. Funeral directors may also supply a bereavement counselling service.
Of significance is the shift in emphasis in the funeral service itself. In current times the service is more about the celebration of a life rather than a sombre occasion with a formal liturgy and lamenting a loss. Blackwell Funerals presently advertises in the following vein "Slow down. Take time to celebrate a loved one's life. We will give you that time." (advertisement on the back of a Torrens Transit bus).
The formal dress of funeral directors has also shifted from the days of "morning suits" and the wearing of black or dark clothing, to, for example, White Lady Funerals (having women in the industry is a major shift in itself) where the celebrants wear white clothing and brown Akubra hats.
Who attend funerals nowadays also reflects a change in that children once would routinely be excluded from the funeral but not anymore.
An interesting article has subsequently appeared in "The Advertiser" weekend magazine of the 28.8.2010 entitled "Till Death Us Do Party" which validates much of the above comment and adds more perspective on current practice.
A droll entry in an "Advertiser" cartonn has a person asking a funeral director what the most important thing is he's learned in all his years in the business, the funeral director's reply is that life is truly priceless, death however is usually around six to seven grand. (Wizard of Id)
Another quote from the "The Advertiser" may attest to two factors; the HUNT'S standing in the community and that some of the HUNT family still occupied Tranmere in 1913. "The Advertiser" 10 March 1913 in the PERSONAL Column reports that Mr. Claud (sic) L. HUNT of "Tranmere" Magill, returned by the express on Sunday, after a holiday in Sydney. It is reasonable to infer that to rate a mention in the personal column indicated that there was some community interest in the comings and goings of the HUNT family and in this instance, the teenager, Claude. A second inference is that some of the HUNT children continued to reside at Tranmere, the family home, after the death of their parents.
This is an appropriate juncture to sketch a little more about Tranmere House, its surrounding estate, the history, social and political context of South Australia in the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century and how these may have impacted on the HUNT family.
HUNT descendents have maintained an interest, born of curiosity, in Tranmere; its changing ownership, its changing interior construction (multiple living areas i.e., flats) as evidenced by the family collection of photographs, newspaper articles, interior redevelopment plans, real estate sales notices, more recent visits of family (with accompanying photographs) to the property, and the store of reference books which describe the grandeur of Tranmere.
Tranmere House at 3 Kings Grove or "Hunt's Castle" as it was colloquially known (Mary Broughton, "The Chronicle", July 5, 1974, p.35) had 18 main rooms plus basement rooms and was considered one of South Australia's biggest and most ornate private residences. The verandah facings had magnificent wrought iron lacework. The house had three levels, marble fireplaces, a sweeping cast iron staircase, stained glass and five metre high ceilings. The area it covered was 3,650 square metres.
The estate is variously assessed at 67 acres or 5? Whichever the actual figure, it was a substantial property by any measure and was laid out in gardens and orchards.
There is the correspondent to Mary Broughton's page in "The Chronicle" dated October 25, 1974 who signs himself/herself "Brigadoon", more likely "herself" as Broughton's column was intended for women readers. Brigadoon was responding to Mary Broughton's July 5, 1974, article and had this to say: " Dear old father died the previous year at age 85 years. He was the grandson of David Wylie (the original owner of Tranmere) who was first granted the 67 acres (section 273) and named it after Tranmere, Birkenhead, England where he lived. Wylie's uncle, Captain William Scott, M.L.C. was granted section 274, 80 acres, where he built Brookside." It appears that George HUNT was later to purchase Brookside but this has yet to be confirmed.
Brigadoon provides a literary sketch of David Wylie. He was an M.A. graduate of Glasgow University and started one of South Australia's first schools. At the time of writing (1974) the school was still standing in the grounds of Tranmere House and Brigadoon's father used to look over the side fence and compare it with the painting that the family held of 'The Academy of Learning', which she suggested was a rather grandiose title for the little school with its wooden shingle roof. Brigadoon continued by saying that many of South Australia's leading men received their training at the academy. Apparently the school flourished from 1837 till 1852 when David Wylie died leaving a widow and large family.
Mary Broughton's response to Brigadoon on the same page is interesting from two points; its descriptive content where she compares the two houses, Brookside and Tranmere and; the not subtle message, particularly the section in brackets. Broughton says, "How different in architecture is Brookside with its plain functional lines from the fanciful style of Tranmere House. I believe the latter owed its existence to the successful business enterprise (and no doubt grandiose pretensions) of Mr Hunt who ran a city store.
There are other references to Tranmere House in "The Advertiser", Friday December 30, 1983, page 14 by Nigel Hopkins in an article called "Homes 'Loves labors to a former glory'"; Broughton's page titled "Mary Broughton's Pages for Women Readers" in "The Chronicle" May 17, 1974 p.28; '"Australia's Yesterdays": A look at Our Recent Past', 1974 Reader's Digest Services Pty. Ltd.; "The Weekend Australian" April 27-28 p.21 2002.
It seems that Mary Broughton during 1974 was writing a series of articles on the more stately homes of Adelaide. In referring to these mansions Broughton of course was also referencing their owners which represented in most cases the "establishment families" since the colony was founded in 1836.
It is worth a "trip" to digress and look at the history, social and political setup of South Australia. But first let's look at some of the houses of the "establishment". Broughton lists Birksgate which was firstly the home of Arthur Hardy before passing to Thomas Elder (who never married) and later the Barr Smiths. this house has subsequently been demolished and replaced by a housing estate. Next comes Woodley which was first named Glen Osmond Villa which probably took its name from Osmond Gilles the first occupant and the first colonial treasurer and later was home to Sir Stanton Hicks. Finnissbrook was home to the first premier of South Australia, Boyle Travers Finniss and was believed to have been designed by Sir George Kingston. Kingston also built and owned a home in Kingston Park with a commanding view of Gulf St. Vincent.
Peter Ward in the "Weekend Australian" article listed above titled "The Top 100 Homes, Australia's Most Expensive Houses; 100 Top Sales since January 2001" which incidentially mentions Tranmere House, states that in the first European century 1836-1936 Adelaide had a highly stratified society in which sarcasms such as "The Duttons spoke only to Barr-Smiths and Barr-Smiths spoke only to God" had meaning. When the old families didn't live in North or South Adelaide, summering in the hills and settled in Medindie and Gilberton to the north or Unley Park to the South.
To those addresses in the 1930s was added the eastern foothills garden suburb of Springfield, overlooking the plains. That pattern continues there and in their satellites. [C of E' Prot Eth, Adelaide Club, Albert Bensimon
The earliest colonists indeed brought some interesting features unique to the development of South Australia, particularly Adelaide. The founding "parents" of the colony imported a society which mirrored the class system in England although there is no sense that any of the British aristocracy arrived here by choice. However the colony was soon populated by knights of the realm amongst these founding families.
It would appear rather that the founders came from the more wealthy of the British middle class and proceeded to augment their wealth prodigiously. They could have been termed the nouveau riche of Britain, particularly England and being regarded and treated as such in the mother country knew how to treat those who became the nouveau riche as the colony expanded.
It could be said that the stratified social features of the first one hundred years still exist in the shadows to this day. Mary Broughton's comments on the Hunts and Tranmere smacks of this with her reference to "grandiose pretensions" and Mr Hunt "running a city store". Merchants or I believe the term was "in trade" such as running a city store did not elevate one in the eyes of those who were the arbiters of class. There is something of a paradox here as, for instance, Robert Barr Smith was a merchant, although being a merchant allied to primary production seems to have made a difference. His wife, Joanna, was an Elder and hence was also a member of the agristocracy [families who made and sustained their fortunes through primary production/agriculture (animal husbandry or horticulture) or services to it]. Their son Tom Elder Barr Smith later joined the firm of Elder, Smith and Co. in the 1880s.
There is a tale told that exemplifies the British "putdown" a la Broughton the pen name of Alison Dolling. A staffer at the court of King Edward the VII was asked where the king was and the haughty courtier replied that he was out sailing with his grocer. At first glance one would surmise that this was a king with the common touch, but not so for the grocer in question was Sir Thomas Lipton who had a beautifully appointed steam yacht "Erin" and an even more beautifully appointed fortune from his tea and grocery chain. Even for Lipton, so Wikipedia suggests, as a self made man was no natural member of the British upper class and the Royal Yacht Squadron only admitted him shortly before his death despite him enjoying the favour of both Edward and George V.
Lipton was a man who understood the power of advertising in the most spectacular ways and has a modern day parallel in the style of Richard Branson of the Virgin brand. Ostentatious and grandiose he indeed was but it certainly took him places.
Although many of these founding families have long since vacated their mansions and perceived standing in the community a new wave of nouveau riche have moved into the desirable suburbs ( ). These new occupants appear to be professionals, those who cannot purchase outright can service large mortgages such as specialist medical practitioners, barristers, judiciary, dentists and added to these are bank executives, mining executives, media and sports' identities.
A roll call of some of the family names that seem to feature prominently/have had influence in the early days of the colony and appear to be of the agristocracy and the health and legal professions that in some cases established professional dynasties looked after their health and legal aspects include Angas, Ayers, Barr Smith, Bonython, Media "The Advertiser", Bray, Downer, Dutton, Elder, Hardy, Hayward married Ursula Barr Smith, Hill Smith,? (vignerons) Kidman, Kingston, Michell, Sir John Morphett, Rymill? von Doussa, Wyatt,
All the above families have lent their names to towns, suburbs, public spaces, streets in South Australia and prominently in Adelaide.
Commenting that Tranmere House is ostentatious is probably reasonable, that George was throwing out a challenge to the "establishment families" with its construction, maybe.
A more recent comment along the lines of who could speak to whom is that "people from the eatern suburbs get a nose-bleed if they travel further west than David Jones (a department store in Rundle Mall purveying superior quality and exotic goods).
Returning to Hunt, Corry and Co., and the means by which George attained his wealth.
Hunt, Corry and Co., as you would expect, were the occasional victims of felons and the "West Australian", 9 April 1896 reports that "three well-dressed men from the steamer "Bulimba" made a determined effort at "shop-lifting"... While one of the men went in on a pretence of buying something, the others lifted some coats which were hanging outside and ran off. Mr Wheeldon, the manager of the store, saw the theft and gave chase, and ultimately secured the coats. Mr Wheeldon gave one man into custody, and he is charged with being concerned in the theft."
What became of the business; Hunt, Corry and Co., has yet to be explored but what is known is that Mr CORRY had predeceased George HUNT who had retired from the company in 1897. (author's note: CORRY may have been Samuel CORRY, draper, who lived at (Rodolph?) Tce, Glenelg [Findmypast "South Australian Commercial and Traders Directory 1882-1883" ed. Morris, Hayter, Barry] and died in 1895). Editions of "The Advertiser" later than 1897 may give some clue but the digitised material has yet to be released. What can be stated at this stage is that in "The Advertiser" 12.2.1896 is the death notice of the late Mr J.G.CORRY and that Mr G HUNT representing the firm of Hunt, Corry and Co., Messrs W.H.Sharland, I ?, and... Adelaide was universally esteemed. Among those around the grave were Mrs S. CORRY, (presumably the widow of Samuel), Mr Gill at the North Road Cemetery. Mr CORRY who was a nephew of Mr Samuel CORRY was only 26. The cemetery is situated at Nailsworth which is just off the Main North Road and was established in 1853.
A short note on the Corrys or rather their burial sites. It would seem that J.G.Corry is probably James G. Corry and that other members of the family are also buried at Nailsworth including Samuel, Annie Maria (probably Samuel's wife), Thomas Edison S., Stella Havergal, Ruth Dawkins and Annie Eliza (probably children of Samuel and Annie).
As for the business premises "The Advertiser" 30.1.1905 has an advertisement for "Town and Country Stores" operating out of 112 Rundle Street. This address was formerly part of the Hunt, Corry and Co., drapery business address.
By 1900-1904 some of the more prominent names in drapery and clothing were Foale's, John Martins and The Coliseum along with some of the other drapery businesses listed above. It is noted that the advertisements of the larger companies used bolder print, larger lettering, more "aggressive" style of advertising presentation, were more openly competitive in their adjectives when comparing price and quality with other drapers in their approach to attracting customers.
It seems that Hunt, Corry and Co., had disappeared from the scene at this point (no advertisements for the drapery company 3.8.1901) but a company called Hunt, Corry had become property leasing agents operating out of Charles St (There are a lot of Charles St. A number listed in the UBD are possibles: CBD; Norwood; Payneham; Prospect; Tranmere) advertising in "The Advertiser" 3.8.1901 p.3. However the Charles Street in the CBD is the most likely as this would have been the eastern most site of the former Hunt, Corry and Co., drapery business.
Re Hunt, Corry and Co. Given they were still expanding the business in the late 1890s e.g. with the purchase of land at Albany for 3000 pounds (West Australian 18.3.1897) it is interesting that in Adelaide the business seems to have altered to become property managers. Matthews suggests that the business was scaled back in South Australia to focus on their W.A. branches as the goldfields were producing great wealth. An alternative explanation is that there was a significant depression in the early 1890s (bank crash in 1893) which impacted on undercapitalised businesses. Industrial unrest was also developing as the depression impacted on the community as a whole. Drapery businesses would have become victims along with other merchandising operations and so George may have decided it was time to leave that part of the commercial scene.
By the 1980s all the prominent names in drapery of the past century had disappeared. The last to go were Chas Moore and Co., of Victoria Square, John Martins of Rundle Mall and J. Miller Anderson of Hindley Street. It seems that business specialisation had come to an end with the advent of small "boutique" stores and larger establishments like Myers and David Jones offering a diversified range of commodities such as manchester, furnishings, kitchen appliances, music records and compact discs, jewellery, cosmetics etc under one roof.
One of the more intimate family stories alludes to Claude Leslie HUNT being one of the earliest owners of an automobile (as they seemed to be called in the early part of the twentieth century) in Adelaide and that he volunteered his vehicle to the local constabulary when they needed to travel some distance, reach a particular site quickly or chase a felon (with Claude at the wheel of course).
Another family anecdote relates to Claude and his stepdaughter, Bonnie, driving past Tranmere House and Bonnie not unsurprisingly asking Claude if they can stop and have a look inside to satisfy a child's curiosity about such a splendid place, it being once the family home. Claude's response was vehement to the effect that he never wanted to set foot in the place again. Claude's response suggests that the place evoked some painful, distressing or hostile memories.
It is this anecdote involving Claude and Bonnie which has given rise to the following theories about the reasons for Claude's attitude towards Tranmere House.
One not so strong possibility is that as the children descended from two mothers some sibling friction may have existed between the two family sets. Or perhaps among all the siblings, irrespective of mother, which may have "cut a little deep" in Claude's case, being the youngest, and not being able to defend himself so readily against the older children. Claude lived his formative years at Tranmere so this association with Tranmere and family friction remains a remote possiblity.
A counter to that part of the friction theory involving children of two mothers and affecting Claude in particular, is that nearly all the children of Elizabeth Fea had married and moved away before Claude was born. His half-sister Ethel probably still resided there until 1907. His half-sister, Lillian, had died the year after he was born. If friction did exist it would therefore have been more likely among the children of George and Eliza Ann, Claude's full siblings.
As it can only be speculated as to what emotion was aroused in Claude on the occasion of his stepdaughter's request (the stepchildren adopted the name of HUNT) there is a second more likely possibility. Given the value of Claude's father's estate, the large family he had by two wives, George's widow dying (1912) less than a year after he did (six children living at this point), complications arising from the execution of the wills, may have arisen. Further indications of difficulties with the settling of the estate was the four year gap between the death of Eliza Ann HUNT and the announcement of the development of the estate into the suburb now known as Tranmere. It is conjecture but a number of possibilities present themselves.
The execution of wills especially where the estate is large, can be a lengthy process. A further complication exists when that part of the estate which is "real" is to be liquidated for the purposes of distributing the proceeds of the estate. This involves not only the sale but subdivision and redevelopment with all the legal/bureaucratic requirements that need to be met. Notwithstanding these issues, four years does appear to be a rather long time for resolution suggesting the following: difficulties at probate; executors having difficulty interpreting/actioning the respective wills of George and Eliza; the possible absence of a will in Eliza's case; the executors in conflict over the will(s), particularly if family members had been appointed; the will(s) being contested, again involving the family.
Any or all of these factors could have caused concern, conflicting views, irritation among the family members, including for the eighteen year old Claude.
A third theory stems from the fact that Claude, still a teenager, possibly having just left school, was living at Tranmere following his parents' deaths and at least up until 1913. With the disposition of the estate he may have seen what was once a lovely estate being dismembered and himself forced to move elsewhere. This changing situation may have been an irritation or disturbant for him as he would perceive that he was about to lose what was once his home, with its memories, a very comfortable residence and perhaps accompanying privileged lifestyle for an existence that was less certain. Additionally at this stage it is not known where Claude next took up residence and indeed who, from his immediate family, kept an eye out for his welfare seeing he had not yet attained his majority.
Another theory or perhaps memory (recounted by two of Claude's daughters) that may have engendered painful associations for Claude and Tranmere is that one of his brothers appears to have died following the ingestion of creek water on the property. It is thought that the creek had been contaminated by sheep drench. This brother could have been Harold who was one year older than Claude and died in 1902 at the age of nine years.
A parsimonious theory is that Claude would have been reminded of the comfort and privilege that had been his lot and that re-entering the premises would have prompted him to reflect on what he and the HUNT family had once been and lost and that this would have been a little disconcerting to accept and explain to his stepdaughter.
There is a sixth view for Claude's seeming antipathy towards Tranmere, advanced by a contemporary family member, although less compelling given what is known. Nevertheless the theory is interesting because it reminds us of some of the taboos or prejudices existing at the time, fuelled, inter alia, by religious sectarian differences, notions of class distinctions albeit subtle to the point where they may have been hotly debated and their existence denied in open discussions.
Claude, at least nominally, was a protestant (his father was an office bearer of the Methodist Church, being a trustee of the Kent Town Wesleyan Church for 29 years), (Claude attended Prince Alfred College, a prestigious Methodist Church school), the family would have been viewed as being of substance and prominence in the Adelaide community. However he married Mabel Conway (nee Raggatt) who was a Roman Catholic (so-called mixed marriages were frowned upon), already had four children, was older than him by some seven years and may not have been perceived as meeting the subtle "class criteria" that prevailed at the time.
Counter to this theory is the fact that both of Claude's parents were dead when he married (at about 28 years), Tranmere had long passed out of the family's hands and at least six out of ten of his siblings and half-siblings were dead so opposition to the marriage would have been fairly limited.
It should be restated that all these are theories and none may have hit the mark.
However from family recollections Claude's and Mabel's relationship was a love-match and the grandchildren that had the benefit of their grandparents' presence, recall them with great affection.
It seems that Mabel brought much to the relationship besides companionship and further motherhood. She was both industrious and skilful, being adept at preserving produce, dressmaking (turning the proverbial sow's ear into a silk purse e.g., drapes into an elegant evening dress for her daughter), millinery and needlecraft.
Zadel recalls that her mother (Mabs) during WWII, while Zadel was at work, sewed an elegant evening off-the-shoulder evening dress out of pink dyed mosquito netting and calico for her to attend a ball that evening.
The family photo albums also reveal Mabs' skill in needlecraft, particularly dressmaking. There are pictures from the weddings of her daughters, with accompanying bridesmaids in very elegant gowns. Some of these garments were crafted by Mabs.
Daughter, Patricia's gown is noteworthy. It is tastefully draped with bunches of grapes manufactured from satin draped from the left shoulder down the front requiring intricate stitching and the shaping of each grape reflecting many hours of painstaking work.
Claude for his part pursued a career as a hotelier and was the licensee at hotels at Burra, Belair, Wilmington, Mitcham (Edinburgh Castle) to name some.
It is perhaps of some relevance to the defiance theory to note that Claude and Mabel (Mabs) are interred in the Roman Catholic section of the North Brighton Cemetery marking perhaps Claude's final statement of severance from his family's religious heritage preferring to be interred with his wife who had died some 22 years earlier of colon cancer.
It is thought that the ashes of Mia, daughter/stepdaughter, are interred with them or were sprinkled on her parents' grave.
Another family story which may or may not have a bearing on the state of the family relationships is the report that Claude attended the funeral of a family member and only two people were present; Claude and the former family coachman, apart from the officiating parties. The report adds that the deceased relative was quite elderly and may in fact, have outlived most other family members and contemporaries. Four people more or less fit this description, although Claude's aunt, Martha Ann JOHNSTONE is the most likely. Claude's Aunt Martha (nee Hunt) died in 1937 at the age of 86 years. The other possibilities are three of Claude's sisters; Blanche (died 1931, aged 54 years), Hilda (died 1939, aged 58 years), Mabel (died 1946, aged 60 years).
(N.B. Martha married William Craig JOHNSTONE 11.12.1870 and they had three children; Elsie, Percy and Waldo. William died 21.8.1894. Percy married Constance Alweine Augusta DEGENHARDT. I make mention of this link because Constance's family may have a descendent (James DEGENHARDT) who fought in 3 Squadron, RAAF, in North Africa during WWII as did Zadel's husband, Sqd. Ldr., John Frederick HOWELL-PRICE.)
Peter Matthews, a family researcher, reports that reference is made to Percy Emerson JOHNSTONE in the execution of wills and probate. The "West Australian" of 19.1.1912 under Probates and Administration states "George Hunt, late of Magill, South Australia, gentleman to Eliza Ann Hunt and Percy Emerson Johnstone 2003 pounds 10 shillings."
Why this notice is in the "West Australian" and an amount bequeathed to Percy gives cause to speculate that Percy may have been involved in the expansion of Hunt, Corry and Co., in W.A., and was accordingly recognised by George in his will, being not only part of the business but also George's nephew.
The HUNT family grave sites and those related by marriage at the Magill Cemetery include the following with inscriptions on the head- stones starting more or less with the earliest interments (these are quoted here because of the quaint style typical of the time):
Affectionate Remembrance of JAMES E.Y.HUNT WHO AFTER A TIME OF INTENSE SUFFERING WAS KINDLY REMOVED BY THE ANGEL MESSENGER APRIL 7TH 1869 also MARY ANN wife of WILLIAM HUNT WHO IN OBEDIENCE TO THE HEAVENLY SUMMONS, BADE US GOOD BYE May 8th 1871 aged 29 years; grave 628 (author's note: nee THOMPSON, first wife of WILLIAM THOMAS HUNT, the eldest child of George and Elizabeth of Northamptonshire).
The HUNTS that were the original settlers (George and Elizabeth) are in graves 627-628. The headstones record the following THIS TABLET IS ERECTED IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE OF GEORGE HUNT WHOSE SPIRIT WINGED ITS FLIGHT FOR A HAPPIER SPHERE AUGUST 22 1874 and ELIZABETH HIS WIFE WHO FIRM IN THE FAITH PEACEFULLY RESIGNED THIS LIFE, April 30th 1881 aged 67 years.
Although this whimsical style was continued with Elizabeth Guthrie HUNT'S, Clarence's, Lillian's, Eliza Ann HUNT'S (which reads, "GOD'S FINGER TOUCHED HER AND SHE SLEPT) and George's epitaphs the subsequent family epitaphs tended to record just the name of the deceased and the date of death. This change may have reflected a wider change in the community towards having less elaborate inscriptions.
Actually George's epitaph is interesting in that it departs from the messages of optimism, the acceptance of life after death and in James Edward Yeomans HUNT'S case, the expression of relief from suffering. George's inscription quotes two lines of verse attributed to Longfellow: "Oh for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still". These lines tend to provoke a profound sadness at the loss of a close companion and the wish for a return to life as it once was.
Note: a curious ocurrence is a second James Edward Yeomans HUNT (the son of John Chapman HUNT) with the same first names as the son, James, of George and Elizabeth is recorded as being born in 1870 a year after the first James Edward Yeomans HUNT died in 1869. This second James Edward Yeomans moved to Victoria. The family records in South Australia have no further account of him except that he married Louisa LYONS in 1891. However recently the Victorian branch of the HUNT family, having seen this narrative, have offered some further information about him and his father John Chapman HUNT from whom they are descended.
In another site are buried ELIZABETH HUNT (author's note: nee EMERY) who died at Norwood April 28th 1889 aged 48 years and
Lucy (author's note: CHAPINA ELIZABETH LUCY nee HUNT and George's niece) the beloved wife of A.G. COLLIVER, died May 30 1887 also ALFRED GEORGE infant son of above died Feb 22 1887. It is reasonable to infer that complications of the birth e.g. infection of which there many varieties proved fatal to Lucy and Alfred.
A third site is quite large measuring about 7m x 5m and the epitaph inscriptions bear the names of eleven HUNTS: ELIZABETH HUNT (nee GUTHRIE); CLARENCE GEORGE HUNT (infant son of ELIZABETH and GEORGE HUNT, GEORGE being the son of the HUNTS who emigrated from Northamptonshire). It is reasonable to assume that perinatal complications e.g. infection proved fatal to mother and son; LILLIAN MAUDE LAPTHORNE (nee HUNT, aged 22 years); ELIZA ANN HUNT (nee BRUSEY, second wife of GEORGE); MAUDE WINIFRED JARVIS (nee HUNT aged 19 years); GORDON ALFRED JARVIS (infant son of MAUDE); HAROLD GORDON HUNT; ARTHUR GEORGE HUNT (son of GEORGE and ELIZA); HILDA FLORENCE CAMPION (nee HUNT); EDITH GUTHRIE PEARCE (nee HUNT; previously married to A.G.SCRYMGOUR); (plots/graves/niches 415-416).
While George HUNT'S name appears on the same headstones as those of his wives, children and grandchildren, he is interred in (plot/grave/niche 381). Plot 381 backs on to plots 415-416 rendering the site a large one as indicated by the rough measurement mentioned previously.
His death was reported in the PERSONAL column of "The Advertiser" on the 15.5.1911 two days after his death at his home at Tranmere. His name is listed alongside that of his second wife, Eliza Ann in the cemetery interment list gathered by Faithe Jones (cemetery archivist) although I don't believe this should indicate that they occupy exactly the same site as the depths of first burials are not known. The inscriptions at sites 415-416 while severely weathered and hence difficult to read can be deciphered with a little perseverance.
There is a question of whether George actually died at his residence notwithstanding what has been written previously in this narrative. Shanko, a RootsChat veteran, has on a CD of recorded deaths that George died in a hospital in North Adelaide. The only hospital fitting the description and the time of George's death would be the Calvary Hospital established by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. This hospital was founded in 1900.
Another curious thing about the record of George's death in Shanko's CD is that in the section marked "Relative" no name is given although it would, one would assume, have been customary to have had his wife's name entered in this section. In contrast to this is, at the time of Eliza Ann's death in 1912, in the "Relative" section, George's name is entered and that he was her deceased husband.
The Burnside Council records suggest that George was buried on the 15.5.1911 which is a mere two days after his death. While this is possible it does seem a rather hasty interment. Given George's prominence in the business and Methodist communities one would have thought that, commensurate with his standing, some days would have elapsed while suitable preparations for his funeral were made.
These differences in the Shanko CD record, newspaper account and apparent speed of interment raise a series of questions including about the accuracy or completeness of the records to hand, or that George was known to have had a terminal illness or at least a serious health condition which led to funeral preparations being substantially concluded prior to his death or perhaps even reflecting some tension within the family at the time about how the funeral should be conducted.
A grave on the pathway opposite the above listed is the grave of Alexander CAMPION (husband of Hilda Florence HUNT).
On another site near the elder HUNT graves and the large HUNT site are the graves of the EMERY family with the following interred: JOSEPH EMERY and ELIZABETH EMERY (nee HUNT); MARY ELIZABETH EMERY (nee SCOTT, wife of WALTER SIDNEY); WALTER SIDNEY (son of JOSEPH AND ELIZABETH, father of CLEMENT); CLEMENT JOHN EMERY; ALICE ADA EMERY (nee GRAHAM wife of CLEMENT).
A number of these names appear as mourners in accounts of funerals of various family members.
Returning to the conundrum of the "George Harry or Harry George" mentioned in the first paragraph of this narrative. The genealogical researcher, Graham Jaunay (firstname.lastname@example.org) states that a George N? HUNT married Louisa LING and this George's father was also George. Louisa LING is the name given in another family record as being the spouse of George Harry HUNT. The marriage certificate of George and Louisa identifies George as being a carpenter, that his father was also George and that the marriage took place at the residence of Mr Ling in Gilbert Street, Adelaide. Graham states that the initial, "H", looks like a lower case "n" on the certificate. Jaunay goes on to state that this George's mother was Elizabeth PRATT.
However I'm still not convinced about this second George being part of the same family without the weight of additional evidence. George's wife, Louisa was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
LING is the family name linked to the South Australian company, Hills Industries. This company is most notable for the Hills hoist rotary clothesline and the company became exceedingly large from the middle 20th century onwards diversifying into a number of fields related to prefabricatd steel, sheet metal constructions and other enterprises such as security installations.
However, little is known about Louisa and George beyond the fact that they married and that Louisa was a minor (19 years) at the time of marriage. It seems that they moved to Western Australia and it is possible that George died there although the date and place of death are uncertain. George's presence in Western Australia may have had something to do with the expansion of Hunt, Corry and Co., that is if he was part of the HUNT family that forms the focus for this narrative.
"The Advertiser" 9 April 1904 has a death notice placed in it stating that on the 8th April, at Rundle Street, Adelaide, Mary (Sissie), dearly loved wife of John Eldred COCKING, and only daughter of Mary and the late Charles Pascoe aged 39 years. It seems that this same John married Ethel HUNT in 1907. However there is a confusion of dates over this marriage as the next paragraph outlines.
Now a John Eldred COCKING is stated as marrying Ethel HUNT (the third child of George and Elizabeth Fea HUNT) on the 15.1.1889. However "The Advertiser", 22 May 1907 reports the marriage at "Tranmere" of Ethel to John Eldred Cocking on the 25 April 1907 (the Rev. William Jeffries officiating).
Given Ethel's birth in 1872 (21.11.1872) this would make her just sixteen if she married John in 1889. Further casting doubt on this marriage date, it is recorded that at the wedding of her sister, Edith, in 1890, the bridesmaids were named as the "Misses Lily, Ethel, Blanch and Hilda HUNT...".
This anomaly reminds me to treat with caution some of the records I hold with respect to the accuracy of dates and names. In George's (the draper) funeral notice (1911) Mrs A. Scrymgour and Mrs E. Cocking are mentioned, inter alia, as family surviving. As the custom was, and still is in some quarters, the wife is known by her husband's name e.g., their sister, Lillian, was named as Mrs John Lapthorne in her funeral notice and the "A" in Edith Scrymgour's name stood for Albert; thus Mrs Albert Scrymgour, so in Ethel's case above the "E" could stand for Eldred (assuming John Eldred was better known as Eldred) or Ethel in the report of their father's death.
A further reason to interpret some of the records with care is that Ethel is stated as having six children between 1890 and 1902. It now seems more likely that these children were the product of John's first marriage and therefore Ethel's stepchildren. Ethel, it would appear, was 35 years when she married John. She would have been regarded as an ageing spinster at the time and possibly past any expectation of receiving an offer of marriage. John's birthdate is not listed among the records I hold but given that his first wife was 39 years at the time of her death we can assume that John was well into his forties when he married Ethel.
One set of family records that this narrative has relied upon has the COCKING children struck out with red ballpoint ink which suggests that they were not viewed as being part of the HUNT family. This erasure reinforces the view that they were Ethel's stepchildren.
The church with which George had a long association viz. the Kent Town Wesleyan Methodist Church has a bronze plaque to the left of the main entrance which describes its construction: "Kent Town Wesley Uniting Church Built 1864 As Wesleyan Methodist Church, Tapley's Hill Bluestone Construction, Transepts Added 1867, Vestries and Classrooms 1869, Lecture Hall 1874, Opening Service July 1865. First Pastor Rev. S. Ironside, Church Pioneers Include Michael Kingsborough, Mayor 1870-71 Originally Collegiate Chapel..........
For a revised and completed edition of the above with photos contact me through FTC. I can e-mail a PDF copy for people interested in the HUNTS, RAGGATTS, BRUSEYS, BICES