Looking for the parents and family of Francis Alexander Heaton, who left home (Victoria, Australia) at the age of 12 and never made contact again. Born in 1891, possibly Footscray, to a large family. Surname: Heaton.
Lost HEATON origin:I have hit the proverbial brick wall with research into the family background of my wife’s grandfather, Francis Alexander Heaton. The earliest record I have is an Electoral Roll entry of a Mr Frank Heaton in 1913 address being c/- Mrs Kay, Bell St, Toowoomba, Qld, Australia, who may or may not have been our Frank. He was an up and coming Pugilist in 1913 in Murwillumbah and was written up in the local Tweed Daily many times, until 1924.
I have the marriage Certificate of Frank to Lillis May Frerichs daughter of Aryon Frerichs (deceased 1902) and Margaret Florence Harper on 21st April 1915. On the certificate Frank says he was born in Footscray, Victoria, Australia and his parents are William John Heaton and Mary Galbraith. Lillis and Frank’s first child was born 27th March 1916 in Murwillumbah, NSW. I have Frank’s application to enlist in the AIF dated Dec 13, 1916 and Attestation Paper dated 2nd January 1917 and once again he was born in Footscray, aged 26years, (birth 1891) married with one child. Two letters were written to the AIF requesting a discharge, one from his wife saying she was 5 months pregnant and needed him at home. The other was from Frank saying his wife was upset with him likely to embark for overseas deployment at any time and that he was prepared to serve in Australia. He was discharged after 8 weeks in the service on 02/02/1917. The second child (my wife’s father) was born 08/06/1917.
The next I find they have moved to Bellingen, NSW where Lillis’s Stepfather (Margaret Florence had married Aryon’s younger brother in 1904) lived with her half sisters, Margaret had left Henry by this time.
Frank then applied to join the AIF again on 02/11/1918 in Bellingen, this time he gives his age as 27 but also gives his birth date as 22/01/1891. He went through the enlistment procedure and for some reason was discharged on the 31Dec 1918. By then the war was over so they may have not wanted any more men.
Frank resumed his boxing career in Murwillumbah sometime after this having newspaper coverage in 1920, 1921, 1922 and 1923. Family knowledge tells us that the two sons were looked after by Lillis’s sisters and stepfather at Bellingen. Lillis went to Sydney, dying there of TB in 1941, being buried in Rookwood Cemetery.
Frank married Ivy May Negus in 24/07/1923 in Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia, on that certificate he gives his age as 30 (Birth 1893) born in Geelong, Victoria and his parents as Francis Charles Alexander Heaton and mother as Mary Agnes Unknown. As Lillis was still alive at the time, this second marriage was illegal, which may account for the variation in information given.
The family have Photos of Frank, one being in a boxing pose, and two wedding Photograph’s, one with his first wife Lillis Frerichs only, the other with the wedding party, when they were married in Murwillumbah, NSW, 21/04/1915.
Frank and Ivy had a son whom I have had contact with, he has no more information on the origin of Frank except to say that, Frank had said that he was kicked out of home at the age of 12 and the family was large. He had been a swagman, travelling all over the country, sleeping under bridges and anywhere to keep dry at the end of each day. He never had any further contact with his family that we can find information on. If it is correct that he was born in 1891 and he left home when he was twelve, he was lost from 1903 till 1913, when he was first written up in the Tweed Daily.
Can anyone help, have they a missing male person who may fit this person, who may have been born in Victoria, or anywhere for that matter? I have researched the children of a Francis William Heaton and Annie Alexandra Harrison, in Manly NSW, Australia. They have the names Francis Alexander (Alexandra) in there so I thought there may be a chance. I sent for the death certificate of Annie and there is no child listed that would fit Franks profile.
Another large family in Victoria was John Heaton and Pricilla Vivash, they had a son, Henry Thomas, born in 1891. I wonder if Henry Thomas is our Frank.