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Looking for information about Frederick Swann and family

Query by Judyth

Fred was born in 1832 near Birmingham, England, UK. He was the fourth of five sons born to William Swann (1803- 1878) and Ann Monk (1803-1871). In 1841 the family was living in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, where William worked as a steel polisher. By 1851 the family had moved to Gravesend, Kent, where William was trading as a toy dealer, along with three sons - including Fred.

The 1861 census shows that Ann Swann (now aged 58yrs) is operating as a toy dealer, whilst husband William (now 60yrs) is in the workhouse. Various of the sons are still in business in Gravesend, but of Fred there is no sign!

The next I know of Fred is when he marries Elizabeth Anne Vale on 5th March 1866 in the Weslyan Chapel, Mount Pleasant, S. Australia. (Elizabeth Anne (b August 1842) was the daughter of Mary Rogers (b 1813) and Edward Vale (b 1803). Edward was a dyer and the family lived in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, UK.)

Fred and Elizabeth's first child, Benjamin, was born on 3rd November 1867 in Tarrawatta, Angaston. Then came Grace Hannah, born 1869 in Albury, New South Wales, Joseph born 1871 in Albury and Mary Elizabeth born 1874 in Albury.

I have no other info about Fred's time in Australia, but in 1875 he sailed from Liverpool, UK to Quebec, Canada on the 'Nova Scotia'. Travelling with him were his wife, Elizabeth Anne and family. The family included all the aforementioned children plus another daughter (previously unheard of!) called Sarah, who was born out of wedlock in 1865.

Having arrived in Canada, a further son, William John, was born in Ontario in 1876.

The next info I have, is that the family were back in the UK (without daughter Sarah) and living in Bradford, Yorkshire. Another daughter, Mira Jane, was born in Bradford on 6th January 1879 at Birks Farm, Horton, Bradford, where Fred was working as a farm labourer.

When Mira Jane was only eight weeks old, Fred died aged forty-five, from 'natural debility and decay'.

The 1881 census shows widowed Elizabeth Anne (now aged 38yrs) living at 16 Arctic Parade, Horton, Bradford, along with her six children (There is still no sign of Sarah, who seems not to have returned from Canada.)

The 1891 census finds Elizabeth Anne 'living on own means' at 1 Longside Court, Horton, Bradford with the three younger children - Mary, William and Mira. Grace Hannah (daughter) at the age of nineteen, married Joseph Powell on sixth October 1888. She was a worsted spinner, Joseph was an overlooker and they were living in Horton.

Can anyone add to my knowedge? How, when and why did Fred and Elizabeth Anne travel to Australia? What were they doing there? Why would they then travel to Canada? Why would they then return to the UK? Why would they choose to settle in Bradford, Yorkshire? Had they perhaps relatives there already?What happened to daughter Sarah, who appeared out of nowhere and disappeared again in Canada?! Would be thrilled to have ANY further info!

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by Judyth Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-10-14 09:04:52

Judyth , from north-east England, UK, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Oct 2011. is researching the following names: SWANN, VALE, POWELL and 6 other(s).

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