Robert Elton (born Eldridge) London England 1800s Married and Lived in Melbourne :: Genealogy
<< Previous - Next >>

Robert Elton (born Eldridge) London England 1800s Married and Lived in Melbourne

Question by Celton

I am having trouble finding out when and where Robert changed his name and any information to assist would be appreciated.

I know that he was an umbrella manufacturer and was born in London, England under the name of Eldridge. His mother and father were Robert and Mary, this info was obtained from his marriage certificate to Catherine Lennon in Melbourne Australia. On the certificate his name is Robert Elton and his parents were shown as Robert Elton and Mary Pryor (although, if the birth certificate I have found in London under the name of Eldridge is correct his mother was Mary Higgins).

I know that the name was originally Eldridge because Robert's son William was sent back to England to live with his Aunt and Uncle (Richard and Rachel Fitzgerald - nee Eldridge)and there was always a family story about a change of name from Eldridge to Elton.

I know a lot about Robert and his wife and children but not the reason for the change of name and when or where it happened. I have also not found a death record for him. There is a death registered in Hotham but after receiving the death certificate from Australia I have discounted it. The number and sex of his children are wrong as is the occupation.

Many thanks.

Viewed: 908 times
by Celton Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-11-28 07:29:06

Celton has been a Family Tree Circles member since Nov 2012.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by SilverVixen on 2012-12-08 17:59:15

Rachael Eldridge married Richard Fitzgerald : Bethnal Green, London 1856 Q4 1C 543

In UK 1841 census living at Hare Marsh, St Mary's Bethnal Green, London
ELDRIDGE, Robert, 50 (1791) Born Middlesex
John, 8 (1833) Middx
Henry 6 (1835) Middx
Robert 2 (1839) Middx
Mary, 30 (1811) Middx
Mary 15 (1826) Middx
Eliza 15 (1826) Middx
Esther, 9 (1832) Middx
Rachael, 4 (1837) Middx

Have Richard & Rachael in other census but not with & William

user noggin deactivated
by janilye on 2012-12-09 11:14:55

There's any number of reasons for people to change their names, perhaps he was just starting over; like emigrating.
William would have only been very young when he was sent back over there. Was there a reason for that? his mother lived till 1896. I see they were married in Emerald Hill (Irish Town) now called South Melbourne, a place where in the 1870s an Irish Elton would fair much better than an English Eldridge. I don't see any reason for him to change his occupation. Melbourne was just as wet back then as it is today.
Do you know if he emigrated under the name Eldridge?

by janilye on 2012-12-09 12:07:54

Here are a few newspaper articles which I think will answer some of your questions.
Luckily he didn't change his occupation. makes it easier to track him down.

South Australian Register,Friday 11 January 1878
Robert Elton, umbrella-maker, pleaded guilty to being the person described in a warrant from Victoria charging him with fraudulent insolvency. Remanded to Victoria.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 29 March 1886
The WATER POLICE Court, on Saturday, before Mr.Wilshire, D.S.M
Catherine Elton was brought up on warrant for having threatened the life of her husband, Robert Elton, an umbrella maker, residing at 44 Upper William-street.
The accused, who had previously been in gaol for a similiar breach of the peace, made an attempt to stab her husband with a knife during an altercation which occurred between the couple. For some time past she had, according to the evidence, been drinking rather heavily. The prisonor was ordered to find sureties of 40 that she would keep the peace for six months.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 23 August 1892
Re Robert Elton. The bankrupt, an umbrella maker, deposed that his bankruptcy was caused by an action being brought against him by Mr Rodd. Witness owed about 86 in Victoria. Mr Rodd was the only person to whom he was indebted in New South Wales. He wished to add to his statement of affairs a debt due to James Rodd and Joseph Morrow amounting to 130 18s 11d. Witness had carried on business at the top of William-street North and at the Victoria Arcade.In December, 1891, he had 70 or 80 worth of stock in the William Street shop. He had an auction Sale there early in June, 1892, he thought. The proceeds were paid for rent to Sydney creditors. The gross proceeds amounted to about 110. He had no record to show how he paid the money away. He paid 80 to Mr Dan Carter a member ot Tattersall's Club, for money lent. He could not say when Carter lent him the money. It was four or five months ago. He did not get a receipt from Carter, nor had he given Carter a receipt for the money he borrowed from him. He believed Carter was a bookmaker. When he paid the money to Carter he told him that there were actions pending against him. His stock was worth 160, cost price, at the time he paid Carter. The stock-in-trade and furniture at William street brought about 110. The stock, etc. in the Victoria Arcade was then worth 150 or 170 at English cost price. That stock was in the Victoria Arcade at the time of his bankruptcy. The value of his stock at the date of sequestration was 150 to 170. The stock realised 35. He did not know the name of the man who bought. The purchaser sold again for 40 to John Deeble, who was now carrying on the business. Witness was engaged by Mr Deeble. There were two girls in the shop. The girls took the money and accounted to him. They were emplyed by him before sequestration. He was a married man. He lived in the same house as one of the girls.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 7 December 1893
William Jenkins, 30, a groom, having stolen an umbrella valued at 5s 6d, the property of Robert Elton, was fined 1, in default three weeks' imprisonment.

NSW State Records
Bankruptcy Index

ELTON Robert - -
OCCUPATION: Umbrella Maker

by Celton on 2013-03-23 12:59:28

Thankyou to everyone who has sent assistance in this query. Sorry for the delay, have only just been able to log back on.

I haven't found confirmed travel to Australia so don't know if the name was changed before or after reaching the country.

He is shown on the 1881 census return with Rachel Fitzgerald (shown on records as William Ellen - nephew but the original document definitely says William Elton). Not clear whether he is Rachel Fitzgeral's nephew or Richard Fitzgerald's. I believe it to be Rachel because her surname was Eldridge and the family story says that we were Eldridge, changed to Elton.

I believe William was sent back to England to keep him safe. All of this brothers died in infancy and his mother was known to be a drinker and violent towards her husband. There were obviously problems in the marriage and it appears that Robert moved to Sydney after the bankruptcy (Catherine appears to have stayed in Melbourne).

Once again I appreciate all of the help everyone has given me.

by janilye on 2013-03-23 22:45:00

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.) Friday 19 May 1876
The district coroner held an inquest on the 17th inst., at South Yarra, on the body of Robert Elton, aged two months, the son of an umbrella-maker at 84 Toorak-road. The child was healthy, but the mother was unable to suckle it, as she had no milk, and it appeared to thrive on the bottle. On Monday night, however, the child was unwell, and next morning, about 4 o'clock, his father awaking and hearing him breathing heavily, told the mother he would be suffocated, where-upon she gave the child the bottle, placed him between her husband and herself, and fell asleep. At 7 o'clock the mother found the child under the bedclothes dead. Dr. Wooldridge made a post-mortem examination, and deposed that the cause of death was suffocation. A verdict of accidentally suffocated was returned.

I have found no Robert Eldridge arriving in 'Australia' apart from the convict back in 1849. I searched all immigration records pre 1874 the year he married Catherine Lennon in Melbourne, using the name Robert Elton.
I found no Robert Elton arriving before 1874 The closest I came was Robert HILTON age 30 arriving in 1868.
remember that many of the names on Passenger Lists were written as the writer heard them.
Here is the link to the Public Record Office Victoria
Perhaps you'll have more luck.
The only state I have not searched is South Australia.

by Celton on 2013-03-24 09:54:38

Many thanks for that, I will try the public record office.

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.