Walter Todman is my great grandfather. He lived most of life in Victoria, Australia. It appears he was possibly born in Essex, England and migrated to Australia sometime before 1891 when he married Martha Sarah Ellis in the All Saints Church, East St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. He died suddenly of acute heart failure in 1929 at around 63. Who Walter's parents were is not clear
Before his marriage where and who Walter is almost a complete mystery.
However in my quest to find my grandfather I have found two possible Walter Todmans who could in fact be the same person.
In 1890 a Walter Todman registered a patent in NSW for shearing equipment. In 1892 a Walter Todman is getting married to a Martha Sarah Ellis in Victoria.
The question then becomes are these two Walters the same person?
I have been unable to find either of them coming into Australia nor what happened to the Walter Todman who started off in NSW.
My research so far has focused on the following
Establishing where my great grandfather Walter Todman was born through his children’s birth certificates:-
1894 on his daughter's Martha's birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1895 on his daughter's Ivy Florence birth certificate he was born in Stepheney, London
1897 on his son's Walter Victor birth certificate he was born in Surrey, England
1903 on his daughter's Hazel May's birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1906 on his son's Lincoln James birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1908 on his daughter's Charlotte Mary birth certificate he was born in Norfolk, England
1910 on his daughter's Alma Dudley birth certificate he was born in Norfolk, England
On all birth certificates the informant was Martha Todman, mother (& Walter's wife); although the place listed for the fathers (Walter's) birth is always different his age is always consistent with being born in 1866.
A second Walter Todman?
There is a Walter Todman who fathered a Walter Todman in 1890 in New South Wales Australia with a Jane Levey. This Walter Todman was born in Norfolk, England who was 25 years old at the time therefore being born c 1865. A possible match for my Walter. (note Walter and Jane were not married)
The address listed was 9 Bailey Street, Newtown
Pros as to why this might be the same person as my Walter Todman
* the potential birth date of both Walter's is almost the same
* Norfolk is listed as one of the possible birth places of our Walter and is listed as the birth place of this second Walter Todman
* He is also a blacksmith
[We have been unable to find the marriage or death of a Jane Levey or her son Walter Todman in N.S.W or Vic; perhaps Jane did marry or take some else’s name and changed her son's name to that surname also?]
[Efforts to try and establish whether these two Walter Todman's are the same person
I have tried to locate the Walter Todman in NSW after/before 1892 particularly at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown. By following his movements I was hoping that we would be able to distinguish between the two Walter's if they weren't the same person
Records that we consulted while in NSW were:-
1. 1891 NSW Census - taken on 16th April 1891. 9 Bailey Street Newtown was uninhabited. This could indicate a number of things, that after Walter Todman son of Jane Levey and Walter Todman was born the couple moved from the house either together or separately.
2. Sydney Sands Postal Directory - 1888 - 1890 did not list a Walter Todman at any location. In 1890 the person living at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown was Miss Mary A Currey. This could mean that Miss Currey lived by herself or was incharge of a boarding house or ??. If the dwelling was a boarding house or similar Walter and/or Jane could have lived there as well. There were Todmans listed in the Directory including a George F Todman and in 1890 a Herman Todman, neither of these were living near Newtown.
3. In the Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia 1891 there was a Walter Todman listed at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia
3. Electoral Role 1889 - 1890 no Walter Todman listed. In 1889 a George Todman was listed (not mine as far as I can establish)]
A Jane Todman shows up on Sand and Macdougall directory in Coburg, Victoria in 1907 only. This may only be a coincidence - but if this was infact Jane Levy, her son Walter would have been about to turn 18 perhaps she had appeared to collect his share of his inheritance or something.
*why would you call a second son by the same name? i.e. Walter Victor Todman by the same name as your first son?
With a bit of luck someone can give me a clue on where I should head next or perhaps even have further information to help shed light on the mystery.