William Adlington a Fencible Solider
Late last year I decided it was time I got round to doing some genealogy research. Partly for personal interest, partly for professional development (I'm a reference librarian and figured the best way to learn more about genealogy to help customers with their queries was to learn from experience). My dad who's semi-retired was already working on his own side of the family and parts of my mothers family too. And some parts had already been done.
So I decided to work on my maternal grandmothers fathers family the Adlingtons. My great grandfather was Wilfrid Adlington and his wife was Alicia Ann Smyth. Alicia's family has already been done going back several centuries. Finding information about Wilfrid, his siblings and parents John Adlington and Mary Anne Wilkins wasn't too hard. And I was making progress with Mary Anne's side of the tree.
But I was having trouble getting anywhere on the Adlington side beyond John. I knew from NZ BDM historical search that John Adlington was born in Auckland in 1849. But I was having trouble finding any other Adlington's in NZ that early. I had come across Robert Adlington and his wife and children but they had arrived in the 1860s way too late to be the family I was looking for. Admittedly part of the problem was I was too cheap to pay for John's birth record,also I had been warned that some early records might not have the parents names on them. But in December I got an email from one of the librarians list-serves I'm on about the British Parlimentary Papers relating to New Zealand which Waikato University had digitised. I typed in the name Adlington and up popped a Despatch from Governor Grey talking about Auckland Colonial Hospital including the names of all the patients who had died there in 1848 and there was a William Adlington.
It took me awhile to fit it all together but here are John Adlington’s parents. The surname is variously spelt or misspelt as Adlington/Allington/Hadlington /Hadington
Auckland Area Passenger Arrivals 1838-1889
Name ALLINGTON, William
Vessel MINERVA: Departed: Gravesend Oct 8 1847
Notes With one woman and one child (of 97th Foot from South London). Royal New Zealand Fencibles
INDEX TO THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND FENCIBLE CORPS
ALLINGTON William Ellen WILLIAMSON MIN 97th Foot
1136.01.11. Copy of a Despatch from Governor Grey to Earl Grey. Government House, Auckland
Return of Patients who died in the Colonial Hospital, Auckland, during the Year 1848.
Wm. Adlington. Pensioner . . . Male Age 42 Admitted Oct. 18. Died Dec. 7. Disease of kidneys and liver. A chronic case of long standing, pronounced incurable when admitted.
Burials in Symonds Street Cemetery and St Stephens Cemetery
Abstract The Anglican St Paul's register has William Hadlington aged 32 years, from the N.Z. Fencibles, who died 7 December 1848 and was buried 9 December 1848.
Subjects Hadlington, William, d.1848; New Zealand Fencibles
Symonds Street Cemetery
John's age is wrong by 10 years
Auckland Early Births "Had-Has"
06 Jan 1849 ~ Hadlington*, John ~ born to William (Allington/Adlington?)and Ellen née Williamson, fencible, Onehunga
1849 Ellen Hadlington John Robinson
Auckland Early Births "Roa-Rya"
01 Feb 1851 ~ Robinson, Thomas ~ born to John and Ellen née Haddington, porter, Auckland
John Adlington’s half-brother
I still haven't managed to figure out who the child was that came to NZ with William Adlington and his wife Ellen nee Williamson. Or what became of Ellen, John and Thomas Robinson. A family story says John didn't get on with his step-father and was fostered by Alex "Butcher" McKay and his family at Waipu so I believe the Robinsons lived somewhere in Northland.
I have found William's army record from the 97th Regiment of the Foot thanks to Auckland Libraries subscription to FindMyPast. He served 18 years including 11 years in Ceylon before being pensioned out with rheumatism and declining strength. He joined the army at 18 in 1824. His occupation was druggist and he was born in Rotherham, York.
But there the trail goes cold. I can't find his marriage to Ellen Williamson and don't know if it happened before during or after his army service. I haven't found a birth for William and Ellen's older child. And the only William Adlington born in Rotherham around 1806 that I have found so far died in infancy. I have been in touch with James Adlington who has names for thousands of Adlington's and he doesn't know who Williams is either.
But it was really cool to be able to at least give my grandmother some details about her great grandfather, perhaps some things his own son wouldn't have even known since his father died before he was born. Poor Ellen being left a widow in early NZ with 2 small children and little choice but to remarry. And I'm still plugging away with Wildcard searches hoping to turn up something more about William and his family