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William WILLIAMS of Hobart Tasmania, Australia and Wales??

Journal by linswad

William WILLIAMS is still largely a mystery to me. I know that he lived in Hobart between 1852 and 1867, but I don't know where he came from or went to! These are the facts I do know about him:

* 1852 16 Sep: Transfer of land from David Dunkley and his wife Elizabeth of Sandy Bay to William Williams of Watchorn St, mariner, and William Williams of Argyle St, carpenter [wasn't one William WILLIAMS bad enough!!]
* 1862 9 Jun: William Williams heretofore of Argyle St Hobart Town in Tas, carpenter, at present residing in North Wales, and William Williams of Watchorn St Hobart Town aforesaid mariner, sold some of their land
* 1862 18 Jun: Power of attorney from William Williams of North Wales, Great Britain, farmer, to Evan Jones
* 1863 15 Jan: son William born Watchorn St Hobart
* 1864 18 Apr: married Eliza BRITTON Presbyterian Free church manse, Hobart
* 1864 6 May: dau. Eliza Jane born Watchorn St Hobart
* 1865 25 Nov: son Richard Thomas born Watchorn St Hobart
* 1866 23 Apr: son Richard Thomas died
* 1867 13 May: son John Samuel born Bathurst St Hobart
* 1867 25 Jun: William Williams of Watchorn St Hobart Town in Tas, mariner, sold his land
* 1873 31 Dec: power of attorney from William WILLIAMS of 5 Brynteg Tce, Upper Bangor, Carnarvon, UK (which William is this??) to Evan Jones
* 1890 20 May: son John Samuel married at Wollongong, William Schenck(?) WILLIAMS is a witness (is this the father, or yet another William WILLIAMS??)

William married Eliza BRITTON on 18 April 1864, when Eliza was 18 and William 54 years old. They had one child before this, and another three after their marriage:

1. William, b. 15 Jan 1863 Watchorn St, Hobart, TAS
2. Eliza Jane, b. 6 May 1864 Watchorn St, Hobart, TAS
3. Richard Thomas, b. 25 Nov 1865 Watchorn St, Hobart, TAS, d.23 Apr 1866
4. John Samuel b. 13 May 1867 Bathurst St, Hobart, TAS

The next record I can find of any member of the family is in September 1887, when John Samuel became a ship's engineer, in NSW. He married Mary Jane BATE in Wollongong NSW in May 1890. Their son William John died in Leichhardt in 1913, and the funeral notice mentioned his relatives:

* Mr and Mrs W. WILLIAMS and family
* Mr and Mrs BRITTON and family

So one of Eliza's BRITTON family, and probably John Samuel's brother William WILLIAMS were living in Sydney at that time!

I then looked in the NSW death index, and found Samuel BRITTON, son of Samuel and Ann, had died in Sydney in 1916. Looking at the Rookwood index again found a date of death for Samuel, 16 July 1916.

The Sydney Morning Herald carried a funeral notice on 17 July 1916:
The friends of Mrs Mary BRITTON and family are invited to attend the funeral of her beloved husband and their father Samuel to leave 55 Edward Street Pyrmont this day at 1 pm for Church of England Rookwood.

Searching back through the NSW indexes revealed Samuel's marriage in 1866, and the births of their children. So Eliza's brother Samuel had moved to Sydney from Tasmania in the 1860s.

In 1998 I was looking through the SAG Rookwood Index for Eliza or William WILLIAMS and found an Eliza J., much too young to be her. But then I realised the date was right for their daughter, Eliza Jane. There was little information given except that she died 29 Oct 1882 aged 18, and there was also a John BENHAM d.10 Mar 1880 aged 75 in the grave.

I checked the SMH and found the funeral notice put in by Joseph BENHAM for his step-daughter Eliza WILLIAMS. The NSW index lists a marriage between Joseph BENHAM and Eliza BRITTEN (her maiden name!) in 1879 in Sydney. At that time she claimed her parents were Samuel WESTWOOD and Ann (unknown). There's also a death in Redfern on 24 Sep 1885 for Eliza BENHAM, father John BRITTON, which is also her). She might have kept quiet about her parents because they were convicts of course. Her sister Priscilla (POPE) was one of the witnesses to the marriage - when I checked the NSW marriage index for POPEs I found Priscilla and her children marrying in Sydney during the 1870s and 1880s.

Then I checked for BENHAMs in Rookwood and found another grave containing:

1. Eliza b.5 jul 1848, native of Tasmania, wife of Joseph BENHAM, died 24 sep 1885 aged 37. Eliza was b.4 July 1845 according to the Tasmanian records (sounds like she lied about her age when she remarried).
2. Mary Sybina, d.11 aug 1919 aged 61
3. Joseph d. 16 dec 1940 aged 90

So, now it looks like most of my BRITTON and WILLIAMS families moved to NSW from Tasmania, probably to escape their convict background, as many did at that time. William probably died sometime between 1867 and 1874, but where he died is still unknown.

Surnames: BATE BENHAM BRITTEN BRITTON POPE WESTWOOD WILLIAMS
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by linswad Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-09-01 03:14:41

linswad , from Greenethorpe, NSW, Australia, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Aug 2010. is researching the following names: SWADLING, KJELSBERG, STIBBLES and 17 other(s).

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