Searching for STAFFORD from Mount Kembla, Australia :: Genealogy
<< Previous - Next >>

Searching for STAFFORD from Mount Kembla, Australia

Journal by wileli

William Stafford married Elizabeth Goodall or Goodhall in India
Some children born in India, others in Mount Kembla, Australia
Anyone out there who is searching for same.

Viewed: 4981 times
Likes: 0
by wileli Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2006-11-08 04:38:42

wileli , from australia, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Nov 2006. is researching the following names: STAFFORD, FISHLOCK, WALKER and 7 other(s).

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by jillaust on 2008-10-12 00:46:55

I know a fair bit about the Staffords of Mt Kembla - but I want to know where Elizabeth Goodall's parents were frm.

by janilye on 2011-06-25 01:04:53

Her father was John GOODALL born about 1793 Isle St. Helens he grew up around Warwichshire and then when he was 12 on the 1 June 1805, Enlisted in the East India Company Army at the age of 14 for unlimited service. 2nd Battalion, 14th foot, under command of Captain William Moore Troop
Then on the 4 November 1807 Arrived in India on the ship "Duchess of Athol" [IOR: Bengal Muster Rolls 1830 - L/MIL/10/1815]
Transfered from 2nd Battalion to 1st-Drummer Battalion. Drummer.

April 1807 in Fermov Ireland. 25th April 1807 -18th June 1807, At Gosport, near Portsmouth on sea rations. 19 June 1807-18th Oct 1807, At sea. Nov 1807 - Regiment at Fort St George, Madras. in 1810 he fought in the war against Napoleon

About 1811 in England according to Pallots marriage index he married Mary ' (possible surname Smailes, sorry don't know her mother.)' who'd been born in Staffordshire in 1790 (not proven)
Elizabeth was born on 12 January 1814 I'm not sure whether in England or India but she was christened in West Bengal on the 4 June 1814. Around that time John had re-enlisted for service with the East India Company. Mary died at Secrole India on the 3 December 1829. They'd had 7 children the last 6 were born for sure in India;
Elizabeth Goodall 1814 ? 1897
John Goodall 1816 ?
William Goodall 1818 ?
Sarah Valentine Goodall 1821 ?
James Goodall 1824 ? 1824
Henry Goodall 1826 ?
Charlotte Goodall 1827 ? 1828
The next year on the 24 April 1830 he married Isabella Caroline Elder, at Secrole, Benares, India. John was then Sergeant Major 64th Bengal Native Infantry.
In 1833 John became a Sergeant-Major on the Pension Establishment.(see; Bengal Register of European in HEIC Service 1793-1839 - L/MIL/10/122]
John and Isabella had 5 children;
Elenor Agnes Goodall ? 1832
Joshua Jasper Goodall ? 1837
Cecilia Adelina Goodall 1834 ?
Arthur Goodall 1837 ?
Emma Victoria Goodall 1839 ? 1840
On the 27 October 1840 at Secrole, Benares, India, John succumbed to the fever and died.
The source for this of course is The India office Family History Library which for some reason the website is down.

by wileli on 2011-06-25 01:26:07


So all of the details you have listed can be cited on this India Office Family History Library website when it is available, including reference to St Helena, and details of how John Goodall died, very interesting. Will check when site is running.

by janilye on 2011-06-25 04:18:06

by janilye on 2011-06-25 04:20:17


by wileli on 2011-06-25 09:19:00

Had a look at India Office Family History Search, found only burial date for John Goodall, no entry for cause of death or any entry regarding St Helena,is there a death certificate.

by janilye on 2011-06-25 12:06:07

No I don't think I saw a death certificate but was told the death is displayed on the India Office site. The site was down and I couldn't check it.
I've been on so many different sites today looking for John Goodall it's hard to remember them all. As well as the British Library I was on this site.
British in India for the HEIC records.
also I took information compiled by Faye Cockle in 1994 from T.Thomas, at India Office Library, Blackfriars Rd London. and Harry Holyer, Genealogist, Sussex England.
Also I compared notes on about 8 or 9 different trees on 3 different sites. all agreed with the birth and death dates and quoted the India Family history site.
Sorry I can't help you further, but I suppose it's a few extra clues.

by wileli on 2011-06-25 21:01:21

Hello again,

Thank you for the extra clues, will check the site, British in India.

by jillaust on 2011-07-22 00:12:46

I think we might have emailed a couple of years ago, but I just saw these posts. I have done a fair bit of research and looked carefully at the Cockle records as well as the India family website.

The muster of the Bengal army in 1830 shows John to have been born in Aston, Birmingham and to have gone to India with the EIC, not the 14th Foot, in 1807. The Cockle research is not supported by evidence and looks like there might have been a John Goodall in the 14th, because it just gives the movements of this regiment.

Mary Smailes was in Manchester in 1861, so is not our Mary.

Elizabeth was born in Berhampore 14/1/1814, in the same record as her baptism in June of that year. John was in the 14th then.

The movements of John through the army (HM and EIC) are clear enough in the Indiafamily site, records of births, his second marriage and death.

There is no likelihood that John was born on St Helena - I think the name might have cropped up in family legend because he probably did go to Mauritius with the 14th, not long before Elizabeth was born. It is an outside possibility that Mary was the child of an Indian family on that islans. This is just speculation though. St Helena subsequently led to the legend that John was in the Napoleonic guard, not possible at all, but you can see how things get embellished.

Hope this might help a bit, Jill

by lisabelle on 2011-07-22 23:38:51

Hello wileli,

My great-great grandmother was Elizabeth Goodall.I have a note about John being in the Neopolenic guard, there is so much out there that is just not correct.. My mother used to tell me that my great grandmother Lydia Stafford was an Indian princess, I don't know where that came from!!she was born in India in 1851.The family arrived in Mt Kembla in 1852.

by oaktrees on 2011-07-25 08:39:39

Hello everybody.

I have been seeing this information about John Goodall being born on St, Helena (or not) and about his daughter Elizabeth being born on St Helena..(or not). Seen information about Elizabeth Goodall who married William Stafford being referred to as an "Indian Princess" , even seen a photo of same but it seems as though the photo shows a lady in what seems to be North American "Indian" clothing . I would think that an "Indian Princess" would be wearing a Sari. Since St. Helena is pretty much in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean , it is a long , long way from both England and India . Where can I get the paperwork to show the places of birth death and marriages of John Goodall , Mary Goodall , and Elizabeth Goodall ???? Is it possible to get copies of the original paperwork?

by wileli on 2011-07-27 04:09:31

Hello to all,

Sorry I have not replied before today,yes jillaust we have corresponded before, how are you.

There seems to be many interested parties searching for the truth about John Goodall & his wife Mary. I have also looked at many trees on the Ancestry site, a couple of the entries have a photo of the "Indian Princess", I'm not sure how these people can justify putting a photo of a woman who I think is someone dressed in a costume and saying it is Mary wife of John Goodall.

I have also seen the photo, in fact I have a copy, looks nothing like an "Indian Princess".

The photo was passed on by a member of the James family many years ago to a member of the Stafford/Christiansen family, on the back of the photo it has "Grandfather James' Grandmother".

I look forward to the next entry in the saga of John Goodall & wife Mary, as well as William & Eilzabeth Stafford and their extended families.

by jillaust on 2011-08-10 00:19:57

Hello again Wileli

The note on the photo I have looked at in some depth and decided it was possibly written by a Lil McBarron, nee Ethel James. She was not, in fact, descended from William and Elizabeth, though she may well have thought she was, her families came from Wollongong and there was a lot of intermarriage. Her mother and her father both came from convict stock, so perhaps they preferred to align themselves with the blameless Staffords.

I still wonder if the only bit of truth is that Mary Goodall was Indian or half; enough family legend seems to have survived to suggest this. I can think of no way this can be shown, though if they were married in India (or Mauritius or Borneo) there might be records in old churches in those places. Bit of a wild goose chase I would think.

In all my immigrant family, and most of them go back to the 1830s and 40s, the Staffords are the only ones with these flights of fancy, why I couldn't say. I do have one g g g grandfather some of whose descendants think he was a doctor; he wasn't, but how they came to this conclusion is interesting too.

Regards, Jill

by wileli on 2011-08-30 21:32:18

Hello again,

I do know about Ethel Lilian McBarron nee James,if she was the one who wrote the inscription on the back of the photo, the Grandfather James' Grandmother could be Catherine Flanagan or Jessie Stevens/ Stephens.

I very much doubt its them.

I think it's going to be a story to be handed down over time.

What an interesting way you have described the Staffords, There are many "colourful" ways I can describe many of the members of the Garrett/Stafford family.

I never make any comment on branches of trees I have no information about, there are some who seem to think farmers & miners are not a preferred occupation, I am proud to have come from hard working farmers & miners.

by jillaust on 2011-10-11 19:27:21

Hello to you too.

The McBarron James' antecedents were in Wollongong in the 1840s and I think Lil may have thought they were related - they were, but by marriage. So it is possible that her vague grandfather James' grandmother was based on her belief that she was a Stafford and that someone was Indian.

The Garretts particularly were interesting, but the Staffords too had their moments.

I am amazed at your comment that there is something wrong, to some, with mining or farming. Why, for heaven's sake? and what would these people prefer I wonder?

I have done so much research that I can actually comment a bit, but elsewhere there are just interesting speculations.

by wileli on 2011-10-21 20:21:08

Hello again,

With all of the different information being handed down over the years, some of which is correct, some just a thought. I'm afraid I have decided to put family history on hold for a while, I have often noticed on some family trees on the site which have members of the Stafford family with incorrect information, I send a message to advise these people, but no response, I see a trend of people attaching information for other trees, seems they do not wish to search for themselves. This is not just my Stafford side, but also with my husband's side as well.

I'm sure there are many stories out there, it's just a case of finding them.

Hope you are well


by creekbed on 2012-04-23 22:20:52


I have a cousin searching for information regarding the Stafford/Goodall families, she has told me about some of the entries on different sites which have information unsourced, like me, she only adds information after citing a source or documents, that is why I wish to find information regarding John Goodall & his first wife Mary, in some cases there are trees having the surname of Valentine for Mary, can anyone confirm this with a documented source or is it just an assumption because one of the children has a middle name of Valentine. Also the marriage for John Goodall,any information available.

Thank you

by darianzam on 2012-08-09 05:45:21

by darianzam on 2012-08-09 05:50:31

I went out to some of the Stafford farm sites last year as part of a heritage survey.It was the site of Annie Stafford (Anne Rann)'s homestead.It is quite remote and deep in the bush in Cordeaux Valley. I also think I found the entrance to Minnie Stafford (Maria Rann's) farm. We intend to go back next year and explore further. We also visited Reuben Garrett Stafford's Iona Farm site and I have been to the site of Peerless View which was Reuben and Annie's property in North Kembla. Out of the four, Peerless is the only one which can be walked publicly. There is nothing much to see with the last one having had a large pipeline driven through it by the SCA.

by wileli on 2012-08-09 21:27:11

Good luck, hope you find what you are looking for.

by wileli on 2012-08-09 21:35:14

darianzam, sorry forgot to ask, are you a member of any of the families

by darianzam on 2012-08-23 02:19:25

No I am not but a researcher/historian and am working on a project in regards to the area. Plus, I just like rambling looking for old homestead and farm sites!

by darianzam on 2012-11-12 00:51:17

I knew I had heard something of this story before. Checking up on it, John Leo McNamara had this to say on the subject: "To furnish an account of the contributions these men made to the Cordeaux I feel it appropriate to supply some background on the family. Their father, William Stafford Senior (c1811-1864), had been a high ranking officer in the British Imperial Anny in India. He married a high born Indian girl, Elizabeth Goodall (1814-1897), claimed by some to be a Princess. As an educated person who spoke fluent English, this could be true".

Doesn't really shed any light on it. Even in a small community like Mount Kembla a few fanciful tales swirled around - where it was a small enough community to easily dispel and dismiss them; they did not. Why? it goes unsaid that everyone no mater what culture or standing likes a good story with a pinch of mystery. It's entertainment, all a bit of fun really.
"Mrs. McBarron, nee Lilly James" also wrote a short memoir about her time in Kembla Heights prior to WWI. I have a copy of this. It was actually done not that long ago, in 1988. Although I would say she would have been in her eighties by then so I doubt she's still with us.

by wileli on 2012-11-12 04:17:12

I also have a copy of the memoir, as well as a copy of the photo she claimed was Elizabeth Goodall, my opinion of the photo, it is a photo of a woman dressed in a costume.

Regarding the "Indian Princess", maybe just a family tale, no actual evidence found as far as I know.

Lil McBarron died 1993

by darianzam on 2012-11-12 17:52:47

It probably was a costume. It does sound rather like the family were "playing up to" the rumour as a bit of a lark. They probably thought it was so ridiculous as to be funny. Or, sometimes people do adopt certain elements of culture into their dress. If she had been born in India and brought up there, it was probably the case.

by oaktrees on 2012-11-21 02:18:08

Hello everybody.
I have been reading the comments above and I am aware of other people who want to know about the Stafford "Indian Princess " I see that opinion seems to be divided as to whether this person existed or if the person existed but was not a "Princess "
I am glad that somebody was able to visit the areas where descendants of William Stafford had purchased land and/or farms somewhere near the Cordeaux River .Well keep up the good work everybody .

by anniju on 2012-12-19 05:46:42

Hello Family

Today - 19.12.2012 - I have been reviewing the St Helena Pension & Muster Rolls for the British East India Company - St Helena Island 1810 - 1816. Family History Library British Film - # 2029843. Accessed from The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints - Family History Centre - Salt Lake City, Utah. Requested 17 Oct 2012. Accessed 19.12.2012

I am currently residing in Victoria, Australia. My name is Annie Churchill. I am directly related to Lydia Wilson nee Stafford who is my fathers great grandmother via his mothers family - the Wilsons from Mount Kembla. Her fourth child, John Wilson is my fathers grandfather.

I think every time we quote our research about John Goodall and Mary ?? surname - we need to think about referencing - then we don't get dis-jointed.

I can definitely give you the following information about John Goodall.

According to the muster roll of 1813 - first mention -

Enlists for duty - St Helena Regiment 1812

For the quarter commencing 1 April - 30 June 1812 -
Under the lead of Captain Robert Statham
John Goodall was enlisted as a Private - Infantry Division of the St Helena Regiment

Country of Origin - St Just - Cornwall, England
Occupation prior to enlistment - labourer

Arrived - Ketch / Ship - Ceres 1813 - 26 July
(The Ceres was launched in 1811 and scuttled in 1936 !!!!) - see The Ketch Ceres 1811 - 1936 by Astbury Charmian)

one year later - 1814 - 1 April - 30 June 1814. Same statistics as related above but now in the Company, Regiment of St Helena commanded by:-
Captain Henry Sutton Cole

John Goodall Age 23 Private - mentioned in the 1814 register of Captain Cole as a CASUALTY- (I cannot make out the comment in the relevent comment area) - but it suggests the 10 names listed with John Goodall were "paid up until 31 Aug 1814- I am surmising this is what the very difficult script is saying..............

There are no further records of John Goodall &/or family following this entry in 1814.

If John Goodall was married to Mary with Elizabeth as his child- he is not listed in the 1814 census - and according to the 1814 census statistics, he would have been "Head of his Household" - thereby requiring notification in the census. Was he still "technically" single and not acknowledging his partner and child. Or had he left for India with his family prior to the census? But I cannot find (yet) when the census was conducted.

Furthermore, no evidence of a marriage to Mary is contained in the church records I have viewed today (for 7 hours !!) No marriage entry in 1813 or 1814 - no mention of a birth record for these years. Elizabeth was apparently christened in India in 1814 - is it our Elizabeth?? - given that the John Goodall was still on the muster roll for 1814. The timing and dates are not stacking up.

Does anyone have any idea or has anyone viewed the India Office Records for 1814/1815 re: arrivals and what regiment he would have transferred to?

ANOTHER THOUGHT:- there is considerable confusion with Goodall & Goodhall - and I think its causing problems with how we interpret the records. We need to site the evidence and suggest a reason for why we interpret things happen. While spelling interpretation proves problematic, we need to cite the evidence to ensure there is reasonable conclusion drawn.

I look forward to your replies:-


Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.