Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Are you there John Harvey?

Source: 1890 'Advertising.', Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), 16 August, p. 1, viewed 9 October, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71180483
Bridget Elizabeth (Lizzie) Fullerton (c1846-1923) was the sister of my Great Great Grandfather, Peter Fullerton (1840-1924). Lizzie married three times, but had no children. Firstly, Lizzie married Gerald Thomas Fenelon on 14 June 1863 at Inglewood, Victoria (Gerald's story is also interesting, but I will leave it for another post). Second, Lizzie married John Harvey at Numurkah, Victoria, on 8 August 1884. Thirdly, Lizzie married John Thomas Houghton at Numurkah on 10 April 1898. While Lizzie's second and third marriages took place in Numurkah, Victoria, at that time and until at least the late 1910s she lived at Tocumwal, New South Wales. Lizzie died in 1923 at the residence of her sister, Mary Brown (nee Fullerton) at Ascot Vale, Victoria.

Stories of Lizzie have been handed down through the family of her sister Mary Brown. Mary's grand daughter told me the family story that John Harvey was supposed to have drowned in the Murray River and that before John Houghton married Lizzie in 1898 he went down to the river and asked 'Are you there John Harvey?'

Several years ago I visited Tocumwal and purchased a local history book which had been recently published at that time. A transcription of an 1891 directory for Tocumwal in the back of the book listed Mrs Eliza Harvey who had a 'fancy goods store'. At that stage I had no idea what time between 1884 and 1898 John Harvey had disappeared. Trove to the rescue. Last year I came across the following advertisement which appeared in the Australian Town and Country Journal during June, July and August of 1890.

HARVEY.- Any person knowing the whereabouts of JOHN HARVEY, who left Tocumwal two years last February, kindly communicate with his Wife, Mrs. E. HARVEY, P.O., Tocumwal.
This appears to indicate that John Harvey disappeared in February 1888. 

What do I know about John Harvey? According to the 8 August 1884 marriage certificate of John Harvey and Elizabeth Fenelon, John was a 48-year-old carpenter, born in Suffolk, England (c1836), the son of John Harvey, a stone mason, and Susan (nee Rice). A widower since 1874, John had three children living and five children deceased, according to the certificate.

A transcript (purchased from Marilyn Rowan of transcriptions.com.au) of an 1862 New South Wales marriage certificate showed that John Harvey, a 25-year-old labourer, born England, son of a stone mason (name not stated) and Susan Whitney, married 18-year-old Scottish servant Anne McSween at the Office of the District Registrar at Moulamein, New South Wales on 6 June 1862. Anne died 7 September 1874 at Deniliquin, New South Wales. The cause of her death of 'Exhaustion after confinement'. According to Anne's death certificate, she had three living children: Jessie (aged 10), Francis (aged 9) and Donald (aged 7) and one son deceased.

If anyone is related to this family or knows anything more about them I would very much like to hear from you, please see the contact page of this blog. This is what I have discovered so far about John Harvey's family:

  • Jessie Harvey born 1864, Moulamein, New South Wales. Married Benjamin Rollston, 2 July 1904, at the residence of Mr Stanyer, Barooga, New South Wales. The marriage witnesses were William Stanyer and Maria Stanyer. Jessie Rollston (nee Harvey) died 1928. The Australian Cemeteries Index web site has a photograph of the gravestone at the Barooga General Cemetery of Jessie and Bengamen Rollston, their daughter Hester Owens (nee Rollston) and her husband Thomas John Owens. The inscription says the gravestone was 'Erected by Amy and Clara'.
  • Francis Harvey born c1867
  • Donald Harvey born c1868. Could he be Donald Harvey son of John and Annie who died at Temora, New South Wales in 1939? (From the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Online Indexes)
  • John Harvey born 1872 Collingwood, Victoria, died 1872 Melbourne, Victoria. 
I know that records exist which would help me find out more about John Harvey's life before he married Lizzie, for example, I have discovered, through the New South Wales Police Gazettes (available online at FindMyPast) that John spent some time in the Deniliquin Gaol in 1872 for stealing a saddle.

New South Wales Police Gazette, 4 September 1872 (page 240, Apprehensions)

John Harvey, charged with stealing a saddle, value £2 10s. (recovered), the property of William Smith, has been arrested by Constable Vaughan, Moama Police. Committed for trial at Deniliquin sessions.
New South Wales Police Gazette, 2 July 1873 (page 198, Return of Prisoners Discharged Free since last publication)
Gaol: Deniliquin
Name: John Harvey
Offence: Larceny
Sentence: 9 months hard labour
When and where tried: 17 Sept., 1872, Deniliquin Q.S.
Native Place: England
Trade: Bushman
Year of Birth: 1836
Height: 5 foot 5 inches
Complexion: Fair
Hair: Fair, Curly
Eyes: Grey
Nose: Medium
Mouth: Medium
Chin: Medium
Remarks and ship (if known): "Windsor" 1852. Small mole on back between shoulder.
The following extremely sad article reveals how Anne and the children fared while John was serving time in jail. 
Source: 1872 'INQUESTS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 31 October, p. 1 Supplement: The Argus Supplement, viewed 9 October, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5841520
The city coroner, Dr. Youl, held an inquest on Monday, at tho Immigrants' Home, on the body of John Harvey, aged 15 days, son of a prisoner in the Deniliquin Gaol named John Harvey. The mother said that she married her husband in Deniliquin, and when he got into "trouble" she came, with her four children, to Melbourne. The child had been ill and feeble since his birth, and never took the breast. Witness's friends were unable to support her, and she applied for admission to the home. The child was no worse than usual when she left home to go to the Immigrants' Home. She took him to the hospital on the way, and the doctor said nothing could be done for the child. On reaching the ward in the home she reported that the child was dead or dying, and it died before the doctor who had been sent for arrived. Dr. E. Barker made a post-mortem examination, and found the body of the child, which had not been born at the full time, pale and emaciated. The immediate cause of death was congestion of the lungs from inflammation accelerated by the condition of the body. A verdict of death from pneumonia was found. 
Thanks to Trove I have discovered several things I did not know about Lizzie's second husband. But I still have a lot of questions. Was February 1888 the last time Lizzie ever saw John? Or did he return and then disappear again some time before 1898? What did/do John Harvey's descendants know about him? What did/do they know about Lizzie?  (Ultimately I would love to discover that someone has a photograph of her!)

Trove Tuesday is a blogging prompt created by Amy from the Branches Leaves and Pollen blog.

Sources: Trove (Australian Town and Country Journal), Various Victorian Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates, New South Wales Registration Transcriptions, Australian Cemeteries Index, NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Online Indexes, New South Wales Police Gazettes, information from a descendant of Hannah Fox, information from descendants of Mary Brown. More source information available on request.

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  1. Poor Anne, I hope you find more on your Lizzie & John.

  2. You have the most interesting ancestors, Aillin... I often wonder where all these missing men, and some women, ended up... I have this vision of them hiding in the bush somewhere... maybe trying to escape responsibilities, then again, maybe trying to do better by their families...Will we ever know????

  3. Poor woman with that loss of her child to bear on her own. I had been going to suggest Police Gazettes, then there they were. He obviously did a runner and his family paid the price. Shades of my missing James Sherry, or the alcoholic Biddy McKenna.

  4. What a sad story! I hope the answers to your questions may be found one day.


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