Thursday, 5 April 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - E is for .....

E is for...... .Ellis

Turning back to the sibling of convict Robert Turpin, I have established that his sister Sarah married John Ellis in the Surrey parish of Elstead in 1842.

At the time of their marriage Sarah was recorded as a lace maker, as was her father. There is no evidence to suggest that Sarah's parents moved to Elstead, nor what exactly bought Sarah to such a rural parish, but she did arrive in Elstead and worked as a lace maker at Elstead Mill.

Between the time of their marriage and the migration to Victoria Australia they raised a family of 6 children, starting with Robert baptised in Elstead in 1843, Thomas baptised in 1844, Frederick baptised in 1846, Wilhelmina baptised in 1849, Rosetta baptised in 1853 and Josiah baptised in 1851.

John and Sarah migrated, as free settlers to Victoria in 1854. Sailing on board the "British Empire" from Southampton on 17th October and arriving in January 1855. It has always been unclear what prompted their migration. Were they inspired by the gold rush; although there is no evidence they were involved once they arrived in their new Country? Were they encouraged by Robert, who had become a free settler? again there is no evidence of that either. 

Sarah's brother Josiah Turpin also migrated with the family, although he sailed on a different ship; The James Baines. He was accompanied by his nephew, young Josiah Ellis who would have been only a little boy of around 5 years old. I wonder how Josiah felt being separated from his parents for the duration of the journey. Another pondering is why the family did not travel together. Was their perhaps not enough berths on the ship, or had illness or funds prevented it?

John and Sarah along with their children arrived in Victoria and made their home in Geelong and I am sure they eagerly awaited the arrival of Josiah Turpin and young Josiah. Once in Australia, John and Sarah added a few more children to their family; Jane baptised in 1855, perhaps conceived just before they left England, Catherine baptised in 1858, Sarah in 1860 and John Henry George in 1862. 

Will of John Ellis. Probate 30 Nov 1900

Some sadness did occur, with the death of both Rosetta and young Josiah. There were successes too, daughter Jane became a student teacher in Germantown Geelong and the family seemed to have been content in their new home. 

John lived a happy and long life, passing away on 8th August 1900 and Sarah 23rd August 1903. Josiah Turpin remained close to his family. Sadly he never married and from what I have discovered there is no mention of the family meeting up with convict Robert. 

It would have been tragic if the family had been in the same Country all the time and not spent some time together or been aware.

The link for the A-Z Challenge 2011 post is HERE


  1. I'm so glad to see you're using your family history for the A to Z Challenge. So am I!

    1. I have just become your latest follower, so I can catch up on your A-Z posts!

  2. they sometimes advertised in the Missing Friends columns of the newspaper...have you searched Trove yet Julie? It would indeed be sad if they never connected but as you observe the distances were vast, they often couldn't write and may just not have known how to find him.

    1. I love Trove, I am just finishing a post off for Tuesday Tip! I have searched, but can not find anything. The Turpin's could write - Sarah signed her marriage certificate and Robert Turpin was recorded on his transport records as being able to read and write. I really am hoping I can find out what happened to Robert.


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