Sunday, 4 February 2018

#52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 5: 'In the Census'

Week 5 Prompt:  'In the Census'

I will use the Australian Electoral Rolls, as it was through them that I made quite a family discovery that no-one knew about.

Arthur Samuel Palmer married Eleanor Wells in 1872 at Port Fairy, Victoria, known as Belfast at the time.  They are my Great Grandparents - my mother's grandparents.  I was interested to research Arthur, as Mum's mother had told her she didn't know anything about him after she went to work. All of the family distanced themselves from him and he seemed to have disappeared.  He wasn't home much when they were younger and when their mother, Eleanor died in 1898, they all went to live in different places, with relatives
The only clues she told me were  he was a horse's groom and needed 'protection'.”  She could not embellish on that.

Checking the 1903 Electoral Roll, I found him listed as a groom and living alone in Burwood in the Kooyong district of Victoria. So I felt sure I had the right man.  He was the only Arthur Samuel I could find.
The 1909 Electoral Roll had Arthur Samuel Palmer living at Barkly St, Mentone and working as a Cab driver.  I presume this means a horse drawn cab. Then I had a big surprise - there was a Julia Martha Palmer (Home duties) living at the same address.  Again I couldn't find any other Arthur Samuel Palmer's.
The 1914, 16, and 17 Rolls had Arthur and Julia still at the same address

So who was this woman - living in the same house as Great Grandpa?

Checking further - In 1919 they had moved to Mitchell St, still in Mentone and Arthur's employment is listed as Nil. He was 73 years old and had probably retired by then

In the Electoral Roll of 1921 Arthur is once again alone.  He has moved to George St, Mordiallac by 1926, and is still listed there in 1927 and 28.
After that I could not find him on the Electoral Roll.

I searched for his death and found on the Death Index that he died aged 81 years in 1928 at Malloc, VictoriaThis is the abbreviation for Mordiallac

On the purchased Death Certificate it says he was married a second time in Mentone, other information unknown.  His second wife pre-deceased him - this would mean that they probably married between 1903 and 1909 that Julia probably died between 1919 and 1921, when she disappears from the Electoral Roll

I found that Arthur had married Julia Martha Deverell (nee Babb) in 1907, and that she died in 1920.  

Arthur died in Mordialloc and is buried at The Necropolis Cemetery Springvale  - it is difficult to read the details on his death certificate, though he is listed as a farmer. (Which he had been when he first came to Australia)

Later I contacted a relative I had found online and she sent me photocopies of photos of some of the Palmer family, including the ones attached of Arthur Samuel Palmer. Apparently, Arthur had a show horse and took care of others  He travelled a lot to shows and the races.  I just wish my mother was here now to show and tell her my research results.
PS I never found out about the 'protection' he was said to need.

Arthur Samuel Palmer

Arthur Samuel Palmer with his show horse 'Percheron'



Arthur and Eleanor's Marr - Marriage: Australian BDM Register, Schedule D, No 24, Marriage Copy of Entry.
Eleanor's death - Australian BDM Register, Schedule B, Victoria, Death Copy of Entry.

Electoral Rolls - 1903, 1909, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1921, 1926, 1927, 1928
-; Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980.

Arthur's death -  Third Schedule, 1928, Death Certificate, District of Mordiallac, Victoria, Australia.  No 734.  Reg. No. 11722.

Arthurs Second Marr. to Julia -; Australian Marriage Index, 1788-1950 Reg No 1628.

Julia's death  -; Australian Death Index 1787-1985. Reg. No. 10585.

Arthur's burial - Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Victoria, Australia; Necropolis Cemetery, 1928.


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  2. Thank you Chris for including my blog story