Monday, 12 August 2019

1886 - Joseph Henry Pearce

Joseph Henry Pearce known as Harry was born to William and Sarah Pearce (nee Clarke) on 16 Feb 1886 in Innerleithen, Scotland. He was the baby and the tenth child of the family.

The Pearce family. Harry is the little boy on the right front

‘Montgomery Cottages’, 66 High St, Innerleithen.
Birthplace of Harry Pearce.  (From Google maps)

Harry had eight brothers and two sisters although Mary Elizabeth the second girl died in 1878, only eight months old.

I was hoping to find out if Harry had had an education, so I checked the National Records of Scotland to see if there were any school student records.  They state on their website there is only “information on individual schools and sometimes on individual teachers but rarely on pupils in our records”.  

As the family grew older, they all helped in the mineral soft drink factory their parents ran, in Miller Street, Innerleithen until they left home. They did little jobs like capping the bottles.

On the 1901 census Harry is  15 years old and listed as an assistant Aerated Water Manufacturer. (NB: Wake Marks is a transcription error for Water Maker). Ref: Ancestry.

Below are some images from the period when Harry was growing up, still living at home.
Resourced from the Facebook site: 

" Bonspiel (Curling tournament) in the Tweed at Innerleithen, c 1900

Early 1900’s Innerleithen

Games Procession in Innerleithen, 1907

When he was 22 years old Harry married Susan Saunderson on 23 Dec 1908 in  the Camlachie district of Glasgow, Scotland.  The Marriage certificate names the Bluevale Church (at 572 Duke St) Glasgow.  
Susan was the daughter of Edward Saunderson and Susan Cochran. Harry used their address as his own -  12 Craigmore St, Glasgow. 
(There are currently no homes in Craigmore St, according to Google maps, it looks like they have all been removed awaiting development.)

Marriage Record No 370 the lower entry is for Harry and Susan

The Topographical Dictionary of Scotland 1846, Vol 1, p 137 gives the description below of Bluevale. (Author: Samuel Lewis)

Susan was known as Aunt ‘Cissie’ to our family. 
Harry and Cissie had two children:
Richard William born 1909
Henry Edward born 1911, Glasgow.
As an adult Harry had a few jobs.  Maybe because of the effects of his illness – tuberculosis, interfering with his long term availability. 
When he married, he was working as a Tram Car Conductor, the same as his Father-in-law Edward.           
I wonder if Edward invited him home for dinner one evening and he met Cissie there??   Or had he met Cissie first and her father Edward helped him to get the job??

‘City  of Glasgow, Tramcars’:;  
Accessed 06 May 2019
From the tramways information (at the end of this blog) we see that the horse-drawn tram service withdrew at the end of April 1902 and an additional 400 new trams were built and fitted with electrical equipment with the Glasgow Corporation Tramways; this would mean that in the period after 1902 there would have been a need for many more tram workers such as conductors, the job Harry took on. 
However, when he died, he was listed as a Lorryman. 

Harry had moved to Kilsyth, Forth Bridge in Stirlingshire, Scotland and was only 26 years old when he died there at ‘7 hours am’ on 03 December 1912, in Market Street, Kilsyth.

Google Map showing Market Street Kilsyth

Harry had been suffering from pneumonia for three days, an effect of the tubercular disease.  He and Cissie had only been together for four years.  His brother Ned (Edward) was present.

The Forth bridge construction began in 1882.  Opened  04 March 1890 by the Duke of Rothesay, future Edward VII.  Length is 8,094 feet/2,467 m. 
Reference: The Forth Bridge by Sir William Arrol.

Harry was buried with his parents, brother Richard and sister Mary Elizabeth, at the Cemetery in Innerleithen. 

(My photo: Family gravestone in 2015)

Cissie re-married in 1920 in the Camlachie area of Glasgow. Her new husband was David Liddle Bathgate and they had one son – David in 1915. 
Cissie lived to be an old woman of 96 years when she died in 1980 in Park Circus, Glasgow. 

For Interest sake – this is a postcard of the Forth Bridge sent to my father – (Master W Pearce) after they had left Scotland in 1912 and settled in Victoria, Australia. 

“Dear Billy 
How are you getting on.  Do you like Australia as well as Scotland. I think I’ll have to come out and see you all some day.  Do you know which one is me in the photo:
Best love from Aggie.”
I think the post date is No. 20, 13 from Innerleithen
I don’t know what she means by ‘which one she is in the photo’


Glasgow Corporation Tramways were formerly one of the largest urban tramway systems in Europe.   Over 1000 municipally-owned trams served the city of Glasgow, Scotland with over 100 route miles (160 route kilometres) by 1922.[1] The system closed in 1962 and was the last city tramway in Great Britain (prior to the construction of new systems in the 1990s).


The Glasgow Street Tramways Act was enacted by Parliament in 1870. This legislation allowed Glasgow Town Council to decide whether or not to have tramways within Glasgow.[2] In 1872, the Town Council laid a 2 12-mile (4.0 km) route from St George's Cross to Eglinton Toll (via New City Road, Cambridge Street, Sauchiehall Street, Renfield Street and the Jamaica Bridge).
The Tramways Act prohibited the Town Council from directly operating a tram service over the lines. The act further stipulated that a private company be given the operating lease of the tram-lines for a period of 22 years.[3] The St George's Cross to Eglinton Toll tram line was opened on 19 August 1872 with a horse-drawn service by the Glasgow Tramway and Omnibus Company.[4] The Glasgow Tramway and Omnibus Company operated the tram-line and subsequent extensions to the system until 30 June 1894.
In declining to renew the Glasgow Tramway and Omnibus Company operating lease, Glasgow Town Council formed the Glasgow Corporation Tramways and commenced their own municipal tram service on 1 July 1894.

Track gauge

Glasgow's tramlines had a highly unusual track gauge of 4 ft 7 34 in (1,416 mm). This was to permit 4 ft 8 12 in(1,435 mm) standard gauge railway wagons to be operated over parts of the tram system (particularly in the Govan area) using their wheel flanges running in the slots of the tram tracks. This allowed the railway wagons to be drawn along tramway streets to access some shipyards. The shipyards provided their own small electric locomotives, running on the tramway power, to pull these wagons, principally loaded with steel for shipbuilding, from local railway freight yards.


The electrification of the tram system was instigated by the Glasgow Tramways Committee, with the route between Springburn and Mitchell Street chosen as an experiment. With a fleet of 21 newly built tramcars, the experimental electric route commenced on 13 October 1898 and was considered a success. The citywide horse-drawn tram service was withdrawn at the end of April 1902.
An additional 400 new trams were built and fitted with electrical equipment, with the Glasgow Corporation Tramways workshops at Coplawhill, Pollokshields heavily involved in the construction of the new trams.

Standard Tramcars

These four-wheeled, double-deck tramcars were the mainstay of the Glasgow tram fleet from electrification until the late 1950s (only being withdrawn due to the imminent closure of the system). Over 1000 were built between 1898 and 1924. They were progressively modernised in four phases, although not all went through each phase. The first cars were open-top unvestibuled four-wheelers (phase one). They then received top covers with open balconies (phase two), platform vestibules and roll-top draught covers (phase three) and finally fully enclosed top covers (phase four). Electrical equipment and running gear was also upgraded at each modernisation phase. The earlier cars had rounded front dash panels, but later cars which were built with vestibule glazing from new had hexagonal profile dash panels. When early cars were upgraded to receive vestibule glazing they retained their round dash panels, and latterly the main visual difference within the fleet was between the "round dash" and "hex dash" variants. A few cars were also cut down to single deckers for use on the Clydebank - Duntocher route which passed under low railway bridges.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Ancestors: The Palmer Family Story

The earliest member of my ancestral PALMER family for whom there is definite evidence is John Palmer born in March 1730 in Gloucester, Gloucestershire England. 
He married on 14 February 1763 to Sarah COWMEADOW possibly in Richmond. 

Sarah was born 07 June 1735 in Longney, Gloucestershire to Ann Bullock and Richard Cowmeadow.  
Sarah and John had 9 children - 
         John 27 Nov 1763 in Westbury,
         William 1765
         Sarah 1767
         Joseph 1769 - Nov 1834, 
         James 1771
         Thomas 1773 - Nov 1834
         Mary 1776 - 1834, 
         Benjamin 1778 - Jun 1821 and 
         Daniel 1780- Jul 1836.  

It is noted that 3 siblings died in 1834 (2 in November) and I am left wondering if there was a commonality, although they would have been in their fifties and sixties.

“After 1830 the virulent cholera morbusor Asiatic cholera reached England as part of the first pandemic (world-wide epidemic). Between 1831 and 1834 it had caused 60,000 deaths in the population of 14 million. Cholera was greatly feared because of its horrible symptoms.” Reference: Family Search,  

Their mother Sarah died six years previously on 04 April 1828 in Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire. She would have been 93 which seems to be a very old age for the time period.

Their oldest son John PALMER became a farmer (on Esau’s Marr cert) and married Mary BELLAMY on 28 July 1793 in Westbury. Her father is noted as John BELLAMY and mother is Mary GOUGH.  
John and Mary Palmer had 4 children:
         Mary 1796 - 1865  
             Mary marr. James Harding and she died in Dursley.
         John 1803 - ?
         Esau 1807- 1857 and 
         Thomas 1809 - ?

Esau PALMER was born in Flaxley, Gloucester, UK (1851 Census) and was baptised there on 25 Feb 1807.  His father is listed as John Palmer and mother is Mary.  (England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975;   Film Number:91527)
On 01 Jun 1841, Esau married Mary Ann WALL at the Baptist Church in Ross. (Maiden name verified on children’s wedding certificates)
The church stayed as in the picture until it was rebuilt in 1881

The only district on the 1841 UK census a couple with their names could be found, is at the Hill Hotel in Bakewell, Buxton - which could mean they were honeymooning there as the census was carried out on the night of the 6th June, five days after their wedding.

The 1842 Pigot’s Directory lists Esau as a Brazier and Tinman living in Flaxley. 
But by the 1851 Census, he has moved his business to 37 Broad St to the bigger town of Ross on Wye.  He is now an ironmonger employing 15 men. The living quarters/house must have been behind or above the shop.
NB: Ross is close to the border of Wales and England

                        Given to me by K Gillespie, another Palmer descendant.

Esau and Mary Ann had nine children, 4 girls and 5  boys:
         Mary Sophia 1842-1906
         James Esau 1843-1878
         Edward 1844-1910
         Edith Ann 1845-1870,
         Arthur Samuel 1846-1928, 
         Charlotte Elizabeth 1847-1923
         John Henry Wall 1849-1932, 
         Gertrude Edith 1850 - ?  and 
         Herbert William 1852-1904

Esau was 50 years old when he died of dropsy in 1857. 
Mary Ann was then widowed at 44 years old with her large family and youngest child Herbert only 5 years old. 
In Esau’s Last Will and Testament on the 7th January 1857 he leaves:
all my real and personal estate whatsoever and whosoever to my dear wife Mary ann Palmer”

Mary Ann Wall was born 20 Sep 1813 and christened at Ross, Hereford.
Her father is named as  Samuel Wall and Mother - Mary. Her Maternal Grandfather's name is Charles Lewis.

Mary Ann continued running the Ironmongery with her sons assisting her as they grew old enough. In the 1861 Census, James (C) is an Apprentice.  Mary Sophia aged 19, Edward aged 17 and Gertrude aged 11 are not present and the remaining children are all scholars. There is a  cook (Elizabeth Lewis who could be a relative) and a servant housemaid also in residence. 

Mary Ann died on 06 Apr 1862, only five years after her husband.  
The nine children are now orphans. However, in her will, she makes sure that her family of children are all cared for.  She appoints the executors of George Cyrus Lewis her cousin who is also an Ironmonger but lives at No 1 Lowndes Tce, Knightsbridge in Middlesex and Francis Hamp Adams a banker who is her dear friend.  Mary Ann requests the executors care for her estate and that eventually it be sold so they can either divide the residue of her money between her children over 21 and as they reach 21, or to wait for them all to reach 21 and then distribute shared amounts.  Also, the young ones are to have provision for their apprenticeships/advancements as required, and a house kept for them all. 
At the time the oldest child Mary Sophia would have just turned 21, the other eight children would have ranged down to 10 years old.

When the family had reached adulthood two of the brothers John Henry Wall (20yo) and Arthur Samuel (23yo)came to Australia from Ross, Herefordshire in 1869 to settle in Queensland. 
In 1872 John moved to Victoria and carried on the building trade until 1876 when he purchased 320 acres at Jindivick North having to cut his way through the scrub to reach his selection. He and his brother Arthur settled along the flat on the road that went to Neerim South in Gippsland before the Tarago Dam came about.  

Arthur eventually moved over to Port Fairy on the western Victorian coastline - then known as Belfast.  He was farming there when he met Eleanor Wells daughter of Esau and Eleanor Wells who had emigrated with their family from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England. 
Arthur was a bachelor aged 28 and Eleanor was a spinster aged 31 (born on 17 Feb 1840) when they married on 01 June 1871 at St John’s Church in Pt Fairy. The witnesses were Helen Laidlay and John Holt.  Arthur is now working as a Miller in the Warrnambool district.

Arthur and Eleanor had 6 children.  
         Edith Agnes 1873-1874 died at 11 months.
         Arthur Ernest 1874-1950
         James Edward 1876-1956
         Richard Frederick (Percy) 1878-1963
         Violet Maude 1879 - 1946 and
         Claude Laidlaw 1881-1958
In 1903 Arthur is listed in the Electoral roll as a Groom.
Arthur seems to have had a ‘come and go’ relationship with his wife and family and Eleanor ran tea rooms to help provide for the family. I had written in my notes when my mother was alive that she didn't know much about her grandfather Arthur Samuel Palmer - that he disappeared from home at times, he worked as a horse’s groom and needed protection (? Meaning of the latter).

Eleanor Palmer nee Wells died in Victoria St Warragul on 01 Jun 1898 of ‘Apoplexia and  Cerebri Paralysis’ at age 58.  She is buried at the Warragul Cemetery.
The photo shows her daughter Violet standing by her mother’s grave. 
After his wife died Arthur lived in Melbourne - the family said he was a heavy drinker and considered ‘not a nice man’. He called on his daughter Violet when she was in her early 20’s and living in Melbourne also.  Apparently, he wished to reconnect with the family but this did not happen. 

In trying to establish what happened to Arthur his death certificate was obtained.  This showed that Arthur died 06 August 1928 aged 81 years.  The surprise was to see that Arthur had married a second time.  Research of electoral rolls showed that he married sometime between 1903 and 1909 as he was alone in 1903 but Julia Martha Palmer lived with him in the 1909 roll. They lived in Barkly St Mentone the suburb where they married, and Arthur Samuel was a Cab Driver and Julia - Home duties. The 1914 roll repeated this information.  NB: Cab driver could mean a horse cab driver at that time.  The marriage year was validated as 1907.
By 1919 they have moved to Mitchell St, Mentone and Arthur's employment is listed as NIL. He is now 73 years old, so would be retired.
On the 1924 roll, Arthur was alone once again which matched his death certificate that says his 2nd wife pre-deceased him - Julia probably died between 1919 and 1924.  Checking showed that Julia died in 1920 at Heidelberg aged 79 years.

After some sleuthing, evidence proved Arthur’s second wife was Julia Martha Deverell,  a widow.  She had been married to Robert Deverell, a lighthouse keeper in 1892 and he died in 1904.  Her original maiden surname was Babb.   
Arthur and Julia Martha (also known as Martha Julia) married in 1907 and she died in 1920 which meant that Arthur was probably alone for the next 8 years, the last of his life.
I don’t believe that the family knew at all about Arthur’s second marriage.
 I thought it was time to make amends and sought out Arthur's grave - it took quite a while as his death was listed at Malloc on the Victorian Death Index.  Eventually, this turned out to be an abbreviation for Mordialloc and his burial took place at The Necropolis Cemetery Springvale in Melbourne.  He is listed as a farmer on the death certificate although quite a few years had passed since that was the case.
A Victorian friend visited the cemetery for me and took a photo  She said:  After much searching for Arthur unsuccessfully, the maintenance man who knew the cemetery layout and numbering system guided us.  Unfortunately, we found there was no headstone for Arthur, but the image shown is his plot.

Sadly Arthur lies in a grassed unmarked grave - Compartment N Section 2 Grave 54 - but now recognised and for a moment marked by some white chrysanthemums from a descendant.

 Arthur and Eleanor’s fifth child and only surviving daughter Violet married Joseph Cottam the sixth child of Eliza and James Cottam in St John’s Church, Footscray, Melbourne in 1904.

Joseph and Violet went to live and farm on Joseph’s selection at Jindivick, near Drouin, Gippsland until around 1914 (wartime), when Joseph moved to Box Hill to farm poultry and then on to Kew. At the end of the war - In 1919 they were back in Jindivick, Gippsland.  

They made a move northwards to the Goulburn Valley in 1925 and settled on a farm they named “Doonside” in Prentice Road Drumanure. 
By 1931 their son  Philip Douglas was farming with them and daughter Nellie (Eleanor Elizabeth) was farming with her husband Frank Burkitt, nearby.  
The original old house “Doonside” was still there in 2014, although falling into disrepair.

Around 1937 Philip and wife Gertrude (nee Honeybone) had moved to their settlement at Sandmount and set up a large poultry farm, using modern ideas.

In 1942 Joseph was living in Orrvale working as an Irrigationalist and after a few years, they retired and moved to Shepparton.
Violet died in 1946 and Joseph went to live with his daughter Lilian Pearce and husband William (Bill) on their orchard at Grahamvale.
Joseph died in 1953 at Mooroopna Hospital, Victoria.

Family of Joseph and Violet Cottam:
James Ernest was born 02 Jan 1803 in Drouin, Gippsland and married Doris Ruba.  They lived in Young St Mooroopna for a while.  He was an engineer and moved to Tasmania for the building of the Hydro Scheme. Died in Hobart 18 Jan 1978
Phillip Douglas was born on 24 Sep 1907 in Drouin also. He marred Gerte Nellie Gaynee Honeybone and they lived on their poultry farm at Sandmount until his death by tractor accident 20 Jul 1960.
Eleanor Elizabeth (Nell) was born on 08 May 1909 in Chintin, Gippsland and married Francis (Frank) Burkitt on 12 Feb 1930 in Drumanure Presbyterian Church, Victoria.  Nell died on 06 Dec 1978 in Numurkah.
Lilian Agnes was born on 24 Aug 1913 at Kew, Victoria. She married William Louden Pearce (Bill) an Orchardist of Orrvale on 23 March 1940 (Easter Saturday) at Scot’s Church, Shepparton.  The Pearce family emigrated from Peebles, Scotland in 1913.  Bill and Lil lived in Shepparton with Lil’s parents (Joseph and Violet) until they moved out to their orchard at Grahamvale. Bill was a City councillor and subdivided property in South Shepparton and Numurkah as well as developing and running orchards at Kialla West. The Pearce’s donated land to the Presbyterian Church where St Andrew’s Church was built in South Shepparton and land for the Child Health Clinic.  Bill was an Elder in the church and both were long-standing members of the choir.  Bill and Lil retired and moved to far northern NSW in 1964 for Lil’s health. They lived at Terranora, where Bill ‘ever the worker’ ran a market garden growing tomatoes and passionfruit for the Sydney markets as well as growing their own fruit and veggies.  Eventually, they settled in Kingscliff on the coast where they played bowls and participated in Meals on Wheels and all the church activities. Lil was a prestigious jam maker for friends and church stalls, as well as working her old Singer sewing machine mending for all and sundry. Bill died 20 Apr 1982 in Tweed Heads Hospital and Lilian died on 02 Aug 1996 also in Tweed Heads Hospital, NSW.
George Alfred was born on 06 Mar 1916 in Kew, Victoria and married Irene Goodingham.  George joined the police force and worked at many police stations around Victoria including Nagambie, as well as the mounted police in Melbourne.   He died on 26 May 2009
Joseph William was born on 12 May 1919 in Drouin, Gippsland.  He was an Auto mechanic and married Frieda Evelyn John. They settled in South Australia and ran an Auto Works in Unley.  Joe died in 2006.