Brickwall Update: Edward Tansley

So, I asked for help in the Greater London Ancestry Facebook group, and an amazing lady delivered the goods!

Edward, Rebecca & Rebecca Mary were indexed under the surname STANLE in 1841.

Rebecca, Rebecca Mary, Henry & Frederick were indexed under the surname JANESKY in 1851.

The best part is that this extra info confirms I have the correct Rebecca MYALL & family, and gives me Edward’s birth as ~1801 in Middlesex, so I have a place to start looking for his family.

Hurray for friendly genies on FB!

Brickwall: Edward TANSLEY

Oh, Edward. You may be my 4x great-grandfather, but right now you’re mostly a pain in the backside. Why can’t I find you or your family on the 1841 census? Why can’t I find them on the 1851 census after your death & before their migration to NZ? Where did you come from?

Here’s what I have:

Birth
When: ~1794
Source: Civil Death Registration, Christ Church, MDX, ENG; London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials 1813-2003

Marriage
Spouse: Rebecca MYALL
When: 10 May 1829
Where: St. Pancras Camden, Middlesex, England
Witnesses: Ann Myall, William Myall
Notes: Surname transcribed variously as Tansley / Tonsley / Jonsley
Source: England, Pallot’s Marriage Index 1780-1937; London, England, Church of England Marriages & Banns 1754-1932, England Marriages 1538-1973

Children
Daughter: Rebecca Mary
Baptized: 12 Jun 1836, St. John’s, Paddington, MDX, ENG
Abode: Windsor Cottage, Paddington
Father’s Occupation: Carpenter
Source: London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms 1813-1917

Son: Henry Edward
Born: 23 Nov 1844, St Marylebone Christ Church, MDX, ENG
Baptized: 29 Dec 1844, St. John’s, Paddington, MDX, ENG
Abode: 22 Milton Street, Dorset Square
Father’s Occupation: Carpenter
Source: Birth Certificate; London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms 1813-1917

Son: Frederick John
Born: 5 Jan 1850, St George Hanover Square Belgrave, MDX, ENG
Baptized: 27 Jan 1850, St Michael’s, Pimlico, MDX, ENG
Abode: 32 Eccleston Place
Father’s Occupation: Carpenter
Notes: Father is deceased by time of birth.
Source: Birth Certificate; Westminster, London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms 1813-1919

Death
When: 22 Jun 1849
Where: 4 Hill Street, Dorset Square, St Marylebone Christ Church, MDX, ENG
Age: 55 years
Occupation: Porter
C.O.D.: Injuries to his Body caused by falling off a Van
Informant: T. Wakley, Coroner for Middlesex, 1 Bedford Street, Strand
When Registered: 26 Jul 1849
Notes: Surname spelled Tennley
Source: Civil Death Registration, St Marylebone Christ Church, MDX, ENG

Burial
When: 27 Jun 1849
Where: All Souls’ Cemetery, Kensal Green, MDX, ENG
Abode: 4 Hill Street, Dorset Square, St. Marylebone
Age: 55
Source: London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials 1813-2003

Alternative Surname Spellings
Tonsley (e.g. Pallot’s Marriage Index record)
Jonsley (e.g. Pallot’s Marriage Index record)
Tinsley
Tensley
Tausley (e.g. Frederick John’s birth cert)
Tandley
Tennley (e.g. Edward’s death cert)
Vansley (e.g. transcription of Henry Thomas Tansley in 1851 census)

Hill Street, St. Marylebone
1. Edward’s final address is listed as 4 Hill Street, St. Marylebone.
2. Edward’s daughter Rebecca married Benjamin David HIBBARD in 1856 at the Trinity Church in St. Marylebone. In the 1841 & 1851 Censuses, Benjamin Hibbard was living with his family at 20 Hill Street, St. Marylebone. So possibly, at some point the Tansleys & the Hibbards were neighbours, and that’s how Ben & Rebecca met.
3. In the 1851 Census, 4 Hill Street is occupied by a Henry Thomas TANSLEY, his wife Harriet & their four sons; William Henry, Samuel George, Richard & Thomas. Could Henry Thomas Tansley be related to Edward? If so, I don’t know how.

Henry Thomas TANSLEY
Born: 1811, Walworth, Surrey, ENG.
Baptized: 7 Jul 1811, St Mary Newington, Southwark, SRY, ENG.
Parents: Joseph & Hannah (BATES) TANSLEY
Sibling: Hannah Rebecca (1806-1812)
Married: 1838, St Albans, HRT, ENG to Harriet ROE
Died: 1864, Kensington, LDN, ENG
Notes: Henry’s parents were married in 1804, and I cannot find a baptismal record for any other children.

Reading Log – Jul-Sep 2020

I have a few books to recommend this quarter: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, which was recommended to me by my brother & a very enjoyable read; The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold, a thoroughly researched and well written refutation of the idea that all of the Ripper’s victims were prostitutes; Recursion by Blake Crouch, scifi at it’s best; The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, blurring the lines between poetry & prose in an absolutely beautiful, dreamy way; and The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland for a look at some of the realities of taking a DNA test.

I also finally read something by Piers Anthony – the first Xanth novel. Anthony was a prolific scifi/fantasy writer & often features on recommended lists… but he won’t be appearing on mine. Hard pass! Sexist AF, and super creepy to boot. After finishing the book, I googled him and turns out he has published some truly horrific stuff, basically pedophilia. So, um, yeah. No thanks. And the Xanth novels are supposed to be funny fantasy, but they really aren’t. Give your kids/teens something by Terry Pratchett instead, please.

July

Diggers, Hatters & Whores by Stevan Eldred-Grigg
Saint Odd by Dean Koontz
Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibran X. Kendi
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte

August

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Tracing Your Canal Ancestors by Sue Wilkes
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy ed. by Marie Hodgkinson
The Deathless by Peter Newman
The Radleys by Matt Haig
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
Is 5 by e.e. cummings
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Oats in the North, Wheat from the South by Rgula Ysewijn
Qualify by Vera Nazarian
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
Paging the Dead by Brynn Bonner
Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner
Picture Them Dead by Brynn Bonner
Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows
When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

September

The Ruthless by Peter Newman
All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox
The Asylum by Nathan Dylan Goodwin
What Lies Beneath by Elspeth Sandys
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
You Are Destined to Be Together Forever by Dean Koontz
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Honor Bound by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
The Disasters by M. K. England
A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Meet Me in the Future by Kameron Hurley
Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell
Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
Umbrella Academy Vol. 1 by Gerard Way
Stop Surviving Start Fighting by Jazz Thornton
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy by Nick Barratt
Getting Started: Who Do You Think You Are by Laura Berry
Creating Sanctuary by Jessi Bloom
Captain Marvel Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Bitch Planet Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
The Lost Family by Libby Copeland
The Stranger in My Genes by Bill Griffeth
Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

75 in total.

Social Media

A while back, I started an Instagram for my family history, so that I could share neat photos easily: https://www.instagram.com/findingwhanau/

More recently, I returned to Twitter because a group of lovely genealogy buffs are doing an ANZ Ancestry q&a/chat session on the 6th of Oct & I’m keen to participate: https://twitter.com/findingwhanau

I also use Facebook fairly regularly, although that’s more private. But I’m happy to add family members, so drop me an email to discuss.

A Family Update

After starting to scan the family photos in June, I have poked around a bit at the May-Bevin side of the family. I still haven’t managed to get my hands on cousin Sharee Berry’s book about the Bevin family but have asked around. It’s called The Journey from Kent 1879: The Family History of Thomas Daniel Bevin & Mary Ann Fuller. Here’s what I know of the Bevin (also occasionally spelled Bevan and Beavan) line.

Thomas Daniel Bevin was born in 1839 in Ightham, Kent, England to James & Sarah (née Cousins/Cussins) Bevin. He had seven siblings. Like his father, Thomas worked as agricultural labourer.

From 1861, the Bevin family lived on the same street as Samuel Levett, another agricultural labourer, and his second wife Emily (nee Fuller). Samuel & Emily had a daughter, born out of wedlock circa 1853 in Sittingbourne, named Mary Ann.

On July 15th 1871, Mary Ann Fuller and Thomas Daniel Bevin were married in the Ightham Parish Church.

Marriage record for Thomas Vevin and Mary Ann Fuller
Marriage record for Thomas Bevin & Mary Ann Fuller

Thomas and Mary Ann’s first child was born on March 28th, 1872, but died a few days later. He was baptised Thomas Daniel (junior). A daughter, Ellen, was born a year later in 1873, followed by Harry on July 18 1875, then another son, Frank, in 1877 and another daughter, Sarah Ann, in 1878.

On the 15th of Feb 1879, the family boarded the “Stad Haarlem”, bound for NZ from Plymouth in Devon. The ship made port in Lyttelton on April 14th.

Thomas & Mary Ann had two more children in NZ: Daisy, born 1880 in Palmerston, Otago, and Horace, born and died in 1882 in Dunedin. Devastatingly, Thomas passed away the same year, on November 3rd, aged only 43.

Mary Ann remarried in 1886 in Dunedin, to Austin William Holbrook, another English immigrant, with whom she had a further four children, although only two survived infancy.

Portrait of Mary Ann Fuller
Portrait of Mary Ann (Fuller) Bevin

Mary Ann died on 29th October 1918 after suffering from acute bronchitis for over a week, resulting in heart failure. The image above is a portrait of Mary Ann owned by Sharee Berry.

I uploaded some newspaper clippings that I found in our family photo box to a Whanganui history Facebook group, and was subsequently contacted by a cousin, Paul Bevin, the son of James Simpson Bevin. Paul has been helping me identify some of the photos, and clarified the names of Harry Bevin’s children.

As mentioned above, Harry Bevin was born in 1875, in Malling, Kent. After his family emigrated to New Zealand, he met and married Bridget Mena Crawford in 1900 in Invercargill. They had two sons: Thomas Henry James, a.k.a. Harry Junior, born in 1901, and Francis Crawford, a.k.a. Frank, born in 1904.

Bridget died giving birth to Frank, and in 1906, Harry remarried: this time to my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Tansley, on June 27th in Winton.

Elizabeth had been born on January 28th, 1882, in Tokomairiro, now known as Milton, to Henry Edward & Mary Ann (nee Tough) Tansley. She had three brothers & three sisters, one of whom she may have been living with in Winton in 1905/6.

Elizabeth & Harry’s first child was Mavis Mary, born in 1907 in Winton. Mavis died shortly before her 14th birthday, and her funeral card is in the family photo box. My great-grandmother Doreen Alice was the second-born, on September 14 1908 in Westport. Ivan Arthur followed in 1910 in Granity, a small mining town near Westport, then Edward Roland in 1913, James Simpson in 1915, and Leoni Mabel in 1917.

Some time between 1928 & 1935, Harry & Elizabeth moved to Whanganui, as did Doreen & Bill May after their wedding on 7 February 1929, and the birth of their daughter Bronwen in November that year. In 1935, Frank was in Otago and Ivan in Wellington, but Harry Jr, Edward, Jim and Mabel all moved to Whanganui too. I’d love to know when & why they all moved!

Harry was a baker, but that’s all I know about his occupation. He was also a talented musician, a cornet player. He died on May 15th, 1946 of a stomach carcinoma. Elizabeth died June 12th, 1952.

Photo of Harry and Elizabeth Bevin
Harry & Elizabeth Bevin – photo from our family collection
Photo of four Bevin men
Edward, Ivan, Harry Jr. and Jim Bevin – photo from our family collection

I colourised the above photos using MyHeritage’s Enhance & Colorize tool because I think it makes them spring to life!

Family tree of Harry Bevin
Harry Bevin’s ancestors and immediate descendants

I’ve also been looking into the May lines of our tree, and found the will of my great-great-grandfather, Samuel May, in Archives NZ. Reading it gave me a surprise! He left his estate divided equally between his son, William James May, and his foster son, Arnold Cox. Some digging has revealed that Arnold was the nephew of Samuel through his wife Sarah (nee Probert).

Snippet of Samuel May's Will
Snippet of Samuel May’s Will

Arnold was born in Wales to Nellie (Probert) and Alexander Cox in 1915. His father was killed 10 months later in France during WWII. In 1922, seven year old Arnold was put on a ship alone, bound for Wellington, where Sam & Sarah took him in. He seems to have done pretty well, working as a clerk, then manager, then storekeeper in various places around NZ. He was married in 1939, and then divorced in 1974. Arnold died in 1997. I wonder how much he kept in touch with the family?

Speaking of the Proberts, I want to share a sweet story that I heard from cousin Sue Thomas. She says that Sarah’s parents had an epic love story. Her mother, Martha Ann Davies, came from a wealthy farming family in Montgomery, Wales, and hired as a gardener one James Probert. Martha was three years older than James, but they fell in love, and her family were horrified, so the young couple eloped in 1884 to get married, and then moved to Glamorgan because there was plenty of work in the mines for James to support a family. They went on to have five children; William James, Sarah Elizabeth, Mary Jane, Nellie, and Margaretta May.

The last couple of updates are in regards to my Dunbar lines. Cousin John Dunbar sent me records for my great-aunt Norah – it includes her father Robert’s handwritten application to have her admitted to a psychiatric hospital as well as her admission & medical notes. Interesting, if sad reading. It’s a hard image to shake: two months after the death of her mother, six year old Norah is sent to Tokanui Psychiatric Hospital, and she dies five years later from tuberculosis and is buried in a mass grave at the hospital. I can’t help but wonder how much her siblings knew! Even with Hannah Ferguson living with them, and Peggy & Nancy being aged 14 & 12 or so, Robert still decided Norah was too hard to look after, as is made clear in the file.

Speaking of Robert Dunbar, I’ve poked around at the Dunbar line again but can’t seem to trace it back much further than I’ve got:

  • David Dunbar (about 1775-about 1851) married Alison Mill or Milne (1773-1841)
    • John Dunbar (1812-1866) m. Mary Paterson (1804-1878)
      • David Dunbar (1841-1874) m. Isabella Flockhart (1848-1928)
        • John Dunbar (1869-1933) m. Victoria Elsie Lawrence (1868-1936)
          • Robert Walter Marshall Dunbar (1896-1971) m. Hilda May Ferguson (1896-1937)

I suspect that the David at the top of that list was born in 1777 in Glamis, Angus, Scotland but I can’t quite prove it (yet). David was a crofter, or farmer of a small steading owned by someone else. He appears in the 1841 Scotland Census in Menmuir, Angus, as an Ag. Lab. (or, agricultural labourer), aged 66. David and Alison had 10 children in total, as far as I can find, and my direct ancestor, John, was his second born but first son.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet know enough about early Scottish resources other than the usual births, marriages & deaths records (these are taken from Church registers up until 1855 when civil registration became a thing). Ideally, I’d like to do a Y-DNA test on a Dunbar male so that I can try & trace the line, but they’re frickin’ expensive tests, so hard to justify. Cousin Ian has a Dunbar tree that suggests a different wife for David, but I’m not sold on his hypothesis, so for now, I’ve filed this as a brickwall.

Reading Log – Apr-Jun 2020

I read a lot of fantasy & horror this quarter, matched only by the amount of non-fic history that I also consumed. After watching Locke & Key on Netflix, I decided to revisit the graphic novels, and enjoyed them even more. With regards to history, I particularly enjoyed England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton by Kate Williams and Bedlam: London’s Hospital for the Mad by Paul Chambers. On a Kiwi note, Madeleine Chapman’s biography Jacinda Ardern was an excellent, balanced read about a very relevant politician right now.

April

Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
England’s Mistress by Kate Williams
Driven: My Story by Hayden Paddon
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
Domes of Fire by David Eddings
The Shining Ones by David Eddings
The Hidden City by David Eddings
Regina’s Song by David Eddings
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan
Things Could Be Worse by Lily Brett
The Novice by Trudi Canavan
The High Lord by Trudi Canavan
Young Logan Campbell by R.C.J. Stone
Bedlam by Paul Chambers
Writing Your Family History by Deborah Cass
Locke & Key Vol. 1 by Joe Hill
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake
The Lord Bishop’s Clerk by Sarah Hawkswood
One Dark, Two Light by Ruth Mancini
House on Fire by Joseph Finder
Locke & Key Vol. 2 by Joe Hill
Locke & Key Vol. 3 by Joe Hill

May

CBT Made Simple by Nina Josefowitz
CBT Skills Workbook by Barry Gregory
In Therapy by Susie Orbach
What Went Right by Eileen Bailey
Jacinda Ardern by Madeleine Chapman
Locke & Key Vol. 4 by Joe Hill
Locke & Key Vol. 5 by Joe Hill
A Viking in the Family by Keith Gregson
Poldark’s Cornwall by Winston Graham
Tracing Your West Country Ancestors by Kirsty Gray
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Dunedin by Christine Johnston
Unfortunate Folk by Barbara Brookes
Behold the Moon by Peter Entwhistle

June

The Archives by V.E. Schwab
The Unbound by V.E. Schwab
Stepping Into Ourselves by Anne Key
Locke & Key Vol. 6 by Joe Hill
Interworld by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Mortmain Hall by Martin Edwards
Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Forever Odd by Dean Koontz
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
The Silver Dream by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves
Eternity’s Wheel by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves
Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Dream On by Kerstin Gier
Just Dreaming by Kerstin Gier

57 in total.

My first Allen ancestor in NZ

Robert Allen was born on June 16, 1836, in Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, to Robert and Margaret (née Jenkins) Allen. He was the eldest of six children born to the couple, although after his mother died in 1849, his father remarried and had a further five children to his second wife. The family lived in a town called Briton Ferry, on the mouth of the River Neath, where Robert Senior ran a successful shoemaking business. Robert Junior followed his father’s trade after finishing his schooling at age 12.

On 3 September 1860, he married Alice Williams in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, where she worked piling iron bars for a local smith.

Alice had been born on May 24, 1831, in Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, to William Williams, a carpenter, and his wife Jane (née Hopkin). Alice had nine siblings. Her family lived in Llantwit-juxta-Neath, in the Neath Canal Lock House, as her father was the canal engineer and in charge of running the lock.

In July 1861, Robert and Alice, with their six-month-old first child Margaret, boarded the “Derwent Water” in London, a ship bound for New Zealand. They arrived in Otago five months later after an arduous voyage.

The family initially joined the gold rush, settling in Clyde at the Dunstan Diggings, before moving on to Switzers, now known as Wakaia. Robert continued his family trade, repairing and selling boots to the hordes of miners.

The couple had four more children in New Zealand; three daughters and one son, William Henry, born in Dunedin in 1866. By 1877, the family was living in Caversham, where Robert ran a successful shoe business until 1907. He also maintained interests in Wakaia, and with his son William, entered an agreement with a miner named Arthur Sidey to form the Mystery Flat Gold Mining Company to dredge two claim areas at Mystery Flat in Wakaia.

In 1907, Alice died on August 31st while visiting with their daughter Janet in Wellington, and by October, Robert had decided to sell up and move to Warepa in Clutha, where his eldest daughter Margaret was living with her husband, John Christie, and seven children. Robert died on the 1st of September 1922, after 10 years of declining health, at his daughter’s Warepa home.

Died Young

While going through a family box of photos & ephemera a few weekends ago, I discovered that my grandmother had a third brother. Noel James MAY, son of William James & Doreen Alice (née BEVIN) MAY died in 1947, aged two, of a strangulated bowel. If I hadn’t gone through that box with Mum & my Aunty, I’d never have known about little Noel.

We also discovered that Doreen had a sister who died young; Mavis Mary Bevin died in 1921 shortly before her 14th birthday. A funeral card was in the family box, but without it we’d never have thought to look for another sibling!

Funeral Card for Mavis Mary Bevin

I’ve also been in touch with one of Mum’s cousins, John, whose father Brian had a twin sister who died young. I’ll make a separate post about poor little Norah another time, but to sum up – she died aged 11, in 1941, from tuberculosis.

This feels like an appropriate place to show the other side of Mavis’ funeral card:

The Perils of Ancestry (.com)

I admit, when I started building my family tree on Ancestry, I got super excited whenever I saw the shaky leaf symbol that indicated a hint and enthusiastically added the suggested person to my tree. Then I went back over it, trying to find the record that indicated a connection – and often found the hint was instead generated by someone else’s undocumented tree.

The problem with this is that, without a record or source for that info, trees quickly become quagmires of mix-ups, double-ups, and straight out errors. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen trees with several versions of the same spouse, or children born after their supposed parents died, or even names that don’t match the record they’re linked to! When you gather with other genealogy geeks, you quickly learn that trees on Ancestry are considered dubious, for these very reasons.

Part of that is because Ancestry is great at pushing DNA testing, but less so at introducing people to family history research. If you’re a newbie, as I was, you have to go elsewhere to figure out the first steps and standards of genealogical research.

I was lucky in that I’ve trained and worked as a researcher before, so I managed to avoid some of the pitfalls, and quickly worked out how to improve my research.

And so, for NZers who are new to genealogy, I highly recommend Auckland Libraries’ guide to family history research, as well as these videos on starting your genealogical journey put out by the NZ Society of Genealogists, and an excellent book by Anne Bromell called “New Zealand Beginner’s Guide to Family History Research”. If you’re on Facebook, a good group to join is Genealogy New Zealand and Beyond.

From England to NZ

My 4x great-grandfather John William Outram was born on January 3rd, 1831 in Leicester, England, to John and Hannah (née East) Outram. He worked as a wool comber in the woollen mills in Bradford, Yorkshire, and on August 24th, 1850, married Betsy Rushworth, daughter of Michael and Sarah (née Sugden) Rushworth. Betsy also worked at the mills, as a weaver. They lived just south-west of Bradford city in Horton.

Neither John or Betsy had been educated, so John went to night school to learn to read and write. John later joined the Police force in Bradford. While in England, the couple had three children: Sarah in 1852, William in 1854, and Albert in 1856.

On 5 May 1858, John and Betsy left from London, England with their three children on the “NOURMAHAL” and several months later arrived at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, in New Zealand.

The land on either side of the harbour was clothed with bush to the water’s edge, and Betsy, looking round her from side to side and beholding nothing but beautiful virgin bush, asked her husband, “Where is Dunedin?”

They had their first meal in the Immigration Barracks on bread and water – a true prison diet, obtained without much difficulty. Not so easy was finding their sleeping accommodation. It almost seemed that they would have to sleep in the “lock- up”, but at last a place was found for them.

For the first few months in Otago, John found casual work in the bush and elsewhere, until 1859 when he joined the police force. When the gold rush began in 1861 he was stationed at Gabriel’s Gully, in charge of the area; in conjunction with Commissioner Strode & T.W. Parker he issued the first batch of miner’s rights granted in Otago. A few months later, however, he returned to Dunedin and resigned, with the rank of First Class Sergeant.

After a short spell of store-keeping on the goldfields, in 1862 he joined the gaol staff in Dunedin and became the Chief Overseer of Public Works done by prison labour, including the erection of the first bridge over the Anderson’s Bay Inlet. He supervised the prison gangs during the removal of Bell Hill, winning commendation from the Otago Daily Times on more than one occasion for having carried out his duties with such meticulous care and foresight that in all the 14 years of blasting & excavating, not one serious accident had occurred.

Unfortunately in 1878, while on duty, he himself suffered an accident which resulted in the loss of an eye. As a result of this mishap he retired on a pension of 188 pounds ($576) per year, with the rank of Sergeant, an efficient & highly respected officer.

In November 1859 he brought from the Crown Section 44, 45 & 46 of Block XIX, Dunedin. Selling two sections of these in 1875, he retained 46, on which his home had been built, and which became 64 Royal Terrace. This remained the home of the couple and their family throughout John’s working life & his retirement, and it was here that in August 1900 they celebrated their Golden Wedding in the company of 30 of their family, including 19 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Black and white photo of the Outram family in 1900
The family of Betsy (née Rushworth) & John Outram in Dunedin, 1900

Also present that day was the Reverend A. North of Hanover Street Baptist Church, for John had been an office-bearer and a stalwart supporter of that church for may years. John & Betsy have many present-day descendants still active in the Baptist Church.

In New Zealand, John and Betsy had added further to their family, with Joseph born in 1859, James in 1861, Hannah in 1864, Mary Ann in 1866, John Jr in 1869, and Ada in 1871. Their eldest daughter, Sarah, married Peter Rutherford, the well-known Caversham grocer, in 1874.

A grand-daughter, Mrs. Hilda Gilbert, once recalled that John took his wife and their daughter Hannah “home” to England for a holiday, only to find on their return that his pension had been terminated (September 1890). He petitioned Parliament, without success, and petitioned again. In 1893 Parliament agreed to a grant of 50 pounds ($100.00) a year, and with that he had to be content.

After the death of the couple, 64 Royal Terrace remained “home” for their unmarried son & daughter, Jim and Mary Ann, until it was sold in 1934 to R.T. Throp. Today there is no 64 Royal Terrace: the section was sold again in 1942 to the Dunedin City Council, the house was pulled down, and about 1960 the section was used to widen the newly-formed Corrie Street.

Betsy died on 20 November 1905, aged 77 years old, and John on 6 November 1909, aged 78 years old, both from heart disease. They are buried in the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin.