Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mr Fall of Evandale, Tasmania .. or, I am related to Henry Russell!

This morning, I lit upon this photo of a nice old gentleman from Tasmania. Since it was labelled I thought I'd investigate a touch ...

Thomas FALL. Ah, Jewish? 


Well, it turned out that Mr Fall was really easy to find out a bit about. What was he? Why, a pubkeeper! But not just that. Since his arrival in Van Dieman's Land in the1830s he had indeed been landlord of several pubs -- the Portland Inn at Long Meadow, Magpie Hill, then the Patriot King William IV at Evandale and finally the Clarendon in the same town, where he remained for over 40 years. But Thomas was smart. I see, from 1836, him buying and/or leasing property in the Evandale area ...

Clarendon in 1915

Thomas married in Tasmania (12 February 1838), Miss Elizabeth  Russell, and they had two daughters: Elizabeth 1838-1931 and Kate (1842-1935, Mrs William Hartnoll). Mrs Fall died 19 October 1874, Thomas 4 September 1888. And the press gave him a fine obituary:

'The deceased gentleman will be greatly missed on the township, as he was a resident of 50 years. There were very few houses here when he came to make Evandale his home, he was a large property holder here and in Launceston, and having only had two in family, they are left well provided for. He arrived in the colony in the barque Portland in 1832 (sic), the late Mr and Mrs J. Cox, of Clarendon, being also amongst the passengers. The vessel, it will be remembered, was wrecked at the Fourteen Mile Bluff. The deceased succeeding in saving Mrs Cox from a watery grave, but her son was lost, the remains afterwards being interred at George Town. Mr Fall lost all he possessed by the wreck, but he commenced business in Launceston, and removed to Franklin Village, and finally settled at Evandale. After being in the colony a few years, he married a Miss Russell, cousin of Henry Russell, the celebrated composer and song writer. Although deceased had reached the age of 89 years, he could read without spectacles and write freely within a few days of his death. He never took an active part in politics, but was a shrewd observer and criticiser of passing events, and was charitable in his disposition.'

The wreck of the Portland (385 tons)? 1 October 1833. Had left Sydney (Captain: D G Coghill) 17 September. Councillor [William] James Cox was an Esq, MLC. And it wasn't a son, but an infant daughter who was drowned. Rebecca or Mary or Georgina. Oddly, though, the passenger list of those listed to sail, or those reported 'saved' doesn't include Mr Fall. 

Dr Charles Inches (ship's surgeon), Edward Lord, newly-wed John Samuel Uther, Miss Blandford, and Mrs Thompson with two children and servant, John MacMahon, Andrew Gallagher, John Davis, James Murray, John Murray, Michael Power, Henry Tully, John Stewart. Strange, that. The 50 horses, 30 cattle, and Mr Cox's collection of imported seeds and plants were all lost. The Launceston press seemed more worried about the goods, especially Mr Cox's 'nearly L1000 worth' and the cedar wood, than the people. But Tasmania should perhaps be glad that the 'seeds and plants' that Mr Cox was trying to 'introduce' to the island got drowned.

I don't see the 'everything' that Mr Fall was supposed to have lost on the manifest ... maybe the fifteen cases of claret? And anyway, part of the cargo was saved by the good ship Ann and brought ashore at Launceston and put up for sale ..

A letter being carried by the Portland from London was found on the beach ...

The legend of Thomas's (actual or imaginary) shipwreck went down in history, decorated with the usual historical improvements ...

But this little item suggests that the Portland had originated its voyage in England, in which case Thomas was only then, at over 30, emigrating ...  yes, there it is berthing at Sydney in June 1833, bearing the London papers up to Febuary 18th .. the ship Portland, Captain William Ascough, from Cork, with 184 male prisoners arrived [26 June] .. having sailed 21st February ... a convict ship? 'The guard consists of 29 rank and file of the 21st Fusiliers, accompanied by four women and 11 children under command of Captain Frazer of the 26th regiment. Passengers: Lieutenant Wallace 16th Reg, D A C G Brackenbury Esq, Mrs Brackenbury, Miss Brackenbury and Miss Fraser'. Still no Mr Fall. 'The ship touched at Lisbon -- three men died of cholera -- six more of other diseases ... carrying 'three free passengers'. Well, Mr Fall wasn't one of those.  The prisoners were offloaded at Sydney, so he wasn't one of those. Crew?  Soldier? But they soldiers surely got off when the convicts did ...

And Portland Head was thus named before the wreck. Ah! Journalism.

My first official sighting of him comes in 1837 ... tiens! I wonder if that's the same auctioneer Underwood who sold off the hulk of the Portland for L145.00.  Anyhow, he's taken up Mr Moore's business in cattle and horse trading, seemingly on the Perth Road ... 

Running a sales yard? But by October he's at the Portland Inn ... and on his way, as a wheeler-dealer publican ..

And he is married. Cousin of Henry Russell? Really? THE great Henry Russell of 'Cheer Boys Cheer' and 'The Maniac' fame?  Well, yes, he was Jewish ...  from Sheerness in Kent. Born 1812. Elizabeth was born in 1804 ... in Sheerness ..?  Well, damme, it's true!  Henry was the son of Moses Russell, and Elizabeth was the daughter of Moses's brother Philip  ..  blow me down!  And oh dear ...

Geni says Catherine Keila [Uri Feiss] Russell is your great uncle's brother's wife's sister's ex-husband's uncle's wife's brother's wife's second cousin's wife's first cousin's husband's grandmother. Catherine was Elizabeth's mother.

So, I'm infintesimally related by a network of Jewish (and occasionally not) marriages to ... Henry Russell!  Well, to Thomas Fall, too, but  .. Henry Russell!

Dr Fritz Eduard Ganzl   (father)

Rudolfine Josefine Ganzl  (his mother)

Hermine Maria (Minna) Stojetz  

her sister



Richard Michael Stern  

her husband


Ing. Joseph Stern  

his brother



Margarethe Grete Stern  
his wife



Stefanie Fleischner - Füchsl  
her sister



Otto Fleischner  
her ex-husband



Max Fleischner  
his father


Moritz Fleischner  
his brother



Adele Fleischner  
his wife



Dr. Friedrich Gans  
her brother



Emily Gans  
his wife



Catherine Spier  
her mother



Hannah Hyam  
her mother


Frances Myers  
her sister



Mitchell Myers  
her son



George Myers  
his son



Sarah Myers  
his wife



Elizabeth Solomon  
her mother


Rachel Abrahams  
her sister



Elizabeth Russell  
her daughter



Joseph Russell  
her husband



Michael John Russell,  
his father

Catherine Keila Uri Feiss / Russell  

his mother

No one seems to have said where Thomas came from. That trip (or not) on the Sydney to Tasmania Portland is his 'first appearance'. But he was undoubtedly from England, and there is one thus named who seems to fit the bill and, indeed who has been claimed on Familysearch.  He was the first-born son of Thomas Fall (Coventry 25 December 1776), from Warwickshire, and his wife Johanna née Archer, and he was christened in Coventry in November 1799. Round about that time, the family moved to Southwark, where Johanna produced a run of further children, of whom two other sons survived infancy, before dying of dropsy in 1812, at the age of 33.  Father Fall remarried, and his second wife, seemingly Elizabeth née Gunn, gave him several more children. It was a large, sprawling family of which some remnants can be seen at 22 Charles Street, Stepney, in 1851: Thomas, baker, two unmarried daughters (Joanna and Elizabeth), and two nephews ... but it all gets rather muddly in 1853 when Thomas Fall (baker) son of Edward Fall (carpenter), marries this Johanna Fall, (1817-1883) daughter of Thomas Fall (carpenter) ... 
By then, of course, our Thomas was at the other end of the world. 

I see that in 1838 his assigned convict servant, Frederick Bond, had his transportation extended by three years for stealing .. a roll of ribbon?!

Here he is in the early 1840s ...

and forty years later

End of story. What other (very) distant relations shall I find ...

But did he or didnt he sail on the last voyage of the Portland ... what do you think?

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Montevideo Countrywomen's Institute Crochet Circle ...


These photos (all from the same ebay bunch) are from an era, a century ago, when the Scottish and English were a force in Uruguay. Enough of them are wholly or partly identified sufficiently to tell us that they are ladies of a certain standing ...

Mary [Maria Carmen] MacEachen Stirling (b 1856) wife of Eduardo Guimerá. Mother of five. Sister to Eduardo MacEachen y Alarcón presidential candidate in 1903 

Agustina Segundo di Antuña

Maria ?Maratoris de ****

Justina Cortez sister of Don Jose Cortez

Mrs [?Thomas] Jefferies

Fancy dress, or for real?


Isabel Figares



Well, they may be nothing but the Montevideo Countrywomen's Institute Crochet Circle ... but someone kept these photos together for a century and more ...

Be nice to know why. Uruguyans ...?

Friday, October 8, 2021

This (would-be?) actor left his photo folio to posterity ..


But not his name ...

Should I know who he is ...

Or is he an aspiring amateur?

Here you are laddie ... I've helped you into the internet era!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lettie Keyes: piano roller!


The other day, friend Robert was going to Ballina so, since I had never been there, I went along for the ride ...

And on the way into the sprawl that is the rather odd 'town', I noticed an antiques barn. You don't see many of those wonderful institutions these days. Ebay and delivery charges have wiped away those glorious Saturdays spent dabbling in all levels of 'old merchandise' shops. And 'antiques' now are things I grew up with! Ex-cuse me.

Anyway, on the way back from dropping Louis off at the airport we stopped in for a peek. Robert had been to Summerland Antiques before and, indeed, bought a delightful Victorian hall-stand which now graces their home on topmost Yamba Hill. So we visited. They had beautiful things ... one C18th century chest of drawers which aroused my lust like nothing since (censored) .. a row of grandfather clocks, including one from Chester with a painting of Kirkham Abbey, Leeds .. alas, not signed by Turner.  Sadly, I am selling furniture, at 75, not buying it ... and hopefully that beautiful chest of drawers is sold to someone else by now!

More practically, I searched for my usual old photos, old documents, old theatre programes .. with which to aliment my blog ... but no luck. A box of pianola reels ... oh, look! There's one of the Pirates of Penzance! What fun.

Adjunct/adjacent to the Antiques Barn there is a nursery. A large and glorious nursery. So, if we didn't buy anything at the Barn .. we came away with a 2-metre flame tree instead!!!!

We brought the flame tree back to Yamba, and ... I didn't sleep too well that night. That chest of drawers was preying on my wakeful mind. But also the piano roll. I went on a G&S website and asked and ... bingo! It hadn't come in a container from Britain, like the furniture. It was fair dinkum Aussie ...

So when Robert went to fetch Louis on his homeward flight, he popped in and bought it for me. $2. The chest was still there ... gnnnnnn ... 

I am told that a friend of a friend has a pianola ... so I hope to be able to listen to this soon! But in the meantime, the mighty Michael Magnusson of Melbourne came up with the story of the piano reel and its pianist. 'Lettie Keyes, piano'. I'd suspected one of those early recording pseudonyms, but no ..

And there's my Pirates! Obviously, by the numeration, one of her early recordings. Yes, same number ...

Awww. That's worth $2 of anyone's money.

Now. That chest of drawers ...

PS I finally weakend and wrote about the chest of drawers. Sold, the previous day. Just as well, I suppose ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

People of the Past: Cordelia and Horace


Too hot!  Can't work on the book. Do the eight year-old swimming-togs still fit? Just. Ice-cold pool just outside my door .. dare I? 

I dared. In 32 degrees it is quite a shock to the system. But it woke me up. So I'll just sail the rest of the day away, playing a little history ...

Just two folk today. These two, full of character, picked themselves.

Well, I've done it again. Back amongst the vaguely aristocratic or gentry, the Reverends and the armed forces ... but not wholly.

The lady is [Cordelia] Ellen HOLDING.  Born in Broad Street, Walworth 27 October 1833, daughter of corn-dealer Richard Holding and his wife Elizabeth. That's what her baptism entry says ..

Well, I know nothing of Mr Holding. But one turns up in Windsor a few months later. And then nothing. 1841, 1851 ... where are they? Then in 1861, Cordelia turns up in the census. A 'visitor' 'fundholder' in the home (46 Baker Street) of Miss Mary A Browne, who runs to a cook, a housemaid, a ladies maid and a footman. The housemaid is named Ellen Hannaford (41) from Strutt in Devon. 

So who is Mary Ann Browne? Ah! 1838. Maria Browne of 46 Baker Street, daughter of the late James Browne Esq ... Sarah Elizabeth Browne 46 Baker Street (1856) .. Henry Nibbs Browne 46 Baker St. Sugar Refiner (1788-1858) 'of Friern Barnet'. Henry left L35,000, so Mary Anne would have been 'all right'.  Connection? Relative? Friend? Young lady companion to elderly, wealthy lady. Hmmmm. Blank drawn.

I guess Mary Ann died before the next census. Because in 1871 Ellen is living at 2 Queen's Terrace, Windsor, still a fundholder, still single, with two servants. One of them is Ellen Hannaford. And in 1881 the two Ellens are still at Queen's Terrace. But there is an extra member in the family. Cordelia Ellen, aged 40, has taken to herself a husband (3 September 1873). Commander Annesley Turner Denham, RN (retired) FRAS. He was a couple of years younger (b 4 May 1835) than her spritely self, so Ellen hereafter lost a few years. I don't know what he had commanded, but anyway he was clearly home from the sea and looking for a comfy wife for his pensioned days. The size of that cross around Ellen neck worries me ...

Anyway, they had a 'honeymoon' at Southsea's Tillington House, and a quarter of a century of married life together ... Sailorboy became a gent round the Windsor area ... at some stage it seems they lost the faithful Ellen H ... and they seem to have little defrayed the chronicle until his death, 27 June 1899.  He left L824.  Sailing on half-pay evidently don't pay. Even when you get invited to the Queen's levée!

Ellen died in Windsor 5 December 1926. She left nearly L8,000. 

The gent is Horace [Edward] HAMOND. Born in Great Massingham, Norfolk 2 January 1808, a son of the Reverend Horace Hamond, chaplain to the Prince of Wales regiment of Light Dragoons, rector of Great Massingham, 'of Charlotte Street, London', scion of a race of DDs, distantly related to the Earl of Ordford, Robert Walopole etc etc, and Frances Clifton of Prestwold, Leics, of titled descent. His sisters Fanny and Jane (later the Marchea Bocella, d 20 May 1888) got themselves painted by Thomas Lawrence

Horace apparently started his working life in the 1st Life Guards. He married Alicia Maria [Corisande] Bedford (1834), fathered a son, Ernest Augustus William  (5 September 1835) and a daughter, Frances Louisa (16 January 1837) and then headed for central Europe where his two following daughters, Alicia Mary (27 September 1838) and Frederica Louise Mathilde (17 October 1841) were born. In Germany, in 1838, he became Flügel-Adjudant 'Rittmeister extraordinair' to Ernest, King of Hannover. When the King of Hannover got into difficulties, and was deposed, Horace ('Knight of the Hannoverian Order of Guelph) returned to Britain in 1852 where he was named British Consul to Cherbourg, a job which seemed to entail largely keeping a watch on 'enemy' shipping and representing the Empire at dinners and other public functions. I notice that he came to the defence of the unthroned King Ernest in the British press.

Son Ernest didn't go back to England. He headed for the goldfields of Australia in 1852 and married, bred (2 daughters), deserted his family, and died (16 February 1883) in Melbourne. Daughter Alicia married Dr William Stewart Falls, who settled in Bournemouth, and had three children, Frederica ('Frida') married one Paul Carl Wilhelm Petersen, had four children, and died at Ülzen 22 May 1882. Frances also returned to Bournemouth, where she died 11 July 1877. 

Horace also retrenched to the family nest at Bournemouth where he died at Marden Ash 8 February 1876.  His widow apparently returned to Germany, where she died 27 March 1882.

Horace's will was probated at L100. Alicia's at L134.