Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Oh dear, has it been 12 months! Memories of my 2016 trip to visit Ancestral countries!

It has been a very busy 12 months and I am afraid my blog has suffered.  However, lately I have been sorting the photos of my visit to the paternal ancestral counties of Sweden and Jersey in 2016.

SWEDEN
I have had many wonderful and strange things happen throughout my many years of Family History research however ....who would have thought!  I made the local Kalmar (Sweden) papers.  I will follow up in a later blog - as I think the picture and translation tell the story.


Translation:
                                                                                   Barometern Tuesday 14th 2016

Barometern 175 years: “Great to be here”.

Heading 1
Peter Strömgren and Sandra Reid. Two relatives from Sweden and Australia, which has now met, thanks to a small ad in the Salvation Army magazine in the 1920 s. Barometern was with them on Monday when they visited Kalmar Castle.

Heading 2
Family relationships between Kalmar and Melbourne Australia were established in the mid 1920's.  Peter Strömgren 's father then contacted and exchanged letters with Sandra Reid’s grandmother. Eventually they met in Kalmar, and on Monday it was time for the younger generation to meet.

Heading 3
Sandra Reid flew from Australia to Europe, where she boarded the cruise ship Prinsendam, which on Monday was at anchor outside Kalmar.

Here, at the anchor outside the castle, Barometern photographed Sandra Reid where her grandmother was in August 1954. “It's great to be here, Grandma talked so much about our Swedish roots”.

This is how it looked when Sandra Reid's grandmother Josephine Romeril visited Kalmar in August 1954. “I have always wanted to visit father's old country”, she said to Barometern.

Main Story
Happy coincidence behind the family meeting

Kalmar
Barometern was also here when Sandra Reid's grandmother Josephine Romeril in 1954 visited Sweden and Kalmar. The picture and her story, was published on the newspaper's front page on August 12th 1954.

Josephine Romeril was then invited by Peter Strömgren father Sven, who was born and raised in Kalmar, but later moved to Stockholm, Västerås and India.

At the anchor outside the castle Sandra Reid stands in exactly the same place as her grandmother did 62 years earlier.

"I was eight or nine years old when she came back, all of us grandkids got a Swedish wooden Dalecarlia horse,” Sandra Reid remembers.

"She reminded us always of our Swedish origin."

Family roots go back to “Little Horn” in northern Öland and Borgholm, where the ancestor Carl Magnus Brudus ran a tannery. One of the sons, Johan Magnus, emigrated to Australia while his sister Selma remained in Sweden.

Selma's son Sven Strömgren was born in 1897 in Kalmar and was soon very interested in genealogy. In mid-1920´s, he tried to find his relatives in Australia, and by a happy coincidence, he got in touch.

"Yes, my father did put a small ad in the newspaper Salvation Army in Australia, and after a few years, he got a reply," says Peter, showing the telegram, with info from Melbourne, which arrived in 1928.

Contact was established with the cousin Josephine, and now the next generation meets. With the help of the internet, Sandra Reid five years ago got in touch with Peter Strömgren and they have visited both Stockholm, Borgholm and Kalmar.

Sandra Reid is also one of more than 800 passengers to enter on the cruise ship Prinsendam which on Monday called at Kalmar. Later in the afternoon, she went on, including more genealogy on the island of Jersey, while Peter Strömgren saw the family grave at Southern Churchyard.

“She reminded us always of our origin”
Sandra Reid about Grandmother Josephine Romeril

Text
Birgitta Hultman
birgitta.hultman@barometern.se
+46 48058282
Also on internet:


Above:  Josephine Annie (Brudus) ROMERIL at Kalmar Castle, Sweden in 1954 and her granddaughter, Sandra 2016 


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - 57 Rickard Road

John James Charles WILSON was born on the 13 December, 1892 to Ann Jane Donaldson (1859-1938)  and Charles Albert Wilson (1868-1948).  Such a grand name for a man we knew so well and loved as "Poppy Joe".  

John James Charles Wilson with his mother
Anne Jane Donaldson c1892
I asked several of my cousins for their memories of "Poppy Joe".  Jane remembers that "he always had a story to tell and a smile,  He had tobacco stains down his undershirt and a 'rolley' hanging out the side of his mouth.  He would sing little ditties to us kids." These ditties included "If I was a chicken as big as a hen" as he bounced one of the small (and no so small) grandchildren on his knee.  I think we have all continued this tradition of singing these ditties to our children and grandchildren.

Jane continues, "Unfortunately, he inspired my loathing of cats as he used to let his cat have kittens in the wardrobe.  As a kid I was always afraid of treading on a kitten ..... and I did once."  

Towards the end of his life he would wander around in his long johns and dressing gown, with his pants held up with rope.  Colleen remembers this as well.  

"Poppy Joe"  in the driveway of his daughter,
Margaret's home in Narrabeen c1971
Tony remembers the time he rode down Rickard Road on a girl's bike in his long johns and dressing gown.  He waved to a neighbour and came crashing down, arms and legs akimbo!!!

Each of the grandchildren remembers his smoking habits.  Karen recollects that he always rolled his own, and always had a "bumper" hanging from his lip - and never inhaled.  Colleen saw him drop a "bumper" into his dressing gown pocket.  Smoke appeared about 5 minutes later and Coll said she remembers her mother whacking the smouldering pocket to put the flames out.  Coll also remembers he was "always happy".  

My most precious memory is of Pop wandering around his garden, followed by his black Labrador dog and my son, Sean, who was around 2 years old.  Sean was Pop's shadow and as we lived next door, a constant companion.

Joe and Kate Wilson
Joe married the love of his life - Kate (Catherine Teresa Baker 1891-1964) in 1916 at Haberfield, Sydney.  Our memories of Nan are only of a lady who was not well, however she always managed to "rule the roost"!!!  She had Parkinson Disease for many years prior to her death.  Joe nursed her until the end.

Taken at Narrabeen Beach in 1932.  From back left: 
Harold (Hocka) - I think, Margaret, Monica: 
Middle:  ? Kate and Joe: front from left: Mary, Bernard and Pat.
Kate and Joe had 11 children (two of whom died at birth), John Victor (1916), William Russell (1920), Alleyne Margaret (1921), Harold Lawrence (1922), Patricia Joan (1924), Mary Muriel (1925), Monica Catherine (1927), Bernard Charles (1930) and Michael James (1933).  

John James Charles Wilson ("Poppy Joe") died in Concord RGA Hospital, in 1973 aged 80.  Both he and Kate and their offspring managed to turn 57 Rickard Road into a haven for every one of us! It was a home filled with love, old-fashioned discipline (the cane hung behind the kitchen door and Pop would say "smell it, smell it".  However, I never saw it used) and fun - lots of fun. Winter nights the kitchen table was the gathering place for the adults to play cards.  The kids would sit or lie on the floor listening to the competitive banter!   It was an ongoing safe environment for the next generation where there was always soup on the stove, salad on the table for lunch and no-one was ever turned away if they needed respite from the world!

I hope that this blog brings back the memories of my Wilson cousins and that they comment below.  Would love to hear from them or anyone else who remembers the Wilsons of Narrabeen.  The photos are from my mother's album and I would love to see other photos.  If anyone knows the lady in the above photo (the one middle left) let me know?

Thursday, 22 February 2018

MOVING ON .....  ACKNOWLEDGING THE MATERNAL ANCESTORS.

When I began this blog our paternal great grandfathers were our focus as both had pasts that were intriguing to us.  Edward Thomas Romeril had the longest and thickest brick wall and there were several members of our family trying to break through.  He disappeared in 1889 following a warrant for his arrest. We finally found him!!! he died in 1933 in Townsville, Queensland.

He was found through DNA - not because of a match, but through contact with a DNA match who also became intrigued by his story.  Claire found a death certificate and through a process of elimination and working back through Electoral Rolls we have proof that Edward Black is indeed Edward Thomas Romeril.  We have contacted Townsville Council and they have acknowledged that the documentation is proof enough that we can erect a headstone on his unmarked grave.  He has two of his grandchildren still living and this has been the closing of a mystery.

Johan Magnus Brudus, also had a sad ending.  He threw himself into the Swan River in Perth in despair as he wanted to take his Australian family back to Sweden and his wife didn't agree!

It is now time to focus on all our ancestors as there are certainly some interesting stories there!  I have spent the past few days working on editing my blog (as a beginner it is not an easy task) and it wouldn't have been accomplished without the feedback received from members of the Australian Local & Family History Bloggers.

So..... Poppy Joe Wilson, look out.  There will be some great stories to be told!!!!

John James Charles Wilson (1892-1973) and Catherine Teresa Baker (1891-1964)

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Pedigree Chart for Robert William Edward Romeril

Our Family Trees are a work in progress.  Please don't copy and paste unless you check for any inaccuracies.  If you do find facts you don't agree with please let us know.   

MEMORIES

Whilst researching my family tree I often reflect on the ancestors and history that I remember!  My parents moved from Melbourne to Sydney and when I was very young they flew me back alone to visit my grandparents and cousins. I was only about 8 or 9 and flying in the 1950s was quite glamorous - even for a small child.  The hostesses were dressed very smartly and you felt quite grown-up, albeit very nervous.  And of course I loved Williams Road, Briar Hill.  My grandparents spoilt me and I was permitted to set my own rules!!!

Below is a Pedigree Chart for our grandfather, Robert William Edward Romeril m. Josephine Annie Brudus on 15th February, 1919.




Robert 'Bert' Romeril and Annie Brudus at the front of 30 Williams Road, Briar Hill, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  Taken in 1966 and taken from a photo album of Sven Stromgren on his visit to Australia.  Photo supplied by cousin Peter in Sweden. Sorry if the photo is not too clear as it was emailed and then scanned.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

EDWARD THOMAS ROMERIL: HERO, VILLAIN OR BOTH? From Jersey to Australia and into the Unknown – the Mystery Unfolds


Barbara Romeril
12 November 2017

INTRODUCTION

As a child I was told that my great grandfather, Dad’s paternal grandfather, was a ship’s captain named Edward Thomas Romeril who came from Jersey in the Channel Islands, married and had children in Australia and then went missing.

An exciting story was told through a pair of paintings owned by Dad’s parents which were displayed in their house at Briar Hill showing a merchant ship SS Richmond, annotated with reference to Edward Thomas Romeril, Captain, painted to honour his bravery in saving the ship in a storm.

The story was told that he later left to travel north for work but never arrived. No record of his death had ever been found despite a number of people searching records in Australia and in Jersey. The theory was that he could have been attacked by robbers as he travelled overland, murdered and his body thrown down a mine shaft. We were all reconciled to never knowing the full story.

But as various members of the extended family became interested in family history, each of us became obsessed in turn with trying to find out what happened to Edward Thomas (ET). So we now have a record of his early maritime journeys from his parents’ home in Jersey from the age of 15 and his travels in Australia.

Later the family discovered that ET was the Secretary of a Lodge in Sydney before his disappearance.

Other than that, he was an enigma. So it has been possible to imagine him as a heroic figure, captaining merchant ships all around the world, bravely facing storm and shipwreck, leading sailors on sea and land, but finally coming to a sticky end through no fault of his own while nursing a broken heart from the loss of his marriage and children.

But now a death certificate for an Edward Black in Queensland has given us the key to ET’s life after his disappearance. Usually death certificates are the most unreliable sources, especially for elderly deaths as the informant is often poorly informed. But in this instance, despite deliberate attempts to disguise his identity, ET has left us enough hints to provide a very compelling case for believing that he was Edward Black and lived a long life on the lam.

So who was ET?

CHILDHOOD IN JERSEY

Edward Thomas (ET) Romeril was born on 4 March 1849 into a maritime family in Leoville, in the parish of St Ouen, the most rural part of Jersey, the middle child of seven born to Jean and Rachel (nee Pirouet – remember this name, it becomes important later in this story). Both parents were descended from many generations of Jersey locals.

In another blog we tell the story of Rachel and her children who stayed in Jersey while ET went off to the other side of the world.

The Census shows ET’s father Jean was a landlubber (shoemaker and farm labourer) but several of his uncles and his older brother were mariners.

MARINER – JERSEY TO AUSTRALIA

ET’s older brother John went to sea at the age of 17 and ET followed him 7 years later at the age of 16.

He sailed on the Tickler, a two masted schooner which was later honoured on commemorative coins and stamps as an example of the proud history of the Jersey ship building industry[1] and on several other ships from Jersey up til 1873. During this time the Channel Island Census shows ET as living in Leoville with his widowed mother and teenage sister Jane[2].

ET In Australia

ET surfaces in Australia two years later, in January 1875 as the Mate on the barque Zelia, in Newcastle NSW. He gave evidence in the trial of a seaman William Gaze charged with Disobedience of Lawful Command[3]. The Zelia had arrived in NZ from Mauritius a month earlier[4]. Perhaps this is how ET first arrived in Australia, sailing on the Zelia all the way from Mauritius.

ET’s maritime service in Australia took him to many places on several different boats. Another blog on this site tells that story.

ET’s Brave Adventure

In October 1881 ET was catapulted to fame in media reports of his brave rescue of the Richmond. The ship sailed from Melbourne on 19 October and on 21st they struck bad weather and the Captain was washed overboard and drowned in a gale. As Chief Petty Officer ET Romeril brought the ship safely to port in Sydney. This brave feat was later immortalized in a painting of the Richmond in distress and another of the Richmond sailing to safety in Sydney Harbour under Captain Edward Thomas Romeril. These paintings have been lovingly preserved by the family.

Our analysis of the Jersey census shows some interesting details of ET’s family who were poor and geographically isolated – at the same time that ET was being hailed a hero for saving the Richmond his widowed mother went into service in Jersey at the advanced age of 66.

ET was issued with a Master’s Certificate[5] immediately after rescuing the Richmond, as well as a ‘Pilotage Exemption’. For the next month he Captained the Richmond on a number of voyages on the waters between Sydney and the Clarence River near Grafton in northern NSW. In January 1882, 3 months after becoming a Sea Captain ET married a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, Martha Farncombe in Sydney.

ET captained the Argyle between Sydney and Grafton throughout January 1882. On 28 January, 11 days after his wedding, he made his final recorded sea voyage from Clarence River to Sydney with his new wife.

We have been unable to find a record that he ever sailed again.

LANDLUBBER

ET married Martha Farncombe at St Philips Anglican Church in York Street Sydney on 17 January 1882. They lived at 213 Pyrmont Street Sydney[6]. By 1883 when their first child Jessie Ray was born, they were living in Ada Street Utlimo[7]; Jessie was baptized in the same church where ET and Martha married, St Philips Church, York St Sydney.

Six months later at the end of 1883, the family was living in Pyrmont St, Sydney and ET was listed as Master Mariner[8].

A month later, at the start of 1884, ET was mentioned in the media as Secretary of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society. During this year, the family moved to 330 Kent St (the address of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society) where their second child was born, Martha Lavinia, in April 1885[9]. There are further media mentions of ET as Secretary of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society throughout 1886.

In August of that year, ET was granted a publican’s licence to operate the Braidwood Hotel in Cleveland Street Sydney. The family were still listed as living at the address of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society. ET continued to operate the Braidwood Hotel while holding the position of Secretary of the Marine Benefit Society into 1888.

ET Falls on Hard Times

All was not well for ET and his family; as Publican of the Braidwood Hotel in Sydney ET ultimately went broke.

The first mention of difficulties at the Braidwood Hotel appeared in March of 1887 with the announcement of the dissolution of the original partnership and ET taking on his former partner’s debts. Four months later in July, ET’s third child, our grandfather Robert William Edward was born in Darlington.

In April 1888 ET transferred the publican’s licence to Andrew Eckman[10] and two days later the District Court ordered a public auction of all of his good and chattels at the Braidwood Hotel.

ET maintained his role as Secretary of the Marine Benefit Society throughout this setback and in December 1888 his fourth and final child Lillian Annie was born. When ET registered her birth in January 1889 they were living at Grove Street. But 4 months later he took off, on the run from the law.

This apparently brave, heroic, compassionate community leader who fell on hard times had a dark side. The NSW Police Gazette of 1889 lists an arrest warrant issued in May of that year in relation to the theft of money from the Sydney Marine Benefit Society.
A warrant has been issued by the Water Police Bench for the arrest of E.T. Romeril, charged with stealing the amount of £1 8s., the property of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society. Offender is about 35 years of age, 5 feet 6 inches high, medium build, fair complexion, very fair hair, beard, whiskers and moustache; dressed in dark clothes and brown hard hat; kept a butcher’s shop at Leichardt about six weeks ago, frequents race meetings, has been a sailor and a publican; was employed as Secretary to the above Society.[11]

While the amount was relatively minor (one pound 8 shillings – equivalent to one week’s wages for a seaman – from a Society worth several thousands of pounds) it is an unforgivable breach of trust for the Secretary of the society that raises money to help sailors in distress and their families to steal from that fund.

Further the warrant describes ET as someone who is known to frequent the racetrack, which combined with his history of a failed business and abandonment of his family casts a very unromantic light on his disappearance. Rather than trudging off with his wife’s blessing to search for work to support his family after a string of bad luck it looks more like he was an habitual gambler who possibly embezzled the pub as well as the benefit society and has ran away after being caught out, leaving to fend for themselves his wife and 4 young children, the youngest only a few months old.

Six years after ET’s arrest warrant, his deserted wife Martha posted a ‘Missing Friends’ notice in the Police Gazette requesting information on the whereabouts of her husband Edward Thomas Romeril ‘alias E. Black, who came to Queensland about 6 years ago…’[12]
To our knowledge nothing came of this notice and four years later, in 1899 Martha remarried, with her marriage certificate to Arthur David Blair annotated as follows:
Marital status – Deserted 1889 not having seen or heard from and of her husband since 1889… Note: The Bride confidently believes that her husband (Romeril) is dead but has not sufficient direct evidence to warrant the declaration that she is a widow.’[13]

Why Did ET Run and Where Did He Go?

To understand why ET decided to evade the law it would help to know more about his background.

Will we ever know why ET left Jersey as a very young man, apparently never to return? His older brother John went to sea like ET but returned to his home town in his 40s to marry and farm the land like their father; but perhaps ET was no longer welcome in Jersey. Was the adventurous spirit that enabled him to pull up roots and travel to remote Northern Australia to work in the dangerous pearl fishing industry a result of necessity?

Perhaps ET left Jersey with limited skills and a rural working class life view, catapulted to fame and leadership through a single incident on the high seas and ultimately flailed out his depth, unable to sustain the middle class lifestyle he attempted in Sydney.

We have mused that perhaps after the disintegration of his life in Sydney he returned to the Torres Strait under a false name and lived out his life anonymously far from the eye of his family in Jersey, his dependents, his fellow mariners and the police. And now it seems we were not far off.

EDWARD BLACK IN NORTH QUEENSLAND

My cousin’s persistent search has unearthed a man name Edward Black who died in Townsville in north Queensland in 1933 who appears to be our missing ancestor.

The evidence is overwhelming. First the surname, Black and the location in Queensland match the information that ET’s wife Martha supplied in her public call for information on her missing husband.

The death certificate gives Edward Black’s occupation as seaman, as was ET.

The age is almost exact – at the time of death on 22 May 1933 Edward Black’s age was given as 85 years; ET would have been 84 – very close and easy for an informant to get wrong.

The father was named as Robert Black, which has no similarity to the name of ET’s father Jean Romeril; but Robert was the name of ET’s first and only son, Robert William Edward Romeril. Could he have invented a false name for his father using his son’s name?

Another significant difference between Edward Black and ET is the place of birth; Edward Black’s death certificate names ‘Liswede, Scotland’[14], not ET’s birthplace of Jersey. But again, could he have chosen a Scottish ancestry to explain his Jerriais accent while throwing any police search off the scent?

Our theory that ET became Edward Black to evade police is supported by the fact that so far we have found no record of Edward Black before 1903, well after ET disappeared.

So Edward Black and ET:
-       were named E. Black, as per ET’s alias
-       were born within one year of each other
-       were both seamen
-       had a foreign accent
-       went to Queensland

And there appears to be no record of Edward Black before ET absconded.
But the clincher is Edward Black’s mother – ‘Rachael Pierrot’ is a match on a Soundex search for ET’s mother ‘Rachel Pirouet’; that is, they are a phonetic match.
Pierrot and Pirouet are both extremely rare names. A worldwide search on Ancestry.com shows only one Rachael Pierrot, not in Scotland but in England, born too late to be Edward Black’s mother. A slightly different spelling – Rachel Pierrot – shows a small number, mostly in Germany and none in Scotland. And a search on Rachel Pirouet shows every one was in Jersey.

A search for Edward Black with father Robert and mother Rachael shows none in Scotland.

Of course, we will never be one hundred per cent certain that Edward Black was ET Romeril - but his mother’s name, combined with the other matching data is extremely convincing evidence that Edward Black is our ET.

The Life of Edward Black

So far we know that Edward Black lived in a tent at Rush Creek in Pentland, 250km inland from Townsville north Queensland, working as a miner at least from 1903 to 1905.

He moved to Rosalie Farm, Brandon in Ayr, 90km south of Townsville, working as a cook in 1908. He moved around the Ayr district, in Lochinvar and Ayr proper, working as a laborer from 1909 to 1915 and then was back in Pentland in 1917 and continued to work there as a laborer until he retired.

From 1922 to 1930 the electoral roll shows Edward Black as having no occupation and living in Norris St, Hermit Park Townsville, at the home of C. Williams. Three years later he died of myocarditis heart failure in Townsville Hospital.

Intriguingly, the Minister at his burial was F.G. Williams – could he have been a relative of the C. Williams with whom Edward Black lived the last years of his life?

The funeral notice describes Edward Black as a friend of the Williams family, previously of Pentland. So Edward Black may have befriended the Williams family when they all lived in Pentland and then followed them to Townsville when he retired, to live in the household of C. Williams until his final illness.

Perhaps research into the Williams family and the ministry of F. G. Williams at St Peter’s Church will throw more light on Edward Black.

CONCLUSION

I believe that Edward Black is almost certainly our long lost great-grandfather. ET became Edward Black and lived another half a lifetime far away from his life in Sydney, leaving his wife alone to raise 4 children under the age of 6, one a babe in arms. To our knowledge there was no contact during those 44 years between him and his wife, children or grandchildren.

It is very sad to think that he was alive when all of his grandchildren in our line were born, including my father, but none of them ever met him and all were brought up to believe he was long dead. Across the generations the story of his bravery on the SS Richmond has been treasured. The paintings that memorialize his greatest moment were carefully preserved and even reproduced so they can be displayed in several family homes.

Given his history of failed business, gambling and fraud and the known facts of the life of Edward Black, it seems reasonable to assume Edward Thomas Romeril escaped justice to live a profligate lifestyle in the second half of his very long life, travelling to where there was work, living on his wits, probably gambling and drinking his earnings. This is a sharp contrast to the valorized, romantic hero of Romeril family mythology.





[1] Built in Jersey in 1858 for the Le Boutilier Company, the Tickler weighed 93 tons and was 93 feet long and 19 feet wide. She was intrinsic to the trade with northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and occasionally Newfoundland in Canada. The ship changed hands a number of times and eventually was sold to France in 1888.
[2] 20 March 1871 Channel Island Census
[3] Newcastle Chronicle, 14.1.1875
[4] “Shipping Intelligence”, The Colonist, vol 17 issue 1849 15.12.1874
[5] Government Gazette
[6] City of Sydney Assessment Books
[7] NSW birth certificate
[8] Sand Directory 1883
[9] NSW birth certificate
[10] Sydney Morning Herald 14.4.88 p13
[11] New South Wales Police Gazette, 29 May 1889
[12] New South Wales Police Gazette 1895 p301
[13] Marriage Certificate in the District of Burke
[14] Possibly a misspelling of Lasswede, Scotland

EDWARD THOMAS ROMERIL, MARINER


Barbara Romeril 12 November 2017

Our great grandfather Edward Thomas (ET) Romeril was born into a maritime family on Jersey in 1849. The Census shows his father Jean was a landlubber (shoemaker and farm labourer) but several of his uncles were mariners. His older brother John went to sea at the age of 17 and ET followed him 7 years later at the age of 16.

Their long time neighbor Philip Hubert was also a mariner and the Captain of the Tickler, a two masted schooner which was later honoured on commemorative coins and stamps as an example of the proud history of the Jersey ship building industry.

Built in Jersey in 1858 for the Le Boutilier Company, the Tickler weighed 93 tons and was 93 feet long and 19 feet wide. She was intrinsic to the trade with northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and occasionally Newfoundland in Canada. The ship changed hands a number of times and eventually was sold to France in 1888.

John Romeril and Philip Hubert were both recorded in the 1861 census as residing on the Tickler when it was only 3 years old and Maritime Museum records show both sailed on the Tickler many times.

In 1867 at age 18 ET embarked on the first of his recorded voyages on the Tickler, along with his big brother John under the leadership of his neighbor Captain Philip Hubert.
The following year ET embarked on his second and final recorded voyage on the Tickler, again with Captain Hubert but this time without John.

ET’s family continued its relationship with the Tickler, with brother John voyaging on her a total of 14 times up to his last recorded voyage on the Tickler in 1874 at age 33. On this final Tickler voyage John was accompanied by 17 year old Philip Romeril who later married John and ET’s youngest sister Jane.

After his last recorded voyage on the Tickler, ET’s records show another 5 voyages from Jersey up til 1873 (a 6th in 1876 appears to be an error as it overlaps with Australian records).

ET surfaces in Australia two years later, in January 1875 as the Mate on the barque Zelia, in Newcastle NSW. He gave evidence in the trial of a seaman William Gaze charged with Disobedience of Lawful Command[1]. The Zelia had arrived in NZ from Mauritius a month earlier[2]. Perhaps this is how ET first arrived in Australia, sailing on the Zelia all the way from Mauritius.

The following year ET surfaces again in Australia as the Mate on the pearl boat Peveril in far north Queensland. From April to December 1876 ET served on the Peveril, showing good conduct. A fascinating insight into life on the Peveril is provided in an article a year earlier in the Rockhampton Bulletin (Wed 1 Dec 1875 p.3) in which an English diver describes the boats as ‘being kept as clean as a new pin, indeed a stranger would take them for gentlemen’s yachts.’[3]

ET’s maritime service in Australia took him to many places on several different boats – in January of 1877 he worked on the Mystery, and a few years later he worked as Mate on the James Wilson sailing from Portland in Victoria to Sydney, arriving on 5 January 1880; 18 months later ET is recorded as serving as Mate on the Richmond departing from Torquay in Tasmania on 1 June 1881 and arriving in Sydney a week later on 8 June.

In October 1881 ET was catapulted to fame in media reports of his brave rescue of the Richmond. They sailed from Melbourne on 19 October and on 21st they struck bad weather and the Captain was washed overboard and drowned in a gale. As Chief Petty Officer ET Romeril brought the ship safely to port in Sydney. This brave feat was later immortalized in a painting of the Richmond in distress and another of the Richmond sailing to safety in Sydney Harbour under Captain Edward Thomas Romeril. These paintings have been lovingly preserved by the family.

ET was issued with a Master’s Certificate immediately after rescuing the Richmond, as well as a ‘Pilotage Exemption’. For the next month he Captained the Richmond on a number of voyages on the waters between Sydney and the Clarence River near Grafton in northern NSW. In January 1882, 3 months after becoming a Sea Captain ET married lighthouse keeper’s daughter Martha Farncombe in Sydney.

ET travelled from Sydney to Grafton and back on board the Argyle in the days after his wedding. On 28 January, 11 days after his wedding, he made his final recorded sea voyage from Clarence River to Sydney with his new wife.

There is no record that he ever sailed again; he settled to landlubber occupations as publican and Secretary of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society – but that’s another story.




[1] Newcastle Chronicle, 14.1.1875
[2] “Shipping Intelligence”, The Colonist, vol 17 issue 1849 15.12.1874
[3] Rockhampton Bulletin 1 Dec 1875 p.3 describes a fleet of about 50 boats of 3 tons each; 30 carry 5 crew, mostly South Sea Islanders who dive for pearls in 5-10 fathoms of water. Another 20 boats have a larger crew of 15, especially Torres Strait Islanders, who dive in shallower water of 3-4 fathoms.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Jersey during the war

I have had a great few days on Ancestry as they have released Church records for Jersey.  Have found lots of baptism, marriage and death certificates and this makes for very satisfying days, as I might go for a week or so and not find another new certificate or document!  And the Jersey Archives are releasing more and more documents.

Here is a marriage record for Jean Romeril and Rachel Pirouet in October 1839.  It is from Ancestrycom and from Jersey, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1940 (database on-line).  The Original data is from the Anglican Paris Registers, Jersey Archive, Jersey Heritage, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands



Have a go at transcribing it??  Nice little bit of information here - Jean's father is Charles and Rachel's father is Thomas.

I really like the Registration and Identification of Persons cards issued during the occupation of Jersey during WW11 Here is one for Edward Francis Moignard (a 1st cousin 2 x removed.)


It was obtained from jerseyheritage.org - Reference: D/S/A/4/A8315 Date 07 Jan 1941.