of Hambrook, Gloucestershire.
Winterbourne Family History Online...
|Greg Donald, a visitor to this web site, who lives in New South Wales, Australia, has sent us this interesting information about some members of the Edwards Family.||
Charles Harcombe Edwards [no photo available] was the son of James Edwards and Amelia Harcombe.
The 1841 Census for Hambrook shows James (40, Shoemaker) & Amelia (40) living near Hambrook Grove, Hambrook, with sons Thomas (14) & Charles (13) and daughters Mary (11) & Georgina (4)
Greg has documented the family history of his wife's family, while Jim Edwards of Sydney, Australia, and Liz McBride of Chepstow, Wales, have done the research.
Jim ( 81) is a great grandson of Charles Harcombe Edwards through his son Charles - and Liz is a great great granddaughter through his son Thomas Henry Edwards.
|Below is a section out of Greg's family records ...||See also a further contribution from Liz McBride...|
Charles Harcombe Edwards arrived in the Colony of NSW aboard the Fairlie... [ a Barque of 755 tons, 108 feet long, 32 feet wide. Searches of Lloyds Register reveal some information about the Fairlie. She was a barque, had been built in Calcutta in l812 and was rated at 756 tons. A barque is a three-masted sailing ship which is square-rigged in the fore and mainmast. In 1848 her owners were Sames Bros. and she was registered in the port of London. She was a regular visitor to Australia. Fairlie made the voyage from London to Hobart Town in 1836 and l852 and was in Australia in 1864 and 1865, as well as her Sydney visit in 1848.
... on 7th August 1848. He travelled as an assisted migrant and the ships records show Charles as being 20 years old and a native of Hambrook, Gloucestershire, England. His father being James Edwards (shoemaker deceased) and his mother Amelia Harcombe still living in Hambrook about 5 miles North of Bristol. Charles is listed as Church of England and his occupation as farm labourer.
It can be assumed that Charles made the decision to leave his native land in search of a better life. Food was very expensive in England and work was short with little prospects for a young man starting out in life.
Hannah Rafferty aged 17 migrated from Ireland, as an orphan girl, aboard the Digby...
... arriving in Sydney on 4th April 1849. Her native place was listed as Castlereagh, Roscommon, Ireland. Her occupation is listed as domestic servant and she travelled as an assisted passenger. Her father being Thomas Rafferty (stonemason) and her mother just known as Bridget (deceased).
We can assume that her reason for migrating was the terrible potato famine of 1845-49 that swept through Ireland killing one in every ten people. Hannah would have been 13 years old when the famine struck and she was lucky to survive.
When they arrived in the colony both Hannah and Charles were given places at Macquarie Plains now known as Brewongle, near Bathurst NSW, and it is assumed that this is where they met. They were married at Holy Trinity Church Kelso on 1st January, 1851 by the Rev William Lisle. Witnessed by James Cassidy and John E White, both of Kelso. Rev Lisle was the rector from 1844-1872.
William Lisle covered vast areas of the Central West on horseback and buggy tending to his flock and often married the parents when he came to baptise the children.
Sometime after their marriage in January 1851 Hannah and Charles set up house in O'Connell where their first child [Charles Jnr] was born on 25th October 1851. The NSW Gazetteer of 1866 states that the population of O'Connell was 300 with two hotels, a Church of England and a school with mail being carried twice a week.
Sometime between Thomas' birth in 1854 and James' birth on 23rd April 1856 the family moved back to Macquarie Plains. James' birth records show Charles as Farmer of Corner Station, Macquarie Plains. In 1857 when Amelia was born they were living at Dirty Swamp Farm, Fish River where he was listed as a farmer. Dirty Swamp Farm was at that time owned by John Piper McKenzie junior and is now known as Milford and owned by Mr Pat Condon. The Fish River village was located in the Mutton Falls area.
Sometime after the birth of George in July 1863 Charles succumbed to gold fever and went to work at the Cheshire Creek Mines between Peel and Wattle Flat near Bathurst. On 12th November 1866 three men including Charles entered the mine at 7 O' Clock and the mine caved in killing Charles instantly. Thomas was sent into Bathurst for the doctor while knowing that his father was already dead. Charles was laid to rest in the graveyard at Holy Trinity, Kelso three days later by Rev Lisle. Charles had allowed Hannah to raise their children as Roman Catholics. Charles is located in an unmarked grave so we will never know where he lies. The eldest child Mary Anne was only 15 when her father died. James Howard and Joe Ainsworth were listed as witnesses to the burial.
Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 20th November 1866...
Fatal Accident in Drive.
Saturday's Bathurst Times reports that a Coroner's Inquest was held by Dr Busby, on Tuesday last, at Cheshire Creek, on the view of the body of Charles Edwards, a gold miner, who was killed by the falling in of a drive in which he was working. From the evidence it appears, that the deceased and two other men. Benjamin Leask and Patrick Dwyer, were working in a drive at Cheshire Creek about 7 O'clock Monday evening, the 12th instant, when the roof of the drive suddenly gave way and the deceased was entirely covered by soil. Leask who was likewise covered, all but his head, contrived after much suffering, to extricate and save himself. Dwyer who was 6 feet nearer the shaft than his mates, was not touched by what fell. In a few minutes some men came down the shaft and speedily uncovered the body of the deceased, whom they found to be quite dead. The body was doubled up just as deceased had apparently been at work. The ground was of loose rotten character, and was not propped up in the usual manner, the party having neglected, "though they intended." to get the timber to support the roof. The jury found that the deceased "came to his death accidentally, by the roof of the drive in which he was working, falling in upon him; he and his mates having neglected to secure the roof, in the usual manner by timber props".
After Charles' death Hannah and the children remained at Peel for a few years as she was still there when she married Frank Green in 1869. They returned to Glanmire where Frank was listed as a miner. They had no children.
By 1900 Hannah and Frank had set up a store at Napoleon Reefs where they sold grocery items. Hannah died 24th May 1900 in Bathurst Hospital where she was being treated for Hydatid of the Liver.
Recorded on the Irish Famine Memorial, Sydney...
Hannah Rafferty married
Charles Harcombe Edwards
on 1st January 1851
[Some time after the death of Charles, Hannah married Frank Green; there were no children of that marriage]
Charles Edwards Jnr [1851 - ?]
first son of Charles Harcombe Edwards
Charles Edwards Jnr and his wife Charlotte
are seen here together with their daughter
Charles & Charlotte spent much of their life in this house at Napoleon Reefs, near Bathurst, Australia.
Photo taken 1999
Photos kindly sent in by Greg Donald, New South Wales
Below is a contribution from Liz McBride, of Chepstow,
great great granddaughter of Charles Harcombe Edwards
through his son Thomas Henry Edwards.
How part of the Edwards family returned to Gloucestershire...
Thomas Henry Edwards was the second son of Charles Harcombe Edwards and Hannah Rafferty. Thomas married Agnes Angelica Asgill, whose parents were both former convicts who arrived in NSW via Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).
Thomas and Agnes had at least seventeen children, their tenth child being Gordon James Edwards who was born in 1892 at Rocky Ponds Station where his father was working as an overseer. In 1915 Gordon joined the Australian Lighthorse and was soon on his way to Gallipoli. One of his brothers had also joined the Lighthorse in January that year and a third followed a few months later. In September 1915 Gordon was wounded and after being hospitalised in Malta and then Bournemouth he arrived in Chepstow at the Red Cross Convalescent Hospital (now the home of Chepstow Museum where May and Gordon’s story is featured in one of the displays).
Among the young nurses there was a young Chepstow woman named Emily May James – but always known as May. The two fell in love and in June 1916 they were married at Chepstow church. It is most unlikely that Gordon knew that he was only a few miles from his grandfather’s birthplace. He returned to the front, this time to France and was again wounded and hospitalised in St Woollos Hospital, Newport. When he was classed as fit he was sent back to the front, this time to Palestine. By now the war was in the closing stages, and Gordon, worn down by his wounds and also the removal of his appendix, succumbed to pneumonia. On 26th November 1918, three days after his 26th birthday, he died in Palestine and is buried in Beirut war cemetery. It must have been a bitter blow to receive the news of his death after the armistice had been signed. Gordon and May had only one child, May Joan, born in May 1917, and later became the mother of Liz McBride. In 1920, May Joan and her mother sailed for Australia to meet her father’s family. They were away for almost two years but eventually returned to Chepstow. In 1930 they moved across the Wye to live in Beachley Gloucestershire - May's great grandfather's home county. Gordon’s two brothers both returned home from the war, the elder one having been awarded the DCM. [See photograph of Thomas Charles Edwards added September 2012 below]
Notes re Greg’s contribution above...
Charles Harcombe Edwards was probably named after his mother Amelia’s brother Charles Harcombe who died in February 1826 two months before Charles Harcombe Edwards was born.
On board the Fairlie were two more Hambrook residents the Tyler sisters, Emma [baptised Winterbourne 1826] and Harriet [baptised Winterbourne 1817]. Their father Henry was a blacksmith in Hambrook [their mother was Sarah]. What became of them is not known.
Hannah Rafferty arrived in Australia as part of the Orphan girls scheme [see manifest for the Digby, above] introduced by Earl Grey. Between 1848 and 1850 approximately 4100 Irish “orphan” girls were sent to Australia from Irish workhouses where they were hired out as domestic servants. In 1999 The Great Irish Famine Memorial was unveiled in Hyde Park Barracks Sydney where the names of four hundred girls are listed including Hannah Rafferty.
Liz has researched Charles Harcombe Edwards' siblings and their families. His two eldest sisters married and moved away from Hambrook, his youngest sister Amelia appears to have married twice (the second time to her first cousin Thomas Harcombe). His brother Thomas married Ann Gay/Guy of Hambrook and they ran a grocer's shop in Hambrook. Thomas died in 1897.
Further information from Liz reveals that... there is a family connection with Henry Grindell Matthews, Scientist and Inventor, of Winterbourne. Now, follow this carefully...
Gordon James EDWARDS' wife, Emily May nee JAMES, had a brother, Arthur JAMES, who married Nellie May PRICHARD (born 1899) who was a daughter of James PRICHARD & Jane Rymer Grindell nee MATTHEWS (baptised 1869) an older sister of Henry Grindell MATTHEWS..!
Return to top of page...
Thomas Henry Edwards, second son of Charles Harcombe Edwards and
Hannah Edwards nee Rafferty
Gordon James Edwards, tenth child of Thomas Henry Edwards and
Agnes Angelica Edwards nee Asgill
Photos kindly sent in by Liz McBride, Chepstow.
|Below is a contribution from Linda Brown, partner of Stephen Edwards, great nephew of the above Gordon James Edwards...||
Photographs received September 2012
Thomas Charles was the elder brother mentioned, but not named, above.
HMAT A29 'Suevic'
in which Thomas embarked from Sydney
Thomas Charles Edwards (1887-1968)
Grandson of the above Charles Harcombe
Edwards of Hambrook, Glos.
4th LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE, 12TH LIGHT HORSE REGIMENT, "B" SQUADRON.
Thomas Charles Edwards was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
Distinguished Conduct Medal: 'During the attack on Semakh, on 25 September, 1918, he displayed conspicuous gallantry in capturing enemy positions single handed. He captured fourteen of the enemy, and showed a fine example of dash, courage and devotion to duty'.