|Every so often th e plot number is chiselled into the concrete foundations of the tombstone.|
I first met Emily Amelia Puckeridge on 22nd May this year. "Met" is probably stretching it; became aware of her existence is more like it. I have, you see, a "bucket list". And on that list is the aim of completing my family tree of deceased ancestors. And my starting point has been to try to trace all the lines of my tree back to the United Kingdom. It all becomes a smidge tenuous much earlier than that, I justified to myself. I took the Cole line back past its arrival in Melbourne in 1860. I traced the Tonkin line back past its disembarkation in Melbourne in 1857. I knew that my maternal grandmother had emigrated from Wales to Sydney as a war-bride in 1920. So, just one line to go: the Selby line.
|This bunch of lily fronds grow above Amelia's last resting place. Using the Rookwood Deceased Search, I proved the plot next door for John Mangnall was plot 1040|
Using a combination of Ancestry.com, the NSW Births, Deaths & Marriages, and the Rookwood Deceased Search I drilled down into my grandfather's past. His mother had died in childbirth in 1904, when Cecil Roy was 6, his father, John William, dying in 1939. But what of his parents? Well Thomas James Selby died in 1917, with his wife, Mary Ann, dying in 1921. Thomas James arrived with his parents and older brother in 1839 on the "Spartan" under the Bounty Migration Scheme. Tick off another one.
How about Mary Ann? She was born a Puckeridge in 1839 in Sydney to Richard and his wife Emily Amelia. So down further I drill. Pretty soon, I discover that Richard was born in Sydney in 1812. My heart did a flutter! Born in Sydney in 1812! Something similar with (Emily) Amelia, his wife. Born in Sydney in 1815! Bloody hell, methinks. Am I stumbling onto something here? If these two were born THAT early on in the life of the new colony (born during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie) how did THEIR parents get to Sydney?
Richard Puckeridge's father, Joseph, was sentenced to 7 years transportation to the colony in 1801. His wife, Ann Maund, accompanied him, but their two young children perished on the journey. A convict! Yeehah! I have convict ancestry.
But what of Amelia? She was born in 1815 to Susannah Smith who had been transported to Sydney for 14 years penal servitude in 1812, arriving on the "Wanstead" in 1813. Heavens to Betsy! Another one!
And Amelia's father? He was one Thomas Hughes sentenced to 7 years for theft, arriving on the 'Surprize" in 1789. Could I believe what was unfolding before my eyes? A third convict ancestor, and this time one who came over on The Second Fleet. Be still my heart ...
|The map from the Anglican Trust proved essential. Section G is down the bottom extreme left.|
So, may I introduce to you (Emily) Amelia Puckeridge (nee Hughes) born in 1815, who died in 1895. My great-great-great-grandmother. Who resides in the Old Anglican area of Rookwood Necropolis in Section G, plot 1041. No tombstone, but I rarely expect one now that I am more savvy. Penury runs in our genes. Penury, and a certain disdain for the religious sensibility.
|Left: the plot for the Mangnall family was a double check.|
Amelia Puckeridge. The photo is undated, however, there is also one of her husband, Richard, and he died in 1881 aged 69. In 1881 Amelia would have been 66 years of age.
|This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tragics community.|