Family Names

Monday, 16 November 2015

Finding Alma Dudley Todman’s baptism record

Today I combed through a microfilm searching for the possible baptism records for Walter Todman's children  the clue I was following was based on information that I have sourced from Family Search[i]  that  Alma Dudley Todman was baptised In Christ Church, South Yarra.  According to the State Library Victoria
Catalogue the records for Christ Church, South Yarra were to be found on Film IN 143 & 144.  So far I've managed to review the first of the two films.

The first item on the film was Baptismal Register 1855-1902. I worked my way through the entire item in search of Todman children – none were to be found.  The second item on the film was another Baptismal Register 1902-1946. I worked my way forward from 1902 but it wasn't until I got up to Entry # 1458 that I reached the first only entry for any of the Todmans – that of Alma Dudley Todman.  My heart fell when I looked at the image, there had been a mishap and the photographers hand could be plainly seen unfortunately covering over the second half of the entry, as can be seen below.

Christ Church (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), "Baptismal Register 1902-1946," Baptismal Entry for Alma Dudley Todman; IN 143, item Number 1458, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.

Then I remembered the golden rule always look both before and after the entry you are interested in so I rolled the film forward and to my relief the operator had taken a second image.....

Christ Church (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), "Baptismal Register 1902-1946," Baptismal Entry for Alma Dudley Todman; IN 143, item Number 1458, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
You can image how happy I was to find it.

I even managed to find extra information that I didn't have before - Alma's godparents.  I have no idea how important these people are or if I will come across them again, but you never know..

Transcription reads -
"Baptism Solemnised in the Parish of Christ Church, South Yarra, in the County of Bourke, Victoria, A.D 1810
...
Number 1458, When Baptised February 6th 1909; When born January 5th 1910, Child's Christian Name Alma Dudley Parents names Martha & Walter Todman Abode 580 Chapel Str, Sth Yarra; Motor Engineer; God Parents Frances Howlett & Matilda Ford
...."

One Film down another one to go  - “IN 144” to see if I can uncover anything else.


[i] "Australia Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTZS-4GQ : accessed 12 November 2015), Alma Dudley Todman, 06 Feb 1910; citing ; FHL microfilm 993,809.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Searching for Christening records For Walter & Martha Todman's children

To date only one out of a possible seven baptismal records for the children of Walter and Martha have been located.  My cousin tracked the record down for Charlotte Mary Todman, christened on 15 November 1908[i], in a Baptismal Register being held on location at St Matthews Church, Prahran.  Unfortunately at the time of receiving the details of the discovery, many years ago, I was so excited that I didn't think to ask any questions about her process of finding the record other than to make sure that I had the provenance correctly noted.

St Matthews Church, Prahan Image H39357/85 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/300291
Now, a little bit older and wiser I know I need to clarify a few things:-

1.       When she went to Saint Matthews Church did she only look at one record book? 
2.       Did she look at all the pages of the book? 
3.       Were there other record books available and if so did she manage to have a look at them?
4.        The person who allowed her in to look at the register did they give any further clues as to where else we should look next for those c children that we weren’t to locate?

If only I had thought to ask these questions at the time of receiving the photocopy that she graciously gave me.  I’ve sent her off a query and I hope she remembers enough details to fill in some of the answers.

Meanwhile I've decided to continue to concentrate on trying to trying to track down the baptismal records for the other children.  Although I have not yet found any direct evidence that the other children in the family were baptised there is an indication in a local newspaper report concerning the court case where the judge states "it's a pity you didn't go to church and baptise your baby!” and Martha responds “The child is baptised.”[ii] Martha’s response reveals that at least her eldest child, Martha, was baptised, if not the newly born child at that time, Ivy. 

While conducting my first sweep of my database and the internet for possible clues I also came across a reference to the baptism of Alma Dudley Todman[iii], on Family Search, at Christ Church, South Yarra, another possible location to look for baptisms. 

Christ Church, South Yarra Image H39357/84 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/300284 

Possible location of the children’s baptisms

It looks as though there are 3 possibilities that will need to be covered:-
Locaton 1 - All Saints Church, Prahran[iv] where  Walter & Martha were married
Location 2 – Christ Church, South Yarra,   according to Family Search[v] this is where Alma Dudley Todman was baptised on 06 Feb 1910.
Location 3 - St Matthew Parish, Prahran as this is where Charlotte Mary Todman was baptised on the 15 November 1908[vi]
All churches were Anglican.

To do List

  1. Need to locate where the Parish Registers are held for all 3 churches, to do this I will Consult Parish registers in Australia : a list of originals, transcripts, microforms & indexes of Australian parish registers / compiled by Nick Vine Hall. To determine where the original records might be kept for the churches.
  2. Consult Title: [Victorian church records] [microform] Series note: IN series (State Library of Victoria) ; 143-144 Contents/Summary:- Christ Church South Yarra, Baptismal register 1855-1946 -- Baptismal register 1857-1914 -- Marriage register 1857-1903.
  3. Continue to search through the Christ Church, Records, 1854-1967. [manuscript]. Held at the SLV Identifier(s): Accession no(s) MS 11250 (8 reviewed so far, another 6 due to arrive at the SLV on the 16 Nov 2015.) includes   Marriage, Baptism records & Marriage records; plus other materials
  4. Identify other Anglican Churches in the area where the family resided for any other potential churches if the above searches yield no results.




[i] (Original Record from the Parish Book photocopy obtained by Andrea Buckley)
[ii] PRAHRAN POLICE COURT. (1895, December 14). The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930), p. 5. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672
[iii] "Australia Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTZS-4GQ : accessed 12 November 2015), Alma Dudley Todman, 06 Feb 1910; citing ; FHL microfilm 993,809.
[iv] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, "Certificate of Marriage  Walter Todman & Martha Ellis 16 January 1892 Reference# 345" (Original a in family papers of  Myrtle Sharp.
[v] "Australia Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTZS-4GQ : accessed 12 November 2015), Alma Dudley Todman, 06 Feb 1910; citing ; FHL microfilm 993,809.
[vi] Baptism Record Charlotte Mary Todman, 15 November 1908, St Matthew Parish, Prahran

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Challenge of Walter Todman’s Identity

The earliest we have been able to locate my great grandfather Walter Todman in Australia is 1890 when he applies for a patent for his design improvement on shearing equipment, an application that was duly reported in “The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser” on the 27 December 1890[i]  

So I was very excited when I recently found an advertisement in Evening Journal newspaper column for MISSING FRIENDS[ii] on TROVE.

“Willoughby, or Todman (James), left Millwall in 1884; last letter from Sydney, N.S.W., in 1888. Mother asks.”
Family legend states that Walter changed his name from Willoughby to Todman.  The only marriage that my cousins and I have been able to find between a Willoughby and a Todman occurred in 1854 when Charles Willoughby married Mary Ann Ramsey Todman in Gillingham Kent. They had a son James Lincoln Willoughby.  On Walter’s marriage certificate his mother was Mary Ann Willoughby, although the father was listed as Walter Todman[iii].

So now I am seeking to make contact with anyone who might be able to shed light on the mystery. 



[i] "Patent Office Transactions," The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 27 December 1890, p. 1446, col. 3; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163648327 : accessed 18 Oct 2015), The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912). 
[ii] MISSING FRIENDS. (1901, April 13). Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912), p. 6. Retrieved October 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207944213
[iii] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, "Certificate of Marriage  Walter Todman & Martha Ellis 16 January 1892 Reference# 345" (Original in the family papers of  Myrtle Sharp.)

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Where was Walter Todman before 1890?

There is a mystery that surrounds the arrival to Australia and the subsequent whereabouts of my Great-grandfather, Walter Todman. 

The earliest we can locate him in Australia is 1890 when he applies for a patent for shearing equipment which was duly reported in The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser on the 27 December 1890[i]
“Patent Office Transactions Applications for certificates of provisional protection and letters patent lodged from December 8th to 20th (inclusive):—     .... Letters of Patent .... No. 2663. December 9, Walter Todman, of Baley street, Newtown, near Sydney, New South Wales, on improvement in the construction and working of a machine for shearing sheep.”
Section of Walter Todman's patent application source:- New South Wales Letters Patent - Improvements in the construction and working of a machine for shearing sheep - Specification by Walter Todman New South Wales Letters (National Archives of Australia, Patent Office)  Item 2663
His application for shearing equipment indicates that he has some, if not considerable knowledge of, sheep shearing which could suggest that his early days in Australia were spent outback or at least on a farm in some capacity. 

Three years after retiring from his shop[iii] we find Walter advertising to obtain a new job in the situations wanted column of the newspaper
“ENGINEER, Turner. Fitter. Machinist, would go on station, anywhere. Todman, 3 Cato-st.. Prahran.”[iv]
This advertisement seems also to support the case for Walter Todman working on a station/farm once he arrived in Australia, it is most unlikely that anyone who had spent the majority of their of their working life in the city would consider going outback unless they had some prior experience.

So the question is where to next to find more information!!



[i] "Patent Office Transactions," The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 27 December 1890, p. 1446, col. 3; digital images, TROVE (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163648327 : accessed 18 Oct 2015), The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912). 
[ii] "PATENTS APPLIED FOR," Record, 14 Apr 1894, p. 2, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ : accessed 4 Oct 2015), Digitised Papers and more. 
[iii] Classified Advertising. (1925, May 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 2. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2113070 “Under Instructions from Mr. WALTER TODMAN. Who is Retiring from Business.”
[iv] Advertising. (1928, August 9). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205484132

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The First Few years of marriage for Walter Todman & Martha Ellis

Walter and Martha married on 16 Jan 1892 in All Saints Church, Saint Kilda[i], no address was given for Martha at the time, but Walter was living in Hawthorn according to the marriage certificate.  From the time of his marriage, and for the birth of his first two children Walter worked as a blacksmith.  Their eldest daughter,  Martha Todman[ii] (later known as Ruby) arrived on 24th December in 1894[iii] at the Women’s hospital.

Left to right.Ivy and Ruby Todman. cir 1896 – taken by Yeoman Co. 287 Chapel st Prahran  Jim Bennett's Private Photo  Collection 
On the 14th September 1895[iv] Walter and Martha welcomed Ivy Florence Todman into the world.  Life must have changed dramatically for the family by 1895, with 2 small children life must have been busy for the Todman household.  The family had been living at 27 Arthur St, South Yarra, Victoria[v] when Ruby was born.  During the intervening 18 months between their first and second child the family had shifted to 3 Palmero Place, South Yarra[vi],[vii] They may have also resided at Hancock St, South Melbourne[viii] for a short time as well.

Walter was still pursuing his inventions and continued to register new patents.  In April 1894 he made an application for a patent for "an improved machine for saving gold"[ix] In October 1895 Walter was granted a patent for   “An improved automatic check for venetian blinds.”[x].  He appears to have left his occupation as a Blacksmith and is working as a casual waiter[xi] perhaps to allow more time to focus on his inventions.   But October 1895 saw the last of his applications for patents, earlier in that year in January[xii] he had even abandoned one,

Things appear to have hit boiling point for Martha as we next find the couple in the Prahran Police Court .  Martha alleges that her husband Walter Todman left “her without any means of support at South Yarra on the 3rd inst.”[xiii] December, 1895.  She had two children and “her husband was a job waiter and earned about £11 a month. Her parents were in England.”[xiv]  The couple had a violent domestic argument, resulting in Walter being struck with a poker[xv].  It was resolved by the court an order being issued “for a £ I a week maintenance, and one surety of £25 to be found for a due observance”[xvi]  She has been quoted as saying “her husband, who was a waiter, was in the habit of handing her his earnings each week, but on Sunday week be refused to give her any money, and since then she could not live with him on account of his temper and disgusting language.”[xvii]

After all this angst and excitement things appear to settle at least for the next few years until 1901.

Follow up work - Need to access the following records

PROV - Agency VA 4101 Prahran Courts to see if there are any case notes or transcripts for the court case or the maintenance payments
State Library of Victoria - Victoria Police gazette index : 1853-1868 [microform] to see if there was any report on this case
State Library of Victoria - Look up “Victorian patents [microform]” for the abandoned Patent # 11250




Sources

[i] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, "Certificate of Marriage  Walter Todman & Martha Ellis 16 January 1892 Reference# 345" (Original in family papers of  Myrtle Sharp)
[ii] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia, Birth Certificate Martha Todman (Year 1894, #1801, Original a certified copy)
[iii] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia, Birth Certificate Martha Todman (Year 1894, #1801, Original a certified copy)
[iv] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia, Birth Certificate Ivy Florence Todman (1895, Reference# 32737  Original a certified copy)
[v] Sands & McDougall's Melbourne and Suburban Directory - Todman, 1894 p.1109.
[vi] Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia, Birth Certificate Ivy Florence Todman (1895, Reference# 32737  Original a certified copy)
[vii] Dir Sands & McDougall's Melbourne and Suburban Directory - Todman, 1896
[viii] "PATENTS APPLIED FOR," Record, 14 Apr 1894, p. 2, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ : accessed 4 Oct 2015), Digitised Papers and more
[ix] "PATENTS APPLIED FOR," Record, 14 Apr 1894, p. 2, col. 7; digital images, TROVE (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ : accessed 4 Oct 2015), Digitised Papers and more. 
[x] The Prahran Telegraph, "NEW PATENTS." The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) 19 Oct 1895: 3. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144634019>
[xi] "PRAHRAN POLICE COURT." The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) 14 Dec 1895: 5. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672>.
[xii] “Official List of Patents and Trade Marks for the Month of February 1895” Third Supplement to the Victoria Government Gazette. 4 April; digital image, Page 1333. Accessed October 4 2015. Austlii.edu.au, http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/vic_gaz
[xiii] "PRAHRAN POLICE COURT." The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) 14 Dec 1895: 5. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672>.
[xiv] "PRAHRAN POLICE COURT." The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) 14 Dec 1895: 5. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672>.
[xv]   "PRAHRAN POLICE COURT." The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) 14 Dec 1895: 5. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672>.
[xvi]   "PRAHRAN POLICE COURT." The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) 14 Dec 1895: 5. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144631672>.
[xvii] "DOMESTIC TROUBLES." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 10 Dec 1895: 5. Web. 3 Oct 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8883765>.


Notes on Sources

In December 1895  5 articles were printed in 4 different newspapers regarding the court case of Martha Todman vs Walter Todman,  a marital maintenance case.

PRAHRAN POLICE COURT MONDAY, DECEMBER 9. Before the Chairman (Dr. Fetherston), and Messrs. Dixon, Elliott, Young, and Wyatt, J's.P. MAINTENANCE CASE in The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930) Saturday 14 December 1895 p 5 Article Retrieved October 4, 2015 from http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/144631672?  – Although not the first article to be published about the case this was the most detailed of the reports it was also the printed in the local paper.  Martha had used a poker to try and strike Walter Todman after he slapped her face, he defended himself and struck her, etc.  “He had also nailed up the doors so that she could not enter the house” This was done because Martha “would not let him take the rubbish out of the shed into the bedroom.  He wanted to put tubs and ports and pans there”

DOMESTIC TROUBLES. (1895, December 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Col. 7, Retrieved October 3, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8883765 - this article does not include the remarks about the poker being used.

DOMESTIC TROUBLES. (1895, December 11). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 2. Col. 6 Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198250800

FOR BETTER OR WORSE. (1895, December 13). Warragul Guardian (Warragul, Vic. : 1895 - 1900), p. 2, Col. 8,  Edition: Bi-weekly.. Retrieved October 3, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67446720 - Repeat of article DOMESTIC TROUBLES.

HERE AND THERE. (1895, December 20). Warragul Guardian (Warragul, Vic. : 1895 - 1900), p. 8, Col 8, Edition: Bi-weekly.. Retrieved October 3, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67446889 - Editorial style article, but nothing new reported, language of article includes colloquial slang

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The process of finding Caroline Williamson's nee Munro illusive obituary :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy

Progress is slowly being made as I slowly search for Caroline Williamson's obituary, but hopefully I will be able to access the newspaper archives of the Sydney Morning Herald by the end of the week if my new SLV library card arrives in the first few days of the week!

The process of finding Caroline Williamson's nee Munro illusive obituary :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Returning from the Wilderness

It’s been almost 2 years since I last wrote an entry on my Blog, and as I open up my computer I wonder where I should begin as the last article that I published was 2 years ago in Apr-2013. It was the same month that I began my new job in hospitality working full time in hotel reservations at the Ramada Encore Hotel Dandenong.
Ramada Encore Hotel Dandenong
The oldest person in the organisation and an outsider - not something that the feint hearted should try, the experience has been eye opening however I will be finishing up Friday 10th April and am looking forward to returning to world of words, research, history, and ancestral mysteries. 
But the question as always is where do I begin? I have so many projects on the go, some almost complete, some driven by unknown time lines as interviews with family elders slowly creep along. Photos are sorted, stories are recorded and corrected. Trips are made to track down remnants of buildings and/or the owners of elusive family photos.