Family Names

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