My ancestor of the week this week is my great grandfather Joseph Whimpey. My grandfather’s birth certificate shows that Joseph had been born in Adelaide, South Australia, and his age at the time of my grandfather’s birth indicates he was born in 1848. A family history sent to me lists Joseph’s date of birth as 10 January 1848, and states that this information comes from a Family Bible. From the birth certificates of Joseph’s other children, his birthplace is also listed as Mount Barker, South Australia. Mount Barker is on the outskirts of Adelaide. The births, deaths and marriages indexes for South Australia are available for this time period, but no birth entry has been found for Joseph.
Joseph’s parents were Joseph Whimpey and Margaret Price. As mentioned in my post about Joseph Whinpey (1819-1902) last week, Joseph and Margaret came to Australia with his brother John Whimpey.
Although Joseph doesn’t appear on the birth indexes for South Australia, John and Caroline had a son William who was also born in 1848 in South Australia, and his birth is on the South Australian indexes (William Whimpey born 31 January 1848 in Adelaide, South Australia).
The question therefore is, why wasn’t Joseph’s birth registered? In establishing why his birth may not have been registered, I needed to look at what other information I could find on where the two families were living.
The two brothers had lived in Melbourne for a few years after arriving in Australia,
John and Caroline had a daughter Elizabeth who was born 1 December 1842 and baptised 25 December 1842
The two brothers then baptised 4 children together on 13 Nov 1846
- Eliza, born 7 July 1845 daughter of John and Caroline
- John, born 19 Jun 1843, Elizabeth born 12 February 1845, and William born 7 November 1846, children of Joseph and Margaret
These children were all baptised at the Parish of St James in Melbourne.
John and Caroline then moved to South Australia, where they had the following children:
- William, born 31 January 1848 in the district of Adelaide
- Sarah Ann, born 3 June 1849 in the district of Adelaide
- Elizabeth Clement, born 7 April 1852 (district not listed)
- Joseph, born 29 July 1855 in the district of Adelaide
- Jacob, born 19 October 1857 in the district of Adelaide
- Mary Jane, born 21 January 1859 in the district of Adelaide
Joseph and Margaret had a daughter Eliza, who appears twice on the Early Church Records for Victoria, with one entry listing her birthplace as Naracoorte, and the other as South Australia. Her baptism certificate shows she was born 18 February 1851 at Margaret Plains and was baptised 22 August 1851 in the Presbyterian Church in Portland.
Since Eliza was born in South Australia, but her birth wasn’t registered in South Australia, and she was baptised when the family arrived back at Portland, it would most likely mean that she was born when the family were on their way back to Victoria after visiting John in Adelaide. This would be the most likely reason that Joseph’s birth wasn’t registered either. The Early Church Records for Victoria were originally on microfiche, and then included on the Pioneer Index CD, and are also available on the website for the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Victoria. An entry for Joseph’s baptism was not found on these indexes. However, a new DVD was released in 2012 that included church records for Victoria that weren’t previously available. In the future, I hope to be able to check this to see if I can find an entry for Joseph.