52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors (2014) #31 Garrett John Russell

Rev. G. J. Russell death
DEATH OF THE REV. G. J. RUSSELL. (1877, February 16).Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 4 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61828116

Recently, I told how I had found a family that appeared to be that of Charles Edward Martin Russell on the 1895 Argentina Census.  I have therefore decided that my ancestor this week will be his father, Garrett John Russell (my ggg grandfather).

The basic information I had about Garrett John Russell came mainly from his death certificate, and his son’s marriage certificate.

His son Henry married Maria Louisa Doyle on 17th April 1865 at Buninyong, and they had been married by Garrett, who was the Incumbent at Buninyong.  The marriage certificate lists Garrett’s occupation as Clerk in Holy Orders.

Garrett’s death certificate shows he died 10 February 1877 at Buninyong, aged 57 years, and was buried 13 February 1877 at the Buninyong Cemetery.  His death certificate shows he was a Clerk in Holy Orders.  He died from aneurism of aorta, 12 months, and haemorrhage, 15 minutes.  The informant was T E Ochilton, Bank Manager, Buninyong, friend of family, authorized agent.    The undertaker was Charles Morris.  The minister was R J Cummins, Episcopalian Minister and the witnesses to the burial were T E Ochilton and Henry Bull.

As well as giving details about Garrett’s death and burial, it provided the following information:

His parents were listed as unknown.  He was born in Cork, Ireland, and had lived in Victoria for 21 years. He had married Susan Greene in Ireland at the age of 19 years.  His children were: Charles Edward 37 years, Martin 35 years, John William 34 years, Thomas Henry 33 years, Susanna Maria 28 years, Edward 25 years, Robert Frederick 23 years and Francis Richard 21 years. As there is a 5 year gap between Thomas and Susanna there may have been another child who died young.

From this information, I had an approximate date that he emigrated to Australia, and it also indicated that his youngest son, Francis, was either born before they left Ireland, or on arrival in Australia.

His obituary also gave further details about Garrett.

Later, I found an entry on the International Genealogical Index, which was on microfilm at the State Library of Victoria, which showed that Garrett John Russell was born 1817 in Cork, Ireland, parents Martin and Mary.

In 2009, I received an email from a descendant of Garrett’s sister.  This provided details on Garrett’s baptism..

Baptisms of children of Martin Russell and Mary Moore
Catholic Baptisms, South Cork parish
Transcribed from microfilm, National Library of Ireland, Dublin

  • Garrett 13 April 1817 – sponsors James Murphy / [Honora?] Riordan

His marriage to Susan Greene, however, still hasn’t been found.

In 2001, I attended the Russell family reunion at Buninyong, and bought the book RussellChild, which gave information about the Russell family. This book told that most of the family had come to Australia on the “Almora” – one brother, the eldest Charles had remained in England, while another brother travelled with Garrett’s mother on the “Morning Light”.

I was able to confirm this information against the Unassisted Shipping Index at the Public Record Office Victoria website.  Garrett, however, was not listed on either ship. An immigration record for Garrett has still not been found.  I do know that he was in Victoria by December 1856, as he performed a marriage ceremony at that time:  His obituary states he arrived in September 1856.

Rev. G. J. Russell
Family Notices. (1856, December 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved January 18, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7141303: