52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors (2014) #36 William John Reeves

This week I have decided that my ancestor will be my gg grandfather William John Reeves.  One of the first certificate I obtained after starting my family history was the marriage certificate of William Reeves and Mary Gill.

This certificate showed that William and Mary were married on the 3 August 1858 at Amherst, Victoria, Australia.  William was a bachelor and Mary was a spinster.  The certificate showed that William was 29 years old and born in Plymouth, England.  At the time of his marriage he was working as a miner, and living at Emu.  His father was William Reevees, labourer and his mother was Maria Crook.

From these details, I was able to find his death entry on the Victorian death indexes

Wm Jno Reeves, died in 1888 at Talbot, father Wm, mother Maria Crook, age 59, registration number 11591.

I then obtained his death certificate to find more details

William John Reeves, miner, died 4th September 1888 at Narrigal.  He was 59 years old.  He died from haematuria intercurrent pnemounia.  His parents were listed as William Reeves, plasterer, and Maria Reeves m. n. Crook. The informant was his son William Reeves, of Major Line, Kooreh.  William was buried 7th September 1888 at Majorca Cemetery.  The undertaker was William Clark, and the minister was Rev. Joseph T. Piercey, a Primitive Methodist Church.  He had been born in Plymouth, Devonshire, England, and had lived in New South Wales for 3 years, and in Victoria for 36 years.  He was married to Mary Gill at Amherst, Victoria at the age of 29 years.  His children were William 29 years, John 28 years, Maria 25 years, Mary 23 years and Jane 21 years.

For many years, that was all the information I knew about William, as I had been unable to find a baptism record for him, or an entry the looked likely on the 1841 census in Devon  Then, I received an email from a distant family member, who gave me details about William’s baptism.

East Stonehouse
William John Reeves 24/8/1828 born 4/7/1828
mother Maria father William occ. Private Royal Marines. Abode Stonehouse

Then the Immigration records for New South Wales and Victoria were added to ancestry.com.au, and I was able to find William’s immigration record.

New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896
about William J Reeves
Name: William J Reeves
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1828
Age: 21
Voyage Arrival Date: 12 Jun 1849
Vessel Name: Emma Eugenia
Origin Location: Stonehouse, Devon, England

21 Reeves William J, age 21, occupation Plasterer, place of origin Stonehouse Devon England, parents William & Maria living in Somerset, read and write both, relatives in Australia none, health good

This immigration record explained why I hadn’t been able to find William in the census records in Devon.  I then switched my search on the 1841 Census to Somerset and found William in the household of William Reeves at Shepton Mallet, Somerset. William was 13 years old, born in county no. Also in the household was William age 36, labourer, born in county yes, Maria age 34, born in county no, Thomas age 10 born in county no, Emelia age 7, born in county no, and Robert age 5, born in county yes.