52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors (2014) #44 George Laver

Last week, my ancestor was Thomas Laver.  This week I have decided to use his father, George Laver.

George died in 1885 at St Kilda, Victoria.  His parents were listed on the death index as John Laver and Sarah Duck.  George was buried at the St Kilda Cemetery on 11 August 1885.  At the moment, I can’t afford to get the death certificate, so I decided to use other means to obtain his death date.  Using the burial date, I did a search of the Argus newspaper for a death notice.  There was no notice for him on 8 August, 10 August or 11 August.  The next thing to try were Probate records.  The Probate records for Victoria are held at the Public Record Office in Victoria, and their website also has some of the records available as digital files. Unfortunately at the moment, this website isn’t loading.  Fortunately, the Probate index is also available at FamilySearch – Australia, Victoria, Index to Probate Registers, 1841-1989,

The Probate index shows:

Laver George, of St Kilda, builder, died 10.8.85 (10 August 1885) Probate granted 10.9.85 (10 September 1885).  To whom committed: Elizabeth Laver.

As mentioned in last week’s post about Thomas, George and Elizabeth had come to Australia with their children, Thomas, Jane, William and Louisa in 1853 on the “Malvina Vidal”, arriving in Melbourne on 24 June 1853.

  • Laver George 32 Mason and stone cutter Kingsbury Somersetshire parents John & Sarah Mother living at Taunton Somersetshire Wesleyan both read and write none good none paid ¬6 for self and family
  • Elizabeth 33 Kingsbury Somersetshire Robert & Anna Male living at Kingsbury Wesleyan can read none good none
  • Thomas 12 ” Kingsbury Somersetshire On board Wesleyan both none good none
  • Jane 10 ” Taunton do do do can read ” good none
  • William 8 ” Kingsbury do do do do ” good none
  • Louisa 6 ” do do do do do ” good none

The 1851 England Census shows the family at Long Ashton, Somerset (Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 1946; Folio: 50; Page: 14; GSU roll: 221106).


  • George Lavor head mar 31 stone mason Somerset Kingsbury
  • Elizabeth Lavor wife mar 32 do do
  • Thomas Lavor son U scholar at home do
  • Jane Lavor daur 8 do do
  • William Lavor son 6 do do
  • Louisa Lavor daur 4 do
  • Eber Lavor brother U 20 stone mason do

The 1841 England census shows George Laver at St Mary Magdalene, Taunton, Somerset.  He was age 21, mason, born in county.  Also in the household was Elizabeth age 23, Thomas age 17, and Thomas age 7 months.

Based on his age on the census and immigration records, George was born around 1820.  The 1851 census lists his birthplace as Kingsbury Somerset – this would be Kingsbury Episcopi.

There are parish register transcripts for Kingsbury Episcopi at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sarahhawkins/kingsbury_episcopi_baptisms_1813-1855.htm

Although George’s children are on these transcripts, George is not.

I then decided to try FreeReg, to see if he may have been born in another town near Kingsbury Episcopi, so I searched for a George Laver in 1820 +-2 years.  There were 3 possibilities, one in South Petherton, one in South Cadbury and one at Pawlett.

The one at South Petherton appears to be ours, as the abode is listed as Kingsbury Episcopi.

George Laver baptism date 3 Sep 1820, church: Meeting House, father John, mother Sarah (file number 18010).

I decided to try FamilySearch, to see if their records had more information.  This entry listed the church as The Old Meeting-Presbyterian (“England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JWDD-R5X : accessed 19 April 2015), George Laver, 03 Sep 1820; citing THE OLD MEETING-PRESBYTERIAN,SOUTH PETHERTON,SOMERSET,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0825386 (RG4 2351), 0825386 (RG4 43), 0825386 (RG4 4491)).