Amy Johnson Crow introduced the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge on her No Story Too Small blog in 2014. This year she continued the challenge, but also added a weekly theme. This week’s theme is “Black Sheep”. “Each of us has an ancestor who was the troublemaker or the ne’er-do-well. This is there [their] week.”
For this post, I have chosen Thomas Casey. Thomas Casey was the first husband of my (ex) husband’s great grandmother.
I had heard a rumour that Thomas had died in jail, but I have not found any evidence to show that he had spent any time in jail, and his death certificate showed he died in Melbourne Hospital. However, in searching for information about Thomas, I found a number of articles where his wife, Florence Casey (her full name was Caroline Elizabeth Florence Casey, nee Laver), had sued him for maintenance.
Florence Casey proceeded against her husband, Thomas Casey, to show cause why he did not comply with an order of the court to provide 10s per week for her maintenance and her two children.
Defendant stated he had not been constantly working. He could not earn no more than 15s per week, and he always sent her some money.
Florence Casey deposed that she was the wife of defendant. He had only given her 12s since Easter.
The case was adjourned for 12 days to permit of the accused assisting his wife.
At the Brunswick Court on Wednesday morning last, Florence Casey proceeded against her husband Thomas Casey, for the sum of £1 arrears of maintenance. The defendant has been before the court on several occasions in connection with the same case. Mrs. Casey deposed as to not having received any money since the Court made an order against her husband. He had promised to provide her with a home but she refused to go there as the home was not fit to go to. The bench adjourned the case for seven days. The defendant to pay 10s by Saturday.
Thomas Casey was born 23 March 1868 in Brunswick, colony of Victoria. His parents were Christopher John (usually known just as John) Casey and Agnes Brady, who had come to Australia from county Meath in Ireland. His father died in 1892, but his mother was still been alive at the time of these articles, as she died in 1896.
Thomas married Caroline Elizabeth Florence Casey on 20 August 1890 at Highbury House in Blyth Street, Brunswick. Thomas was 22 and Florence was only 17. As she was a minor, her father, Thomas Laver, provide written consent for the marriage.
At the time of the articles where Florence sued Thomas for maintenance they had had three children:
- Adelaide Agnes born in 1890.
- Thomas Edward born in 1891
- Mabel Annie born in 1893
There were only 2 living at the time of these articles, as Thomas Edward had died in April 1893. Florence’s two other children also died young – Mabel in November 1893, and Adelaide in 1894.
Florence went on to have another daughter, Beatrice Emily Casey, on 6 July 1897. At that time, Florence was living in Leslie Street, St Kilda. Beatrice lived to be a ripe old age of 73, dying in 1971.
Thomas died on 14 January 1897 at Melbourne Hospital, East Melbourne, from typhoid and peritonitis. He was only 28 years old. Florence would have been pregnant with Beatrice at the time.
After Thomas’ death, Florence had another child, Albert George Casey, who was my husband’s grandfather. Albert died in 1965, aged 63.