Early on in my research, I obtained the marriage certificate of George Oliver, which showed that he had been born in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, and that he was the son of Frederick Oliver and Susannah Campkin. Shortly after that, I first started researching at the State Library of Victoria, and found the baptism entry for George on the International Genealogical Index, which was then on microfiche.
As well as the baptism for George, I also found the following entries, which I thought would most likely be my family:
- Frederick Susannah Campkin M 2 July 1846 Melbourn
- Frederick Silvester Oliver/ Mary C 21 Nov 1824 Melbourn
- Silvester Mary Ann Burgess M 24 Oct 1824 Melbourn
- Silvester Henry Oliver/ Elizabeth C 4 Jul 1805 Melbourne
I later obtained Frederick’s death certificate in Victoria, which showed his parents as Sylvester and Mary Ann Oliver. The immigration record for Frederick and Susannah showed Frederick was age 24, when they arrived at Port Phillip on 4 April 1849. This information indicated that these records were for my family.
It was several years before I was able to do more research on this branch, which was when I was able to access the UK Census records. The 1841 England Census showed Silvester Oliver at Lane, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. He was age 36, butcher. Also in the household was Mary age 36, Frederick age 16, Joseph age 14, Emily age 12, Henry age 9, Silvester age 7, Mary age 5, Sarah age 4 and Arthur age 1.
This information indicated that the baptism I had found for Silvester Oliver in 1805 at Melbourn was the correct entry for my ancestor.
So the information I now had
1805 christened 4 July 1805 at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire
1824 married 24 October 1824 at Melbourn to Mary Ann Burgess
1824 son Frederick christened 21 November 1824 at Melbourn.Although the IGI on microfiche only showed the christening date, I later found a record which listed a date of birth for Frederick – 14 November 1824. This indicate that Mary was pregnant with Frederick at the time of the marriage.
1841 living at Lane, Melbourn with wife Mary, age 36, son Frederick age 16. This census record also indicates that Silvester and Mary had 7 other children by this time:
- Joseph born about 1827
- Emily b abt 1829
- Henry b abt 1832
- Silvester b abt 1834
- Mary b abt 1836
- Sarah b abt 1837
- Arthur b abt 1840
The International Genealogical Index only Since the census didn’t list relationships, I needed to check the baptism records for Melbourn to see if they were all Silvester and Mary’s children.
- Joseph Oliver b 28 March 1837 christened 29 April 1827
- Emily b 2 Aug 1829 christened 18 Oct 1829
- Henry christened 25 March 1832
- Silvester born 18 Feb 1834 christened 20 July 1834
- Mary Anne christened 3 July 1836
- Sarah christened 9 Jul 1837
There was no baptism record for Arthur, so to confirm he was Silvester and Mary’s child, I had a look for the family on the 1851 Census. The 1851 England Census showed Silvester Oliver still at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. He was the head of the household, born about 1806 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, England. Also in the household was wife M A Oliver b abt 1806, daughter E Oliver b abt 1830, son Hy Oliver b abt 1832, son S Oliver b abt 1834, daughter M A Oliver b abt 1836, daughter S Oliver b abt 1838, son A Oliver b abt 1840, daughter E Oliver b abt 1843, and daughter A Oliver b abt 1846.
The 1861 England Census showed Silvester at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. He was the head of the household, born about 1806 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, England. Also in the household was his wife Mary A and daughter Elizabeth.
The 1871 England Census shows Silvester at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. He was the head of the household, born about 1806 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. Also in the household was his wife Mary, daughter Elizabeth and lodger William Burgiss b abt 1798 in Melbourne.
There is a death entry for a Silvester Oliver in 1879 in the Royston district who was the same age as our Silvester. There is also an entry on the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 database at ancestry.com.au for a Silvester Oliver in 1879.
Oliver Silvester 19 September. The will of Silvester Oliver late of Melbourn in the County of Cambridge Butcher who died 8 July 1879 at Melbourn was proved at the Principal Registry by Joseph Oliver of Melbourn and Henry Oliver of Orwell in the said County Butchers the Sons the Executors. Personal estate under £100.
Based on the age at the time of his death, his occupation, and the names of his sons, this would appear to be the entry for our Silvester. Since his sons were named as executors, it is likely his wife died before him. There is a death entry for a Mary Ann Oliver in 1872 in the Royston district, which is possibly for our Mary Ann.