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 the challenge was to pick our own theme.
I have pretty much covered all my ancestors on my side of the family, but there are still a number of ancestors from my children’s father’s side I haven’t written about. The challenge was to decide which one I wanted to write about.
In looking through my tree, I found that I didn’t have a date of death for one of the siblings of an ancestor, so I’ve decided to write about her.
Susannah Hansen was a twin. She was the daughter of Hans Hansen and Catherine Marshall. Family records show Susannah and her twin sister Johanna were born 30 October, in Raywood, Victoria, Australia, although I’m uncertain if they were born in 1870 or 1871 – their births were registered in 1871 (her twin Johanna reg no 04769, Suannah reg no 04770).
In 1903 and 1908, Susannah appeared on the Electoral rolls living in Kamarooka. Her occupation was home duties. From 1919, she is listed as living at Drummartin. The last Electoral roll she appears on is the 1939 Electoral roll.
But, there was no death entry for her in the death indexes in Victoria. Although her two sisters and one of her brothers remained in Victoria, one brother went to Western Australia. Could Susannah possibly have died while visiting her brother in Western Australia? Although I have looked through these indexes for entries for her brother and his family, I decided to double check the Western Australian indexes to see if perhaps she died there. Unfortunately, there was no entry for Susannah.
Using a number of search parameters at Trove, I was unable to find any articles for my Hansen family. The paper most likely to include information about the family, the Elmore Standard, has not been added yet.
Although there are some Hansen burials in the Headstone Photographs for Elmore Cemetery, there are none for this family (except brother Peter’s wife Charlotte). Although there are no headstone photographs for the family, family records show that her father Hans, brother Peter and sister Johanna were buried there. Mother Catherine (nee Marshall)’s death certificate also shows she was buried at Elmore. Unfortunately, these records aren’t available online, so I’d need to contact the cemetery to see if Susannah is also in their records.
So, I decided to try the Probate Index for Victoria, for all Hansens who died between 1939 and 1971. No entry for Susannah (there is one for her brother Peter). As there is no entry for her on the death index, or the Probate Index, did she in fact marry late in life?
Family records indicates she was a spinster, and died about 1941. If so, why does there appear to be no trace of her death? Her family, apart from the one brother who went to Western Australia, had all remained in the Kamarooka area, and were buried at Elmore. The last trace of her was at Drummartin, which is in the same area.
Since my previous searches had been based on her being unmarried, I decided to try a search at Ancestry for any children of Hans Hansen and Catherine Marshall who died in Victoria. This search came up with the entry for Peter, but despite a number of different searches, I was unable to come up with her sister Johanna’s death entry. I know it should be there, since I found it years ago on the microfiche at my local library. Since I couldn’t even find Johanna, who I knew should have been there, I decided that I would need to check the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages website. Unfortunately, the historical index is down at the moment for maintenance.
I’ll try later on today, or tomorrow, to search the indexes for Susannah’s death. If I still can’t find it, at this stage, I would have exhausted all the online resources to try and find her death. Other resources to try are the copies of the Elmore Standard on microfilm at the State Library of Victoria, and to write to the Elmore Cemetery, to see if she is buried with the rest of the family. As I am unable to get to Melbourne at the moment, I’ll try the Elmore Cemetery first. The contact details can be found on the Australian Cemeteries website.