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Matilda Stewart Gordon

Yesterday, when looking through Trove for articles to use in my Trove Tuesday post, I came across a marriage notice that prompted me to do more research.  This was the marriage notice of Matilda Stewart Gordon Marr and David Carrick.

Carrick Marr marriage notice
Family Notices (1889, May 11). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from

The article mentioned Matilda’s cousin, Mr. C. Gordon of East St Kilda.  I wanted to find out whether Mr. C. Gordon was a cousin on her father, James Marr’s side of the family, or her mother, Martha Richardson’s side.

Since the St Kilda rate books are available on Ancestry, I decided to have a look for a C Gordon who was living in St Kilda in around 1889. I found there was a Charlotte Gordon, and a Charles Gordon in the rate books from 1888.  Since it was a Mr. C. Gordon mentioned, I decided to find out what I could about Charles.

The first thing I did was have a look through the Victorian Historical Index for all the deaths for a Charles Gordon.

The entry that caught my eye was:

Event registration number:13054
Registration year:1925
Personal information
Family name:GORDON
Given names:Charles
Father’s name:GORDON Charles
Mother’s name:Matda (Stewart)
Place of birth
Place of death:CHELTENHAM
Spouse’s family name
Spouse’s given names

His mother was Matilda Gordon, nee Stewart – Matilda Stewart Gordon.  I then went looking for a death entry for Matilda:.

Event: Death
Event registration number:14779
Registration year:1887
Personal information
Family name:GORDON
Given names:Matilda Stewart
Father’s name:Stewart Geo
Mother’s name:Margaret (Nichol)
Place of birth
Place of death:MELB W
Spouse’s family name:GORDON
Spouse’s given names:Charles

Matilda Stewart Gordon Marr’s mother was Martha Richardson, and Martha was the daughter of David Richardson and Margaret Nicol.   Could Martha and Matilda be half-sisters?

The next thing to do was to confirm that the Charles Gordon who died in 1925 did in fact live in St Kilda around 1888.

Since Matilda Gordon, nee Stewart, died in 1887, I decided to check the Wills and Probate Index on the Public Record Office Victoria website. There was no record for her will under Matilda Gordon, so then I turned to Trove, to see if there were any articles about her and found the following article.

Wills and Bequests
WILLS AND BEQUESTS. (1888, February 9). Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 – 1900), p. 16. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from

This article didn’t mention a son Charles, and it stated her husband was Charles Gordon of Footscray, so I needed to do some more research to determine if the C. Gordon of St Kilda was her son.

I then went back to the Victorian BDM website, and had another look through the deaths for Charles Gordon, and found this death entry

Event registration number:11545
Registration year:1888
Personal information
Family name:GORDON
Given names:Charles
Father’s name:U
Mother’s name
Place of birth
Place of death:ST KILDA
Spouse’s family name:STEWART
Spouse’s given names:Maud

Here was a Charles Gordon who had died at St Kilda, and he had a wife with the surname Stewart, although her name was listed as Maud, not Matilda.

I then checked the Wills and Probate index at the Public Record Office Victoria website and located his will.

His will stated: “This is the last will and testament of me Charles Gordon of Axedale near Sandhurst in the Colony of Victoria Vigneron, formerly of Footscray”. The will goes on to mention son Charles Gordon and daughter Margaret Nicol the wife of Matthew Duncan of Long Gully Sandhurst – but there was no mention of sons Andrew and Donald, or daughter Matilda.

The item that helped confirm that the Charles Gordon of Axedale and Footscray, who died at St Kilda, was the husband of Matilda Gordon nee Stewart, and the father of Andrew, Donald and Matilda, as well as Charles and Margaret, was his death notice:

Charles Gordon death notice
Family Notices (1888, October 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 1. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from

The will of Charles Gordon had been proved by his son Charles Gordon of Dandenong Road East St Kilda. This therefore confirmed that the cousin C. Gordon mentioned on Matilda Stewart Gordon Marr’s marriage notice was the son of Charles Gordon and Mady or Matilda Stewart Gordon.

Since the ScotlandsPeople website is down at the moment, I decided to try FamilySearch, and found a possible baptism for Matilda.  In the Wills and Estates notice it had stated her name was Mady Stewart Gordon, known as Matilda Stewart Gordon, and her age at death indicated she was born about 1816.

A Maidey Stewart was born 15 November 1816, and christened 1 December 1816 at Forteviot, Perth, Scotland.  Her parents were George Stewart and Margaret Nickal.

George Stewart and Margaret Nicol had four other children christened at Forteviot:

  • Isobel Stewart, born 28 July 1818, christened 9 August 1818
  • George Stewart, born 27 September 1819, christened 24 October 1819
  • Jean Stewart, born 1 July 1822, christened 14 July 1822
  • John Stewart, born 10 May 1821, christened 27 May 1821

All this led me to believe that Mady (Matilda) Stewart and Martha Richardson were half-sisters, and this confirms the relationship of Mr. C. Gordon as a cousin of Martha’s daughter Matilda Stewart Gordon Marr. It also explains who Matilda was named after.