A tricky problem, help please

+3 votes
I have Elizabeth Samuels nee Brittan born 1815 to Thomas and Margaret Brittan in Bristol, Gloucester, England. She and her family migrated to Australia arriving in 1853 and ending up in Dubbo, New South Wales.

According to Graeme Samuels (graemesamuels.com/family-in-years-past/)

Elizabeth had a sister Eliza who came here as a convict in 1831 aboard the Burrel.  She married James Topping and lived at Dubbo.

I checked her marriage to James and she is listed as Eliza Walker also she was convicted at the Old Bailey as Eliza Walker, but I can't find a birth for her in Bristol and her on new South Wales death record her parents are Thomas and margaret, the same as Elizabeth.

Can anyone help please, I'd be very grateful if you could. Thanks in advance.
WikiTree profile: Elizabeth Brittan
in Genealogy Help by Mary Blundell G2G6 (6.4k points)

Is it possible that Elizabeth and Eliza were not sisters, but possibly related some other way?

Thank you for your answer Malanie, I wondered that myself but Graeme Samuels says they were sisters,  I wondered if her mother was a Walker and had her before they were married?, but I can't find a marriage for her parents either.  I've forgot to say I have checked Family search and the old Bailey on line, but don't have a sub for Ancestry or find my past.
I have never taken as "certain" anything anyone else says about this stuff.  Not long ago I was given some "good, sourced" information about a line I've been working on, that I, in good faith, added to the profile.  On later reading and comparing I think the cousin was wrong, because of what the census actually says.  (Jumbled statement, I know.)

Point I'm trying to make is .. while I accepted the information and added it, I have since edited in my doubts that it refers to the person of the profile.

It IS possible that the information you're accessing is incorrect, so don't stop trying to find everything else you can that will lead to the facts.  :)
Could be she was a widow when she was called Eliza Walker.  Any clues in the marriage record?
Many convicts had an alias. She may have been widowed. Your source could be incorrect.

Adding incorrect or unverified sources is just as important as accurate and confirmed ones, if explained as such. This helps other researchers not waste time on the same problem in the future. I read this advice on a blog or something (I forget now) but I think it is great advice.

Good luck on your research. I hope you find her story  :)
Hi, I am originally from Dubbo. There is a historical society of Dubbo that covers the early settlers to the local area. Maybe they could help you.They have a very large number of records. Their website is www.Dubbofamilyhistory.org.au

Good luck and good hunting.



2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

I went back over the same ground and also can't get any further.

An Eliza Walker  from Bristol was sentenced to transportation at the Old Bailey in 1831 .Her records say she was born 1806 .https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/life?id=obpt18311020-74-defend599 but others give it as 1808.I

I cannot find an Eliza Walker or Brittan born in Bristol for those dates.

I did find on Ancestry a marriage between Benjamin Hindley of the Minerva with Eliza Walker of the Burrell conducted at St Johns Parramatta , Cumberlandb, New South Wales by Samuel Marsden with the consent of the governor on 19th April 1834 .Her age is given as 26.

( St Johns Parramatta Register, Reg Comp/2 entry 469)

I did not find the death of Benjamin but did find the application to marry from James Topping of the Baring and Eliza Walker of the Burrell aged 38  dated 30 Dec 1845

State Archives NSW series 12212 item 4/4514 p110. 

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
selected by Mary Blundell
Found in the NSW death index a James Topping dying in Dubbo in 1863 . An Eliza Topping married a William Sansom in 1865 in Dubbo.She was buried in 1872, and did indeed have  parents Thomas and Margaret but no surname is given
Thanks very much Helen, I didn't have that marriage between Eliza Walker and Benjamin Hindley, I'll check it out.

thanks very much for your time and effort Melanie, it's appreciated and your advice taken note of.smiley

+1 vote
While doing my rock star genealogy, I found one other case of two sisters, one named Elizabeth and the other named Eliza -- it seems peculiar to us, but perhaps to the parents the names were distinct enough that it didn't matter.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (188k points)
The "problem" with this, for me, anyway, is I can't find anything to verify that they were sisters.  The parents of Elizabeth Samuels, per death registration were John and Margaret, not Thomas and Margaret.  Eliza's (which I haven't found) were supposedly Thomas and Margaret.   

(There are three named Elizabeth Samuels died Dubbo (the common point) .. 1929 John and Jane A; 1906 James J and Sarah A; John and Margaret.  No Thomas.)

I'd love to help Mary with this, but I cannot do pre-1837 England searches and I don't have enough information to do more than a basic BDM search in NSW (or Victoria).  NSW BDM isn't giving me a death registration for Eliza Topping (searching from 1840 to 1960), although I have an 1846 marriage registration for Eliza Walker and James Topping (422/1846 V1846422 31C).
Thank you Jessica
Thank you evryone for your valuable input. I will ponder these answers and continue searching.

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