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The Lynch/Ealden Puzzle

December 1, 2010
Rosina Hammond

Rosina Hammond

One of my ‘dead ends’ has been intriguing me tonight.  Here’s how it goes, including what I learned tonight:

My great grandmother was Marion Hanna b. 30 December 1887 in Cochrane Street North Brighton Victoria.  Her parents were Frederick Greer Hanna and Rosina Hammond.  Frederick and Rosina were married ‘at the house of Mrs Hammond’ (Rosina’s mother) Bay Street North Brighton’ on 13 March 1886.

Rosina Hammond was born 27 February 1862 at Bay Street Brighton, Victoria.  Her parents were James Hammond and Rosina Lynch (Mrs Hammond above).

Rosina Lynch was Rosina Ealden (nee Lynch) when she married James Hammond on 13 March 1858.  It was a second marriage for both of them, and both of them were widowed.  Rosina stated that her previous husband (unnamed) died on 10 July 1857 and that she had one child from the marriage.  James stated that his wife had died in December 1857 and they had no children.  So Rosina was remarrying 8 months after the death of her husband and James was marrying 3 months after the death of his wife.

I couldn’t find a marriage for Rosina Lynch and an unnamed Mr Ealden anywhere years ago when I was looking – but I was mistakenly looking for Ealdon not Ealden (misreading the other marriage certificate).

This time with all the online benefits, I did a search for Lynch / Ealden and found Rosanna Lynch marrying Elijah Ealden (Parish Register, so no parents names etc) at the Parish of St James, Melbourne 16 November 1840.

I noted at that time, that Victoria became a separate colony from New South Wales in 1852, but didn’t find it terribly relevant, as I’d located the marriage I was looking for, and I finally had a name for the elusive Mr Ealden!

So I searched everywhere I could think of for Mr Ealden.  I searched all the Victorian records for a death firstly, then a birth, and then I decided to find out when he arrived in the Colony.  I searched every index I could think of, with every possible spelling of Ealden/Ealdon/Ealdin.  Nothing combined with Elijah and nothing without a first name.

While I was doing this, I searched for Rosina – when did she enter the Colony?  I found nothing remotely possible with ‘Rosina’, but I tried Rosanna and found a Rosanna Lynch who arrived aboard the ‘Himalaya’ in September 1840.  There are two entries for her on the Himalaya, one aged 20 and one aged 21, so it’s possible that she had a birthday on board.

If this Rosanna Lynch is my Rosina Lynch, then she arrived in September 1840 and married in November, 8 – 10 weeks after she arrived!

I checked with my mum, who told me that the reading of Banns (as Rosanna /Ealden marriage was) took about four weeks.  So they had to know they wanted to marry at least four weeks before they did – a whirlwind romance!  One of my daughters, I think, suggested she may have been a mail-order bride.  I wonder!

So Rosanna/Rosina arrived in the Colony in 1840, got married twice, had two children (one of whose birth certificates I’d obtained) and yet the only record of Elijah Ealden I had was for the marriage to Rosanna/Rosina.

And why the spelling change? It’s not a pronunciation error – Rosina is very clearly different no matter the accent, to Rosanna.  A Rosina in a later generation was generally called Zena, and is in fact Zena on her death registration.  Also, Rosanna Lynch appears to have signed the register herself, rather than signing ‘her mark’ and she clearly signs Rosanna.  However, in what appears to be the same or very similar handwriting eighteen years later, she signs very clearly Rosina.

So back to the searching.  I had not yet located a death record for Rosina.  So I searched the indexes and found a death registration for Rosina Hammond who died 9 September 1892 at Rooding Street Brighton aged 68 years and was buried 10 September 1892  in Brighton Cemetery.

The death certificate when I downloaded an image of it (yay internet) informed me that Rosina Hammond was married twice, had one child from each marriage – Marion aged 39 from the first marriage and Rosina 30 years, from the second.  The second was to James Hammond, the age at which she married matched, her age matched the 20/21 of the arrival record for Rosanna – but who was her first husband?  John Phillips.  huh?

So I went looking for Marion, now that I had a name.  Marion is my great great grandmother’s name, but I’m descended (and so is she) from Rosina Hammond, not Marion.  So it would be safe to assume that the sisters knew each other, and had a reasonably close relationship, for Rosina to name her first daughter after her sister.  Also, the spelling of Marion’s name is clearly Marion on the death certificate and is the same as the spelling of my great grandmother’s name.  There was no pronunciation/literacy error there either.

So I went on a search for Marion.  And so far I have come up with nothing.  No Marion with a mother whose maiden name is Lynch.  Forget father’s name for now.  So I thought and I realised that perhaps they were not in Victoria ALL the intervening years between Rosanna/Rosina’s arrival and her second marriage. And then I remembered that Victoria was part of NSW.  So I went to the NSW indexes and searched for a Marion with a mother maiden name Lynch.  Nothing.

So I thought – long shot perhaps – but what if her name at birth was Mary Ann?  So I did a search narrowed by years to a year before and a year after the year I calculated 39 year old Marion would have been born, and I came up with one possible entry in NSW – kind of possible… Lynch, Mary J Father James, Mother Rosanna.

Then I did a marriage search while I was there, and found what I’d been unable to find in the Victorian indexes – an actual certificate for the marriage of Elijah Ealden to Rosanna Lynch – so they were registered in NSW, even though the Parish was in Melbourne.

So then I thought about it, drew timelines and such and I had a thought.  The only Ealden I had been able to find previously when I was looking was a James Ealden who was a convict.

James Ealden arrived in NSW in 1831 aboard “Lady Harewood”  which sailed from Sheerness, Kent, England on Sunday 17 October 1830 and arrived Sydney NSW on 4 March 1831.  The Master was Richard W Stonehouse and the Surgeon was James McTernan.  The Lady Harewood carried 216 male convicts and no female convicts.

I devised a bit of a possible story.  What if…. Elijah Ealden was really James Ealden, convict.  What if he wanted to get married and start a new life.  So he went to Melbourne to get married, where no one knew him.  He wanted his wife to have his name, so he only changed his first name – from James to Elijah.  He then returned to Paramatta (where he shows up on the 1841 Census as James Ealden).  He had a ticket of leave on arrival (it appears) so its possible that 9 years after he arrived he might be able to get away to Melbourne for a short time.  He doesnt appear to have made an application to marry, so perhaps it was a secret.  Anyway, he received a conditional pardon in 1848, which meant to all intents and purposes, within the Colony of New South Wales, he was a free man.  He couldnt leave the colony, but he was free within its bounds.  His wife was expecting a child.  He had been a convict, but apart from not being able to leave NSW, he was to all intents and purposes a free man.  So to shake off his convict past, he assumed his wife’s  name.  Lynch.

The ‘John Phillips’ entry on the death certificate is what had got me thinking perhaps Elijah had changed his name.  I ran searches for Marion Hammond, Marion Phillips, Marion Ealden and all came up with nothing. No births, no marriages.  I had wondered if perhaps Elijah fell by the wayside early in the piece and Rosanna had set up with a John Phillips in the meantime between Elijah and James.  I wondered if perhaps Elijah wasn’t Marion’s father at all, but this other John Phillips was her real father (its likely that she was the informant to the informant on the death cert) and she was aware of this.

But she was only 3 or 4 when her mother married Mr Hammond.  It’s more likely that her name was changed to Hammond and that she considered Mr Hammond to be her father.  But I wondered if she’d been given the name John Phillips when she’d asked about her real father.  Why would Rosanna/Rosina do that?  Only if she had something she wanted to hide.

And then it occurred to me that the alternating between Rosanna and Rosina was not random.  She was Rosanna when she arrived.  She was Rosanna when she married Elijah.  But she was Rosina (and still Ealden) when she married James Hammond and when Rosina Hammond was born.

And when she died.

It was starting to look like Elijah and Rosanna might have wanted to draw a line in the sand and assume slightly new identities around the time that they began a family, or certainly that Rosanna decided to draw a line in the sand when she met and/or married James Hammond.  Because Rosina she is from then on in the records.  And Mary J (I’ll find out what that means when I receive the certificate) became Marion.

I had been unable to find a death registration for Elijah or James Ealden.  James Ealden appears to disappear after his pardon.

So I did a search for deaths in 1857 – but I didnt just search 1857 –  I thought it was entirely possible that Rosina’s first husband had died some years before, or indeed that he may not even have died (anything is possible – if he abandoned her years before, she may have decided to say that he’d died when she wanted to remarry).  So I did a search over a few years, ending with 1858, but under the surname LYNCH.

And I found three possible entries:  James Lynch aged 58 who died in 1853, James Lynch 40 years, who died in 1853 and James Lynch, Father Patrick, Mother Mary who died in Mudgee in 1857.

Perhaps he’s a child.  No age, and parents names.  I will find out when I get the certificate.

There are two other entries for Ealdin (with an I) in the convict index:

Ealdin James, Lady Harewood 1831 1 December 1840 Ticket of Leave Passport on the recommendation of Paramatta Bench and

Ealdin Jamed Lady Harewood 1831  no date Ticket of Leave District Paramatta Born KEnt, Tried Kent QS Trade groom.

Either there were 3 James Ealden/Ealdin’s on the Lady Harewood in 1831, or they are the same person.

Why did he require a TOL Passport on 1 December 1840, if he had been out to Melbourne in November having banns read and getting married?  Unless they were recording his return?

Again, I’ll find out when I get the document.

Anyway, I’m hoping I haven’t fabricated and added two and two to get twenty two.  But my dead end is looking less dead and more interesting all the time!

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