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On this day… 16 March

March 16, 2011
Emily Bertha Eliza (Peck) Jones, George Jones and Alice Jones

Emily Bertha Eliza Peck, George Jones and Alice (Peck) Jones, taken on or around Emily and George's wedding day

On this day, 16 March 1895, Emily Bertha Eliza Peck married George Jones in St Peter’s Church, Cooks River Road, St Peters, New  South Wales.

Emily was born (19 June 1868) and grew up in Surry Hills.  George’s background is not so clear.  His marriage certificate says he was born in Melbourne.  His death certificate says he was born in Tasmania, and spent 50 years there before living the remaining 38 years of his life in Western Australia.  I have written about the difficulties I have had with George previously.

Emily’s father, John Peck was a contractor.  There were two silver trowels passed down in the family, which were presented to Emily’s mother, Mary Ann (Malthouse) Peck to turn the first sod of ground for Moore Park and Centennial Park in Sydney.  The house Emily grew up in was in Bourke Street, not far away.

Surry Hills, Centennial Park and Moore Park. Bourke Street is marked with the A. Fitzroy Street is directly above the A

John Peck died of ‘privation and intemperance’ near Wellington in New South Wales on 6 March 1873.  John Peck was my great great great grandfather.  Another of my great great great grandfathers (John Kirwan) died on 1 January 1873 from a self inflicted gunshot.

When John died, Emily would have been only turning five.  She and her siblings were effectively raised by a single mother.

When Emily was almost 18 years old, she had a daughter, my great grandmother, Alice.  Alice was born on 29 April 1886 (a Sunday) in Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills.  Alice was almost nine when her mother married George Jones.  Alice was registered as Alice Peck on her birth certificate and there is no father recorded.

Emily gives her address as Waverley Road, Waverley as informant on Alice’s birth certificate, so she was not living at home with her mother, but it is likely that Alice was either born at her grandmother’s house, or nearby.

Alice was also effectively raised by a single mother until the age of 9.

There are some discrepancies on George and Emily’s marriage certificate.  George and Emily give their ages as 34 and 36 respectively.  Emily was certainly not 36.  She was turning 27.  If George’s age on his death certificate if correct, then he was a few years older than the age stated on the wedding certificate.

George’s ‘age at marriage’ on his death certificate is wrong, but it is right if they married around when Alice was born – so that was fudged to cover up the fact that Alice was born 9 years before Emily and George were married.

After they were married, George and Emily moved to Western Australia.  I’m not sure when they  moved to Western Australia, but the 38 years George lived in WA before his death would indicate that they moved around 1908.  Alice would have been 22 by then, but she moved with them.  I suspect it was earlier.

Emily was close to her sister, Alice Maud Peck.  Alice Maud was born in 1869.  She married before Emily and was a witness at Emily and George’s wedding, along with their brother, John Malthouse Peck.  Alice Maud signed the register as Alice Maud Foulston.  She moved to Western Australia, with her husband, but he died and she remarried, to a Mr Smith. Alice Maude is recorded in my grandmother’s birthday book as ‘Aunty Al’.  Emily referred to writing regularly  to ‘Aunty Smith’ in letters to my Dad when he was a boy.  Emily and Alice stayed in close contact all their lives.

George Jones with a racehorse and jockey.

George Jones (standing) with one of the racehorses he trained.

My grandmother kept this photo of George with one of the race horses he trained, on the wall of her house, all her life.  It is one of my earliest memories, although I didn’t really understand what the photo was about when I was a small child.  I now have a framed copy of it too.

George died in Kalgoorlie on 21 December 1946, aged 88 years.  Emily died in Kalgoorlie in 1953, aged 85 years.  She lived with her daughter, Alice, who was also widowed in 1947, until her death.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 2:24 am

    Nice bit of detective work concerning the discrepancy of age on the cert… Anyway, I have to say, looking at that photo- Emily was a very good looking woman.

    • Michelle permalink*
      March 17, 2011 7:19 am

      Thanks – doesn’t solve anything for me though. All i can deduce is that they fudged their information, for various reasons – i’d love to know the reasons 🙂
      Yes, I thought that Emily was beautiful when I first saw this photo.

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