SEWELL IN AUSTRALIA
From Ingrid & Peter Sewell
New South Wales, Australia
This article was originally published in the April2 010 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
I thought you may be interested in the following photos of Henry and Mary Ann(ie) Sewell who immigrated to Australia with their children, arriving Jan 1874. Henry is “Henry the Soldier” who Ian wrote about a few years ago now. The photos were enhanced by conservation people at the state library in Brisbane, Queensland and have come up really well I thought.
I am still researching the family and have decided to take a rest from searching for ancestors to trying to find living relatives, along with family documentation and photos. I struck it lucky with a chance phone call to an E. C. (Eddie) Maitland listed in the Brisbane area. Eddie is G Grandson of Elizabeth Sewell (Henry’s daughter) and the owner of the photos above. Both Eddie and I have been, initially independently and now together, looking for information on Elizabeth and her descendents. Elizabeth married Charles Philip Maitland, who was a Fireman in London.
After immigrating to Aust, Charles worked as a Prison Warder in St Helen’s (a notorious convict prison in Qld) and then Toowoomba Qld. He and Elizabeth had a number of children with only one surviving; Charles Philip Henry Maitland. Charles Maitland (Elizabeth’s husband) seemed to vanish from any record somewhere between 1879 to 1882, finding no death record in Qld or Aust, no passenger record, electoral roll record or divorce record.
Elizabeth remarried a Hugh Daniel McVicar a 21 yr old sailor. Elizabeth was 33 yrs but stated her age as 27 on the marriage record, called herself a “spinster” (not widow) and recorded her name as Sewell (not Maitland). Elizabeth and Hugh moved to New South Wales and had a couple of children, again none survived. I suspect her surviving son Charles Philip Henry (CPH) was left in Qld (presumably with family) as there is no mention of the boy on subsequent McVicar birth records, also CPH started his first job as a young lad with the Qld Post Office as a telegram messenger on horseback (see photo opposite).
I did find a death record for an Elizabeth McVicar who died in 1885 in a Sydney (Newington) mental asylum. The death certificate details of this person were mostly ‘unknown’ except her age, which was correct and cause of death as “softening of the brain”. I think this is our Elizabeth and plan to do some more research in the hope of finding some patients records to confirm. It would appear she was abandoned in the asylum. What a sad situation for her. I am sure her family in Qld would not have known her circumstances.
I also found a living relative of Jonathan Sewell (Henry’s son and my husband’s G Grandfather). After marrying Hannah Elizabeth, Jonathan and Hannah moved to NSW, first Casino and then Murrumburrah, which is west of Canberra. They had three children, Annie Rebecca, Albert Percival Sewell and George Richard Sewell.
Annie Rebecca married Thomas Hines and became farmers in the western region of Murrumburrah. Through Annie’s death certificate I was able to find her Grandson Geoff Hines, who also took up farming and owns a large sheep station west of Murrumburrah. It was delightful making contact, but unfortunately there does not seem to be any photos or documents of any of that branch of the family, other than a wedding photo of Annie and Tom Hines.
Last month I flew up to Brisbane for a couple of days to meet Eddie Maitland and his wife Joan, see the photos he had of his branch of the family and also conduct some research at the Qld State Archives and State Library. The trip was a successes but no breakthrough finds with regard to the research. I will continue to look for living relatives from Henry’s other children.
Is it possible to obtain assistance with finding the birth records for Henry’s children that are listed in your Army Births and Baptism list (AB91). Henry’s children are recorded under Regiment 56 (although I thought he was in 20th Regiment)?
Charles Philip Henry Maitland
Charles Philip Henry Maitland, Telegram Messenger
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