STARTING A NEW LIFE - AND A SAD ENDING
by Betty Siede
This article was originally published in the December 2007 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Elijah Eastick was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on 29th May 1825, one of 12 children of John Eastick and Ann Maria (nee Graves).
He was christened at the Wesleyan Church, Great Yarmouth. On 19th August 1848 Elijah married Frances SEWELLS at Yarmouth. She had been born at Bacton in 1824, to Aaron Sewells, a paviour, and Lorina (nee Larter). So far only 3 other children of the family have been located: William b. 1825, George b. 1827 and Mary Elizabeth b. 1835, all born in Yarmouth.
Two daughters were born to Elijah and Frances in England: Frances b. 19th September 1849 and Lorin Ann b. 15th March 1852, both baptised in the parish church by E.A. Cobbold. Elijah was a baker aged 26 and Frances was aged 27 when they boarded the ship Helen at Gravesend on 3rd July 1852, as assisted emigrants to Australia. During the voyage Frances Sewells Eastick, aged 2½ years, died of croup and a sore throat and was buried at sea.
They arrived in Australia at Portland, Victoria, on 12th November 1852. It was reported the Helen carried 299 immigrants and 30 deaths occurred on board, mostly among the children, arising from measles and other disorders. Elijah had been engaged prior to leaving England by Alex Laurie at a pay rate of £100 for 12 months. He commenced work on 17th November 1852.
Also on board the Helen was Frances' sister, Mary Elizabeth Sewells, aged 16, and a little over a year later (29/12/1853), now aged 18, dressmaker and spinster, she married Charles JACOBSEN (aged 30), of Portland, a mariner and bachelor, son of Charles Jacobsen, also a mariner, and his wife Cecilia. Elijah and Frances Eastick were witnesses.
About 1854/55 Elijah and Frances had a third daughter, Elizabeth Frances, born at Portland. The electoral roll for 1856/7 shows: Elijah Eastick, Palmer Street, Baker, Freehold Property, Self-Employed in the Divisions of Portland. A fourth daughter, Ann Maria, arrived in 1857, followed by a fifth, Celina, (b. 12/8/1859) in Percy Street. Dr. Brewer attended the birth. Either late in 1859 or early 1860 the family moved to Merino, where Elijah opened a bakery and confectioner shop. By 1861 a sixth daughter, Jemima, was born, at Digby.
In 1863 two of the children died (Ann Maria. aged 6, on 9th July 1863 and Celina, nearly 4. on 5th August 1863. Both had diphtheria and were buried in Merino Cemetery. A seventh and last child, Maria Celina, was born in 1864 at Merino.
The following advertisement appeared in the Coleraine Albion and Casterton Advertiser newspaper on 22/2/1868:
Bread and Fancy Biscuit Maker
Pastry Cook & Confectioner, Ginger Beer, Lemonade & Cordial Manufacturer, Grocer and General Dealer,
High Street, Merino
In returning thanks to his numerous friends for their patronage bestowed upon him during the last eight years in Merino, begs respectfully to inform them that he is now prepared to supply any article, either of Melbourne manufacture, or if ordered, can be made on the premises at a few hours' notice, in any quantity or quality.
BISCUITS of every description
Confectionary in great variety
Plain and ornamental Bride Cakes to order, Balls, Picnics, Dinners, Suppers, Bridal and Christening Parties attended on the shortest notice.
E. EASTICK, MERINO
N.B. Registration Office, Births, Deaths etc. Merino District
From reports in newspapers, Elijah was involved in all types of sports and committees of the District, and generally around the region.
Frances Eastick (nee SEWELLS) died 7th January 1871 at Merino from typhoid fever with complications, at the age of 47. The entry in the Death Register was made by her husband as Registrar. She was buried in Merino Cemetery with her two children. (There are no memorials for the graves and their position is not known.) Funeral arrangements were made by Heinrich Kohn and Church of England minister Francis Thomas Cusack RUSSELL officiated at the burial, witnessed by James Tait and Robert Cordner
On 2nd March 1872 Elijah's second daughter Lorina Ann, married Christopher Coulson at St Peter's Church, Merino. The Revd. F. T. Cusack Russell again officiated; fathers of the bride and groom were witnesses. Three years later the third daughter, Elizabeth Frances, married John BRYCE, a widower with seven children. They moved to Sandhurst (Bendigo) and their first daughter, also Elizabeth Frances, was born there in 1877.
Somewhere around this time Elijah also moved to Sandhurst, still a baker by trade, and a few years later married for the second time (21/12/1881) Harriet Helen Reynolds, a widow who had also been born at Yarmouth, Norfolk. She was the daughter of Frances Henry Holmes, a shipbuilder, and Jane Elizabeth (nee GUY). They were married at Elijah's home in Bridge Street by John Gregson; the witnesses were daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and John Bryce.
Harriet's first husband was Edwin Howard Reynolds, who had died in September 1881. Between 1881 and 1885 Elijah and Harriet moved to Melbourne, where they resided at 148 George Street, Fitzroy and on 30th September 1885 Elijah's sixth daughter Jemima was married to Julius Henry SIEDE at George Street Baptist Church, Fitzroy, by the Revd. Edward Harris. The ceremony was witnessed by her sister Celina and her father. In the same year the youngest daughter, Maria Celina, married William Lewis Leyshon, who was born at Creswick, Victoria.
Elijah and Harriet moved on to 6 Northbrook Terraces, Palmer Street, Richmond, where Harriet died on 8th June 1886, aged 67, from bronchitis and old age. She was buried at Boroondara Cemetery, Kew, by a minister from the Congregational Church. She had been in Victoria for 30 years.
Elijah married for the third and final time on 25th January 1888. His bride was a widow, Louisa Dister, daughter of Nicholas Carter, an accountant, and Mary Ann (nee Outhwaite). Louisa was born in London about 1843 and widowed at the age of 29 in 1872. There were no children from her earlier marriage.
Only a few months later a newspaper reported the melancholy suicide of Elijah Eastwick, who was found to have drowned whilst being of unsound mind. His age was given as 63 years and a member's ticket of the Congregational Church, Burnley Street, was found in his pocket. He had died on 2nd May 1888 and was buried 3 days later at Boroondara Cemetery, Victoria, Australia.
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