26 Sep 2011

Part 8: The Australian branches

The two Swinfield brothers, William and John, born in Wolvey, Warwickshire, emigrated to New South Wales.

Marriage of William Swinfield in 1848 
William was the first to arrive right at the end of 1848. He and his new wife, Sarah Williamson, had married at Nuneaton parish church on 27th August 1848 just two weeks before they travelled down to Devon to sail from Plymouth. They took with them four of William’s children by his first wife, Sarah Ballard, who had died in 1845. The “Walmer Castle” was a comparatively small ship to make the arduous voyage of some 14 weeks to the other side of the world. Mastered by Joseph Thorne, it had a crew of about 50, 10 cabin passengers and just over 300 government emigrants. Two of the infants died en route.

Of the sons who went with William, John (William), born in 1837, had ten children. Four of the sons, Henry (1858-1923), Albert William (1866-1934), Arthur T. (1868-1917) and James E. (1871-1923) had many descendants between them (Family 3A). Linda, a member of the Swinfield Genealogy& DNA Group, is on this branch of the tree.

Daniel Swinfield (1842-1877)
His youngest son, Daniel (1842-1877), also has living representatives (Family 3B). One of his great-grandsons, Raymond Francis, has provided me with many documents and photographs including those for Daniel and his son, Daniel junior (1877-1905) who lived at Pymont in Sydney.
William produced a further seven issue by his second wife and their modern descendants still live in various parts of Australia (Family 3C).
Death of William Swinfield 1876
The extended Family 3C taken in about 1911
at Arthursleigh, Westbourne St, Kogarah, NSW
Sarah was to die in 1861 and William married for a third time to Louisa Tober. He finally died in 1876 at Petersham. Most Swinfields in this line descend from their son, George William (1854-1935), who had nine offspring. Vanessa Swinfield and Shirley Stott Despoja represent
this branch within the current Group members. Shirley has a wonderful photograph of George William, his wife, all of their children and four grandchildren taken in about 1911. 

John Swinfield, the younger brother, and his family had a far more hazardous passage to NSW on board the “Beejapore” in 1852/3. It was “home” to over a thousand passengers from all over England and Scotland, of whom 55 died during its 14 week voyage from Liverpool. On arrival, they were lodged at the infamous Quarantine Station which had been built for only 150. The majority were housed in tents where measles, scarlet fever and typhus claimed another 62 lives. Indeed, John’s wife, Mary Ann, and his youngest son, William, were amongst the victims. John married again to Eliza Hartley and died in 1874 at Waterloo but there are no living Swinfield lines from him that have been identified to date.
Refund of emigration fee for Edward Swinfield 
His branch, termed Family 4, has many representatives in England who originate from John’s oldest son, Edward, born in 1834, who chose not to emigrate. His £10 fee was refunded. He was very lucky not to go! Five members of the Swinfield Group can trace their ancestry back to him. These include Marie and Paul Frederick who are distant cousins to the Australians.

It would be great to do a DNA test on a male Australian to confirm once and for all the connection between Families 3,4,5 & 13.   


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