11 January 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 5 - Ploughing through

This week's #52Ancestors Challenge:

Week 5, Plowing through — We will likely be plowing through a lot of snow by this time. What ancestor had a lot of struggles to plow through? Or take it more literally… It’s up to you

The only plowing (ploughing) I could think of was agriculture - and which of my ancestors was an agricultural labourer. There were quite a few.

Of course, agricultural labourers were poor, unskilled folk - and this means that there are very few records about them. This makes it a little hard to write a blog about them. But I did find one who has a little bit of information.

Abraham Channon - born c1816 in Devonshire England and died June 5, 1876 in Camden NSW Australia.

Calling him an "ancestor" is a bit of a stretch. I have him in my tree in case my nephews ever become interested in their family history. Abraham is the great, great, great grandfather of my sister's former husband. Anyway, he's in my tree, so I'm calling him an ancestor (or "collateral" as Amy Johnson Crow refers to them No Story Too Small)

We first meet Abraham in the 1841 census. He is living in "Back Lane" of the Silverton area of Devon with his father Robert, mother Jane (Cotterill) and brother Robert. All 3 men are listed as Ag. Lab.

Very shortly after the census, Abraham makes his way to Plymouth where he boards the barque "Lady Kennaway" as an Assisted (bounty) Immigrant heading to NSW. It seems all the passengers on the ship have had their passage paid for by a Mr Thomas Walker. As an adult male, Abraham's bounty was £19. He was coming to Australia as a Farm Servant and was "Protestant".

Lady Kennaway arrives in Sydney in October 1841. It was a piece of luck these bounty ships arrived - just a few weeks before there was a discussion in the NSW Legislative Council about how the Government was going to pay for all the bountied immigrants that had been approved Australasian Chronicle 23 Sept 1841 (and Mr Thomas Walker who paid Abraham's passage to Australia is mentioned).

Abraham married Margery Dunbar by banns on 3 May 1842 in the parish of Narrellan NSW (which we now know as Narellan - without the double 'r'). The witnesses (John Dunbar and Bessy Furry - which I think should be Fury - were both from Vermont NSW - which is in the same region)

By 1848 Abraham and Margery (also known as Marjorie and Margaret) had 3 daughters - Jane, Eleanor(Ellen) and Rebecca. On Rebecca's baptism certificate it says that Abraham was a farmer and his abode is listed as Vermont NSW.

On this 1848 map from the National Library of Australia, you can see Vermont clearly listed and is shown as being owned by WC Wentworth 1848 map of Cumberland County NSW. Right next to this property is one called Westwood owned by H McArthur. WC Wentworth is a well known figure of NSW history and H McArthur may well be a MacArthur - another well known NSW family.

In the 1851/52 NSW Electoral roll, Abraham - who is eligible to vote, a big step up in the world - is listed as a leaseholder at Vermont.

He dies in 1876 and has enough so he can leave a will. Probate is granted to Edward Fury (his son-in-law) and Margaret Channon and lists...
Goods sworn £170. He left his wife his farm at Westwood (see map above), his cattle, horses, household furniture and farming utensils. On her death everything was to be sold:
£30 was to go to his daughter Ellen for her kind care, £40 to go to Edward Fury for a debt owed, with the rest to be split equally between his 3 daughters, Jane Fury, Ellen Channon and Rebecca Bellingham.

Abraham obviously moves up in the world - from having, pretty much, nothing and with virtually no prospects for the future, his life ends "quite well". He Ploughed through the hardships to find good soil.

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