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Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

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Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

Postby eurogordi » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:18 pm

Following the death of my wife's godfather earlier this year, we have been tasked with clearing his former home and unexpectedly discovered an old photograph album in the garden shed! It had clearly been there for decades and how the photographs have survived in such good condition defies all preservation techniques used by archivists. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the actual album.

The majority of photographs, as expected, do not have names written on them, but I am slowly going through each one to identify when any particular photographers were in business and the appropriate dates of operation are shown against the names of those who are written on the back of various images.

Because my wife's godfather was not a blood relation, we would like to try and reunite as many photographs as possible with their original families. All we would ask that the cost of postage and packing is reimbursed where appropriate. Ideally we would also want to see some proof that these are being returned to the right people as, unfortunately, such images are often sold online.

The names identified so far, together with photographer dates as stated above are:

Edith Meyrick October 1878
(London photographer 1869-1896)

Henry A Thresher (Melbourne photographer 1856-1866)
John Thresher
(both photographs taken by the same Melbourne photographer 1856-1866)

Henry George Marfell born 23 May 1883
May Maud Marfell born 25 Nov 1880
Peter John Marfell born 13 Feb 1882
(all three taken by the same Warrnambool photographer 1876-1888)

Mrs Henry Thresher
(Melbourne photographer 1871-1900)

Mr Thresher
(Melbourne photographer 1856-1866)

I still have a long way to go and estimate that there must be between 100 and 150 different images in total, plus a couple of duplicates. Presumably the ones taken in Australia were sent back to family living in the United Kingdom.

As far as the unidentified photographs are concerned, these were mainly taken by photographers based in London, Frome (Somerset) and Melbourne (Australia).
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Re: Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

Postby ksouthall » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:09 am

The photos won't relate to my family. However, it seems a shame to split them up. Is there any way you can keep the collection together? Do you know if they relate to your wife's godmother's family or another previous owner/tenant of the house?

Someone on this forum might be able to trace your wife's godfather's relatives, unless you are in contact with any of his family. (Although I guess not, otherwise they would be clearing the property.)
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Re: Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

Postby Sylcec » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:18 pm

the name MARFELL can be tracked through the Victorian electoral rolls on Ancestry up to 1977, when Eric Worland, Rodney Eric and Sylvia Eunice were all shown at 62 Princes Street, Williamstown.
In the current whitepages phone directory on-line there are only 2 Marfells in Victoria, both with initial D and at Narre Warren (maybe both the same person). A lot of people are ex-directory these days unfortunately.

For the THRESHERs - there is a Charles Henry Thresher in the Electoral Roll at Traralgon in Gippsland up to 1980 (the latest the rolls are available on line). There are 4 separate people with the surname in the phone book in Victoria.

Have you a Facebook page? If so then you could post a query in a suitable group such as "Aussie Help for All Genealogy" . There are probably some groups for Victoria as well, e.g. "victoria au genealogy".
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Re: Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

Postby eurogordi » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:13 pm

Thank you for the two replies so frar, and I hadn't thought of using Facebook. My wife's godfather's youngest cousin on his maternal side, who also sadly died recently, was married to my cousin although we only discovered this about five years ago.

My cousin has been tracing her late husband's family, but doesn't recognise any of these names. However, she thought there may have been a slightly likeness to her husband's family in one of the unidentified photographs.

Based on this, my cousin and I suspect that most of the photograph are from the paternal side of my wife's godfather and, if we can locate the Thresher / Marfell families that is likely to lead to further identification... assuming they have traced their own genealogies of course.
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Re: Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

Postby frostymornings » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:18 pm

I have just come across this post. Do you still have these photos? My paternal grandmother's family (Thresher) emigrated to Australia c 1856 and first settled in Melbourne. The family were orginally from Somerset (not far from Frome). Henry was a common name within the family.
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Re: Thresher / Marfell Families (Australia)

Postby eurogordi » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:22 pm

Sadly I no longer have the album as it was shipped to Australia about 18 months ago. The person who it was sent to lives in Leopold (Geelong) and I recall he was connected with a museum in the area. Apparently one of the Thresher family became an important person in Australia - either in Leopold or possibly Warrnambool. I do have the person's email address if you would like to contact him. However, it's probably best not to publish his address here but you can email me at
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