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Ellen CLARE /CLAIRE - not at all Clear!

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Ellen CLARE /CLAIRE - not at all Clear!

Postby Sylcec » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:56 am

Well, I have another puzzle for you - but somehow doubt it will be solved.

The following marriage took place in Sydney:
20 November 1861 at 146 Palmer Street, Woolloomooloo, Sydney
Albert Thomas, bachelor, born Falmouth, England, Tailor, res: 146 Palmer St, to
Deborah Selina Clair, Spinster, born Suffolk, England, res: North Shore, Sydney
according to the rites of the Primitive Methodist Church, by Robert Hartley
witnesses: Richard Pearce Thomas, Annie O'Brien

The record was rather deficient in detail - the native places of Falmouth and Suffolk for groom and bride had been added later, but there were no ages for the couple, nor parents names provided.
Now, in respect of Albert Thomas, we know exactly who he is and his ancestry in Cornwall goes back generations. One of the witnesses was his brother.

The bride, frankly appears to have made up her name! At the birth of all her children she is recorded simply as Ellen; as she is at her death. I don't have a cert or transcript of her death, but the index entry shows: THOMAS ELLEN; 306/1881; CHARLES W; ELLEN; SYDNEY (where Charles W and Ellen are the names reported for her parents).

Albert & Ellen's child of interest is Lucy Jane Thomas, and I have just obtained a birth transcript. She was born 21 June 1870. Mother was the informant and is recorded as: Ellen CLARE, birthplace Suffolk, England, age 28 (i.e. born about 1842).

There are several trees on Ancestry - but no-one seems to have a copy of Ellen's actual death certificate (not that I am convinced it would help, as info given is only as good as the knowledge of the informant. Nevertheless, it should tell us how long she has been in the colony.)
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Re: Ellen CLARE /CLAIRE - not at all Clear!

Postby Amazinggrace » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:08 am

Thanks Sylvia for the post. Afraid I can't help with the query but you certainly brought a smile to my face. What a fantastic name Woolloomooloo,brilliant. :D
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Re: Ellen CLARE /CLAIRE - not at all Clear!

Postby JMcK » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:43 pm

I cannot even see any Clare/Claire registrations in Suffolk over the 5 yrs 1840 to 1845. But there is an Ellen Clarry in 1844.

Edit, looks as though she may have gone to the USA in 1860
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Re: Ellen CLARE /CLAIRE - not at all Clear!

Postby RosalindtheFair » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:32 pm

There is a market town called Clare in Suffolk, I wouldn't be surprised if that's why Ellen called herself that if she wanted to hide her identity. Or perhaps as a foundling and was given that surname. (Have heard of people called Churchyard for that reason!) I know this is no help whatsoever, it's just a thought.
And people often spell my name incorrectly!
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