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John Graham - The Missing Years

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John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby Narnster » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:56 pm

I'm attempting to sort out a part of my tree that I have thus far avoided due to the surname - Graham! My great grandmother's oldest brother was John Graham, born 1871 at Scotby (the village)/Wetheral (the parish), Cumberland, England to William Graham (born 1830 at Wheelbarrow Hall) and Jane Bowman (born 1845 at Lazonby) who married in 1870. He is on the 1881 census at Scotby Park, Wetheral with his family but in 1891 he is not with them. It might well be him at 25 Brougham St, Penrith, a lodger working as a Grocer's Assistant though he is in a Graham household. It is surprising that he left as I know for sure that the Grahams were a farming family with several farms and all the other siblings never went far. The name is the real problem but I have come across something that might be him... I found a death in 1937 in West Wallsend, Newcastle, Australia of a John Graham, aged 66 of Teralba Road, who had drowned himself in a dam - West Wallsend Colliery dam. There are reports in the newspapers and the post mortem record shows that he was born at Wetheral, Co Cumberland, England with another record stating that his parents were William and Jane. Apparently he left a note saying, "Am sorry, Mum, but this is all I can do." So is 'Mum' his wife, or his mother? The newspaper article said he lived with his wife and family.

I can't find any records of him going to Australia. There is a possible John Graham on the 1901 Census in Teralba District, West Wallsend with two males and two females in the household. There is a John Graham on the 1903 electoral roll, again in West Wallsend and he is a coalminer. Other people have trees with this Graham family in; a couple have him married to either a Sarah Ann Osgood or Annie Unknown but I can't find any evidence to support this. (The creator of one of the trees has Graham as their middle name so they might know more than I do!) Any suggestions where I go from here would be most appreciated!
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby elsabels » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:08 am

Father William Graham died 10 April 1907 Probate was granted to William Bowman GRAHAM / James Robert & Arthur no mention of the '1st son' John..who had either pre deceased or was out of the UK or disowned? There is no mention of a will est £1617 / 11 /8d

The 1891 census with John Graham living with Elizabeth GRAHAM could be father William's brother John's widow....possible mmn Richardson

The grandchild is the d/o Suzanne WATSON nee Graham
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby ianbee » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:18 am

Wife of the man found in the dam was called Elizabeth
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/497 ... ohn-graham
Funerals
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/133549813?

Elizabeth's death write up in the Newcastle Morning Herald, 13 April 1950
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/140631017?

Whether she was John's only wife, or a second one, I don't know.

From which, perhaps
1929, West Wallsend, Percy R York + Jessie Graham
1936, Wallsend, David Alfred James Blanch + Annie Graham
1948, West Wallsend, David Evans + Jean Graham
Last edited by ianbee on Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby JMcK » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:34 am

death for John names parents as William and Jane

6667/1937 WILLIAM JANE WEST WALLSEND The actual death certificate would have the mother's maiden name and also how long he had been in Australia
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby ianbee » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:15 am

Narnster wrote:the post mortem record shows that he was born at Wetheral, Co Cumberland, England with another record stating that his parents were William and Jane.

New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1821-1937
Name: John Graham
Birth Year: abt 1871
Birth Place: Wetheral Co Cumbaland, England
Death Year: Abt 1937
Death Place: West Wallsend
Inquest Date: 24 Jun 1937
Inquest Place: Newcastle
Age: 66

From that, and the death index, it does rather look like it might be your chap.
The 1950 death notice of Elizabeth said that she came to Australia 40 years ago, living at Weston.
1937 electoral for Wallsend West has
Graham, Elizabeth, Teralba Road, home duties
Graham, John, Teralba Road, no occupation

Is this them in 1936?
Graham, Elizabeth, Fegan Street, West Wallsend, home duties
Graham, John, Fegan Street, West Wallsend, deputy

A birth in Kurri Kurri in 1911 of a Jessie Graham, parents John + Elizabeth, and there's a John Graham who was a miner in Sixth Street, Weston, in 1913 (also Elizabeth Graham, home duties)
Are these connected??

Funeral + cremation of Elizabeth, beloved mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/140635911?
Attachments
Newcastle Morning Herald 25 June 1937.JPG
Newcastle Morning Herald 25 June 1937.JPG (59.61 KiB) Viewed 1557 times
Newcastle Morning Herald 18 April 1950.JPG
Newcastle Morning Herald 18 April 1950.JPG (62.07 KiB) Viewed 1561 times
ianbee
 
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby Narnster » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:52 pm

Wow, that's a load of information! Many thanks to each one of you! I haven't researched anyone in Australia before... would I apply for his death certificate from the Australian Government site or is there another way? Are Australian wills available? Father William did leave a will and I have a copy that I had put aside because it's 2 1/2 pages of small writing so hard going! I have now read it and there is no mention of a son John, but he is clearly there on the 1881 census, and on the 1911 census William's widow states that she had 9 children, all living. William goes into detail about what his four sons and four daughters would receive and and states that although it is his "earnest wish" that his trustees (his four sons so not including John) "carry on my business of farming" he makes provision for any son to take their share in advance should they not want to. It seems that first born John doesn't figure at all... how sad, he seems a decent man. In 1911 all of the trustee sons are still farming the farm they lived at when father William died (James is married and living nearby), and three of the daughters are still there too. The missing daughter was my great grandmother who had married and I think was living at a property mentioned in William's will. Her daughter, my grandmother, was born on the family farm and loved it so much she called her own house after it.

I wonder if John married Elizabeth in Australia... if she went there in around 1910... because it looks like he was already there in 1901. I've had a look but can't see any marriages that stand out, though I note the comment that he could have married more than once. If only I could find travel records!! Thanks again!
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby elsabels » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:13 pm

I found these earlier on today presume it is the official site to order from

https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au/li ... h/result?7

You can get an e mail response

Registration Number Groom's Family Name room's Given Name(s) Bride's Family Name(s) Bride's Given Name(s) District

14769/1911 GRAHAMJ OHN WATSON ELIZABETH E WAGGA WAGGA

Birth GRAHAM JESSIE 29284/1911 JOHN ELIZABETH KURRI KURRI

Death GRAHAM JOHN 6667/1937 WILLIAM JANE WEST WALLSEND


15978/1929 YORK PERCY R GRAHAM JESSIE WEST WALLSEND

Cost circa £18 / 33 Australian $

Name: Jessie York / Percy R(aymond) York / Jessie York
Electoral Year: 1972
Subdistrict: Belmont
State: New South Wales
District: Shortland
Country: Australia
Residence Address: 10 Ellen St, Blmnt S
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby Narnster » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:40 pm

Thank you elsabels for that extra information; with all this incredible stuff I can now make progress. I guess I'll probably never know why John wasn't in the will but then that's how it rolls. I wonder if his wife, Elizabeth E Watson, is connected to the Sarah Watson in the house he was living in in the UK in 1891... lots more digging to do! Thanks again. Narnster
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby ianbee » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:51 pm

Are you sure that is the right marriage in Wagga Wagga?
Birth in Wagga Wagga in 1913
Graham, Eric - parents John + Elizabeth E

Possible death?
1960, Wagga Wagga
Graham, Eric - parents John + Elizabeth Ellen

NAA, WW2 Records
GRAHAM ERIC : Service Number - NX94970 : Date of birth - 07 Mar 1913 : Place of birth - WAGGA NSW : Place of enlistment - PADDINGTON NSW : Next of Kin - GRAHAM OLIVE
(possible marriage in 1934?)

We have not seen mention anywhere of an Eric Graham, or of Elizabeth being Elizabeth E (Ellen).
Weston and West Wallsend are close by each other, but Wagga is nearly 300 miles away.
I did previously mention the birth of Jessie in 1911, of course we don't know for certain that is the right one.
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Re: John Graham - The Missing Years

Postby Narnster » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:30 pm

ianbee, thanks for that... Hmm... I did look at the map and see that Wagga Wagga was some way away... I'm only just entering John's information onto my tree now and that is where the discrepancies show up. The problem is that there doesn't appear to be any other likely marriage for him. There's one in Redfern in 1912 but that's John B Graham. Unless they married in the UK... but he seems to have been in Australia since at least 1901 and she around 1910. That said, looking back at my notes, in 1901 there is the John Graham in Teralba north with two males and two females in the household. Hmm... (He had a baby sister called Jessie at around the time he would have left... not that I should let that sway my thinking!! No siblings were Jean or Annie though. Jessie could be John and Elizabeth's first born because she was the executrix of Elizabeth's will... but she wasn't born until 1911.)
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