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Matthew FOGGON, South Africa 1880s?

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Matthew FOGGON, South Africa 1880s?

Postby clarksclerks » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:06 am

I'm trying to access South African records without much success to fill in a gap in the life of Matthew Foggon. He was born into a mining family in Durham in 1851 and in 1877 he married Ann Wilkin in Lanchester, Co. Durham. They had a daughter, Mary Ann, in 1878 who died in infancy, and a son, Charles, in 1880, in Lanchester. He arrived in Queensland in 1882 as a Primitive Methodist minister and had a long and well documented career there, marrying Sarah Forsythe and having several children.

It's that gap from 1880 to 1882 that I can't fill, and an entry in an Australian dictionary of biography states that he was in South Africa for a period but gives no sources, and a similar claim was made in one of the many newspaper obits published after his death. A very old posting on 'Family Tree Maker Online' chat claims that he went to South Africa and became an ostrich farmer with a brother, married a Dutch Boer woman and had several children, and wife and children died from yellow fever. I doubt that all of this is true in such a short time frame, but I wonder if there are a few grains of truth in it. What became of Ann Wilkin and the son Charles? A Charles Foggon married in Lanchester in 1899 but there were many people of that name in Durham at the time. Does anyone know how to access South African BDMs when I have such limited information?
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Re: Matthew FOGGON, South Africa 1880s?

Postby MoVidger » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:57 pm

There is a mention of Matthew Foggon in the newspaper below:

Sheffield Independent 15 June 1883
Byline: "Primitive Methodist Conference" - long article about the delegates meeting in Laygate Chapel, South Shields for election purposes. Rev Matthew Foggon is one of the ministers admitted on probation.

Family Search always have a helpful breakdown of available records:
https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/So ... gy_Records
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Re: Matthew FOGGON, South Africa 1880s?

Postby MoVidger » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:26 pm

Also, have you located Matthew Foggon in one of the Australian passenger arrival records?
https://www.nla.gov.au/research-guides/ ... ds/general
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Re: Matthew FOGGON, South Africa 1880s?

Postby MoVidger » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:11 pm

Ancestry has this passenger record with image:

Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839-1923
Name: Reverend Foggan
Arrival Date: 14 Aug 1882
Arrival Port: Melbourne and Sydney, Australia
Departure Port: Cape Town
Ship: John Elder
Nationality: English

The column "Port at which Passengers have contracted to Land" indicates Brisbane for the passenger above. There is also a "Miss Foggan" below his name; her port is Sydney.

NOTE: There is an 1882 NSW passenger record below for a Rev Arthur Foggon, also on the John Elder. But his departure port is different to the record above. Could he be related to Matthew?

New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922
Name: Reverend Arthur Foggon
Port of Departure: London
Port of Arrival: Sydney, New South Wales
Voyage Arrival Date: 19 Aug 1882
Vessel Name: John Elder
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Re: Matthew FOGGON, South Africa 1880s?

Postby clarksclerks » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:05 am

Thanks MoVidger, that's very helpful. The Melbourne arrival fits in with what I have, I wonder whether the Sheffield article is a retrospective, ie who was admitted in the last 12 months? To muddy the waters a little, there are two (at least) families of Foggons (spelling varies) in Australian records, both originating in Durham and both associated with the Primitive Methodist church. Matthew appears to have sttled in Queensland, and the other ones were in Tasmania and later, the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales north of Newcastle, a noted coal mining area.
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