Thanks to Peta Kelly for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.
Blue links will take you to the digitized images of the marriages. These are from Libraries Tasmania website.
Some of the first marriage ceremonies performed by Reverend Robert Knopwood at the Derwent settlement were between couples who settled in the Pittwater area. Thousands of descendants bearing their names still live in south-eastern Tasmania.
As they do now, the bride and groom signed the marriage register, but with much of the population at the time being illiterate, most ‘signed’ with their mark, an X.
Jane Moulton signed with a cross at her marriage to William Hambley, as did Elizabeth Nash at her marriage to Bartholomew Reardon and Thomas Pennington to Susannah Wiggins. The family fortunes improved for Elizabeth Nash’s three younger sisters as they all received some education and were able to write their names when they married.
More grooms than brides could sign their names. Charles Routley, later to become a notorious serial killer, signed for himself, but his bride, the unfortunate Elizabeth Barnes, marked a cross. James Garth signed, and his bride Mary Billet (Bellette) made her mark. Alex Laing, a well-known District Constable, signed and his bride, Esther Robertson made her mark.
After reading my post summarising the information about cemeteries in the district, Melinda who is a member of the Sorell Historical Society, asked if she could use the post in the Pitt Water Chronicles Book 3 which is being organized at the moment. Of course I said yes but said I would try to get some photos to go with the post.
So on Sunday I headed out to take photos of the headstones and learn a bit more about the person buried there.
Carlton River Congregational has very few headstones still visible. But checking on the Libraries Tasmania Family History Portal, then going to the Tasmanian Names Index I looked for the death of Henry Morriss in 1838. From research I know the first public service of worship at the church was in 1841 so maybe this burial was somewhere else. But the minister James Norman specifically mentions the corpse being the first to be interred at the Carlton burial ground. Click on the images or blue links to see original digitized records.
Copping General Cemetery has a lot of headstones still in good condition. Sarah Copping was the widow of a mariner and lived a very healthy 98 years before her death in 1884. The cause of death was old age and debility. The informant was C Brammall the incumbent of Sorell. A short biography of her life is mentioned in the newspaper of the day.
Dunalley General Cemetery has two old headstones from 1870. Just inside the cemetery gate, John Clark is mentioned on a huge grave along with many other members of the family while Emma Lester is in a child’s grave at the furthest corner of the cemetery.
John Clark was a farmer who died aged 70. The reason given on the death certificate was disease of the heart accelerated by excessive drinking. Some words in brackets underneath that but I could not read them. From my research I found that John had purchased the land where the Denison Canal is now and John and his son-in-law George Scrimger eventually built a small pub where the Dunalley Hotel is now.
Emma Lester at age 6, died of cachexia which is the weakness and wasting of the body often due to chronic illness. It can also be caused through lack of food. She was the only daughter of William Lester of Fulham, East Bay Neck.
Forcett-Lewisham cemetery has many headstones, the oldest of which is Charlotte Jones. She was the wife of James Jones, a licensed victualler, and she died of erysipelas which is a swelling of the limbs. Charlotte was only 42 years old when this happened. She had given birth to at least seven daughters. Some members of the family must have moved to New Zealand as this was mentioned in the death notice in the paper.
Marion Bay at Bream Creek has two headstones for 1852. They are about three headstones apart.
Ann Dunbabin’s death was not found in the Tasmanian Names Index until I searched with just the surname and there she was as Nancy Dunbabin. She was 33 years old, the wife of a farmer and the informant was Charles Kingston from Bream Creek. There was no mention of her death on Trove newspapers. But searching for the Dunbabin family at Bream Creek, I find she was the wife of John Dunbabin; they had both been convicts and married in 1839. She was Ann Eccles and the couple had six children.
Louisa Ann Kingston died 7 April 1853 according to the death certificate on Tasmanian Names Index. The informant was Rev James Norman. Louisa was only 12 months old and the daughter of a farmer. She died of dysentery. Yet when we look at the headstone, it says she was 2 years old and died September 1852. There was a female child born to Charles and Elizabeth Kingston on 27 January 1851 – is this Louisa Ann mentioned on the headstone?
Henry Street, Sorell is the oldest cemetery in the district and many of the original settlers are buried here. The oldest is that of Charlotte McGinniss who died in 1828, of an unknown cause. She was the wife of Hugh McGinniss senior who donated the land for the Carlton Congregational Chapel in 1838. From research of other family trees, it is noted that Charlotte was born Hall, married George Simpson, was then transported to Norfolk Island as a convict. While on the island had a relationship with William Dodge and had three children by him. She then had a relationship with Hugh McGinniss. Hugh and his partner, with six children, arrived in Hobart Town aboard the ship Estramina from Norfolk Island in June 1808. Their daughter Elizabeth was born a month later. In 1810 Hugh and Charlotte Hall were married by Reverend Knopwood.
Scots Uniting, Sorell has the headstone of Hugh Taylor Denholm who died in 1847. Born in 1845, he was the 5th child of Alexander Denholm the Younger and Clementina Elizabeth Taylor who married in 1836. Hugh died of convulsions but I have not seen his death certificate in the Tasmanian Names Index. This information was found online on page 86 of a book written by Bernard Denholm.
St Thomas, Sorellis the burial place of Thomas Wright in 1865. I could find nothing about this family other than the death notice of his daughter Margaret in 1929. This might be because they were Catholic and those records are not openly available online. His wife was Julia Kennar Wright and she is also mentioned on her daughter’s death notice. There is mention though of a Julia Kennar having 21 acres of land at Bagot, Buckinghamshire in Tasmania in 1872. Is this the same Julia and where is Bagot located?
St Georges, Sorell has the burial of two Walker sisters in 1829, Susannah and Elizabeth. Susannah buried on 1st February aged 20 months, then less than three weeks later Elizabeth buried on 19 February aged 22 days. How the parents John and Nancy Walker (nee Ann Wiggins) must have suffered over those three short weeks with the deaths of their first two daughters.
Readers: Do you have any more information about these people buried in the district of Sorell? Please leave information in the comments area of this post.
After writing the post about the Joseph brothers, Moya Sharpe, a member of the Sorell Historical Society, asked if I could find any more information about the chapel I had written about in my post. Chris Wisbey and Sally Dakis now have the Carlton Congregational Chapel on their private property and on 10 January 2021, the chapel celebrated 180 years. Chris and Sally decided to hold a high tea on that date and invited members of the public to visit and join in the cucumber sandwiches and cup of tea in the afternoon. Thanks to Moya for the photo of her and Shirley Scott who can remember when the chapel was actually in use.
Here is my post from what I have learned. It will also be great as part of the One Place Studies #JanuaryLandmarks posts. Clicking on images or blue links will take you directly to the newspaper articles found in Trove digitized newspapers.
While researching for my post on the oldest gravestones in the district, I found that Rev Norman presided over the burial of Henry Morriss in 1838 at the Carlton Burial Ground. I am assuming this is the cemetery attached to the Carlton Congregational Chapel.
The first meeting to be held was advertised in January 1841 in The Courier newspaper in Hobart.
The Fourth Report of the Van Diemen’s Land Home Missionary and Christian Instruction Society mentions the chapel work was still in progress in February 1841. Reverend Alexander Morrison, who had been appointed to the District of Richmond, would preach in Carlton every fortnight. To read more about the report, click on the image below.
Many marriages in the 1850s and 1860s are mentioned as being at the Carlton, some at homes of the bride’s father but not necessarily at the chapel. Upon more research Rev J Norman was a chaplain in Sorell district from 1832-1867, mainly Anglican churches rather than the Congregational.
At the Carlton, on the 19th instant, by the Rev. J. Norman, Mr. A. Wyke Steele, third son of the late Lieutenant Steele, R.N., to Mary, second daughter of Thomas Manley, Esq. (19 May 1852)
The return of Ecclesiastical Endowments in Tasmania for the Church of England mentions in 1857 that a grant of 10 acres of land had been given in 1836 in Carlton for a church and it was also used for a school and burial ground. Does this relate to the congregational church or was there another church in Carlton?
The Home Missionary Society celebrated its 23rd anniversary and a report was read out. In 1858 a deputation of the committee had visited Bream Creek and Carlton, mentioning
it was with feelings of gratitude that the Committee were able to state that a new chapel was erecting at Bream Creek and the Carlton Chapel had been reopened.
On the 17th instant, at Carlton, by the Rev. Mr. Miller, of Hobart Town, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Blackwood, of Cambridge, William Henry Thorne, to Charlotte, youngest daughter of Mr. William Morris. (17 May 1860)
By special license, by the Rev. J. Norman, at Mr. Hazell’s, Carlton, on 17th October, Miss S. L Smith, youngest daughter of the late Dr. Smith, England, to James G Steele, Esq., seventh son of the late Lieutenant Steele, R. N., of the Carlton. (17 Oct 1860)
On the 9th instant, at the residence of the bride’s father, Carlton, by the Rev. James Norman, Sorell, PHILIP, second son of the late Rev. Philip Palmer, M.A., to MARY ANN, fourth daughter of Mr. Ralph Dodge, Carlton, Pittwater. (9 Jan 1862)
By Special license, at the Carlton, on the 12th November, by the Rev. J. Norman, Joseph, fifth son of Joseph Hayton, Esq., of Wood Brook, Sorell, to Anna Jane, seventh daughter of William Paterson, Esq., of Bream Creek, Tasmania. (12 Nov 1862)
In 1866, Reverend JP Sunderland, agent for the London Missionary Society in the colonies, visited the Carlton Chapel as well as many others while he was touring Tasmania.
In August 1867, five churches including Bream Creek and Carlton were formally received into the Congregational union and Mission of Tasmania. But by 1869, public meetings were being held about the union and ministers from Hobart Town would attend to address the meetings.
ROLLINGS—DODGE.—On Thursday, 11th February, by Rev. C. J. Brammall, at the residence of the bride’s father, Carlton, Robert W., eldest son of Mr. J. J. Rollings, Forcett, to Elizabeth, fifth surviving daughter of Mr. Ralph Dodge. (11 Feb 1869)
DODGE—KINGSTON.—On the 25th February, by Rev. R. E. Dear, at the residence of the bride’s father, William Thomas, third son of Mr. Ralph Dodge, of the Carlton, to Eliza, eldest daughter of Mr. Charles Kingston, of Sedbury, Bream Creek. (25 Feb 1869)
Some deaths were also mentioned about moving to the Carlton Burial Ground.
ROGERS.—On the 10th May, at Carlton, Emily Cockborne, the beloved wife of Mr. A. Rogers, in the 49th year of her age. The funeral will leave her husband’s residence, on Saturday next, the 15th inst., at one o’clock, for the Carlton Burial Ground. Sydney and Melbourne papers please copy. (10 May 1869)
There was a very descriptive write up of the 1870 anniversaries of the Carlton and Bream Creek chapels – looks like the ladies of the area were rivals in who could make the best spread for the visitors to their district. Also mentioned the danger of travelling on Dodge’s ferry with horses and carts. At the 1871 anniversary, over 150 people attended enjoying a meal, a service by Rev Dear and making connections with other locals, some from remote areas of the district.
In 1871 Reverend R.E. Dear preached at the chapel and gave great discourse on the origins of the Bible Society and how the money it gathers is dispersed. There was also a great description of the chapel and its surroundings. Click on the image to read more about the Bible Society.
According to the Mercury of 29 February 1872, Carlton Chapel was celebrating its anniversary on Tuesday, 5 March 1872, when a deputation from Hobart Town would be attending.
In May 1872, there was an inquest into the death of Mr JA Luttrell. After the inquest was finished the body was removed to the Carlton Burial Ground.
By 1874, a public meeting about total abstinence was held at the chapel. This was then followed by a meeting of those wishing to join the GWCT – Grand Lodge of the Good Templars.
In the annual meeting of the Congregational Union and Mission of 1876, it is mentioned that the chapels in Carlton and Bream Creek are thriving often with attendance of 50-80 worshippers.
The Carlton chapel was often used as meeting rooms as in July 1883 when a Bill to be brought before Parliament was discussed and voters were asked to collect signatures.
July 1888, Rev Mr Moorehouse becomes the new Congregational pastor for the Carlton and Bream Creek chapels but in May 1890 he is farewelled. At the November anniversary in 1888, the newspaper reports there are coaches available for visitors wanting to attend and they would leave Hobart at 8am.
The 1889 celebrations had lower number of attendees due to inclement weather.
A letter to the editor of the local paper appeared in December 1890, asking horse owners to think about their relatives who might be buried at the Carlton Burial Ground.
In May 1898, Mr Hebblethwaite takes over the ministerial duties in the district and a meeting was held where it was discussed about taking up a collection for the new preacher. Apparently, the new preacher was a great salesman as mentioned in the harvest service article in the paper in 1899.
November 1900 the members of the chapel were planning to welcome back the Tasmanian contingent from the Boer War which included two of the McGuinniss boys. The service was held on December 16 with Rev Crocker giving the service.
A concert was held at Carlton school in April 1903 in aid of funding the repairs for the chapel. It was well patronised mainly due to the efforts of Mrs Morris Joseph. December 1904 another concert held for repairs to the chapel, the main organizer this time being Mr McGuinniss sen.
In January 1910, a farewell social was held for Mr Albiston and a gift of sovereigns was given to him for his hard work in the district especially for starting the M.I.A in Carlton. Not sure if this is missing in action or another group.
In August 1919, the Chapel was used for a Welcome Home event for returned soldier Corporal C McGinnis A.I.F.
In 1938, the centenary of congregationalism in the district was celebrated and there was a very interesting write up in the local paper. This included photo of the church, a history of the church including preachers but also information on the local supporters and workers in the church.
Local pioneer, Mrs Joseph, mentioned often in the anniversary tea articles, celebrated her 80th birthday in June 1938.
But on 10 January 1941, the centenary of the actual church was celebrated and articles in the paper mentioned that land was given by Mr Hugh McGuinniss to erect the church and that Reverend Dear was the first resident pastor.
Readers: Have you or a family member had something to do with the chapel? Did you attend the high tea last week?