Author Topic: Why South Africa?  (Read 7876 times)

Offline groom

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Why South Africa?
« on: Friday 01 August 08 20:50 BST (UK) »
Hi  - you folk are usually good at coming up with answers can you help with this?
A g x2 uncle, Charles Henry Howell ,born 1860 West Ham, is missing from the 1891 census. However his wife Annie Howell appears with their 4 children living with her parents Philip and Louisa Ridge in West Ham. The 3 eldest children were all born in West Ham but the youngest Charles William (10mths)has South Africa BS (British Subject?) as place of birth.
I'm presuming he was born there and then he and his mother returned to England possibly leaving his father out there. The question is why were they there in the first place? The only thing I can find about that time is the gold rush.
Would ordinary working class people really go to seek their fortune? Charles Henry's occuption on the 1881 census is engine smith. If he did go he wasn't very successful as in 1901 he is back in West Ham.
(Poor Charles William died in 1892 aged 2)
Thanks
Jan
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Offline groom

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 01 August 08 20:53 BST (UK) »
Sorry my mistake its not Charles William it was Robert Allen Howell who was born in South Africa.
Jan
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Offline meles

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 01 August 08 20:58 BST (UK) »
I have people out there at this time.

They were

Soldiers
Policemen
Gold prospectors
Unknown

All came back within 10 years.

meles
Brock: Alburgh, Norfolk, and after 1850, London; Tooley: Norfolk
Grimmer: Norfolk; Grimson: Norfolk
Harrison: London; Pollock
Dixon: Hampshire; Collins: Middx
Jeary: Norfolk; Davison: Norfolk
Rogers: London; Bartlett: London
Drew: Kent; Alden: Hants
Gamble: Yorkshire; Huntingford: East London

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Christopher

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 01 August 08 21:00 BST (UK) »
Hello Jan,

Could Charles Henry have been working on the railway in South Africa ???

An Engine Smith made parts for, and repaired, engines using the tools of a Smith.

I can't see all that many Gold prospectors taking their wives with them on the chance that they'd strike lucky but I can see that someone working on the railways would have been more likely to have been accompanied by his wife as he'd have been getting an income.

No one on the railways, meles ???

Christopher

Offline groom

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 01 August 08 21:04 BST (UK) »
Hi possible, but would he have taken his wife with him?
Tried looking at South African births but didn't get far.
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Offline Christopher

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 01 August 08 21:08 BST (UK) »
Hi possible, but would he have taken his wife with him?
Tried looking at South African births but didn't get far.

He might have taken his wife if they'd gone there on a scheme encouraging people to live and work in South Africa. I'm not certain if there were such schemes in the late 1800s but there were a reasonable number of people from the UK in SA. 

Offline meles

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #6 on: Friday 01 August 08 21:19 BST (UK) »
The three did take their wives.

But railway (or other) engineers would have been in demand.

meles
Brock: Alburgh, Norfolk, and after 1850, London; Tooley: Norfolk
Grimmer: Norfolk; Grimson: Norfolk
Harrison: London; Pollock
Dixon: Hampshire; Collins: Middx
Jeary: Norfolk; Davison: Norfolk
Rogers: London; Bartlett: London
Drew: Kent; Alden: Hants
Gamble: Yorkshire; Huntingford: East London

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline groom

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #7 on: Friday 01 August 08 21:29 BST (UK) »
This does seem the sensible answer. Anyone know if there are any sites where I can check this?
Thanks
Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline meles

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Re: Why South Africa?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 01 August 08 21:41 BST (UK) »
You are about to enter a whole new world of South African genealogy - rather complex. Try your question on the South African board. There are some very helpful people there.

Good luck!

meles
Brock: Alburgh, Norfolk, and after 1850, London; Tooley: Norfolk
Grimmer: Norfolk; Grimson: Norfolk
Harrison: London; Pollock
Dixon: Hampshire; Collins: Middx
Jeary: Norfolk; Davison: Norfolk
Rogers: London; Bartlett: London
Drew: Kent; Alden: Hants
Gamble: Yorkshire; Huntingford: East London

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk