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Messages - Smeddles

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Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Tuesday 12 February 13 05:38 GMT (UK)  »
Further to the previous message, the following are the State Ward particulars:

Patrick Smedley No. 17395
DOB 02/10/1883 (31/11/81), Native Place - Colac, Religion R/C, Date of Commitment 15/01/1890 at Geelong. Cause - Neglect. Expiration of term - 02/10/1901

Father - William Smedley, Laborer, not known
Mother - Emma Smedley, poor
Relations - Brothers 17396 & 17463

Subsequent History of Relations.
Mother HM Gaol, Geelong G90/4788, Mother Emma Smidley (sic) Marshalltown PO near Geelong 20.7.90 / G90/8133 28/12/90 / Mrs Smedley PO Camperdown G91/3408 / M C/o Mr Robinson, Ferguson Street, Camperdown 8/2/94 / same address 5/3/94 G94/1556 / same address 6/4/94 / same address 22/5/94 / M C/o Mr O'Meara (?) Warrion 24/11/94 / M C/o Mr Reid P Office, Warrion, via Colac on 18/9/95 / Still same address 17/3/96 [last notation]

Subsequent History of Child - Patrick
Where Stationed -
15/1/90 (Boys)?
28/2/90 Mary A Callinan, 444 Humffray Street North, Ballarat East
20/1/98 (Boys)?
12/2/98 Mr Bergin (?) Kia Ora (possibly) near Ararat
22/2/98 do?
24/4/98 Absconded G98/3240
29/4/98 Boys Depot
8/6/98 Mr D Ford, Violet Town
19/7/98 do
19/10/98 Mr Jno (Jonathon?) Arundel, looks like Pendowring or Pundowring
1/11/98 do
29/11/98 Straight View Reformatory (Farm) near Castlemaine
19/12/98 being (unintelligible) Royal Park Reformatory
9/3/99 Absconded
11/3/99 Royal Park Reformatory
5/6/99 Excelsior Reformatory (at Brighton)
14/7/99 Absconded
14/7/99 Royal Park Reformatory
17/7/99 Excelsior Reformatory
25/2/01 Absconded
28/2/01 Excelsior Reformatory
13/3/01 Absconded
18/3/01 Excelsior Reformatory
28/8/01 Absconded
7/9/01 Excelsior Reformatory
30/9/01 Kew Lunatic Asylum

Michael Smedley No. 17396
Same birthdate (31/7/83), religion and commitment and release dates as Patrick (they weren't twins and the date is wrong)

Subsequent History of Child - Michael
15/1/90 (Boys)?
28/2/90 Mary A Callinan, 444 Humffray Street North, Ballarat East
1/10/96 Mrs Cousins, Leigh Creek (near Bungaree)
1/1/97 Mrs Stone, Leigh Creek
1/4/98 Mr F H Greene, Millbrook
Discharge - Subsequent History - last address - 404 Seymour Street, Ballarat vide G06/10027 21/11/06
John Smedley No. 17403 (born as Michael?)
DOB 31/3/89 (correct 3/01/89), Native Place - Melbourne, Religion R/C, Date of Commitment 15/01/1890 at Geelong. Cause - Neglected. Expiration of term - 31/03/07

Subsequent History of Child - John
22/1/90 (?)
10/2/90 Mary A Callinan, 444 Humffray Street North, Ballarat East
9/2/91 Mrs Gleeson, Ballarat East
12/9/91 Mary A Callinan, 444 Humffray Street North, Ballarat East
3/7/01 Absconded
4/7/01 Boys Depot
30/7/01 St Augustines Orphanage (Geelong)
28/7/03 Depot
29/7/03 Mr Chas Walker, Hearns Creek (?), Euroa
7/9/03 Depot
18/9/03 Mr William Melville, Crossley (near Koroit)
8/11/03 Absconded G03/9419 or 9819
27/01/04 Depot
17/2/04 Thos Darmody, Southern Cross (near Koroit)
21/6/04 Depot
26/7/04 assume back at Southern Cross
27/7/04 Depot
16/8/04 Mrs Purcell, Merrijig via Mansfield
2/12/05 Depot
2/2/06 Mount Paradise Reformatory (near Pakenham)
6/9/06 Absconded
7/9/06 RP Reformatory (assume Royal Park)
10/9/06 Mount Paradise Reformatory (near Pakenham)
31/3/07 Employed by Mr Millane - who appears to have been the owner of Mount Paradise [last record]

Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Tuesday 12 February 13 05:35 GMT (UK)  »

I've been quiet for the last few weeks having been on leave and then waiting for feedback to enquiries in Colac and PROV.

Anyway, I thought I'd update things for anyone who may be interested; Cando particularly, thank you for your help so far!!

PROV was able to provide the following information from The State Wards Register for each of  Patrick, Michael & John Smedley who were committed as state wards on 15/01/1890. It shows:

Emma Smedley's address at that date as HM Gaol Geelong (ref: G90/4788). The register also states the childrens' father as being William Smedley, laborer (unknown - presume this refers to whereabouts).

Emma's incarceration was brief and the register records a series of addresses:
20/07/1890 - Marshalltown, near Geelong (G90/8133)
28/12/1890 - Camperdown (G91/3408)
8/02/1894 - C/o Mr/Mrs? Robinson, Ferguson Street, Campderdown (G94/1556)
6/04/1894 - same address
22/05/1894 - same address (verbal)
24/11/1894 - C/o Mrs(?) O'Meara(?), PO Warrion, near Colac
18/09/1895 - C/o Mr Reid, PO Warrion, near Colac
17/03/1896 - same address [last entry]

The children's histories for same period are posted in the next email (Ive overshot the character count apologies)


Comments following  refer in part to subsequent message:

NLA Trove reveals James Joseph Millane sold Mount Paradise Farm, Upper Pakenham around 10/10/1918 and passed away at Mount Evins Private Hospital 28/10/1920.

I've managed to find out a bit about the Industrial Reform Schools mentioned and need to look into John a bit further. Again though, I can't find a death record for John (or a Michael) that fits the birth date.

With respect to Patrick however, I've searched the Kew Lunatic Asylum records for the date given, but cannot find a record of admission. I don't know if there is a reason.
I think it reasonable to assume that he and the Patrick Smedley, in and out Ryde and other Sydney Asylums during the 20s and 30s, and convicted and gaoled for arson at Bathurst NSW 4/07/1928 are the same man. I still need to verify the Kew and Ryde records.

With regard to Emma and William, who are my main goal, the trail goes cold as I cannot find any official record of the birth, death or official marriage of either Emma Smedley (Rigby) or William Smedley. The marriage date provided in Michael's (John's) birth record (5/10/1880) can't be subtantiated by Colac church records. 

While I concede that two different Emma Rigby's in the Colac/Camperdown general area at the time would be a longshot, the marriage of Emma to Michael O'Bryan doesn't seem to fit. While perhaps technically possible, the DOBs of her various issue suggest she would have been perpetually pregnant to 2 men over 5 years! I.e. William O'Bryan was listed as 4 in March 1885, meaning he was born the same year as Patrick (30/11/1891), while Mary was three, being born in 1882, which means Emma would have to have fallen pregnant almost immediately after Patrick, and then again with Michael Alfred, born 31 July 1883.

Could Williams O'Bryan & Smedley be the same man? William Smedley was listed on Michael (John's) birth record as 40 in 1890, while O'Bryan was 33 in 1885 on Michael O'Bryans birth - 2 years gap? In Emma's case Michael's birth record shows 37yrs in 1889 (Dob 1852) versus 35 for Michael O'Bryan (DOB 1850) again 2 years. For good measure William Smedley was born say 1849 in London, while William O'Bryan hailed from Limerick, Ireland. Oh boy, there are some tantalising similarities, but perhaps the names William and Michael were common as mud in those days?

It is all the more frustrating not to know Emma's circumstances after the last record of 17/03/1896 and why she abandoned/never regained her children. If she is the same Emma O'Bryan, what happened to Michael and Mary? Its not a happy family history.

Anyway, does anyone know if the references listed above, are likely to be backed by written notes? I'm waiting on apreply from PROV.  Also, if gaoled, would the court/gaoler records be available somewhere online, or would they too only be at the Public Records office?

I think I am now faced with spending a day or two in Melbourne at the PROV or as I think Cando suggested, a facilitator based in Melbourne (can anyone recommend someone?).

Thanks for reading and I'll be grateful for any advice.


Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 05:57 GMT (UK)  »

Thanks - good point about Emma's birth date and WC Rigby. Hmm.

As for the marriage, I'm waiting on a reply from the Colac Parish, so I'll update once known.

The fact that Patrick & Alfred are listed as twins, do you discern that from the brackets - they and a comment adjacent were undiscernable to me?

PS: Glad you got the Dropbox item to open.


Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 05:33 GMT (UK)  »

In reply to your questions:

What were Wm and Emma's ages: According to Michael's birth record Emma was 37 (born Ballarat) & William 40 (born? London)
Where were they married? Place of Marriage was Colac 05/10/1880.
What was the place of birth?Michael was born at Womens Hospital (Smith Ward), Carlton

What are the ages of Patrick and Alfred?....I would suggest this is Michael Alfred.According the Colac Baptism records Patrick's DOB was 31/11/1881 which would have made him 7 at the time, while Michael (Michael Alfred) was born 31/07/1883, making him 5. It is noteworthy the State Ward information you provided earlier reflected a John Smedley, on their list, being born in 1889 - I suspect the 1889 Michael became John?

Who registered the birth?The informant, as for all on the page, would appear to be J Humphries, Messenger?, Womens Hospital, Carlton, the registrar John Glennon, recorded the birth on 6/02/1889.

Thanks again.

Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 05:18 GMT (UK)  »

If I've done it correctly, the following link will take you to Michael's birth record in my dropbox:

Appreciate your feedback.


Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 04:57 GMT (UK)  »
Hi Sue,

As requested, I will either type up the Birth Record  for Michael (1889) or insert an image in a while.

In the meantime, my apologies for the confusion, but just to stop you going down the wrong path though, Michael and Isabella's Marriage Record reflects:

Father: George Allan Smedley
Mother: Emma Rigby

Sorry I confused you. I was really just highlighting that while George Allan (SMEDLEY) appears nowhere else in the records, my father was named Alan George SMEDLEY (he was presumably named thus as an acknowledgement of George).


Thanks for the feedback on WC Rigby. It was one of those things my father spoke about from time to time, but as a younger man, I typically didn't pay the attention due.

Emma clearly fell on very hard times (whether these were self inflicted is difficult to know). The thought that she and William (or George for that matter) had never been officially married had crossed my mind - I guess record keeping of the day and the ability to verify what someone had said would make it relatively easy to represent yourself as married.

At the moment I figure I'm best to try and identify Emma Rigby/Smedley and William Smedley's deaths and work backwards. Records don't reflect anything obvious, but I'm still looking.

Thanks Again.

Again, I'm banking on the woman at PROV responding with the State Ward info as she offered. . Unfortunately I otherwise might have to make a trip to Melbourne at some point to get it.

Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 03:03 GMT (UK)  »

Thanks - I'm not sure of the transcript process in NSW, but for the time being am probably more focussed on my grandfather Michael. From Cando's input, I've obtained the Birth Record for Michael dated 3/01/1889 and the marriage date contained for William & Emma 05/10/1880 works. It also shows Patrick and "Alfred" as existing "issue".

Whether Alfred Michael inverted his names I don't know, nor do I know where George Allan fits in as a father. The State Ward issue may be a key - George Allan may have been a foster father - just don't know.

The Michael who married Isabel (Isabella) could not have been the latter as he would have been 12 years younger.

Thanks for the ongoing help. Hope my commentary is of interest.


Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 00:21 GMT (UK)  »
Hi Sue,

I just saw your follow up on Patrick's death. Yeah, I was thinking that maybe it wasn't him because of the father's name - but I can link his burial to the Ryde Mental Asylum, it may help. He sounds like a pretty troubled sort of guy and he seems to have been in and out of gaol/asylums for most of his adult life.

It now begs the question, did Michael know, or had they lost touch?


Australia / Re: SMEDLEY - Victoria
« on: Friday 11 January 13 00:16 GMT (UK)  »
Hello Sue and Cando, thank you both for your responses. Wow!

I am very grateful for the speed and depth of your feedback.

Firstly Sue, thanks for drawing my attention to Patrick's war records. I hadn't thought to look there. It helps on a couple of counts.
I only became aware of Patrick's existence from the St Mary's Colac baptism records this week. In digging, threw up some court records for the gaoling of one Patrick Smedley in Bathurst NSW on multiple counts of arson in the 1920s and still further information revealed that this Patrick had subsequently been committed to a mental asylum at Ryde during the 1920s/30s. The last reference is a death record of a Patrick Smedley dying at Parramatta in 1940.

Up to now I had not delved further because there was nothing to link a Bathurst resident to Colac. however Colac and Camperdown aren't far apart and while the birthdates are not exact, the birth year is.

He clearly was a troubled fellow, possibly in no small part due to a troubled childhood, and while I'll need to dig a little deeper, he sounds like a reasonable match. In any event, he is the only Patrick Smedley for whom I've found any information.

Turning to the article in the Colac Herald - how did you find it - I've been searching every variation of Emma Rigby/Wigby/Smedley and had not found that piece. The prospect that Michael and Patrick were made State Wards did pop up on and I've been waiting for a reply from a helpful woman at PROV to confirm a link.

Cando, with respect to your info; I think I need a tutorial in getting information out of the BDM Historical Search. I have not been able to find a record of Michael or Patrick's birth, nor for that matter Emma's or her marriage.

The St Mary's Colac baptism records show Michael's birth date as 31/07/1883 and Patrick as 31/11/1881 (yeah, that was how it was recorded, so either 30/11 or 01/12 perhaps) I have not been aware of a namesake until now. The Michael Medley date seems all wrong, but the parents match.

The plot thickens further however - was Patrick and Michaels' father's name William? I have a copy of St Patrick's Ballarat marriage record for Michael and Isabella (23/01/1906) and it lists Michael's parents as being Emma and husband George Allan. This was where my father always got stuck in searching up Michael's history, for his name was Alan George Smedley - naturally, he assumed the William referenced in the Colac records was incorrect somehow.

I've not yet been successful in tracing George Allan - I haven't found a birth record, or evidence of assisted or unassisted passage. There was a George who would make a rough fit based on age that was "transported" to Van Diemens Land (Nottingham Quarter Sessions) but I'm drawing a bit of a long bow that he may travelled to Melbourne when freed and somehow hooked up with Emma. Based on the childrens ages, he would have been in his 30s when they were born.

Now I wonder whether Michael and Patrick were perhaps fathered by William O'Bryan?

The other thing which doesn't quite fit, is that Emma, according to my father, was understood to have been related to WC Rigby who emigrated to Australia in the 1850's who after a stint in the Ballarat goldfields, went on to establish Rigby Publishing Limited in Adelaide. It was one of Australia's largest publishing houses from the 1880's until the 1980s when it was sold. Rigbys were also noted for their philanthropy - maybe Emma was a blacksheep, I don't know, but if the link was there, it is strange that they seemingly abandoned her.

Oh boy, its old adage - don't ask questions unless you want to know the answers. I've got a bit more digging to do! Is John born 1889 related - what happened to him? The list is starting to build.

Thanks again. If you have any advice on shortcuts or ways through Victorian bureaucracy to help me identify Emma's and George/William's origins, I'd be grateful. Obviously, if you draw any other links for me, please let me know.

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