Author Topic: Devon clergyman’s runaway daughter: Elizabeth Turner 1842-1906  (Read 169 times)

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Devon clergyman’s runaway daughter: Elizabeth Turner 1842-1906
« on: Tuesday 07 July 20 15:05 BST (UK) »
I am trying to trace Elizabeth Turner’s parents and birth details to expand this interesting branch of the family. Any help or pointers would be great.
Allegedly: Elizabeth, aged 16, the daughter of a ‘respectable Devon Clergyman’ eloped with Hugh Junor Broune (Browne) and fled to Victoria Australia where they married in 1858 And founded a bit of a dynasty with 6 sons and 5 daughters.  Hugh J Browne was the son of a Presbyterian minister (b 1829 Edinburgh) and 23 years Elizabeth’s senior. Having farmed cattle in Natal and prospected for gold in Australia, Browne returned to Britain and seduced young Elizabeth And whisked her off to Oz.

In 1891 Hugh and Elizabeth Browne, along with several daughters are found lodging in St Pancras, London, and during their trip they manage to marry off 2 daughters (success!). In the 1891 census, Elizabeth is recorded as having been born in Dieppe France in 1942. This is the only clue I have of her origins.
Ancestry offers a hint here from the 1851 census:  Elizabeth Brisla, b 1841 Diappre France, parents John and Ann Brisla, residence Exeter St Paul’s, Devon.  This seemed like a link, but I cannot cross reference this Census record anywhere. I suspect the name is a transcription error as ‘Brisla’ does not appear as a surname anywhere.
Whites directory of Devon and Exeter (1850?) does have a reverend John Fisher Turner in Exeter as a potential Father, but he is well documented and had no child called Elizabeth. I’ve had to rule him out.

Fascinating Family the Browne’s, including spiritualism, death by sharks, and the first elected Australian prime minister. But so little info on Elizabeth Turner (Brisla?) and her forebears.

Can anyone help?
Cheers
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Online rosie99

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Re: Devon clergyman’s runaway daughter: Elizabeth Turner 1842-1906
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 07 July 20 15:31 BST (UK) »
I think it reads Brista.  But her father John is not a clergyman
Ref for 1851 - HO107/1869 f182 p24


It does help us if you give reference numbers for the census you mention  :)
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Re: Devon clergyman’s runaway daughter: Elizabeth Turner 1842-1906
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 07 July 20 16:05 BST (UK) »
Thanks Rosie,
Brista makes a lot more sense, I’ll check and see what I can find in that family. If Elizabeth has disappeared by the 1861 census, and hasn’t married or died by then, we might have a lead. As for her use of the surname Turner, this could ring true for an eloping underage runaway. The ‘clergyman’s daughter’ bit comes from biography and not records so I can see it would make for a better story.
Thanks for the hint with referencing Census records.
Cheers Drinks!

Ps you helped me with a Smith Eldridge query in Feb 19 - thought I recognised the Username/spaniel. Thanks again


Online rosie99

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Re: Devon clergyman’s runaway daughter: Elizabeth Turner 1842-1906
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 07 July 20 16:25 BST (UK) »
Did Elizabeth marry as Turner.
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Re: Devon clergyman’s runaway daughter: Elizabeth Turner 1842-1906
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 07 July 20 17:59 BST (UK) »
Hi Rosie,
Yes she did marry as Elizabeth Turner (1858 Victoria) and identifies as Elizabeth Turner on the birth records for several of their children. I've no reason to think she could have taken an alias, but as she would have been travelling as a sixteen year old girl with a 40 year man ( as a wife or daughter) it seems quite possible.
I've not been able to trace any travel records for their trip to Australia. Hugh Junor Browne was already fully established in the Melborne area, and had travelled widely, soi don't think he would have chosen to travel incognito.
Your suggestion of Brista was right and I can now find it on Family Search for 1851, but not on subsequent censuses. Not sure why Ancestry lists them as Brisla. I will have to hunt around to see if I can find any birth records for Elizabeth Brista or her Dad John, who was apparently born in Wheldrake Yorkshire 1817.
How intriguing
Thanks again
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