Author Topic: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s  (Read 3271 times)

Offline kroberts236

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Yes
It does.Mother born Hong Kong Portuguese Chinese  name unknown.

Family trees on line imply a half brother James.
Two deaths for a John Davis Beechworth  1838-1903 and 1838 -1915 .

Ciderdrinker

Where did you see the half brother James?  My cousin also mentioned an "Uncle Jim"

Offline Maiden Stone

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Born "Ireland" or "Britain" (from his son's immigration records to US in 1912)

Nationality "British" (from grandfather's marriage certificate 1912)

Son: Ernest Davis (b. Beechworth, VIC 1872)


 Ernest's father is listed as "John Robert Davis" from "Britain" or "Ireland" on all documentation we have. 


The whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom when John Davis and Ernest Davis were born so John Robert Davis was a British citizen.
Civil registration of births began too late in Ireland (1864) for the birth of John Robert Davis to have been registered. Civil registration of marriages, except those in Catholic churches, began 1845.
If John Robert Davis was born in Ireland prior to 1864 the only record made around the time of his birth would have been an entry in a baptism register. You need to know where in Ireland he was born & approximately when + his religious denomination before searching for his baptism. Existence of baptism registers varies. 

 Some Irish people moved to Britain to live & work before emigrating long-distance.

Davis is a common surname in Wales. There was a significant ethnically Welsh population in Ireland for centuries.
On the other hand, parents of John Robert Davis may have lived in Ireland temporarily. There was much traversing the Irish Sea, particularly between Wales & S.E. Ireland but also other parts of Britain from all Irish provinces. Miners, farm labourers, construction workers moved for work.
 There was a large British Army presence in Ireland in 19th century, including regiments from England, Scotland and Wales. Army chaplains' regimental births registers predate the start of civil registration of births but again, coverage is variable.       
Cowban

Offline kroberts236

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Thank you all for your responses.

I'm wondering if anyone can help with the half-brother Jim - we have a lot of info already about Ernest leaving Australia; what we don't have is information on his half-brother James or his father John Robert.

I put in 1800 as a potential birth date because I literally do not know much about John Robert Davis.
I don't know if he was a convict or emigrated under other circumstances.

What I specifically need is to find out how John Robert Davis got to Australia, and what his life was like while he was there.  He probably died there so there is record of that - thank you to the poster who found that. 

Thanks so much for all your responses.  I feel much more hopeful about filling in the missing links.

Offline kroberts236

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Slightly confused if John Robert Davis, Ireland (according to his son's marriage cert) arrived in Australia in 1800, that meant he must have been born c 1780 or earlier and he fathered a son in 1871?

I’m not sure when John Robert Davis arrived in Australia.  I don’t know why or how he got there either.


Offline Neale1961

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 21 June 22 00:08 BST (UK) »
I note that you believe that your Ernest Davis was in Queensland. I presume this is from the following electoral roll information.

1903 electoral roll for Geraldton - has Ernest Davis living at Edith St.
1908 electoral roll for Geraldton -  has Ernest Davis (Storekeeper) at Edith St.

[NOTE – Geraldton was the old name for the town of Innisfail.]

Why would Ernest go to Innisfail – quite a long way from Victoria? Was there a family connection through his mother?
It seems odd that Ernest did not know his mother’s name, but that he learned to speak Chinese from somewhere / someone.
I think there may have been a connection with Tom See Poy.
1903 electoral roll for Geraldton -  has Tom See Poy (Storekeeper) at Edith St. (same address as Ernest Davis)


TOM SEE POY also know as TAAM SZE PUI  (1853-1926) was a well-known Chinese store keeper in Innisfail, Qld.

More information about Tom See Poy …… on these links ..............
https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/see-poy-tom-8381

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/40200446

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/40533466

https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=602759

I have not read this , so I do not know if there is anything that might be of use to you.
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2496038194/view?partId=nla.obj-2496045017#page/n0/mode/1up
Milligan - Jardine – Glencross – Dinwoodie - Brown: (Dumfriesshire & Kirkcudbrightshire)
Clark – Faulds – Cuthbertson – Bryson – Wilson: (Ayrshire & Renfrewshire)
Neale – Cater – Kinder - Harrison: (Warwickshire & Queensland)
Roberts - Spry: (Cornwall, Middlesex & Queensland)
Munster: (Schleswig-Holstein & Queensland) and Plate: (Braunschweig, Neubruck & Queensland & New York)

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday 21 June 22 16:19 BST (UK) »

I put in 1800 as a potential birth date because I literally do not know much about John Robert Davis.
I don't know if he was a convict or emigrated under other circumstances.

What I specifically need is to find out how John Robert Davis got to Australia, and what his life was like while he was there.  He probably died there so there is record of that - thank you to the poster who found that. 


When did John Robert Davis die? What information is on the death record? What age was given for him at his death?  Age on a death record may have been estimated. Who was informant?
Cowban

Offline kroberts236

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 21 June 22 18:27 BST (UK) »
All we know about John Robert Davis is that he was my grandfather's (Ernest Davis) father - this is specified in Ernest's immigration records and on Ernest's marriage license.  We don't have a birth date or death date.

Ernest mentions in one of his immigration interviews that his father died when he "was very young".
Ernest was born in either 1870, 1872 or 1873 (various records show different birth years; it's possible that he himself didn't know since we don't know much about his early life.

In family discussions with my father and his brother, it was passed down that John Robert Davis owned a bar (or pub), that Ernest once worked in a slaughterhouse, that he worked in or owned a store and that he was part of a rifle club in Geraldton, QLD. 

I really appreciate your comments.  They are super helpful.

Offline kroberts236

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday 21 June 22 19:41 BST (UK) »
I note that you believe that your Ernest Davis was in Queensland. I presume this is from the following electoral roll information.

1903 electoral roll for Geraldton - has Ernest Davis living at Edith St.
1908 electoral roll for Geraldton -  has Ernest Davis (Storekeeper) at Edith St.

[NOTE – Geraldton was the old name for the town of Innisfail.]

Why would Ernest go to Innisfail – quite a long way from Victoria? Was there a family connection through his mother?
It seems odd that Ernest did not know his mother’s name, but that he learned to speak Chinese from somewhere / someone.
I think there may have been a connection with Tom See Poy.
1903 electoral roll for Geraldton -  has Tom See Poy (Storekeeper) at Edith St. (same address as Ernest Davis)


TOM SEE POY also know as TAAM SZE PUI  (1853-1926) was a well-known Chinese store keeper in Innisfail, Qld.

More information about Tom See Poy …… on these links ..............
https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/see-poy-tom-8381

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/40200446

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/40533466

https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=602759

I have not read this , so I do not know if there is anything that might be of use to you.
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2496038194/view?partId=nla.obj-2496045017#page/n0/mode/1up

Hi there,

Thank you so much!

We know a lot about Ernest and his immigrating to the US, since there is record of that.  He indeed lived in Innisfail, but it was known as Geraldton at the time.  He worked at a store owned by Tom See Poy and at some point he began learning various languages (Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and a couple of others).  He left Australia in ~ 1906-08 and went to China, where he met and married his wife.  One family member has speculated that he may have married a relative of Tom (Tam) See Poy as his wife's name was Tam Moy.  I don't know enough about the Chinese naming traditions to speculate on that.  I think at some point I will have to look for a Chinese-savvy genealogist to open that door. 

One thing that is curious is that there are some medals and paperwork from a Geraldton Rifle Club - he also mentions this in immigration interviews.  I can't find any record of it but I'm assuming that when Geraldton, QLD changed its name to Innisfail, QLD to avoid confusion with Geraldton, WA, the name of the club was changed. 

Thank you for your comment. 

Right now I'm going to focus on John Robert Davis because another person in the family is doing Ernest. 



Offline Neale1961

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 22 June 22 00:15 BST (UK) »
Re Ernest: There are numerous mentions of the Geraldton rifle club in the newspapers, but as you don’t mention any specific dates, I did not delve further.
The Innisfail local history society would probably be able to assist you further, with information about the club.

Re John R Davis: As you appear to have so little information, and wish to research him in isolation (without considering family connections that might provide leads), the best place to start would be the Beechworth Burke Museum  - Family History Research Service.

The death records mentioned earlier in this thread are available from here.
https://www.bdm.vic.gov.au/research-and-family-history/search-your-family-history
There was an inquest for the 1903 death - available on FamilySearch.


Also note there was an inquest held in Beechworth on 25 Feb 1871 regarding the death of a John Davis. He died on 23 Feb from “dysentery and brain disease”. See FamilySearch for this record.
Milligan - Jardine – Glencross – Dinwoodie - Brown: (Dumfriesshire & Kirkcudbrightshire)
Clark – Faulds – Cuthbertson – Bryson – Wilson: (Ayrshire & Renfrewshire)
Neale – Cater – Kinder - Harrison: (Warwickshire & Queensland)
Roberts - Spry: (Cornwall, Middlesex & Queensland)
Munster: (Schleswig-Holstein & Queensland) and Plate: (Braunschweig, Neubruck & Queensland & New York)