Author Topic: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s  (Read 1509 times)

Offline Neale1961

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #27 on: Wednesday 22 June 22 14:28 BST (UK) »

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.

Evidence of John Riggs:
  "I believe deceased has a family at ......" (I can't read name of place.)

Evidence of William Mathias? or Mathews?
  "Deceased John Davis was admitted from the Beechworth Hospital November 17th(?) 1870 suffering from
   mania."
  "Deceased was aged about 50 years, native of Ireland. I believe he came from B......."
  (I can't read place.)
John Riggs says he has a family residing at TARRAWINGEE.

William WATKINS says I believe he came from BRIGHT
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)

Offline Neale1961

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #28 on: Wednesday 22 June 22 23:22 BST (UK) »
Ernest's mother's birthplace Ireland is new information.

On the marriage record, Ernest says his mother was Portuguese-Chinese. Going by a photo of Ernest on a public tree on ancestry, he has some Asian heritage. So the mother may have been from Macau. But it seems he did not know her name, and to me that suggests he did not grow up with his mother. He was possibly illegitimate, and therefore his birth not registered, or registered under a different name.
Who raised him as a child? When did he move to QLD? All questions for which I have not been able to find answers, but would suggest these as further lines of research for kroberts236.
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)

Offline katorama

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #29 on: Thursday 23 June 22 00:23 BST (UK) »


I can see that you have a reliable source for Australia as birthplace for Ernest DAVIS.

Where do you see Victoria....... and Beechworth, Victoria, as his birthplace?

Ernest's place of birth was passed down through the family; it also appears on immigration records in the interview.  I can't find a birth certificate though. 

Offline katorama

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #30 on: Thursday 23 June 22 00:28 BST (UK) »

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.

Evidence of John Riggs:
  "I believe deceased has a family at ......" (I can't read name of place.)

Evidence of William Mathias? or Mathews?
  "Deceased John Davis was admitted from the Beechworth Hospital November 17th(?) 1870 suffering from
   mania."
  "Deceased was aged about 50 years, native of Ireland. I believe he came from B......."
  (I can't read place.)
John Riggs says he has a family residing at TARRAWINGEE.

William WATKINS says I believe he came from BRIGHT

Yes!  I read that last night on FamilySearch and it looks as if he came from Bright, County Down.
There is a John Davis, born in 1821 who is from there; it looks as if he emigrated to New York at age 18.  Not sure this is him but it's something.  Now I just have to figure out how he got to Australia.


Offline katorama

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #31 on: Thursday 23 June 22 00:43 BST (UK) »
Ernest's mother's birthplace Ireland is new information.

On the marriage record, Ernest says his mother was Portuguese-Chinese. Going by a photo of Ernest on a public tree on ancestry, he has some Asian heritage. So the mother may have been from Macau. But it seems he did not know her name, and to me that suggests he did not grow up with his mother. He was possibly illegitimate, and therefore his birth not registered, or registered under a different name.
Who raised him as a child? When did he move to QLD? All questions for which I have not been able to find answers, but would suggest these as further lines of research for kroberts236.

I have several pictures of Ernest and as you have said, he has Asian heritage but it does not look as if he was 100% Chinese.  He may have been abandoned by his mother or turned over to an orphanage as we really know nothing about her at all.  Nobody in the family even knows her name.
There may be an Ernest Davis in an orphanage record; he also spoke several languages so it's obvious he had a good education.  We've even found a few random arrest records for an Ernest Davis around the Melbourne area.

At one point he apparently worked for a company that was based in Melbourne that shipped bananas from Queensland - there was an address used by him that was an apartment there and a next-of-kin/character reference of some sort who was a man from that company.  These came from one of the steamship records from when Ernest left Australia. 

In terms of John Robert Davis, it appears that the John Davis who died at the Beechworth Asylum is the closest match in terms of some of the information from the immigration interviews; Ernest tells the interviewer that his father "died when he was very young", the town Beechworth appears to be central to all of this and the man who died was from Ireland, which is listed as the place of birth of John Robert.  There is also a John Davis born in County Down near Bright who was born in the right period (1820-1821) who emigrated to the US from Ireland. 

Offline Neale1961

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #32 on: Thursday 23 June 22 07:28 BST (UK) »
Are you aware that there is a Bright in Victoria, quite near to Beechworth?

As we do not have access to the information on the "immigration interviews" it is not possible to know if there are leads there that could be followed, or assist further. It seems you have quite a lot more information than you have posted.

Katorama, are you the same person who started this thread - kroberts236?
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)

Offline Neale1961

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Re: HELP!! me find great-grandfather John Robert Davis-emigrated to Australia 1800s
« Reply #33 on: Thursday 23 June 22 11:01 BST (UK) »
Regarding the John Davis who died in 1871 Beechworth hospital (inquest of Februray 1871 posted in my reply #17)
See the grave marker
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/240696237/john-davis

This John DAVIS was (I think) from county Clare in Ireland.
He was married to Johanna (nee HOGAN) b.1809; d.1897.

He arrived as an unassisted passenger onboard the ship ”CORONA” in Melbourne in Jan 1869 with his wife the younger 2 of his 4 children: John b.1841, Bridget b.1848, James b.1853 and Denis b.1856
https://prov.vic.gov.au/archive/3B37889D-F96C-11E9-AE98-A130153E6654?image=182
(Note name is spelled DAVIES, and James and Denis are adults and therefore listed separately). Older children may have arrived separately - I didn't search for them.

Is this the father of Ernest Davis? I am somewhat doubtful. If so, then Ernest must have been the result of an affair with a younger Asian woman.
Ernest may even have been raised by one of John’s children, who would have been old enough to do so.
If you think this is a possibility then I would obtain John Davis’ 1871 death certificate which may give you the names of his surviving children, and see if you get any confirmation.

Record information
Event: deaths
Registration number 392 / 1871
Family name: DAVIS
Given name(s) John
Personal detail
Spouse at Death : Johannah HOGAN
Mother's name Johannah STENCHEN
Father's Name: John
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)

Offline katorama

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Are you aware that there is a Bright in Victoria, quite near to Beechworth?

As we do not have access to the information on the "immigration interviews" it is not possible to know if there are leads there that could be followed, or assist further. It seems you have quite a lot more information than you have posted.

Katorama, are you the same person who started this thread - kroberts236?

Yes - I changed the username.

Offline katorama

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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?

The only thing we know about John Robert's death is from my grandfather's (John Robert's son Ernest) immigration interview at Angel Island in San Francisco.  He states that his father died "when I was very young".