Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

Basil Hurst and Maria Gardiner were both a part of the early pioneering families in the South West (see earlier post here) and both were children when they voyaged from England to Australia in the 1840s.  With the families growing together and experiencing the same hardships as well as happiness, it’s not surprising to find that many of the family members intermarried.  Basil and Maria are one such example.

Basil was born in 1828 in Leicestershire, England and was the son of Abraham and Anne Hurst.  In 1841 he was 13 years old and though most people would assume he’d be in school, at his age he was living and working as a servant on a farm.  It was also in that same year that his family decided to make a new life for themselves in Western Australia.  Basil and his family departed England on 18 December 1841 onboard the ship “Diadem” and arrived in Australind on 10 April 1842.

Maria Gardiner was born in 1831 in Cheltenham, England and was the daughter of Reuben and Ann Gardiner.  At 10 years of age, she was living with her family in Bisley and was listed as a scholar.  It would be another year before the Gardiner family would make their journey to Australia but they eventually sailed on the ship “Trusty” and arrived in Australind on 6 December 1842.

Basil and Maria married in 1853 in Wellington, Western Australia and were aged 25 and 22 respectively.  With the main reason for their immigration being to establish a farming community and coupled with their farming backgrounds, it was no surprise to find that the newly created Hurst Family became farmers in the South West.  Basil passed away on 2 May 1901 and Maria passed away on 17 October 1903.  They were both buried in the Bunbury Pioneer Cemetery where their headstone still remains.

Basil and Maria Hurst’s headstone located in the Bunbury Pioneer Cemetery.

During their lifetime, they had 10 children:

Abraham Hurst

Abraham Hurst in 1919.

Abraham Hurst (known as Abe) was born in 1854 in Bunbury, Western Australia.  Like his father, he worked as a farmer and had a farm in Argyle which is located between Donnybrook and Boyanup.  He never married and passed away on 9 October 1927 in Bunbury.

Thomas Hurst

Thomas was born in 1855 in Wellington, Western Australia.  He also took up farming as an occupation and lived in Collie River.  From what I can tell, it seems as though Thomas, like his brother, also never married.  Thomas passed away in 1915 in Wellington.

Alice Hurst

Alice was born in 1857 in Collie, Western Australia and at the age of 25, in 1882,  she married James Henry Ecclestone.  He was also a farmer and they lived together in Boyanup until Alice’s death on 27 January 1927.

Alice Ecclestone’s obituary.

John Hurst

John was born in 1859 in Collie but unfortunately did not live past infancy.  He passed away in 1860.

Update: 17 December 2010

Well, I guess you could say this post inspired me to look into things a little more deeply because as it turns out John Hurst (or otherwise known as Jack) actually survived past infancy.  As stated, he was born in 1859 in Collie, Western Australia.  He never married early in life, instead, he married May Fowler in 1917 at the age of 58.  He lived in the South West as a farmer and remained here until his death on 22 August 1928.

John Hurst’s Death Notice

In case you’re curious, it was the group photo which sparked off the doubt in my mind as to whether my John Hurst died in infancy.  With the photo being of Matilda surrounded by her Aunties and Uncles, it seemed a little strange that there was a random “Jack Hurst” in the picture.  It was then I hunted around and found the above article listing all of Jack’s brothers and sisters and subsequently discovered that he did not die in 1860 as I originally thought.

Anne Hurst

Anne was born in 1861 in Collie, Western Australia.  Since finding her birth registration, I have never had any luck with the details on the rest of her life.  I have not found a marriage registration nor a death registration and so far, Anne’s story has completely eluded me.

Update: 17 December 2010

This is another case where my curiosity fuelled some extra digging around.  As above, Anne was born in 1861 in Collie, Western Australia.  She married John Kirby in 1895 but unfortunately did not live long after her marriage.  She passed away at the age of 36 in 1897.

If you’re curious, with John’s death notice listing his sister “Annie” as deceased I thought perhaps there would be something under ‘Annie’ and not ‘Anne’ in BDM.  I was correct.  I conducted a search for persons named Annie who died and whose father’s name was Basil and found a record for an Annie Kirby.  Her father’s name was Basil and her mother’s name was Marion Gardiner (awfully close to Maria so it’s assumed to be a typo).  Finally, her age of death was 36 so when you substract her year of death (1897) from her age, you end up with her birth year (1861) which is the exact same year Anne Hurst was born.

Lucy Hurst

Lucy was born in 1863 in Collie, Western Australia and at the age of 23, married George Robert Payne.  His eventual death nine years later, in 1895, left Lucy a widow and  she remained so until 1898 when she married William John Charles Delaporte.  William and Lucy lived together in Capel until Lucy’s death in late 1939.

Lavinia Hurst

Lavinia (known as Bina) was born in 1865 in Collie, Western Australia and on 12 May 1886, at age 21, she married a farmer named Samuel Gibbs.  They lived in Ferguson River together for many years and even celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1936.  Lavinia passed away on 4 June 1936 in Stirling Hospital at the age of 71.

Lavinia Gibbs’s Death Notice

Matilda Maria Hurst

Matilda Maria Hurst (my Great Great Grandmother) was born in 1866 in Collie, Western Australia.  She married Thomas Crampton in 1887 in Picton and they had three children together.  The disappearance of her young son, Thomas Lisle Crampton in 1894 caused Matilda much heartache and according to my Aunty, she was never the same again.  Matilda died in Claremont on 17 August 1934.

Minnie Hurst

Minnie Hurst was born in 1870 in Collie, Western Australia and she married Joseph William Woodley in 1898 in Australind.  Joseph’s early death in 1905 left Minnie a widow and though she never remarried, she lived for many years in the South West in the towns of Yarloop and Rathmines.  Minnie passed away in 1934 in Wellington.

Mary Isobel Hurst

Mary Isobel Hurst was born in 1873 in Collie, Western Australia.  In 1899 in Australind, she married George Edward Withers.  George fought in WWI and sadly died in France from wounds.  Mary never married again and remained in Rathmine’s Estate, Bunbury as a widow for nearly 40 years.  She passed away on 4 September 1955 in Victoria Park and was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery.

Mary Isobel Withers’ headstone.

A lot of information is still fairly sketchy and remains a mystery but the answers will come in due time.  Though I’ve not found many individual photographs such as Abraham’s, I was fortunate to find a family photograph taken at Charles Victor Barratt and Matilda Maria Crampton’s wedding in 1919.  Matilda Crampton was the daughter of Matilda Maria Hurst.

Wedding photo of Charles Victor Barratt and Matilda Maria Crampton (centre).

From left to right – Mrs Lucy Delaporte (nee Hurst), Abraham Hurst, Mrs Alice Ecclestone (nee Hurst), Jessie Knight (bridesmaid), Mrs Mary Isobel Withers (nee Hurst), Mrs Daisy Adams with baby (nee Crampton), Charles Victor Barratt (sitting), Mrs Minnie Woodley (nee Hurst), Matilda Maria Crampton, Jack Hurst, Violet Barratt (bridesmaid), G. Woodley, Mrs Bina Gibbs (nee Hurst).


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