Ancestry.com.au‘s motto “you don’t have to know what you’re looking for, you just have to look” is an incredibly appropriate one. Half the time I never actually know what I’m looking for, I’m more or less searching randomly in the hope of finding the next clue. That’s how I found the following articles:
Just to give you an idea, this is how Mrs Emily Theakston fits in my family tree. Mary Elizabeth Theakston is my Great Grandmother and Emily is my Great x 3 Grandmother. Her maiden name (according to the South Australian marriage register) is Freeman.
In both, Mrs Emily Theakston is mentioned along with the name Solly. In the first, it is a Miss Emily Solly and she is described as Mrs Theakston’s sister. In the second it’s Miss Clare Solly and she’s described as Mrs Theakston’s niece. Despite the incorrect spelling in the first article, all the details in both match with the details I’ve already discovered.
There are two main ways in which someone can be a sister or a niece: a) through marriage or b) through one’s own family. I can disregard the first option fairly easily. None of Hugh James Theakston’s sisters married a Solly and from what I can tell, no one else besides Hugh immigrated to Australia. Further, if the sister was Hugh’s, why would she be called Miss? Her maiden name would’ve been Theakston and she would’ve married a Solly, making her a Mrs.
The Sollys being a part of Emily’s family makes a little more sense. I don’t have a lot of information about Emily’s parents so it’s entirely possible that they were related. Still, I have several questions. Why was her surname listed as Freeman in the marriage register? Did she change her name? Was it incorrectly transcribed? Also, if they were family, why would there be two Emilys in the one household?
There is of course another possibility. Emily Theakston could’ve been the half sister or adopted sister of the Sollys. Without more information however, this is only a theory.
Until I find that additional information the mystery of Emily Theakston and the Sollys will continue to be just that, a mystery. Despite constantly looking at the articles in the hope that the answer will jump out of the screen, I know that (unfortunately) it won’t. Therefore, I have several options before me:
Check the South Australian registers for details of the Solly family and double check the Theakston details.
Order Hugh James Theakton and Emily’s marriage certificate in the hope there are more details of Emily’s parents.
Order Edith Alice Maud Theakston’s birth certificate to double check Emily’s surname.
Contact an Ancestry.com.au member who has Clare Solly listed in her family tree.
I’m not sure how successful the above options will be but nevertheless I remain hopeful that I’ll have some luck solving the mystery. My fingers are crossed anyway!
- 1882 ‘PORT ADELAIDE : SATURDAY, APRIL 8.’, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839-1900), 10 April, p. 7, viewed 6 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47111497
- 1921 ‘PERTH PRATTLE PARS.’, Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902-1954), 6 November, p. 22, viewed 6 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57979025