My 2 x great-grandfather is a bit of a mystery and a brick wall.
The family legend has it that he was born in Germany, married in England, had 3 children, his wife died and he migrated to Queensland around 1875.
In 1876 he married my 2 x great grandmother, Sarah Curry, and lived happily ever after. But…………. I have not been able to trace him by his German name as I believe the way it is spelt is the interpretation of his accent. So my search goes on.
Oh! He was naturalised in December 1876 and changed his name from Matuist to Mathews/Matthews. Or is it Matuist?
I just purchased a marriage certificate from the QLD BDM online site. I had a choice of purchasing
1. Historical Marriage Source Image or
2. Marriage Image.
What’s the difference?
No. 1. is the document completed at the place and time of the marriage.
No. 2 is the Information supplied by No. 1 to the registry for the Marriage certificate documentation.
I also discovered why the bridegroom did not state his mother’s name. In pencil, at the bottom of the Historical Marriage Source Image was written: “Bridegroom has no recollection of his mother, she having died while he was an infant.”
Well, that’s new information to add to the records.
I now have 3 different copies of the above marriage certificate.
The first one was purchased from QLD BDM back in 1978 which is a typed certificate from information retrieved from the register.
The next one was purchased from QLD BDM in 2003. This one was a scanned copy of the register. In the margin, it states the bridegroom changed his name 11 months after his marriage.
We know William married Sarah Curry in 1876 at Bowen Terrace, Brisbane on 14 January 1876. Their first child, Edward – my 2 x great grandfather, was born 30 November 1876. On 22 December, William filed for his naturalisation. This is when he could legally change his name as per his marriage information.
My next question is ‘why did he change his name and become naturalised?’ So, I looked at the newspapers for 1875 to see what was happening in the world.
It seems that Germany was preparing for war and was conscripting Germans men between the age of 18 to 40 years old. At this time, William was 38 years old and of German heritage. Perhaps he felt threatened! Perhaps he thought he may have been deported.
In 2013 I purchased a book from a family history society operating in the area where my forebears originally settled when they arrived in Australia. There were at least three William Apps’ living in the Camden area. As I had prior knowledge of two of these Williams’, I noticed some errors. I made a trip to the area and was fortunate enough to speak to one of the authors of the book and mentioned the error. Unfortunately, the co author was not very interested.
My next step was the ensure this error was not continued down the line so I decided to document my findings and send it to the Secretary of the family history society so they could at least have this information in their files for future research.
My findings below:- Note: it will be easier to read this information in conjunction with the dropdown chart below.
Correction to entries on page 17 ‘They Worked At Camden Park’ produced by Camden Historical Society.
APPS, William.  b Brooklands, Kent, England c. 1812; arr free “Washington Irving” 05/08/1857 Labourer, farmer; d Menangle 24/01/1886 bur St John’s C/E Camden. Wife: Maria (Blundell nee Brooker). as per page 17 (should be: arrived 1839 “Cornwall”)
According to the shipping records for vessel “Washington Irving” arriving Sydney in 1857, William APPS  was 21 years old (b1836) and had an Uncle William Apps  in Camden. [NSWSA Reel 2138 4/4794; Reel 2476 4/4972]
The above William APPS  married 26 July 1855 in York Street Chapel, Sydney. [V1855 11 124]
The above *William APPS  is the Uncle referred to by William Apps , Shepherd, onboard “Washington Irving” 1857.
Both William  and Maria/Mary APPS are buried in St John’s Cemetery, Camden – Grave A127 – the same grave as William APPS  1822-1870. In Grave A126 Thomas BLUNDELL – Maria’s,first husband is buried.
The above William APPS  is more than likely the APPS Snr. in the 1875 Electoral Roll with a lease at Razorback and his nephew/step son in law morelikely to be William APPS  Jnr.
APPS William (Jnr.) b Camden 28/09/1856; Known 1875 Electoral Roll lease Upper Camden; Lease 1800s, 112 acres 83 cleared, £30 yearly; d Botany 22/06/1908; Wife: Annie (CHANNELL). This is the son of William Apps .
William APPS (1856-1908) Son of William Apps would not have attained the age of 21 years to be eligible to vote in 1875. He married Annie CHANNELL 10 March 1883 [NSW BDM 4090/1883] and moved to Sydney.
All their children were born in Sydney between 1883-1897. Therefore, I do not think he would have held a lease in Camden in 1880s.
APPS, William (Snr.)
b Horsmonden, Kent, England 08/01/1822; arrived free “Royal George” 10/3/1839; Stock Keeper, known 1851-1852; Lease 80.5 acres Razorback 1860; Known 1875 Electoral Roll lease Great South Road near Razorback; Butcher; d Menangle 25/11/1870 bur St. John’s C/E Camden;; Wife; Mary (DAVIS); Children: Jane, Mary, William.
(Note: This is more likely to be William Apps  nephew/step son-in law of William Apps .)
Compiled by Maggie Hope – May 2020 p.1
William APPS  married Mary DAVIS in 1847 [NSW BDM V1847 573 32C] at Camden, died November 1870 [NSW BDM 3171/1870] at Menangle and his probate was proved in December 1873. Therefore, he would not be known as the above in the 1875 Electoral Roll.
His death certificate states that William APPS (1822-1870) occupation was a Butcher. Cause of death: From a fit to which he was subject as per report after inquest held at Menangle on the 25th November 1870.
His children as per his death certificate: David b 1849, Jane b 1851, Mary b 1853, William b 1856, Elizabeth b 1859, Ann born 1861- living. John born 1848 died 1856.
William  is buried a St John’s Cemetery, Camden in Grave A127. The same grave that William and Maria/Mary APPS are buried.APPS, William  b 1836 Brooklands, Kent, England arrived “Washington Irving” 1857 [NSWSA Reel 2138 4/4794; Reel 2476 4/4972] parents Thomas & Ann, stated he had an Uncle William living at Camden. His Uncle was William APPS  (1812-1886).
• In 1859 at Camden William APPS (1836-1912) married Emily Jane BLUNDELL (1839-1911). Emily is the daughter of Maria/Mary nee BROOKER and Thomas BLUNDELL (1805-1853). After Thomas’ death Maria/Mary married William APPS (1812- 1886); i.e., Emily Jane’s Stepfather.
Additional information on William APPS’ found on Camden CD.
APPS, William Thomas. Son of William APPS (1836-1912) and Emily Jane BLUNDELL (1839-1911). He was born at Cawdor 9 March 1862 and died at Razorback in 14 June 1929. William Thomas APPS  married Evangeline Jane DOMINISH (1862-1951) in December 1891 at Cawdor.
• The above is likely to be William APPS Jnr., who is referred to as having the lease in Upper Campen and is noted in the 1875 Electoral Roll.
Son of William APPS & Philadelphia FOOTS born 8 July 1835 Brede Sussex, England. He died 1911 at Young. He arrived in Sydney with his parents and siblings 26 October 1839 onboard “Florist”. He married Julia BUTCHERS (1841-1913) April 1841 at Narellan. They had a child William Charles APPS born 1860 at “Gledswood” Camden. By 1864 they had moved to Goulburn then onto Young.
Compiled by Maggie Hope – May 2020 p.2
Below is a drop down-chart I have compiled defining the William Apps’ I have researched:-