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.