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:-
Charles PARKER was the fourth son and seventh child to Thomas PARKER and Jane WILLIAMS. He is my grandmother’s brother, my great uncle. I never met Charlies. Actually, I didn’t even know of him until I began my family research. As usual, I wanted to find out as much information I could on my maternal grandmother’s family. They were so interesting and every turn I made I seemed to unearth another story of another ancestor. In 2019 I received my Diploma of Family History from University of Tasmania. During the Writing Family History unit I had to write a story about an ancestor. I chose Charley because I had recently found information about his death. He married, but did not have any children. Therefore, Charley may not be known by any living person today. Charlie needs recognition, so here is the story I wrote about Charles Gordon PARKER born 11 June 1900 at Carcoar, NSW, married Mary Veronica DOHERTY on 15 December 1920 at the NSW Registry Office in Sydney. Sadly, his wife died 15 October 1938 at Kogarah Hospital, Sydney and Charlie died forty four days later on 28 November 1938. He Couldn’t See the Forest for the Trees! By Margaret Hope 2018 As Charley shoulders hunched and his head slumped, he began sobbing as he watched his wife slowly succumb to a lifeless existence. He wanted to hold her hand forever. How could he live without her? He didn’t know how long he had been by her side when a nurse came and took his wife’s cold hand from his grip when he heard a soft, compassionate voice say “Mr Parker, I am so sorry, but we have to take her now. Can I get you a cup of tea?” He bent down to kiss his wife on the forehead, stroked her blonde hair, knowing that this would be his final touch, he sobbed uncontrollably. The nurse gently took his elbow and ushered him into another room. He doesn’t remember how long he was alone, but his thoughts were interrupted when the nurse returned with a cup of tea. “I don’t know what to do now! My life will be so empty without her; it was just us, no babies, just us. What do I do now?” “Go home and rest Mr Parker, and in the morning, you need to go and see the Undertaker and organise her funeral” replied the nurse. As he sauntered through the hospital corridors, his mind filled with memories of how they lived for one another, how they snuggled like a pair of spoons in bed at night. How they consulted one another about every plan. Their life was a duet! What was he going to do? Sleep evaded him as he tossed and turned, wondering where he was going to find the money to bury his beloved Vonnie! They lived from week to week, and he hadn’t been to work for a fortnight as he didn’t want to leave Vonnie’s bedside while she fought incidious cancer in her cervix. He must have eventually slept. He was dreaming that Vonnie was knocking at the front door when his sleep was interrupted. He threw the sheets from his body as he leapt out of bed yelling, “Alright, alright, I’m coming!” As he opened the door, he saw his landlord standing there. “I’m here to collect the rent Charley, you’re two weeks behind, and I can’t let it go any longer. You’ll have to find another place, I’m afraid”. “Please, just give me a couple of more days. Vonnie passed away yesterday, and I have to organise her funeral today. I’ll have a cheque for you next week”. The landlord’s head dropped as he gave Charley his condolences but told him he would be back next week to pick up the rent money.
Closing the door, he walked back into the bedroom as he scratched his head. He was in such a dilemma as to how he was going to get out of this financial mess. Where could he get the money for the funeral, let alone the rent? He found the chequebook and although he knew the bank balance was almost nil, he decided to write a cheque for the funeral and worry about where the cash would come from after he buried his wife. Vonnie’s funeral was just a blur, the sickly scent of flowers made him feel ill. It was an occasion when Charley just wanted to curl up like a baby and sleep forever. He was lost and couldn’t think logically. Two weeks after the landlord was rapping on the front door once again. Charley gave him a cheque for rent owed but said he didn’t have any more money to pay rent in advance. The landlord told him to find other accommodation and gave him five days to get out! The following day Charley answered a rap on the door. There stood the Undertaker. “The bank dishonoured your cheque, Charley. You’ll need to find cash to finalise the account.” He broke down and told the Undertaker that he didn’t have the money. He said, “I don’t have a job I don’t have a wife, and I don’t have any money”. The Undertaker replied “Life goes on Charlie. You must honour your debts, I’ll see you in court”. A few days later, the Sherriff arrived at his door with a summons to appear before the Court. The Undertaker wanted his money! Charley just wanted to run away in the hope that he may escape this horrible life. He couldn’t see his way out. He had no money, no food. Life was not worth living! On Monday 28th November 1938, the day before he was due in court, it was raining, and the southerly wind was blowing when Charley boarded the train late in the afternoon at Sutherland railway station. He watched the rain beating on the window, getting harder and harder as the train gathered speed. His destination was unknown. His body was numb, his heart was broken, and he was hoping this train may lead him out of his black hole. The next day, the evening paper announced that when the official at Kogarah Court called Charley’s name, a Detective informed the Magistrate he had been killed at Central Railway Station when he fell under a train. The court papers were marked ‘defendant deceased’. Charley left a suicide note in the band of his hat saying that he could not go on. He loved his wife and their people, and he knew they loved him, he left whatever money he had to his brother, Arthur. The last words he wrote were ‘don’t forget me’!
Note: His wife had an older sister named Eliza. I have no idea who Ron was. Another article published in Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 – 1954), Sunday 11 December 1938, page 15
LEFT MESSAGE IN HIS HAT Suicide Worried Over Money LEAVING a farewell message in the band of his hat, Charles Gordon Parker, 38, laborer, committed suicide by diving in front of a train on November 28 last. He was almost decapitated. The City Coroner. Mr. E. T. Oram, was told that Parker had been worried over money matters, and was to have appeared at Kogarah Court on the day following his death to answer a charge of forgery. Parker’s last message read: ‘I want to say goodbye to all. Tell them I never touched that, book. Goodbye. Eliza. I love you. I loved all her people and I know they loved me, I can-not go on. Give Arthur all my money Arthur, get drunk on the day. son. don’t forget me.— Charley Parker.’ May you rest in peace Charley Parker along with your beloved Vonnie.
After reading this story, I hope you won’t forget Charley. 💞
Whilst standing at the sink washing the dishes memories flood back as I pick up the jug and immerse it into the suds. It’s just a microwave jug with fluid measurements along the inside wall. I turn it upside down to investigate the creator of this vessel. There is no brand name, place of creation or anything else identifying the vessel. It is just a jug!
Whilst holding this jug my mind is taken back to several years ago when my father lived on the hill in Warwick. In my mind, I can see the pantry door open and Dad getting out the Deb Instant Mashed Potato packet and placing the contents in the jug with some water, placing it in the microwave, closing the door and pressing the buttons for the desired time to cook. Beep, beep, beep, beep!
Oh, how he loved his Deb! “The best thing since sliced bread,” he told me so often.
He enjoyed cooking and he loved a quick and easy recipe. His fruit cake made with just a few ingredients including chocolate milk was one of his favourites. He also had a treasured signed book from the 4 Ingredients authors that he used on several occasions too. Yes, that one I have also.
I remember when Dad went into care my sister and I had the job of clearing out Dad’s house which was opposite the racetrack at Warwick and when I opened the bottom cupboard and saw the jug, I put my hand on it and said to my sister, “ I want that jug!”
It’s just a 1.3-litre microwave jug but it was something my father used often. It was an object he favoured. I had to have it! It doesn’t sit on a shelf as a monument to my father. It lives in the bottom cupboard with the mixing bowls and gets used often. Every time it is used it creates memories of Dad and Deb!
When a loved one is no longer with you it is comforting to have an object that they used to create those good-time memories that allow you to become reminiscent of that person’s being.
Do you have a valueless piece of something that belonged to a loved one that is treasured?
Recently I was asked a qestion by my Aunty, about her grandmother, Rosina, as we called her.
This prompted me to dig a little deeper and document my findings for prosterity. Although I knew quite a bit about her, through research and information handed down by our past family historian Aunty Jan and other tid bits I had discovered but not really documented. So, the question asked pushed me to the keyboard!
Below you will find:
Documentation detailing my research.
A copy of Deeds to Lot 31 Government Road, Mascot – the property Rosenia Maude Matthews purchased in 1912 and details of her mortgage.
Rosenia’s Last Will & Testament dated three months prior her demise.
Rosenia and Edward’s Family Portrait taken in 1926.
Newspaper article published in Milton Ulladulla – The Times, Wednesday December 9, 2009.
Written and compiled by M. Hope 2022 and research assistance from Jan Byrne 1939-2011
This post won’t be for everyone. It is a post that I feel I need to write about because we have so many William APPS’ in Camden, New South Wales area, they are being very much confused and recorded in the wrong families. .
To make my post seem more comprehensible I shall introduce each William chronologically, number them respectively and then put them into the family tree. At the end of this post I have inserted a Family History Dropdown Chart of six generations beginning 1726.
If anyone requires further information or source detail, please contact me through this post.
1. WILLIAM APPS 1756 – ? Parents: Richard APPS & Susanna MUNNS
William APPS and Thomas APPS were sons of Richard APPS and Susanna MUNNS. William was born in 1756 in England and he married Mary COLLISON in 1780 at Marsden, Kent. They had a son John APPS who was born in 1798 in Horsemonden, Kent. John is my paternal GGGG Grandfather. John migrated to Australia, with his wife and six boys, in 1839 onboard “Royal George” as Bounty Immigrants. The family worked on Macarthur’s Farm at Camden and McLeay’s property, Brownlow Hill and later at John Peter’s property, Yarrabee, at Wagga Wagga.
2. WILLIAM APPS 1782 – 1851 Parents: Thomas APPS & Jane CONSTABLE
Thomas APPS (above ), son of Richard & Susanna APPS, married Jane CONSTABLE and they had a son William APPS born in 1782. He married Susannah CLAPSON. Therefore, William (1) is the uncle to William (2)..
3. WILLIAM APPS 1812 – 1886 Parents: William APPS & Susannah CLAPSON.
William (3) was born in 1812 in Kent England migrated to Australia onboard “Cornwall” in 1839 as a Bounty Immigrant. He worked for Mr John Blaxland (brother of the explorer, Gregory), as a labourer at Newington Estate. When John Blaxland died in 1851 it appears William went to Camden, where he knew relatives resided. Here he married widow Mary BLUNDELL in 1855. Her husband, Thomas BLUNDELL died in 1853. Both William and Mary are buried in St John’s Churchyard Cemetery, Camden in the same grave as William APPS (4) in Grave No A127. Mary’s Husband, Thomas BLUNDELL is buried in Grave No A126. William (3) also had a brother Thomas born in 1808. He married Ann FERRIS and they had a son in 1836 named……. William (5). More on him later.
4. WILLIAM APPS 1822 – 1870 Parents: John APPS & Ann HUMPHREY
William (4) was born in Kent, England. He migrated to Australia with his parents onboard “Royal George”. He married Mary DAVIS. His death certificate states he was a butcher when he died from a fit in 1870 at Menangle. He is buried at St John’s Churchyard Cemetery, Camden, in an unmarked grave (Grave A127) with his son John, who died aged nine in 1856. William (4) is the grandson of William (1). William 3 & 4 are second cousins.
5. WILLIAM APPS 1836 – 1912 Parents: Thomas APPS & Ann FERRIS
William (5) was born in Kent, England. He migrated to Australia onboard “Washington Irving” in 1857. He stated he was a Shepherd and he had an Uncle living in Camden. This Uncle was William (3). William (5) married Emily Jane BLUNDELL at Camden Park in 1859. Emily was the child of Mary BROOKER & Thomas BLUNDELL. William APPS (3) was her stepfather. I guess William and Emily were first cousins by marriage but not blood. William and Emily had a son born at Cawdor, New South Wales in 1862 and they named him William (6)
6. WILLIAM Thomas APPS 1862 – 1951 Parents: William APPS & Emily Jane BLUNDELL
John APPS and Ann Humphreys brought their family of six boys to Australia for a better life. I don’t know the exact details as to why, but looking at the history of the 1830s it was not a good time in England due to ‘Industrialisation’ and land owners fencing property. The ordinary agricultural labourer found it very difficult to eke out a living. .
Before enclosure the cottager was a labourer with land, after enclosure he was a labourer without land…..families that had lived for centuries in their dales or on their small farms and commons were driven before the torrent.
The Village Labourer, 1911; J L & Barbara Hammond
Life in England during the 1830s was publicised in writings such as “Oliver Twist” written by Charles Dickens……….”You want more?????
This came about due to the erosion of capital caused by U. K.’s involvement in the American War of Independence ending in 1783 and then the French Revolution and the War with France, 1793-1815, drained their resources further. Emigration was opposed to during these times due to the man power required for their defence. After these events unempolyment became high and ex-servicemen could not find work. The population rose, industrialisation increased, bad harvest and the corn laws were passed and the decline in English Southdown wool. . Hence, food prices rose, wages fell and families could not put food on the table or a roof over their heads. The Workhouses filled to capacity and Parish officials could no longer cope. Emigration was a means to an end and New South Wales was in desperate need of workers to develop the colony. The Apps family would have been great asset to Australia
Under the Bounty Scheme the settlers were permitted to recruit their own workers in the U.K. Most employed agents to do so. The Government also had an Agent-General in London after 1837, and Agents in other embarkation Ports.
Therefore, the settler who wanted workers paid the Emigrants’ passages.. On arrival these workers were examined by the Board appointed by the Government and, if the Board were satisfied, the settler would be issued with a Certificate entitling him to claim the Bounty money back from the Government.
Highlighted are the names of John APPS, wife, Stephen & Horace. They had an enclosed cabin as sleeping quarters. Their other sons, William, George, Daniel and James slept in hammocks that were removed each morning to accomodate for their dining arrangements.
On the opposite side of the page the names Charlotte & Mary DAVIS are noted accommodated in a cabin with Fuller girls. Their parents were a little way further on. Charlotte married into the Sheather family and Mary married young William APPS. They perhaps became attracted to one another on board the voyage, even though Mary was only ten years old and William being sixteen at the time of the voyage.
“In the English summer of 1838 Thomas Law Hodges, Lord to the Manor of Benenden in Kent, went down to Gravesend to see off the men and women from his neighbourhood who had entered the service of his friends the Macarthurs, and who were now going as bounty immigrants to New South Wales. This was the last of three English shiploads handpicked for Camden Park. Hodges spent two hours on board admiring all he saw, and especially the pains taken by Edward Macarthur to reassure, as he put it, ‘the hopes and courage of these landsmen and women.’ This was the Royal George. In her best cabin she carried James Macarthur and his bride Emily, the daughter of a London banker, who had been married in July, Between decks were 16 single men and 17 couples, most of them with children, and three more babies were born at sea. The ship reached Sydney in March 1839 and the people were then taken to Parramatta by steamer, where they were loaded on drays for the 65 kilometre ride to Camden.”
Atkinson, Alan Camden. Farm and village life in Early New South Wales , 2008, Melbourne, Australia. p.,176-181
So, here lies the beginning of our Apps family settling in Australia. I hope you enjoyed my research as much as I have enjoyed pursuing their history.
Some time ago I wrote about Toss. You can read it here: Lost on the Montevideo Maru. Just to reflect on Toss, he was a young boy of 18 years old when he arrived at Rabaul. Soon after his 19th birthday it is presumed he drowned after the Japanese prisoner of war ship was torpedoed, not far from Luzon in the Western Pacific Ocean, the largest island in the Phillipines.
Sunday 23 January 2022 is the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Rabaul, by the Japanese. Here is a story of the event from Barney Cain who survived the ordeal. Barney is now in his 100th year of life and tells the story of his survival. Veteran: Barney Cain
There are several books written on the attack on Rabaul.
The few I. have are:
Selby, David ,Hell and High Fever. Sydney, 1956
Aplin, Douglas, Rabaul 1942. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 1980. 1994
Reeson, Margaret, Whereabouts Unknown, Sutherland, NSW, Australia 1993
Reeson, Margaret, A Very Long War , Burwood, Victoria, Australia 2000
Townsend, Ian, Line of Fire, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 2017
Note from author: “Your life was short Toss, but I will ensure you are remembered. “
I want to write a story
About my precious dad.
He was a special kind of father
Who taught me good from bad.
Though only a decade we lived together
The morals and respect he taught me
Will last forever.
We lived our lives a distance apart
But our conversations were never too far.
He told me stories about his life
And he stood by me when I was in strife.
He was a stern man
As his father was before him
But he was also a gentle man.
Who loved to have a yarn with anyone who listened.
As I grow older I see the traits he has passed onto me
The gait, the smile, the manners that I will honour with glee.
For he has left behind so much good it will live on in some
And he will look on with pride of the legacy
Passed on for generations to come.
M. Hope 28 June 2020