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Charles Gordon Parker

Charles Gordon PARKER

My maternal grandmothers brother.

11 June 1900- 28 November 1938


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’!

Maitland Daily Mercury Thursday 8 December 1938 p.10


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. 💞

Australia, Blogs, Convict, Family History, Tasmania, University

Research Plan

Assessment Task 4:  Research Plan.

Port Arthur
Rainbow over Port Arthur Mar 2018

Above Image: Port Arthur 2018

Introduction:

My great-great-great-uncle William PARKER (No. 1 on pedigree chart), was transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1835. The same year his father John, and brothers, Ambrose and John arrived in New South Wales as convicts. His brother Thomas, was also sentenced and transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841.  I have evidence that Ambrose and Thomas worked together, and are both buried at a property called ‘Jerula‘, in Cowra, New South Wales. His other brother, John, my great-great-grandfather, lived and died at Cowra and married at Carcoar, New South Wales. (Refer family group sheet).

 

Main Research Question:

What happened to William PARKER after his release?

  1. Did he reunite with his father and three siblings?
  2. Did he marry and have children?
  3. Where did he die?

 

Records and Resources I Have Used to Date:

  • I have found William PARKER’s convict records, and this tells me about his prison term and that he became a free man via Conditional Pardon on 20 September 1845[1].
  • I have my great-great grandfather’s convict records stating that he and his brother, Ambrose, and father John (the elder), stole eight pieces of cotton from a warehouse in Lancashire. John was sentenced seven years and his father and brother were both sentenced fourteen years. These documents also told me that William PARKER had been previously sentenced and transported to Van Diemen’s Land. I have evidence that John (the elder) arrived in New South Wales on 14 July 1835 onboard Mary Ann andJohn (the younger) and Ambrose arrived New South Wales on board John Barry on 21 September 1835, and evidence of all three receiving their ticket of leave[2].
  • Thomas Parker, a younger sibling of William PARKER, was also transported to Van Diemen’s Land. Thomas’ sentence was seven years and he arrived on board the Egyptian on 5August 1839. Records show he received his Ticket of Leave October 1843 and Certificate of Freedom in 1845. Thomas eventually made his way to New South Wales and found his brother Ambrose in Cowra, New South Wales. They were both shepherds on the same property in Cowra. I have evidence for Thomas and Ambrose being admitted to Cowra hospital in 1882 and 1884, respectively[3]

 

 

Repositories and Records that I Plan to Use:

  • Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office:

Explore the online Convict Portal to get a better understanding of records that may assist me further with William PARKER’s life after his release.

  • State Records New South Wales:

Read the following Archive in Brief sheets to assist my search for William PARKER and his brother Thomas, entering New South Wales. Peruse Electoral Rolls for the brothers living in the vicinity of one another. Refer the Colonial Secretary’s papers for any mention of either father or sons that may give me a lead.

AIB No. 1 – Shipping and Arrival Records.

AIB No. 24 – Shipping and arrival records – additional sources.

AIB No. 5 – Electoral Rolls

AIB No. 104 How to search the Colonial Secretary’s papers 1788-1900.

  • New South Wales Birth, Death, and Marriage online database.

Search for and purchase a death of William PARKER within the area of Cowra, New South Wales

  • National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper online portal

Search newspaper articles for William PARKER residing at Jerulai n the Cowra, New South Wales district.

 

Reflective Statement:

Whilst evaluating the records I have used to date I have found that I have been very untidy in recording repositories and sources. This has made my research unreliable. This research plan has made me realize I must be thorough whilst collecting information I must become more methodical whilst researching, by planning ahead and compiling family group sheets, pedigree charts, timelines and recording where to search prior to carrying out further investigations.

I must learn to concentrate on one person at a time to avoid surfing the repositories and resources and becoming waylaid with collateral relatives. Although, in stating this, there have been times when I have had to research collateral relatives to get the next piece of the puzzle to allow me to continue to the next generation.

My work has been verified by way of starting with myself and working backward and finding the original records to further confirm that the person is the correct piece that fits the puzzle. I have always used the principle of sourcing, at least, two primary records and various secondary records to verify the person in question is, in fact, the correct person.I have always confirmed family history research that has been passed on to me rather than accepting it as accurate work and I have always shared my research with others, to assist with their research and hoping that it will further preserve my family history.

Copying and pasting information into my family tree records have been a bad habit in the past. This is an important lesson that I have learned through doing this course. Although I have been aware of copyright, plagiarism was not part of my vocabulary. I was aware of repositories, referencing, footnotes, endnotes, but citing sources using the correct method has been a difficult learning curve. In saying that, I know it will become second nature with practice and will also be beneficial to my work.

All of these lessons I have learned over the past weeks will improve my research skills and prevent me wasting precious time going over the same information I have sourced in the past.

The most difficult question in this course was where to look for the answer to my problem when I feel I exhausted repositories. But, I have come to realize that I have lacked in reading directive information within the repositories. Instead, I have just jumped in and searched names.  I will now go back and explore the Tasmanian LINC online convict portal and the Archives in Brief sheets before I continue with my search of William PARKER’s life after release.

My intention is to now complete a timeline of all the brothers in the hope that I can establish gaps within my research which in turn will give me a favorable outcome.

 

References:

  • Cowra Family History Group Library, Cowra District Hospital 1881-1884 Register LIN. HOSP. 2794.02 Thomas Parker May1882 and Ambrose Parker April 1884.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 17 March 2016), John Parker, 19 July 1816, Burnley, Lancashire, England, reference; FHL microfilm 0093654, 0093664.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1910, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 17 March 2016), William Parker, 20 January 1820, Christening, St Peter’s, Burnley, Lancashire, England, volume, Lancashire Record Office, Preston; FHL microfilm 1,517,690.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1910, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 17 March 2016), Thomas Parker, 3 January 1825, Christening, St Peter’s, Burnley, Lancashire, England, volume, Lancashire Record Office, Preston; FHL microfilm 1,517,690.

  • Great Britain. Home Office, & State Library of Queensland. (1948). John Parker (the elder), one of 306 Convicts Transported on theMary Ann, 06 July 1835., Criminal: Convict transportation registers [HO 11].
  • Great Britain. Home Office, & State Library of Queensland. (1948). John Parker (the younger), one of 320 Convicts Transported on the John Barry, 07 September 1835., Criminal: Convict transportation registers [HO 11].
  • Great Britain. Home Office, & State Library of Queensland. (1948). Ambrose Parker, one of 320 Convicts Transported on the John Barry, 07 September 1835., Criminal: Convict transportation registers [HO11].
  • NLA Trove. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8754164 Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas; 1828-1857), Tuesday 31 October 1843, p4. Ticket of Leave Thomas Parker,
  • NSW Death Certificate 1886/8039 District of Cowra Thomas Parker.
  • NSW Death Certificate 1890/4663 District of Cowra Ambrose Parker.
  • Society of Australian Genealogist. New South Wales Government Gazette 1832 – 1863 Transcriptions. Ticket of Leave, 16 December 1839, John Parker, Mary Ann (4)at Inverary.
  • Society of Australian Genealogist. New South Wales Government Gazette 1832 – 1863 Transcriptions. Ticket of Leave, 25 February 1840, John Parker (the younger), John Barry at Carcoar.
  • Society of Australian Genealogist. New South Wales Government Gazette 1832 – 1863 Transcriptions. Ticket of Leave, 14 August 1843, Ambrose Parker, John Barry at Muswellbrook.

SRNSW: Convict Records; Ref, NRS 12202, [4/4135] Reel 935, No. 39/2300 Principal Superintendent of Convicts, Ticket of Leave butts, 1839 – 1840 Mary Ann 4, John Parker.

SRNSW: Convict Records, Ref, NRS 12202, [4/4171] Reel 947, No. 43/71 Principal Superintendent of Convicts, Ticket of Leave butts, 1842- 1843 – John Barry, Ambrose Parker.

TAHO, CON14/1/51 Indent William Parker No. 1160 Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON18/1/7 p476 Thomas Parker No. 1520 Egyptian 1839.

TAHO, CON27/1/2 p15 Appropriation List William Parker No. 1160 Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON31/1/35 p 213 Convict Conduct Record William Parker Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON18/1/4 p115 Description List William Parker No. 1160 Aurora1835.

TAHO, CON31/1/36 p74 Conduct Record Thomas Parker No. 1520 Egyptian 1839.

TAHO, CON14/1/48 p23 Indent Record Thomas Parker No. 1520 Egyptian1839.

 

 

Appendix:

  1. a pedigree chart.
  2. a completed family group chart for the individual identified in the question.

 

 

NOTE: In March 2018 my sister and I visited Port Arthur.  We discovered that William was an inmate at the Children’s Prison, Point Puer.  I have submitted a request to have William’s records transcribed and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.

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