Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Grandma Fibbins

In yesterday's post I mentioned that the daughters of Jane Clifton and Frederick Charles Brown were were raised by their father's relatives on his maternal side, including someone known as 'Grandma Fibbins.'

I'm not sure exactly who Grandma Fibbins is. Well, I know what she looks like. This is Gran Fibbins and Ethel Brown/Clifton.


And this is Gran Fibbins and Dorothy May Brown/Clifton.


But who exactly is Gran Fibbins?

Frederick Charles Brown (b. 1861 d. 1936) was the son of John Brown (b. c1814 d. 1881) and Mary Ann Fibbins (b. c1835 d. 1901). The daughters depicted in these photos were born in 1890 and 1897 respectively. So Gran Fibbins is not Mary Ann, likewise Mary Ann's mother Sarah Ann Watkins (b. c1814 d. 1890) is ruled out.

A postcard sent to Ethel from her sister Lola (b. 1893) shows that Ethel at least was living with David Fibbins, either her great uncle or his son. (Lola is marked with the x)



If only we could make out a date on the postcard, my best guess from the clothing is somewhere before 1910. So perhaps Gran Fibbins is David Fibbins' (b. 1844 d. 1927) is second wife Ellen Gloucester Bell (b. 1871 d. 1945)?  Maybe I will get lucky and someone will recognise her!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Trove Tuesday: "They weren't married, you know"

I've mentioned before what a great resource Trove is for fleshing out those little anecdotes my family is so fond of dropping into random conversation. The not married couple in this case was my paternal grandmother's grandparents Jane Clifton and Frederick Charles Brown.

Now it was Nana who told me they weren't married but she didn't know the whole story - and it's a good'un.

Frederick Brown and Jane Clifton never married because Frederick Brown was already married to Jane Hollege. A rather shotgun affair in 1878, which resulted in 4 children and desertion within the next 5 years. The divorce takes just a little longer.

"47 YEARS." Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931) 26 Mar 1930: 10. Web. 22 Sep 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article125975218>.

Jane Clifton meanwhile had had two children (father unknown - son registered to her parents as she was only 15, daughter born 3 years later died the same year) prior to her taking up with Frederick Brown. Five daughters would follow.

Jane dies in 1900 and from what I can gather, although the girls were aware of who their father was and had some sort of relationship with him - more than that of their older half-siblings - they were raised it seems by relations of their father, his maternal Uncle David Fibbins and whoever the elusive 'Grandmother Fibbins' is.

Friday, 18 September 2015

More DNA Mapping

After I got my AncestryDNA results my mother was so excited that she ordered her kit straight away.

Well her results are in and SURPRISE I wasn't switched at birth (no chance of that really with how much we look like each other but it does ruin my dreams of being a fairy princess) and her DNA mapping is really interesting. It makes me want to bail up my grandpa and make him spit into a tube, so without further ado - AncestryDNA:


 FamilyTreeDNA:


I really do want to know more about my grandfather's side of the family now other than a vague mention of his mother having Romany heritage.