Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Story Carved in Stone

Gravestone of Anna Judd (1821-1855)
at St Giles in the Wood, Devon, England
When I upload photographs of gravestones to my website, I always like to include some biographical information. Usually the information is limited to baptisms, marriages and burials, but sometimes more interesting details come to light.

Anna Nethaway, the daughter of Ezekiel Nethaway (1793-1861) and Mary Cole (1793-1845), was baptised at Langtree, Devon on 20 May 1821. In November of 1853, she married Thomas Judd (1821-1904), of Higher Healand in nearby St Giles in the Wood. Regrettably, Anna died fourteen months later, the day after the birth of her son Peter Ezekiel Judd. She was buried at St Giles in the Wood.

Thomas Judd (1821-1904)
Her husband, Thomas, was the eleventh child of yeoman farmer Peter Judd (1781-1868) and his wife Patience Sussex (1785-1839). Thomas's marriage to Anne was one of three connections between the two families. His older sister Ann (1816-1897) had married Henry Ezekial Nethaway (1815-1898), while his brother Frederick had married Christiana Nethaway (1829-1922).

In 1856, Thomas remarried. His second wife was Anne's 18-year-old sister Caroline Nethaway (1838-1925). The following year they emigrated to Australia aboard the British Trident.

Caroline Nethaway
The passenger list for the British Trident lists Thomas Judd, his wife Caroline and his son Peter, but also lists Thomas's brother William, his nephew Francis Hill, his sister Susan (the wife of William Gordon), Susan's daughter Augusta, and Thomas's brother Frederick with his wife and two small children. Emigration from Devon to Australia, New Zealand or Canada during the 19th century often involved these extended family groups. As a younger son, Thomas’s prospects were likely rather limited in Devon. Higher Healand  (also known as North Healand) was owned by the Rolle Estate, and was leased by Thomas’s father. The opportunity to own land in Australia would have been an irresistable draw.

The British Trident departed Liverpool on 7 Sep 1857. To reach Liverpool, Thomas and his group would have endured a long and uncomfortable trip by train. Train travel was new to Devon. The Exeter to Barnstaple line, for example, had opened only three years earlier. Prior to the opening of the railway most emigration from North Devon had been from Bideford. 

An article in the Liverpool Daily Post dated 5 Sep 1857, described the British Trident as

. . . a model of those clipper ships which have made the port of Liverpool distinguished for its naval architecture. . . . her interior accommodations are in keeping with her large proportions and elegance of outline. Her saloon, placed high on deck, is spacious and airy. Nothing that the upholsterer and artist can supply has been neglected.
Since Thomas's group were likely steerage passengers, so the opulence of the saloon would have had no importance. Instead, "spacious and lofty 'tween decks" would be their home for the three month voyage. The article, however, concludes with:
A visit to the British Trident will convince the ordinary emigrant that he could not hope in any other ship to accomplish a long voyage with better security of life, or with so great facilities for the comfortable passing of his time, or the greater security of his health afterwards.
After their arrival in Melbourne, Australia, Thomas Judd and his small family slowly moved westward. A daughter, Anna Maria Judd was born in 1859 in West Gelong, Victoria. About 1861, Thomas was one of the first settlers in Beeac, Victoria, and was instrumental in the building of a Methodist church there in 1862. Thomas and Caroline went on to have another nine children, all of whom survived to adulthood. A local Beeac landmark is known as Judd's Hill.

Thomas died in Beeac in 1904. Caroline survived him by 21 years, dying in Beeac in 1925. Both are buried at the Beeac Cemetery.

Judd Gravestone, Beeac Cemetery, Beeac, Victoria, Australia

No comments:

Post a Comment