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From Wickhamford to Australia

Elizabeth Huband was baptised in Wickhamford on 30th June 1799. She married twice and had four children by each husband. She emigrated to Australia in 1855 and died in Brisbane in 1876.

Family Background

Elizabeth Hubands’ parents were James and Temperance nee Clarke, who had married in Wickhamford on 8th May 1799, only a little over a month before she was born. Temperance Clarke had herself been baptised in Wickhamford on 10th April 1774, the daughter of Richard and Mary Clarke. She died in 1850 and was buried in Salford Priors on 20th October. It was recorded that she came from nearby Bidford-on-Avon and was aged 84 years. This age does not tally with her being born in 1774, so either she was baptised as a child of about 8 or her recorded age at death was higher than actually the case. Nine years earlier, she was recorded in the 1841 census as Temperance ‘Hughband’ in Salford Priors and was of independent means. In this census, the ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest 5 years and Temperance’s age was given as ‘65’ (i.e. she was between 65 and 69 years old, and therefore born between 1772 and 1776, which could mean that she was baptised as a baby in 1774.

Early Life

George Fairfax and Elizabeth Huband married in Salford Priors on 14th June 1820. He was described as a joiner and carpenter of Wall-Dyke, Warwick in a trade directory of 1822. The couple had four children between 1821 and 1831 and George Fairfax died in 1832. He was buried in Salford Priors on 22nd September. Elizabeth married again on 10th June 1833, using her maiden name of Huband, to John Williams. The ceremony took place in the parish of St Martin, Birmingham. This couple also had four children, between 1834 and 1841.

For the 1841 census, Elizabeth Williams was living in Bidford-on-Avon and earning her living as a shopkeeper. Her husband was not staying with his family on the night of the census, but five of Elizabeth’s children were recorded, two from her first marriage and three from her second.

At some point in the next decade the family moved to the London area. Their youngest son was born in 1841 in Berkshire and for the 1851 census the family was in St Pancras, then in Middlesex. Again, Elizabeth was described as Head of the household, as John Williams was not there for the census. She had with her one child from her first marriage and three from her second.

Emigration

Elizabeth Williams emigrated to Australia in 1855, disembarking, from SS Speedy, in Sydney on 10th April. The ship’s manifest has her listed in a section headed ‘Widows’. She is recorded as 55 years old, a charwoman, in good health, but who could not read or write. Under the column asking if the passenger had relations in Australia, it was stated that she had a son-in-law, Henry Marshall, a carpenter of Brisbane, Moreton Bay. Elizabeth was accompanied by three of her children – Sarah Ann (Fairfax) 22, a general house servant, Rosanna Williams, 18, a housemaid and Mary Williams, 15, a nursemaid. Elizabeth was recorded as being born in ‘Salford, Warks’ and her children as being all born in Broom, Warks.

Elizabeth was not described as a widow in the 1851 census, so John Williams must have died between 1851 and 1855, as Elizabeth was a widow upon emigrating. She probably went on an assisted passage scheme that was operating at that time.

Elizabeth Williams, formerly Fairfax, nee Huband. (1799-1876)

Elizabeth Williams, formerly Fairfax, nee Huband.
(1799-1876)

Elizabeth emigrated aged 55 and this photograph may have been taken around that time. It is a picture of a person connected with Wickhamford who was born in the 18th century.

The Children

A summary of the children of Elizabeth Huband is as follows –

Emma Elizabeth Fairfax: b. 1821 in Cleeve Prior; baptised 1823; d. Brisbane 1908. She married William Henry Charles Marshall and this is the son-in-law that Elizabeth was due to join in Brisbane. Emma and Henry, as he was known, had a daughter born in St Pancras in August 1848 and a son born in Brisbane in September 1850, which indicates approximately the time of their emigration.

Ann Fairfax: b. and baptised 1821 in Cleeve Prior. Nothing further is known of this child, who may have died soon after birth.

William Fairfax: b. 1826 in Cleeve Prior; d. Brisbane 18th December 1903. He also emigrated to Australia but did not travel with Elizabeth in 1855.

Sarah Ann Fairfax: b. 1831 in Bidford-on-Avon; married Thomas Dowse in Australia and d. Brisbane 18th July 1903. She accompanied her mother on the SS Speedy.

Sarah Ann Fairfax (1831-1903)

Sarah Ann Fairfax
(1831-1903)
Mary Williams (1839-1915)

Mary Williams
(1839-1915)

Ann Elizabeth Williams: b. 1834 in Bidford-on-Avon. Nothing more is known of this child.

Rosanna Williams: b. 1837 in Broom; married Robert Raymond in Australia; d. Tivoli, Queensland, 10th December 1902. She accompanied her mother on the SS Speedy.

Mary Williams: b. 1839 in Broom; married Thomas George Dowse in Australia and d. in Brisbane, 29th August 1915. She accompanied her mother on the SS Speedy.

Thomas Williams: b. 1841 in Stokes Cross, Berkshire; d. Milton (now a suburb of Brisbane) 13th September 1907. He also emigrated to Australia but did not travel with Elizabeth in 1855.

A newspaper cutting (undated) with a picture taken on 25th February 1864. The people mentioned include Mr Robert Raymond, the house owner and his wife, who was formerly Rosanna Williams. Also mentioned is Mr Thomas Williams, Rosanna’s younger brother.

Death

Elizabeth Williams, formerly Fairfax, nee Huband, died in Brisbane on 31st August 1876, aged 77 years. She was buried the next day in Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane.


Acknowledgement

The information on the life and family of Elizabeth Huband was found on the web-site ‘ancestry.co.uk’ in the ‘MGG:My Family Tree’ section.

Tom Locke – January 2015