Eliza Atkins and John Perkins

Eliza Jane Atkins was born on 3 February 1852, and baptised on 21 March 1852, in the Horton district of Tasmania, the eighth child of Samuel Atkins and Jane Ayres, and their fourth daughter.1 Eliza's parents had emigrated from Norfolk, England just over a decade earlier on the Van Diemen's Land Company expedition of the Emu.

When Eliza was 16 she married John Thomas Perkins on 11 May 1868, again in the Horton district. Both could sign their names in the register. John was recorded as a farmer and Eliza as a spinster. The witnesses were George Eastman and Elizabeth Atkins.2 A John Thomas Perkins was born on 12 January 1850, also in the Horton district, the son of Samuel Perkins and Ellen Hanson, but he has been found not to be the same individual that married Eliza Atkins. In the first instance, John stated his age as 20 when he married Eliza, making his birth year 1848. Secondly, for most of the births of his children John's father registered the event, and he was almost always referred to as James Perkins, not Samuel. A Perkins family descendant, Georgina Cotter, has revealed John's actual origins.

John Thomas Perkins was born in the first quarter of 1848 in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England, the son of James Perkins and Charlotte Hull.3 John was the fifth child of his parents, who had married on 26 July 1831 in Thorney, Cambridge, England.4 The couple emigrated with their six children when John Perkins was five, arriving in Melbourne on the Banca on 6 December 1853.5 How and when the family made their way to Van Diemen's Land is at this point unknown.

John and Eliza's first child James Perkins was born on 14 July 1868 in the Horton district. John was recorded as a farmer and the child's aunt, Elizabeth Atkins, registered the event.6 The child died the following year on 7 September 1869 in the Horton district, with the cause of death reported as convulsions. James Perkins, the child's grandfather, registered the event.7

John and Eliza's second child was their first daughter. Helen Perkins was born on 3 August 1870 in the Horton district. John was described as a farmer and James Perkins of Forest, the child's grandfather, registered the event.8 Again, the child died very early in life. Helen Perkins, recorded as Ellen Perkins, died on 7 October 1870 in the Horton district with the cause of death reported as Bronchitis. James Perkins, the child's grandfather, registered the event.9

Another girl was born to the couple the following year. Annie Perkins was born on 3 November 1871 in the Horton district. John was recorded as a farmer and the child's grandfather, James Perkins, registered the event.10 Nothing further is known of Annie's fate later in life but it appears as if she survived childhood, so the first of John and Eliza's children to do so. Another daughter followed when Edith Eliza Perkins was born on 6 April 1874 in the Horton district. John Perkins was recorded as a farmer and Samuel Atkins of Forest, the child's grandfather, registered the event.11

The run of daughters ended when John and Eliza's next child, John Thomas Perkins, was born on 26 Jun 1876 in the Horton district. Once again the boy's father was recorded as a farmer, and James Perkins, his grandfather, registered the event.12

Alice Perkins was born on 4 November 1878 in the Horton district. The girl's father registered the event, recorded as a farmer at Forest.13

Edith Perkins (18) married Alex Bayley (27) on 5 April 1893 in the York Street Baptist Church in Launceston, Tasmania. Alex was recorded as a labourer and Edith as a spinster. The witnesses were Gilbert Perks (Perkins?) and Lina Bayley.14 Alex's date of birth calculated from the age he stated when he married would be about 1866. There is no corresponding birth record to place him in his birth family. Alex and Edith would go on to have at least four children, possibly more.

Eliza Perkins, nee Atkins, died on 16 October 1881 in the Horton district. The cause of death was pulmonary consumption, a disease which would also take so many of Eliza's siblings. It almost seems as if there was an epidemic in the Circular Head around this time. Jane Eastman, nee Atkins, Eliza's sister, registered the event.15 Eliza was only 29, and was leaving her husband John with four children, aged between 10 and 3 years old.

After Eliza's death John Thomas Perkins Snr. (36) remarried on 18 March 1886 to Ellen Hurley (32) in The Manse, York Street Baptist Church in Launceston. John was described as a farmer, and a widower. The witnesses were Thomas W. N. White and Annie Perkins. Thomas White was probably related to the minister who conducted the marriage service, William White.16 John and Ellen would have the following children.

Name Birth Marriage Death
PERKINS,
Florence Helena
23 Dec 1886
Longford, TAS
   
PERKINS,
Cyril Cecil (Ciscil)
28 Jan 1888
Longford, TAS
  24 Jul 1974
Launceston, TAS
PERKINS,
Bertha Connie
24 Aug 1889
Longford, TAS
Remained Single 9 Oct 1935
Launceston, TAS
PERKINS,
Frank
17 Jul 1891
Longford, TAS
16 Aug 1922
Newtown, NSW
JOHNSTONE, Ellen Henrietta
27 Jan 1964
Belmore, NSW
PERKINS,
Vera Eileen
12 Sep 1892
Longford, TAS
  02 Mar 1893
Longford, TAS
PERKINS,
Claude Cecil
07 Feb 1895
Longford, TAS
00 XXX 1925
Sydney, NSW
DRANE, Dorothy Rebecca
07 Sep 1967
Concord, NSW

Alice Perkins married Ernest Alfred Nunn in The Manse, York Street Baptist Church, on 23 May 1901.17 Ernest was born on 18 June 1878 in Launceston, the son of Henry Nunn and Sarah Marsden.18 Ernest and Alice Nun would have at least four children that have been traced.

John Thomas Perkins Jnr. married Florence Amelia Roach in The Manse, York Street Baptist Church, on 19 May 1903.19 Florence Amelia was born on 15 December 1879 in the Longford district, the daughter of John Charles Roach (1845-1894) and Ellen Sarah Bosworth (1859-1882).20 John and Florence would go on to have two children that have been traced.

John Thomas Perkins died on 25 November 1930 in the Toosey Hospital in Longford, Tasmania.21

PERKINS. On November 25th, at Longford, John Thomas, the beloved husband of Ellen Perkins, aged 81 years.

PERKINS. The funeral of the late John Thomas Perkins is appointed to leave the Toosey Memorial Hospital, Longford, at 3 o'clock on Thursday (to-morrow), for Christ Church, Longford. Friends are invited to attend.22

Edith Eliza Bayley, nee Perkins, died in 1956 in Windsor, Victoria.23

Ernest Alfred Nunn, the husband of Alice Perkins, was buried in the Carr Villa Cemetery on 23 March 1959 in Launceston.24

John Thomas Perkins Jnr. died on 16 April 1961. He was buried in the Carr Villa Cemetery in Launceston on 18 April 1961.25

Alice Nunn, nee Perkins, died on 27 April 1967 in Launceston, Tasmania. Alice was cremated at the Carr Villa Cemetery on 1 May 1967, also in Launceston.26

Locations: 

John Horton
John Horton's picture
Samuel Perkins

Originally, this site reported that the parents of John Thomas Perkins were Samuel Perkins and Ellen Love. A John Thomas Perkins was born to Samuel and Ellen on 12 January 1850 in the Horton district. Samuel Perkins was described as a silversmith working at Highfield for the event.1

Samuel Perkins had arrived in Tasmania as a convict aboard the Lady Raffles just under a decade before John's birth. For some reason in later family records John's father is recorded fairly consistently as James Perkins, an aberration that deserves further investigation.2 John's mother Ellen also arrived in the colony as a convict, just three years before John's birth in 1847 aboard the Asia V (5). At that time she was recorded as Ellen Love, another anomaly that deserves further investigation.3

As the article above reports, we now know that John was the son of James Perkins and Charlotte Hull.