Mary Ann Atkins and John (William Richmond) Williams (Gold)

Family history research is a process of working back, and ultimately you arrive at an individual where you can go no further. John Williams was just such an individual, he seemed to just land in Tasmania from nowhere, so there was nowhere to go, he was our brick wall, our unknown arrival or swimmer. Through online collaboration on the Atkins family Margaret Nichols pointed me to ‘The Williams Family 1822-1945 - William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1884’ by Irene M. Kaufman (copies are held at the Hobart and Glenorchy State Libraries of Tasmania).1

Irene Kaufman’s biography is the basis for this expanded investigation of William Richmond Gold. We learn of John William’s former identity of William Richmond Gold, and after a discussion concerning the naming of his children and their children in turn we can accept that the two men are one and the same person. As we revisit the sources of Irene’s biography we will also find however that there are other aspects of the story that haven’t stood the test of time. Even so, we can now begin to place John, or William, in his native place of London, England, as we follow his trial which is the earliest record we have of him, and discuss the natural questions that arise from such an examination:

459. WILLIAM GOLD and JAMES BRAGG were indicted for stealing, on the 5th of February, one handkerchief, value 3s., the goods of John Swindell , from his person .

JOHN SWINDELL. I am a wine merchant, and live in King-street, St. James's-square. On the 5th of February, about twelve o'clock, I was standing under the Colonade, Pall Mall , to see His Majesty pass to the House of Lords; I felt my handkerchief safe, and in less than half an hour, a person said it was stolen; I felt and missed it - I looked round, and the prisoners were in custody, and my handkerchief produced. I had observed them near me.

THOMAS GLASSBOROW. I am a constable. I was near the Colonade, with Webb, and saw Mr. Swindell with a gentleman - I saw both the prisoners going backwards and forwards, I watched, and saw them close behind Mr. Swindell, for five minutes; then saw one of them draw a handkerchief from one of the gentlemen's pockets, but could not distinguish which. Bragg got away a few yards; I secured him, and saw Gold drop the handkerchief - Henry took him.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

BENJAMIN WEBB . I am watch-house keeper of St. James's. I saw the prisoners close to Mr. Swindell, for four or five minutes; I saw the handkerchief drop from one of them, but cannot say which.

JAMES HENRY . I am a groom out of place. I saw the prisoners standing close behind Swindell - Gold dropped the handkerchief, and I immediately took him. Mason picked it up, and gave it to Glassborow.

BRAGG'S Defence. I had left Gold two minutes. The gentleman said he might have dropped it.

MR. SWINDELL. I said no such thing.

GOLD - GUILTY . Aged 17.
BRAGG - GUILTY . Aged 16.
Transported for Life .
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.2

It’s the classic convict ‘cliché’ of someone stealing a handerkerchief, but we’re not talking today’s equivalent of a trifle, these were heavily embroidered fashion items that were relatively expensive; and stealing was stealing. We might first consider whether this was endemic behavior or merely opportunistic. Given there were two of them acting apparently in concert we can hardly believe that it was the latter. In that case there is an earlier Old Bailey Trial that may be related from 14 July 1813:

771. WILLIAM GOLD was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 15th of June , three shillings and two sixpences , the property of John Gray .

MARY MASSEY . I live with my brother-in-law, as horsekeeper; he is a porkman , 105, Drury-lane ; his name is John Gray .

Q. What is the prisoner - A. He is employed in carrying newspapers . On the 15th of June, about four o'clock, the prisoner entered my brother's shop; I was in the back parlour; I cast my head round; I saw the prisoner behind the counter. When the prisoner saw me he ran away. I stopped him going out of the door. I saw him throw down three shillings and two sixpences. I had seen his hand in the till.

ALEXANDER. I was coming by at the time; I saw the struggling at the door; the prosecutrix asked me to assist her; I did, and afterwards the prisoner threw the money down. I picked up two shillings and two sixpences.

CHARLES WHITFIELD . I live with Mr. Gray. I picked up one shilling. I saw the struggling at the door.

Q. Where is the shilling - A. It was put in the till again.
Prisoner's Defence. I never saw any of the money at all.
Q. Did you take it without looking at it - A. No.

GUILTY , aged 13.
Judgment respited .
First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.3

It is not known what “judgment respited” means at this stage. This lad was 13 in 1813 making his calculated birth year about 1800.

A further instance involving a William Gold occurred on 5 April 1815 and although apparently unrelated it is interesting that the victim of the crime was named John Williams:

547. CAROLINE OSMOND was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 21st of November , a bank note, value 50 l. a bank note, value 20 l. a bank note 5 l. and four 1 l. bank notes , the property of John Williams .

JOHN WILLIAMS . I am an accomptant ; I live in Pall Mall.

Q. When did you lose your notes - A. On the 21st of November last, between eleven and twelve at night, I met the prisoner in Fleet-street, I went home with her to her lodging, in Wellington-place, Drury-lane ; before I went to bed, I counted my notes over, and saw I had fifty-nine pounds; after that, I went to bed, and fell asleep, and did not awoke till between six and seven in the morning; I then found my pantaloon pocket turned inside out, and my notes all gone.

JAMES MORLEY . I am a shopman to Mr. Lloyd, linen-draper, 24, Oxford-street. On the morning of the 22nd of November, the prisoner came to our shop, and bought a shawl at three pounds, and three pair of stockings at three shillings and sixpence a pair; she asked the other woman that was with her to pay for it; she gave me a twenty-pound note, No. 13,973, I paid it away.

ROBERT LEWIS . I am clerk to Sir John Lovett , and Co. I paid the notes to Mr. Williams, a fifty pound note, No. 573; a twenty pound note, No. 13,973, and other notes, on the 21st of November.

WILLIAM GOLD. I belong to the Bank of England. I produce a twenty-pound note, No. 13,973.

Mr. Lewis. That is the note I paid to John Williams .

GUILTY aged 22.
Transported for Seven Years .
First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.4

Returning to the William Gold who would be transported to Tasmania, at age 17 when he went to trial in 1822, his calculated birth year is 1805. The 5 years difference between the calculated dates in both offences is not unusual for a time when most were illiterate, and in the latter case he may well have thought it to his benefit to appear younger, seeking a more lenient sentence.

Suffice to say William Gold was born between 1800 and 1805, probably in London where he was taken to trial. A search of the International Genealogical Index reveals a number of candidates, often under the surname of Gould, or Goold, but there is no definitive match for the later convict. Kaufman picks up the trail,

“…it is mentioned (in his later convict record – Ed.) that his mother was alive and lived at 49 Rice Street, Clerkenwell. He was apprenticed to one Smith, a Shoemaker at Cow Crop, Smithfield...”5

There doesn’t appear to be a Rice Street in Clerkenwell, then or now, but there is a Ray Street, Clerkenwell, and a later rereading of Kaufman’s source for this fact confirms this possibility.

Ray Street, Clerkenwell, London
Image Provided by Google Maps

To return to Irene Kaufmann’s version of events:

"On the 20 February 1822 a young 17 year old man by the name of William Richmond Gold was tried at the "Old Bailey" Middlesex and transported for "Life" to V.D.L. per the Convict ship "Arab" which left London on the 13th July 1822 and arrived in Hobart Town on the 6th Nov 1822."6

Actually the Old Bailey transcript does not use the middle name Richmond. William Gold and his partner in crime James Bragg were sentenced to transportation for life. They were both shipped to the colonies in the same year they were convicted, unlike many convicts who languished aboard the hulks. They departed from England aboard the Arab on 13 July 1822 and arrived in Hobart on 6 November 1822, along with 154 other convicted felons.

James Bragg doesn’t appear to have had previous form, nor did he commit any further crimes once in the colony. He was granted a conditional pardon in 1830, married Hannah Pizey on 23 August 1837 in Launceston (they don’t appear to have had any children) and he was granted a free pardon in 1838. He may be the J. Bragg who departed from George Town for Adelaide in 1846 as there appear to be no further records in Tasmania.7

William Gold however, would go on to have a far more checkered record in his new home. Upon arrival he was described as age 17, height 5'5", with brown eyes and brown hair. His convict conduct record follows:


Arab 20 Feb 1822 = Life

Transported for Larceny from Person
Gaol report: Unknown
Hulk report: “orderly”
Confessed M[other]. at 49 [Rae or Rice] Street, Clerkenwell,
A washer woman. I was apprenticed to one Smith, a Shoemaker at Cow Crop
March 5 1829 Bateman / Abstracting flour the property of his master – 50 lashes and let to his master. (W. Gray)
Conditional Pardon no. 767 26th Sept. 1835
Again tried Launceston at 31 December 1841 to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two years. Cleveland. Vide Lieut Govrs Decision. 21 Jan 1842
March 15 1842 Crown / Misconduct in having his feet dirty 6 weeks hard labour to commence at the expiry of his existing sentence H. Coles / Approved Vide L. G. Decision 15/4/42
26 June 1843 N. L. Bay R. Station / Misconduct. Repremanded.
16.12.34 C. S. Office 2.10.41 G. L. off 26.3.42 C. M. n.8.4.42 C. M. n. 15.7.42 C. M. 26.4. 42 CTown 28.7.4? Glenorchy off 19.2.52 Cprb? Twn8

Kaufman makes the next move in William’s story, including a logistical error by stating that "In May 1835 a convict now known as John Williams, made application for Marriage to a Susannah Leherle, and the ceremony took place at St. John's Church, Launceston, on the 16th Mar of the same year and was performed by Dr. Browne.”9 That would mean the marriage took place before the application. The marriage did occur on 16 March 1835 with James and Mary Burns witnessing the event, and the ceremony performed by William John Aislabee but no application for permission to marry has been found.10

The reason for linking John Williams as William Gold will be discussed later, but John’s spouse on this occasion, Susannah Leherle, has no prior history that can be located. No convicts at all arrived with that surname and a search for the name Leherle in all Australian Newspapers for the last 200 years returns no relevant matches.11

Kaufman continues, “a conditional pardon was granted on the 20th Sep 1835 but no trace is found of a free Certificate." The conditional pardon was actually issued on 26 September 1835. Conditional pardons were generally given to convicts with long sentences (14 years or life) and excused them from serving the rest of their sentence on condition that they remain in the colony and not return to the UK or Ireland.12

According the Kaufman, the next event in John William’s life occurred when his wife Susannah died in 1840. Unfortunately no death registration for this event has been located.

However, on the 13th Dec 1841, he was tried in Launceston for reasons unknown and sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for 2 years at Cleveland. On the 15th Mar 1842 William was again sentenced to 6 weeks hard labour."13

Irene Kaufman continues John William’s story, with the development that “John Williams and Emma Greaves were married at Launceston at the Church of St. John, both of (whom) ... were shown as being 'prisoners'."14 The permission to marry record for this couple has John Williams as being the convict who arrived aboard the Neptune in January 1838.15 Emma Greaves was correctly associated with the Royal Admiral, and there were indeed two John Williams aboard the Neptune which departed London 7 October 1837 and landed in Hobart on 18 January 1838.

Williams and Greave Marriage Registration

Williams and Greave Marriage Registration
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

John Williams (26) and Emma Greaves (27) were married on 12 August 1844 in Launceston.16 From his age stated at marriage this John Williams was born about 1818, much later than William Gold. For this reason, and the association of this John Williams with the Neptune, it seems unlikely that this is the same individual known as William Gold. Irene Kaufman continues:

Emma died in Stanley after gaining her freedom on the 18th Jan 1850. Her death is given as the 'effects of poison' after an inquest into her death.17

An Emma Williams did indeed die in the district of Horton on 14 January 1850 at the reported age of 28, making her birth year 1822.18 An inquest was held into her sudden death with the results reported as follows:

An inquisition indented taken for our Sovereign Lady the Queen at the Police Office in Stanley, Circular Head, within the Island of Van Diemen's Land this seventeenth day of January in the fourteenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen Defender of the Faith before John Lee Archer Esquire one of the Coroners of our said Lady the Queen for the said Island and its Dependancies on view of the Body of Emma Williams, then and there lying dead upon the Oath of John Whitbread, Thomas Andrew Barnes, Edward Russell, William Booth, Michael Lyons, James Ferguson and John Alford, good and lawful men of the said Island and duly chosen and who being then and there duly sworn and charged to enquire for our said Lady the Queen when where how and after what manner the said Emma Williams came to her death, do say that the said Emma Williams came to her death on Monday the fourteenth day of January (instant) at Circular Head in the said Island by incautiously taking an overdose of opium colat - the same having been improperly in her possession and not administered to her by a properly qualified Medical Practitioner. And so the jurors aforesaid upon their Oath aforesaid do say that the said Emma Williams came to her death in the manner and by the means aforesaid and not otherwise. In witness whereof as well the said Coroner as the jurors aforesaid have to this Inquisition set their Hands and Seals the day year and place above mentioned:

John Lee Archer, Coroner; Thomas Barners; M. Booth; James Ferguson; John Whitbread; Edward Russell; Michael Lyons; John Alford.19

According to Kaufman “John Williams then for the third time, married a young 17 year old bride, Mary Ann Atkins, on the 25th March 1850 at St. Paul's Church, Stanley."20 John is recorded as aged 28, a butcher, and a widower, making his birth year about 1822. Mary Ann is recorded as aged 17. The event was witnessed by the bride’s father Samuel Atkins and Mary White.21 The marriage was only just over two months since the death of Emma Williams which is a very short time frame indeed.

Mary Ann Atkins was born 3 January and baptized 2 February 1834 in East Harling, Norfolk, the second eldest child of Samuel Atkins and Jane Ayres.22 Mary Ann was 7 when the family emigrated from England to Van Diemen’s Land as indentured servants of the Van Diemen’s Land Company in 1841 aboard the Emu.23

"In the years following, John worked hard and obtained enough money to buy a piece of land at Stanley, Circular Head for 500 Pounds of lawful money ... This was quite an accomplishment. He became a butcher and farmer, built a home and raised 9 children born to this union."24

John and Mary Ann’s first child was Selina Ann Williams born on 9 November 1852 in the Horton district.25 Selina was christened on 5 December 1852 with her father recorded as John Williams and described as a butcher at Stanley.26

John and Mary Ann’s second child arrived two years later. William Richmond Gold was born on 10 December 1854 in the Horton district.27 William was christened on Christmas day, 25 December 1854 with the surname recorded as Williams otherwise Gold. John Williams, the child’s father, was described as a butcher at Stanley.28

In 1856 John Williams was included on the electoral roll for the district of Devon: Williams, John; Stanley, Circular Head; Freeholder, house.29

In what seems like a long gap John and Mary Ann’s next child, Charles Arthur Gold or Williams, arrived on 25 March 1859 in Stanley, more than four years after his earlier sibling.30 Given the propensity for pregnancy in an era without contraception it is possible that Mary Ann miscarried and lost a child during this period. Charles was baptized on 25 April 1859 in Stanley with his father described as a butcher in Stanley (under the surname Gold alias Williams).31

John and Mary Ann’s fourth child was another girl. Emma Jane Williams was born on 23 June 1861 in the Horton district.32 Emma was baptized on 26 July 1861 in Stanley, Tasmania. John Williams was recorded as a Dairy Man in Stanley.33

A fifth child and third son, Samuel Williams, was born on 4 February 1865 in the Horton district.34 Samuel was baptized on 3 March 1865 in Stanley. John Williams was described as a butcher in Stanley.35

Mary Ann Williams was born on 19 August 1867 in the Horton district.36 Mary Ann was baptized on 30 September 1867 in Stanley. John Williams was described as a butcher in Stanley.37

John Gough Williams was born on 17 December 1869 in the Horton district.38 The use of the name Gough may indicate an ancestor’s surname. John was baptized on 13 February 1870 in Stanley. John Williams was described as a farmer in the Forest district.39

Eliza Robenia Williams was born on 12 July 1872 in the Horton district.40 Eliza was baptized on 25 August 1872 in Stanley. John Williams was described as a farmer in the Forest district.41

Selina Ann Gould (19) married John Ainslie (28) on 22 August 1872 in the Horton district.42 John was born in 1839 in the Green Ponds district to Alexander Ainslie and Sarah Emma Curren.43

"The question remains "...why the first sons of John and Mary Ann were registered under the name 'Gold'. Register of Births in the district of Horton, shows that on the 10th Dec 1854, William Gold registered his son William Richmond under the name Gold and gave his occupation as butcher. Another son, Charles Arthur, was born on the 25th Mar 1859 and his father signed the birth registration as W.R. Gold, but for the first time used the alias Williams. Both these sons however married under the Williams name."

"It is interesting to note the first born child, a daughter, born the 9th Nov 1852, was Selina Ann, her birth was registered by her father who used the name John Williams, butcher of Stanley. However, the marriage Certificate of Selina on the 22nd Aug 1872 to John Ainslie shows she married under the name Selina Go(u)ld. No doubt she had been told of ... (her father's) change of names although no real evidence has come forward. It is shown though, that Selina herself named her tenth child William Richmond, obviously perpetuating her father's name."44

John (William Richmond) Williams (Gold)

John (William Richmond) Williams (Gold)

Mary Ann Atkins

Mary Ann Atkins

John and Mary Ann’s last and ninth child was another daughter: Sarah Maria Williams was born on 5 February 1877 in the Horton district.45 Sarah was baptized on 1 April 1877 in Stanley. John Williams was described as a farmer living on South Road.46

Just eight months later one of their oldest children, William Richmond Williams, married Tabitha Watkins, both recorded as adults, on 27 October 1877 in Hobart.47 Tabitha was born on 26 April 1853 in Hobart, Tasmania, the daughter of William Watkins and Rosanna Forster.48 The family ultimately lived in the Bellerive area on Hobart’s eastern shore. A marriage notice was published in the Mercury three days after the event:

WILLIAMS-WATKINS-On October 27, at Trinity Church, by special license, William Richmond, eldest son of Mr. John Williams, of Circular Head, to Tabitha, eldest daughter of William Watkins, stonemason, of this city.49

Two years later Emma Jane Williams (17) married John James Holmes (22) on 31 March 1879 in the Horton district.50 John was born on 12 February 1857 in Launceston, the son of James Holmes and Ellen Carmody.51 They would go on to have at least ten children up to 1900 but there may have been more.

Charles Arthur Williams married next (as Arthur Charles Williams), on 12 June 1882 to Mary Jane Ennis (spelt Enniss in the register) in the Horton district.52 Mary Jane was born on 15 September 1862 in Montagu, the second oldest child and daughter of Patrick Ennis and Mary Mulraney.53 Charles and Mary Jane would go on to 15 children.

"This brief history of William Gold, alias John Williams, ends with his death at Circular Head on the 10th Apr 1885.”54

John Williams, alias William Gold, died on 10 April 1885 in the Horton district at the reported age of 69, making his birth year about 1816. The cause of death was recorded as cystitis and debility. John Bellinger, whose daughter had married John William’s son Samuel, registered the event.55

John Williams Death Registration

John Williams Death Registration
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

“His Will of the 19th Mar 1885 shows that he left all his money and goods to his wife Mary Ann and son Samuel."56

Text of will here.57

The year after the death of John Williams his son Samuel married Mary Jane Bellinger (Ballinger) on 12 July 1886 in the Horton district.58 Mary Jane was born on 17 June 1865, the eldest daughter of John Bellinger and Sarah Carroll.59 Samuel and Mary Jane would have five children.

Mary Ann Williams (19) married Alexander John Coffey (19) on 4 March 1887 in the Horton district.60 The origins of Alexander Coffey are unknown at this time. They had five children that have been traced.

Following the death of her husband John Williams in 1885, Mary Ann Williams, nee Atkins (50), was remarried to Henry William Turner (52) of Forest on the 28th February 1889. The witnesses were John Bellinger, Sarah Bellinger and Selina Ainslie. Both parties were recorded as Widowers.61 Henry was probably the same Henry William Turner who was previously married to Emily Jane Mears who had died in 1885.

Eliza Robenia Williams married John Arthur Sowell on 7 June 1893 in Waratah, Tasmania.62 John was born on 28 May 1865 in Hobart, Tasmania, the son of George Sowell and Margaret McComte.63 Two children have been traced.

Sarah Maria Williams (19) married James Richards (31) on 20 November 1896 in Waratah, Tasmania.64 The origins of James Richards are unknown at this time. They had one child that has been traced.

John Gough Williams (27) married Ada Agatha Kinella (19) (sic) on 31 May 1897 in Emu Bay, Tasmania.65 Ada was probably the un-named female born on 2 August 1877 in Emu Bay to Thomas Kinsella and Margaret Cairns.66

Eliza Robina Sowell, as Eliza Comba Sowel, nee Williams, died on 8 Aug 1900 in Alberton, Tasmania.67

SOWELL.-On the 8th August, at Alberton, Eliza Robina, dearly beloved wife of John A. Sowell, aged 28 years.68

Mary Ann Turner (formerly Williams, nee Atkins) died on 3 Jun 1902 in Forest, Tasmania.69

Mrs. Turner, an elderly woman, who resided in the Forest, was found dead in her bed. Apparently she was in good health the day before her death, and had walked a considerable distance to attend to her late husband's grave.70

Mary Ann Coffey (nee Williams) died on 29 August 1904 in Forest, Tasmania.71

After his wife Eliza’s death in 1900 John Arthur Sowell remarried to Katherine Louisa Styles on 28 June 1905 in New River, Ringarooma, Tasmania.72 They would go on to have a further five children.

John Gough Williams died on 18 January 1907 in Forest, Tasmania.73

WILLIAMS.- On Friday, January 18, at Forest (accidentally killed by a falling tree), John Gough, beloved husband of Ada Agatha Williams ; aged 37 years.74

An inquest was held into his sudden death:

The Forest Fatality,

Our Forest correspondent writes : Many hearts were saddened when the intelligence of the untimely fate of John Gaugh (sic) Williams became known. He was always a favorite, and his familiar face will be sadly missed. He leaves a widow and four children, the youngest being about six months old, to mourn the loss of a hardworking husband and father. The details of the fatality, which was caused by a falling limb, appeared in yesterday's Advocate and Times.

The inquest was held at the home of Mr. Samuel Williams, Forest, on Saturday afiernoon, before the coroner, Mr. H. G. Spicer, and the following jury : Messrs. W. J. Murphy (foreman), Charles Haywood, Alban Ainslie, James Dennison, Thomas J. Bellenger, James L. Wells, and John Butt. Ada Agatha Williams, widow of deceased, was the first witness called. She was visibly affected as she told her story to the jury. Last saw deceased alive at a quarter to three on Friday afternoon, when he left home to go to his work at the back of the farm on Mr. J. L. Wells' property. His last words were: 'If the wind goes down the bees will swarm.' He said he would knock off work at five and would be home at half-past five. He had not returned at 7 o'clock, so witness took the children over to his work. Found deceased's coat, tools and drink. Called out but received no reply. Went to Mr Fred stokes' house close by and told him she feared something had happened. Mr. Stokes went for assistance. Later her brother-in-law came and said, 'He's dead Ada; do go home,' -so witness went home, Her husband was 37 years of age. He was born at Forest. He was engaged in slash-hooking at the time of his death. It was fairly windy, a strong breeze blowing.

Dr. Gregg had examined the body. His right arm was torn from the body. There were no other signs of violence. Attributed death to shock and loss of blood, which could have been caused by being struck by a limb. Frederick James Stokes, a farmer residing at Forest, remembered Mrs. Willisms, wife of deceased, coming to his house at about 8 o'clock on Friday night. Got Samuel Williams, brother of deceased, and went with him to where deceased was at work- Shortly after they got there Sam called 'Here he is.' Mr. John Butt then came up. Had a lantern, as it was just getting dark. Saw a fresh limb lying on the track. The body was about 6ft away from the limb of the tree. Williams was lying on his back, his face a little sideways? dead. Saw Mr. Samuel Williams pick up a man's arm from along side of the limb. Then went for more assistance. Samuel Williams gave similar evidence. Asked by the foreman of the jury if he considered it a fit day for his brother to work in the bush, witness replied, 'It was not a safe day for anyone to do so, as a very strong breeze was blowing all day.' After considering the evidence the jury were unanimously of opinion that deceased met his death accidentally while working alone in the bush on the 18th inst., probably through being struck by a falling limb.75

Following John’s death, his wife Ada Agatha remarried on 22 July 1908 to Thomas John McCulloch in Stanley.76

Samuel William’s wife Mary Jane Williams (nee Bellinger) died on 31 August 1909 in Forest.77

The wife of Mr. Samuel Williams, of Forest, Circular Head, passed away on Tuesday last, after a very brief illness. The deceased was a native of the district, and the eldest daughter of Mr. John Bellinger. She was highly respected in 'the community, and her demise at the comparatively early age of 44 occasions deep and very general regret. Mrs. Williams leaves a grown-up family of five children, who, with the father, are assured of sincere sympathy in their sad bereavement. The interment took place at the Stanley Cemetery on Wednesday, the funeral cortege being headed by members of the Oddfellows, to which society Mr. Williams had long been attached. The Rev. Father F. J. O'Donnell officiated at church and grave.78

Mary Jane’s death has also been reported as occurring on 6 October 1903 but that has been proven to be a different person.79

The following month John Ainslie, the husband of Selina Ainslie, nee Williams died suddenly on 19 September 1909 in South Forest.80


The death occurred at South Forest on Sunday of an old resident, in the person of Mr. John Ainslie. The deceased, who was an old identity of the Circular Head district, dropped dead on the road in front of King's store. Deceased was 69 years of age. An inquiry was held at Forest on Mon day, before Coroner H. G. Spicer and a jury (Mr. T, M'Culloch being foreman), when a verdict of death from natural causes was -returned. The evidence showed that deceased visited his son-in-law (Mr. James Denison) in the morning, and stopped there all day. In the evening he left for his home, and dropped down on the road, and expired almost immediately.81

Seven years after his first wife’s death Samuel Williams remarried on 19 October 1910 to Edith Selina Green, a widow who was previously known as Edith Evans.82

Sarah Maria Richards died on 25 March 1911 in Waratah, Tasmania.83

Tabitha (as Tabither) Williams, nee Watkins, the wife of William Richmond Williams, died on 5 October 1920 at 290 Argyle Street in Hobart, Tasmania.84

The John Alexander Coffey who died on 16 July 1923 in Latrobe, Tasmania may be the Alexander John Coffey who was the husband of Mary Ann Coffey.85

John James Holmes died on 3 May 1927 in Stanley.86

HOLMES. At his residence, Stanley, on May 3, in his 72nd year, John James, beloved husband of Emma Holmes.

HOLMES. The friends of the late Mr.John James Holmes, sen., are advised that his remains will leave his late residence, Stanley, at 2.30 p.m. to-day for interment in Stanley cemetery.87

The following obituary was published a short time later:

Old Resident Passes

After a short illness Mr. J. J. Holmes, senr., an old and highly esteemed resident of Stanley, passed away on Tuesday night last at the age of 71 years. He was born in Launceston, and came to Stanley 52 years ago when he was employed as bootmaker by Mr. T. Wilkins, with whom he worked for some years. With Mr. Wilkins, he took the first steps 44 years ago to found the Loyal Wellington Lodge, I.O.O.F., in Stanley, and at the time of his death was N.G. For many years he was the representative from his own Lodge to the Grand Lodge of Tasmania. He passed through the chairs of the Grand Lodge till he became Grand Master some 20 years ago. During his time he was a prominent member of the cricket and football clubs, and of the Stanley Band. He leaves a widow, three sons, Alfred, Alan and John-and six daughters-Mesdames L. Clark (Zeehan), J. Fulton (Victoria), A. F. Rodgers (Claremont), J. Irwin (Devonport), and W. Walsh (Stanley), and Miss Mirrie Holmes. One son, Arthur, predeceased him. The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon at the Stanley cemetery, and a very large number of friends/attended, preceded by the members of the I.O.O.F. Lodge. A short service was held in St. Paul's Church, conducted by Mr. E. C. Weatherhead, who also officiated at the grave. The chief mourners were the sons and grandsons of deceased. The carriers were Messrs. W. Anthony, D. G. Edwards, R. Freeburgh and T. J. Wilkins. The pall-bearers were Messrs. M. J. Breheny, W. S. H. Smith, E. A. Vale and T. Wilkins. The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful, and included a handsome wreath from the I.O.O.F. Lodge. The ceremony at the grave side concluded with a service by the Lodge members, conducted by Bro. R. Steel, V.G.88

Emma Jane Holmes, nee Williams, the wife of John James Holmes, died on 5 August 1929 in Stanley, Tasmania. The following obituary was reported the day after her death:


After ten months' illness Mrs. E. J. Holmes, relict of the late Mr. J. J. Holmes, sen., passed away early yesterday morning, at the age of 68 years. She was born at Forest, but spent the greater part of her life at Stanley, where she was married and reared a large family. her home duties prevented her from taking much part in social life. She was, however, well known in the district, and very highly respected. Her husband, who is still well remembered, especially in connection with lodge matters, predeceased her in May, 1927. She leaves six daughters and three sons - Mesdames E. Walsh (Stanley), L. Clarke. (Zeehan), T. Fulton (Melbourne), A. Rogers (Claremont), .T. Irwin (Penguin) and Miss Mirrie Holmes, who lived with her mother; and Messrs. Alfred, Jack and Allen Holmes, all of Stanley. Another son, Arthur, died 20 years ago. Brothers are Messrs. Sam Williams (South Forest), Charles Williams (Montagu) and William Williams (New Zealand); Mrs. S. Ainslie, of South Forest) is a sister. The grandchildren number 38. The funeral is to take place at the Stanley cemetery to-day, at 3 p.m.89

The funeral was reported as follows:

Funeral Service

The funeral of the late Mrs. Emma Jane Holmes took place at the Stanley cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, when a large number of friends attended. The chief mourners were her sons Alfred, Jack and Allen. Several grandsons and other relatives were also present. An impressive service was conducted by the rector (Rev. T. A. Moore-Campbell) in St. Paul's Church.

The hymns "When Our Heads are Bowed" and "On the Resurrection Morn" were sung. The rector spoke very highly of the character of deceased. The "Dead March in Saul" was played by Mrs. R. Campbell, on the organ. The service was continued at the graveside. The carriers were the brothers, Messrs. J. G., W., H. H. and D. C. Smith. The pall-bearers were Messrs. T. Wilkins, E. A. Vale, W. S. H. Smith and F. Ferguson. The floral tributes were very beautiful.90

William Richmond Williams died on 3 February 1930 in New Zealand at the reported age of 64. The actual location is variously reported as either Wellington or Auckland.91

Selina Ainslie, nee Williams, died on 4 March 1934 in Mengha, Tasmania:

AINSLIE.-On Sunday, March 4, at the residence of her daughter, Mengha, Selina Ann, relict of the late John Ainslie--aged 82 years.

AINSLIE.-The funeral of the late Selina Ann Ainslie will leave the residence of her daughter, Mrs. W. Bucknell, Mengha, THIS DAY (Monday), at 3 o'clock for interment in the Church of England Cemetery, Forest.-J. Billing, undertaker.92

An obituary followed:

Mrs. S. A. Ainslie.

Mrs Selina Ann Ainslie, who passed away at Mengha on Sunday, aged 82 years, was the widow, of the late John Ainslie, who pre-deceased her 25 years ago. She was a daughter of the late John and Mary Ann Williams. Samuel and Charles are now the only members of a family of nine.

Mrs. Ainslie was the mother of 13, of whom 11 are living. There are 66 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Ainslie was very highly respected by all who know her.

The funeral took place on Monday, at St. Bartholomew's cemetery, Forest, the service being conducted by the Rev. A. Matheson B.A. A large number attended, the church being filled. Deceased's favorite hymns, "Now the Laborer's Task Is O'er" and "Abide With Me," were sung, and at the conclusion of the service Mrs. W. J. Waters, organist, played "The Dead March in Saul." The floral tributes were many and beautiful.93

Samuel died on 3 April 1935 in Forest, Tasmania. Samuel was buried on 5 April 1935 in Forest, Tasmania.

WILLIAMS.-On April 3, at South Forest, Samuel, clearly beloved husband of Edith Williams, aged 70 years. Died suddenly.

WILLIAMS.-The funeral of the late Samuel Williams is appointed to leave his late residence, South Forest, on FRIDAY, April 5, at 3 p.m., for interment at the Church of England cemetery, Forest.-J. A. Billing, Undertaker, Smithton.94

An obituary was published in the Chronicle News:

Mr. Williams was the son of the late John Williams, butcher, of Stanley, and was born on February 4th 1865 was [he] was 70 years of age. His first wife was Miss Jane Bellinger and his second was the widow of Mr. George Green. Mr. Charles Williams of Montagu is a brother and Mesdames S. J. Horton and Algernon Haywood are daughters. There is a single daughter in Melbourne and a son Walter in Western Australia. Mr. Williams was a farmer in Circular Head for most of his life and was well known.95

Laurie Horton remember the event as it was the first time he had seen a dead body. Apparently Samuel died sitting on the trap on the way home from a visit to town. According to Laurie the horse obligingly took him home and parked itself in front of the gate, some hours later the suspicions of the neighbours were aroused and they discovered the truth.96 The obituary published in the Advocate provides a different although similar version of the story:

Mr. S. Williams.

Mr. Samuel Williams (70), a retired farmer, of South Forest, collapsed and died while driving a horse and jinker to his home yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Williams was returning from Stanley with his wife, and when near the Bungalow, about three miles from Stanley he suddenly dropped the reins and collapsed. Mrs. Williams spoke to him, and receiving no reply, went for assistance. Dr. H. V. Jackson was summoned, and pronounced life to be extinct. Senior-Constable Lambert and Constable Button were also summoned. Dr. Jackson, who had been treating Mr. Williams for several years, undertook to give a certificate of death, so that an inquest will not be held. The late Mr. Williams, who was related to many families in the Circular Head district, was highly respected. He was one of the very early members of the I.O.O.F. He was one of the pioneers of South Forest. He was a son of the late Mr. John Williams, a butcher, of Stanley. He leaves one son, Henry, Who lives on the mainland, and two daughters, Mesdames S. J. Horton and A. Haywood, of Circular Head.97

Samuel’s brother Charles Arthur Williams died on 28 November 1945, followed in strange synchronicity by his wife Mary Jane Williams (nee Ennis) the following day:

WILLIAMS.-On November 27, 1945, at his residence. West Montagu (Harcus), Charles Arthur, dearly beloved husband of Mary Jane Williams; aged 86years. R.I.P.

WILLIAMS.-On November 28, 1945, at the Spencer Hospital, Wynyard, Mary Jane, widow of the late Charles Arthur Williams, of West Montagu; aged 83 years. R.I.P.

WILLIAMS.-The funerals of the late Charles Arthur and Mary Jane Williams will arrive at the Montagu turn off at 2.45 p.m. THIS DAY (Thursday), and thence to the Montagu Catholic cemetery for interment. Friends are respectfully invited to attend. J. A. Billing, undertaker, Smithton.98


Internment of the late Mr. Charles Arthur Williams, who died at his residence, West Montagu (Harcus) on November 27th at the age of 86 years, and his wife, Mary Jane Williams, who died the following day at the Spencer Hospital, Wynyard, at the age of 83 years, took place at Montagu in the presence of a large gathering of friends and relatives. Father Lynch officiated. The caskets were carried by eight grandsons.

The late Mr. and Mrs. Williams had a family of seven sons and eight daughters. There are 77 grandchildren. 84 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.99


Interment of Mr. Charles Arthur Williams, who died at his home, West Montague, on November 27 at the age of 86 years, and his wife, Mary Jane Williams, who died the following day at the Spencer Hospital, Wynyard, at the age of 83, took place at Montagu in the presence of a large gathering of friends and relatives. Father P. J. Lynch conducted the service. The carriers were eight grandsons. There were many floral tributes, The late Mr. and Mrs. Williams had a family of seven sons and eight daughters. There are 77 grandchildren, 84 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild.100

Items to add

* The fate of James Richards.
* The fate of Ada Agatha McCulloch, formerly Williams (nee Kinsella).

Supplementary Articles

Marriage of William Richmond Williams and Alice Chappell:

Williams – Chappell.-On October 1, 1900, at the residence of the bride's parents, Bellerive, by the Rev. I. H. Palfreyman, William Richmond, eldest son of William Richmond Williams, to Alice, eldest daughter of the late John Chappell.101

Presentation of Imperial Service Medal to William Richmond Williams:

Governor Presents Medals

Three railwaymen and an ex-police officer, who have each given over 40 Years' service to the state, were presented with Imperial Service Medals yesterday by the Governor (Sir Ernest Clark) at the Hobart Railway Station. Police force personnel formed a guard of honour which was inspected by the Commissioner of Police (Mr. W. G. Oakes).

The reciplents of the medals were: Messrs. Robert William Harris, 43 years 11 months' service; William Richmond Williams, 42 years three months; David Lawson Cleary, 40 years one month; and ex-Constable J. 14. Goven 40 years nine months.

The Governor said the time for ease and relaxation of effort, even for retired men, was not yet. To every man who was capable of effort, there was to-day an urgent call for continued activity, and the time for effort would continue in the period after the war to put right the war's destruction. He added that 120,000 men had been killed in the United Kingdom armed forces almost ten for every man killed in the Australian forces.102

  • 1. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 2. Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 20th February 1822, page 65. Ms. Kaufman’s reference: "Mitchell Library of N.S.W." The Old Bailey Sessions Papers of 21st Feb 1821 - 2nd Dec 1823 (ML. ref. FM4. 7171. p. 217)
  • 3. Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 14th July 1813;
  • 4. Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 5th April 1815;
  • 5. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 6. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 7. AOT Convict Conduct Record. CON31/1/1, Muster Roll: CSO1/1/403 9104, Description List: CON23/1/1; AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1837/3883; AOT Index to Departures CSO95/1/1 p320
  • 8. AOT Convict Conduct Record CON31/1/15, Muster Roll: CSO1/1/403 9104
  • 9. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 10. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1835/2935
  • 11. The search was made using the National Library of Australia’s Trove Digitised Newspapers website:
  • 12. State Library of New South Wales: Conditional pardons, 1826-1856;
  • 13. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 14. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 15. AOT Convict Permission to Marry GREAVES Emma Royal Admiral WILLIAMS John Neptune 00 JUL 1844 CON52/2 p232 RGD37/3 : 1844/982
  • 16. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1844/982
  • 17. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 18. AOT Death Registration RGD 1850/14
  • 19. AOT Inquest SC195/1/26 Inquest 2230
  • 20. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 21. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1850/595
  • 22. East Harling Baptism Registrations
  • 23. AOT Van Diemen’s Land Company VDL224
  • 24. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 25. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1852/248
  • 26. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 27. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1854/366
  • 28. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 29. The Courier Tuesday 15 April 1856
  • 30. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1859/799 under the surname Williams or Gold
  • 31. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 32. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1861/1274
  • 33. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 34. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1865/763
  • 35. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 36. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1867/724
  • 37. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 38. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1869/761
  • 39. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 40. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1872/787
  • 41. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 42. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1872/340 under the surname Gould
  • 43. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1839/726
  • 44. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 45. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1877/785
  • 46. AOT Baptism Registration NS884/1/14
  • 47. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1877/226
  • 48. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1853/2332
  • 49. The Mercury Tuesday 30 October 1877
  • 50. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1879/96
  • 51. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1857/879
  • 52. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1882/509
  • 53. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1862/XXXX
  • 54. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 55. AOT Death Registration RGD 1885/786
  • 56. Kaufman, Irene M., 'The Williams Family, Stanley, 1822-1945', Privately Published, 1987. Subtitled: William Richmond Gold (Alias John Williams) 1822-1885.
  • 57. AOT Last Will and Testament Williams John 1887 AD960/1/17 110 3287
  • 58. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1886/494
  • 59. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1865/781
  • 60. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1887/451
  • 61. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1889/114
  • 62. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1893/830
  • 63. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1865/7759
  • 64. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1896/916
  • 65. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1897/92
  • 66. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1877/338
  • 67. TFI Death Registration RGD 1900/1120
  • 68. "Family Notices." Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954) 17 Aug 1900: 1 Edition: DAILY. Web. 13 Oct 2013;
  • 69. AOT Death Registration RGD 1902/1709
  • 70. "COUNTRY NEWS." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 16 Jun 1902: 6. Web. 13 Oct 2013;
  • 71. TFI Death Registration RGD 1904/1760
  • 72. TFI Marriage Registration RGD 1905/1151
  • 73. TFI Death Registration RGD 1907/816
  • 74. "Family Notices." The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times (Tas. : 1899 - 1919) 26 Jan 1907: 4. Web. 13 Oct 2013;
  • 75. The Advocate, Tuesday 22 January 1907
  • 76. TFI Marriage Registration RGD 1908/1242
  • 77. TFI Death Registration RGD 1909/759
  • 78. Examiner Saturday 4 September 1909 and The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times Friday 3 September 1909
  • 79. Summers, Judith
  • 80. TFI Death Registration RGD 1909/760
  • 81. "A SUDDEN DEATH." The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times (Tas. : 1899 - 1919) 22 Sep 1909: 2. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 82. TFI Marriage Registration RGD 1910/1440
  • 83. TFI Death Registration RGD 1911/886
  • 84. TFI Death Registration RGD 1920/523
  • 85. TFI Death Registration RGD 1923/905
  • 86. TFI Death Registration RGD 1927/1235
  • 87. "Family Notices." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 5 May 1927: 2. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 88. "STANLEY." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 7 May 1927: 4. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 89. "STANLEY." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 6 Aug 1929: 4. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 90. "STANLEY." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 8 Aug 1929: 4. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 91. New Zealand Death Registration 1930/1944 Williams, William Richard and My Heritage:
  • 92. "Family Notices." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 5 Mar 1934: 2. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 93. "OBITUARY." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 7 Mar 1934: 2. Web. 14 Oct 2013;
  • 94. Advocate Thursday 4 April 1935
  • 95. From the Chronicle News 1935 - Obituary - Mr Samuel Williams of South Forest
  • 96. Oral History: Laurie Horton
  • 97. "OBITUARY." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 4 Apr 1935: 2 Edition: DAILY. Web. 12 Oct 2014;
  • 98. "Family Notices." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 29 Nov 1945: 2. Web. 13 Oct 2013;
  • 99. "OBITUARY." Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 8 Dec 1945: 2. Web. 13 Oct 2013;
  • 100. "Family Notices." Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954) 7 Dec 1945: 4. Web. 13 Oct 2013;
  • 101. The Mercury Monday 15 October 1900
  • 102. "Governor Presents Medals." Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954) 21 Jun 1944: 4. Web. 13 Oct 2013;