Sophia Rayner and Thomas Green

Sophia Rayner was born on 20 October 1822 in Hobart, Tasmania, the fifth child and fourth daughter of William Rayner and Susannah Chapman.1 In 1827 Sophia’s name was recorded on a census of children in the Hobart area, perhaps to determine the future education needs of the area. The register included Elizabeth Rayner (17), Sarah Rayner (13), Isabella Rayner (10), Sophia Rayner (6) and Susan Rayner (4).2 Sophia, aged 19, married Thomas Green, aged 37, in October 1841 in Hobart, Tasmania.3 Thomas Green was born about 1804 in England. According to a descendant, "Thomas came to Tasmania as a free man in 1823".4 The original source for that information is unknown. Thomas had been married previously to Sarah Ann Gunn. Thomas and Sarah were married on 10 October 1827 in St. David's Cathedral in Hobart. Witnesses were George Guest Jnr. and W. Worthy.5 Sarah was christened on 26 May 1810 in Hobart, the daughter of Samuel Gunn and Janet Patterson.6 Thomas and Sarah had five children as follows: Mary Jane Green, born on 19 May 1829, baptised 27 December 1829 in St. David's, Hobart (father described as a whaler)7; Emma Green, born on 8 August 1832 in New Norfolk8; Thomas Green, born on 29 April 1835, baptised on 24 May 1835 in Holy Trinity, Hobart (father described as a mariner)9; William Green, born on 11 October 1837, baptised 5 April 1838 in St. David's in Hobart (father described as a whaler)10; and James Green, born on 28 December 1839 in Hobart.11 The year after the last child's birth proved disastrous, with James Green dying on 1 August 1840 in Back River, New Norfolk12, Sarah Green, Thomas' wife, dying on 9 August 1840 in Hobart13, and Emma Green dying on 20 August 1840, also in Hobart.14 All three died from Tuberculosis. At the beginning of 1841 Thomas was left with three chilren, Mary Jane (10), Thomas (5) and William (2). He married Sophia Rayner in St. David's Church on 6 October 1841. Robert Rayner and William Holdship were witnesses.15 A census return of 1842 for Hobart Town shows Thomas Green as occupier of a house in Campbell Street owned by Joshua Ferguson (sic). He is shown as having arrived free and his wife as born in the colony.16 Thomas and Sophia's first child, Charles Green was born on 2 October 1842 in Hobart, Tasmania.17 Charles was baptised on 7 December 1842 in St. David's Church in Hobart with his father described as a mariner.18 Frederick James Green soon followed on 16 December 1844 in Hobart, Tasmania. James was recorded as an Unknown Male (M.) at birth.19 In 1846 Thomas was the victim of a forgerer as reported in the Courier:

IMPUDENT FORGERIES, - A ticket-of-leave holder, named Joseph Waterhouse, a subordinate clerk at the Commissariat Stores, was apprehended on Thursday by detective constables Brown and Daley under the following circumstances:-Information had been received that the prisoner who dresses in the first style and apes the manners or a gentleman had gone on Tuesday evening to the shop of Mr. Thomas Green, Campbell-street, and passed an order for 7/15s. purporting to be signed by "George Maclean. D.C.G.," and made payable at the Derwent Bank in favour of himself. The order was written on the regular printed form, leaving the blanks to be filled in. On Tuesday evening the constables ascertained that the prisoner had offered a second similar order at Mrs. Hills, "The Woodpecker," Harrington-street, only varying the sum to 10/. Fortunately for her, under such circumstances, Mrs. Hills had not sufficient cash in the house. Hitherto, notwithstanding the most active exertions, the police were unsuccessful, but on Thursday Brown and Daley observing him in the street, "dodged" him to the house of Mr. Cummins, "The Lord Nelson," Liverpool-street, and apprehended him in the very fact of uttering a precisely similar order 7/. 15s. to the one which he had passed at the shop of Mr Green. On being asked if his name was not Waterhouse, the prisoner assumed to be very indignant; declared that his name was Smith; that he was a gentleman, recently arrived in the colony, and resided at New Town. He threatened the constables with various pains and penalties of the law should they dare to arrest him, and with much sang froid inquired if they had never happened to hear of John Smith Esq. Brown answered that all he knew about it was that he had a pair of fetters in his pocket, forged by a "Smith," but whether or no a relation of his could not tell. The prisoner was then handcuffed and taken to the watch-house.20

In the early 1850's Thomas' son by his first wife, Thomas (Jnr.), emigrated to Victoria. Thomas Jnr. entered into a relationship with Sarah Thomas and they had thirteen children (no marriage has been found at this point). In November 1856 a deed was registered in the Registry of Deeds by which Thomas Green, mariner, purchased land in Campbell Street from Joshua Ferguson. At that time he named his children by his first marriage as Thomas (22), Mary and William, and by his second marriage as Charles and Frederick James.21 The Green family appear next in the newspaper in February 1859 for breach of unusual council by-laws:

MAYOR'S COURT - THIS DAY. (Before the Right Worshipful the Mayor, David Lewis, Esq., and Alderman Lipscombe). The hearing the information laid against Mr. Thomas Green, Campbell-street, for having, on the 8rd inst, employed one Matthew Burns in casting night soil upon Park-street, whereby he had rendered himself liable to a penalty not exceeding £10, came on today. Defendant did not appear. Matthew Hums stated that he was engaged by Mr. Green for 10s on the 3rd instant, to empty a water closet belonging to one of Mr. Green's houses, and that he was ordered by the defendant to put part of the contents of the closet in the Creek, as Mr. Green said it would soon be washed away ;- by his directions witness also put some of the stuff on the paddock and covered it up ; witness was afterwards summoned to attend at the Mayor's Court, and on informing Mr. Green of this, he gave witness 2s. to get out of the way and took him to the Berriedale Inn. The defendant was fined 20s and costs.22

The Mercury's version of events was a little less sensational:

MAYOR'S COURT.-THURSDAY (Before His Worship the Mayor, and Alderman Lipscombe.) THOMAS v. GREEN. This was an information against Mr. Thomas Green, of Campbell-street, charging him with a breach of the Bye Law No. 12, in causing night soil to be deposited in Park-street, on the 3rd instant, and by which he was liable to a penalty not exceeding £10. This case was deferred from the previous sitting for the attendance of a material witness, named Matthew Barnes, who had failed to attend on that occasion. He now stated that he was employed by the defendant to take the soil to the paddock, and was to have 10s. for the job; he deposited it, however, in Park-street, close to the Paddock, and covered it up. The defendant was fined 20s., and 7s. 6d. costs.23

Thomas and Sarah Ann Gunn's son William Green, like his older brother Thomas, also emigrated to Victoria and married there on 12 October 1863 in Maryborough to Sarah Rice.24 Sarah was born on 17 February 1844 in Hobart, Tasmania, the daughter of George Rice and Elizabeth Russell.25 William and Sarah had ten or eleven children over the next twenty years. Back in Tasmania, a surprise later addition to the family arrived twenty years after the birth of her next oldest sibling when Alice Sophia Green was born on 2 July 1864 in Hobart, Tasmania.26 When Alice was just six her brother Charles Green (27) married Sarah Eliza Russell (31) on 10 May 1870 in Hobart, Tasmania.27 The origins of Sarah have not been revealed to date but there is a potential relationship between Sarah and Elizabeth Russell, the mother of Sarah Rice. It appears that Charles and Sarah did not have any children. Another five years later Frederick James Green (28) applied for a license to marry Elizabeth Ann Millar (25) which they did on 11 May 1875 in Hobart, Tasmania.28 Elizabeth may have been the daughter of John Miller and Sarah Hodgetts, their daughter Elizabeth being born on 27 July 1850 in Longford.29 They had six children that have been traced.

MARRIAGES GREEN-MILLAR.-On the 11th May, at St. David's Cathedral, by the Rev. Canon Bromby, Frederick James Green to Elizabeth Ann Millar.30

In 1878 Thomas was the victim of vandalism as reported in the Cornwall Chronicle:

A Coincidence. —In Saturday's Chronicle we mentioned that the signboard of Mr Green, gasfitter, of Charles-street, had been wantonly besmeared with tar on Thursday night. The Mercury of Saturday states that during Thursday night some evil-disposed person besmeared with tar the house and fence of Mr Thomas Green, Campbell street, Hobart Town, which had been newly painted. It seems that the same demon of mischief actuated the perpetrators of those acts at both towns almost simultaneously. Perhaps it was the evil genius of the race of Green's.31

Thomas Green (Senior) died on 16 March 1881 in Hobart, Tasmania. The cause of death was recorded as Chronic Cystitis.32

GREEN.-On Wednesday morning, March 16, at his late residence, 38, Campbell-street, Hobart, Mr. Thomas Green, mariner, aged 79 years. Funeral THIS MORNING, at 9 o'clock.33

In 1884 Aaron Midson suffered a painful accident as reported in the Mercury:

ACCIDENT AT NEW TOWN.-A young man named Aaron Midson met with a painful accident at Messrs, Waller and Co.'s clay works, Now Town. He was in charge of the engine and machinery, and while engaged in oiling, allowed his sleeve to catch in a pair of cog-wheels, by which his hand was drawn between, and his fingers completely crushed. He was promptly taken to the hospital on one of Cooley's omnibuses, which was passing at the time, and has had to suffer amputation.34

The following year Sophia Green (nee Rayner) died on 29 January 1885 in Hobart, Tasmania. The cause of death was recorded as Stomach Cancer.35

GREEN.-On Thursday, January 20, at Hobart, Sophia Green, relict of the late Thomas Green, mariner, aged 60 years.36

Alice Sophia Green married Aaron Midson on 21 October 1886 in Hobart, Tasmania.37 Aaron was born on 5 November 1867 in North West Bay, Kingston, Tasmania, the son of John Midson and Rebecca Whiting.38

CITY OF HOBART. 8 PERCHES. Fronting on Campbell-street and bounded by land granted to _Guy and by land belonging to _Kerr, and _Fulton respectively. Being part of land originally granted to Joshua Ferguson. THOMAS GREEN, WILLIAM GREEN, CHARLES GREEN, FREDERICK JAMES GREEN, and ALICE SOPHIA GREEN, (Application 2461), 15th day of March, 1888. Dated this 14th day of February, 1888. JAMES WHYTE, Recorder of Titles.39

Sarah Green (nee Russell), the wife of Charles Green, died on 19 May 1909 at 5 Elphinstone Road in North Hobart, aged 70.40 Initially the newspaper reports of the event carried a differant location but they were subsequently corrected:

GREEN.-On May 19, 1909, at her residence, Jordan Hill-road, Sarah Eliza, beloved wife of Charles Green.41

Elizabeth Green (nee Millar), the wife of Frederick Green, died on 5 September 1921 at 14 Cross Street, New Town.42 Charles Green died on 11 November 1922 at 5 Elphinstone Road in North Hobart, Tasmania.43

GREEN -On the 11th inst., at his residence, No 5 Elphinstone- road Charles Green, aged 80 years. (Absent from the body. Present with the Lord.) GREEN -Funeral of the late Mr. Charles Green will move from his residence, 5 Elphinstone-road, This Day(Tuesday), the 14th inst., at 4 pm., arriving at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, at 4.25p.m. ALEX CLARK AND SON LTD44

Charles left a last will and testament which was signed on 18 August 1919 leaving the whole of his estate to his neice Elsie Louise Alberta Callanan Russell, and in the event of Elsie predeceasing him, to his nurse Grace Mary Fordham. Two years after Charles' death, Frederick James Green died at a private homeopathic hospital on 12 April 1924 in Hobart, Tasmania.45 He was buried on 14 April 1924 in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery in Hobart, Tasmania.46 Aaron Midson died on 23 June 1927 at his residence at 18 Cross Street, New Town.47 Aaron was buried on 25 June 1927 in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery in Hobart, Tasmania.48

FUNERAL NOTICES. MIDSON.-Friends of the late Mr. Aaron Midson are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, which will move from his residence, 18 Cross street, New Town, This (Saturday) afternoon, at 2.30 p.m., for Cornelian Bay Cemetery. H. C. MILLINGTON.49

Alice Sophia Midson (nee Green) died in a private hospital on 27 August 1938 in Hobart, Tasmania.50

The sons and daughters of the late Mrs. Alice Sophia, Midson of 277 Argyle Street, wish to convey their heartfelt thanks to many kind friends and relatives for cards and floral tributes, and many nets of kindness in the sad loss of their dear mother. Will all please accept this as a personal expression of deepest gratitude.51

  • 1. Minutes of Hobart Town Monthly Meeting of Friends: University Special Collections; University of Tasmania; Sandy Bay, Tasmania [S.1. A.1. 1833-1857]
  • 2. A List of Males and Females having both parents living in the District of Hobart containing name, age & character as far as can be ascertained: Archives Office of Tasmania CSO 1/122a p. 92 & p. 96
  • 3. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1841/951
  • 4. Parliament of Tasmania, Bryan Green, Inaugural speech: 6 October 1998;
  • 5. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1827/1025
  • 6. AOT Baptism Registration NS 282/8/1
  • 7. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1829/3078
  • 8. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1832/4607
  • 9. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1835/6177
  • 10. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1837/8322
  • 11. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1839/925
  • 12. AOT Death Registration RGD 1840/572
  • 13. AOT Death Registration RGD 1840/438
  • 14. AOT Death Registration RGD 1840/452
  • 15. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1841/951
  • 16. AOT Correspondance Folder for Thomas Green (Census Patrish 2, Return 770, Pages 139-140)
  • 17. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1842/1092
  • 18. AOT Baptism Registration NS 282/8/4
  • 19. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1845/757
  • 20. The Courier Saturday 5 September 1846
  • 21. AOT Correspondance Folder for Thomas Green (Deed 4/3682)
  • 22. The Courier Thursday 17 February 1859
  • 23. The Hobart Town Daily Mercury Friday 18 February 1859
  • 24. VIC BDM Marriage Registration RGD 1863/3339, noted by Thomas, Peter: Email to Rootsweb Mailing List AUS-CONVICTS-L Archives;
  • 25. Thomas, Peter: Email to Rootsweb Mailing List RICE-L Archives;
  • 26. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1864/7016
  • 27. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1870/286
  • 28. AOT License to Marry NS 373/3 No. 4175 and AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1875/143
  • 29. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1850/1163
  • 30. The Mercury Wednesday 12 May 1875
  • 31. The Cornwall Chronicle Monday 2 September 1878
  • 32. AOT Death Registration RGD 1881/3029
  • 33. The Mercury Friday 18 March 1881
  • 34. The Mercury 5 April 1884
  • 35. AOT Death Registration RGD 1885/2202
  • 36. The Mercury Friday 30 January 1885
  • 37. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1886/443
  • 38. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1867/790
  • 39. The Mercury Friday 24 February 1888
  • 40. AOT Death Registration RGD 1909/1151
  • 41. The Mercury Friday 21 May 1909 and The Mercury Saturday 22 May 1909
  • 42. AOT Death Registration RGD 1921/2180
  • 43. AOT Death Registration RGD 1922/1902
  • 44. The Mercury Tuesday 14 November 1922
  • 45. AOT Death Registration RGD 1924/95
  • 46. Southern Regional Cemetery Trust, "Cornelian Bay Cemetery Registrations,"
  • 47. AOT Death Registration RGD 1927/1677
  • 48. SRCT
  • 49. The Mercury Saturday 25 June 1927
  • 50. Daniels, Louis (Lou), "The Rayners, The Allans," 29 December 1999 and Rayner, Daryl James, The Rayner Family History, Privately Published, 29 September 1999
  • 51. The Mercury Saturday 5 November 1938