I'm not giving up!

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erich
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I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: erich » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:10 pm

Hello again everybody. I hope you are all well and happy!

I haven't been very active in the family history caper for a while, I just didn't know what to do next. Most of you have commented and helped with my past questions. This question concerns (again) my Grandfather Ernest McQuillan Hargraves. I have suspicions this was an assumed name, and that he used as his parents the names of a couple from Victoria who didn't have any children of his name and were not in Lincoln, UK where he claims to have been born. Whatever is the truth of this, I have no record of him before 1913 when he was about 33.

I am trying another rather desperate idea. At his wedding to my Grandmother in the CofE church, Prahran in Melbourne in 1913, there are a male witness and a female witness. I would assume these were the best man and bridesmaid, although I think they more or less eloped, so don't know if they had a regular wedding with attendants. Anyway, one assumes the two witnesses were known to the couple.

So I thought I would try to trace the best man, in the hope that it might give a clue as to where he might have lived, in the further hope that I might stumble across some useful information. So I have looked him up in the Victorian BMD (where they were married and she lived prior to marriage), and in NSW (where he lived prior to the marriage), and surprise, surprise, I can find no record of him either! Perhaps they were both desperadoes!!!

Anyway, before I write him off, I thought I'd ask if anyone else could find a record of him please. His name is listed on the marriage certificate as William Stephen Baker, and I have searched for that exact name. If I just search for William Baker, a find zillions, which is no help, so I have to try for the full name.

The only other possibility is that the surname isn't Baker. Here is the signature:

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Any flashes of inspiration would be greatly appreciated thanks. : )

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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: Dizzi R.I.P. » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:43 am

just found this
James Hargreaves Quilliam
England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening: 05 Feb 1862 St. Peter,​ Liverpool,​ Lancashire,​ England
residence: Liverpool,​ Lancashire,​ England
at least the name
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sUpEr AdmiNiStRaToR



i help everyone...why dosnt anyone help me

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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: Mary in Oz » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:59 pm

Hi Eric.. Nice to see you..I wander if the name is WILLIAM STEPHEN PARKER
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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: Mary in Oz » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:17 pm

Eric.. Found a William Stephen Parkerin the 1903 Electoral Roll in Yarra, Richmond West living 30 Victoria Street Richmond and his occuparion is GROCER

Also found a birth for a person with that name 3/9/1869 Maffra Vic. Died 1948 Bendigo.. this is from a tree on ancestry..

and another Born 1893 Deans Marsh Victoria..

Do you have Ancestry..
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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: erich » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:47 pm

Mary, I tried to see alternatives, but I didn't think of that! It is certainly a possibility, and there are a couple of people by that name and about the right age in the Victorian BDM (births), so I will see what I can make of that. Thanks. Other people's eyes are sometimes needed!

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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: Mary in Oz » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:19 am

The William Stephen Parker born 1893 Deans Marsh is no good as he died 30/7/1901 in deans Marsh..
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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: erich » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:06 pm

Mary,

Thanks for your info. I am not subscribed to Ancestry at the moment, but I use it at the local library. I too have done a little searching on Ancestry and the Victorian BDM site. I found two William Stephen Parkers:

1. Wm Henry Stephen Parker, born 1883 at Inglewood (near Bendigo), on the 1903 electoral roll at Inglewood and died 1946.) I doubt this is our man.

2. Wm Stephen Parker, born 1893, not sure where. But he couldn't be your 1903 grocer - only 10 then. But he would have been 20 at the wedding.

Then there is (3) the WSP born Maffra (in Gippsland) that you found, and died 1948 in Bendigo - so he moved a fair way, and could have been in Melbourne at some stage, and (4) your 1903 Richmond grocer, who looks the most promising.

One more curiosity. I am pretty confident Ernest changed his name, and I would think if I was changing my name, I'd probably keep the first name and change the rest. And I found an Ernest Parker in my searching - but no way to link him to the Parker who was "best man".

I have also been looking at the female witness at the wedding, Alice Stokes, and there are two of them born in Richmond (not far from Prahran where my Gran lived) in 1890, so 1 year older than my Gran, so could be a friend. One's mother's maiden name was Parker! Coincidence? My mum told me they more or less eloped so my Gran could escape her adoptive mother, so it is perhaps possible that, since my Grandfather was from NSW, my Gran asked her friend Alice and her friend's cousin (WS Parker) to be witnesses at a small, hastily arranged wedding. It seems so unlikely, but if it's true, then Parker will be useless in trying to trace my Grandfather.

So I'll keep going, thanks for your help.

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I'm frustrated, but still not giving up!

PostAuthor: erich » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:00 am

Hello everyone,

It is a while since I posted, as I haven't had much to report on my particular genealogical problems, but I thought I would give you an update of where I'm at, just to let those of you who have helped me know the end result (so far!).

You may recall that I can find no record of my grandfather, Ernest McQuillan Hargraves, nor his parents (Francis Hargraves and Mary McQuillan) in England, where he says he was born about 1880. Several experienced UK researchers have concluded he was not born there under those names. The only Francis Hargrave and Mary McQuillan I can find anywhere (there is no 's' but I assume that is a common variation) emigrated from Ireland (as children) about 1850, married in 1870 in western Victoria, had 9 children, and spent the last decades of their lives in and around Melbourne. None of their children is recorded as Ernest.

Mary McQuillan had a number of brothers and sisters who emigrated at the same time, and were spread over western Victoria and Melbourne environs, and elsewhere. It is worth noting that Ernest's middle name was McQuillan, and he chose that for the middle name of both his daughters to my Gran, including (of course) my mother.

I have drawn the following conclusions (the best assumptions or conclusions I can come up with):

1. Ernest McQuillan Hargraves was not his real name, and he changed some or all of it for some reason. (Of course it is possible he was not registered, or was born outside the countries I am able to search for, but I think it is too much of a coincidence that I can't find him or his parents at all before 1913.)

2. Since the earliest record I have of Ernest is his marriage to my grandmother in 1913 in Melbourne, and she lived all her life up until then in Melbourne, and the only Francis Hargraves and Mary McQuillan I can find in UK, Irish and Australian records lived for several decades in the same place as he was married, I am assuming that he knew them rather than just coincidentally chose the same names.

3. I can think of a number of explanations that could explain all this, for example:

  • One of Francis & Mary's children changed their name to Ernest for some reason. For this to be the case, that person would have to disappear from the record before 1913. One child fits the bill, Edward John, born 1875, and on the electoral roll in 1903 & 1909, but nothing more, no marriage nor death that I can find. He is a possibility.
  • A child of the wider McQuillan family changed his name for some reason (trouble with the police, or a woman, or a debtor, for example) and used the Hargrave name after Francis & Mary died (1902, and 1909). This would fit with him sticking to the McQuillan second name, and there are several in the wider McQuillan family who could possibly fit here - but again, no way of knowing.
  • He could have been an illegitimate child of Francis, or the wider McQuillan family, in which case there'd probably be no record and no way to know.
  • He could have been someone not related who was either adopted by Francis & Mary, lived with them, or knew them, and chose their names when he wanted to change his identity.

That is as far as the records and speculation can get me. I have found a descendent of the McQuillans who has an older relative who was told some family stories by an even older relative, now deceased, so my only hope is that there is a story there. I'll let you know if I find anything more after he checks.

This has been a most interesting, time-consumong, and frustrating exercise. I just thought I'd bring you all up to date.

Thanks again for your help and encouragement in the process up to now.

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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: Mary in Oz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:48 am

Great work Eric.. Keep at it..
One thing I was thinking of is he might have a convict record..Try searching the prison records for Melbourne or try the records of the courts.. Dont know where to do this but searching the police records in Melbourne might give you a clue. He might have altered his name to make a new start in life.

I have just found after 5 years my gggrandfather in Ireland.. He was born a Cull in Ireland and when he went to live in Scotland he changed his name to McCall so they didnt have any worries about changing their names back then..thats 2 name changes in my family so far..

Keep at it ..you are doing well..and keep us informed..it is quite a mystery..
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Re: I'm not giving up!

PostAuthor: erich » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:27 am

Thanks Mary, you have always been most encouraging! I will try to find police and gaol records, but without a name, it is pretty difficult.

Interesting about your grandfather, Cull became McCall. I guess without drivers licences, credit cards and even photographs, there was little to prove who was who!


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