My research project for the UTAS Course- Introduction to Family History, has been focussed on trying to locate the death of Mary Ann Russell nee Gransden and also on making sure that the William Russell that I have as her husband is in fact the correct one. As part of that research I am off to Bathurst tomorrow to try and find some records that may not be as easy to track down on-line as they are in person. As part of my search I have looked at the documents that I have currently and of course done some more hunting including repeating searches that I had already done in Trove.
Some of the things that have come up for me. Firstly, George Russell, last child of Mary Ann and William Russell is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly George Russell is the only child where the birth certificate records Mary Russell as Mary Russel rather than Mary Ann Russel. Secondly the birth of George is substantially later than the birth of the other Russell children. The birth of George Russel is five years after that of Matilda Russell. Secondly the birth of George Russell is the only birth where the child is down as born or baptised in Kelso, all of the others are in Campbells River or Bathurst. Now Kelso isn’t far from Bathurst so it could indeed be the same family but the inconsistencies are starting to mount up.
Finally I found this on Trove yesterday.
So another question arises. Is George Russell the son of William Russell and Mary Ann Russell nee Gransden? Did William Russell marry again or have another partner? Did Mary Ann go back to William Russell and have another child with him? This could explain the considerable gap between the births of her last two children.
I have the death certificates for two possible Mary Ann Russells one of them is for a woman who died only a couple of months after George Russell died, but she died in Sydney. At this stage this is one of the most likely people to be Mary Ann Russell nee Gransden. Did she leave again after the death of her last child and die? Is this why the name on the birth certificate for George is Mary Russel instead of Mary Ann Russel? Did she never go back and is George Russell the child of a different Mary? Much more work needs to be done to really come up with the answers but finding this announcement gives me yet another avenue to look in.
The next question is, who is William Russell? I now no longer believe that he is William Russell per Asia. Too many of the documents say that this William Russell lived in Maitland not in Bathurst. I am really hoping that my trip tomorrow will help me to answer some of the many questions about this intriguing household.
I have also been researching this family. My mother was a Russell. I came to the same conclusion as you about William Russell not being on the “Asia”. I believe he was on the vessel “Mary” which sailed on the 21 August 1832. he was sentenced at Kent Quarter sessions to Life and convicted on 5 July 1832.
The thing that struck me was that John Adams (the first husband of Mary Ann Gransden) was on the same ship. He was convicted at the Kent Assizes, Canterbury on the 3rd July 1832 and transported for life.
For me, this explained the connection between the 2 men and explained how William Russell came to know Mary Ann Gransden-Adams. I have wondered why Russell and Mary Ann did not marry until 1847, after quite a few children had been born. One of William Russell’s convict records states that he was already married with 2 children when he was transported. Perhaps he did not marry again until his first wife had died? Perhaps John Adams was still living?
Your information and speculation about Mary Ann is very interesting. Perhaps she had run away from an unhappy marriage. You have given me new impetus to keep searching.
Lovely to hear from you. I am sorry that I have not responded before this. I have been unwell.
I do think that Mary Ann was possibly escaping from an unhappy marriage.
However, you have bought up another possibility with William Russell possibly being from Kent. Mary Ann’s parents came from Kent, it is possible that myself and others have found a death for Mary Ann’s father in Kent where he had been sent back to his Parish of origin when he moved into a workhouse. Given that he was from Kent and probably ended his life there and left other siblings there it is possible that he maintained connections with his home county. It is possible that William Russel and or John Adams actually knew of each other or had met each other prior to Mary Ann moving to Australia. Given that Mary Ann left England in 1833 I wonder if it is possible that she was actually following John Adams to Australia. After all they married only four months after Mary Ann arrived in Australia.
I love the possibilities you have thrown up. Thank you.