Old Henry Gadsby who came out to Australia in 1870s seems like a pretty interesting character. Not being a very adventurous person I often think people have reasons for wanting to live on the other side of the world especially if they go alone. eg have they fallen out with the relatives, misfit, running from a marriage, abused in some way, creditors or the law. Of course they may have been alone due to their parents’ death and a job on a ship or travel to exciting parts may have been the answer. I’m pursuing the line of enquiry that his parents had passed away and his siblings had moved on.
Even today, you meet people who have come here from England or NZ and don't have much to do with those back home. The question crosses my mind. What are they hiding or hiding from? Is it plain old wanderlust and adventure and nothing sinister at all.
This week we’ve had contact from a man who said another great uncle was a bigamist. We sort of knew about the second and third marriage but the first back in England!!! Shock, horror and affront. Perhaps he had plans to build a better life and send for the wife. One hundred years ago she may have been grateful for an unhappy marriage to be finished. Still in the 1920s it might have been difficult to organise a divorce across the seas. He seems to have gotten it down pat by the 1930s though when he married his third wife after divorcing the second one. Who would have thought you could be tracked by a 100 year old census and a growing assortment of technology?
The rest of my family came here in 1912 after a bad winter and on advice of doctors to get out of London. Not an easy feat to pack up your wife and 8 kids at 50 and set up shop in Sydney. Still, there must have been a sense of adventure as well as self preservation. I’d love to read some of the letters back home. What did they make of the adventures and their new life in Australia?
Thought of the Day:
We may still find information on old Henry Gadsby- new records and digitised digging for information is opening new leads every day. People who tell me their tree was "done " twenty years ago may have a whole lot more information today with the advancements in technology. The fact is we didn’t even know Henry existed – there are no photos or even relatives who knew him. The Sands Directory tells us he lived down the road from Great Grandad in 1915. Being both builders they probably even worked together. Last week he was a dead end – this week we’ve discovered his wife and daughter.