Sunday, 16 November 2014

Obituary - Barry Talbot Gratton

The obit I wrote for my father in law with help from his sister Maylene.

 On June 13, 1945 Frederick and Phyllis Gratton, welcomed the second child to their family, Barry Talbot. Four years later Barry and his brother Rodney were joined by a little sister, Maylene.

Early on, the family lived in Bent Street, Moonee Ponds where Barry attended the Moonee Ponds Central School. Later they moved to Dublin Avenue, Strathmore and Barry completed his primary education at the Strathmore Primary School. The Gratton's moved to Lebanon Street, Strathmore and it was while they lived here that Barry attended Glenroy Technical School.

From an early age Barry was always building something, whether it be billy carts or cubby houses, some of which were underground. Barry always wanted to be a builder, but times were tough and he could not get an apprenticeship. On leaving school he became a sales representative for Hemingway and Picket, a cigarette distributor. However, he longed to work with his hands and so became a handyman, specialising in hanging doors.

In his teenage years Barry loved to go ferreting and shooting at the family weekender, Konagaderra. Later he enjoyed camping and water skiing at Lake Eppalock. Always the gentleman, Barry would make steps down to the water, where ever he camped. He was always there to help you.

Barry loved to dance to rock n roll music. It was on one of these night's out at the Heidelberg Town Hall that Barry met Katheryn Butterworth. Little did he know, they would be together for over 40 years. Barry married Katheryn at St Andrew's Church of England, Rosanna on January 13, 1968.

After they married the happy couple lived in Lalor. It was here in 1971 that the first of their three boys, Stephen was born. Three years later Warren came into the world and then finally Brock in 1977. The late 70's saw the family move to Mill Park. It was here in around 1980 a little boy followed the three Gratton brothers home from a play ground. Unfortunately they gave him something to eat... Wray has been a member of the family ever since.

Sam & Annie Butterworth, Katheryn & Barry, Phyllis & Frederick Gratton
Barry's love of the outdoors carried into his adult life with his own family: camping; fishing and water skiing. Nearly every school holidays were spent traveling from Melbourne to stay at the Everton caravan park. They loved their time here so much that Barry and Kathy would later relocate their family to the North East. Barry working as a caretaker at the caravan park.

After living at Everton for a few years they would move to Markwood and then later Wangaratta.

While they lived at Everton in the early 1990's, Barry began working at Bruck Textiles. He continued working here for around 15 years, until leaving in around 2006 to take care of Kathy when she fell ill. In December 2005 Barry named Bruck's employee of the month.

If you know Barry, you know he loved a good bargain. The Mill Park days is when the Garage Sale King started his reign. Barry, with boys in tow, would drive around the neighbourhood on council clean up days hunting for treasures. It would soon become a family tradition that Saturday mornings were spent going through the paper and visiting as many garage sales as possible. This continued when the family moved to the North East and it still continues today with their sons and grandchildren heading out early most weekends.

Barry's biggest joy was his family. His pride in his boys was evident to all. As his boys grew and started families of their own, he was able to pass on his many handy man skills to another generation. There was nothing around the house that he could not build or fix. He would take turns, going from one sons house to the next, working on whatever project he felt needed doing – whether the family was ready or not.

Barry was a kind, caring and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, father in law and friend to all that had the pleasure to know him. He will be missed by all, but his legacy continues in the family he has left behind.
L to R: Stephen, Kathy, Warren, Barry & Brock Gratton

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Reyland Family

Susan and Edmund

Susan Bunston, the youngest child of Samuel and Fannie Monkton, was born in South Petherton, Somerset on September 10th 1853.  Susan was the youngest sibling of George and Mary Bunston, who had left England for Australia in February1855.  It is a fair assumption that Susan would not have remembered her eldest brother and sister.

At the time of the 1861 census, seven year old Susan was attending school. She was living with her older siblings Jane, Henry, James, John and Joseph.  Their parents had already passed away by this time, Fannie in 1859 and Samuel in 1860.

The 1871 census has 17 year old Susan now living as a lodger with her sister Sarah Ann (married name, Masters) and her family. Susan was working as a Glover.

Seven years later on June 25, 1878 Susan married 26 year old Edmund Reyland at the parish church in Stratton, South Petherton, Somerset. Edmund was also born in South Petherton, on April 12th 1852 and here he was working as a labourer. Edmund was one of 15 children to William Reyland, a labourer from South Petherton and his wife Mary Anstice Vagg.

I have been unable to find Edmund in the 1861 census as he was not living with his family at the time.  Father William was working as a grocer at this time and living with him and Mary was three of their children.  I have been unable to find the family in the 1871 census.

On August 9 1878, newlyweds Edmund and Susan, left England on board the “Hesperus” and immigrated to Australia. Arriving in South Australia on October 24, they settled in Balaclava, South Australia, where their first child, Annie was born.  Two sons would also be born in South Australia. The family lived here for 11 years before moving to Victoria. Shortly after arriving at their new home, Susan gave birth to twin daughters Florence and Edith. The family resided at 27 Aitken Street, Clifton Hill - a suburb of Melbourne.  Here, Edmund was employed as a labourer. Their youngest child, Gertrude, was also born while the family lived here.

Altogether, Susan and Edmund had six children: Annie (1879); William (1883); Frederick (1885); Florence and Edith (1889) and Gertrude (1891). Though sadly the twins both died shortly after their birth.
Edmund, Fred, Susan, Gertie, Edgar and Annie Reyland

According to voting records, Susan was a house wife and Edmund was a labourer.  Edmund continued his occupation even as he progressed into old age. 

Susan died on February 26, 1913 aged 58 at Clifton Hill. She is buried at Coburg.

A few year's after his wife’s death, around 1918, Edmund moved from the house in Aitken street to a house in Kensington where he lived with his eldest daughter, Annie and her husband.  His son Frederick remained in the Aitken street house for a while with his wife. Sometime around 1927, he moved to Skipton in western Victoria where his youngest child, Gertrude, had moved to be with her husband. Edmund lived in a single room hut behind Gertrude’s house. Both the house and hut are still standing today.

Edmund died in Skipton on May 7, 1937 aged 85. He was buried on May 10 in the Coburg Cemetery with his wife, Susan.

Susan reunited with her older brother, George, and possibly her sister Mary as well.  Both daughters Annie and Gertrude married their cousins - George's boys William and Philip.


Annie May, the eldest daughter, was born at Balaclava, South Australia on March 25th 1879.  She moved to Melbourne in 1889 with her family.  

On January 18th 1905 Annie married William Bunston in Clifton Hill, Victoria. Their wedding party included Annie's brother Fred and sister Gertie.  The other bridesmaid could possibly have been Will's youngest sister Gean.  Will was the son of Susan's brother George and Elizabeth Lyle Thompson. He was born on October 1st 1872 at Skipton, Victoria.  Voting records show that Will worked as a labourer and later as a municipal employee.  Annie was a house wife.

Will and Annie with Will's sister Gean
Together Will and Annie had three children: Winifred (1907); Alma (1910) and George (Peter)  (1914).

The family lived in Flemington, Melbourne. In the late 1930’s, Will’s niece, Esther Perry boarded with them for a while when she moved to Melbourne for employment.

Will died on August 9th 1944 aged 71. Annie died 28 years later in Melbourne on September 17th 1972, aged 93. They are buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.

William Edgar

Edgar was born on September 11th 1882 in Saints Station, South Australia. He moved to with his family to Victoria as a child.

Around the turn of the century Edgar moved to New Zealand, settling in Christchurch.  According New Zealand voting records, early on in life Edgar worked as a carter, after WWI has worked as a paper runner and in later life he worked as a cooper.  

Edgar served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force during World War I.  He traveled to London in 1918 on board the "Tofua" with the 42nd Reinforcements A Company.

Before the war, Edgar married Eleanor Ada Frances (Nell) Allen in 1908. Edgar and Nell adopted a daughter, Joyce (1925). After 30 years of marriage, Nell died in 1938.

In 1942 Edgar married his second wife, Madge Madeline (possibly Faukner) in New Zealand. Madge was born around 1900. Madge and Edgar had a son together, Peter (1941).

Edgar died in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 23rd 1960 aged 78. His second wife Madge died at the Christchurch Hospital on July 13th 1988 aged 88. She was cremated the next day at the Cantebury Cremetorium, Christchurch.

Frederick Edmund

Fred was born on February 19th1885 in Inkerman, South Australia.  In 1889 at the age of four he moved to Victoria with his family.

Voting records in 1909 showed 24 year old Fred living in Aitken street with his parents, he was employed as an estate agent.

Fred married Mary Ann Madsen in 1912.  Mary was the daughter of Marinus Madsen and Sarah Jane Warr.  She was born in Preston in 1887.  Mary and Fred did not have any children.  

Fred and Mary lived with Fred's parents in the Aitken street house, until his father moved in with Annie after the death of his wife.  In 1914 Fred was employed as a presser, while Mary worked as a machinist.

Five years later the couple were living in Tatura, central Victoria.  Here Mary was a house wife and Fred worked as a carter.  After living here for a little while they moved to Mooroopna, near Shepparton where Fred worked in the orchards as an orchard hand

By 1931 Fred and Mary had returned to the city, living in Collingwood.  Voting records now list Fred as being an invalid.  He died in Collingwood in 1940 aged 58.  Mary died in Northcote in 1961.

Gertrude May

Gertie was born in Collingwood on February 25, 1891.  Voting records from 1914 show Gertie living with her parents at the Aitken street home and working as a machinist.

A year later she and Philip Henry Bunston were married on October 27th 1915 in Kensington.  Philip was born on December 6th 1883 at Skipton.  In 1914 Philip was working as a farmer whilst living with his parents, George and Elizabeth. 

In 1919 Philip and Gertie were living on a property next door to Philip's parents farm.  Gertie was a house wife and Philip was a farmer.  Philip's father had given them part of his farm as a wedding present.  They lived here with their six children: Philip Edmund (Eddie) (1916); Reginald Henry (Reg) (1918); Alexander Herbert (Alec) (1920); George Lyle (1924); Thelma May (1925) and Alan James (1929).  The boys all lived to adulthood, but sadly their only daughter, Thelma, died in infancy. 
Front:Alan & George, Back: Eddie, Reg, Alec 

After the death of Gertie’s mother Susan Reyland, Gertrude’s father moved into a single room hut behind their house. Gertrude died on August 8, 1955 aged 65. She is buried at the Skipton Cemetery with her husband who died ten years later on June 13th 1965, aged 82.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

George Bunston and Bessie Owen

The second child of William Bunston and Ellen Vickery, George was born on May 7th 1867 in Yeovil, South Petherton. He was christened two months later on July 7th. His mother Ellen made her mark on his birth certificate as an “X”.  Due to this, it is likely that Ellen could not read or write.

At the time of the 1871 census George is listed as being three years of age.  George worked as a labourer and lived in Pontyclownfach, Wales. On February 2nd 1889 in Llantrisant, Glamorgan, Wales George married his first wife Elizabeth “Bessie” Owen.

Bessie was the daughter of Ephraim John Owen and Ann Ward.  She was born in 1868 in Great Bridge, Stafford.  The 1881 census shows Bessie living with her parents and three brothers in Llantrisant, Wales.  At the time of her marriage to George, Bessie lived at Brynsadler. Her father was working as a Checker. George and Bessie had their banns read in the church. The witnesses for the ceremony were Henry George Owen and Mary Bunston. The marriage was officiated by Mr. Davis, Curate. Rumour has it that the Owen’s were very rich family.
George and Bessie had 10 children together: Lily (1889); Mary "Emmy" (1891); Wilfred G (1892); John (1893); Flossie (1894); Elsie (1895); Wilfred O (1897); Gladys (1898); George "Baden" (1900) and Phyllis (1906).

George; Bessie; Lily; Wilf; Gladys; Elsie; Flossie; Emmy; Baden; Phyllis
The 1901 census shows George was working as a pipe layer, but was not living with his wife and family. I have been unable to find Bessie and the children in this census, but have found George and the children in the 1911 records.  Bessie had died on December 30 1909 aged 42. 

About four years after the death of Bessie, on November 24 1913 George married Mary Elizabeth Bunston. Mary was born in 1883. She was the daughter of James Bunston, William’s brother and Mary Ann Vickery, Ellen’s sister, making Mary, George’s cousin.

Mary and George had at least six children: Cyril (c.1915); Clifford (1917); Ronald (1919); Audrey (1920); Harold (1922) and Irene (1929).

George died in 1954 on May 5th. Mary died in Wales ten years later on November 23rd 1964.

George with three of his four brothers - missing is John

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Elizabeth Bunston and William Luck

Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Bunstone and Mary Prowse was born in South Petherton, Somerset on April 14th 1824. Like her brothers Henry and William, Elizabeth migrated to Australia.

It’s possible that Elizabeth traveled to Tasmania on board “Royal Saxon” which arrived in Launceston on November 22nd 1842. The passenger list has an 18 year old Elizabeth Bunstoner.  Though later research is yet to be able to confirm this information.  However, the time frame is correct as the 1841 Census shows Elizabeth in England and her marriage record has her in Australia.

When she was 19 Elizabeth married William Luck at St John’s, Launceston, Tasmania on November 22nd 1843.

The son of John Luck and Hannah Gibbs, William was born in Wootton, Northhamptonshire, England on February 23rd 1823. 

There is a record of a 17 year old criminal named William Luck that was transported to Australia from Northhampton in 1842.  He was tried in 1840 and sentenced to 7 years for larceny.  He sailed to Australia on board the "Tortoise".

In the early to mid 1850’s the family moved to Victoria. They only stayed for a couple of years, as their daughter Catherine was born in Victoria in 1853. All of the other children, before and after, were born in Tasmania.  There is a record of a William Luck traveling to Geelong, Victoria - arriving on 9 August 1849.  Though at this stage it is unconfirmed as it does not fit with the birth dates of the children born in Tasmania around this time. 

Elizabeth and William had at least 14 children together: Mary (1844); Alice (1846); William (1847); John (1849); James (1850); Joseph (1851); Catherine (1853); Hannah (1856); Charlotte (1857); George (1859); Sarah (1861); Annie (1862); Ada (1865) and Alfred (1868).

Elizabeth died in Hagley, Tasmania on May 31st 1870.

After Elizabeth died William went on to marry Elizabeth Jane Burnett on January 1st 1872 at Westbury, Tasmania. William supposedly had a total of 23 children, going on to have another nine with his second wife.

William died in 1912 on July 20th at Vermont, Tasmania.