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52 Ancestors in 2018


This year I am going to take part in a fun genealogy meme called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, promoted by Amy Johnson Crow. The idea is to get everyone getting the stories about our ancestors out there, and involves writing a blog, Facebook post, tweet, email – whatever gets the information out to our relatives.

I’m going to be putting my weekly ancestor on Twitter, as I figured that I should be able to manage 140 characters. Amy has weekly themes which my posts might or might not match. Generally, over the next year I’ll be posting about 16 of my 2x great grandparents, 16 of my husband’s 2x great grandparents, and the same for each of our 8 great granparents. The remaining 4 posts will be made up of our grandparent couples (grandfather and grandmother together).


Edward Caporn (1833-1908)


According to the 1841 English census and other documents, Edward Caporn was born in Scotland, as were his next older and younger siblings. At the time, their father, Samuel Caporn from Buckinghamshire, was working as a game keeper and bailiff at Scone Palace in Perthshire.

When he was nine years old, Edward’s family emigrated from England to Perth, Western Australia. In 1895 he was fined for ‘furious riding’ in Aberdeen Street.

Edward Caporn newspaper 1895

Police Reports. (1895, February 7). The Daily News (Perth, WA) http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78355297

Sarah Brown (1820-1891)


Sarah Brown was from Maryport, Cumberland. She was baptised on the same day as her brother Henry (twins?). The record appears on the same page of the baptismal register as the one for her future husband, Thomas English.

Sarah’s parents were John Brown and Margaret Sewell. In the 1841 census, Margaret is listed as a confectioner.

Sarah, husband Thomas, and brother Henry Brown emigrated to South Australia in 1850.

Baptismal Register for Sarah & Henry Brown and Thomas English

Baptismal Register for Sarah & Henry Brown and Thomas English, 1820

Obituary for Sarah English nee Brown 1891

Obituary for Sarah English nee Brown 1891

Mary Ann Woolgar (abt 1834-1916)


Mary Ann Woolgar was born in Small Dole, Sussex, half way between Henfield and Upper Beeding, a village 5 miles away. Her father worked as an agricultural labourer.

At the time of the 1851 census, Mary Ann was working as a servant for Thomas Warden, a farmer employing labourers in Henfield. I wonder if Peter Lelliott, Mary Ann’s future husband, was one of those agricultural labourers. Another possibility is that the two met when Peter was working as a bargeman, as Thomas Warden lived west of Henfield, close to the River Adur.

River Adur Henfield

River Adur Henfield

Thomas English (1820-1884)


Thomas English was an architect, Mayor of Adelaide and member of the South Australian Parliament. Born in Maryport, Cumberland, England, he came to South Australia in 1850, travelling with his wife, Sarah Brown, and her brother, Henry Brown. The ship, the Richardson, was commanded by James English, the older brother of Thomas.

Thomas English and Henry Brown became business partners. Their firm built a number of Adelaide’s prominent buildings, including the Town Hall and Old Parliament House. Their first major commission was to design and build Scots Church on the corner of North Terrace and Pulteney Street. Originally called Chalmers Free Church, the foundation Stone was laid on the 3rd September, 1850. This ceremony was attended by both Thomas English and Henry Brown.

Chalmers Free Church Adelaide

Chalmers Free Church, Adelaide

Peter Lelliott (1830-1896)


Peter Lelliott started his working life as a bargeman’s labourer, the same as his father, Philip. He lived in the West Sussex town of Henfield.

The River Adur was used to transport merchandise and agricultural produce, as well as dung, straw and ashes to be used for manure on the low-lying lands around Henfield. It provided a link to the port town of Shoreham.

By the 1861 census, Peter was working as an agricultural labourer, an occupation he held for the rest of his life.

Henfield Sussex c1875

Enter a caption

Mary Britten Jones (abt 1828-1907)


Mary Jones married Philip Henry Burden in 1850. They had five children, including a son who died from diphtheria when he was seven years old.

After her husband, Philip, died in 1864, Mary married John Henry Barrow. He was a member of the South Australian state parliament and also the manager and editor of the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper. They had one child together. John died in 1874.

Mary moved to Victoria and married Benjamin Cowderoy in 1879. She died in 1907.

Obituary for Mary Britten Cowderoy nee Jones 1907

Obituary for Mary Britten Cowderoy nee Jones 1907


Ann Woolven (abt 1831-1916)


Ann Woolven’s father, William, died when Ann was about ten years old. In 1851 Ann was a servant for Thomas Gravely, a doctor in Cowfold, Sussex. Her 14 year-old, younger sister Emily was in the household as well, working as a nursemaid.

Ann married David Fairs in 1854 and they had nine children.

Ann died in 1916 and is buried in the graveyard of St Peter’s Church, Cowfold.

St Peter's Church, Cowfold: churchyard

St Peter’s Church, Cowfold: churchyard