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Mansfield Family - 1800s

UK to Melbourne in 1858

By Gary Buck October 2016

William Mansfield was born in 1818 in Great Chishill, Essex, England and Catherine (Kitty) Burr was born in 1819 in Ashwell, Hertfordshire UK.  They married in 1844 in Ashwell.  They were my Great Great Grandparents.


 In their first nine years of marriage, they had nine children in Ashwell, including twins and triplets


In the middle of this period, Ashwell had a major town fire.  More information on Ashwell is here.


I have traced the Burr family back as far as 1740's in Ashwell and the 

Mansfield family back to 

 • Great Chishill, Essex and 

 • Barkway, Hertfordshire in early 1700's


See the map below.


In 1851 Census, it confirms that Egbert and Ellen were 2 year old twins and also shows that Frederick (4 years old) is living nearby with grandparents. Not sure why? Maybe so Mum can cope with the twins??


Same census shows William as a bricklayer but also beer shop keeper. At their house they had a 13 year old servant and a lodger.


The following died as young kids / babies

  •  Hilda (1849 - 1855)
  •  Bertha (1853 - 1853)
  •  Caroline (1853 - 1857)
  •  George (1853 - 1853)
  • Ellen (1849 - 1857?)


Bertha, Caroline and George were all baptised together (and seems all born in 1853), so I assume they were triplets


Ashwell had an outbreak of smallpox in 1854.  So they've had nine kids, five have not survived, there has been a major town fire, there has been smallpox....the other side of the world sounds much better than here!


So in July 1858, William and Kitty with the 4 remaining children boarded the vessel "FitzJames" to head to Australia. They paid their one pound.





On his immigration papers it lists William was a bricklayer.  Interestingly William had a Grand Aunt who was in first fleet (Alice Mansfield)


William's wife Catherine died in Hawthorn in March 1859, less than a year after arriving in Melbourne.  At that time

- Emma 14

- Frederick 13 my Great Grandfather

- Egbert 10

- Allen 9


Emma married in 1863 at 18 to Harry Miller and had 5 kids...she died at 69


William died in 1868 in Kew


So at this point the 'kids' are Emma 23, Frederick 22, Egbert 19 and Allen 18.  Both parents have died and been in Australia for 10 years


Frederick married in 1870 at 24 to Jessie Bowden and had 6 kids..he died at 47


Egbert married in 1870 at 21 to Sarah Merritt and had 2 kids...he died at 60


Allen married in 1877 at 27 to Elizabeth Holt and had 3 kids...he died at 73


So lets follow Frederick and his family….


1870 ..he married Jessie Caroline Bowden, they had six kids


1872 Roberta (died 1947)

1873 William Frederick (died in 1940's)

1875 Alice Maud (died in 1948)

1877 Egbert George (died in 1946)

1880 Ernest Charles (my grandfather) (died in 1950)

1885 Harry John (died at six months)




Frederick died in 1893 at 47 and was noted as a Kew cab proprietor (via horse of course).  Caroline lived to 1929.


So Ernest Charles was 13 when his Dad died


By 1903 (he was 23) he was listed on the electoral role as a 'carter'. I guess that’s a delivery guy??


You can see the Mansfield's who lived in Kew on the list below - it also lists their jobs. Ernest Charles was living with his Mum and Egbert (26 year old brother).


The 'kids' not listed above were already married

 • Roberta married Charles Sweetland in 1896 and he was a fruiterer in Fitzroy..had 3 daughters

 • William Frederick married Sophia Haines in 1899. He was a blacksmith at Alberton in country Victoria..had one son died before first birthday)

 • Alice Maud married Jonathon Rice in 1894. They lived in Northcote and Johnathon (John) is listed as a driver one year and traveller in another..had 2 sons


The house the lived at was 49 Cotham Rd, Kew, today it looks like the photo below.