Tracing my Family History

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Tracing my Family History

Postby dame871 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:53 pm

Hi

I have been identified as a person with Aboriginal heritage by some Aboriginal people for many years now however I can't seem to find out much about my family history. My young daughter for that matter is also sometimes identified as being of Aboriginal decent. I know that the proper spelling of my surname is Griffiths, however I spell my name without the 'th' (Griffis). I know that both Griffiths and Griffis are prominent family names throughout the Hunter.

There is a family story about some Griffiths' who drowned in the Paterson River on Christmas Day in 1858 which is well documented and that 2 of the boys were taken in by the Tattersall family. These families it would appear are of English/Scottish descent, however what I find particularly confusing is that both Griffiths and Tattersall are also prominent Aboriginal family names which appear to be from around the Quirindi area. In fact Tattersall's and Griffiths' (Aboriginal families) continue to be closely associated, however this appears to be more around the Brewarrina area. An Aboriginal explanation I have been given which conincidentally is the same explanation I have been given by a non-identifying distant relative is that some brothers had a falling out and one changed his name to Griffis and the others kept Griffiths.

This continues to be a journey for me and one which I am not prepared to let my curiousity lie. It continues to be the source of great confusion in my life as I did not seek out an Aboriginal identity, it came to me. I am keen to learn about my Aboriginal heritage so that I can understand better where I come from. I have a pretty clear understanding of my white family history but nothing of my potential Aboriginal family history.

I have begun to make initial inquiries with some family members and I have no luck using the usual family history sources. Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Damian Griffis
dame871
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Tracing my Family History

Postby BaryySyl » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:50 pm

Hi Damian

I hope you can follow this. :D

There is an Alexander McGilvray [b. Scotland c.1791], who married Sarah Cameron [b. Scotland, 1789]. Their daughter Sarah married James Griffiths, Paterson 1844. James Griffith died in 1858


Name: John Griffiths [s/o James & Sarah].
Spouse Name: Anna Lilly Tattersall
Marriage Date: 1867
Marriage Place: New South Wales
Registration Place: Paterson, New South Wales
Registration Year: 1867
Registration number: 2787

Alexander Griffis son of the above, was actually registered as Alexander Griffis with the father being John Griffis. The remainder of the children of John and Sarah appear to be registered with the spelling Griffith.

Name: Alexander Henry Griffis
Birth Date: 1872
Father's Name: John Griffis
Mother's Name: Anne Lily
Birth Place: New South Wales
Registration Year: 1872
Registration Place: Manning River, New South Wales
Registration number: 12642


Alexander Griffis b.1879 [below] with parents Alexander Griffis and Elizabeth J. Northam. Alexander [snr],was the brother of John Griffith. All of Alexanders and Elizabeths children carry the spelling Griffis. so it could be that John and Alexander had a falling out with Alexander changing the spelling of the name.

Name: Alexander Griffis
Birth Date: 1879
Father's Name: Alexander Griffis
Mother's Name: Elizabeth Jane
Birth Place: New South Wales
Registration Year: 1879
Registration Place: Manning River, New South Wales
Registration number: 17102

Name: Alexander Griffiths [brother of John Griffith].
Birth Date: 1851
Father's Name: James Griffiths
Mother's Name: Sarah
Birth Place: New South Wales
Registration Year: 1851
Registration Place: Houghton, New South Wales
Volume Number: V1851515 51


So could it be that you are descended from Alexander & Elizabeth Griffis[Griffith].

Also:
Family trees I looked at on Ancestry say that Henry Tattersal [Convict & father of Anna], married Rhoda Chapman but the permission to marry below says her name was Warman.

Name: Henry Sattersall [Tattersal], arrived per Susan 1835.
[Henry Tattersall]
Age: 22
Birth Year: Abt 1822
Spouse: Rhoda Warman [per Mary Ann 1839].
Request Status: Granted [Patterson].
Date of Permission/Refusal: 20 Mar 1844.

Name: Henry Tattersall
Spouse Name: Rhoda Warman
Marriage Date: 1844
Marriage Place: New South Wales
Registration Place: Houghton, New South Wales
Registration Year: 1844
Volume Number: V


Have been identified as a person with Aboriginal heritage by some Aboriginal people for many years now however I can't seem to find out much about my family history.

There is nothing in any of the information I have provided so far that indicates Aboriginal heritage.

Don't know how the entries below fit in but they would have to be connected somehow.

Name: John J Griffiths
Spouse Name: Ellen M C Mcgilvray
Marriage Date: 1897
Marriage Place: New South Wales
Registration Place: Taree, New South Wales
Registration Year: 1897
Registration number: 6383

Name: Gwendolyn Florence Griffiths
Spouse Name: Alan David Mcgilvray
Marriage Date: 1936
Marriage Place: New South Wales
Registration Place: Randwick, New South Wales
Registration Year: 1936
Registration number: 14749

barry.
BaryySyl
 
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:19 am
Location: Lake Macquarie

Re: Tracing my Family History

Postby dame871 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:54 am

Hi Barry

Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. The information you have provided matches what I have assumed pretty much. Another possible clue I have found may relate to the fact that I may be looking in the wrong place, it may that any Aboriginal heritage doesn't come from the Griffiths end, however this would be odd given that I know some Griffiths who not only do I look like but they are actually of the view that i am likely to be related to them down the line somewhere. These Aboriginal people however are from Quirindi, Condobolin, Coonabarabran and Warren areas with some from Newcastle and also Muswellbrook. They are Aboriginal people of mixed heritage who completely identify as ABoriginal. To add further confusion and what is a pretty remarkable conincidence, I was contacted after by previous post by a woman who is doing the same as me trying to trace her ABoriginal heritage through an Annie Griffiths from Cesnock several generations ago. So the plot thickens.

Also it may be that I am looking in the wrong place as I said earlier. My grandfather whom I don't remember much about (he died when I was 6) Edgar Lionel Griffis (whom my mother described as 'dark') appears to have a had a grandfather Henry Tattersall Griffis who married twice, by my reckoning his second wife was Edgar Lionel's mother, her name was Frances Gertrude Marr, (the Marr's are a prominent Aborginal family from Taree) but when I go to ancestry.com it appears she is descended from 'Maher' which looks very Irish to me. Anyway also confused here because there are actually 3 Henry Griffis' and I am having trouble determining which one was actually my great grandfather.

Thanks again any further or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Damian Griffis
dame871
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Tracing my Family History

Postby BaryySyl » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:00 pm

Hi Damian,
It is certainly a mystery you have.

I think the Marr spelling [in your case], is a mistake even though there are plenty of spellings as Marr not necessarily connected to you. A transcription of wedding certificate between Mathew Maher and Harriet Pacey appears on an Ancestry family tree.

The spelling MAHER is on Mathews Headstone, but the spelling MARR is on the marriage certificate of Mathew and Harriet. Mathew and Harriet [Pacey] m, 27th Dec 1871, are listed as being the parents of Frances Gertrude Maher, b. 1890..

Mathew was born in Tipperey Ireland to parents Daniel & Ellen [n. Butler], as stated on the marriage certificate of Mathew and Harriet.

I know of the spelling MAHER as I have plenty in my family tree who while they originate from Ireland, come from Wollombi.

Harriet Paceys father William, came out on the Countess of Hardcourt [5]. Some family trees have William coming out on the "Adamamant", however the permission to marry to Margaret Flood says Countess Of Hardcourt.

William married [1] Margaret Flood 1835, and [2] Ann Stace. Ann arrived on the "Woodbridge" in 1838, and first married William Epsley 1842..

Name: William Pacey
Vessel: Countess of Harcourt
Convicted Date: 25 Apr 1827
Voyage Date: 29 Apr 1828
Colony: New South Wales
Place of Conviction: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Name: William Pacey
[Margaret Flood]
Age: 26
Birth Year: Abt 1809
Spouse: Margaret Hood [Flood].
Request Status: Granted
Date of Permission/Refusal: 18 Jul 1835.

Stace family.
Name: James Stace [father of Ann].
Birth Year: abt 1802
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Arrival Date: 15 Sep 1838
Vessel Name: Woodbridge
Origin Location: Northingham, Sussex, England

Name: Philidelphia Stace [Clifton].
Birth Year: abt 1801
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Arrival Date: 15 Sep 1838
Vessel Name: Woodbridge
Origin Location: Authurst, Kent, England
Children's Names: James, Edward, Henry, Eliza, Ann, Rhoda, Louisa, Sarah Ann
Ann is listed here as age 9.


Name: Philedelphia Stace [sister of Ann].
Birth Year: abt 1819
Age: 19
Gender: Female
Arrival Date: 15 Sep 1838
Vessel Name: Woodbridge
Origin Location: Northingham, Sussex, England


Name: Ann Pacey [nee Stace].
Death Date: 1903
Death Place: New South Wales
Father's Name: James
Mother's Name: Philadelphia
Registration Year: 1903
Registration Place: Macksville, New South Wales
Registration number: 6605


So from all of the above we have Mathew Maher marrying Harriet Pacey.Their daughter Francis Gertrude Maher [Marr], married Henry Tattersal Griffith.
Harriet Pacey was the daughter of William Pacey & Ann Stace.

Name: Frances G. Maher
Birth Date: 1890
Father's Name: Matthew Maher
Mother's Name: Harriet
Birth Place: New South Wales
Registration Year: 1890
Registration Place: Raymond Terrace, New South Wales
Registration number: 29562

Name: Frances G. Maher
Spouse Name: Henry Griffiths
Marriage Date: 1910
Marriage Place: New South Wales
Registration Place: Stroud, New South Wales
Registration Year: 1910
Registration number: 2877

IF Edgar Lionel Griffith parents are Francis and Henry Griffith I cannot see him having aboriginal heritage, nor can I find his birth registration..


barry.
BaryySyl
 
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:19 am
Location: Lake Macquarie


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