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New Australian member


Hi all,

Just joined hoping to connect with fellow researchers. Some of my ancestors came to Australia from England in the mid 1800's as paying immigrants. One in particular has a bit of a secretive past, and was a family outcast. I have posted details on the Wanted Names under Bretherton.
My ancestor spent time in Versailles, France in the late 1830's, and his death records state that he served time as a "Lifeguard". If anyone can offer information on what that term means exactly and how I could locate any records of enlistment, service or discharge I would be incredibly grateful.

Thanks and hope you all have a good New Year, especially for your family research!:)
Hi Michelle

welcome to the forums.

Lifeguard is someone who most likely patrols the beach and saves drowning people, or people who cannot swim back to shore, either in the sea or a river. They are specially trained. Its like there are lifeguards in swimming pools. Was your ancestor in the Army at all?

Hi Michelle and welcome to the site, good luck with all your research. Could he have been a part time volunteer? to a specific area? have you googled genealogy & lifeguards? I am sure there must be some websites that may help with your search :)
Thanks Ben, Steve and community - what a quick response!

I was thinking that Lifeguard must refer to some sort of military service - possibly diplomatic corps??? I know he was in Versailles, and his wife was with him as 2 of their children were born there. They subsequently returned to London and registered at least one of the births.

The family had strong connections with another family that also emigrated to Australia. One daughter married into this family. Her husband was the son of a Colour Sergeant in the 51st Regiment of Foot in Queen Victoria's army. He served in Corfu, Greece when my ancestor was in France in the late 1830's.

That is why I think that "Lifeguard" is related to the army. I have tried googling for records in the UK, but haven't had any success. My ancestor was a bit of a rogue that became estranged from all of his family, and there is a lack of oral or physical evidence about his actual history. Even his grandchildren were forbidden to talk about him as he didn't make good over here either. He may have been dishonourably discharged for all I know? That may be why he was treated as an outcast:( .

Hence my need to clarify "Lifeguard", and locate any possible records of enlistments etc.

So any suggestions are welcome - thanks again.