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STEPHENS and HUGO, REDRUTH CORNWALL

Location
Perth
From
Australia
Help! I like to think of myself as a "no stone left unturned" researcher but I have hit a serious brick wall.

DNA matching has led me to discover that my great grandmother, variously known as Louisa Foster, Louisa Stephens, Louisa or Julia Clayton, and Louisa or Julia Coles is a daughter of John Stephens (1836-?) and his wife Grace Hugo (1838-1883) of Redruth, Cornwall.

Louisa was (allegedly) a prostitute in Fremantle, Western Australia, who had her children (including my grandfather) removed and put into State care in the 1890s. She died in Fremantle in 1904, after a few stints in Fremantle Prison for vagrancy. She described herself in prison records as “American-English”.
DNA matching suggests she is one of three daughters of John and Grace Stephens, namely
  • Elizabeth Grace Stephens, b. 1861, who is last recorded in the 1871 census;
  • Catherine "Katie” Stephens, b. 1863, who married James Joseph Victor Hugo in 1883 and is last recorded at the death of her new born son Joseph in 1884;
  • Caroline Stephens, b. 1865 and who is last recorded attending on her mother Grace at her death in 1883?
What became of these three sisters? Did they visit their aunts in America? Which one is “Louisa”?
 
Louisa was (allegedly) a prostitute in Fremantle, Western Australia, who had her children (including my grandfather) removed and put into State care in the 1890s. She died in Fremantle in 1904, after a few stints in Fremantle Prison for vagrancy. She described herself in prison records as “American-English”.

From a newspaper article there were 2 children removed, Louisa May Foster aged 7 and her little brother John Geo. Foster aged 5.
I can not find births reg. for the above 2 kids, but did find a 3rd child William Frederick Foster born 1896 the year before the kids were removed, why he wasn't mentioned in the article i don't know unless he was adopted out at birth.

Foster William Frederick -Louisa FOSTER - Fremantle 1896-4401896

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/82744067

Do you have any of the birth certificates for Louisa's kids? If not could be worth getting one as some states have the parents place of birth on them. Im not familiar with Western Australia cert, so unsure if theirs do.

Louisa is also under the Foster name on her death reg. [I know you would be aware of this] and the kids appear to be using the name foster re newspaper article and the birth reg. Are you sure Louisa's surname isn't Foster?

Do you have an arrival for Louisa?
.
 
  • Caroline Stephens, b. 1865 and who is last recorded attending on her mother Grace at her death in 1883?

Louisa's age at death [39 in 1904] would fit with Caroline's year of birth. Not sure how we can prove or eliminate Caroline and Louisa are the same person??

When is the first time you have Louisa in Australia?
.
 
STEPHENS, CAROLINE HUGO GRO Reference: 1865 D Quarter in REDRUTH Volume 05C Page 266

Do you have anything that says what Lousia's date of birth is and see if it's the same date as Caroline. Would have to obtain Caroline's cert. to see what hers is.
Just throwing ideas out there :oops:
 
  • Elizabeth Grace Stephens, b. 1861, who is last recorded in the 1871 census;
  • Catherine "Katie” Stephens, b. 1863, who married James Joseph Victor Hugo in 1883 and is last recorded at the death of her new born son Joseph in 1884;
  • Caroline Stephens, b. 1865 and who is last recorded attending on her mother Grace at her death in 1883?

All 3 girls baptised the same day -- 6th Sept 1868. No actual date of birth noted.

.
 
Hi, thanks for your interest.

As a result of DNA matching, I have recently found my grandfather’s birth certificate in New South Wales, where he was born on 30 August 1891 to George Maddocks (of Somerset) and Louisa Maddocks, formerly Stephens (of Hampshire). The birth record says they were married in Southampton on 22 August 1889 – no such record exists. Louisa’s age was given as 33 years. (My grandfather thought he was born in 1893, though the orphanage register says 1892).

As you note, Louisa had another (illegitimate) son in Fremantle in 1896, William Frederick Foster. On his birth record his father is not named. He died in 1954 without any spouse or children. I have no arrival date for Louisa, as the records are sparse. For context, the gold rush doubled the population of WA in a few years from 1896.

DNA testing by me and by descendants of my grandfather’s sister Louisa May, known as May, has thrown up another surprise. It is now clear that their mother Louisa had a fourth child who was abandoned in a remote mining town (Day Dawn) in the Murchison region of Western Australia in 1899. At least that family now knows the name of their great grandmother.

In three official records – her Fremantle prison record, her son’s birth certificate, and her death certificate, Louisa’s place of birth is given as Hampshire (not Southampton). However, extensive DNA testing places her in the family of John Stephens and Grace Hugo of Redruth, Cornwall.

I have birth certificates for the three daughters and son of John Stephens and Grace Hugo, as well as Grace's death certificate. I have not located a death record for John Stephens, a miner. It was common for Cornish miners of that period to work in Australia, New Zealand, United States and South America and return home occasionally.

The gap in the family history is from 1883 (when Grace died) and August 1891 when John George Maddocks (Foster) was born in Carlingford, NSW. According to orphanage records, his older sister Louisa May was born in Carlton, Vic, in 1888. However, there is no birth record. A Sydney Anglican parish baptism record dated 8 March 1892 lists Louisa May Maddocks, b Dec 1889, father William Maddocks. It's worth being aware that I have established that for three of the children of Louisa Foster (excluding William Frederick Foster who had not descendants) all had different fathers.
 
NSW BIRTH (CIVIL) RECORD COMMENTS
Baby name John George
John George Foster
Born Carlingford NSW JGF born NSW (acc. to orphanage record)
Birthdate 30 August 1891 JGF birthdate (acc. to orphanage) – 22 Aug 1892
Last name Maddocks
Father: George Maddocks, labourer
Father born Somerset George Maddocks born Monmouthshire, Wales. Parents and older siblings born Somerset.
Father born 1860 George Maddocks born 1858, Wales, not in records after 1881 census.
Mother Louisa Louisa Foster
Mother born Hampshire Louisa Foster death cert (1904) says she was born in Hampshire
Mother name Stephens Stephens/Hugo are strongest matches in DNA
1 male sibling living JGF had an older sister (b. Carlton in Nov 1888)
Marriage 22 Aug 1889, Southampton No marriage record found

Note: WA death records
George Maddox, a labourer, died in 1904 at the Fremantle Asylum, aged 44 (b. abt 1860)
George Maddock, a baker, died in 1894 at Day Dawn, Murchison, aged 26 (b. abt 1868)
Note: Sydney Anglican parish records

Two days after John George Maddocks (of Beecroft) was baptised on March 6, 1892, at 5 months old, Louisa May Maddocks (of Beecroft) was baptised, aged 2 years and 2 months (b. Dec 1889). Louisa May’s father was given as William Maddocks, mother “Maddocks”.
There is no civil record for Louisa May in Victoria or NSW.

Extract from GOVERNMENT RECEIVING DEPOT REGISTER

Entry no. 22
Name John George Foster
Age, birthplace, religion Five years old, born NSW August 22, 1892, Protestant
Date of admission 3 November 1897
Where from & sent by whom From Fremantle, sent by R Fairbairn RM and GC Knight JP
Why sent Neglected child for that he was found wandering about having no fixed place of abode
Health on admission sore eyes otherwise his health was good
Educational condition on admission knew nothing
Names of father & mother, their occupation and residence Father dead.
Louisa Foster, General work, Canvas Town, Fremantle
not of sober habits
Date of discharge Transferred to the Swan Boys’ Orphanage, 5 July 1899

Entry no. 11
Name Louisa M Foster
Age, birthplace, religion Seven years, born November 9, 1888, Carlton, Victoria, Protestant
Date of admission 3 November 1897
Where from & sent by whom From Fremantle, sent by R Fairbairn RM
Why sent Neglected child
Health on admission poor
Educational condition on admission knew nothing
Names of father & mother, their occupation and residence Father dead.
Louisa Foster, Canvas Town, Fremantle
General work of intemperate habits
Date of discharge 2 November 1906. Transferred to the Collie Home, 26 September 1901.
 
Another bit of the jigsaw...

DNA evidence suggests Henry Edward Baker, b. 1843, of Lambeth, Surrey, son of Edward Baker and Amelia Rosamond, is the father of Louisa May Foster, (b.1889) my grandfather's sister. While the Government Receiving Depot register says Louisa May was born in Carlton in 1888, the baptism record in Sydney in 1891 (which has some likely fictitious details about parents), suggests she was born in 1889. All that can be said for certain is that her mother was Louisa (alive not dead), her father was neither William or George Maddocks, and that she was in Sydney in 1891. She may well have been born in the UK, and her father was likely to be a Mr Baker.
 
Thank you for posting all that information. Appears you have well and truly covered every base but i will keep looking as sometimes another set of eyes picks something up. By all accounts Louisa certainly didn't have an easy time of it. I have just been reading about Canvas Town as i had heard of it but never really read up on it. I can't seem to find anything on Louisa until the 1890's so makes me wonder if Maddock died around then and things got really hard for her, hence the newspaper articles etc from that time onward.
I have been trying to find an arrival under different names mentioned but no luck so far. Will keep at it :)
 
Thanks, I have just noticed that Wiliam Stephens (b.1869), brother of Catherine, Caroline and Elizabeth Grace, was baptised on 8 Jan 1883. A week later, Grace Stephens died (malignant tumour of the bowels). It suggests she had him baptised knowing her end was near. Her daughter Caroline was the informant on the death, which suggests John Stephens wasn't present. In September 1883, Catherine Stephens married a distant cousin, James Victor Hugo. On that marriage certificate, John Stephens is described as a gold miner. That suggests to me he may have been in California or Victoria. Perhaps he sent for his children? William was only 13 at the time of his mother's death. None of the siblings are in the 1891 census in Redruth.
 
Worth a look at USA. My husbands ancestors were miners from Redruth, Cornwall to. In the early 1840's they headed of to USA, all the family stayed there besides hubby's ancestor, he got married and him and his wife arrived in VIC and went mining, moved onto NSW then up here to QLD where they settled. Miners the whole time.

.
 
Published: Friday 26 January 1883
Newspaper: Royal Cornwall Gazette
County: Cornwall, England

STEPHENS— At Falmouth-road, Bedruth, Jan. 15, Grace, wife of Mr. John Stephens, aged 41.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Published: Friday 12 October 1883
Newspaper: Cornubian and Redruth Times
County: Cornwall, England

At the Registrar's Office. Redruth, September 24, James Victor Hugo, to Catherine (Katie) Stephens, both of Redruth. At the parish church, Redruth, October 3. by the J. W. Lane. T. Taylor ...

---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
1702802460322.png
Good thought. Witnesses of JV Hugo and Catherine Stephens' marriage were William Lanyon or Sampson; and Nanny? Stephens. I had thought these were parish witnesses (Stephens is a common name). There's no Nanny (or Ann or Agnes) Stephens in the family that I know of.
 
I'm aware you have the census just posting for reference

1861
John Stephens ... aged 23 .... Copper miner .. both born Redruth Cornwall
Grace Stephens .. aged 22

https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_r...tephens-1861-cornwall-redruth-1839-?locale=en

1871
Grace and the kids + her mother. Grace noted as Miners wife. No John so im assuming away working??
https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_r...tephens-1871-cornwall-redruth-1839-?locale=en

1881
Grace and youngest child William. Grace still noted as married tho no John with her on the census
https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_r...tephens-1881-cornwall-redruth-1841-?locale=en

.
 
OH poor William, just lost his mother then this. Well assuming it's William, Stephens is spelt differently. See what you think. There are a number of James Hugo's but allowing that it's noted they are cousins and the Stephen's name in there as well i think its safe to say it is your lot.

East Penwith Petty Sessions
Date: Thursday, June 21, 1883
Publication: Cornishman (Penzance, England)Volume: 5 , Issue: 257
 

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Aunts in America?? Which aunts, do you have names for them? Might be able to check the USA census and see if they pop up there.

I have checked and found references to them (and in newspapers) but fresh eyes etc:

Grace Stephens' sisters who migrated to America were Catherine Hugo (1845-1931) and Elizabeth Hugo (1844-1922).

Catherine Hugo married:
1. John Terrill, 1864, Redruth
2. Sampson Barnicoat, 1886, Redruth
3. Daniel S Klinger, 1901, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
She and her first husband migrated arround 1868-1870. I have not found John Terrill's death record, nor their shipping records.

Elizabeth Hugo married:
1. Samuel Stephens, 1865, Redruth
2. William Toward, 1877, Schulykill County, Pennsylvania
She and her first husband migrated around 1866-1870. I have not found their shipping records, or (the right) death for Samuel Stephens.

Both sisters are buried in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, George Maddocks' grandparents (Welsh migrants) were also living in Schuylkill County at the time.
 
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OH poor William, just lost his mother then this. Well assuming it's William, Stephens is spelt differently. See what you think. There are a number of James Hugo's but allowing that it's noted they are cousins and the Stephen's name in there as well i think its safe to say it is your lot.

East Penwith Petty Sessions
Date: Thursday, June 21, 1883
Publication: Cornishman (Penzance, England)Volume: 5 , Issue: 257

Great find! I only have the article from the Cornubian and Redruth Times - 22 June 1883, which has less detail. William Sephens' cousin James Hugo was 10 years older than him.
 
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