Search This Blog

Follow by Email

8 Jun 2013

Exhumed but not identified

There was a right rumpus in 2005.  The developers rammed their bulldozers into an old family crypt at Highfield, Burnside, South Australia.  It's a heritage area, and it sounds a bit embarrassing.  It took a bit of effort to identify the bodies and the next of kin of the Drews (who used to own the property) were found and added some helpful hints from old letters they had.

I stumbled on all this via a google search for Sophia Dauncey and her husband Joseph.  Last seen at their wedding in Somerset in 1810 and not leaving any obvious traces since that time.  - Until the discovery of their bodies in 2005 and the subsequent newspaper coverage and web traffic.  There was even a headline 'Who was Mrs Dauncey?' asked by the residents of Kangaroo Island, seemingly in possession of a main street named after Sophy.

Well I got onto it.

There were lots of clues, but the one thing I knew for sure was the Edward Drew wasn't the brother of Sophia, who I was pretty certain was a Lucas.  However when I looked for marriages for Edward, one name and location jumped out at me 'Bristol, Sophia Cook' in 1830.  This seemed possible.  When I looked for possibles for Sophia's baptism, I found myself as I usually do, back in Baltonsborough, Somerset.  In this case, the year was 1804.

When I shook the database a little bit more, I found out yet again that Sophia's mother was a Lucas.

So, good.  We have two Sophias.  One was the wife of Edward Drew, and the other was her aunt, Mrs Dauncey.  All fairly tidy - but enough to confuse a lot of newspapers and by no means as quick to pin down as this little blog implies.

So to recap,
Carey Lucas and his wife Susannah married in 1772 and had a nine-year gap, then:
* Elizabeth Lucas was born 1781 at Baltonsborough 'Bolsbury' and evidently baptised as part of the Hardman Chapel circuit (died 1839)
after some more kids, came:
* Sophia Lucas born 1791 and baptised 1792 at Mr Hardman's Chapel (evidently in South Petherton)
she witnessed my ancestor's marriage in 1805 in Baltonsborough
and introduced the name Sophia into the family
and married herself in 1810 to Joseph Dauncey, later the farm manager at Highfield.  No kids.

(I still have no idea why my distant aunt gave her child the name Sophia Lucas in 1818 as there was no quick connection to this Sophia.)

Elizabeth Lucas (1781-1839) married James Cook of Keinton Mandeville (d 1850) and had four children Sophia, Mary, Matthew and Sarah of whom only the first two were baptised (and Matthew as an adult).

Sophia Cook we believe married Edward Drew at 1830 in Bristol and emigrated to Australia on the Lalla Rookh together, with their 2 children and with Drew's nephew Samuel (from Stoke sub Hambdon).  Drew himself was from Odcombe near Yeovil, son of Samuel Drew senr and Jean Geard, who'd married at Montacute.

Mary Cook may have married John Pippen at East Pennard in 1830, and had a daughter Jane who quite probably married Thomas Stafford the stoker at Bristol 1852 and most likely died 1855 leaving no issue.

Edward's descendants may have died out, but the tale of the overgrown crypt hasn't quite, yet.  So that wraps it all up.  And if anyone wants to quibble about the beautiful stone inscription (above), there's no need. Sophia would have been a sister to Edward, even if the actual explanation involves a lot more people.

Postscript, found this on Ancestry:

Elizabeth Drew with the Daunceys in 1841, Martin Street, Baltonsborough:
Ann Waterman was born in Somerton, daughter of Charles Waterman and his wife Frances Maria Dauncey (from Baltonsborough) - who were with their other children in London.

COULD the contact below pls contact me again - ideally with email address.  Comment won't go live but I can then pick up the message and contact you direct.  Elizabeth and her mother both named in Sophia Dauncey's will...