Thursday, September 16, 2010

Whittle Birth Records in Australia

Continuing my Whittle saga - previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

After finding the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley was on 17 August 1840 in Bolton-le-Moors, in Lancashire (from the English marriage entry), and knowing that they arrived in Sydney, Australia on 11 March 1841 with a 9-month old child named Elizabeth (from the migration record), I figured that the birth of Elizabeth Whittle might be in the English parish records and in the English Civil Registration Birth records.

I checked the England births and Christenings, 1638-1975 collection on the FamilySearch Beta site for Elizabeth Whittle, daughter of Alexander and/or Rachel Whittle, and did not find her. Since she was possibly born before they were married, I looked for a birth of Elizabeth Morley also. Bingo! And a surprise. Here is her birth record in the collection:

This lists her birth/christening date as 14 July 1839 in Bolton-le-Moors in Lancashire, a full 13 months before the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley, and 21 months before their arrival in Australia. The record doesn't give a father's name, but it provides the mother's name as Rachel Morley.

So now I'm wondering if Alexander Whittle was the father of Elizabeth Morley who in all further records is listed as Elizabeth Whittle. My guess is that it is most likely, but only the mother knows for sure! Elizabeth is not my wife's ancestor, so I don't have a real stake in the issue.

I noticed that the FamilySearch Beta site also has an Australian Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981 collection, so I checked it out for the Whittle children born in Australia. Yep, they're all there. Here's Jane Whittle's entry in this collection:

The index entry helpfully provides two dates - one listed for Birth/Christening as 12 September 1847 and a Birth Date of 2 August 1847. She was baptized at St. James in Sydney, New South Wales, child of Alexander and Rachel Whittle.

The other four children were also in this database, so now I know (all baptized in St. James in Sydney, children of Alexander and Rachel):

* William Alfred Whittle - born 1 March 1842, baptized 27 March 1842.
* Joseph Whittle - born 30 May 1843, baptized 9 July 1843.

* John Whittle - born 20 August 1845, baptized 19 October 1845.
* Margaret Whittle - born 31 July 1849, baptized 2 September 1849.

I checked the Australian Death and Burilas collection but did not see a death entry for the children John and Margaret, who were not on the 1852 California State Census with Rachel.

How reliable might these records be? Where were they obtained? The FamilySearch collection is from many sources. Jane Whittle's birth entry indicates that it came from FHL Microfilm 993,956. I checked the Family History Library Catalog for that film, and it was one of 57 films for "New South Wales Church Records." The specific film is for:

"C. of E. baptisms, marriages, burials, 1845-1847 (vols. 30-32) - FHL BRITISH Film [ 993956 ]"

The notes for this film set says:

"Microfilm of original records in possession of the Archives Office of New South Wales. Many records are out of chronological order. Contains registers for different denominations throughout New South Wales, particularly around the Sydney area."

I learned one new fact from this record and the Film notes - the Whittles baptized their children in the Church of England St. James Church in Sydney.

We will work in the English Parish Register records tomorrow! I'm having great genealogy fun doing this! I hope my wife, brother-in-law and any distant cousins appreciate it.


Earlier posts in this series include:

* I Found Rachel in the 1852 California Census where I found Rachel "Wadle" and three children in San Francisco in the 1852 California State Census on

* Jane's Birth Record, and more... - I found out that Jane's parents were Alexander and Rachel Whittle, not Joseph and Rachel.

* Finding the Whittles in Australia highlighted some of the newspaper articles about the family in The Sydney Morning Herald in the 1840 to 1850 time frame from the Historic Australian Newspapers , 1803-1954, Trove website.

* The Whittles Migrating to Australia - a Forrest Gump Genealogy Moment in which the immigration record was found and analyzed.

* Lesson Learned - Check the Image too! in which I learned that not all information on the immigration record was in the FamilySearch index.

* Whittle Marriage Record in England - I found the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley in Lancashire in two places online - the English Civil Registrations and the LDS IGI (and on the site).

1 comment:

Unknown said...


Death John WHITTAL 1852
Death Margaret WHITTLEY 1850

I used a wildcard WHIT* to find them.