Monday, 11 January 2010

John Doveton and Margaret Doveton - Part 2

In our last post we looked at the life of Captain John Doveton and in this post we will see what we can find out about his wife, Margaret. She was born a Doveton and married a Doveton and I feel that this means that the suburb of Doveton was really named for her as well as her husband. As we found out in the last post, I knew Margaret's parents names from her marriage certificate, i.e Francis Crossman Doveton and Margaret Bostock. I also knew she was born in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Indexes to Births, Deaths and Marriage (BDM), on CD-Rom, are available to use at Narre Warre, Cranbourne and Pakenham Libraries. A quick search revealed her parents married in 1842, that Margaret was born in Hobart in 1844 and that her sister, Rachel Emily, was born Campbell Town in 1846. That was all I could find, so I ‘googled’ Francis Crossman Doveton and according to some information on the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society website Francis Crossman Doveton was the first Gold Commissioner at Ballarat, but I will tell you more about that later.

Now I knew that the family had moved to Victoria I looked up the Victorian Indexes to the BDMs and found that the next two children, Annie (born 1848) and Francis (1850) were born at Port Fairy and the last child John (1852) was born near Warrnambool. Margaret Bostock, had been born in 1824 in Tasmania and died in Victoria in 1853. After her death, Francis Crossman Doveton married Mary Ann Snell in 1855 and had eight other children. So already we have found out some personal information about our Margaret, including the sad fact that her own mother died when she was nine.

Francis Crossman Doveton had come to Australia with the 51st Regiment of Foot (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding Regiment). The Regiment arrived in 1838 and served in Tasmania and Western Australia and then left for Bengal in 1846, but Doveton remained in Australia. This same information is mentioned in the report of his death in The Argus of July 15, 1905. As Francis Doveton Crossman had a Government position in Victoria, I checked the Victorian Government Gazette, where all official appointments are announced, and found his first appointment as Commissioner of Crown Lands (reproduced below).

Victorian Government Gazette, Wednesday, August 27, 1851, page 312.

The Victorian Government Gazettes have been digitised from 1836 to 1997 and can be searched on the State Library of Victoria website,
According to the Victorian Government Gazette other appointments followed, amongst which were - in 1852 he was appointed a Magistrate of the Colony of Victoria, in 1855 Chairman of the Local Court of the District of Hepburn and in 1858 he was appointed a Warden of the Gold Fields, then a Chinese Protector and in 1860 he was appointed as a Coroner, acting at Daylesford. From The Argus I found out that in 1866 he was declared Insolvent in the Supreme Court, due to ‘want of employment and having accepted accommodation bills for others’. His liabilities were £2,233 pounds and his assets £206.

The Argus, Monday, November 17, 1941, page 6.

As we found out in the first post, we know when Margaret was married (1873) and we know that she purchased the property at Doveton in her own name in December 1894. We also know that by 1900 the property was leased and they were living in Oakleigh. According to the Australian Electoral Rolls on Ancestry database, in 1909 Margaret was still at Atherton Road in Oakleigh, but in 1914 she had moved to Malvern East. In 1924, she was at Everdon, Rose Street in Surrey Hills and was still there in 1937. In 1941 she was living in Mordialloc. I looked up The Argus newspaper on the National Library of Australia's Australian Newspapers website and came across the interesting article, reproduced above, from the November 17, 1941 edition. Some of the same information was recorded in her Obituary in The Argus of December 16, 1941. The Obituary is reproduced below. The Obituary mentions she was buried at the St Kilda Cemetery, not Oakleigh, where her husband was buried.

The Argus, Tuesday, December 16 1941, page 3.

We know that John and Margaret were cousins, but I wanted to know how they were related. There are numerous Doveton Family histories on the Internet and one site lists the children of John Frederick Doveton and Elizabeth Crossman. The children include a John Bazett Doveton (born 1807) and a Frederick Crossman Doveton (born 1817). But, ever suspicious of ‘unofficial information’ on the Internet I wanted to confirm this with other sources. Now, in the last post we know the Captain John Doveton’s father was John Bazette Doveton. We know that John Bazette Doveton was born around 1807 and from the Oxford University Alumni 1500-1886 database on Ancestry, we know that his father was John Frederick Doveton, so that fits. We also know, from the Victorian Indexes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages that Francis Crossman Doveton was 87 when he died in 1905, which makes him born around 1817 and that his parents are listed as Frederick Doveton and Elizabeth Crossman. Francis is also listed as a past pupil of the King’s School at Bruton (a facimile copy of the School Register 1826 to 1890 has been digitized by Google Books) and his father is listed as the Reverend John Frederick Doveton. This gives us a few other sources which confirm that John Bazett Doveton and Francis Crossman Doveton are brothers, being sons of John Francis Doveton, and therefore John and Margaret are first cousins.

Two more interesting facts about the Doveton family. They have a connection to Everdon Hall in Little Everdon. It is a Grade 2 Listed building built around 1820 for General Doveton and interestingly, Everdon was also the name Margaret Doveton gave to her house in Rose Street in Surrey Hills. Secondly, the article on the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society website on Francis Crossman Doveton (full details at the bottom) states that Elizabeth Crossman, John and Margaret’s grandmother, is said to be a direct descendant of King Edward 1 (1239-1307) and his wife Eleanor of Castille (1241-1290). They married in 1254 and had sixteen children, with only six living to adulthood. The Royal couple were on a trip to Lincoln when Eleanor fell ill and died. A memorial cross was erected at every place where the entourage stopped, when her body was being transported back to London. These crosses are known as the Eleanor Crosses. Eleanor was buried in Westminister Abbey. If your family has been in the United Kingdom for many generations it is apparently more common than you would expect to be related to a member of the Royal Family, albeit very distantly, as is the case with John and Margaret Doveton, so the Royal connection is quite plausible. Anyway, it is a very romantic story and I really like the Royal connection to Doveton.

The effigy of Eleanor of Castille (1241-1290) at Westminister Abbey. Eleanor is said to be an ancestor of both John Doveton and Margaret Doveton.

All the sources I have used to find out this information on John and Margaret Doveton are freely available, with the exception of the Death and Marriage Certificates which I purchased. You can access the United Kingdom Census collection, the Australian Electoral Rolls and the Oxford University Alumni on Ancestry database, available at all our Libraries. The Victorian Government Gazette is accessed through the State Library of Victoria website. The old newspapers, the Australian Newspapers Project, can be accessed on the National Library of Australia website. You can use the Internet at all our Libraries and it is free with fast down-load times. The Indexes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages, from all the States of Australia, are available at Narre Warren, Cranbourne and Pakenham Libraries, as are the old Shire of Berwick and Shire of Cranbourne Rate Records. This means, you could well find out some of the same sort of information on one of your Ancestors as I have discovered on the Dovetons. In finishing, I can safely conclude that Captain John Doveton and Margaret Elizabeth Doveton were first cousins, as their fathers were brothers, in which case Margaret should have as much status as the ‘namesake’ of the suburb of Doveton as her husband.

*Francis Doveton, First Gold Commissioner at Ballarat by Thelma Birrell.

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