OUR WRIGHT AND PRICE FAMILIES TO AUSTRALIA

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INTRODUCTION

This is the story of our WRIGHT and PRICE families who arrived in Australia during the 19th century. These pages incorporate an article that I wrote in 1996 that totalled 71 pages. It was distributed to known family members that year. Twenty of the pages in the printed article related to family trees and genealogical data that is now detailed elswhere on my web site.

These web pages discuss the arrival of James PRICE, Ann GOUGH and Alexander WRIGHT and traces the life of James and Ann and that of their second child, Annie, who married Alexander. The PRICE and WRIGHT families lived both in Tasmania and Victoria during the 1800's. This article identifies their arrival into Australia and attempts to trace the main events in their lives and some of the reasons behind many of the decisions made by them to move between States.

The WRIGHT family gradually moved to W.A. between 1895 and 1918. It commenced with second son, Alexander James (and family) in 1895, followed by his father, Alexander in 1896, mother, Annie in 1897, youngest sister, Agnes (and family) in 1900, Frances (and children) in 1907 and John’s second son, Clarey in 1918. By the end of World War One all surviving descendants of Alexander and Annie (nee PRICE) lived in Western Australia.

James and Ann PRICE are my Great-Great-Great Grandparents and Alexander WRIGHT my Great-Great Grandfather. Between them they account for 1/8th of my ancestry and represents the full Australian heritage of my Great Grandmother, Frances Jane BROADHURST (nee WRIGHT). It is also the full Australian heritage of her brothers John and Alexander James and her sister, Agnes Ann.

At the end of this article I have included a chronological listing for the WRIGHT family and various photos relating to the PRICE and WRIGHT families. Any additional information, photographs or stories to expand, correct or clarify this article will be gratefully accepted by the writer. Hopefully this article will generate such response and assist to fill many of the remaining gaps. Much of this overview of the WRIGHT and PRICE families has been obtained from official records, genealogical documents, birthday books and other transcribed information. It is supplemented with personal interviews conducted with my grandmother, Lemona Anne CRESSWELL (nee BROADHURST) in 1986, 1991 and 1992. Extracts from those interviews have been included in this article and are shown in italics.

Before proceeding further I would like to gratefully acknowledge all the information supplied by my late grandmother, Lemona Ann CRESSWELL (nee BROADHURST) who passed away last year (1995). The assistance, help and support from my mother, Cynthia Pamela CRESSWELL is acknowledged and appreciated. Also the late WIGHTMAN ‘girls’, Frances (Laurie) CAPORN for supplying of the initial certificates and Audrey (Billie) CAMPBELL, for the genealogical research conducted that started me on the trail.

Very special thanks to Joan BOCK (nee GREEN) for the assistance in obtaining much of the WILSON family particulars, Helen SPANNEY (nee WRIGHT) for her contribution in providing the WRIGHT family details, and Edna HANSON (nee BROADHURST) for arranging and providing much of the BROADHURST family tree.

Many thanks to Aunty Joan ANDERSON (nee CRESSWELL), Aunty June TANNER (nee CRESSWELL) and Patricia HEATHCOTE (nee GIRDLESTONE) for photographs and valued assistance.

Special thanks to Margaret PARKER (nee WRIGHT), Richard SWEET, Ellaine FROST (nee WRIGHT/WILSON), Valma WRIGHT (nee KIDD), Jean JONES (nee BROADHURST), Joan BROADHURST (nee THOMPSON), Olive BUIST (nee BROADHURST), Patricia LAWN (nee BROADHURST), Rod CAMPBELL, Jay BASILE (nee HARTLEY), Debra PERRY (nee BROADHURST), Audrey McCARTNEY (nee WILSON), Julie COULDRIDGE (nee CAPORN), Vivienne HOWARD (nee WILSON), Kay MACEY (nee WILSON), Yvonne PARKER (nee WRIGHT) and Marjorie WILLIAMS (nee BROADHURST).

Finally to those family members who contributed to the supplying of personal information for their families I give many thanks, you are too numerous to mention, but are aware of your contribution. There are over six hundred names listed as the descendants of James and Ann Price which gives credit to both those persons named above and to all those contributing family members, some of whom I had no direct contact with.

This article is not the end of the research for our WRIGHT family in Australia as it is only partially completed. Each of the four children of Alexander and Annie who had issue did marry in Tasmania and their ancestry is waiting to be ‘discovered’. For the descendants of John WRIGHT we have Mary Josephine GIBSON and her family waiting to be ‘located’. For the family of Alexander James WRIGHT we have Rosina Maria WALTERS and her father Charles and mother Eliza (nee MOORE) from Westbury, Tasmania with their origins mostly unknown. The ancestry of the husband of Agnes WRIGHT, George Henry WILSON, is yet to be fully researched. His father George, mother Mary (nee DELANTY) and grandmother Sarah (nee McCOY) also lived at Westbury in Tasmania.

Likewise for the PRICE family, many of the Victorian and Tasmanian descendants of James and Ann are yet to be located. Charlotte, the eldest daughter, did not marry. The eldest two sons, James amd William remained in Victoria. Ann, the second daughter is discussed in detail in this article whilst Alice married a Thomas ORAFFERTY and lived around Ballarat. Frances married a Swede, Abilyam ALLEN, and my grandmother was in contact with a few descendants who came to Western Australia. Mary married a William PHILPOT and raised their family in Geelong and later in Collingwood. George married Sarah OLDHAM and my grandmother grew up with their children in Beaconsfield. Many children of this family relocated to Victoria in later years but some of the family remained in Beaconsfield. John PRICE married Mary HORNSEY in Beaconsfield and the whereabouts of their descendants are unknown.

My grandmother, Lemona CRESSWELL (nee BROADHURST), was aged only one year when she was nursed by her convict great grandmother, Ann PRICE (nee GOUGH), back at Beaconsfield Tasmania in 1899. My granddaughter, Caetlin CRESSWELL, was in turn nursed by her great grandmother, Lemona in 1989 when Caetlin was also aged one year. Lemona had direct contact both with Ann (born 1819) and Caetlin (born 1988) who between them span 169 years of family life. It was a pity that Lemona was too young to be able to recall those days back in Beaconsfield and give us a personal account and description of Ann to further improve our knowledge of this ‘first arrival’ ancestor.

There must be surviving photographs of Ann PRICE (nee GOUGH) (who died in 1899) and perhaps also of her husband James PRICE (who died in 1876) out there somewhere still held by descendants. Already the preparation of this article has resulted in two photographs of Alexander WRIGHT coming to light and three early photographs of Ann WRIGHT (nee PRICE) becoming available from family members. I remain hopeful that photographs will surface for our convict ancestors as a result of this article.

Finally to those people who are reading this story for the first time and were previously unaware of convict ancestry in the family I must point out that today there is no stigma attached to such heritage. Today’s society in Australia realises that the social issues in England of that time dictated that anyone committing a criminal offence was to be punished by either, death, imprisonment or transportation. Many of those transported to Australia were for minor offences by today’s standards. Our ancestors received very severe sentences for petty offences and most were never to see their family back in England ever again.. We can only be proud of their fortitude and determination in their ability to make a life for themselves and their Australian families. We also should be proud of our family links with the heritage of this great country be it convict ancestors, the Eureka Stockade uprising, goldmining at the various Australian goldfields, opening up new farming land or just proud of their survival during the harsh times under conditions that you and I cannot even commence to imagine.

To all those people who still might be concerned as to what lies within their family tree, I offer this message:

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them or not,
Or don’t you really know?
Some strange discoveries are made
In climbing family trees,
But some of them, you know,
Do not particularly please.
If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
There may be some of them perhaps
You wouldn’t care to know.
But there’s another question which requires
A different view.
If you could meet your ancestors,
Would they be proud of you?

Anon.

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