Monday, 19 December 2011

Dead Person #3 - Elizabeth John (nee Parsons)

Continuing my series on the interesting deaths of my Dead People, today I thought I would share with you the tragic loss of a young wife and mother, my third-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Parsons.

Elizabeth John (nee Parsons), a young wife and mother, arrived in Sydney on 23 January 1887 with her two daughters, Gwilymia and Emily, aboard the steamship Port Victor. They were travelling to join their husband and father, William John, and had departed as steerage passengers from Plymouth on 3 December 1886.

According to the passenger list of the Port Victor, their second daughter, Emily, was born in America in about 1885, but I am yet to confirm this with any certaintity. According to the same list Elizabeth could neither read nor write.


Only ten months after her arrival in New South Wales, Elizabeth died tragically at the age of 26, the cause of death: "Anaemia, Parturition" - she is one of countless women who have died in the endeavour to bring forth life. There is no record of the child she died giving birth too, so we must assume that this child died too. According to her death certificate, the length of her illness was two weeks. Oh, how she must have suffered.

William John and Elizabeth Parsons had married on 11 December 1879 at the Carmel Baptist Chapel in Pontypridd, Glamorgan. Their first daughter, Gwilymia was born on 1 May 1880 in Llantrisant, Glamorgan. Eleven months later, they are listed in the 1881 Welsh Census as living in Brynsadler, Llantrisant. William's occupation is "General Labourer".


Elizabeth Parsons was born in Wiltshire, the daughter of Reuben Parsons and his wife Susannah Wright, both of whom outlived their daughter. I have found them in the 1901 Census, aged 71 and 61, caring for two of their grandchildren - Mary A Parsons (aged 11) and Thomas J Davies (aged 9).


A note on the names mentioned above:
- I have used the spelling "Gwilymia", as found on her birth certificate.
- I have used "William", although he was also known as "Gwilym"