Grandma Fibbins

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that the daughters of Jane Clifton and Frederick Charles Brown were were raised by their father’s relatives on his maternal side, including someone known as ‘Grandma Fibbins.’

I’m not sure exactly who Grandma Fibbins is. Well, I know what she looks like. This is Gran Fibbins and Ethel Brown/Clifton.

And this is Gran Fibbins and Dorothy May Brown/Clifton.

But who exactly is Gran Fibbins?

Frederick Charles Brown (b. 1861 d. 1936) was the son of John Brown (b. c1814 d. 1881) and Mary Ann Fibbins (b. c1835 d. 1901). The daughters depicted in these photos were born in 1890 and 1897 respectively. So Gran Fibbins is not Mary Ann, likewise Mary Ann’s mother Sarah Ann Watkins (b. c1814 d. 1890) is ruled out.

A postcard sent to Ethel from her sister Lola (b. 1893) shows that Ethel at least was living with David Fibbins, either her great uncle or his son. (Lola is marked with the x)

If only we could make out a date on the postcard, my best guess from the clothing is somewhere before 1910. So perhaps Gran Fibbins is David Fibbins’ (b. 1844 d. 1927) is second wife Ellen Gloucester Bell (b. 1871 d. 1945)?  Maybe I will get lucky and someone will recognise her!

  1. Yes, my guess is that Gran Fibbins is David's second wife. She was known by David's children of his first wife as Aunt Nellie. I have my great grandmother's recipe book that contains a Christmas Pudding recipe attributed to Aunt Nellie Fibbins (it's noted that it took 1st prize at the Muswellbrook Show).

  2. Hi Sharon, I have a photo of Nellie Fibbins. She has dark hair and a rather prominent chin, but it maybe the same person as above. Bit hard to tell with black and white pics. She was certainly know as Aunt Nellie by my mother. But the house in the second pi, certainly looks like the Coal Creek house of David Fibbins, my Gr Gr Grandfather.

  3. Hi Sharon, I have a photo of Nellie Fibbens, I am not the faces match, my photo Nellie has dark hair and a rather prominent chin, she was certainly called Aunt Nellie by my family, but it may be the same person. The house in the second photo certainly looks like the photo that I have of David Fibbins house at Coal Creek, he was Gr Gr Grandfather

  4. Hello Sharon. Ellen Fibbins nee Bell is my 1st cousin, 2x removed. Her mother Margaret Bell nee Histon and my gr grandfather Maurice Histon were brother and sister and immigrated from Limerick Ireland (with another sister, Mary)around the mid 1800s. Ellen's middle name, Gloucester, I feel, is her grandmother's maiden name although spelt differently (Bridget Gloster.)

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