I’ve mentioned before what a great resource Trove is for fleshing out those little anecdotes my family is so fond of dropping into random conversation. The not married couple in this case was my paternal grandmother’s grandparents Jane Clifton and Frederick Charles Brown.
Now it was Nana who told me they weren’t married but she didn’t know the whole story – and it’s a good’un.
Frederick Brown and Jane Clifton never married because Frederick Brown was already married to Jane Hollege. A rather shotgun affair in 1878, which resulted in 4 children and desertion within the next 5 years. The divorce takes just a little longer.
|“47 YEARS.” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931) 26 Mar 1930: 10. Web. 22 Sep 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article125975218>.|
Jane Clifton meanwhile had had two children (father unknown – son registered to her parents as she was only 15, daughter born 3 years later died the same year) prior to her taking up with Frederick Brown. Five daughters would follow.
Jane dies in 1900 and from what I can gather, although the girls were aware of who their father was and had some sort of relationship with him – more than that of their older half-siblings – they were raised it seems by relations of their father, his maternal Uncle David Fibbins and whoever the elusive ‘Grandmother Fibbins’ is.