Saturday, 28 February 2015

Georgina Shearmur's sister

This one was clearly labelled on the back "Georgina Naish's sister" Well she had 5 sisters. The photographer for this one was R Ward 10 Eastgate Rd Gloucester Gloucestershire and  was in business from 1862 to 1870. (1)

How old do you think she is ? My guess is about 20-25 years old.

Which of the sisters is it?

Frances Elizabeth was  born in  1835 and died in  1854 so it is not her as she was not alive when the photographer practiced.

Mary Ann was born in  1837 and married in 1871 in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucesterhire, UK so it could be her if the photo was taken early in the business lifespan.

Arlette was born in 1840 and married in 1861 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, UK  so it is probably not her.

Jane was born in 1847 and married in 1872 in Chipping Sodbury so it could be  her as she would have been 20 in the middle of the business lifespan.

Elizabeth Margaret  was born in 1850 so it could be her as she would have been 20 at the end of the business lifespan.

From the site the clothing dating photos suggest 1866-1868. So my deduction is that this is Jane Shearmur.
Do you agree?


Friday, 27 February 2015

Shearmur Family Album Part 5

I guess you are wondering who Georgina Naish (nee Shearmur) was.
Well here she is.
She was born in Alderley Gloucestershire in  1842 and  confirmed April 16 1858 in Wotton-Under -Edge Gloucestershire
and came to Australia in 1864. This is a very interesting fact to prove. Her obituary has her arriving in 1864 but finding her arrival is proving very difficult. The Brisbane Courier  September 20 1864 (1) has Mrs Sherwood, three children and servants as cabin passengers on The Cornwallis. This ship has been very difficult to trace but from the article the ship had 20 first class and second cabin passengers and about 1000 tons of merchandise and 2 entire horses. So it is very likely a cargo ship rather than a passenger ship.
Family story has it that Georgina was one of the servants. Fortunately Mrs Sherwood kept a diary and it has been digitized as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project. However the diary is only from 1865-1870. From the diary (2) I have been able to find that Georgina Naish with baby arrived at 2pm on Tuesday March 3 1868 and she stayed until Monday June 8. I think that suggests that Georgina was very well connected to Mrs Sherwood.
Unumgar Station Homestead
Georgina had married William Naish in Warwick Queensland January 25 1866 and had a son Thomas William Naish December 13 1866 so Thomas William took a trip from Warwick to the Unumgar Station in the Upper Richmond Region of Northern New South Wales as a 1 year old.
Georgina and William Naish went on the have more children but that is for another day and more photos.

(1).THE CORNWALLIS. (1864, September 20). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2015, from
(2) Sherwood, Anne (1900). Diary of the wife of Captain Thomas Henry Sherwood, Unumgar Station, Upper Richmond River, N.S.W., 15 Dec. 1865- 31 Dec. 1870
Photo of Unumgar homestead courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Shearmur Family Album Part 4

Don't you just love the beards or are they long sideburns?

This photo intrigues me as it has the  very fancy photographer branding on the reverse.
"From the Studio of Meredith Peniy Wootton-Under-Edge  This Picture can be enlarged to any size, and Coloured in Oil"
Note the rounded corners of the card too.
From the carte de visite photo dating site I  received an approximate date of between 1877-1886.
My great great grandma Georgina Naish(nee Shearmur) was well and truly in Australia by this but Georgina was confirmed in Wootton-Under-Edge in 1858 (1).
Could this be her father and an uncle? Thomas Brain Shearmur( her father was born in 1806 in Wiltshire (2)) had a brother John born 1808 in Gloucestershire (3).
As these fellows look about the same age and were still alive until 1887 perhaps they are the brothers. Who knows? I hope someone does.

1. Confirmation card held by me.
2. English census 1851, Class: HO107; Piece: 1956; Folio: 499; Page: 6; GSU roll: 87356.  Cit. Date: 27 May 2008.
3. Email from Mary Mather: Shearmur chart # 73  3/8/2014

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Shearmur Family Album Part 3

Now to some photos with a photographer name and a  narrow date range. Place London in 1862-1864

These were taken by M J de Mouxy and details about him can be found at

Perhaps these are family, perhaps not. Were these Georgina's Mum on the left and an older sister on the right or maybe an aunt? Were these for Georgina to take with her when she embarked on her trip to the other side of the world?
I just love these photos and feel privileged to have had access to them. I hope that some other member of the extended family has them too so we can compare notes.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Shearmur Family Album Part 2

This photo was taken by Camille Silvy, a photographer born in France but he was an active portrait photographer in the 1860's in London and took photos of the rich and famous. This link will give you more information about him.

The National Portrait Gallery in London has his day record books. There are 17000 sittings and  12000 have photos with the record. What's the betting that this photo is one of the 5000 without a photo? Am I going to London to try? Yes if I win Lotto.

As Georgina Shearmur came out to Australia as a servant for Mrs Ann Sherwood from Alderley House in Gloucestershire, is this Ann Sherwood?  She is the only rich and famous one I could find in our family stories.
Even more photos to come

Monday, 23 February 2015

Shearmur Family Album

When visiting my cousin Mildred a few months ago she produced a beautiful surprise-carte de visite photos from Great great grandma Georgina Naish( nee Shearmur). Of course there were no names, no dates and no places. However there were photographer's names on some.
Off to work I went to find where the photographers were from and when they were around.
Mildred had already done some but there were over 40 left for me.
One of the most interesting for me was a group of 6 (2 males and 4 females). Could this be Georgina's siblings? Unfortunately this photo does not have a photographer's name to help.
From Dating Old Photographs-Photographers 1840-1940 Great Britain & Ireland I used the Wizard to date this little photo. The result was between 1860-1873. This didn't help me much but Georgina came to Australia in 1864. By 1864 her eldest sister Frances had died but she had sisters Mary Ann Shearmur born 1837, Arlette Shearmur born 1840,  Jane Shearmur born cir 1847, Elizabeth Margaret Shearmur born cir 1850 and brothers Thomas Shearmur born 1851 and James Bruton  Shearmur born 1854 still alive. The youngest male (centre back row) looks more than 10 years old but was the photo taken after 1864 and sent to Georgina? Who else could it be? Don't you just love the uncertainty?

More photos to come and more questions.