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How the Quire family
is connected to the Sherwood family.
Fanny Fisher was born in Burnham, Somerset about 1790. Her
parents may have been James and Elizabeth Fisher. This couple had at
least five children all of whom were baptised in the Burnham parish
John and Fanny married on 24 April 1819 in St. Marys Church Bridgwater. Bridgwater is about 20 kilometres south of Burnham.
After marrying, John and Fanny settled in Cannington, 5 kilometres from Bridgwater. Their first two children were born at Cannington. William Ephraim in 1820 and Eliza, in 1823. Eliza Quire later married Isaac Fry. The couple and their young family emigrated to Victoria in 1859.
SEE BELOW FOR FULL STORY
St Mary's Church Bridgwater, Somerset. This is where Eliza's parents John and Fanny Quire were married in 1819.
1796: Baptised at South Brent/Brent Knoll, Somerset.
1819: Married Fanny Fisher at Bridgwater, Somerset.
1820: First child Ephraim baptised at Cannington, Somerset.
1826: Daughter Jane baptised at East Brent, Somerset.
1829: Son John baptised at Burnham, Somerset.
1859: John died at Edith Mead, Somerset.
c. 1790: Born Burnham, Somerset.
1879: Fanny dies at Edith Mead, Somerset age 89.
Eliza Fry nee
Not long after they married, John and Fanny settled in Cannington, 5 kilometres from Bridgwater. Their first two children were born at Cannington. William Ephraim in 1820 and Eliza, in 1823. Sometime between 1823 and 1826, the family left Cannington and settled in East Brent. East Brent is only a couple of kilometres from Rooks Bridge where the Frys were living at this time. Eliza’s younger sister Jane and brother Giles were baptised at the East Brent parish church in 1826 and 1827. In the baptism register, John Quire’s occupation is given as servant.
By 1829 the family moved again this time to nearby Burnham. A third son John was baptised there in November of that year. Another daughter Sophia was baptised in 1833. Sophia died in 1839 when she was just five years old. She was buried at Burnham by the curate Charles Scott.
Every 10 years starting in 1841, a detailed census of the population was taken. With the 1841 census, names, ages and occupations were recorded and whether or not the person was born in the county they were presently living. Local people were recruited as enumerators or census collectors. Their job was to visit each household or dwelling in the parish and record the names of those who spent the previous night there. It is estimated that as many as 10 percent of the population were either missed by, or avoided the enumerators.
On the 1841 returns the age of a person 15 years and over, was usually rounded off to the next lowest multiple of 5 years. For example someone who was 29 was recorded as 25. Sometimes the actual age was given. It all depended on the enumerator as to how ages were recorded. The census was taken during the night of Monday 7 June. Those who appear spent the previous night (Sunday) in the household listed.
The census gives us a remarkable snap shot in time of where our ancestors were on each census night and who they were staying with. John and Fanny Quire and two of their sons William Ephraim 20 and John 10 were living in Burnham. John was 40 and Fanny 45. (It’s important to remember that their ages were most likely rounded down) John and William worked as farm labourers. Staying with the family was an Elizabeth Fisher, age 75. Elizabeth could very well have been Fanny’s elderly mother. The word ‘inmate’ appears next to Elizabeth’s name and has a line drawn through it. She may have at one stage been an inmate at a workhouse. Elizabeth died in Burnham in 1849, she was 89 years old.
According to the census John and Fanny’s daughter Jane Quire was just 14 years old and living and working away from home. She was employed by James Hembry on his farm in Burnham as a servant. Her 15-year-old brother Giles Quire was working as a live-in servant for John and Ann Board, who were also farmers of Burnham. Employed by farmer Board were two young domestic servants Harriett Letheby 16 and Emma Lauford 26. Giles later married Harriett Letheby. They married in Burnham in 1848. Giles was 22 years old and working as a butcher when they married.
John and Fanny’s daughter Eliza, who later married Isaac Fry, wasn’t staying with the family at Burnham. She was. living in Mark, an adjoining parish, working as a female servant. According to this census Eliza and Maria Coomer, both 18, shared accommodation in the same building with a number of others. They were Albert and Martha Day, and their baby son John. Albert was a 29-year-old blacksmith. Two other young men, 22-year-old James Banwell and 16 year old apprentice John Parsons, were also living there. The location of the dwelling was the Cawseway, Mark.
According to the 1841 census, John Quire’s brother James Quire (1791-1858) worked as a tailor in South Brent. He was 45 years old. He and his wife Ann had at least 3 children, William 15, Ephraim 14, and 12-year-old John. It’s interesting to note that Ephraim Quire later emigrated to South Australia. He arrived there in 1848. See ‘Another branch of the family discovered in South Australia’.
William Quire another of John’s brothers was living in Purvingston, Lympsham, not far from South Brent. William married Sarah Hornet in Lympsham in 1816. William and Sarah had at least three children; Mary (born in 1818) Ephraim (born 11 December 1820 and died in 1843) and another son William. William senior died in 1819.
In 1851 another census was taken. This census had additional information. The census collectors were required to record each person’s exact age (where known) along with their place of birth.
In 1851 John and Fanny were still living at Burnham. This according to the census was where Fanny was born about 60 years earlier. John was born in South Brent. Living with John and Fanny was their daughter Jane 24 and son John 21.
John and Fanny’s oldest child William Ephraim (Eliza’s brother) had married by 1851 and was still living in Burnham. William was 31 and his wife Maria was 34. They had 3 daughters, 5 year old Sophia, 3 year old Jane and Ann Maria just one year old.
Twenty years later according to the 1871 census the family were living in village of Edithmead in the parish of Burnham. William was recorded as a 50 year old agricultural labourer who was born in Cannington, Somerset. His wife Maria was 52 and born in Huntspill, Somerset. Listed with them on the census were their children; Sophia a 24 year old dressmaker, 12 year old Elizabeth and 6 year old Lucy. Also staying with the family on census night was 3 year old Mary, William and Maria’s granddaughter. The children were all born in Burnham.
By 1851, Giles who married Harriett Letheby had two daughters, Mary 2 and Fanny age 1. Fanny was quite possibly named after her grandmother Fanny Quire nee Fisher. The family were living at Burnham and Giles was working as a butcher. His wife Harriett was listed as a ‘butcher’s wife’. In the house on census night was George Butt, a 15-year-old servant and 72-year-old Ruth Harden. She was described as a widow and a pauper and lodging with the family.
John Quire senior’s brother James and his wife Ann had left South Brent and were now living in The Clyze, Huntspill. James was 63 and wife Ann 59. He was still working as a tailor. Ann was listed as a tailor’s wife and was born in Ireland.
John Quire senior was living at Edith Mead when he died in 1859. He was 63 years old. He was buried by Thomas? Williams the vicar of the Burnham parish church on the 6 February. His wife Fanny died at Edith Mead in 1879, age 89. She too was buried in Burnham.
By 1881 Eliza’s brother Giles Quire had left Burnham and was living in nearby Berrow. He was still working as a butcher. His daughter Fanny Quire had married Thomas Press. They were living at Princess Street, Burnham. Thomas was 29 and Fanny was 30. They had 2 young sons Ernest 1 and Archibald 3 months. Thomas and Fanny were Grocers in Burnham. They had 2 young assistants William Rice and William J Hutchings working for them. Staying in the family home on census night was 24-year-old Ellen Quire, who was visiting the family. Thomas and Fanny Press nee Quire and family not long after emigrated to Victoria where they were reunited with their aunt Eliza Fry nee Quire. Eliza travelled to Melbourne from Nhill to meet her niece. This would have been in the early 1880’s. According to my grandfather Arthur Gordon Sherwood, ‘Granny Fry (Eliza Quire) was so excited about the prospect of meeting her niece that she bought a new bonnet when she travelled to Melbourne to meet her.’ According to Arthur Gordon’s sister Minnie Kelly nee Sherwood, Minnie and her mother Minnie senior visited Fanny at her home in Kew during World War 1. Minnie senior and Fanny Press were cousins. Fanny’s son Archie was said to have visited the Sherwood family at Woorak West.
Ephraim Colstan Quire, a cousin of Eliza Fry nee Quire.
Eliza Fry nee Quire
Ephraim Colstan Quire
Photo courtesy of Norma Hoffman, Adelaide, South Australia.
My great, great grandmother Eliza Fry nee Quire was born in Cannington, Somerset in 1823. Her parents were John and Fanny Quire. Eliza had a cousin Ephraim Quire who was about the same age as her. His parents were James and Ann Quire. James was Eliza's uncle. He was the brother of Eliza's father John Quire.
In 1859, Eliza and her husband Isaac Fry emigrated to
Victoria. Around 1862 they moved to Nairne, South Australia. Living not far
from Nairne at this time was Isaac's brother Frances Fry. Also living in South
Australia at this time was Ephraim Quire. Ephraim had arrived in Adelaide in
The following explains how Eliza and Ephraim's families are connected.
The name Ephraim Quire first came to my notice some time ago.
I saw it mentioned in one of the Nhill newspapers. From memory the name
appeared against a rate assessment made in the 1890’s. The thought crossed my
mind that Ephraim Quire might be related to my great, great grandmother Eliza
Fry, nee Quire. Eliza was living not far from Nhill at the time.
My interest in Ephraim Quire was renewed when I learned that Eliza Fry’s father was John Quire. He was born in South Brent, Somerset about 1796. John had a number of siblings one of whom was James Quire. James appears on the 1841 South Brent census with his wife Ann and sons William, Ephraim and John. According to the census, Ephraim was 14 years old. His father James worked as a tailor in South Brent. It was possible I thought that it was Ephraim the son of James and Ann Quire who arrived in Adelaide in 1848 and was living not far from Nhill in the 1890’s.
Very little further thought was given to Ephraim until I received an e-mail from Maryanne Bach. Maryanne contacted me after reading about our Quire family on the First Families 2001 web site. She felt that there was a good chance that the two families were related. Maryanne’s husband is a direct descendant of the Ephraim Quire who arrived in Adelaide in 1848. Six months after arriving Ephraim married Eliza Hall. They raised a large family and eventually settled near Bordertown, South Australia. Bordertown is 80 kilometres from Nhill.
Maryanne later sent me some additional information on her Ephraim. He was baptised Ephraim Colstan Quire, 28 January 1827 in Bristol, Gloucester. Bristol is about 35 kilometres from South Brent. According to the baptism entry, Ephraim was the son of James and Ann Quire. James worked as a tailor in Bristol. From the South Brent census I knew that our Ephraim Quire’s parents were James and Ann and that his father James also worked as a tailor. Further more, both Ephraim’s were about the same age. This I felt was enough evidence to connect the Bristol and South Brent Quires. Ephraim’s father James Quire had married Ann Mullins in Bristol in 1826. Sometime prior to 1841, the family moved back to East Brent. This is where James was born in 1791.
At this point there was nothing to connect the Ephraim Quire who landed in South Australia in 1848 to the Bristol and South Brent Ephraim. This all changed when I discovered that an Ephraim Colstan Quire had died near Bordertown, South Australia in 1911. The middle name of Colstan which first appeared in Ephraim’s baptism entry in Bristol in1827 now appeared (fortunately) on his death certificate. This vital piece of information was the link that connected the Ephraim Quire who arrived in Adelaide in 1848 ( and later died near Bordertown in 1911) with the Ephraim Colstan Quire who was baptised in Bristol in 1827. There is very little doubt that he is also the same Ephraim Quire who was living in South Brent in 1841.
A more detailed account of Ephraim Quire’s life can be found in Norma Hoffman’s book, Quire Family History, The Story of the Quire Family in Australia.
© R J Sherwood. 2004