Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sad times

The National Library has just added "The Auckland Star" from 1870 to 1903 to Papers Past. There are some real treasures to be found there.
The turn of the century was not a happy time for the Austen family. On the 23 November 1898 John James Austen (the eldest son of Anne and Captain John) died of pneumonia.
Things did not get better in the new year in February Mary Jane Ward (the eldest daughter of Anne and Captain John) lost her twins -
Mary Jane had lost an infant son previously in 1893.
Then the Captain himself died after a short illness on 3rd August.
But the year was not over yet Caroline Postlewaight (Anne and John's sixth child) lost her baby Albert Morris Postlewaight on the 2nd October 1899. She, too had already lost a baby girl in 1894 and was herself to die in 1908.
However in amongst all this sad news I found this gem of report of Joseph Austen's wedding in 1906 -

The chief bridesmaid Blanche Ward was Mary Jane's daughter and Joseph's niece - she went on to marry the bride's brother William Henry Smithson in 1914.

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