Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Wilcox Family

John Austen's wife was Anne Wilcox. She was born in Somerset about 1842 to Hannah and James Wilcox and came to New Zealand, according to her death certificate, when she was one year old. 
In the early days of New Zealand it was not required that babies be registered but we know Anne had a sister - Elizabeth who was born  around 1843. And we have a record for a brother John Bailey Wilcox,  his baptism is entered in the St Paul's, Auckland Baptism Registry. He was born on the 29th November 1844. There may have been two other sisters - Hannah and Susan.

James Wilcox was a labourer and is listed in the Auckland Police Cenus of 1845, there is also a land record in the Auckland Archives - 4 acres applied for by James Willcox, 1847.
He died in 1861.

Anne's sister Elizabeth married Samuel Churches in 1863 and gave birth to Edward George in 1866 and Charlotte Annie in 1867. Elizabeth died in 1867 possibly giving birth to her daughter.

Hannah is listed as living in Parnell in 1870 when she registered the birth of Anne's daughter, but by 1871 she had died of TB.
There was a death notice for her in the New Zealand Herald 23 June 1871 which read:

 WILCOX - At Bath Street, Parnell, Mrs J. Wilcox, aged 56 years. The funeral will leave Mr Geo Keogh's residence, Panmure, on Saturday, the 24th inst., at 3 p.m. Friends please accept this invitation. 
The George Keogh mentioned is, we believe, an old family friend of the Wilcox's - both families came from Somerset. His daughter Mary Ann was married to Joseph Churches, Samuel's brother.

And in another twist there is a crew list for the Reliance (John Austen Captain and owner) when she entered Sydney on 4 November 1867. On board were  Samuel Churches - Cook and Steward from Somerset and John Wilcox A.B. (able bodied seaman) from New Zealand.

The Reliance was shipwrecked on the 22nd April 1868. It is not known whether these relatives of Anne's were on that journey too.