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The STEVENS Family History

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Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire - the home of the Stevens Family

The connection between the STEVENS family and the NEWMAN family was made when Hannah Louisa BULLEY. married Edward NEWMAN. Hannah's mother was a STEVENS.

Thomas STEVENS(2) 1810 - 1907
Hannah CLACK
Grandparents of Louisa NEWMAN, née BULLEY

Thomas Stevens (2), baptised in Britwell Salome on 29th March 1810, married Hannah Clack at St Giles Church in Reading on 29 August 1831. Hannah Clack had been born in Clipstone, Nottinghamshire she was 25 she married Thomas Stephens in Reading. Her parents were John Clack and Mary Gifford. John was a labourer. The couple had seven children. These were:- Hannah, born in Oxford about 1831, Mary Ann, born about 1832, Louisa (my great-grandmother), born in Reading in about 1836, Thomas Henry and Henry Thomas (both of whom died young), Martha, born in 1840 and Elizabeth, born in Oxford in about 1840. The rather sketchy information about the births of the children of Thomas (2) and Hannah comes from a Mormon list in Australia and the death certificate of Thomas Stevens (2). I have not been able to clarify them further.

In 1850 Thomas Stevens (2), his wife Hannah and their five daughters emigrated to Australia on the "Navarino". The two boys had died earlier. "Navarino" was a wool ship weighing 453 tons which is approximately one sixth of the tonnage of the Red Funnel ferries which sail between Southampton and the Isle of Wight. This is just a one hour trip not a voyage of several weeks and I have known on occasions that the ferries have been cancelled because of strong winds. I can hardly bear to think about the extreme discomforts suffered by my ancestors in these tiny craft sailing the high seas and coping with the terrifying winds and seas of the Southern Ocean to get to Australia. "Navarino" carried 4 cabin passengers and 65 steerage passengers. I imagine, but have no proof, that she carried wool back from Australia and the empty hold on the outward journey was the space the steerage passengers occupied.

Hannah Steven, née Clack, died on 8th February 1875. She had been in Victoria, Australia for 24 years. Thomas married a widow, Elizabeth Day. Thomas and Elizabeth did not have any children.

Three of the daughters of Thomas and Hannah Steven married the same man, Charles Bulley - one at a time. The first was the eldest daughter, Hannah, who according to information on the death certificate of Charles Bulley, had been married previously as she is named as Hannah House, nee Stevens. She must have been widowed very early for she married Charles Bulley in 1855 when she would have been only 24 or 25. She and Charles had a son, Frederick Thomas who was born in 1856. Hannah died in January 1859. Charles Bulley then married her sister Louisa (my great-grandmother) on 2nd October 1862 at St John's Church, Latrobe Street, Melbourne. Louisa was 26 and Charles 36. They had five children. They were Charles Edward (1863), Hannah Louisa (my grandmother) (1865), Alice Mary (1867), Elizabeth (my much loved, Auntie Bess) (1869) and Alfred Ernest (1870). In 1870 Louisa died and in 1873 Charles Bulley married another sister in the Steven's family, this time Elizabeth. Two children were born of this union, Ada Constance and Arthur. Elizabeth died in 1875 after or during the birth of Arthur and Charles Bulley later married his housekeeper, Emma Rutherford. The sibling/cousins of the three sisters were very close to one another and bitterly resented their stepmother and the stepchildren she brought with her.

The other two Stevens sisters, Mary and Martha never married and, unlike their three sisters, Hannah, Louisa and Elizabeth, lived into a ripe old age.

My father remembered visiting his great-grandfather, Thomas Stevens. He called him Great-Grandfather Stevens and in his notes later always referred to him as G.G.Stevens. It took my sister Helen some time when looking for the death certificate of Thomas to realise that G.G. were not his initials. My father told me that his great-grandfather was a wheel-wright but on the marriage certificate of his daughter, Louisa, he is named as a "dairyman" and on his death certificate he is named as a "storeman". My father also remembered his great-aunts, Mary (Ann) and Martha.

The death certificate of Thomas Stevens.

On Thomas Stevens' death certificate his age was given as 99. A slight exaggeration here as he died in 1907 and was born in 1810. His certificate says that he died of "senile decay" (which I imagine just means old age) at his home at 111 Crown Street, Richmond on 29th July 1907.

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