Can you find anything on my great, great grandmother Elizabeth and her husband William Beresford Wray, who went toMelbourne, Australia with their children in 1860, husband William died in April 1861, and I don't know if Elizabeth returned to England or stayed in Australia. I only know the names of two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Agnes, and son Walter William. There were five sisters, who were a singing group called the Little Nightingales, under the direction of their father who was a professor of music. I'd really appreciate anything you can find.
Liverpool, England, Baptisms, 1813-1906 about Walter William Wray
Name: Walter William Wray
Birth Date: 5 Aug 1848
Baptism Date: 13 Sep 1848
Parish: Liverpool St Peter
Father's Name: William Berisford Wray
Mother's Name: Elizabeth Wray
1851 census transcription details for: 2, Austin Street, Birkenhead
National Archive Reference:
RG number: HO107
Reg. District: Wirral
Sub District: Birkenhead
Enum. District: 1I
Ecclesiastical District: Holy Trinity
Address: 2, Austin Street, Birkenhead
Name Relation Condition Sex Age Birth Year Occupation , Disability Where Born
WRAY, W B Head Married F 24 1827 Teacher Of Music
WRAY, Elizabeth Wife Married F 26 1825
WRAY, Elizabeth Daughter F 5 1846 Scholar
WRAY, Mary Daughter F 3 1848
WRAY, Walter Son M 2 1849
BAINBRIDGE, E Mother In Law Widow F 61 1790
BAINBRIDGE, William Brother In Law Unmarried M 21 1830 French Polisher
PRESCOTT, Sarah Servant Unmarried F 18 1833 General Servant
From the Melbourne Argus, 8th April 1861:
We regret to have to announce the death at 6 o'clock yesterday morning of Mr. W.B. Wray a gentleman well known to the musical world as an accomplished organist and to the public generally as the father of 'the Little Nightingales'. Mr. Wray was formerly organist at the Blind Asylum in Liverpool but was compelled to resign his appointment by the state of his health, to ameliorate when he resided for some years at Torquay on the coast of Devonshire. The peculiar nature of his complaint, consumption, subsequently induced him to visit this colony nearly three years ago. Many will remember with pleasure his performances upon the organ during his short stay and while he held the post of organist of Brighton church,
He returned to England for the sake of advancing the professional interests of his young family but was again compelled to emigrate and once more chose Victoria as his home. On his arrival he gave several concerts which met with a liberal share of public patronage and was to the gratification of his friends reinstated in his old position. He was to have commenced his duties on the very day on which his career was terminated by the hand of death.
On Thursday last, the deceased gentleman was suddenly seized with a coughing fit while in the railway and broke a blood vessel. this acident terminated in his death. He has left a widow and seven children to deplore his loss.
So the family had two stays in Australia.
20th April 1861
The Melbourne Philharmonic Society have announced a repetition on Tuesday evening next of their recent performance of 'The Creation' for the benefit of the widow and children (the latter known as the Little Nightingales) of the late Mr. W.B. Wray who are totally unprovided for...... It is hoped that the public support to be accorded will be of that liberal character which this cause unquestionably deserves.
Liverpool, England, Marriages and Banns, 1813-1921 about Mary Agnes Wray
Name: Mary Agnes Wray of 44 Toxteth Street, Toxteth park
Birth Year: abt 1848
Marriage Date: 30 May 1869
Parish: Toxteth Park St John the Baptist
Spouse's Name: William Knowles, victualler
Father's Name: William Wray, professor of music
Spouse Father's Name: Thomas Knowles
Thomas Bamber And Eliza harris were witnesses.
13th September 1862:
Since the death of Mr. Wray, the father of the talented children, they have rarely come before the public but now they have commenced a series of farewell concerts at the termination of which they are to leave us for England.
Thank you everyone,, that's really helpful, it fills in a lot of detail that answers some other questions as well.
There are quite a few newspaper articles on the Little Nightingales and their family in Australian newspapers.
You can view these on this link: http://trove.nla.gov.au
Good luck with your research.
Once again, thank you, this is fantastic information!