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Ernest Monck - Australia sojourn c 1885-1895

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JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 02:27

Special delivery for Lew! Ernest Monck and Annie (Dennis), my gr-grparents, had two children in Australia during their sojourn there:



William S was actually William Sydney, Sydney being the name he went by. My mother's uncles. The rest of the children were born in England before and after those births.

The whole tale is enormously long and twisty. I summarized it in a post in that long old thread about rules for ancestors:


After being born in Cornwall and growing up in Devon, move to London. Then right after the 1871, move to Berkshire and get married under your original surname. Wait until your wife dies and then move to Cheshire, with your child, before the next census, but give her a new first name to go with your new surname, and make sure that the enumerator doesn't know how to spell your new surname or the place where you were born. Oh, and have your widowed mother with whom you are living use her middle name, just for a change, and that nice new surname, for the 1881 census.

Then marry in London under your new surname, have a child -- but don't register the birth -- and emigrate to Australia just in time for the 1891 census. Have a couple of kids there, and then it's okay to come home. Be sure to find another enumerator back in London whose handwritten notation of your name can't be deciphered by the scribes a century later, and who doesn't know that Australia and Austria are different countries. And don't forget to have your kids listed on the next page of the census book, so their surname will be transcribed as something different from yours, but still wrong.

And be sure to throw in one of those stories about being the son of a black sheep member of a noble family.

That's my great-grandfather.

No one in my mother's family here in Canada ever had a clue that my gr-grfather was born Hill, not Monck, and that he had a sister who was an actress, etc etc etc. No need to go into all of it, or how I figured it out.

On one of the Australian birth certificates, Ernest is described as "Case dealer". Cases of ... what? I asked myself. The alternative was that he was dealing in farm machinery. I thought that unlikely. Until ...

When I posted at the Devon Family History Society looking for the birth of Ernest Hill's father (which someone there found for me), another member took an interest and looked for the father, Francis Hoare Hill, at A2A, which I hadn't thought to do. I knew from censuses that he was a mining agent (as distinct, apparently, from a mine agent). Turns out he had a mining lease option in Cornwall in partnership with someone called Samuel Sandoe Bice, in 1857.

If you know your Australian political history, you'll know of Sir John George Bice:

He was the son of Samuel, the partner of my Ernest's father. Suddenly, I had a notion of why Ernest might have gone to Australia, and what he might have been doing there:

"On 30 December 1875, at Moonta, Bice married Elizabeth Jane Trewenack. Next year he moved to Wilmington in the newly opened up north, to manage a blacksmithing firm for his father-in-law. Two years later he transferred to Port Augusta and in 1881 opened his own agricultural machinery business."

It appears that the US agricultural machinery firm Case wasn't actually present in Australia until after Ernest's time, but it could be that Bice had a franchise or dealership of some sort.

Anyhow, what do I want of you??

I'd like to know when my Moncks arrived in - and if possible, left - Australia, and I don't really know how to go about looking. The records at familyhistoryonline don't go back quite far enough (1890).

And, I guess, anything else you can think of that I might want to know that's accessible!

Anything you want to know about Canada, just shout. ;)


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 02:32

Crikey,pmsl !! I'll see what I can find, Kathryn


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 02:39

Problem is, did they arrive as Monck or Hill???


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 02:53

I gather you're at Ancestry UK. If you want to read any of the hilarious history of my Ernest, you can just search for

given name: ernest augustus
surname: hill monck

and he'll turn up in the 61, 71, 81 and 01 censuses. I've plastered alternate names and lengthy notes all over him and all his known relations in the census databases there.

It's also fun to follow his sister Ada's trajectory.

I'd worked out the Ernest Augustus Hill born 1851 Linkinhorne Cornwall = Ernest Augustus Monck my gr-grfather theory through a lot of slogging through the censuses and bmds. There were two triggers:

No record of the Monck birth, but a record of the Hill birth. Found when I searched by given names and date only, because of the tendency for Monck to be transcribed as Mouck Morck Monak Morek Mouch Manck and ... the one that never occurred to me until I finally searched for Annie by her details in 1901: Morick. With children named Mark.

Name of child who died in infancy in 1895, Ada, turning out to be Ada Lennox Monck ... with someone by the same very unusual name having married in 1875. Turned out Ernest Hill had a sister named Ada in the 1861, who in 1871, in London, was Ada LM Hill, actress.

A kind mentor in England found their baptisms: Ernest Augustus Hill and Ada Lennox Monck Hill. And Freebmd finally transcribed 1854 last spring, and there she was (two years older - not younger as I first said; she made herself the same age as her rich husband - than she said she was when she married in 1875, which was how I'd missed finding her by one quarter when I searched the images).

So Ada married Charles Henry Coke of Neath, the heir to the deceased Portreeve of the town, and settled on 50 acres in Cheshire with 8 domestic servants and 3 kids. And then disappeared, after the 3rd kid in 1882.

Charles disappeared too. Or at least, he tried really hard to. But I found him in 1891, months and months later. Charles MacCock, with a newer younger wife and the same three kids, the wife and kids supposedly born in Canada. And him supposedly born in Scotland. His ancesters were Cocks from Scotland. In 1901 one of his daughters is a McCock in London, his son is in the Imperial Yeomanry as a McCock, and his other daughter had died in 1896 as a McCock. With some stranger named Amy Parkinson reported as her grandmother, the informant.

They were a pack of loons, as far as I can tell.

Charles's sister married into the Lovett Cameron family, and I have painstakingly reconstructed their entire 19th century existence, including finding descendants in Australia and reuniting them! All in the hope of finding what happened to Ada's and Charles's two surviving children, and all to no avail.

Last month I was contacted by a descendant of Emma, the older sister of Ernest and Ada, who was allegedly born in Jersey c1843; she'd seen my notes on her grx2 grmother's entries in the later censuses, with her husband John Cheshire. My new cousin didn't even know Emma's birth surname. She'd always been told Emma's name was Montmorency, and she was from France.

There. Everything you didn't need to know. But now it's plonked onto the trying-to-find Monck board, in case anybody ever wanders in there and recognizes something!

There's so much more ... I oughter put it on the Hill board, really ... and I oughter get my uncle to spit on a stick get some DNA testing done ...


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 02:58

pmsl, don't you just want to smack the jolly lot of them! As if we don't have enough trouble finding the blighers and they pull that stunt on you!! I'm afraid we may never know when they came and went from Australia, because of the various names used and also misspelt. Very frustrating.

Lewella x


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 02:59

Oh, as Monck!

Ernest Monck and Annie Dennis married in Dec 1883 in London.

Their first kid was my mum's uncle Ross who was killed in WWI. His name was allegedly Ernest Ross Monck, and his DOB is given on his enrolment papers, and in the 1911 Canadian census (they immigrated in 1907), as April 1884. There is no remotely similar birth in the GRO.

Ada's son was Henry Rossiter John Monro Coke/McCock. He's "HR John Coke" in 1881, "Henry MacCock" in 1891, and "Rossiter M McCock" in the IY c1901.

I figure there's something in that "Rossiter", and that's probably what Uncle Ross was, too; some sort of family name that I have no clue about.

In fact, I wonder whether Uncle Ross wasn't actually Ada's son Henry Rossiter John Monro Coke, who was born in 1879. I'm not sure of the dates for the IY entry, but it's conceivable he was in the 1901 census in England as Monck and then in the IY after that. Charles Coke/McCock's brother Percy was in the 1901 census and also in that IY list at Kevin Asplin's site where Rossiter is.

You didn't know what you were agreeing to have inflicted on you, did you?? I'll just tell it to anybody who happens by ...


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 03:05

Hang on!!!! Who were Ernest and Annie's children prior to their arriving in Australia???


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 03:06

Don't give up!

They would have been travelling as

Ernest Monck c1851
Annie Dennis c1865
(edit -- that was supposed to say Annie *Monck*, and that's what confused Lewella -- Dennis was her birth surname, duh)
Ernest/Ross Monck 1884
Violet Monck 1885

So the trip would have been between late 1885 and 1887 when the son was born in Sydney.

The return trip, those four + the two sons born in Sydney, would have been before late 1894, when daughter Ada Monck was born in Romford.

Not to be confused with daughter Ada Hill born 1873 in Berkshire (to Ernest Hill and first wife Henrietta Sayer, who was actually born Palmer, who died not long after the birth), who appears as Isa Monk in Cheshire in 1881 and as Isa Ada Monck in Kent in 1891, and dies as Isa Ada Monck in Kent in 1892 ...

Ernest reported his father as Francis Hoare Hill for that first marriage in 1872.

He (1883) and sister Ada (1875) both reported father Francis Monck when they married. No such Francis Monck ever existed anywhere.


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 03:11

Now this looks promising, perhaps they landed in Victoria first!!!

Unassisted Immigration to Victoria

Index of Inward Passenger Lists for British, Foreign and New Zealand Ports 1852-1923

MONCK ANNIE Age 39 Arrived APR 1887 Ship: HABSBURG travelling with:


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 03:19

Yes yes yes! Yes yes!

But ... daughter ISA??

Ada Hill who became Isa Monk (Monck) who became Isa Ada Monck was born in 1873, so it's not her.

Daughter Violet was born in 1885. Son Ernest was born in 1884, supposedly.

What on earth??

Son Ernest/Ross would have been 3 or almost 3 in April 1887. (Not 4 as I said before I did the math correctly and edited.)
Daughter Violet would have been not quite 2 in April 1887.
Daughter Ada/Isa would have been 14 in 1887.

But that has to be them; Monck is an unusual enough name that there were no other Ernest+Annie couple.

Did he just call all his children by interchangeable names??


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 03:29

What I meant to say was: John George Bice was in South Australia.

"Two years later he transferred to Port Augusta and in 1881 opened his own agricultural machinery business."

It is still making perfect sense that Ernest went there to take a job with Bice.

Apart from Bice Sr. and Hill Sr. being business partners, Bice Jr. and Hill/Monck Jr. were born in the same place, Callington, 18 months apart, and may have been best childhood friends, for all I know!


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 03:30

Well, who knows, but it's awful close, don't you think!


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 03:32

Oh, there's no question that it's them -- thank you thank you. I have some new stuff to play with now, to try to figure out those age/name discrepancies.

Any idea how I'd find out when they left? And *who* left??


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 03:34

Just having a hunt around for you. Age and name discrepanies??? You, of all people, should know that no one is to be trusted with giving the right information, lol


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 03:40

Not seeing them anywhere at present ;-(


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 03:40

Another bit of theory ...

Ada Hill / Isa Ada Monck was a domestic servant in a manse in Canterbury in 1891 (while the Monck parents were still in Australia).

The family was Gadney, and some of the children were born in India in the 1870s and 1880s.

I wonder whether *they* were in Australia, and Isa returned to England with them as a mother's helper, before Ernest and Annie returned.



No more records of Gadneys. Could be a sibling of the head of the household where Isa was working in 1891, Alfred born 1851 in England ...


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 03:52

Nope, can't find anything else at present


JaneyCanuck Report 25 Nov 2007 04:07

And I have to go home and make dinner -- so I'll leave it with you to mull, in case you think of anything.

Those mistranscriptions ... I found them at findmypast (that's what I meant, not familyhistoryonline) immigrating to Canada as (with my notes re their names)

MONEK (Annie) 44 F 1909
MONEK A D (Albert Dennis) 18 M 1909
MONEK E (Ernest) 51 M 1909
MONEK E 7 (Edmund, my grandfather) M 1909
MONEK I K (Ivy Kate) 12 F 1909
MONEK R E (Ross Ernest) 25 M 1909
MONEK S (Stanley) 10 M 1909
Liverpool Canada Quebec

Sydney came later, or got misspelled rather than mistranscribed -- the later one, I think, per different immigration date in the 1911 Cdn census:

MONK S 24 M 1910 Liverpool Canada Saint John Nb
MONK Sidney M 1909 Liverpool Canada Quebec

None of which is remotely relevant to my questions, except to say:


-- all of which are known mistranscriptions of Monck in Ancestry's database, so they're all possibilities!

Thanks so much, and have a good evening. ;)


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 04:11

Well we know that they left Australia after 1891 when Albert was born and before Ivy's birth in 1897, so that narrows the time span down. I'll keep looking


Lewella Report 25 Nov 2007 04:30

Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia, 1861-1933
about Ernest Monck
Name/Business Name: Ernest Monck
Year: 1889
District: Paddington
Page No: 726
Address: Point Piper Road