Appendices to "The WEDEMEYERs of Eastern Australia."
  … section 4. DAVIS documents.

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The appendices are as follows:

… note that this page contains section 4, and that there is a separate page for each section of the appendix.

  1. Appendices Section 1: Your family is my family (?) …early origins of WEDEMEYER families
    1. At Moringen and Fredelsloh, Germany. General A.C. WEDEMEYER’s family and our family came from the same place?
    2. Have we found Friedrich? Search for confirmation of origins & links between our families.
    3. Unrelated(?) WEDEMEYER names near Goslar.
  2. Appendices Section 2: Court Cases
    1. Stabbing at the lodging house, 1862.
    2. Larceny, 1862
  3. Appendices Section 2: Rates
    1. Mt Perry Rate Books; 1880 – 1904.
  4. Appendices Section 3: Inquiry into Hotel Fire, 1885
    1. Statement by George WEDEMEYER
    2. Statements by Elizabeth WEDEMEYER
    3. Statement by Minnie WEDEMEYER
  5. Appendices Section 3: JWH (Harry) WEDEMEYER’s Documents
    1. Report on Selection; 1889.
    2. Correspondence concerning Selection; 1889.
    3. Obituaries
  6. Appendices Section 4: DAVIS documents
    1. Obituary of Elizabeth PAAP (late WEDEMEYER, née DAVIS)
    2. William DAVIS of Gayndah.
  7. Appendices Section 5: WEDEMEYER name
    1. Variants of WEDEMEYER name and DNA.
    2. Pronunciation of WEDEMEYER name.
    3. Origin of WEDEMEYER name.
  8. Appendices Section 5: Descendancy Report of German born WEDEMEYERs
    1. Complete Report.


Section 4: DAVIS documents


i) Death of Old Resident

The death occurred at an early hour last evening of Mrs Elizabeth PAAP, a very old district resident, who had reached the ripe age of 77 years. The deceased lady had been invalided for some considerable time, and her end was not unexpected. Mrs PAAP, who had been twice married, was one of the real old pioneer class. She was one of the earliest Burnett residents, and had shared in its varied transformations from dense scrub and forest, and almost unforbidding (sic) wilderness, to a land of close settlement and the building of the fine town of Bundaberg. When but a mere child she reached Gayndah in 1851, arriving by one of the sailing vessels that took months to cross the ocean, having been booked from Ireland and placed in the care of the ship's officers, and safely reached her relatives, the DAVIS family, well known people throughout the Upper Burnett. At the early age of 18 years, she was married at Gayndah on the 27th September 1862, to Mr G.H.L. WEDEMEYER, who later on was one of the earliest selectors in the Gin Gin District. Some years later, after the decease of her husband, she married Mr Charles PAAP in the parish Church, Bundaberg, on the 28th July, 1898, the ceremony being performed by the late Rev. W. Morris. The witnesses to the ceremony were Mrs. and the late Mr. C. McLaren. Mr PAAP, who was in business, has been dead for many years. Mr L. WEDEMEYER, grazier of Eidsvold and Camboon, is a son of the deceased lady. The funeral is announced to take place at 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. The arrangement being in the hands of Mr. J. Novakoski.

Source: Death of old resident. Bundaberg Mail, Bundaberg. May 2, 1921

ii) William DAVIS of Gayndah

(a) Related?

William DAVIS (1832-1897) is a brother of Elizabeth WEDEMEYER (née DAVIS). The crucial source of this suggestion came from William Otto DAVIS (see below), who said to Darren GEISSLER of Gayndah that: "Grandfather DAVIS’s sister married a ‘WHITAMERE’ and they lived at Mount Perry". Note that Elizabeth WEDEMEYER did live in the Mount Perry area when she left Gayndah. Darren Geissler wrote down a copy of his conversations with William Otto (including the above), even though he was only a child of 12 - 14 years at the time. Darren kindly gave me a photocopy of his original record. ‘WHITAMERE’ is could be the way that an Irishman would pronounce the name "WEDEMEYER" in Gayndah in the 1800’s. Final confirmation was given by William's baptismal record in the RC parish of Tubber & Rosemount, Co. Westmeath (birth 29 Oct 1832) vii), which showed that William's parents were John DAVIS & Ellen GREEVY, which corresponded with Elizabeth's parents… John DAVIS & Ellen/Eleanor CREEVY/CREVY. William was buried as a Roman Catholic in Gayndah NSW. Evidence for William’s relationship with Elizabeth WEDEMEYER is tabulated here.

(b) Recollections of William DAVIS (1832-1897):

William Otto DAVIS (d. 1989) was a family historian who maintained a "Gayndah District Cutting Book" i) which was lodged in the State Library. Many of these cuttings referred to the DAVIS family, and the following referred to William Otto's grandfather William DAVIS (1832-1897).

J.J. Connolly ii) describes various locations in early Gayndah:

"Next was Grandfather Davis' home. Before he came to Gayndah, he had a boot shop at Old Mundubbera and did a great trade with the station hands and shearers. Grandfather Davis was a great tradesman. He made beautiful boots. He rented part of his house before they rented Captain Thompson's house. He also bred some beautiful horses, also he won some of Gayndah's principal races. I rode for him many times and won a flying handicap for him on ‘Ladyfair’. He was grandfather to the present Davis of Gayndah. He became an alderman of the Gayndah Town Council."

"Gayndah Fifty Years Ago" iii) describes events in the Gayndah Town Council: William DAVIS served on the Gayndah Town Council at least from 1877 to 1880, when he "retired due to the effluxion of time," on 24 June, 1880.

(c) Immigration & Origins of the William DAVIS family

William's 1897 death certificate tells us that his period of residence in Australia was 35 years in Queensland, which gives an immigration year of 1862. A search of indexes of Queensland shipping gives us approximately expected names and ages in 1862 on the ‘Montmorency’, iv) which left the Port of London on 28 Dec 1861 and arrived on 8 Apr 1862 at Brisbane Port, Moreton Bay, Queensland.

  • DAVIES William,    Married male.   Age: 30
  • DAVIES Elizabeth, Married female. Age: 32
  • DAVIES Richard,    Male child.       Age: 5
  • DAVIES Elizabeth, Female child.   Age: 3
  • DAVIES Mary Ann,  Female child.   Age: 1

William has the right age, though Elizabeth is five years older than expected in the above shipping list. Also, their first daughter was named Elizabeth and not Margaret.... but she might have had two first names? This created some initial doubt about this record.

The DAVIS family tradition was that they came out on the ship ‘Montmorency’. Mary Ann HASTINGS (née DAVIS) was the DAVIS baby listed in the ‘Montmorency’ shipping list. Her obituary v) said that she:

"was born in Manchester (England), and with her parents came to Queensland in the s.s. ‘Montmorency’ in 1862."

It was fortunate that this second source confirmed the ‘Montmorency’ emigration! A marine birth registration vi) held by the Queensland Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages had suggested that the DAVIS family had in fact emigrated on the ‘Saldanha’! This had the right names, date, occupation and place of origin if not the place of birth.

Mary Ann DAVIS. Registration#1862/000075 (MAR-marine birth). Marine Register Book of Births. Schedule D. Births on board the ‘Saldanha’ from London on the day of .......... 185..., and arrived at Moreton Bay on the 28th day of January 1862.
No: 1. CHILD: When born, Latitude and Longitude: 14th February 1862 12.10 AM. Name: Unnamed. Sex: Female. PARENTS: Father: Name and Surname, Rank or Profession of the Father, Age and Birthplace: William Davis, shoemaker, 27. Manchester. Mother: Name and Maiden Surname of the Mother, Age and Birthplace: Elizabeth Davis formerly Poynar, 25, Manchester. INFORMANTS: - --- WITNESSES: --- REGISTRATION: Signature of the Captain or Mate: John Bowering.

I tried to get the rest of the children’s names on the passenger list to check this result. Why were the DAVIS records missing from the passenger list and the Archives Index to this list? Eileen Johnson kindly checked the Qld Archives and tells me that only 150 out of 400 passenger records on the ‘Saldanha’ have survived. Perhaps this loss of passenger records occurred in the huge 1893 Brisbane floods?

At the time, I was sure that the ‘Saldanha’ was the right solution, except that a subsequent search of the Manchester 1861 Census (see below) brought me back to the family in the ‘Montmorency’ when we found a daughter Mary Ann DAVIS aged 1 (later confirmed by her obituary), a William DAVIS with the right age, occupation AND place of birth, & children with the right names and ages. Also found in the next house was Elizabeth DAVIS’ probable mother Rachel POYNER with Elizabeth’s probable sister with her family!

1861 Manchester Census: DAVIES & POYNER Families.
Schedule # Street # Last Name First name Relation Condition Age Occupation Where born
 Camp St  |  Ward:  St John’s  |  Ecclesiastical Distr:  St Matthew’s  |  Town:  Manchester
109 21 DAVIES William Head Mar 28 Shoe maker Ireland. Westmeath
    DAVIES Elizabeth Wife Mar 20 wife of (above?) Ireland. Cavan
    DAVIES Richard son   5   Manchester
    DAVIES Margaret dau   3   Manchester
    DAVIES Mary-Ann dau   1   Manchester
108 23 POYNER Rachel Head Widow 40 House Keeper Ireland. Cavan
    POYNER Richard Son Un 20 WireMaker Ireland. Cavan
107 23 LEARY Christopher Head Mar 28 factory overlooker Ireland. Westmeath
    LEARY Mary Ann Wife Mar 21 Wife of (above?) Ireland. Cavan
    LEARY Jane Dau   4   Manchester
    LEARY Elizabeth Dau     Manchester

Combine the above table with the IGI information (below) on the marriages of Elizabeth and her probable siblings in Manchester Cathedral and we can say that we have solid information…

POYNER Marriages at Manchester Cathedral.
POYNER Spouse Date Batch/ Film# Serial Sheet
POYNER, Elizabeth DAVIES, William 1 Jan 1856 M097894 1415
POYNER, Jane LYONS, James 10 Oct 1852 M097893 7001
POYNER, Mary Ann LEAVY (sic), Christopher 21 Dec 1856 M097894 3923
POYNER, Thomas WALTERS, Emma 19 Sep 1869 M097896 6204

Thanks to Tom Jones & the Genealogical Society of Queensland for the Manchester data from the 1861 Census & the IGI relating to the POYNERs.

I ordered the marriage register entry for William DAVIES and Elizabeth POYNER … Year: 1856, Qtr: Mar, District: Manchester, Vol: 8d, Page: 68. It now seems more certain that William DAVIS was Elizabeth WEDEMEYER's brother! The register gives William's father's name as John DAVIES, shoemaker… the same first name as Elizabeth WEDEMEYER'S father. This removes the stumbling block of William DAVIS' death certificate saying that his father's name was William. It also gives us the ages: William 20 (DOB 1835) & Elizabeth POYNER 17 (DOB 1839).

The strange problem remains: who were the DAVIS family on the ‘Saldanha’?

Death of William DAVIS.

The Brisbane Courier reported:

News was received in town to-day that a man named William Davis, a bootmaker at Gayndah, committed suicide on Wednesday by cutting his throat with a penknife. The wound was not immediately fatal, as he lingered until Thursday night. Davis had been a resident of Gayndah for thirty five years. ix)

William was buried as a Roman Catholic, but presumably due to his suicide, the local priest did not officiate… the officiant was specified as a "lay man", and the burial took place at the end of the day at 5pm. viii) .

(d) Descendancy Report (first generation only):

Sources: i) Gayndah District Cutting Book. Reference# OM92-05. Location: Boxes 9267; 9286. Repository: Heritage Collections, State Library of Queensland.
       ii) Connolly, JJ. Early Gayndah. Burnett Advocate, Dec 2, 1941:9. Re-published as: Recollections and reunions. Gayndah: Gayndah and District Historical Society:38.
       iii) Gayndah fifty years ago. Gayndah Gazette & Burnet Advertiser; 13 Jan 1922.
       iv) Johnson, Eileen B. They came direct: immigration vessels to Queensland: ‘Montmorency’ 1862. Tinana Qld: self published, 2001:6.
       v) Obituary: Mrs E. Hastings. Burnett Advocate, 23 Apr 1937:7.
       vi) Birth of Mary Ann DAVIS: reg# 1862/000075 (marine birth). Qld Registrar of BDM. Note the date of arrival and the date of birth! Passengers are known to have remained with a ship after arrival, before they went “up-country”.
       vii) Birth of William DAVIS: 29 Oct 1832, RC Parish of Tubber & Rosemount, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. Irish Family History Foundation (I.F.H.F.).
       viii) Gayndah Cemetery Register and Form of Instruction for Graves. Burials of William & Elizabeth DAVIS.
       ix) Death of William DAVIS. Brisbane Courier; 23 Jun 1879; 5.

(e) Acknowledgements & suggestions for further reading:

The Story Continues