The mystery of the youngest child of Oscar and Frances Hughan, Hubert Carl Hughan, is one which I am sure will never be solved without input from Hubert's actual descendants. I am hoping that by putting what scant details I know about him in this blog,a family member might one day stumble across this entry and be kind enough to contact me and put me out of my misery!
As mentioned in Oscar Hughan's blog entry, Hubert was not actually their biological child, but was raised as such.He appeared as their son in newspaper articles referring to his parents' deaths, and in his enlistment records for WW1 his parents were named as Frances Elizabeth Hughan and his father, Oscar, as being deceased.
I tried for some time to locate his birth entry in the NSW birth index, but was not successful.I then recalled the case of my maternal great-grandmother, Charlotte Willett,who was born in 1884 and raised as the youngest child of Semer and Ellen Willett. I couldn't understand why she was 'forgotten' and not named as a child of either parent on their death certificates. Then a phone call from a distant relative solved the mystery...Charlotte was in fact an illegitimate child of one of her elder 'sisters', but had been registered as the child of her grandparents and raised as their daughter.
Could this have been the case with Hubert Carl Hughan? I searched for his birth using only his first names, and found an entry for "Hubert Carl Cahill", no father given, mother Lillian E Cahill, born Balmain. Oscar Hughan and his family were living in Balmain at this time, so I applied for this certificate and kept my fingers crossed.
Bingo! When the certificate arrived, the most exciting piece of information it contained was the name of the witness to the birth- "Mrs Hughan". The informant was Lillian Elizabeth Cahill, mother, of 9 Vincent Street, Balmain North.
A check of Sands Sydney Directories from the period 1888-1907 revealed that the home of Oscar Hughan and family during this time was 9 Vincent Street.
The details on Hubert's birth certificate were as follows:
Hubert Carl Cahill- illegitimate.
Born 19 February, 1900
Place: 9 Vincent Street, Balmain North.
Father: not listed
Mother: Lillian Elizabeth Cahill, spinster. 26 years old, born Parramatta.
Informant: Lillian Elizabeth Cahill, Mother, 9 Vincent Street, Balmain North.
Date registered: 3 March, 1900.
Accoucheur, nurse and/or witness: Mrs Hughan.
So...we have an unmarried 26 year old woman giving birth to her child in the Hughan household. At this time the Hughan family consisted of parents Oscar,aged 73, and his 52 year old wife Frances; and their children Myrtle aged 26; Oscar aged 22; Allan aged 20 and Wilfred aged 17 or 18.
I had originally wondered if unmarried Myrtle Hughan may have been Hubert's mother, but the discovery of his birth certificate and real birth mother scuttled that idea. With the mother's identity discovered, attention now turns to the virtually 'unprovable'...who was Hubert's father.
The facts that he was born at the Hughan home, and was raised by the Hughan family, and went by their name, all point to one of the Hughan men being the father of baby Hubert. Oscar, Allan and Wilfred were all of a prime age to be involved in a dalliance, and even Oscar Senior's advanced age is not enough to rule him out (although I very much doubt it was him- his personality seems to preclude him from such behaviour, and one can't imagine a wife welcoming the illegitimate child of a husband into her home in the same way that she would a grandchild)
Let us pause here a moment and look into the one certainty of Hubert's parentage...his mother. According to information given on her son's birth certificate, Lillian Elizabeth Cahill was born at Parramatta in c. 1874. Consulting the NSW birth index, we find only one contender...Lillian Elizabeth Cahill, born at Parramatta, 1874, the daughter of James Sylvester and Jessie Isabella Cahill.
By looking further back into Lillian's parentage and family circumstances, perhaps we can determine whether Lillian's station in life in 1899-1900 may have seen her in service as a housekeeper or such to Frances Hughan...in 1882, Frances Hughan had placed an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald for a "Respectable, middle-aged woman to assist in household duties; small family", so it is certainly possible that in the late 1890s she was still enjoying household assistance by a girl or woman in her service.
Lillian Cahill's parents had married in Orange, NSW, in 1870...James Cahill married Jessie Isabella Nash. A notice in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 20, 1870,stated:
" MARRIAGES: CAHILL-NASH. On March 20, at Orange, by the Reverend H.A. Langley, James Sylvester, fourth son of W.A Cahill Esq, principal foreman of the Fitz Roy Dry Docks works, Cockatoo Island, to Jessie Isabella, eldest daughter of R. Nash Esq of Balmain."
There are two other births attributed to this couple- an unnamed child was born in Orange in 1871, and a daughter named Ada Amelia was born in Sydney in 1879, sadly dying the following year.I had assumed that the child born in 1871 had died at birth or soon after bcause of its unnamed status, but I have just located the death of a Hubert Austin Stanley Cahill who died in 1951, the son of James Sylvester and Jessie Isabella Cahill.I can't find his entry in the NSW birth index, so this unnamed child in 1871 may be him.
I can find no other children belonging to James and Jessie Cahill. Jessie died in 1889, aged in her late thirties.She had been born in 1851 to parents Robert Nash and Elizabeth E. Buddivent. The Sydney Morning Herald of September 20, 1850, had the following notice:
"MARRIAGE: At St. Phillip's Church, on the 16th instant, by the Rev. Mr King, Robert, eldest son of Mr David Nash, of the Customs, to Elizabeth Emily, third daughter of Mr. George Buddivant, both of Sydney."
George Buddivant/Buddivent was a shipwright from Lincolnshire, and with his wife Amelia Nash raised their family in Sydney after they emigrated on the ship 'Arundel' in 1832.George's age was given as 39 and Amelia 31 and they had 3 boys and 3 girls with them, including Elizabeth Emily. Two more girls were born to George and Amelia after their arrival in Australia. His occupation was given as shipwright and he was a bounty immigrant.
He ran into financial difficulties in 1846:
"Insolvency Proceedings. New Insolvent: George Buddivant of Sussex Street, Sydney, ship builder.
Debts: 98 pounds, 6 shillings and 6 pence.
Assets: Landed property: six pounds. Personal property: five pounds.
Outstanding debts: Ten pounds, 18 shillings 4 1/2 pence.
balance deficiency: 76 pounds 8 shillings 8 1/2 pence.
This insolvent attributes his insolvency to debts contracted 3 years ago, and to the depreciation of his property, and by the loss of two hundred pounds in the "James And Amelia', cutter, which was built by him."
In June of 1840, George had bought "good- sized" waterfront land at Balmain. A boatyard was built and by October 1843 he had erected an "excellent cottage of four rooms with kitchen attached. He borrowed heavily on the land to build more cottages. A total of six stone cottages [sadly, now demolished], some with attics, were squeezed on to the land in an attempt to get the maximum rent income for the minimum outlay of money. There were no planning controls and an owner could build what and where he wanted. In the oversupplied market of the 1840s good rents were hard to come by, and after attempting to sell the cottages during the depression then raging,George Buddivent lost all in 1849.
When George's cottages came on the market they were acquired in April 1850 by John Little, a well established Sydney grocer. Little saw them as a good buy and the houses were soon known as "Little's cottages".
Coincidence steps in here, as from 1883-1887,Oscar Hughan and his family lived in Littles Lane, Balmain, and when Frances Hughan was advertising for a woman to help her around the house in 1882, she gave her address as "Mrs Oscar Hughan, Little's Cottages, Balmain".
Back to Hubert Hughan's great-great grandparents, the Buddivents...Amelia Nash Buddivent predeceased her husband on June 3, 1865. She died at Mitchell Street, Glebe and on her death certificate her place of birth was given as "Amboyna" and her father was James "Dash", a Captain, and her mother Eliza James. (Other certificates state her name as Nash). Their marriage took place in London in 1821 and and she had been in the colony for 33 years.
The actual entry in the parish register of St. George In The East, stated:
" George Buddivent, of this parish,a widower, and Amelia Nash, of this parish, spinster, were married in this church by banns on the 20th day of August, 1821. Witnessed by S.H. Jeffreys and Mary Hunter." Both parties were able to sign their own names on the register.
George died on June 14,1867. Both husband and wife are buried at Camperdown Cemetery, now St Stephen's Churchyard, Newtown. A headstone on their grave says that George was a "Shipbuilder from Blackwall". From a Gazeteer of England: Blackwall, on the Thames. A hamlet parish, Stepney, Middlesex.
George's actual death certificate declares his birthplace to be Boston, Lincolnshire, England and his father to be Peter Buddivent, a schoolmaster.
George and Amelia Buddivent's children were James Henry, Elizabeth Emily, Caroline Mary, George Frederick, Peter, Maria Isabella, Amelia Mary and Ada Frances. The first six children were born in England,and Amelia & Ada were born in Sydney in 1833 and 1837 respectively.
Caroline Mary Buddivent was born on December 10, 1828, at Limehouse, London.She was baptised at ST. Annes, Limehouse, on July 26, 1829. Caroline married Charles May in Sydney in 1845 when she was only 17 years old. She died in only her 20th year, in 1849, at her home in Kent Street North, Sydney. It was noted in the Sydney Morning Herald that she had suffered a 'long and painful illness'
Elizabeth Emily Buddivent was baptised on April 15, 1832, at Stepney. Her parents were noted as being George Buddivent, ship wright, and Amelia, of Limehouse. It was also noted in the parish register that she was a twin( of Maria Isabella). Elizabeth married Robert Nash and their daughter Jessie Isabella married James Cahill to become Hubert Hughan's grandmother.
Elizabeth's twin was Maria Isabella Buddivent, and with her sister she was baptised on April 15, 1832. On October 11, 1853, she married James Pate in Sydney.
George Frederick Buddivent was born on July 5, 1822, in Limehouse, London. He was baptised at St. Anne's, Limehouse, on October 27, 1822, and his parents were noted as being George Buddivent, shipwright, and Amelia. He married Harriett Marion James on September 24, 1866, in Sydney.
James Henry Buddivent died in 1878 in Balmain.
Ada Frances Buddivent married David Little M.D. in Sydney in October of 1857.
As yet I have no information at all re. siblings Peter and Ameilia Buddivent.
Hubert Carl Hughan's great-grandfather was Robert Nash (1829-1910), the son of David Francis Nash and Isabella Barnett.Their first child, a daughter named Rebecca, was born and died in 1828, and Robert was born the following year on September 16, 1829, in Sydney.Other children were William (1832-1875); Ann Jane (1835-1897); and David (1837-1897).
Anne Jane Nash, known as Annie, married publican William Baldock in 1854: "Married: By special license, at St Andrews Cathedral, on Tuesday the 30th May, by the Rev. G. King, William Baldock, to Ann Jane, only daughter of Mr. David Nash, Her Majesty's Customs, Sydney."
Annie and William had a large family of three sons and six daughters: George 1857-1858; Louisa b 1860; Flora b September 14, 1862; Amy b July 31, 1864; Bertha b June 21,1866; Herbert William Stanley b November 23, 1868; Maride b March 2, 1871; Orswald Heden b May 14, 1874; Beatrice Violetta b 1876, died April 29, 1877, aged 7 months.
From Flora's birth in 1862 until Beatrice's birth in 1876, all of the Baldcock babies were born at their father's hotel,The Clarence and Richmond Hotel, 353 Kent Street (between King and Market Streets), Sydney.
William Baldcock died on January 25, 1976, aged 43 years. His wife Annie was pregnant at the time, and gave birth to final child Beatrice Violetta later that year.
"FUNERAL: the friends of the deceased Mr William Baldcock are respectfully invited to his funeral; to move from his late residence, the Clarence & Richmond Hotel, 353 Kent Street, tomorrow afternoon to Camperdown Cemetery." -SMH, Wednesday, January 26, 1876.
Sadly, baby Beatrice died aged only seven months..." Deaths-Baldcock- April 29, Sydney, Beatrice Violetta, infant daughter of the late Mr. William Baldcock, aged 7 months." - SMH, May 4, 1877.
Annie Jane Nash Baldcock died in December, 1897..."DEATHS: Baldcock. At her residence, 66 Glenmore Rd, Mrs Annie Jane Baldcock, aged 63 years.
FUNERAL: The friends of the late Mrs Annie Jane Baldcock are invited to attend her funeral to move from her late residence, 66 Glenmore Rd, Paddington, tomorrow to Newtown Cemetery." SMH, December 28, 1897.
Of Robert Nash's other siblings, the following brief information is known:
William Nash died in Balmain in 1875, aged 42. "DEATH: Nash- September 3, at his residence, Balmain, William, second eldest son of Mr David Nash, late of H.M Customs, aged 42. Many years compositor at the Government Printing Office."- SMH, September 4, 1875.
David Nash married Mary Ann Andrews: "Marriage: On the 9th instant by the Rev. Dr. Fullerton, David, youngest son of Mr David Nash, late of H.M Customs, to Mary Ann, eldest daughter of Mr, Isaac Andrews of Phillip Street, Sydney" - SMH, 17 January, 1860. Their children were Louisa b 1863-1864; David E 1865-1913; Isaac 1869-1914; Bertha Kate b 1871; William b 1873; Louisa Edith 1875-1922; Amy b 1878; Reginald Ernest b 1880; Charles b 1884.
Hubert Carl Hughan's great-great grandmother, Isabella Barnett Nash, died on August 10, 1837, aged only 27, leaving a a baby in his infancy and three small children. Surprisingly, her husband David did not quickly remarry to provide his children with a new mother...when he did take another wife, it was 22 years after the death of his first. In 1859, David Francis Nash married Ann Richards, a widow:
"Marriage: On Monday the 6th instant,by the Reverend Dr. Lang, at the Scots Church, by special license, Mr David Francis Nash, a retired officer of the Customs,to Mrs Ann Richards, both of Union Street,Sydney."
David Francis Nash died on February 25, 1878, aged 74 years.
Eldest son, Robert Nash, who married Elizabeth Emily Buddivent in 1850, was a storekeeper at Campbell's Wharf in Sydney.Of their four children, three survived to adulthood- Jessie Isabella( b 1851); Emily Ada( b 1853) and Percival Little (1858-1901. Died of pneumonia aged 44). Another son, Walter Nash, was born on April 16, 1856, and died the same year.
Emily Ada Nash married William Richard Child: "Marriage: CHILD-NASH. At St. Barnabas's by the Rev. J. Barnier,William Richard, third son of the late Henry George Child, to Emily Ada, second daughter of Robert Nash of Marulan." -SMH, 9 February, 1877.Their children were Maude b 1877; Ethel(1879-1884); Oswald Wiliam (1882-1964); Arley b 1885; Cecil b 1887; Ernest Henry (1891-1960) and Isabel b 1896.
Emily Ada Nash Child died in 1938 in Sydney.
Percival Little Nash, Jessie's youngest sibling, married Sophia Jane Scadden on March 30, 1887. They had four children- Alma b 1889; Walter b 1893; Edith b 1896 and Maude b 1900- before Percy's untimely death of pneumonia on October 12, 1901, aged only 44.
This brings us to Hubert Hughan's actual Cahill line. His grandmother, Jessie Isabella Nash, married James Sylvester Cahill in 1870:
"Marriage: CAHILL-NASH: March 26, at Orange,by the Reverend H.A Langley, James Sylvester, fourth son of W.A Cahill Esq, principal foreman of the Fitz Roy Dock Works, Cockatoo island, to Jessie Isabella, eldest daughter of R. Nash Esq of Balmain." -SMH- April 20, 1870.
It is interesting that the marriage notice states that James is the fourth son of William and Mary Ann Cahill, when the NSW birth index shows him as being born in 1846, the year after their marriage and therefore the eldest son.
Included amongst their other children were Ann b 1849; Eliza Marguerite Theresa; William born 1858; Augustus b 1860, Isabella b 1863, Henry b 1865 and Annie Agnes born 1867.
Annie Cahill married John Jospeh Skelton in Balmain in 1868: "MARRAIGE: SKELTON-CAHILL: On April 13, at St. Augustine's, Balmain, by the Rev. G.F Dillon, John Joseph, eldest son of Mr. James Skelton, City Waterford, Ireland, to Annie Agnes, third daughter of Mr. William Augustine Cahill, City of Cork, Ireland." -SMH, 22 April, 1868.
Annie had three daughters before dying on April 24, 1878...Mary b 1871; Catherine b 1873 and Elizabeth b 1875."DEATH: SKELTON. April 24, at her residence, No. 4 Keeshan's Terrace, Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, of rapid consumption, Annie Agnes, the dearly beloved wife of John J. Skelton, and daughter of the late William A. Cahill, architect, of this city, aged 26, leaving an affectionate husband and three children to morn their loss." -SMH, April 25, 1878.
Eliza Cahill married Augustus Brinkmann in 1873: "MARRIAGE: BRINKMANN-CAHILL. On July 15, by special license, at the sacred Heart Church, by the Rev. J.A. Byrne, Augustus, only son of Albert Brinkmann, to Eliza Marguerite Theresa, second daughter of the late William Augustine Cahill, architect, West Street, Darlinghurst." - SMH, August 9, 1873. They had four daughters- Maud Mary b 1874; Theresa b 1877; Wilhelmina Jessie b 1880 and Louisa b 1882.
William Augustine was born in 1858, and in 1871 married Henrietta Lahiff:
"MARRIAGE: CAHILL-LAHIFF. On July 8, by special license, at St. Augustines, Balmain, by the Reverend Patrick Birch, William, second son of W.A Cahill, late Chief Foreman of Works, Fitzroy Dock, to Henrietta, eldest daughter of Mr. B. Lahiff, Bourke Street." -SMH, September 6, 1871.
The only children I can find belonging to this couple are Olive Theresa Cahill, born 1874, and an unnamed child born 1876.
William Cahill died in 1886- "The friends of the late Mr. William Cahill of H.M Customs are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, to move from his late residence Burwood Cottage, Darling Road, for Balmain Cemetery." -SMH, 18 June 1886.
Getting back to Lillian Elizabeth Cahill's parents...her mother, Jessie Isabella Nash Cahill, died in Newtown in 1889, aged 38. Lillian was aged 14 or 15 at the time, and as far as I can tell, had only one sibling- a brother named Hubert Austin Stanley Cahill. Lillian's father, James Sylvester Cahill, died in Picton in 1891, aged about 45 years. At the age of 16 or 17, Lillian found herself with no parents and a slightly older brother.She had maternal relations- her mother's sister and family, the Childs's; and her mother's brother, Percy Nash, lived as a blacksmith in Balmain with his wife and small children.She also had cousins, aunts and uncles on her Cahill side.
Lillian may have lived with her uncle, Percy Nash, and family, as they lived in Balmain at the same time as the Hughans. Rather than Lillian work for Frances Hughan, she may have formed a friendship with the Hughan family through their only daughter, Myrtle, who was the same age as Lillian.
Whatever the situation, what is certain is that between April and June (most likely May) of 1899, 25 year old Lillian Cahill fell pregnant, and nine months later gave birth to a son whilst living in the Hughan household.