The Johns family come from the Wendron/Redruth area of Cornwall. The earliest Johns I have traced so far is Thomas Johns. He married into a well known Cornish mining family, Bolitho. As was a common practice, this surname became a middle name of many of the children of the family.
1. Thomas Johns
d. 1833, buried at Wendron 4th Feb 1833
Married (18th March 1820 at Wendron ) Mary Bolitho. She was baptised on 13th March 1804, and died in 1860. [She was the daughter of John Bolitho (baptised 22 Jan 1769 at Wendron, Cornwall-buried 13 March 1837 at Wendron, Cornwall) and Mary Pryor (Baptised 15 March 1772-buried 11 Nov 1836 Wendron, Cornwall). John Bolitho and Mary Pryor had married 21st February, 1792 at Wendron] The witnesses at the wedding were her Uncle Simon Bolitho and John Perry.
1. John Bolitho Johns
Baptised on 26th August 1820 at Wendron Cornwall
2. Mary Bolitho Johns
Baptised 21 October 1822 in Wendron, Cornwall, England.
Mary Married John Richards in Cornwall 28 January 1843 at Wendron Parish Church [He was born in c1816 in Wendron, Cornwall and died in 1855. He was buried on 9th August 1855 in Wendron, Cornwall]. So far, I haven't found a death for Mary.
They had issue; [Mary Jane 1843,John 1845, Philipa 1848, Eliza 1851 & Elizabeth 1854]
It is possible that the famous Bushranger Joseph Bolitho Johns AKA "Moondyne Joe" the famous Bushranger was also a member of this family. Born in approximately 1826 & said to be the third son of a Cornish Blacksmith named Thomas Johns & his wife Mary. He is often said to be Welsh, but this seems to be based on the place of his arrest, rather than a known birthplace. Bolitho is a Cornish name & all the known Joseph Johns were born in Cornwall. A Joseph Johns was baptised in Wendron on the 18th February 1826 to a Joseph & Mary Johns. It is very likely that the father's name has been incorrectly recorded and should have been "Thomas", as there is otherwise no trace of this family. Mary Johns in the 1841 Census is in a household with a Joseph Johns aged 15 & her older son John Johns. [I have had several emails on this theory including Bob Bolitho & Barbara Fernandez; thank you for a very interesting idea! Hopefully some definitive evidence will be found]
John Bolitho Johns was the
eldest son, Baptised on 26th August 1820 at Wendron
Cornwall & died 15th September 1868 at Sebastopol, Victoria, Australia
(reg 7535). The cause of death was a fracture of the spine from falling down a
mining shaft. Buried 18th September 1868 at Ballarat Cemetery.
John married on the 11th February 1846 to Jane Jenkin (She was the daughter of James Jenkin and Jenninfer "Jane" Goldsworthy, baptised on the 3rd September 1816 at the Parish Church of Wendron, Cornwall. Jane died aged 37 yrs after childbirth on 23 March 1853 at Clifton, SA. She was buried at the Maesbury Street Cemetery, Kensington, along with the baby Mary who died on the 27 May 1853.[Thanks to Graham Arriola for informing me of her resting place] Her name was sometimes recorded as Jinkin in error.
John Bolitho Johns arrived in Adelaide, Australia on the “Lady Bruce” on the 11th of November 1846 (from London, via Plymouth and Southampton) with his wife Jane and child [presumed to be called] John Bolitho Johns. Sadly the baby died the following month [John Johns, son of John Johns died 10 December 1846]. The passenger list also contains the names of James Goldsworthy, wife & child & Richard Goldsworthy, wife & two children. These families may be related to Jane Jenkin, daughter of Jenifer Goldsworthy. On 29th September 1860 at St Matthews Church, Kensington district, Adelaide John Johns (Father Thomas Johns) aged 40 years and Elizabeth Oliver aged 42 years (father James Tresize) married. It seem that John Bolitho Johns & Elizabeth Tresize lived together for at least 4 years before they married. I cannot find a death for Elizabeth's first husband John Oliver, but their 3 children were Elizabeth Oliver born 20 April 1848 at Burra, SA, Catherine Oliver born 4 April 1850 at Kapunda & John Henry Oliver born 9 July 1851 on the Murray & died 8 January 1852 on the Murray. I wonder if John OLIVER died away from home of sickness or an accident, leaving Elizabeth alone with two little girls & John Johns with two little children and needing a minder. Perhaps Elizabeth married him after 7 years when she was free to do so. In the meantime, Elizabeth Tresize and John Johns had two children together; John Bolitho Johns in 1856 & Thomas Johns in 1858. Elizabeth [nee Tresize formerly Oliver] registered the birth [as Grandmother] of Jane Stephens & James Henry Johns' first child in 1871, so she was alive then and apparently with the family of her stepson. It has now been discovered [thanks to Valerie Stephenson] that Elizabeth Tresize was the daughter of James Tresize and Elizabeth Nankeris. She was baptised on the 15th November 1818 at St Just in Penwith at Cornwall. Elizabeth had an even earlier marriage on the 2nd November 1840 at St Just to William Grenfell Williams. William died on the 18th May 1842, leaving Elizabeth with two small children, William born in 1841 & Mary born in 1842. As we can't find Elizabeth's second marriage to John Oliver nor her arrival in Australia I can't be sure even in what country she married! It seems unlikely that she would travel alone to Australia with her children. Elizabeth Johns [originally Tresize, formerly Williams then Oliver], widow of John Johns died on 20th September 1907 at Burnside, South Australia. She was married at Payneham, with the funeral leaving from the residence of her son-in-law Robert Ralph Slape. He had married 25 Dec 1862 at St Johns, Adelaide to Mary Williams, Elizabeth's daughter from her first marriage. Elizabeth Oliver [from her second marriage] married on the 10th Feb 1867 at Moonta Mines, SA to Thomas Wilcock.
John Bolitho Johns born 1820 in Wendron, Cornwall. [Photo from Betty Cook]
1. John Bolitho Johns
b.1846 at Redruth, Cornwall or enroute to Australia on "Lady Bruce"
d. 10.12.1846 Adelaide
2. James Johns
b. 10 March 1848 at Glen Osmond, SA [parents given as John Johns & Jenifer Jenkin]
d. No death found, but presumed to be before 31 May 1849 when James Henry Johns was born.
3. James Henry Johns
b. 31.5.1849 at Tusmore, SA (death certificate gives Norwood, SA)
d. 26.11.1903 of Pulmonary Phthisitis (Tuberculosis) buried at White Hills, Victoria on 27th Nov, 1903. His address then given as Bolt St, Long Gully.
His death certificate states that he lived in South Australia for 17 years, so he moved to Victoria in approx 1856.
m. Jane Stevens/Stephens on the 2nd April 1870 at Sandhurst, Victoria. (The wedding certificate reg 1607 lists Jane’s parents as William Stevens and Catherine Eddy, and her age as 17. This would make her date of birth 1853. She gives her place of birth as Adelaide, and states that her parents are both dead. However I have been unable to find any birth in South Australia that could be hers, and I cannot find any record of her parents either. Marie Palmer has a searchable data base of BDM for South Australia and searched for me. She couldn’t find any possible births either, using any combination or spelling of names…On her first child’s birth certificate, just ten months later her age is given as 19, making her date of birth 1852, or possibly 1851 if she was to turn 20 later that year!?.).Jane (Stevens) Johns died 4th May 1930, and her age is given as 76, giving her a birth date of 1854….! Her mother is listed simply as “Kate” and her father as “-------- Stephens” It is listed that she lived 25 years in Perth (from 1905) 34 years in Victoria (from 1871) presumably prior to that she lived in South Australia?!
The Johns lived at Bolt St, Long Gully in Bendigo, 71 Rupert St Subiaco between 1908 and 1911, and then 225 Hammersley Rd Subiaco till 1929. The probate of James Henry John's will was granted on 1st December 1903 and there are some surprises in the addresses given for his children. At Bolt St, Long Gully were Alice Johns, Ethel Florence Jeffrey [otherwise assumed to be living in the WA goldfields] and Jessie Johns. Jane Smithian is of Eaglehawk and Mary Johns is of Kalgoorlie, WA and John Bolitho Johns of 159 Charles St, Perth. It had been thought that the family [except for eldest daughter Jane and her family] moved to Western Australia to join Ethel after James died, but it now seems that several of the family had already made the move.
Had issue; see below.
Jane [Stevens] Johns, born about 1854, Apparently in SA James Henry Johns born 1849 in SA
4. Mary Jane Johns
b.6.8.1850, Second Creek, SA (one index lists it as TMu district?)
d.24.4.1851, Second Creek, SA
5. Jane Johns
b. 8.10.1851 at Burnside, Adelaide, SA
d. 11.11.1928 in Bulli, NSW
Married in 1870 at Ballarat Victoria, Thomas William Casley (Born 20.6.1844, he was the son of James Casley born 1802, and Jane Bennets Clemens of St Just, Penwith Cornwall. They married 16.8.1828 and lived at Chapel St, St Just. He was a tin Miner and died 8.2.1922. Several of his siblings came to Australia too.) Alice visited the Casley when they lived in the Illawarra region of NSW. I have quite a few postcards written from their house.
6. Mary Johns
b. 18.3.1853 at Second Creek, SA
d. 27.5.1853 at Second Creek, SA (her mother died on the 23rd of March, 5 days after the birth). Mary was buried on 28th May at Maesbury Street Cemetery, Kensington, Adelaide.
With Elizabeth Tresize;
1. John Bolitho Johns
b. 20 July 1856 at Second Creek, SA
d. 21 November 1912 at 9 Faussett St, Albert Park, Melbourne. Buried 23 Nov 1912
at Ballarat Cemetery.
Married 1881 at Ballarat East to Maria Louisa Hall. John Bolitho Johns and Maria had 3 children; Lionel Eastwood Johns b. 1882 & died 1883 at Ballarat East, Eleanor Louisa Johns born 1884 at Ballarat East & married John H McCarthy on Jan 4 1913 at St George's Church, Perth. John McCarthy died 2 September 1932 aged 61 at East Guildford Rail Crossing & John Benjamin Johns b. 1888 at Ballarat East & died 1 August 1915 Killed in Action at Gallipoli. He was buried at Green Shells Cemetery. His mother Maria lived at Hay St, Subiaco at this time [neighbours of James Henry John's widow Jane!]
2. Thomas Johns
b. 26 July 1858 at Second Creek, SA
d. 16 March 1858 at Second Creek, SA
Children of James Henry Johns and Jane Stevens.
(Interestingly, the index for the birth of their first baby lists Jane's age as 19, even though her marriage certificate just ten months earlier lists her age as 17. The informant is given as Grandmother Elizabeth Johns of Garden Gully. This is the stepmother of James Henry Johns, as his father remarried after the death of his wife in 1853 to Elizabeth Oliver nee Tresize in 1860. The Johns lived at Garden Gully until 1878, then Bolt St. (From Rates payments. They were owner occupiers)
James Henry and Jane Johns had ten children.
1. Catherine “Jane” Johns
b. 18th February1871 at Long Gully, Vic.
d. 5th September 1913 at 78 Buckley St, Long Gully, Victoria aged 42
m. in 1890 to Henry Smithiam/Smithian (b.1866 at Long Gully, Vic. Son of James Smithiam/Smithian/Smitheram 1840-1896 and Jane Alice Stevens b.1840). Henry was a blacksmith and died in 1938 at Bendigo.
1. Hilda May Smithiam
b. 17 Feb 1891 at Sandhurst, Vic
d. 2 December 1982 at Camberwell, Vic
m. 3rd March 1920 Salvation Army, Hobart, Tas John "Luther" Tyler (son of Charles Samuel Tyler and Mary Rachel Dixie,) b.25 Feb 1890 Sydney, NSW,
d.1971 at Kew, Vic
had issue , 3 sons and a daughter;
1. Jean Tyler
b. 1926 at Moonee Ponds, Vic
d. 1926 at Moonee Ponds, Vic
2. Alice “Vera” Smithiam
b. 3 November 1892 at Garden Gully, Bendigo, Vic.
d. 21.1.1948 at Bendigo, Vic.
m. 21 December 1912 at St Pauls, Bendigo, Victoria to Cyril William Hannan (born in 1892, died 1942 son of James Dennis Hannan and Mary Jane Mumford)
Had issue including;
1. Cyril Henry James Hannan
b. April 1913 at Bendigo, Vic.
d. 27 December 1913 at Bendigo, Vic aged 8 months
3. James Henry Smithiam
b. 1895 at Bendigo
d. 21 April 1898 & was buried 22 April 1898 at Bendigo Cemetery, Bendigo.
4. Ada Lillian Smithiam
b. 1898, Bendigo
d. April 1899 Bendigo & was buried 24 April 1899 at Bendigo Cemetery, Bendigo in the same grave as her brother James..
5. Henry Smithiam
b. 1903 at Eaglehawk, Vic.
d. 23.5. 1973 at Spring Gully, Vic.
2. Mary Elizabeth Johns
b. 1873 at Sandhurst, Vic.
d. 1873 at Sandhurst, Vic
3. Mary Johns (known as May)
b. 1874 at Sandhurst, Vic
d. 1939 District of Williams, WA.,
Married in the District of Williams, WA in 1922 to Robert J BIGGS. He died in 1949. They lived at Wickepin, WA.
May was living in Kalgoorlie on 1st Dec 1903
when probate of her father's will was granted. I have postcards from her written as late as
1911. (she was living in WA then, possibly in the South West). Her age is given
as 56 on the death certificate of her mother Jane in 1930, so must have been
alive then. However, her niece Betty Cook cannot recall ever meeting her
and neither did my mother and sisters. Her loving and affectionate postcards to
my grandmother Florence Jeffrey make her disappearance from family
knowledge quite surprising, as the Johns women feature in many family stories.
Janette Hannan found the death & marriage records for May, along with a dispute
about the division of assets from the will of Jane [Stephens] Johns. and I
am very grateful to her for solving at least part [if not all] of the family
4. Alice Johns
b. 1876 at Sandhurst, Vic.
d. 27.6.1960 at Victoria Park, WA.
Never married~Alice’s fiancée was killed shortly before their wedding after a fall from a horse. She became a Companion to Lord and Lady Wigglesworth and Governess to their children.. She travelled to Italy, Germany, Switzerland, England and South Africa with them. Alice had beautiful Red curly hair and was an accomplished needlewoman
5. Ethel Florence Johns
b. 11.3. 1879 at Sandhurst, Vic.
d. 2.7.1968 at Manning, WA
m (1) 1st of October 1900 at St Patrick’s (found on their daughters birth certificate) Melbourne Thomas Francis Jeffrey, b. 7.3.1877 at Eaglehawk, Vic., d. 17.6.1907 at Boulder, WA of gunshot wound to the shoulder. Son of Thomas Jeffrey (1847-1896) and Honora Curtain (1843-1915). Ethel and Thomas Jeffrey had a bakery at Nicholas St Burbanks in the west Australian Goldfield. By 1907 they were living at Johnson St Lakeside, part of Boulder, WA, again running a bakery. After the death of Thomas, John Bolitho Johns worked with Ethel, until his death in 1909.
1. Ethel Florence (known as Florence Ethel) Jeffrey
b .4.1.1903 at Kings St Coolgardie, WA
d. 21.10.1968 WA
Florence lived with her parents at Burbanks and Lakeside on the goldfields of WA.
After the death of her father she lived with her Grandmother Jane Johns,
and her Aunts at Subiaco.
m. on 5th October 1929 Michael Henry Geoffrey Becher (born on 7.5.1905 at St Kilda, Vic, died 29.5.1986) eldest son of Cecil Robert Becher (1874-1925) and Mabel Anna Wooldridge (1876-1856).
2) Married on 18th September 1909 at the Wesley Manse, Menzies, WA,
Denis Daly (1879-1919, son of John Daly d.1897 and Catherine
Jeffrey 1853-1922, Denis was a cousin of Thomas Jeffrey, as his mother
Catherine was a sister of Thomas’ father). Denis and Ethel lived at Woolgar
(properly called Yunndaga) near Menzies, in the West Australian goldfields.
Denis was a miner.
2. Leslie Daly
b. 9.4. 1913 at Subiaco, WA
d. 25.9. 1990 in NSW, Australia
6. Ada Lillian Johns
b. 1881 at Sandhurst, Vic
d. 1882 at Sandhurst, Vic & buried 11th September 1882 at White Hills, Victoria.
7. Ada Lillian Johns
b. 1883 at Sandhurst, Vic
d. 1884 at Sandhurst, Vic & buried 5th April 1884 at White Hills, Victoria.
8. John Bolitho Johns “Jack”
b. March 1884, Sandhurst, Vic
d. May 1909, buried 22.5.1909 at Boulder, Western Australia.
According to the probate of his father's will on 1st December 1903, John Bolitho Johns was already living in WA, at 159 Charles Street, Perth.
football, was a member of Trafalgar Fire Brigade and sent many postcards to his
niece Florence Jeffrey from Lakeside. The Kalgoorlie Miner printed two funeral
notices on 22nd May, including one asking fellow members of the Trafalgar Fire
Brigade to attend.
9. Rose Eleanor Johns
b. 1886 at Sandhurst, Vic
d. 31.10. 1974, WA
m February 1909 Stephen Herbert "Jack" Bragg
had issue; Phyllis, John & Kathleen.
10. Margaret “Jessie” Johns
[on her father’s death certificate her name is listed as Margaret Jane?]
b. 14.5.1891 Sandhurst (Bendigo), Victoria
d. 16.8.1964 Claremont W.A.
28.9.1918 Albert John “Bert” Appleyard (b.22.5.1891 Alberton Vic., d.
19.9.1971 Claremont, WA, he was the third son of Thomas John Appleyard
and Alicia Mary Warner)
Catherine "Jane" [Johns] Smithiam May Johns 1908
Alice Johns with a "Charge" 1908 Ethel Johns at Kalgoorlie
John Bolitho Johns in Bendigo John Bolitho Johns
Rose Johns Margaret "Jessie" Johns in Bendigo
Margaret "Jessie" Johns 1908 Jessie Johns with her sister in law, Grace Appleyard
Hilda Smithiam and Luther Tyler. Photo from Betty Unknown man c1910. I would love to know who this is.
This photo was in with the Johns photographs.
Vera Smithiam [daughter of Catherine Jane Johns
& Henry Smithiam] Photo from Janette Hannan.
Thanks to Betty Cook & Janette Hannan for information and photographs on the Johns & Smithian family & to Marie Palmer for all her help with South Australian reasearch!
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