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"The Holes Was Eaten By Rats ..."

My English & Irish ancestors were early settlers in Australia & New Zealand and included families Hudson, Goddard, Askew, Dunstan, Bolitho, Clarke, Stelfox, Douglas and Cuttle

Home Hudson Dunstan Clarke Cuttle Credits and Links


Compiled by Russell Hudson 20 July 2005. Last Update 03 January 2013.

My Anglo-Irish Ancestors

My ancestors migrated from England and Ireland to Australia and New Zealand during the mid to late 1800s. They came from farming communities in Westmorland (Hudson), Hampshire (Goddard) and Derbyshire (Askew); from mining and farming families in Cornwall (Dunstan and Bolitho); from Cheshire via the textile mills of Russia (Clarke and Stelfox), from post-famine subsistence farming in Roscommon (Cuttle and Ekins), and from mills south of Londonderry (Douglas).

This site has been established to give descriptions of their lives in England and Ireland, to record the circumstances of their migration and describe their lives in the colonies, and to list their many hundreds of descendants. 

Descriptions are presented in four groups, under family headings: Hudson (comprising the immigrant families Hudson, Goddard and Askew), Dunstan (Dunstan, Priske and Bolitho), Clarke (Clarke and Stelfox) and Cuttle (Cuttle, Ekins and Douglas).

Recent Events, Amendments and Additions to the Site

Descendants of Lizzie Hudson (1882-1969). Entry on 03/01/2013. Doreen Wolfenden/Potter died at the Maryborough Hostel on the evening of 17 October 2012. I was advised of the sad news by Stewie Douglass, a long time friend of the Wolfenden Family and, in particular, Stewie provided great support over the years for Clyde, Gertie and Doreen. Doreen was 90 years old and leaves a son, Russell James Potter. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Joseph Edmund Hudson. Entry on 03/01/2013. Jenny Hudson/McDonald  recently advised me that her father, Edmund Benjamin Hudson, died in Clunes on 18 September 2012. He was a son of Joseph Edmund Hudson. Jenny also informed me that she has two new grandchildren:  Flynn Eamon McDonald (born February 2012), a son for her son Shane and wife Erin, and another daughter, Maya Sienna McDonald (born December 2012, for her son Tim and wife Eliza, a sister for Stella and Ryder. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Gertrude Hudson (1886-1972). Entry on 03/01/2013. Maureen Conduit informed me that her daughter Felicity Conduit/Koronui and husband John Koronui had a second son Ethan Ruatea Koronui in July 2012. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Agnes Hudson (1879-1962). Entry on 03/01/2013.
Sharon Richter recently informed me that Sophie Marie HUDSON, a great great grandchild of Agnes Hudson, was born in 2010 to proud parents David Anthony (Tony) Charles HUDSON and wife Irina. Sophie Marie is a  younger sister of John Nicholas Charles HUDSON born in 2008. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Thomas Hudson (1877-1956). My cousin Jennifer Gay Toy, the daughter of Dorothy Hudson/Toy and a granddaughter of Thomas Hudson, died on the 6th May 2012. Her life was celebrated in the company of her family and a large number of her friends at the Salvation Army Community Church, Balga on 15 May 2012. Her sister, Judy Toy/Graham, was at the service and provided me with some further details of her family line and these additions have now been included in the (Table of the Descendants). One addition is Judy's great granddaughter (Bronte Edwards), the first great great great granddaughter for Thomas Hudson.
Descendants of  Ruby Jane Hudson/Weatherson (1888-1980) Leanne Lois Weatherson/Smith, a granddaughter of Ruby Jane Hudson/Weatherson, recently (02 May 2012) sent me a number of amendments and additions to the descendants on the Weatherson line. In particular, Leanne revised the list of descendants from Roderick John (Jack) Weatherson and Evelyn Partricia Lea (her parents), Mary Isabel Weatherson and Victor Quanchi, and Ruby Lilian Weatherson and Christopher MacRae. These have now been included in the (Table of the Descendants). Thanks Leanne.

Descendants of Lizzie Hudson (1882-1969). Entry on 13/03/2012.

Colin James Hall, a great grandson of Lizzie Hudson in the line from Isabella (Belle) Wolfenden/Hatton, has compiled a list of amendments and additions to the descendants from his parents Doreen Nesbit Hatton and Ronald Alfred Hall. In doing so, Colin has increased the number of recorded Hudson descendants in the database by sixteen.  See (Table of the Descendants).
Deaths of Terry Weatherson and Kevin King. Entry on 20/01/2012. I have recently been advised of the deaths of two Hudson relatives: Kevin King of Adelaide the husband of Joan Smyth, a daughter of  Doris Hudson, died on 11/12/2011; Terry Weatherson (1943-2011), a grandson of Ruby Jane Hudson, died age 68 on 03/12/2011. Terry was a senior radio technical officer at the Mawson Australian  Antarctic research base in 1974 and had the honour of Mount Weatherson, in the Dismal Mountains, Kemp Land, being  named after him. Thanks to John "Jack" Smyth and Leanne Weatherson/Smith for the advice and condolences to their relatives. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Gertrude Hudson (1886-1972. Entry on 17 January 2012. Darren and Debra Conduit provided an update to their branch of the list of descendants from Maureen and Barry Conduit, including their grandson, one year old Kade Adam Conduit, who is the g-g-g-g grandson of William Hudson and Mary Jane Goddard. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Gertrude Hudson (1886-1972. Entry on 31 July 2011. Felicity Conduit (a great granddaughter of Gertrude Hudson) and her husband John Koronui recently became the proud parents of a son, Luke Maiti Koronui. Felicity is the daughter of  Maureen and Barry Conduit who recently visited us together with Felicity's sister Marcia Conduit/Hutchinson. Luke Maiti Koronui is Maureen and Barry's  twenty-third grandchild. Congratulations to all! See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of James Hudson (1878-1962). Entry on 11 July 2011. Elva Hudson (nee Crimmins) advised me of the death in Perth, Western Australia of John Garn (Garn) Jones, the husband of Eunice Lois (Lois) Hudson, the ninth and second youngest of the children of James Hudson (1878-1962) and Elsie May Hardeman. Garn died at Murdoch Hospital on 03 July 2011 at the age of 88 years. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Joseph Edmund Hudson. Entry 17 June 2011. Jenny McDonald (nee Hudson) provided an update on her family line from Joseph Edmund Hudson (1890-1956) including the marriage of her son Shane McDonald to Erin Wilson in 2009 and the birth of a second grandchild, Ryder Kai McDonald b2011, to her son Timothy and wife, Eliza Hicks. See (Table of the Descendants).
Descendants of Alfred Clarke (1869-1944). Entry  on 11 January 2011. Sandra Clarke has provided a major update to the list of descendants of Alfred Clarke (1869-1944) and his wife Maud Blackburn (1877-1960). For the revised list of his descendants see the link on the webpage (Descendants of Thomas Plummer Clarke). Further amendments to the list of descendants were made on 04 March 2011.
Period 2005-2010 For contributions and changes that occurred during the period from 2005 to 2010 please visit (Credits and Links)


What Holes and Which Rats?

Cross-stitch Sampler Made by my Great-great Grandmother Mary Askew (1820-1890)

The sampler was made in 1831 when Mary Askew was 10 years old and living in Higham, Derbyshire with her father Thomas, the village blacksmith, and his second wife Elizabeth. Mary brought the sampler to Australia in 1852, when she and her half-brother Thomas Askew came to Victoria as assisted immigrants on the sailing ship "Sir Robert Sale". Mary married James Goddard in 1853 and her daughter Mary Jane Goddard, my great grandmother, was born near Pollocksford on the Barwon River later that year. At age 20, near Smeaton, Victoria, Mary Jane married the 45 year-old bachelor farmer William Hudson, previously of Longsleddale, Westmorland. The marriage produced seventeen children and established the Australian line of my Hudson family.

(Photograph God-fam-018, Russell Hudson, 1988).

God-fam-018.jpg (256566 bytes)

My great-great grandmother Mary Askew (1820-1890) was the second daughter of Thomas Askew, the village blacksmith in the small Derbyshire market town of Higham. Her mother, Rebecca McNell/Askew, died in 1822 at the age of 26 years, leaving her daughters Mary, almost two years old, and Sarah, aged about three. Her father re-married and he and his second wife, Elizabeth, had a further six children, half-brothers and half-sisters to Mary and Sarah. In 1831, at the age of ten years, Mary Askew made the cross-stitch sampler illustrated on this page; it became one of her treasured possessions. "Click on the sampler" to see an enlarged image; click "back" to return to this page.

In 1852, Mary Askew, age 32 years, and her younger half-brother Thomas left England for Australia as assisted immigrants on the sailing ship “Sir Robert Sale”. Among her few belongings on the voyage was the sampler which, on arrival at Point Henry, near Geelong in Victoria, looked somewhat worse for wear, containing a number of ragged holes. The story passed down through her descendants was that “the holes was eaten by rats” during the three-month voyage to Australia.

Mary Askew was contracted to work for a James Riley near Pollocks Ford on the Barwon River, to the west of Geelong. Here she met her future husband James Goddard of Hampshire. In 1845, young James Goddard, at the time married and with two young children, received a ten-year sentence for stealing a clock. He had served two years of that sentence at Millbank and Pentonville, when he and other "good behaviour" inmates were selected to receive a Royal Pardon, conditional on being transported to Australia and remaining in the colony for the unexpired period of their sentences.

James and Mary set their wedding date for 6 January 1853, at Christ Church, Geelong, and were delighted to know that among the witnesses would be Mary's half-sister Ann Askew who, with her new husband William Siddall, had also decided to migrate from Derbyshire to Australia. Sadly, soon after the wedding .......... 

But, hang on, I'm into the story and I haven't even introduced myself!

Hello and Welcome to the Site

Thank you for visiting my family history site. My name is Russell Hudson and I am a descendant of English and Irish immigrants, all of whom made their way to Australia and New Zealand during the mid to late 1800s. I was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia in the year 1939, the first son of "goldfields-born" parents. Their parents (my grandparents) had been attracted by the employment opportunities generated by the discovery of rich gold deposits in and around Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, and arrived in the late 1890s and early 1900s. They left their immigrant parents and grandparents, and some of their brothers and sisters, in the Clunes district of Victoria, and in the Waihi and Dunedin districts of New Zealand, to make a new life for themselves and their families in Western Australia.

The story involving Mary Askew and the sampler is typical of the many incidents, adventures, triumphs and tragedies that affected the lives of immigrants to Australia and New Zealand during the nineteenth century. On this web site I have started to record some of the events in the lives of my forebears - before they left their communities in England or Ireland, during their long voyage to Australia or New Zealand, and through their years as early settlers to the colonies. I have also commenced the compilation of lists of many of the descendants of these settlers, an imposing list of Aussies and Kiwis with whom I share some common English and Irish ancestry. These descendants are now scattered throughout Australia and New Zealand and some, indeed, have even moved back "overseas”.

Proposed Contents of the Website

The Main Family Names Involved

Five of my great-great grandparents came to Australia or New Zealand as immigrants. James Goddard arrived in Australia in 1847. He was an “exile”, a convict transportee who received a conditional Royal Pardon on leaving England. He was followed by Mary Askew, an assisted immigrant who arrived in Australia in 1852, and later by Johannah Priske/Dunstan who in 1880 joined three of her sons in Clunes, Victoria after the death of her husband in Cornwall. John Cuttle and Ann Ekins/Cuttle and their family left County Roscommon, having survived the Irish potato famine, and arrived in New Zealand in 1877.

Seven of my eight great-grandparents arrived either as free settlers or as an assisted immigrants, many completing the long journey with their parents, their siblings and/or their children. The remaining one of my great grandparents was born in Australia, near Geelong in 1853. Her parents, my great-great grandparents were James Goddard and Mary Askew, described above.

In alphabetical order, the family names of my immigrant forebears are as follows:

Descriptions within Family Groups

The descriptions on this website are arranged in four Family Groups - Hudson, Dunstan, Clarke and Cuttle. The groups comprise the following immigrants and their descendants.

Family Group

My Great-Great Grandparents

My Great Grandparents


James GODDARD and Mary ASKEW

William HUDSON and Mary Jane GODDARD



William DUNSTAN and Eliza Jane BOLITHO



Thomas Plummer CLARKE and Frances STELFOX



William DOUGLAS and Annie Marie CUTTLE

HUDSON - this group includes my great-great grandparents James Goddard (Hampshire) and Mary Askew (Derbyshire), and their daughter Mary Jane Goddard (born in Australia), and my great grandfather William Hudson (Westmorland); there are an estimated thousand descendants from these immigrants.

DUNSTAN - including my great-great grandmother Johannah Priske/Dunstan (Cornwall) and my great grandparents William Dunstan (Cornwall) and Eliza Jane Bolitho (Cornwall);

CLARKE - including my great grandparents Thomas Plummer Clarke (Cheshire) and Frances Stelfox (Cheshire); and

CUTTLE - including my great-great grandparents John Cuttle (Roscommon) and Ann Ekins (Roscommon), and my great grandfather William Douglas (Londonderry).

I have made a start by posting some detail of members of the Hudson Family, and as time permits I will add descriptions of my other forebears under the headings of Dunstan, Clarke and Cuttle Families.

I have also gathered some information on related family groups in England and Ireland. These include:

Descriptions of English and Irish Origins

Most of my ancestors came from small English and Irish villages and towns where, after limited schooling, they worked as farmers, farm labourers, blacksmiths, tin miners, cooks, and domestics. There are descriptions of the towns and countryside in which they lived, and their major work activities. My great-grandfather Thomas Plummer Clarke, however, was the first of my ancestors to move away from the traditional agricultural, mining and domestic spheres of employment to take up work in the new industrial age. He was apprenticed to a steam-engine manufacturing business and became an important engineer in Russia, where he represented English steam engine manufacturers and advised Russian textile companies for some 20 years. In 1885, he took his English wife and Russian-born children to New Zealand, where he continued his engineering profession in the timber industry at Auckland and, later, in underground gold mining at the Martha Mine, Waihi, on the southern end of the Coromandel Range.

 What the Relies Did in the Antipodes

I have made notes on places where my forebears settled, what they did, and what was happening in their community. This is a mixed bag of historical, cultural and social information, focussed mainly on the farming and mining districts near Clunes in Victoria and the mining districts in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

 Descendant Databases

The list of descendants commenced as a stack of cards – one for each individual family member - and evolved progressively during the 1980s as computers came into common use. Most of the BM&D information is now on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, from which I have extracted lists of descendants for inclusion on this site. The information is neither comprehensive nor up-to-date, and I would welcome any additions and modifications to the database. I have chosen to commence the descendant database from those who were first to arrive in Australia-New Zealand, so that my great-great grandparents James Goddard (arrived 1847) and Mary Askew (arrived 1852) are at level 1, my four pairs of great grandparents are at level 2, my two pairs of grandparents at level 3, my parents at level four, and I am at level 5. The most recent “new shoots” are at levels 7 and 8.

Credits and Links

Like many family history sites this remains a work in progress - a jigsaw commenced in the late 1970s and still incomplete some twenty-five years on. And it hasn’t been through lack of support - countless relatives, friends, librarians, records officers, shire officials, church worthies, genealogical societies, and web-mates have done their utmost to help me, and their valued contributions are gratefully acknowledged. By having a page of acknowledgements I have tried to give credit to the many people who, over the past twenty five years, have provided me with much of data reported on this site.

I have also sought to provide links to relevant data that are already available on the web. Firstly, to give credit to the compilers of the databases, but also to provide a source of additional information to the reader and to minimise unnecessary repetition on these pages. Where sources of information are not available on the web I have given references to data sources and some published works.

Feedback and Additions Welcome

 I have started this website by posting information on the proposed structure and contents, and by providing details of the Hudson Family Group, including descriptions of my Goddard and Askew forebears. Very brief introductions to each of the Dunstan, Clarke and Cuttle Family Groups have also been included. More detailed information will be added to the website as time permits.

Why did I decide to create this website? Mainly because I was becoming submerged in accumulated files, photos, birth certificates and correspondence. Not getting any younger, I thought it time to “clear the decks”, to let other interested relatives see the information I have gathered. Having seen it, my hope is that relatives and others will add to it and amend it. Pick up the baton and run with it. Go, you good things!

I welcome comments, suggestions, corrections, and additions to the site.

Please contact me at my email address:

Other Information

Website Design: Russell Hudson

Software Used: Microsoft FrontPage Express 2 and Microsoft FrontPage 2000

Site Search: Not installed

Visitor Counter: Not installed