Poor Rose – not a happy life!
Born to convict parents in 1813 Sydney, Rose was married to William Gravess at St John’s, Launceston, on 24 September 1837. Neither she or William could sign their name, both marking crosses. Sister Elizabeth was one of the witnesses to the marriage.
The marriage did not appear to be very successful. On 17 July 1839, a child, John Wilcox, was born to Rosetta Graves and John Wilcox. This birth was registered in 1847 in Longford, along with two other children: Sarah (b 17 July 1841) and Hannah (b 20 Nov 1845).
So – who was this John Wilcox? A splitter according to his children’s birth records, he was a “character” nicknamed Yorkshire Jack. What happened to William Graves(s)? We don’t know.. maybe never will.
What we do know, however, is that Rosetta was found dead on the morning of December 6, 1846, at the age of 33. Her death was reported in the Cornwall Chronicle, published in Launceston, Van Dieman’s Land, on December 12 of that year.
What a fascinating piece of social history – Rosetta was a drunk, and lived with a “character” called Yorkshire Jack. BECAUSE she was in the habit of getting drunk, Jack beat her with a rope (apparently this was ok, because she was a drunk?). It’s of course, HER fault that the house was dirty, he provided everything she might need.
The fourth child mentioned in the report is a mystery. The inquest document is available here.
What information has DNA given us?
A number of matches so far (needs checking)to descendants of Rosetta – through daughter Sarah. [do I mention their names/Ancestry handles??]
Want to go back to Elizabeth Church’s page? Click here