The Australian connection

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Grandfather Walter Wynn Roberts`s eldest brother Thomas William Roberts left the farming life and the Shropshire countryside for the town life in Dartford, Kent at sometime in the mid 1880`s and his occupation at that time was Gardener. He met and married Nora Annie Williams from Greenwich and their first born was Nora Annie born Lewisham. They moved at some time just before the 1890`s to Dartford where he started a business as a Florist and Seedsman. His first born son was George Thomas Roberts and he was a first cousin to our father Walter Stanley Roberts and he is also the man we shall be following for some time to come.
George Thomas Roberts was born in 1894 in Dartford and he married Mary Teresa Spaul who was born in 1890 in Stone in Dartford. Their StMary`s church in Stone near Dartford where George and Mary were married marriage took place in Stone on March 29th. 1922 in St. Marys parish church. Her father was William JWilliam and Kate Spaul in later life.ohn Spaul (pictured left) and he originated from Costessey in Norfolk where the long family tradition was Blacksmiths. At the time of their marriage George was a petty officer in the Royal Navy and his residence was at the Royal Naval barracks, Chatham.
The ancestry of George Thomas Roberts has been well mapped out but Mary Teresa Spaul is new to us so a brief look into her family won`t go amiss. Her father William John Spaul was born in St. Edmunds in Costessey where Mary would have been baptisedCostessey,Norfolk and from a long line of Spauls with a long history in the Blacksmith trade. He married Kate Betts from Stone in Dartford and this is where they stayed to bring up their family. William`s parents were Frederic Spaul born 1820 in Costessey, died sometime before 1881. He was a blacksmith at Taverham paper mill.He married Marianna Savage in 1843 and she was born 1824 in Norwich, died 1904 in Costessey. I have yet to locate Kate Betts family. To view the families please follow the link to the next page but do come back to continue with this story.
See 1901 Census images

Their first son Thomas William was born in Dartford in 1923 but died very soon after birth and following this time there is no trace of the family in any UK records which led me to believe that they may have emigrated, and particularly as Mary`s sister Eliza Kate and her Uncle had already done so and to Australia.
Syney from the airThere are many Australian Genealogical lists to help the researcher and it was to some of these I then turned and very quickly I discovered that my hunch was correct as I found an obituary notice in a New South Wales district of Bankstown, Sydney for George Thomas Roberts which quoted the correct parents. He had died in 1943 at the very early age of 49. I soon found his wife Mary Teresa Roberts who had died aged 85 in 1975 in another suburb of Sydney which was approximately 8km away from Bankstown where George had died.Other sources of information show that George and Mary had lived in 42, Flood Street, Leichhardt, New South Wales in 1930 but at some time they had obviously moved approximately 13km to Bankstown, Sydney. From 1942 until 1970 Mary Teresa is seen living at 87, Campbell Hill Street, Guildford, Chester Hill, New South Wales.
Their only daughter Pattie Teresa Roberts was born in 1925 in St. Kilda, Melbourne and the only knowledge I have of her is that in 1944 she married Arthur Edward Ernst and that they had 6 children, Glenys, Delma, Teresa, Meryl, Paul, and Dean. Arhur Edward (Ted) died in Chester Hill in 1984 aged 64 and Pattie Teresa died in Chester Hill in 1999 aged 74.
Mary Teresa and her cousin Bessie in later yearsMary Teresa`s sister Eliza Kate Spaul born 1883 also emigrated to Australia, as did another sister Winnifred Agnes Spaul born 1896. Kate also known as `Sis` married Thomas Hopkins and Winnifred married Arthur Charles Sabien.
Quite a number of the Spaul family emigrated to Australia and mostly from the Costessey/Norwich area of Norfolk, England.For the moment that`s all I can tell you about the Spaul side of the Australian connection but meanwhile why not have a look at what George Thomas Roberts had been doing with his life.

Continuation of the Australian Journey


My thanks to Bill Spaul for his valuable information on the Australian link to the Spaul family.