Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts

Monday, 14 June 2021

Con Colleano and Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail

Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail and Con Colleano

My 2nd cousin, twice removed, Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail, daughter of Herbert Fleming Trevail and Alice Maud Stanley Blazey was the wife of - IMDB is the only source to list a date (but no other details) for their marriage as 10 July 1926 - Con Colleano (Cornelius Sullivan), who was the most famous and highest paid "swashbuckling circus performer with matinee idol looks" of his time, known as “The Australian Wizard of the Wire”. A member of the Circus Hall of Fame, Con Colleano is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first person to prefect the forward somersault on the tight wire.

"Winnie Trevail began appearing on the stage in Sydney (and before that in New Zealand) as a child [...] "Mrs. Winnie Colleano (neé Trevail) was herself a well known Australian Vaudeville Soubrette", dancer and trapeze artist.

Con Colleano on a slack-wire, circa 1920
Con Colleano, born Cornelius Sullivan, on 26 Dec 1899 in Lismore, New South Wales, was of Aboriginal, Anglo-Irish and West Indian descent and adopted a Spanish persona and a costume of a ‘toreador’ or bullfighter. 

Colleano’s Indigenous heritage was unknown to his fans – which included one of history’s most infamous racists - "Few people are aware of the fact that in the 1930’s, Adolf Hitler issued an Aboriginal Australian tightrope walker with a German passport so he could come and go as he pleased."

Trevail abandoned her own career in 1924 to travel with her husband.

Passenger lists reveal that Cornelius Sullivan and Winifred C. S. Trevail left Southampton, England on 13 Sep 1924, on the RMS Berengaria (former SS Imperator), The first Cunard "Queen". This was their first trip to the US, so their port of arrival was the infamous Ellis Island, New York. Various sources tell us that, in 1924, Con made his debut at the New York Hippodrome before returning to the circus with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

There is a subsequent record of Cornelius and Winifred C Sullivan Colleano travelling from Southampton to New York, on the Berengaria, on 24 Feb 1937. 

On 7 Jan 1938, Cornelius and Winifred (Sullivan) Colleano, left Sydney, bound for California, on the luxury American ocean linerSS Mariposa (1931).

On 8 Sep 1939, Cornelius and Winifred Sullivan, listed as British, board the Italian ocean linerSS Rex, leaving the port of Genoa, bound for New York.

These, I'm sure are just the tip of a globe-trotting iceberg, but it was finding these records of voyages that led me to discover more of their story.

The former Albion Hotel (pub) at Forbes, New South WalesShebaCC BY-SA 2.0

"Sadly Con and Winnie ultimately lost all their money indulging in a luxurious lifestyle, giving it away to friends and making a disastrous investment in a pub in outback Australia in the 1950s (what were they thinking?)." 

Con died, in Miami, on 13 Nov 1973, after which Winnie returned to Australia, where she died, in Sydney, in January 1986. They had no children.


Were they really married? Who cares?

IMDB is the only place to list a supposed date, but not place, for their marriage. I've [so far] been unable find a record of a marriage anywhere in the world, which, of course, doesn't mean there wasn't one. However, in all the articles I've read about the couple, including Con's obituary, not once is the date and place of their marriage ever mentioned, which I find strange. On the other hand, I did find a record of a marriage of a Winifred C Trevail, in Victoria, Australia, in 1919 to a Leonard Mendoza. It would take $20 AUS to obtain the certificate to see if there are enough clues to tell whether this is the same Winifred C Trevail or not, but several things occur to me: Just how many people named Winifred C Trevail are there likely to be? One source claims that Winnie met Con, in Melbourne, which of course is in Victoria, when she was 22. Not hard to imagine that she may have met and married someone else there when she was 19. Someone with the surname Mendoza even sounds like her "type". Who knows? 

You know that I'm much amused by the frequent, self-aggrandising family stories, but this one probably takes the biscuit - although no surprise perhaps among theatrical types. In several articles, it mentions that Winnie "claimed descent from the Earls of Derby" and it appears that the source of that quote is her own brother, Eric, so it may well have been a story perpetuated in the family. A claim doesn't make it true though! And through which side would that be, I wonder? The line we share: the 'illegitimate born' former dyer who downgraded to labourer in Norfolk, or the bankrupted tenant farmer in Cornwall? Lovely people, I'm sure, but Earls or any other type of nobs they were not!

Sources (many of these links contain images):

Further reading: The wizard of the wire : the story of Con Colleano 

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Herbert Fleming Trevail and Alice Maud Stanley Blazey

SS Miltiades (1903)

Herbert Fleming Trevail, son of Charles Trevail and Mary Flemming, married Alice Maud Stanley Blazey, daughter of Francis Robert Blazey and Louisa Susan Stanley, in 1898, in Kensington, London. My 3rd great-grandparents, Francis Stephen Blazey and Hannah Minns were Alice's grandparents, which makes her my 1st cousin 3 times removed.

In 1901, Alice (25) was at her father's household at 31, Sinclair Gardens, Hammersmith, Fulham, along with her daughter, Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail, born 1900, while Herbert (24) Carpenter and Joiner, was alone at what was presumably their home at 83, South Lambeth Road, Lambeth. 

Various records point to Herbert and Alice having six children:
  1. Daisy Trevail born 1899 in Lambeth (died 1899, aged 0)
  2. Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail born 16 Sep 1900 in Lambeth
  3. Eric Herbert Stanley Trevail born 29 Jul 1904, bap. 18 Sep 1904 in WelwynHertfordshire
  4. Lancelot Edwin Stanley Trevail born circa. 1911
  5. Edna A S (if I was betting, I'd go for Alice Stanley), born and died in 1915 in Balmain North, New South Wales, Australia
  6. Carmen Joyce Stanley Trevail born circa. 1917
On 5 Aug 1908, Mr H Trevail (31), Mrs A Trevail (32), Miss W Trevail (7) and Master E Trevail (2½), embarked in London on the SS Miltiades. They were bound for Sydney, where they arrived in the September. 

They were in Lyttelton, New Zealand in 1909 - where Herbert's aunts, Ellen Higgs and Mary Ann Burn Trevail Bawden then lived - because reports in the Lyttelton Times in Oct 1909 detail that Miss Winnie Trevail was appearing in one of the principle roles in a production staged by the Garrick Juvenile Opera Company, at the Opera House there.

In 1911, we find find both Herbert Fleming Trevail, carpenter, and Alice Maud Trevail listed on the New Zealand Electoral Rolls at 56 Stanmore Rd, Linwood, Christchurch. (Another of Herbert's aunts, Jane Rundle Robinson, at that time lived in Christchurch.)

Then in 1913, we find both of them listed on the Australia Electoral Rolls at Mount Victoria, Hartley, New South Wales, Australia.

Painting of the British ocean liner RMS Olympic by Fred Pansing

On 2 Feb 1927, Herbert Trevail (49), Alice (50), Lance (16) and Carmen (10) sailed from Southampton to New York on the White Star Line's RMS Olympic. They gave their last address in the UK as 62 Milton Road, Wallington, Surrey, the home of Herbert's parents. Presumably in America to visit daughter, Winnie, on 29 Aug 1927, they left San Francisco, bound for Sydney, on the RMS Tahiti. (In November that year, the Tahiti was involved in the Greycliffe disaster.)

Herbert must have made another visit to England, because on 1 Mar 1933, he sailed, on his own, from Southampton to Sydney on the SS Moreton Bay.

In 1935, Herbert and Alice Trevail are both listed on the Australia Electoral Rolls at 3 Griffiths Avenue, North Bondi, New South Wales

On 8 Jul 1949, Mr H. F. Trevail (72) Builder, and Mrs A. M. Trevail (74), travelled from London (Port of Tilbury) to Sydney on the SS Orontes

Herbert Fleming Trevail reportedly died on 26 Nov 1961 in Ashfield, Sydney NSW. I've been unable to find the record of Alice Maud's death.
  • In 1923 Eric H S Trevail married Miriam E Tuppling, in Balmain South, New South Wales, Australia. They went on to have two children: Conway Eric Stanley Trevail married Beryl Pearl De Berg and Lois Winifred Stanley Trevail married Ross Munro Brown, both in Waverley, New South Wales, Australia in 1944.
  • Lancelot Edwin Stanley Trevail married Nancy Mary Harris Matthews in Waverley, New South Wales, Australia in 1935. Lancelot Edwin Stanley Trevail, Casket Maker, died on 6 Sep 1947, in Bondi, NSW.
  • On 30 Sep 1937, Miss C. J. S. Trevail (21) travelled from Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney on the MS Wanganella, her profession listed as Theatrical. Carmen Joyce Stanley Trevail married Leslie Earnest Hull in Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia in 1938.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Joseph Rundle Trevail and Gertrude Augusta Shepherd ... and two intriguing weddings with Eliza Thursby

Lambeth Palace, London SE1. 
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © David Hallam-Jones - geograph.org.uk/p/3972034
The redundant St Mary-in-Lambeth Church at the side.

Joseph Rundle Trevail, son of Joseph Trevail and Jane Rundle, married Gertrude Augusta Shepherd (bap. 25 Apr 1845), illegitimate daughter of Eliza Shepherd, in the first quarter of 1871 at St. George Hanover Square, London, although that may refer to the district, rather than the church itself. Gertrude, as was her mother, was a Honiton lace maker, from Colaton Raleigh in East Devon.

At the time of the 1871 census, Joseph Trevail (24) Engineer Fitter, was living in Denbigh Street, Westminster with wife Gertrude (25), brother Charles (20) Engineer Fitter, sisters Amy* (16) and Jane (12), as well as a visitor, Selina Rundle (20). (* Joseph didn't have a sister called Amy. Kate, maybe?)

Joseph and Gertrude had five children:

  1. Charley Thomas Trevail born 1871 (died 1871, aged 0) in Devon
  2. Charley Joseph Walter Radford Trevail born 1872 in St Thomas, Devon
  3. Annie Gertrude Trevail born 1875 in St. George Hanover Square
  4. Kate Olivia Trevail born 1880 in Lambeth
  5. Gertrude Augusta Trevail born 1884 (died 1885, age 0)
Mother's maiden name, in all cases, spelled Sheppard. 

In 1881, the family living at 6, Meadow Terrace, Lambeth, London, comprised: Joseph R Trevail (34) Engine fitter, Gertrude A (36), Charles J W R (8), Anne G (6), Kate O (0) and Eliza Sheppard (69) 'Relative' (Gertrude's mother). 

Joseph R Trevail and Eliza Trevail on the Australia, Victoria, Inward Passenger List

Then in the third quarter of 1890, Joseph Rundle Trevail married Eliza Thursby, in Lambeth. The marriage took place at the church of St Mary, Lambeth. Then, immediately, on 26 Sep 1890, Joseph R Trevail and Eliza Trevail embarked on the RMS Ormuz, bound for Victoria, Australia, where they arrived in Nov.

Which would all be absolutely fine and dandy, except ...

In 1891, Gertrude Trevail (46) wife, married, mender of fine lace, is alive and well, still living at the family home in Meadow Terrace, Lambeth, with daughters Annie G (16) and Kate O (10), as well as her mother, Eliza Shepperd (78). 

By 1901, Gertrude Trevail (55) Married, Honiton lace manufacturer, was living at 153, Kennington Road, Lambeth, with daughter Kate (20).

Meanwhile, Joseph Rundle Trevail, Engineer, is on the Australia Electoral Rolls in 1903, in Market Street, New South Wales, Australia. 

Gertrude Trevail died, aged 58, in the 4th quarter of 1910, in Epsom, Surrey. 

Departure of the P&O RMS CHINA
Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons

Mr J R & Mrs Trevail then departed from London, on 17 Nov 1910, on the RMS China, this time bound for Sydney, via Freemantle, Adelaide and Melbourne, arriving in Fremantle, Western Australia on 20 Dec 1910. 

Then, in 1911, Joseph R Trevail married Eliza Thursby in Canterbury, New South Wales, Australia. Again. This time, non-bigamously! (I checked the National Archives for a divorce, though it would be very unlikely for ordinary people at that time, and of course there wasn't one.) Bigamy is a prison offence in both the UK and Australia, although the sentence length is lower in the latter. 

On 27 Feb 1921, J R and Mrs Trevail left Sydney for Wellington, New Zealand, on the SS Marama, as tourists. Joseph's sister Mary Ann had just died and his sister Ellen was still in New Zealand. Maybe they went to visit family?

Joseph R Trevail died on 20 Jan 1934, aged 86. The last will and testament of Joseph Rundle Trevail of 52 Market Street, Randwick, in the state of New South Wales, Gentleman, left the balance of his estate to his dear wife Eliza, after various other bequests and clues. Among beneficiaries were a grandson, Arthur Waymark (his daughter, Annie Gertrude Trevail had married Louis Charles Waymark in Lambeth in 1898); his sister Olivia Caldwell (Olivia Trevail had married Thomas William Colwill in 1886 in St George, Hanover Square); her daughter was Elsie Bates; a niece, Florence Wright; other bequests go to a John Edwards and to granddaughters, Amy Edwards and Edith Anderson (née Edwards) (daughter Kate Olivia Trevail had married Frank William Edwards in 1903). His estate was valued at £3,757 in 1934, worth £275,819 today.

52 Market Street, Randwick, New South Wales