Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Sydney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sydney. Show all posts

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Con Colleano and Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail

Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail and Con Colleano

Cornelius Sullivan (b. 26 Dec 1899 in Lismore, New South Wales), Theatrical, son of Cornelius Sullivan and Julia Robinson, married my 2nd cousin twice removed, Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail (b. 16 Sep 1900 in Lambeth, Surrey), Actress, daughter of Herbert Fleming Trevail and Alice Maud Stanley Blazey on 10 July 1926 in DetroitWayne County, Michigan. The marriage record states that they were married by the Associate Pastor of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, from which I deduce that the venue was the Central United Methodist Church (Detroit), although they were resident in Brooklyn, New York. Both stated they had not been married before.

Known professionally as Con Colleano, Cornelius Sullivan, was the most famous and highest paid "swashbuckling circus performer with matinee idol looks" of his time, “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. 

"Mrs. Winnie Colleano (neé Trevail) was herself a well known Australian Vaudeville Soubrette", dancer and trapeze artist." One article says that Winnie Trevail began appearing on the stage in Sydney as a child, but actually, she was performing before that in New Zealand. There in Lyttelton, New Zealand in 1909 - where her father's aunts, Ellen Higgs and Mary Ann Burn Trevail Bawden then lived - 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. 

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

Con Colleano on a slack-wire, circa 1920
Con Colleano, 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."

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's also 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 ocean linerSS Mariposa (1931).

On 8 Sep 1939, Cornelius and Winifred Sullivan, listed as British, boarded the Italian ocean liner, SS Rex, leaving Genoa, bound for New York.

In 1940, they are shown arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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 Wales, Sheba, CC 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 Sullivan died, in Miami, Florida, on 13 Nov 1973 and in his obituary in The Stage, the wife of Con's brother is quoted as saying, "His wife WINNIE has cabled that she is broken-hearted because she found my dear brother-in-law lying dead, obviously she is too shocked to tell me more."

Winnie returned to Australia, where she died, in Sydney, in on 5 Jan 1986. 


While researching, I found 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, but just how many people named Winifred C Trevail are there likely to be in the same area? We know Winnie was in Melbourne before this, because in the Victoria Police Gazette of 11 Apr 1918, is: "TREVAIL, WINNIE theatrical, 7 McKenzie Street, Melbourne, reports stolen from the dressing-room, Bijou Theatre, Bourke Street, Melbourne on the 3rd inst. a diamond cluster ring, diamond in the centre set with other stones around, the centre stone is set a little to side, gold band at side of setting is wavy. Value £8." It's obvious this report is from "our" Winnie and hard to accept that a completely different Winifred C Trevail turned up in the very same area only a year later. Someone with the surname Mendoza even sounds like Winnie's "type". It's said that Winnie met Con, in Melbourne, Victoria, when she was 22. What can have happened to Leonard Mendoza? If he died, or they had divorced, Winnie would have listed that she was a widow, or a divorcee when she married Con. Was Winnie committing bigamy in 1926?

I'm much amused by 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 to 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 17 March 2024

Henrich Schumacher and Alice Hannah Blazey

Redfern Street showing Court House and Post Office, Redfern (NSW)

An Anglicised Henry Schumacher (b. ~1859), Baker, son of Frederick Schumacher, Smith, married Alice Hannah Blazey (b. 6 Feb 1865), Servant, daughter of Samuel Blazey and Elizabeth Wiggins, at St Thomas, Baroness Road, Bethnal Green, London on 17 Mar 1888. Witnesses to their marriage appear to be Adolf Fritz and Elizabeth Theresa Emily Duke

Various records point to the couple having thirteen children:
  1. Caroline Alice Schumacher b. 1889 S Qtr in GREENWICH Vol 01D 958
  2. Mary Elizabeth Schumacher b. 1890 D Quarter in SAINT GEORGE IN THE EAST Volume 01C Page 319
  3. Heinrich Friedrich Schumacher b. 1892 M Qtr in ST GEORGE IN THE EAST Vol 01C Page 398. Died 1892 J Qtr Vol 01C Page 245
  4. George Schumacher b. 1893 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW. Died 1895, also in Waterloo, NSW with parents listed as Heinrich and Alice.
  5. Amelia Schumacher b. 1895 in Newtown, New South Wales
  6. Francis Joseph Schumacher b. 1896 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
  7. Henry Stephen Schumacher b. 1897 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
  8. Alice Paulina Schumacher b. 1900 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
  9. Frederick Ludwig Schumacher b. 1901 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
  10. Hilda Lilian Schumacher b. 1902 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
  11. William J Schumacher b. 1903 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW. Died in 1903, also in Waterloo, NSW, with parents listed as Henry and Alice
  12. Rose Nell Schumacher b. 1905 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
  13. Alfred Louis Schumacher b. 1909 in Waterloo, Sydney, NSW
The UK GRO birth registrations list the mother's maiden name as BLAZEY. The Australian birth records give their father's name as Henry/Heinrich F (or some variation or misspelling thereof) and mother's name as Alice.

In 1891, Heinrich Schumacher (32) Skin Dyer from Failsbach, Germany, was living at 1, Mary Ann Street, St George in the East, with Alice Schumacher (27) birthplace listed as New Cross, Surrey (Alice was born in Witney, Oxfordshire, so this may be where she was previously living and working); Caroline Schumacher (22 months) and Mary Schumacher (7 months), plus three boarders: Christian Kress (26), William Rudolph (26) and Antony Scruse (31), all also Skin Dyers, who were from various towns in Germany.

Then on 16 Feb 1893, H Schumacher (34), Elise (sic) Schumacher (29), Karoline (sic) Schumacher (3) and Mary Schumacher (1) were passengers on the SS Thermopylae, who embarked in London, bound for Sydney, Australia, where they arrived in the April of that year.

Henry William Humphry married Caroline Alice Schumacher in Waterloo, New South Wales, in 1908. And Frederick Charles Humphry married Mary Elizabeth Schumacher, also in Waterloo, New South Wales, in 1910, in yet another case of two brothers marrying two sisters.

In 1913, Henry and Alice Schumacher are on the Australian Electoral Roll in Collins Street, Botany, NSW, with Henry's occupation listed as Baker.

Harold Barlow married [Amelia] Queenie Schumacher, in Redfern, in 1913.

Henry Frederick Schumacher died on 8 Dec 1916 in Redfern, New South Wales and is buried at Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park (Botany Cemetery), Matraville, New South Wales. The record of Henry's death list his parents as Frederick and Catherine, but I've been unable to locate his birth.

The six daughters of Henrich Schumacher and Alice Hannah Blazey. Photo via Karen Lewis.
Cecil Augustus Woolley
married Alice Paulina Schumacher in 1916; Henry Stephen Schumacher married Irene Eleanor Free in 1918; In 1924, David Fraser married Rose Nell Schumacher and Frederick Ludwig Schumacher married Lily Rita Day; in 1925, Sydney Victor Kenward married Hilda Lilian Schumacher in Parkes, New South Wales and in 1932, Alfred Louis Schumacher married Melba Olive Myrtle Barker, in Redfern.

Alice Hannah Schumacher died on 22 Jan 1932, also in Redfern, New South Wales and is buried with her late husband. The record of her death confirms her father's name as Samuel and her mother's as Elizabeth. The last will and testament of Alice Hannah Schumacher, of Collins Street, Botany, Widow, dated 29 Oct 1930, appointed her children as executors. She directed her daughter Mary Elizabeth Humphry to "Draw my insurance money and pay all funeral expenses"; also that, "My house and home to be left as it is till my daughter Rose Nell Fraser Widow marries again [she didn't] nothing is to be taken from the home unless they all agree. Mrs Paulina Woolley is to stay in the home as long as she wish to she will be risponsible (sic) for all rates and taxes if at any time they wish to break up the home and sell the house no furniture is to be sold the girls can divide what there is if the house is sold." Then bequeaths: "£100 is to be given to my son Francis Joseph Schumacher; £100 to Alfred Louis Schumacher; £100 to Caroline Humphry and Mary Elizabeth Humphry to divide the rest: give Henry Stephen Schumacher £5 - also Frederick Ludwig Schumacher £5 - and to divide the balance between the girls names Amelia Barlow, Alice Paulina Woolley, Hilda Lilian Kenward, Caroline Humphry, Mary Humphry, Rose N Fraser, Widow."

In 1935, the Australia Electoral Roll lists Henry William Humphry, driver, Caroline Alice Humphry and Alice Annie Humphry at Dolly Cottage, Collins Street, Botany; Frederick Charles Humphrey, wool sorter, Mary Elizabeth Humphry and Henry Frederick Humphey at Sono, Collins Street, Botany; Cecil Augustus Woolley, collar maker, Alice Paulina Woolley, Francis Joseph Schumacher, tanner, and Rose Nell Fraser as living at Francis Cottage, Collins Street, Botany; Frederick Ludwig Schumacher, tanner, and Lily Rita Schumacher were in Bourke Street; Henry Stephen Schumacher, wool scourer, and Irene Eleanor Schumacher were at 3 Spring Street. Sidney Victor Kenward, Labourer, and Hilda Lilian Kenward were also in Bourke Street; Harold Barlow, tanner and Amelia Barlow were in Smith Street.

In 1936 Francis Joseph Schumacher married Annie Webber in Redfern.

Burials (some lead to further records and family members):

Monday 23 October 2023

Thomas Back (Thomas Drake) and Elizabeth Mary Horn

Plymouth: Morice Square
cc-by-sa/2.0- © Martin Bodman - geograph.org.uk/p/688016

Thomas Back, son of Thomas Back and Mary Drake married Elizabeth Mary Horn (b. 1859 in Okehampton, Devon), daughter of James Horn and Elizabeth Bolt, on 23 Oct 1884 at St Paul's Church, Devonport. (The Anglican Church of Saint Paul the Apostle was situated on the east side of Morice Square.)

Born Thomas Drake (1850 D Quarter in STOKE DAMEREL Volume 09 Page 429), as he was named Thomas, it did seem likely that he was the son of Thomas Back, who his mother married two years later. He started life in Stoke Damerel Workhouse, where he was in 1851 with his mother and his older (half) siblings, Mary and George. He was subsequently known as Thomas Back and on his marriage certificate in 1884, as Thomas Back, Stoker RN, lists his address as 40, Cannon Street, Devonport - the very same address where we find both his parents and his sister in 1881, so we can be sure it's him - and names his father as Thomas Back, Labourer. Of course, this could simply be because that was the man who was around as he was growing up, but actually being named after him at birth, seems to confirm what we're being told.

Thomas Back, DOB 15 Oct 1850 (agrees with the quarter of his birth registration), enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in July 1865, volunteering at HMS Implacable (1805) - former Duguay-Trouin, turned training ship (exactly the same ship, on exactly the same day as my great-grandfather, David Jones). Thomas Back's naval career does not appear to progress at this point, there being no entries beyond enlistment. 

There is then a record of a Thomas Back from Devonport, with date of birth given as 14 Oct 1849 (one year and one day of difference and this time the year does NOT agree with his birth registration), but we know this is our man from other records (marriage, census), who joined the Royal Navy on 9 Jan 1873 and served for 21 years, until 27 Apr 1894. He began as a Stoker 2nd Class, moved up to Stoker, Leading Stoker and Leading Stoker 1st Class.

Both naval records list Thomas as having Black hair and Hazel eyes. He was 4 ft 10 in at 14 and grew to 5 ft 6 in as an adult, gaining a bunch of tattoos.

From May 1873 to Aug 1875, Thomas was with HMS Agincourt (1865) at Portland, Dorset and, during that time, spent 28 days in Dorchester Gaol (HM Prison Dorchester) - Pure Victorian detention in all it’s glory.

At the time of the census of 1881, Thomas Back (30) Stoker, was moored in Hong Kong aboard HMS Victor Emmanuel (1855), which ship he was assigned to from Jun 1880 to Jan 1882, Feb 1882 to Jan 1883 and again from Feb to Apr 1883 (transferring to HMS Pegasus (1878) for the month in 1882, also in China and HMS Albatross (1873) in Jan 1883).

Two days before his marriage, Thomas joined HMS Tamar (1863), commissioned at Devonport on 21 Oct 1884 and then, from 15 Jan 1885 until 22 Jan 1889, was with HMS Nelson (1876). She sailed for the Australia Station after commissioning and became the flagship there in 1885. She was in Sydney and Brisbane and at the Woolloomooloo Bay Regatta on 18 Apr 1885, remaining on station until returning home in January 1889.

Thomas and Elizabeth's only child was born later that year:

  1. Lilian Mary Back b. 4 Nov 1889 D Q in STOKE DAMEREL 05B 340
Thomas spent time with HMS Magicienne (1888) in Portsmouth in 1890; HMS Goshawk (1872) took him to Gibraltar from May 1890 to Jun 1892 and while he was away, Elizabeth M Back (31) Wife Of A Stoker RN and Lilian M Back (1) were living in St Levan Road, Devonport. Thomas finished his career, from Dec 1892 to Apr 1894, at HMS Vivid II, the Stokers and Engine Room Artificers School in Devonport, before being pensioned.

In 1901, Thomas Back (50) Naval Pensioner was living in Avondale Terrace, Devonport with wife, Elizabeth M Back (41), daughter, Lilian M Back (11) and John Cornhill (29) General Labourer from Ireland, Boarder.

Thomas Back died in 1906 D Quarter in DEVONPORT Volume 05B Page 220. His age was estimated as 58 (he was 56), gaining yet another year on top of the one he added the second time he enlisted in the Navy.

In 1911, Elizabeth Back (51) Widow from Okehampton, Devonshire, was living in East Stonehouse. Living with her were recently married, son-in-law and daughter, Charles and Lilian Renshaw.

In 1921, Elizabeth Mary Back was still living with Charles and Lilian Renshaw (and their two daughters), at 7 Duckworth Street, Devonport.

Elizabeth Mary Back died, at 66, in 1926 M Quarter in DEVONPORT.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Alfred Morley Hayward and Eva Bridle

Parkholme Road, Dalston
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Chris Whippet - geograph.org.uk/p/4341743

Eva Bridle (b. 1863), daughter of Thomas Parsons Bridle and Sarah Symons, a Teacher of elementary school, poetically calling herself Evangeline in 1891, by the census of 1901, is found, aged 37, as a Certified teacher, boarding at 68, Mortimer Road, Hackney in the household of Thomas Shorey (49), Solicitor's Clerk, whose daughter, Edith (15) was a Pupil teacher.

Then in 1909 in Hackney, London, Eva Bridle, at 45, married Alfred Morley Hayward. Born in 1874, in Eastbourne, Sussex, the son of Ebenezer Hayward a Jeweller from Ashford, Kent and his wife Ellen Morley (m. 1868 in Greenwich), he was therefore ten or so years younger than his wife.

In 1911, Alfred Hayward (37) Patent agents chief technical assistant, Eva Hayward (47) Head teacher and Emma Bridle (45) Sister-in-law, with Edith Baker (24) Domestic servant, were living at 27 Parkholme Road, Dalston.

In 1921, Emma Bridle (55) Invalid was listed alone at 8, Waverley Road, Enfield, Middlesex, although she was originally described as Sister-in-law and the return was completed by Mr Hayward. Alfred and Eva do not appear to be listed anywhere and one wonders if they could have been travelling.

Emma Bridle died, aged 59, in 1924 in Edmonton

On 7 Nov 1925, Alfred Morley Hayward (51) and Eva Hayward (62) left Southampton on RMS Berengaria (The first Cunard "Queen") bound for New York, with Auckland, New Zealand listed as their final destination. 

Then on 28 Jun 1932, we find Alfred Morley Hayward and Eva Hayward travelling from London to Sydney, Australia on the SS Orsova of the Orient Steam Navigation Company. The address where they were going to stay was given as c/o W. J. House, 12 Billyard Avenue, Wahroonga, Sydney.

Alfred Morley Hayward (77) Patent agent, of 36 Henley Road, Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, died on 31 Mar 1952. He was buried, on 3 Apr 1952 at Purewa Cemetery, leaving his effects to Eva Hayward, widow. Eva Hayward died on 25 Sep 1957, aged 94. She was buried, on 28 Sep 1957, in the same plot, along with her husband. Both profess their religion as Brethren.