1876 Worcester, England - 1929 NSW, Australia

Frederick William Henry Young was born in Hylton Road, St Clements, Worcester, on 2 July 1876. His parents were William Young, (grocer) and Anne nee Taylor. As far as we know he was their first-born. There have been family stories passed down of another son who died as a baby, but so far no record has come to light.

Baby Fred was baptised 30 July 1876 at St Clements Church, Worcester by the Rector F H Richings. [NOTE: This information from a very helpful researcher on the www.rootschat forum - many thanks go to this person].

Photo on left courtesy photographer P Morgan.
Delightful sketch on right by Margaret Dixon - acknowledged on St Clements Church website

Christening Dress Worn by Fred in 1876.
(In 2012 the dress was 136 years old!)

A note with the dress states it was ‘Mostly Handsewn’'
This dress was handed down to me by my Mother's eldest sister.
One wonders how it came into her possession?
Did Fred bring it with him when he emigrated to Australia.....?

His sister Kate Ann was born in Wribbenhall, Worcs. 1879, and from family information she visited Australia at one stage, but returned to England. She was still living when her brother Fred died in 1929, when from England she placed an advertisement in the Obituaries Section of the Sydney Morning Herald.

in memorium notice

The following year she once again had an ‘In Memorium’ notice in the paper.

By 1880 the Young family had moved to 92 Sutton Road, Kidderminster and details on a certified copy of entry of birth (required for Elementary education or Employment in Labour of a Child) show William's occupation as Inspector of Nuisances - (possibly Health Inspector). By the time of the 1881 census, as at April, they had moved again, to No. 1 Woodfield Terrace, not far from Sutton Road.

In 1886 the family was living at 28 Blakebrook where Fred's mother Anne died aged 49, and in the census of 1891 William and his daughter Kate Ann are shown living at another address in Sutton Road, with their housekeeper Mary Felton, a widow.

A different area of the census for 1891 shows fourteen-year-old Fred living with his Uncle James and Aunt Sarah at 4 Cattell Road, Bordesley, Birmingham - occupation - sculptor apprentice.

By the time Fred's father William died in 1892 aged 47, the family had moved yet again - to 12 Summer Place, still in Kidderminster. All these addresses are in the same vicinity and were possibly temporary accommodation as a result of William's work for The Poor Law Union.

Family tales tell of Fred attending Ruskin College in Oxford, said to be studying literature. Ruskin College has no record of him, and after learning that many short courses were offered at that institution my feeling is that perhaps this was what Fred had done. In actual fact, Ruskin College was opened in 1899 by two Americans, at which time Fred was aged 23 and could possibly have taken part in a ‘University Extension Summer School’ course while at the same time carrying out his stonemasonry apprenticeship with his Uncle.

Ruskin College at that time was a place where the idea of “education for the underprivileged” was discussed, and in light of Fred's friendship in later years with Dave Stewart, Founder of the Workers Education Association in Australia, (later to become TAFE) whose brother attended such a school, it's possible the young student gained much of his ideology there.

In 1892 when his father died, Fred was still only sixteen and this is when we believe he was made a ward of his Uncle Jim and Aunt Sally (and possibly also of Uncle Henry and his wife Dinah). I've always been told that Fred desperately wished to become a teacher; instead he started his working life as a stonemason while living with Uncle Jim. Jim and Sally (Sarah) had no children of their own, but adopted their daughter Joan when she was two years old.

When William died he bequeathed to Fred “his silver watch and chains and jewellery, his wearing apparel, his Oddfellows emblem and the sum of ten pounds.” The rest and residue of his fatherís money and personal estate was to be divided and paid in equal shares between Fred, Kate Anne and William's second wife Mary Elizabeth nee Wright.

In 1901, according to the UK census, Fred was living as a boarder in Truro, Cornwall. His landlord at that time was a Sweet Warehouseman - Confectioner and together with the other boarder - an Oven builder, maybe they were at the time employed to construct the confectionerís shop. This of course is just speculation!

Guess what...? I have finally found my grandfather on a ship coming to Oz..! Recently obtained information (November 2004) tells us that Mr F.W.H. Young, aged 30, Nationality - British, Occupation - stonemason, sailed from London aboard the “OROTAVA”, a steamship of the Orient Royal Mail Line. (see some images below). His destination was listed as Sydney.

Details from the Sydney Morning Herald state the ship arrived Fremantle, W.A. on 6 June, departing for Eastern States the same day. The ship then arrived at Adelaide 10 June and once again departed for further travel arriving Melbourne 12 June.

Arriving at its final destination in Australia, the R.M.S. “OROTAVA” - 5857 tons - Captain W. J. Jenks, R.N.R. - from London, via ports -†arrived at Sydney on 15 June 1907.


There is a list of passenger printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, but Frederick Young is not shown.††It is very likely that the names of the 3rd class passengers would not be printed - a small number were shown, possibly 1st or Cabin class passengers. All passengers (including FWH Young) are shown on the complete passenger list, which has now been obtained from the National Archives.

Fredís death certificate states he spent 4 years in South Australia, 10 months in Queensland and 18 years in NSW - a total of almost 23 years - these details fit perfectly now we know his date of arrival in Australia.

It took some doing - but tenacity has paid off... Fred couldnít hide forever!

Fredís Friends...
After many years of detective work, now that Fredís arrival in Australia has been documented, it seems only right to include a small section on people and names that have featured in the arduous search relating to ‘how and when did he travel from England?’

Long talks with mum, Aunty Win, Aunty Olive and Aunty Dot - and the follow-up connections made with various people sent me on many wild-goose chases...

I was told that (as far as they could recall) my grandfather had been friends with a number of people who travelled on the same ship with him to Australia! Namely -

Dave Scott - bootmaker - Scottish
Dave Stewart - founder of WEA (now known as T.A.F.E.) - Scottish
Mr and Mrs Gadd and son
Annie Barlow
Mr Gunnlachs/Gunnlocks (sp.?)
Mr and Mrs Symonds/Simonds (sp.?)
Mr and Mrs Bannister, possibly 2 sons, 1 Rupert

Moving down the list we now know that -

1. David Fogo-Scott (probably known as Scott) - carpenter, and wife Letty, plus 18 month old son Alan, arrived aboard the “OTWAY” in March 1910. Their daughter Angus Justus Scott was born in June not long after their arrival. Alan went on to become the Rev Alan Scott of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Australia. A member of Alan Scottís family has stated that she did not realise her grandfather (Dave Scott) was supposed to have travelled on the same ship as Fred Young, she just knew that they were friends.

2. Dave Stewart - family stories have always stated that Fred was said to have travelled to Australia aboard the same ship as his friend Dave Stewart. Dave arrived in Dunedin, NZ in June 1908 aboard the “TOFUA” and left after 2 years - arriving in Sydney in 1910 (ship from NZ to Australia not known). There is nothing to say that Fred did NOT somehow come to be in NZ and travel back to Australia with Dave Stewart in 1910 but it appears likely that by then he was living and working in South Australia.

Possibly Fred and Dave Stewart travelled on a ship together at some stage but if so - where and when? Possibly also their connection was not made until Fred moved to Sydney after his marriage in 1911.

3. Mr EJ Gadd, Mrs J Gadd and Master V Gadd (aged 8) are listed on the “OROTAVA”, (same ship as Fred), as are Mrs R Gadd and Mister R Gadd (aged 14) (though not as travelling together). No details on whether either of these entries relate to the family friends of the same name.

4. Annie Barlow - no confirmation of her arrival in Australia.

5. Mr Gunnlachs/Gunnlocks (sp.?) - no confirmation of arrival in Australia - a number of people with the name Gundlach came to Australia some years after Fred (from National Archives) but no connection made with our family.

6. Mr and Mrs Symonds/Simonds (sp.?) - no confirmation of their arrival in Australia.

7. Mr and Mrs Bannister, possibly 2 sons, 1 Rupert - no confirmation of their arrival in Australia.

The mystery of Fredís ‘shipmates’ may one day be solved, but for me finding him coming from England to Australia will do for now...

Back to Fred....
Somehow he came to be living in South Australia where he continued his trade of stonemason in the Kapunda, Tanunda area of the Barossa Valley. No evidence of his name has been found on any monumental work there, but it is conceivable that only the name of the firm for which he worked would appear.

Wherever he may have been working or living in South Australia, fate stepped in the night Fred attended the German Club in Adelaide and met my grandmother Violet Geertz. Violet was from Ipswich, Queensland, and was visiting her Aunt Malena and Uncle Friedrich Wenzel.

Although no record of Fred or his work as a stonemason in SA has been found, in the 1910 Sands Directory of Adelaide there are entries showing two stonemasons living in Clyde Street, Parkside! This is the same street where Violet was staying with her Aunt and Uncle. Is it stretching credibility too far to suppose that Fred Young may have been working with either or both of these men (one of them having a German sounding name) and to have attended the German Club with them, thereby meeting the Wenzel family, neighbours of the two stonemasons??? One wonders otherwise why an Englishman would find himself attending the German Club.......

Nothing definite is known of Fredís life in Australia until 1911 when his marriage to Violet took place in Ipswich, Queensland.

Click here for what we know of the early years of Violet Maud Geertz.


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