Thursday, 26 January 2017

A Letter – Never to be Sent, Never to be Read ...

Dear Arthur

I have been looking for you for about 9 years! Please help as I’m sick of looking frustratingly at the computer and doing hundreds of searches of every database I can find. Seriously though. I know a lot about you but I don’t really know you. So, it’s really quite simple!

Who are you?
Where did you go and what happened to you?

Were you born Arthur McArthur in 1840 at 12 Robert Street, St Andrew, Holborn (above the Bars) in London and baptised on 18 May at St Andrew Western, Holborn? This is the only reference I can find of an Arthur McArthur who was born in London between 1835 and 1855. If this is you, then your parents were Sechibald McArthur and Martha Morris – did they ever marry and where were they born? Sechibald was a tailor and you all lived Above the Bars in Holborn which I believe was a place where solicitors had their offices. As a tailor, did your father work for the solicitors. Did he also make suits and clothes for doctors at Guys Hospital because a family story says that “Arthur walked the halls of Guys Hospital”. Were you delivering your father’s wares?

If all this is wrong, then who were your parents and where/when were you born?

When did you come to Australia and why? I cannot find a shipping record of when you arrived in Australia, or none that I’m absolutely certain is you.

You were on the Electoral Rolls for The Bogan in 1876 with a residence in Forbes. But you were not on the Rolls for 1875. Were you living at Esther’s place in 1876? If so, how did you meet and why was Esther in Forbes?

You married Esther Kirby on 18th August 1877 at Esther’s residence In Forbes although your Marriage Certificate gives me no clue as to who you are. You and Esther had three children:
·      Florence, born 1 December 1871 in Stokes Hill, Forbes (3.5 months after your marriage)
·      George Kirby, born 28 January 1880 in Forbes
·      Victoria Sylvia, born 3 March 1886 in O’Connell Street, Parramatta
When Florence was born, you gave your age as 39 years and born in London which would give you a birth year of 1838. But when Victoria Sylvia was born 9 years later, you said you were 35!! For a bookkeeper, your figures leave a lot to be desired.

There is a family story that you abandoned your family after your father-in-law’s Will was read in mid 1894 as he left quite a bit of real estate and personal estate to his daughter Esther, his son and his grandsons for their sole use. Is this true? Did you leave your family because you were not to inherit anything?

You disappeared off the face of this earth! Where did you go and what did you do? What were the circumstances of you leaving the family?

Your living family would really like to know about you. There are just so many questions that we would like answers to. So, please come and sit on my shoulder and have a chat! It’ll be quick, just a few questions. Maybe 4 to 5 hours!!  That’s not much time to ask for.
Thank you.

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