July 2006
Edition 15
Jerrems Family Newsletter
Keeping you Up-to-Date with the Past
Dear Donald,
We trust you enjoyed the early 1800's Australia Jerrems history in the May edition which chronicled the migration of Thomas and Elizabeth and their children from England. We start with Charles born 1857, their tenth child of twelve.
The Source of the Ray Jerrems and Laurel Gray's Families.
Ray Jerrems, Family Genealogist, Historian   Introduction - Mid 1800's
This is one of a series of articles on people who formed part of the Jerrems family’s history.

This is the story of Charles Jerrems, who was the great grandfather of readers Doug Jerrems, Laurel Gray and the writer. It is based on information from historic sources and the recollections of Charles’ late grand daughter Violet (my Aunty Vi), combined with a degree of “reconstruction” from known facts.

Another article will deal with his career as a prominent bookbinder, including the medals he was awarded at 2 International Exhibitions.

Charles’ story is unique because very little seems to be known about Charles’ numerous brothers and sisters (listed in a recent edition of this Newsletter) and it is the only account supported by first-hand information. For this reason the article is fairly long.
Charles Marries Susannah
Ray Jerrems, Family Genealogist, Historian   They Settle Near Sydney
Charles, later known as the “black sheep” of the family, was born in Gainsborough, England in 1847 and came to Australia in 1859 with most of his family. They settled in Richmond, on the Yarra River, about 3 miles from the city of Melbourne. By deduction he would have finished school in about 1861 and would have been apprenticed to a printing and bookbinding firm in nearby Melbourne city until about 1864.

Charles would then have gained further experience at his trade in Melbourne until about 1868. During this period the family suffered a tragedy. Charles’ father, Thomas Clarke Jerrems, died at Richmond in 1866 at the comparatively young age (even for those times) of 51. Although some of the children had grown up his widow Elizabeth was still left with 4 teenage children, Charles (19), Robert Cane (17), Catherine (16) and Arthur Reginald (14). Robert’s descendants live in Melbourne and Arthur’s live in Queensland. William George, whose descendants live the US, had probably already gone to Sydney.

After an interlude of several years in a small village (Woogarma) in southern NSW Charles settled in Sydney, where he married Susannah Druery in 1871. They had 4 children in Surry Hills, close to the city: Charles Albert Druery born in 1872, Edwin Lewis (“Ted”) born in 1874, Isabel (“Belle”) born in 1876 and Ernest Alfred (“Alf”) born in 1878.

Family folklore suggests that Susannah came from a privileged background, one version being that her mother or an aunt was a Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria. In any case she was born in England.
The Family Moves to Greenwich Point
Ray Jerrems, Family Genealogist, Historian   Family Folklore and More
In 1880 the family moved from Surry Hills to Greenwich, also in Sydney.

The suburb of Greenwich is on a long ridge which terminates at Greenwich Point, overlooking the Parramatta River. This very wide river becomes Sydney Harbour a short distance downstream, at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Point is less than 3 miles “as the crow flies” from Sydney City, on the other side of the Harbour.

The main attribute of the Point at that time was that it had a level area on top of the steep-sided ridge for houses, stores (general store, butcher, and grocer), post office and a small school and it had a wharf accessible to steam ferries, the main form of transport for people, supplies and mail. The stores and school were patronised by the residents of nearby Cockatoo Island (where a large naval dock was being established) and other nearby settlements, in addition to the Point’s handful of residents. There was a small swimming pool adjacent to the wharf.

Charles would have found living at the Point particularly convenient because his house was only a 3 minute walk from the wharf, the ferry trip to the city took only 15 minutes and his bookbinding shop was only 5 minutes walk from the ferry terminus. He could therefore get to his shop in 25 minutes. Perhaps this was a major attraction for him. He would have been less enthused by the fare of sixpence, which was a lot of loot in those days.

This sparsely populated semi-rural area (the family were the seventh family to settle there) must have provided quite a contrast for the family compared with their previous middle class urban environment at Surry Hills. No doubt it shaped the children’s love of the outdoors. One can picture the children (particularly the boys) swimming, fishing, sailing and exploring the rough terrain, just the same as their father would have done with his brothers in Richmond when he was a teenager.

One son (my grandfather Alf) was a national champion swimmer in his late teens, putting his childhood experience to good use.

On the other hand their genteel mother, who had come from a privileged background, may not have been overly impressed with such activities and the rudimentary nature of the facilities at the Point.

Charles quickly made a name for himself in the local community. When he and Susannah bought their first house at the Point in 1880 the builder had locked the family out because of a dispute. Charles borrowed a ladder and climbed in a broken rear window, no mean feat because the house (still existing) is almost 3 storeys high at the back

Susannah always had a maid, whose sole responsibility was to look after her mistress. With typical Victorian modesty Susannah used to take her bath with the bathroom door locked from the inside, the maid and children being left on the outside. One day the key jammed in the lock on the inside, so the maid called out to a workman or neighbour to assist. The man used a ladder to climb in the bathroom window and fix the lock, to the discomfiture of a scantily-clad Susannah.

No doubt this story became part of Greenwich Point folklore! Certainly the ferry captains, who felt it was their duty to relay to their passengers all gossip on ”the River”, would have quickly related the story to all and sundry. Possibly Charles heard the story before he got home from work that evening.

Charles and Susannah must have had a rush of blood to the head when they bought this house. It is perched on the edge of the scarp, giving panoramic views of the Parramatta River and distant views of the city, but it has no front yard and its back yard runs down the steep slope below. A curious choice when there was plenty of flat land available in the area. The steepness of the block would have made it unsuitable for a family of 4 children and a baby. This, and the house’s southerly aspect (open to cold southerly winds in winter) probably persuaded Charles and Susannah to move several years later to a single storey house on a level block in the next street.
Charles and Susannah Move to Manly
Ray Jerrems, Family Genealogist, Historian   After the Turn of the Century
Eventually, some time prior to the First World War, Charles and Susannah (and the maid!) moved to a substantial house in a good position overlooking Sydney Harbour at Manly. (Editors Note: This is where local girl Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban married in June 2006.)

The travelling time by ferry or tram from Manly to Greenwich and back in those days was about 3 hours. This leads one to wonder whether Susannah had initiated the move to such a location because she was finding her 8 lively grandchildren (all of whom had previously lived within walking distance at Greenwich) rather wearing. By all accounts the children of Charles Jr, Alf and Ted were as lively as their parents had been at the same age and they engaged in the same boisterous activities.

Briefly, after Susannah died in 1917 Charles lived at the Forbes Hotel (still existing - pictured) in the city, some 5 minutes walk from his shop. After about 1923 he lodged in a boarding house at Manly, where he died in 1927.

After Susannah died, he sometimes visited his son Alf and Alf’s family at Greenwich. By the mid 1920s he was blind and one of his grand daughters (Essie and Violet) would take him back to Manly to his austere lodgings, a sad task for a teenager, but the girls were very fond of him. He had a quiet nature and a good sense of humour which appealed to the grandchildren. When speaking of him over 70 years later Aunty Vi would still look wistful.

Even though my account has a lot of gaps in it, at least it gives the reader an idea of my great grandfather’s life. I have more information and details of historical sources which I can send to readers if they want them.
Children of Charles and Suzannah
Donald Jerrems, Editor   Anniversary Issue - June 2005-2006
Charles Albert Druery (born in Surry Hills, Sydney in 1872), presumably educated at Greenwich Point and Fort Street High School up to Junior Certificate, apprenticed to a printer (he was described as “printer” in 1903 Electoral Roll). Presumably worked in family printing business. After leaving his parents’ home he lived in a family-owned house in Carlotta Street, Greenwich with brother Edwin Lewis. Married Doris Brandtmann in 1901, probably they lived in the same house in Carlotta Street. Children Charles born 1902, Doris born 1906, Elsie born 1908 (all born in Greenwich). Later the family moved south to Brighton-Le-Sands, on Botany Bay. Grandfather of Laurel Gray.

Edwin Lewis born in Surry Hills, Sydney in 1874, married Grace Viola Blagdon in 1903, son Edwin Lewis born 1904. Educated at Greenwich Point and Fort Street High School. Before marriage Ted lived in Carlotta Street in cottage owned by his mother. Presumably they lived there after marriage. Ted was described as a journalist in the 1903 Electoral Roll. Ted was active in local affairs, being the President of the Lane Cove Ratepayers Association in 1912, in which capacity he addressed a Public Works Department Inquiry in support of an unsuccessful proposal to have the East Ward made into a separate Council. The family still lived in Greenwich in 1917 because Ted was an alderman on Lane Cove Council in 1914 but resigned in 1917. At that stage the Council Chambers were on the corner of Belleview Street and Gordon Road (now Pacific Highway) opposite Gore Hill Cemetery, not a long walk from Carlotta Street. Ted was a partner in the bookbinding business when it was sold in the early 1930s. The family moved to Brisbane, possibly coinciding with the sale of the business. Son Edwin Lewis did not marry. Nothing further known.

Isabel (or Isabella). Known as “Belle”, born in Surry Hills, Sydney in 1876, early education in Greenwich, high school not known (note that North Sydney Girls High School did not open until 1912). 1903 Census shows her as “Teacher” living in Greenwich Road, presumably with her parents. Married George Day in 1916 and they lived for a period in a cottage in Chisolm Street Greenwich owned by her mother. George had 2 sons by a previous marriage. She was 40 at time of marriage and they had no children. Nothing further known.

Ernest Alfred (“Alf”) born in Surry Hills, Sydney in 1878. Grandfather of Ray and Doug. Separate article will set out his life story in detail.

Richmond (“Dick”) born in 1886 at Greenwich, early education at Greenwich then Fort Street Boys High School, Sydney University, Teachers College (languages teacher). Married Nellie Donald (nee Carrie) in 1925. Nellie had 2 children by previous marriage, none in marriage with Dick. Dick died in 1940.

Note: Three other children who died at early age have not been included.

The people are (L to R) standing Isabel Jerrems (born 1876) and her brother Alf Jerrems (born 1878), seated Alfred Sassall, Richmond Jerrems (born 1886), and his mother Susannah Jerrems (born about 1850) and father Charles Jerrems (born 1847) seated in the far right.

Administrivia
Donald Jerrems, Editor   Anniversary Issue - June 2005-July 2006
This is our 14th monthly issue (we had a special in December, remember?) Who would have thought there would be so much to remember? And we are still at the turn of the last century!
 

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