My Great Grandmother was named Ellen. she was born in the UK in 1868..
When Ellen was a young child the Family decided to immigrate to Australia After a lengthy boat ride, in mostly squalid conditions, the family arrived in NSW.
Great Great Grandfather, Ellens father, took up farming in the Armidale, New England area of NSW.
He was a very successful farmer and became an extremely wealthy man. Family life was good, the children all had food and clothing and led a happy life. Much better than they had back in the Mother Country.
When Ellen was just 18 years of age, she met a handsome young man and fell in love right away.
This strapping young man was good looking and worked hard as a labourer. However, he had a dark secret.
His own Father had been sent out from Ireland as a Convict. He had not committed a serious crime, just stolen a loaf of bread to feed his starving family. This news was to be kept a secret from Ellens family as they were “Upper Crust” so to speak. They would never tolerate a son of a criminal becoming one of their family members.
The courtship progressed and Ellens family quite liked this young bloke. Until, someone let the cat out of the bag about this fellows heritage.
All hell broke loose and Ellen was forbidden to see the young man again. She had other ideas though and continued to meet him in secret. This went on for a year or two until once again someone let her Father know. Talk about gossipers, how terrible it was.
By this time, Ellen was 21 and able to make her own mind up. Her Father gave her the word, stay with him and you are banished from our family. Never to be spoken of and never to visit us again. What a tough old bugger he was. He kept his word though and Ellen made her choice.
She and her true love moved away and became married in 1887. The couple were very happy , apart from the fact that Ellen had been banished and all rights to any inheritance from her wealthy father all forsaken.
They had children, first a son and then a daughter. The son died from unknown circumstances when he was just 19. The daughter grew up to be a lovely young woman who would become my Grandmother.When Great Grandad passed away, Ellen came and lived with my Grandmother, her daughter. I remember Ellen. She always wore black. Always in mourning, perhaps for the loss of her husband, or maybe the loss of her family back in the countryside. I know that her parents never knew of anything that happened in her life after Armidale. I find that very sad.