Surge of interest in Wiki pages

There’s been a sudden surge of interest in our family history Wiki pages, with over 70 visitors last Monday, according to the statistics., most of them from South Africa and the USA.

I’m not quite sure what brought that on, but so far there haven’t been been any contributions of information from anyone other than me. I wish a few other people would at least add a sentence or two here and there. It’s really quite easy to do, and there’s more information on how to do it here.

We recently got an e-mail from Caitlin Green, so I added a page of information about the Green family, which has spread to just about every continent from Quebec, which is the first place we’ve managed to trace it to, though it probably to there from somewhere else.

Found! Ida Carolina von Lilienstein, wife of Henry Green

One of the long-enduring mysteries of the GREEN family history has at last been solved, thanks to Ione Evans of New Zealand.

Henry Green, the British Resident of the Orange River Sovereignty in the early 1850s, came to South Africa some time in the 1840s, as did several of his siblings, including Fred (Val’s great great grandfather), Edward, Charles and Arthur.

It was known that Henry Green married Ida Carolina von Lilienstein, daughter of Count von Lilienstein, but little was known about her parents. Many of their descendants have tried to find out more, especially her mother’s name, but without success.

Ione Evans asked a researcher to check German records, and and finally found:

Congregation of Itzehoe, Christenings in the year 1836, daughters, page No 11, born on 4 December 1835, christened on 24 December 1835 Ida Caroline Johanna, legitimate daughter of local constable at the regiment of light dragoon, Carl Arthur Count zu LILIENSTEIN and Catharina Elise née STAEKER, christened by me at home. God parents: Carl von BARDENFLETH, colonel and head of the regiment, Martin von WILEMOOS SUHM, Premier Major, Johannes von EWALD, major (translation)

This will be especially good news for descendants of Henry and Ida, as Ida’s ancestors will be theirs as well, but for the rest of us too, the irritating gap waiting to be filled by “Spouse’s mother” can at last be filled.

In the course of our researches into the Green family we have met several descendants of Henry and Ida, and corresponded with many more. Some of them have been enthusiastic researchers into the family history, and many of them have helped us a great deal with our researches. We were in correspondence for a while with Hal Green in Swaziland. Jack and Peggy (nee Tapscott) Stokes visited us when we lived in Melmoth in Zululand, and stayed several days with their caravan in our back yard, and we spent many evening poring over family records, trying to sort out chronology and relationships.

One of the longest-standing mysteries (to us, at any rate) was what happened to Edith Susanna Green, daughter of Henry and Ida. She had married Ernest Borwick and then, apparently, disappeared off the face of the earth. Then we made contact with Ione Evans, a descendant of that branch, who filled in several generations. Ernest Borwick farmed in Kenya, and several of their seven children lived there, and some married and moved to other countries. Ione Evans is still following up some of the descendants, but has also been working backwards on the von (or zu) Lilienstein side as well, for which we are all grateful.

Ogilvie family and other news

Yesterday we had a letter from Andy Blum in the USA, asking about a David Ogilvie who was mentioned in a family history newsletter from Blue Earth, Minnesota, USA.

This David Ogilvie (1852-1943) had a fairly interesting life, and Andy wondered if he was related to the Ogilvie family of the Eastern Cape, from which Andy himself is descended.
We couldn’t trace any connection, however.

The Ogilvie connection is through Emily Ogilvie (1827-1912) who married Edward Lister Green (1827-1887), who was the brother of Val’s Great Great Grandfather Frederick Thomas Green (1829-1876). The Green brothers were born in Montreal, Canada, and came to South Africa with their widowed father in the 1840s.

Edward Lister Green was a soldier who served in India, China and Ireland, and eventually moved to New Zealand, where he died in 1887. Some of their children moved to the USA, and Emily died in California where she was living with her daughter Maud Ogilvie Jowett.

Emily was the daughter of William Ogilvie (1795-1850) who fought at Waterloo and came to the Cape Colony with Lord Charles Somerset, the Governor. He married Mary Maria Hollings, who was governess to Lord Charles Somerset’s family. They had four sons and four daughters, but none of them seem to have had Minnesota connections, other than some of Emily’s descendants. William Ogilvie had a hardware store, and sold Westley-Richards rifles, and two members of the Richards family came from Birmingham to Grahamstown and married two of the Ogilvie daughters. Andy Nation of New Zealand had Edward Lister Green’s diary and sent us a copy of it with some family history notes he had made. We have transcribed it on to computer, and can send copies to interested family members. There is more information about the Ogilvies in Some frontier families by I. Mitford-Barberton and Violet White (Cape Town, Human & Rousseau, 1968).

Edward and Emily Green had 6 children, and among their descendants are the Nation, Rutherfurd, Mocine, Lewis and Blum families.


In more immediate family news, our dog Ariel recently had puppies in her old age. For anyone interested, there is a report and pictures on my tribal blog.

Thwaites, Green families in Australia

I’ve just had some correspondence with Emma Hannah, who was married to Roger Thwaites, son of FJ Thwaites, the Australian novelist, who was the grandson of Margaret Agnes Ann Green and Walter Thwaites. This adds something to what we know of the Thwaites side of the family.

Margaret Agnes Ann Green (known as Agnes) and her younger brother Alfred both lived in Australia. We have been in contact with several of Agnes Green’s descendants, from all three of her husbands, some of whom returned to southern Africa in later generations, and some fought on opposite side in the First and Second World Wars.

There is a possibility that at least two of her husbands committed bigamy by marrying her.

We have not managed to make contact with any of Alfred’s descendants though. One of them William Alfred Goodall Esdaile Green lived in South Africa for several years, and changed his name to William d’Este Stuart-Grey. Another, Frederick, died young. A daughter, Henrietta Caroline married William Henry Browne.

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Nation family of New Zealand

For a long time we were in correspondence with a distant cousin, Henry Andrew (Andy) Nation, of Punawaitai, Waipawa, New Zealand. He was descended from Edward Lister Green, the brother of Val’s great great grandfather Frederick Thomas Green. Andy was interested in family history, and sent us a copy of Edward Lister Green’s diary and a lot of other family information.

Since Andy died about 10 years ago, we have more or less lost contact with the New Zealand branch of Nation family, though we have continued to be in touch with the Mocine branch in the USA, and through them recently made contact with Andy Blum, who is descended from the Lewis branch, also in the USA.

Ione Evans, descended from one of the other Green brothers, Henry, is now also in New Zealand, and has made contact with another member of the Nation family, Louisa Palairet (born Nation). So we look forward to hearing more news of them.

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Green – Wilson – Francis – Thwaites

Jenny Marsh writes:

… found this info amongst Glorias letters. “Agnes Thwaites,
admitted to Adelaide Hospital 2/4/1880 of Gawler, 44 yrs married C/E , born
Nova Scotia. Arrived in the colony aboard the Countess of Harborough.”

Every little bit helps, and that’s quite a few bits. At least it gives the name of a ship to look for. Though it may not be the one she went from the Cape Colony on, but perhaps the Countess of Harborough only took her to Adelaide from Sydney.

In looking for that, I found a reference to Alfred John Dawson Francis (her second husband) going insolvent in 1860 in an NSW archives index. He was described as a miner and storeman at Dwyer’s Creek. But the only Dwyer’s Creek I could find was in South Western Victoria, and presumably quite a long way from Moruya.

Any comments on this?

Just click on the COMMENTS at the bottom of this posting.

Green, Francis, Battye, Cowley

A fat book arrived from Bob Cowley in Australia today — “Addendum 1″ to his Soldiers, surveyors and selectors, which he compiled about 10 years ago, to which this was an update.

Quite a lot of it deals with Margaret Agnes Anne Green, and he’s managed to collect a fair bit more on her brother Alfred, who also went to Australia, and on Alfred’s wife Henrietta Goote, including the rather interesting information that she was born in Smyrna, Turkey. He also has death dates for many of Alfred and Henrietta’s children.

Included in the package was a copy of the Canberra Historical Journal for September 2005, which has an article by Bob Cowley himself on Margaret Agnes Anne Green, concentrating on her role as a pioneer educationist in Queanbeyan, “The Queanbeyan teacher who was unlucky in love”. And so she was. Her first husband, William Wilson, drowned in the Tuross River. She next married Alfred John Dawson Francis, who committed suicide. Her third marriage, to Walter William Thwaites, was bigamous, so she married him again a few years later.

Bob Cowley has a theory that Alfred John Dawson Francis was not actually the father of their fourth child, Louisa Francis. She was born eight months after his suicide in Sydney, and for the preceding four months he had lived apart from his family in Moruya. Louisa was adopted at the age of 18 months by Captain E.M. Battye, who had known the Green family in the Cape Colony and Canada, and Bob is investigating to see whether he could have been Louisa’s real father.

In the mean time I’ve been trying to find a record of her marriage to William Wilson in the Cape. No luck so far, at least not in Grahamstown Cathedral in the 1850s, where her brothers Edward and Arthur Green were married. Perhaps she eloped, and married under a different name.

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