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International Womens Day, Tuesday 8 March

Emma Pearson nee Rowden
Emma Pearson nee Rowden
Rodney VAN COOTEN
8 March 2022
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How are you going in your research of the women in your family tree?
Some of the discussion circles this month are talking about this, eg CONE (Counties of Northern England) on 8 March.

This is a photo of my great great grandmother Emma Pearson nee Rowden, born 1853. Her father had left for Australia in 1855 so she would barely have known him. Her mother died in 1857. There is a gap in my research from then until she emigrated to Australia in 1864 aged eleven.

She came to Australia with a widow, Elizabeth Bowden nee Downing. Elizabeth became Emma’s stepmother and they lived in Melbourne city.
Emma married in 1874 in Geelong to Frederick Augustus Pearson. My great grandmother, Florence May (May) was born nine months later.

As we often find, it’s always easier to research the men in our families. Sometimes we only learn where our women ancestors lived and what they did because of our research of these men. Emma and Frederick lived in Geelong. Frederick was a professor of music, a composer, a band master and a piano teacher. His body was found face down in deep water near Limeburners jetty, Geelong in 1884 aged just 36 years.

Emma was now a widow with five small children. One of her sons had died in 1882 at six months old. Emma may also have been an accomplished musician, as I found her working as a piano teacher in Geelong in 1888.
She died in 1889 of acute gastritis. Her daughter, May, was fourteen years old and the youngest son was only five. Emma’s father and his third wife took the children in and raised them.

My research of Emma is much more difficult than my research of her husband or father. But by trawling through BDM certificates, PROV inquests, PO directories, and Trove family notices, business advertisements and court inquest reports, I have been gradually joining the dots.

Jackie van Bergen

Expiry Date: 
Sunday, 4 September, 2022 - 06:45
Mailing Id: 
1886