E is for Emma

In 1862 Emma Moore was alone, 17 years old,  sailing to the opposite side of the world. She would never see England or her family again.

My grandmother said. ” My father’s parents were both English.  They were sweethearts in England.  He came to Australia first, she followed later.  They were married at Warrnambool and reared their family there”.

I even have a postcard written by Emma who states her date of birth and her birthplace as Bedworth, Warwickshire, England.

Emma Lock letter

Unfortunately I can’t find a record of her birth that fits the dates she supplied.   Either the dates are wrong, or the birthplace is wrong.  Maybe some people just didn’t have their births recorded or it isn’t on the internet.  I do have two records of her travelling on the Shackamaxon to Australia.  One says she is 17.  The other that she is 18 and can read but not write.  She is to work for a Mrs Dooley of Warrnambool as a servant for 20 shillings and sixpence a week.  The passengers of the Shackamaxon were mostly single females, optimistically seeking a new life and a husband in the Colonies.


The Ship Shackamaxon, with her Government Immigrants on board, was towed alongside the Government Railway Pier, Williamtown, yesterday morning. Her passengers were forwarded to Melbourne by special train.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957)    Thu 20 Mar 1862  Page 4

Henry Lock

I can find a Henry Locke on the Anglesey in 1861 but his age is recorded as 30 and he is a “Trader”.  Our Henry Lock was only 22 but maybe he put up his age.


They married in 1865 in Warrnambool so it makes sense that Emma would work as a servant until Henry was able to establish himself.  By 1868 they were in Port Fairy (known as Belfast), in 1870 in Warracknabeal and by 1878 back in Warrnambool.  They had six children with my great grandfather, Reuben Benjamin Lock, arriving last but one in 1872.

Emma Moore

My grandmother said they had a boat called “The Rookie” which ran between Warrnambool and Melbourne but I can’t find anything about it.  Henry later worked on the railways which would have been hard work for an ageing man.

This photo was taken when Emma was 68.  This was the year (1913) that her husband Henry died at the age of 74.  She lived to be 81.

7 thoughts on “E is for Emma

  1. I think I have found her on the 1851 census – stated to be aged 4 and born in Bedford. Her father was george Moore, a butcher and publican I think. Does that match with what you know?


  2. Thanks for going to so much trouble. Yes I found her this morning. I bought a month of Genes Reunited. It still worries me that the age is out by two years especially when she wrote it on a postcard.


  3. Anne, I have checked some more and in the 1861 census the E stands for Emily. Also that would make her 15 when she came on the ship to Australia. It seems Emily’s mother was dead in 1861 but I have a feeling this just doesn’t match up.


  4. When you get back into the earlier years of the 1800s, it is much more difficult to find ancestors. Also, because names were used over and over again in families & extended families, it is not easy to work out which person belongs where.
    Keep plugging on – you may find the right one yet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry it’s taken me five days to get here. I’m still searching for family history A to Z participants. This is a lovely post, and to have that post card is just wonderful — as is the photo of a mature Emma. Sometimes our ancestors’ knowledge of their own birth years is a “best guess” making it harder to research them precisely. This is particularly true of my Irish ancestors who immigrated to the U.S.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I swear some of my ancestors deliberately kept a low profile to drive me crazy. I have names changing, spellings varying, it’s a dog’s breakfast. The lines been fact and fiction can really blur at times, but then sometimes the stories hold true and it’s so exciting. Family history research is a bit like doing crossword puzzles to me. It’s an intellectual challenge and puzzle to find things out and an Adrenalin boost when we come across another find. Clearly, I’m beyond hooked and have become an addict.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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