52 Ancestors …. Week 14 (Apr. 2-8)

This week’s theme: Begins With a Vowel. I’ve chosen two A’s, with links to an I.

My paternal Great Grandmother Adela Campbell Scott Macloskey was born in 1848 in Greenock, Scotland, the last-but-one of 14 children of John Macloskey and Mary Ann Brooks. She was only six years old when the family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia where father John, a successful merchant and tailor, died three months later of dysentery.

When Adela was just eighteen she married Dubliner Frederick Wentworth Wade, an up and coming young accountant, later to become a solicitor and barrister and one of Invercargill’s founding fathers, on 29 August 1865 in Invercargill, New Zealand. Was it with her parents’ blessing? What was she doing in New Zealand?

It is curious about Invercargill. Close to the southernmost tip of mainland New Zealand, five separate Macloskey wives married there, yet none were born there. Two of the elder Macloskey girls journeyed to NZ in 1860; one of them married in December 1861, the other six months later. Adela’s future husband also arrived in Invercargill that year. Perhaps he had met the Macloskey family earlier in Melbourne, or met the married sisters in Invercargill. Then Adela visited her sisters …

Adela and Frederick had six children in the space of nine years. When the youngest, my grandmother Bertha was six months old her mother took her to Melbourne presumably to meet her extended family, and Adela died there of pthisis (TB) aged 26.

It is not known how Bertha was returned to her father in Invercargill, but just two years later Frederick married again, in Melbourne – Adela’s niece Ada Gresham Macloskey, aged 19, who became mother to five children aged between three and 11, and then two years later had one of her own – Florence Ada “Fonna” – six children to manage when she was still only 21!

A fuller story of the Macloskey Wives of Invercargill is at https://nancyvada.me/genealogy/the-macloskey-wives-of-invercargill/

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