Louisa Charlotte Punch (b 1851)

parents Thomas James Punch & Catherine Lock

born 14 July 1851, probably in Limehouse, London, England[2]
baptised 3 August 1851, Stanne's Church of England, Limehouse, London, England[2]
died 10 November 1942, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia[3,5]
buried 12 November 1942, White Hills Cemetery, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia[9]

Louisa Charlotte was born in the London Dockland district of Limehouse.

Louisa Charlotte Punch baptism entry - St Ann'e Limehouse parish register

Google Maps - Stepney, Limehouse, Poplar Location

St Anne's, Limehouse

Coming to Australia

Louisa came to Australia with her parents and younger brother Henry in 1857 on board the clipper ship, Light Of The Age arriving in Sydney on 4 October.  She was just 6 years old[4].  After spending a few months in Sydney, the family made its way to the Bendigo Goldfields in Central Victoria.

from the Light of the Age manifest

Louisa spent her youth growing up and being schooled in the Bendigo area and for a period in the mid-1860s, at Neilborough, just north of Bendigo[6].

Ellis Wignall Wilkinson

Ellis was born in Winmarleigh, Lancashire in 1850 and was baptised on 11 August 1850 at St Helen's Church of England in Churchtown, a few km south of Garstang.  Ellis' parents were William Wilkinson and Dorothy Cottam (or Cottham)[7].

Winmarleigh is a village and civil parish of the Borough of Wyre in Lancashire, England.  The village, which is north-west of Garstang, has an agricultural college, and most of the land in the area is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster.  This includes the local pub, the Patten Arms.  It is home to the great manor of Winmarleigh Hall.  Constructed to the order of the Duchy of Lancaster, it was given to the first Lord Winmarleigh.  Since then the House has been donated to NST Travel group, who have turned the grounds into an outdoor education programme for schools across the country[8].

Historically, Winmarleigh was part of the ecclesiastical parish of Garstang and Winmarleigh's villagers would have worshipped at the parish church of St Helen's, Churchtown until St Luke's Church was built in 1875–1876[8].

When Ellis was only 1 year old, the family was living in Liverpool at 3 Court Cartwright Place[10].

1851 UK Census

At age 10 years, Ellis' family was living at Spouthouses in Cleveleys, Lancashire .  Ellis' father, William, was farming and the family now included 5 boys and 3 servants.  William's farm consisted of 55 acres and he employed 3 men[11].

1861 UK Census

It is not clear why, but less than 2 years later, the family has lost (or given up) the farm and emigrated to Australia.  William and Dorothy left Liverpool on 10 December 1862 and arrived in Melbourne on 26 March 1863 aboard the Great Tasmania and brought 4 sons and an infant[12].  Maybe to try their luck, the family made their way to the Bendigo area in Central Victoria.

The Argus, 27 March 1863


In 1869, Louisa married Ellis Wignall Wilkinson[3].  Ellis was only 19 years old when they married and Louisa only 18 years old.  For the first 6 years of married life, they lived in the Bendigo and Kanagroo Flat area where their first four children were born, but in 1877-78, they started moving north.  Firstly, they lived in Durham in 1878 and then went to Kerang.

After the death of Louisa's father, Thomas James Punch, Ellis appears to have taken over Thomas' dairy farm for a period or at least tried to retain Thomas' customers[13].

From 1903 through to 1919, Ellis is reported to be a Farmer at Echuca Road, Kerang - probably the farm location[1].

From 1909 through to 1936, Louisa is reported living in Scoresby Street, Kerang - probably the family home.  Louisa attended to Home Duties but in 1919 she worked for a time as a Nurse[1].

Kerang Times & Swan Hill Gazette,
4 December 1888

This marriage makes for an interesting Punch-Wilkinson connection:-

Passing On

Ellis Wignall died in 1925 in Swan Hill[3].  Did he move there or did he go for medical treatment?

Louisa Charlotte died at the Benevolent Home in Bendigo, Victoria on 10 November1942[9].  She normally lived in Kerang, but maybe she went down to Bendigo when she became too ill to be nursed by her remaining family in Kerang.  Louisa suffered from debilitating Senility for 1 year and Gastroenteritis for the 3 days before she died.  She was buried 2 days later at the White Hills Cemetery, near Bendigo[9].

from Louisa's death certificate

Louisa and Ellis had 5 children

3.1  William Henry Wilkinson was born 1869 in Bendigo[3].  William married Amelia Maud Williams in 1891.  William Henry died in 1924 in Swan Hill, Victoria and Amelia died in 1935 also in Swan Hill.  Five children have been identified from this marriage - Ruby May, William Allan, Ida Louise Myrtle, Stella Marguerite and Frank - all born in Kerang[3].

William Henry was a Farmer and in 1909 through to 1914, he and Amelia lived at Meering, south-east of Kerang but by 1919 they had moved north to another farming property at Goschen, a small community south of Swan Hill.  1924 finds them farming at Chillingollah (east of Swan Hill)[1].

3.2  Thomas Joseph Wilkinson was born 1871 in Kangaroo Flat, Victoria[3].  Thomas married Hannah Kirk in 1892.  Thomas and Hannah had, at least, two children - Mabel Louisa and Ivey Violet.

3.3  George Richard Wilkinson was born 1872 in Kangaroo Flat[3].  George married Christina McHale in 1891.  It is believed they lived their lives in the Bendigo area.  George died 24 November 1945 and was buried at the Bendigo Cemetery on 26 November in Section MON P7 in Grave 33902.  Christina died on 4 April 1968 and was buried the next day in the same grave as George Richard.  

They had 8 children - Edward Ellis, Harold William, Herbert James, Percy George, Elsie Jane, Percy Albert, Christina May and Dorothy Jean.

In 1914, George lived in Kerang and worked as a Blacksmith but possibly later in the year he and Christina had moved to Swan Hill and was noted as a Farmer. From 1919 through to 1931 they were farming at Manangatang.  By 1942, George worked as an Agent (maybe stock agent) and he and Christina were still in Manangatang[1].  Shortly after this, they moved back to Bendigo[1].

3.4  Charlotte Louisa Wilkinson was born in 1875 in Bendigo and died in 1966 in Kerang.  Charlotte married David Mason Drummond in 1902 and they had at least, 5 children:- John Somerville Drummond 1902, Thomas Charles Loch Drummond 1904, David Mason Drummond 1909, Barbara Drummon 1914 and Lorna Louisa Jessie Drummond 1916. The last 4 children were all born in Kerang, Victoria[3].

3.5  Ellis Wignall Wilkinson was born 1878 in Durham, Victoria[3].  Ellis married Arabella Copeland in 1900.  Arabella died in 1933 in Sandringham, Victoria.  They had, at least, 2 children - Leslie William and Alexis Amy Victoria.  

In 1903 they livied in Albert Street, Kerang.  In 1909, Arabella was reported living in Victoria Street while Ellis was reported in Albert Street.  Ellis was a Farmer and the land may have faced Scoresby Street[1].  It may have been the land inheireted from his father-in-law.  After Ellis' death, Arabella and her two children moved down to Melbourne.  In 1924, Arabella, Alexis May, Leslie William and his wife Pearl (nee Pretty) are all living at 1019 Drummond Street, Carlton.  Shortly before her death, Arabella  lived at 115 Bay Rd, Sandringham[1].

Google Maps - Stepney, Limehouse, Poplar Location

St Anne's, Limehouse

  1. Victorian Electoral Roll
  2. Ancestry Parish Records - www.ancestry.com
  3. Victorian births, marriages and death indexes
  4. NSW Assisted immigration Passenger List 1828-1896
  5. Public family tree, www.ancestry.com
  6. Eaglehawk & District Pioneer Register
  7. FamilySearch.org
  8. Wikipedia
  9. Louisa Charlotte Punch 1851 death certificate
  10. 1851 UK Census, HO 107 / 2185, page 149
  11. 1861 UK Census, RG 9 / 3153, page 27
  12. Victorian Public Records Office, Index to Unassisted Inwards Passenger Lists to Victoria 1852-1923
  13. Kerang Times & Swan Hill Gazette, 4 December 1888