6 May 1810, St Mary's North Repps, Norfolk, England
13 December 1885, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia[3,5]
18 December 1885, St Kilda General Cemetery, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
James William Crask
James William was born and baptised in North Repps in north-east Norfolk, England.
James William's baptism entry, St Mary The Virgin, North Repps
His parents stayed in North Repps so James probably grew up and went to
school there. His father John, was a Bricklayer so it is likely that
James learned the trade from him. Records show that James worked as a Bricklayer and Builder.
Ann Susannah Emery
Susannah Emery was baptised on 7 March 1808 at St Andrew's Church of
England, Felmingham, Norfolk. Her parents were George Emery and
Bertha (aka Barty, Martha) Passon[1,7,6,14]. Felmingham is a town located
approximately 13 km south of North Repps. In 1811, the population
was 299 persons consisting of 65 families lviing in 64 houses.
George Emery was a Farmer
and was farming in the Felmingham area from at least, 1806 through to
1815 after which time he moved to the North Repps area. So Ann
and James both grew up in and around the village of North Repps.
Felmingham parish church register
Life in Norfolk
William Crask and Ann Susannah Emery were married by Licence on 6
November 1833 at St Mary The Virgin Church of England, North Repps,
From St Mary's parish register
may have lived for a time in the nearby seaside village of Sidestrand
since their first child, James William born 1834 was baptised there.
The 1841 UK Census has the family living in the village of Overstrand just a few km up the beach from Overstrand. James worked as a Bricklayer, Ann was a Shopkeeper and James born 1834 and Elizabeth born 1840 are also shown on the census record.
The 1841 and 1844 Electoral Registers mention James William in Overstrand. The 1844 entry refers to his Nature of Qualification as Freehold house and land located Near the White Horse Inn. James was clearly a man of some means.
Location of the White Horse Inn
The White Horse today
The Octagonal Tower
In 1848, James obtained an interesting commission. From Ref 18 - One Saturday night in 1841 the octagonal tower of St Michael's and All Angels church in Siderstrand collapsed in a tempest with only half the tower remaining erect.
James is referred to as Crask, the village builder of North Repps but later in the book he is referred to as James Crask. James was paid the sum of £45.0.0 for building the tower up.
St Michael's and All Angels in 1823
The present church is the old church relocated since in 1880 it was
removed, stone by stone and rebuilt on its current site. The tower
alone is modern since it was not considered desirable to removed James
Crask's handiwork which remained in the old churchyard on the cliff. The tower eventually collapsed around 1912.
The 1851 UK Census had the family still living in the village of Overstrand. James stated his occupation as Builder. It appears that Ann no longer operated a shop. She had a few children to look after by this time.
Erpingham Poor Law Union
Sometime in the 1840s or 1850s, James worked on the buildings of the Erpingham Poor Law Union.
Emmigration to Australia
Ann and two daughters, Lucy Ann and Matilda Maud, arrived in the
Colony of Victoria on 6 December 1854 aboard the "Argo". She
sailed from Southampton on 4 October 1854.
The family surname is
listed as Craske in the ship’s manifest.
The Argo was an iron screw steamship of 1,800 tons, launched in 1852.
The Argus, 6 December 1854
James' sons, James William and Henry Emery are not
mentioned in Ref 2 nor in The Argus Shipping News of 6 December 1854. Perhaps they arrived later?
Interestingly, James' younger brother Francis Neve Crask arrived in Melbourne just 24 days later aboard the "Sussex". Presumably, they planned to emigrate together,
In 1869 and 1870, the family lived in Inkerman Street, St Kilda and James was noted as a Builder.
The family appears to have lived in a small
timber cottage at 31 Evelyn Street, East St Kilda from 1875 through to 1892.
James William Crask died at his home in Evelyn Street on 13 December 1885 aged 76 years[3,5]. He was buried at the St Kilda
General Cemetery on 18 December 1885, in the Independent, Monumental
Section, Compartment C, Grave 219.
From James William's Probate
not leave a Last Will but Ann successfully applied for probate and this
was granted on 1 March 1886. In Ann's probate application, she
declared that only she and her daughter, Matilda Maud, were entitled to
any distribution of James' estate. The only asset declared in the
Probate was the land and a two-bedroom wooden cottage in Evelyn Street,
East St Kilda. There is now no evidence of this house. A new
building was constructed, probably in the 1970s.
Ann Susannah Emery died
aged 87 in St Kilda, Victoria in 1894. She was buried at the St
Kilda General Cemetery on 20 February 1894 in the Independent,
Monumental Section, Compartment C, Grave 293A.
She lies in the same grave as her daughter, Matilda Maud Crask.
Grave of Ann Susannah Emery and Matilda Maud Crask
James and Ann’s known children were:-
James William Crask was baptised on 15 September 1834 at St Michael's and All Angels Church of England, Sidestrand, Norfolk[1,18]. He died in 1854 in Victoria, Australia aged 19 years.
Elizabeth Ann Crask was baptised on 19 September 1835 at St Martin's Church of England, Overstrand. She died and was buried on 4 April 1836 aged just 6 months.
George Emery Crask was baptised on 1 March 1837 at St Martin's Church of England, Overstrand. He died aged only 13 months and was buried on 22 March 1838.
George Emery Crask (the 2nd) was baptised on 28 March 1838 at St Martin's Church of England, Overstrand. He died aged only 4 months and was buried on 24 July 1838.
Henry Crask was baptised on 3 May 1839 at St Martin's Church of England, Overstrand. He died aged only 5 months and was buried on 25 September 1839.
Elizabeth Crask was baptised on 13 September 1840 at St Martin's Church of England, Overstrand. She died aged only 10 months and was buried on 14 July 1841.
Henry Emery Crask was baptised on 23 April 1843 at St Martin's Church of England, Overstrand. He emigrated to Australia as a youth but died in 1866 in Victoria, Australia, aged 23 years. He was buried at St Kilda General Cemetery on 27 March 1866.
Lucy Ann Crask was born in 1844, probably in Overstrand, Norfolk[7,12].
No baptism entry has been found but her birth was registered in
Erpingham, Vol 8, Page 87. She died 1855 in Victoria, Australia
aged 11 years.
Matilda Maud Crask was born on 3 September 1847 in Overstrand, Norfolk..
No baptism entry has been found but her birth was registered in Erpingham.
She emigrated to Australia with her parents in 1854 and grew up in the
St Kilda area. Matilda married Enoch Kinder (b1846) and died on 23
July 1930 at 10 Henry Street,
Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia (her daughter, Florence Ruby Kinder's
home). Her story is continued with Enoch Kinder.
Maud named one of her children Henry Emery. The name, William,
also features in the names of Matilda Maud's children.
Matilda Maud Crask ca 1918
from Matilda Maud's birth certificate
is sad that of the 9 children born to James William and Ann Susannah,
that only one child, Matilda Maud, survived to continue the family
line. Five of their chidren did not live past 18 months.
Many of James and Ann's children were baptised in St Martin's, Overstrand.
St Martin's Church, Overstrand
Photo credit: Simon Knott