I’m here in Salt Lake City for the combined FGS 2015 / RootsTech with Lisa (and many hundreds of our closest friends). We arrived a few days early so that we could do some sightseeing, and spend time researching at the Family History Library.
Into the second day of research at the Family History Library at Salt Lake City, and things hadn’t been going too well. I had set one mission for this research – to try and prove or disprove Grandma’s assertion that her brother John Robert Dewar “married Gladys Kathleen Plunkett, a relative of a former Governor-General of New Zealand“. Previous research had determined that John Robert Dewar had married Gladys Kathleen Plunkett in Tasmania, Australia in 1911, Gladys’ parents were Robert James Plunkett and Ellen Rogers, who had married in Hobart, Tasmania in 1879. Attempts to find the parents of Robert James Plunkett had been unsuccessful in the past.
The books in the 994.6 section of the Family History Library about Tasmania contained a lot of indexes and listings of records, but nothing helped. Online searches revealed a death date for James Robert Plunkett of 24 March 1931, and I was able to find an indication of his burial in cemetery and undertaker records, but still any hint of his parents remained elusive. They were not named on his marriage certificate or the burial records.
Jenny Joyce of Australia suggested looking at FindMyPast.com since they had digitised some of the vital records from Australia, and sure enough there was a database for “Tasmania Deaths 1803-1933“. But it didn’t turn up the death of Robert James Plunkett. There were death records for 11 people called “Plunk*” (to cover Plunket, Plunkett, Plunkit etc), but none of them were after 1900.
So I took a look at the entries for these 11 people to see what other information, aside from their name and age might be included – e.g. who was the informant. Starting at the top of the list, the first 5 showed that the informant was the Undertaker (and this was very common on the multiple records on the page. But the 6th image revealed the answer I had been seeking – the death of Jane Plunkett, born 1828, died 1898 was “Robert James Plunkett – Son”. Whoo Hoo!!!!!!!
Image from FindMyPast.com “Tasmania Deaths 1803-1933” http://search.findmypast.com/record?id=anz/bmd/tas/007368150/00419&parentid=anz/au/tas/bmd/d/0000100361
So this adds a generation to what was known. Jane Plunkett is almost certainly Jane Pritchard, who with Robert Plunkett had 3 children:
- Eveline Plunkett born 19 Jun 1850
- Robert James Plunkett born 10 Mar 1853
- Ada Cora Plunkett born 29 Feb 1856
I’ll update the database with details and sources when I get a chance.
The Death Entry shows Jane was born in Liverpool, England in 1828. Now to find out who and from where Robert Plunkett came from.