Thursday, September 22, 2011

Edwin Denner Buller

True to my thoughts following the lecture by Sherry Irvine at BIFHSGO on the weekend, I went through my binders. A little history just to remind myself why I have binders. At the time when I was first beginning family research I needed to separate out my sixteen great great grandparent lines and have a place to collect papers that I acquired (mostly from London Ontario area initially) during my first couple of years of research. This system worked extremely well for me but finally sixteen binders just took up too much room on a shelf and so I decreased the number to eight and that was where I was at with my binders as of last week.

Yesterday and today I went through each binder and extracted the irreplaceable material (mostly scanned anyway but I had purchased some of it and others were given to me) and reduced the material considerably because the binders predated Legacy my family tree software. I now have reduced that paper load and during the survey I found an interesting item which my husband had found on Edwin Buller. The Emigrants database at the Archives of Ontario had an Edwin Buller with wife Emma arriving on the Assisted Emigrants Database in 1874. My Edwin would have been 24 at that time and I was fairly certain he wasn't married but one must follow all leads just to make them negative if nothing else. I actually hadn't followed up on that lead because it predated good accessibility to the Ship's Lists which are now indexed on Ancestry and online at Library and Archives Canada by ship. I pulled up the ships record for the Nova Scotian arriving in June 1874 and there is an Edwin and an Emma but the surname has been crossed through by a y on the surname above it. Looking very very carefully at the surname it is Butler and so I wrote off to Archives of Ontario to mention the transcription I was seeing and sent them the scans of the document. The ship's list also identified Edwin as being 39 years of age and so not my Edwin Buller after all anyway. But I thought that it would save someone else from being led astry by thinking this was their Edwin Buller.

A little background as Edwin Denner Buller is my great grandfather and father to my maternal grandmother. He was born to Henry Christopher Buller and Ann Welch. Henry Christopher Buller was a widower (accounted in an earlier blog) when he married Ann. I have still not discovered if either of his children from his first marriage survived. Nor have I found a burial for his first wife. Henry moved back and forth between Birmingham and London. In London he had a butcher shop in Covent Garden and in Birmingham he had a butcher shop and a restaurant on Lower Temple and Dale End. He maintained these establishments right up until his death in London in 1862. He was buried in London and I have not, to date, found a will for him. Since he died after 1858 I also haven't pursued an intestate statement for him either. More to do next trip to London.

I then put the paperwork on the Assisted Emigrant database away with my notation; not my Edwin as the original shows Edwin Butler. Every once in a while I search for Edwin. He is on the 1851 census as a baby, then 1861 with his grandmother Sarah Welch but missing in 1871 and 1881 and then in 1891 with his wife Ellen and their children including my grandmother Ellen Rosina Buller. I do find that his younger brother Charles Clement Buller is a jeweller in South Africa and that makes sense as he is a jeweller's apprentice on the 1871 census with his grandmother Welch and mother Ann now widowed. This is a lead I need to pursue but it is dreadfully difficult to find informtion on people leaving England to go to South Africa and then returning to England again. Likely he also worked as a jeweller's assistant but I am incredibly curious why he did not after he returned to England. But then I could be mistaken as to his being in South Africa. My grandmother mentioned that he had been to Africa and then he walked with a limp. I know that he wasn't in the Boer War as he died of pneumonia in Birmingham in 1899 and I can find him registering his childrens' births in Birmingham in the 1890s so not likely to be away. I had thought he was in the Royal Artillery but this again was a mistranscription as the individual was actually Edwin Baller. Amazing how many wrong turns one must sometimes make but perhaps I have made enough wrong ones and will now find correct information. One can always dream.

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