The Manchester Regiment Forum

The Early Years => 96th Regiment 1759 - 1881 => Topic started by: DdraigGoch on March 16, 2021, 08:43:35 PM

Title: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: DdraigGoch on March 16, 2021, 08:43:35 PM
My name is Maurie Tolley and I'm in Brisbane Australia .

I'm seeking information on both Abraham Danes and Robert Neal who may have served with the Regt during its service in Tasmania and Victoria Australia 1840 1870 ?

any assistance/ advice / information would be greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: Bob.NB on March 17, 2021, 09:56:51 AM
I've looked at a couple of online resources but cannot find any service or pension papers for either Danes or Neal - do you have anymore information on them (Dob, or place of birth etc)
I haven't found anything on Abraham Danes but I have found Robert Neal (number 1538) who did serve in the 96th and was at the depot in the UK in 1841 and at Lahore in 1851 so there is a very good chance that he served in Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) in between.
If no service papers have survived I fear the best way to trace these two will be via the regimental monthly muster rolls which are held at The National Archives, Kew - they are not available online.
So you may need to hire a researcher to do this - unfortunately it's a slow and (therefore I guess) expensive process.
Good luck.
Bob B
Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: DdraigGoch on March 17, 2021, 08:46:36 PM
thank you for your reply - family "legend' has it that Robert Neal was a Corporal in the 96th and he married Martha Danes the daughter of the RSM, Abraham Danes. The down side of researching family history is that sometimes "myths/legends" are shattered :-)
Documentation shows that Martha was christened 24/5/1840 at Salford Lancashire, would this location tie in with the Regt's location at the time ?
Three of her younger siblings were born between 1842 -1847 in Tasmania (was the Regt posted there during that period ? )
Her youngest sibling was born in Victoria in 1850/51 - (was the Regt there at that time ? )

Robert married Martha in 1856 in Victoria, was the Regt there at that time ? ( I have requested a copy of the marriage certificate from the BD&M Victoria in the hope that it will show Robert's occupation.)

The majority of their children have as their place of birth "Pentridge" - a quite notorious prison even by the standards of the day - is it possible that members of the Regt served as guards at the prison ?
Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: Bob.NB on March 18, 2021, 11:00:33 AM
I have found Abraham Danes (surname is spelled Dains) who was with the 96th in Van Diemen’s Land in 1841. He had the number 699 and so enlisted considerably before Robert – it’s hard to say exactly when. The regiment’s headquarters were at Bolton-Le-Moors, Salford in 1839-40 which ties in with the birth of Martha.
From Robert Neal’s Army number, I would estimate that he enlisted in the 96th Foot in 1840-41
The 96th embarked in 26 different detachments for New South Wales between July 1839 and August 1841 acting as escorts on convict ships. The first detachment sailing from the UK on 4 July 1839.  The regiment’s headquarters moved to New South Wales in September 1841 and the headquarters was stationed in Windsor in 1841, moving in 1842 to Parramatta, to Launceston, Van Diemen’s Land in 1843 and then to Hobart in 1846. The last six detachments sailed direct to Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land, and some moved from there to Adelaide, South Australia. By 1843 the regiment was distributed among 22 different places and garrisons such as Norfolk Island, New Zealand, Adelaide and 19 locations in Tasmania.
The Regiment remained in Tasmania until 1848 sailing from George Town, Tasmania to India early in 1849 (one ship stopping at Swan River, Western Australia to pick up a detachment from there). The regiment remained in India until December 1854 when it returned to the UK.
So, the birth of Martha in Salford in 1840 and the next three siblings being born in Tasmania between 1842 and 1847 ties in with the movements of the 96th. However, it was not in Victoria in 1850-51. This may mean that Robert left (deserted?) the 96th when it left Tasmania or, more likely, he transferred to another regiment in Tasmania on the departure of the 96th. This would all be visible in the monthly muster rolls.
With regard to the place of birth being given as ‘Pentridge’ I think it is quite possible that some of the soldiers served as prison guards, especially after escorting convicts to Australia – what else would they be doing apart from building settlements, protecting the settlers and guarding convicts? However, I note that the prison wasn't built until 1851 but there may have been some sort of structure there before then.
As Robert enlisted in the 96th around 1840-41, he would probably have been born around 1818-22 and so would have been considerably older than Martha but I guess that there weren’t a lot of potential partners for either Robert or Martha to choose from!
I hope this all helps.
Best wishes.
Bob B.
Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: mack on March 18, 2021, 12:47:28 PM
RSM danes was a private in the 96th foot when martha was baptised in st.phillips church salford
born 19-1-1811
hes buried in coburg pine ridge cemetery,moreland city,victoria,died 9-1-1895

Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: DdraigGoch on March 20, 2021, 09:25:03 AM
To Bob and Mack,

many thanks to both for your research and interest, appears that there is truth in the family "legend" after all.

my research however has deepened the mystery of Robert Neal.

have obtained from BD & M Victoria the following documents in the last few days -

 - marriage certificate of Robert Neal & Martha Danes Williamstown 16/10/1856 -Robert's Occupation is listed as "shoemaker".
 - birth certificate of Alice Neal born Pentridge 19/6/1859 -parents shown as Robert Neal & Martha Danes - Robert's occupation is listed as -"boot
   maker" and Martha's father, Abraham Danes, has his occupation listed "gold Digger" ? - could he have left the Regt ?
 - marriage certificate of Alice Neal (parents Robert Neal & Martha Danes)& Thomas Wharton Tolley - 30/7/1884 South Yarra - Robert's occupation is listed as "Cpl HM.96th Regt".???? -could he have taken his discharge/bought himself out then re enlisted?

Re "Pentridge" - Pentridge was a village and a stockade was built there to take the overflow of prisoners from Melbourne Gaol - was progressively enlarged to become a full blown prison.first draft was 16 convicts - the people who lived there became tired of telling others they were from pentridge because others thought they we ex convicts so they petitioned the government for a name change - a number of names were suggested but when the then Duke of Edinburgh visited in the late 1860's the name "Coburg" was, in 1870,  settled on to honour the duke whose ancestors were from Saxe-Coburg.
Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: Bob.NB on March 21, 2021, 05:25:00 PM
Looking at those dates I guess Robert Neal left the Army when the 96th left Tasmania - the government wanted settlers in Australia and New Zealand so they may have been "sympathetic" to any request by Robert to leave the Army and remain in Australia in 1848. I doubt he would have re-enlisted.
In 1884 the 96th Foot was known as the 2nd Battalion The Manchester Regiment, following the Cardwell reforms of 1882.
The 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment was in India in 1884.
My own opinion (and it's only a guess) is that Robert was very proud of his service and rank achieved with the 96th and so entered this on his daughter's marriage certificate - possibly to impress the in-laws? - he just forgot to put the word "Formerly".
Bob B
Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: BendigoRob on April 07, 2021, 04:09:22 AM
Hi Maurie,

I have an ancestor Charles Bailey (Bayley) who was also in the 96th. #938 - he arrived in Tasmania in 1842 - I found him in the Censuses of 1848 and 1851 living at Launceston, after he left the Regiment in the first quarter of 1946.

I was able to get some information through the "Enquiry service" (for free) at the State Library of Tasmania. Apparently have some very faint copies of some of the Regimental Records - not sufficiently clear to copy, but some information is legible.
It would be worth trying them to see if there is anything available that might assist.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Abraham Danes & Robert Neal
Post by: BendigoRob on April 14, 2021, 06:27:31 AM
Obviously, he left the Regt in 1846, not 1946!