Four sisters Emma, Maria, Jane and Elizabeth Ruth Earthy, daughters of cabinet maker William and Mary Ann Earthy from Stowmarket, Suffolk emigrated to Australia.
Jane took the Passage on the ship Roxburgh Castle in 1855, Emma and Maria sailed on the Escort in 1856, and Elizabeth Ruth arrived on the Highflyer in 1870,
 
Jane Earthy 1831-1910
 
Jane married (named Arthy on certificate) Robert Miller Silk (from Ireland) in Blythswood, Glasgow in 1855, they sailed on the ship 'Roxburgh Castle' (Captain John Adams) from London on the 25th of September 1855 and arrived in Melbourne on the 5th of January 1856.
Their first child Letitia Roxborough was born at sea during their passage on October the 5th at: Lat 47° 44'N Long 9° 29W.
Their names are not registered on the shipping list but the birth of Letitia is found in the Marine register book of births. Letitia died later in Australia of a 'Putrid sore throat' on the 27/7/1860.
Jane had 7 more children born in Australia, she died in Hawthorn at the age of 79.
 
Emma Earthy 1836-1912 Maria Earthy 1840-1908
 
Emma and Maria sailed on the ship 'Escort' that departed Southampton on the 2nd of October 1856 and arrived in Melbourne on the 14th of January 1857.
 
 
A copy of the ships register showing passenger list information, the Escort was mastered by W. Liddell, she was of 465 tons and departed Southampton with 306 passengers.
Passenger number 198 - Emma Earthy, age 19, Domestic Servant, Church of England, could read and write.
Passenger number 199 - Maria Earthy, age 17, Domestic Servant, Church of England, could read and write.
 
Emma was born in Chelmsford, Essex 1836, she married into the family Davis and had 5 children, she died in 1912 and is buried at the Tarnagulla Cemetery, Victoria.
Maria was born in Chelmsford, Essex 1840, she married into the family Lock and had 15!! children, she died in 1908 and is buried at the Kew Cemetery, Boroondara.
 
 
Marriage certificate of Emma Earthy and John Davis, 13th of May 1862.
 
 
Marriage certificate of Maria Earthy and John Elburne Lock, 28th of February 1859.
 
 
We have received a wonderful photograph of Maria and her family from Robin Bray in Australia. (Click for a larger image)
 
Robin tells us that the photographer A. J. Davis (Aquila john Davis) had premises in Swanston St. Melbourne between 1866 and 1876. To narrow the date down a bit he was at 83 Swanston St. between 1866-70 and 75 Swanston St. between 1874-76. The second address is closer to the town hall but neither are quite opposite.
 
It was among some old family pictures and written on the back was "Lock family" so I feel fairly certain that it is John and Maria and some of their children. My mother says that the handwriting was that of her great grandfather, Thomas William Scott. His wife Mary Ann Willey was the daughter of Jane Lock, John's sister.
 
I think they are from left to right

1. Alice Maria Lock b. 1861
2. John Lock (father) b.1834
3. Edward Stanford Lock b. 1858
4. Ruth Maryann Lock b. 1865
5. Caroline Susan Lock b. 1860 d.1867 Standing at rear (probably on a stool or box)
6. Maria Earthy, mother b.1840
7. John William Lock b. 1863

 
It looks as if Maria is pregnant with another child, probably George Henry Lock who was born in 1867. If this is the case the picture was probably taken a little before Caroline's death although if I have the people labelled correctly she looks healthy enough in the picture.

The photograph is taken at the Bristol Portrait Rooms, A.J.Davis opp. Town Hall, Melbourne
“The mechanical eye in Australia” lists the Bristol Portrait Rooms, A.J.Davis 139 Bourke Street East, Melbourne operating 1878-80. If this is right it may be that the picture contains some of the later children. On the other hand the clothing styles seem to be those of the 1860’s as best I can tell from using the book “ Dating family photos.” The dates that the photographer operated are taken form a book "The mechanical eye in Australia" by Alan Davies and Peter Stanbury. Sp I tend to think the picture was taken at one of the earlier dates, 1860's probably.

 
Elizabeth Ruth Earthy 1843-1920
 
Elizabeth Ruth was born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1843, she left England at the age of 27 and arrived in Australia onboard the 'Highflyer' in Victoria in July 1870.
It is not known if she married or had children, she died in Sanham, Australia at the age of 77.
 
 
A copy of the ships register showing passenger list information, the Highflyer was mastered by William Harrisson, she left London on the 28th of April 1870 and was bound for Melbourne/Port Philip with 33 passengers on an expected voyage of 140 days
The records of the four sisters makes a fascinating story, One wonders what the other children Sarah, Susannah, John, WilliamTurner & Edwin thought about their sisters leaving England never to return.
One wonders what Jane experienced, she was the first to emigrate, perhaps she was ostracized from her family when her pregnancy with Robert Miller Silk became known - she traveled from Essex to Glasgow to get married and left for Australia just ten days before Letitia was born.
Just 8 months later - Emma and Maria at the young ages of 17 and 19 also left for Australia, I wonder if this was with the blessing of their parents William and Mary Ann.
And then finally Elizabeth Ruth arrives at the age of 27, Jane, Emma & Maria had already been living there for 13-14 years, and had between them 13 children. Why did Elizabeth Ruth emigrate? perhaps being the youngest sister she had to stay at home to look after the family and help her parents.

 
Maria Earthy 1839-1890
 
Another Maria Earthy also emigrated and lived in Australia, it was thought for some time that this was the same Maria as above, which was confusing, however it became evident that it was in fact her cousin 'Maria' born in Stowmarket, Suffolk in 1839 - daughter of basket maker (later Painter and Glazier) John Earthy born in 1816.
 
 
Marriage certificate of Maria Earthy and Léon Louis Hector Constantin.
 
Maria married Frenchman Léon Louis Hector Constantin at the Registry Office Fitzroy/Victoria on the 19th of February 1865, it is not known how she arrived in Australia.
Maria and Léon had 1 child - Agnes Louise Maud Constantin born in 1871 she married William Thopson (date unnown) and had a second marriage to Edwin Beecroft in 1915.
Maria died on the 1st of January 1890 and is buried at the Footscray Cemetery in Victoria.

 
There is a record of a William Earthy who 'died at sea' whilst aboard the suffolk on its passage to Australia in September 1866, as yet it is not known who this William was. He is recorded on the ships records as being 40 years of age.
 
 
A copy of the ships register showing passenger list information, the Suffolk carried 70 passengers, she departed on the 28th of June 1866 bound for Port Philip.

 
A shipping record shows that a Mr & Mrs Earthy aged 24 & 25 arrived in Australia onboard the ship Carthage in June 1889. As yet it is not known who this couple were, one possible theory is that it is Arthur William, born 1865, who married in the 2nd quarter of 1889 and who is the nephew of Emma and Maria who sailed on the Escort in 1857.

 
Frederick William Allan Earthy also lived in Australia, he was born in Reading, England in May 1888, and was the 4th child of Charles James and Elizabeth Earthy.
He married Lilian Agnes (nee Brown) and is believed to have settled in Prahran, Melbourne and is recorded in his army records of having the trade of Lead Glazier. Frederick William joined the Australian Imperial Force, click here for more details.
 
 
Research by Mark Earthy 1999, Mary Marshall 1999 & January/December 2000, Rikk Earthy April 2000 & June 2001, Margaret Masters January 2007, Robin Bray January 2007.