Hemel Hempstead


William Weatherhead missing in Australian Gold Rush



Old News

From Sydney Moring Herald,  Wednesday 8 July 1857

INFORMATION is sought respecting WILLIAM WEATHERHEAD. -- If this should meet the eye of William Weatherhead, son of Thomas and Sophia Weatherhead, of Hemel Hempstead, England, he is earnestly requested to communicate immediately with Dr. WALKER, postmaster, or Mr. GOODWIN Hall, both of Sofala, his parents being most anxious to hear from him, not having received any letters now upwards of four years. He left the Turon about two years ago, and is supposed to be located on some of the diggings. -- Any person knowing the above William Weatherhead will particularly oblige by writing the address to Mr. GOODWIN Hall, innkeeper, Pennyweight Flat, Sofala, Turon River. -- June 4th.  [Extract from the Australian Newspapers data base]

Sofala came about as a direct result of the goldrush which had been spurred on when Edward Hargreaves discovered gold at Summerhill Creek on 12 February, 1851. By June of that year, thousands of people had set up mining operations in the valley and both the Royal Hotel and a General Store were built in 1851 to handle the increased demand. Sofala has been reported to be the oldest surviving gold rush town in Australia. [Wikipedia]

In the 1851 census Thomas Weatherhead (47, cordwainer employing 6 men) and his wife Sophia (49) were living in the High Street, Hemel Hempstead, with children Thomas (17), William (15), John (14), Josiah (12), Mary A (10) and Sophia (8) His shop was between Collin's Yard and the Rose & Crown Inn run by Thomas Jeffery, and he is listed in trade directories as a boot and shoe maker. This must have been No 13 High Street, as Thomas was still there at the time of the 1871 census - although by 1878 Alfred Cromach was listed as trading at No. 13.

Anyone know what happened to him?

February 2010   Page created