The Hardwick Site

Louisa Vallce Brairley

Married to Ebenezer Davis

Louisa appears on our family tree on the 5th July 1840 when she has a son William Walter Davis. William Walter Davis was baptised in Bathurst on 20th September 1840 son of Louisa and Ebenezer Davis, a plasterer of Bathurst. A second son Ebenezer was born on the 31st October 1841 in Hill End and baptised in the Wesleyan Church Bathurst on the 2nd January 1842. On the 30th July 1843 a daughter Lucy Jane Davis was born in Bathurst and baptised in the Wesleyan Church Bathurst. A second daughter, Lauretta Louise Davis, was born on 22nd June 1845 in Bathurst and baptised 14th September 1845 in Bathurst. During this time Ebenezer continued to work as a plasterer in Bathurst.

Old Scots Church, Sydney.

Louisa and Ebenezer Davis were married on 20th March 1846 in Scots Church Sydney. The names given are Louisa Vallce Brairley spinster aged 24 years, and Ebenezer Davis bachelor. Neither of them had any member of their family recorded as witnesses. Ebenezer was the licensee for the Globe Inn Bathurst in 1846. The following year on the 31st January a son Charles Henry Davis was born to them in Bathurst, and the baby was baptised on 4th April 1847 in the Wesleyan Church Bathurst. Ebenezer’s occupation is given as publican, and we know he had changed the name of the inn to the Cricketers Arms. By 1848 Ebenezer had moved to Icely Inn, Carcoar. On 21st December 1848 a daughter Elizabeth Mary Davis was born and baptised that year. We have no more records of Louisa Davis that can be verified. [1]

However there is an oral history which I haven’t been able to prove or disprove that says Louisa was the sister of William and John Whittaker of King’s Plains. William and John Whittaker are believed to have come to Sydney in about 1838. Their father is said to have died on the voyage, and their mother soon after. There is no record of a sister Louisa or a Louisa Brairley on the ship’s register. In 1839, eighteen year old Louisa and 21 year old Ebenezer started cohabiting. The question is "were they bringing up 10 year old William Whittaker and 8 year old John Whittaker?" These two boys certainly had intertwined lives with the young Davis couple. William Whittaker went on to become Ebenezer’s partner in building ventures and John Whittaker’s daughter Florence Jane Whittaker was William Walter Davis’s third wife. Another of John Whittaker’s daughters Louisa May Whittaker married William Walter’s son William Whittaker Davis, though that marriage was dissolved within a few years. Louisa and John also shared the second name of Vallce. Such an unusual second name suggests a family connection. I am sure that last paragraph will have challenged you to see if you can solve the problem. The Whittaker family is believed to have migrated from Manchester. Though looking at the name Brairley there was a large group of Brairley children in and out of the Orphan School at Parramatta in the 1820’s and there was a daughter Louisa and the mother a convict couldn’t cope when she was widowed and put the children in the Orphan School. Interestingly her second marriage was to a Mr. Whittaker, but all attempts to research this family have proved futile.

Lyn Black, after 29 years of researching, found the death notice for Louisa Davis in the Bathurst Free Press & Mining Journal of Saturday 16 February 1853, page 3. Louisa died at Ophir on Thursday 24 February 1853.

All of Louisa’s six children married: William married three times and had 19 children, Ebenezer had 10 children, Lucy had 12 children, Laura married three times and had 10 children, Henry married twice and had 8 children and Elizabeth had 5 children.

Margaret Hardwick adds (2019):DNA now confirms William & John Whittacker are Louise’s half brothers. Louise’s mother was Mary Brierley who married Thomas Whittaker and they are believed to have died soon after arriving in Australia. None of her descendants seem to have any concrete information on who they are or when they came. Mary is believed to have been Irish. My DNA connects to descendants of all three.


[1] These dates and information can be confirmed from certificates records and newspaper cuttings collected by myself, Jan Stinson, Elsa Jones and Marilyn Black.

Margaret Hardwick, 2010

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