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Pierpoints in St Johns

Replies: 31

Re: Pierpoints in St Johns

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 2:32AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Mar 2012 2:39AM GMT
Surnames: Pierpoint, Pitt
Dear Chris,
I have only just now seen your message (12 years after you posted it!), but can offer the following information which may be of interest. David Pierpoint was born abt 1817 in Sussex and baptised in 1820 in Lewes, East Sussex. He travelled to Newfoundland at around 18-20 years of age, settled in St Johns and married Elizabeth Richardson Pitt there. During his time in Newfoundland, he was the witness for at least two marriage ceremonies in St Johns, presumably friends (one in 1847 and again in 1851). He & Elizabeth had five known children in Newfoundland: Caroline b. 1841; Elizabeth b. 1845; William b. 1845 (probably twins as this runs in our family); David b. 1848; Mary Ann b. 1852 d.1852 and Mercy b. 1853 (although some family researchers have Mercy as born in London in that year). He and his family must have returned to England briefly because they emigrated from Southampton to Port Phillip in 1855 on the vessel, Sea King. After emigrating, they settled in Geelong where David worked on the roads and was paid 15 shillings per week plus rations. Three more children were born in and around Geelong David b. 1857; Joseph b. 1860 d. 1860 and Louisa Ann b. 1861. David was a stonemason or a mason, according to various local directories and at the time of his death in 1887 was recorded as a bricklayer. He appears to have been a publican or hotelkeeper in Ballan (near Geelong) for a brief interlude around 1875-76 and was recorded with this occupation when he was declared insolvent in 1875 and again in 1876. The family moved to Shepparton, in central Victoria sometime in the 1880s which is where David died. His wife died in 1892 in Ballan which I think is where one of her sons was residing.

His probate papers show that he was a man of very small means. The family certainly did not strike it rich in the colonies, but they seem to have enjoyed a comfortable living standard - and have many descendants here in Australia - mostly still in Victoria.

Family legend has it that Elizabeth Richardson Pitt (b. 1820 Dorset, England) went to the Americas as a nanny for a wealthy family. She would have been barely 18 years of age at the time. The story goes that she knew David Pierpoint before this trip and he followed her there with a view to renewing the acquaintance. This story has been difficult to validate as I have never found any records of their voyage to Newfoundland.

I am a descendant of David Pierpoint via their second daughter, Elizabeth Pierpoint who married Joseph Briggs, an engine driver, at Creswick in 1864 and they had 12 children, all born in Creswick in central Victoria, including two sets of twins. I have a photograph of one set of twins (Henrietta and Mary Ann Briggs) taken in the 1880s with their sister, Ada Briggs who was my GG grandmother. Please email me at if you would like a copy of this portrait. Apologies if you already have this information.

Kind Regards
Bronwyn Higgs
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Chris Paulson 10 Nov 2000 12:00PM GMT 
mattinj 26 Mar 2012 5:52PM GMT 
higgsb 27 Mar 2012 8:32AM GMT 
IanFergusson4... 10 Oct 2012 5:14AM GMT 
IanFergusson4... 31 Oct 2012 2:48AM GMT 
mattinj 31 Mar 2012 4:48PM GMT 
itsmeian 9 Oct 2012 5:24AM GMT 
mattinj 10 Oct 2012 3:15AM GMT 
IanFergusson4... 10 Oct 2012 4:05AM GMT 
IanFergusson4... 19 Oct 2012 4:03AM GMT 
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