The Family of Mary Stenner
John Laybank BENTON married Mary STENNER in 1856 in Melbourne. Both the BENTON and the STENNER families were recently arrived from England. The Bentons had lived in the East End of London (Plaistow and West Ham) for several generations. The STENNER family also departed from London but had moved there around 1835-1837, presumably looking for work. Mary's father William was a carpenter and joiner, as was John Laybank BENTON. Prior to moving to London, the Stenner family were of long standing in the small village of Selworthy, Somerset, near the north coast and the Bristol Channel.
Here is the story of Mary's family.
Parents of Mary STENNER
Based on the information on the marriage record for Mary and John Laybank, Mary's parents were William STENNER and Elizabeth TAME. The parish records show William and Elizabeth were married at the church of St Mary Newington, Surrey on 10 August 1823. This church has undergone several rebuilds, the 1823 version was pulled down and rebuilt and a later version was burnt out in an air raid in 1841. The rector who performed the marriage, Arthur Cyril Onslow, was the incumbent from 1812 to 1869.
We do not know why William Stenner was in London in 1823, he may have found work there as a carpenter. His bride, Elizabeth TAME was a Londoner, born in Tooting in 1805 and baptised at St Nicholas, Tooting Graveney, Surrey in south London on 28 July 1805. Her parents were David TAME and Elizabeth DIGGER. Whatever brought William to London, he did not stay long, as the first of their six children was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire Wales in 1827, but baptised at the family church in Selworthy on 31 August 1827.
William and Elizabeth had five children:
We have the baptism records for four children:
Mary was baptised at St John the Evangelist, Lambeth, Surrey on 30 June 1837. The record shows them living at James Street, Lambeth. Although James Street has disappeared, the church of St John appears to be opposite the main entrance to Waterloo Railway Station
In the 1841 census, the Stenner family were living in Regent St, Westminster. Today Regent St runs north from Vauxhall Bridge Road a short distance from the Thames River. William was a carpenter:
Departure for Port Philip, Melbourne Australia
The family are not in the 1851 census. By this date they had departed for Australia, arriving in Melbourne in August 1848 onboard the Cornwall. The family consisted of William (47) and Elizabeth (44), with children John (21), Elizabeth (20), Martha (17), Mary (12) and Kate (4):
Life in Melbourne
Death of William STENNER: William died on 13 July 1871. He had been a patient at the "Benevolent Asylum" for over a year.
Death of Elizabeth STENNER: Elizabeth died on 5 April 1889 at the home of her daughter Martha (PENNY). She is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery.
The Children of William STENNER and Elizabeth TAME
John was born in 1827, possibly in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, but was baptised at All Saints Selworthy, Somerset on 31 August 1827. He accompanied his family to Melbourne on the ship Cornwall in 1848. His occupation on the shipping register is "Carpenter" the same as his father. John married Winifred SCUDAMORE in Melbourne in 1868.
Who was Winifred SCUDAMORE?
Winifred SCUDAMORE was born in Abenhall, Gloucestershire in 1834 to John and Ann SCUDAMORE, farmers at Church Farm, Abenhall. Ann died in February 1839 (buried Abenhall Church 10 Feb 1839) which is why she is not in the 1841 census. John married Elizabeth COOK on 12 May 1846 at Abenhall (which is why there is an Elizabeth not Ann as the farmer's wife in the 1851 census). Winifred was baptised at Abenhall on 9 December 1834. She is recorded in the 1841 and 1851 censuses at Church Farm, Abenhall but is not there in 1861.
In 1860 Winifred had a son William Gwilliam SCUDAMORE, born Stroud in late 1860. Winifred was not married and the father's name is missing in the civil register. Winifred appears to have been sent to Stroud to have the child. She is not obvious in the 1861 census but I am sure this is her, under the name Winifred BROWN, a farmer's "wife" and her 6 month old son William, lodging at a boarding house at 1 Ebley Street, Stonehouse, Stroud. Although we do not know who the father was, there may be some significance in William's middle name of Gwilliam, as there was a family of this name living in Abenhall at this time. It is possible that the Gwilliam was never used as a middle name and only Winifred knew it was recorded in the civil register.
The next information we have for Winifred and William is their emigration to Melbourne, Australia as unassisted immigrants. The immigration record shows Winifred a "matron" and William aged 3 arriving in Port Philip on 14 October 1863. It may be relevent that they travelled on the same ticket number as a Mr & Mrs William and Ann TOWNSEND, from Stroud, Gloucestershire. Whoever paid for the passage bought tickets for the four people. The Townsends may be relatives of Winifred but I have not explored this possibility.
Not long after arriving in Melbourne, Winifred had a daughter, registered as Ada Winifred WARD born at Coghill's Creek, north of Ballarat, a gold mining centre. On the birth record Winifred stated she married William Ward in England in 1858. This is not so as she was still single in 1861. The WARD surname and details were a fiction to cover her unmarried situation. At least she recorded her son William.
Marriage of John STENNER to Winifred SCUDAMORE
On 10 October 1868 John STENNER married Winifred SCUDAMORE in Melbourne. Despite already having two children (William 8 and Ada 3) this was Winifred's first marriage. Every detail on the marriage record is indeed correct! She stated on the marriage record she was a spinister (correct) and as she was not a widow correctly did not list her two children, William and Ada. The information about her place of birth and her parents is also correct.
Winifred was at last a married woman and her two children Ada and William had a stepfather, although they appear to have retained the SCUDAMORE surname in later records.
John and Winifred had one child, John William STENNER born 1869. Unfortunately the child died at 6 months in 1870. Winifred died on 26 January 1883 at their home at 87 Greville St, Prahran, Melbourne, aged 49. She is buried in the St Kilda Cemetery. John continued to live at 87 Greville St. He died in 1910. The death index indicates the names of his parents were unknown, suggesting the informant was not one of his family.
What became of William and Ada SCUDAMORE?
Ada Winifred SCUDMORE married Frank Edwin PLACE in 1886. They had two daughters Adelaide Winifred Maria PLACE, born 1886 who died 7 January 1901 of TB; and Ada May Victoria PLACE born 1890 who died 1895. When Ada Winifred died 27 May 1895, Adelaide and Ada went to live with their aunt Mary SCUDAMORE (wife of Ada's half brother William). Adelaide contracted TB and just before she died in 1901 she made a complaint with the Police of maltreatment by her aunt which was widely reported in the newspapers. The case went to court but Adelaide died before resolution. Medical evidence concluded that any maltreatment did not contribute to her death.
William SCUDAMORE married Mary KELLY in 1880. They had eight children, five of whom died young. William died 14 April 1907 at 16 Normanby Place, Richmond, Melbourne.
Elizabeth was the second child of William and Elizabeth STENNER, born 1828 at Selworthy, Somerset and baptised there on 23 May 1829. She emigrated to Melbourne, Australia with her family in 1848 and married the following year to John RANDLE. John and Elizabeth had eight children. Elizabeth died 3 December 1886 at their home, 6 Graham St, Albert Park, Melbourne.
Martha Anne STENNER
Martha Anne was born and baptised in Selworthy, Somerset and came to Melbourne, Australia with her parents in 1848. She married Philip Arthur PENNY in 1852 and they had seven children. Martha died 3 October 1906 at her home 12 Thomson St, Darlinghurst. She is buried in the Waverley Cemetery.
Mary was born on 17 September 1836 in London and baptised at St John the Evangeliset, Lambeth London on 30 June 1837. She travelled to Melbourne with her family in 1848. Mary married John Laybank BENTON on 20 December 1886. There is more about Mary and John BENTON here.
Kate or Katie STENNER
Kate was born in 1844 in central London and arrived with her family in Melbourne in 1848. She married Alexander RITCHIE in 1865 in Melbourne. They had one child, Elizabeth Mary born 1867. Both mother and daughter died the following year in 1868.
Last updated: 06/01/2020