The Family of Edward Joseph KEITH and Louisa HANKS

Edward was not alone in Sydney society in having children with both his wife and his mistress. It would appear that several of his colleagues were in the same situation. Here I cover his family with Louisa HANKS. His other family, with his wife Ann Boleyn KEITH is here.

Louisa HANKS

Louisa HANKS was the youngest of the eight children of James HANKS and Sarah TRAPNELL. Both were convicts.
James was convicted at Oxford on 5 March 1794, sentenced to 7 years and arrived in Sydney on the Barwell in 1798. Sarah was convicted on 14 July 1800 at Bristol, was sentenced to 7 years and arrived in the Earl Cornwallis in June 1801.

                                                      James HANKS==========v==========Sarah TRAPNELL
                                                        1776-1842          |           1774-1828
                      Sarah  Harriet    Mary    William   Elizabeth    Phoebe   Phillis     Louisa HANKS       
                      1802    1804      1805     1806       1808        1811     1813        1814-1897            
     Edward Joseph KEITH====================v====================================================|=====v======Thomas TROY
          1802-1837                      Mistress                                                     1843     1819-1898
                                            |                                                          |
         Edward James                    Isabella             Alfred George
          1832-1902                     1833-1910              1836-1929
                |                           |                      | 
                |                           |                      |-------------------|--------------------------|
              m:1854                      m:1858                m1:1856             m2:1889                     m3:
         Charlotte WEBB               Joseph WATSON           Frances WEBB       Agnes CRENEY              Jean DONALD
            1829-1891                   1834-1904              1839-1885             -1906
                |                           |                      |                   |  
                }                                                  |
    |-----------|                    |---------|---------|---------|-------|---------|---------|-------|-------|---------|--------|
  Louisa      Alfred               Edward   Sydney    Ernest    Clara   George   Isabella    Oscar  Andrew  Florence  Minnie    Oswald
1854-1933   1856-1928            1857-1919 1858-1914 1861-1955  1863-  1865-1942 1867-1959 1869-1881 1871- 1873-1882 1876-1962 1883-1968
    |           |---------|          |         |         |         |       |         |         |       |       |         |         |
 m: 1874     m1:1878   m2:1892       |
  James      Angelina    Ann         |
CARTWRIGHT    COMER     HEARES       |----------------------------------|
    |           |         |       m1:1882                            m2:1893
                              Elizabeth FREER                    Susan  CARTWRIGHT
                                 1861-1891                          1870-1954 
                                     |                                  |
                  |--------|---------|---------------|                  |----------|-----------|
                Sidney   Francis     Annie      Elizabeth Iris        William     Daphne     Minnie
                1884   1886-1969  1888-1933      1891-1985          1894-1971   1895-1977  1901-1976
                  |        |          |              |                  |           |          |
                                               Reginald BENTON

It would appear that James HANKS and Sarah Trapnell never legally married, although Sarah is recorded as living with James in 1806 and as the "wife" of James in the 1822 Convict Musters. Note too that the 8 children of James and Sarah are listed in the 1822 Muster so their relationship was recognised by the government authorities:

Page from the 1806 Convict Muster for James HANKS (click on the image for the full page)

Page from the 1806 Convict Muster for Sarah Trapnell

Page from the 1822 Convict Muster for James Hanks

Page from the 1822 Convict Muster for Sarah Trapnell

The eight children of James HANKS and Sarah TRAPNELL are:

Name Born Married Died
Sarah 1802

Harriett 1804 1838: Thomas ROWE
1839 Willies SHERWIN
Mary 1805 1834: William MOORE
William 1806 1834: Maria MATHER
Elizabeth 1808 1823: Joseph JOHNSON
Phoebe 1811 1829: John THOMAS
Phillis 1813 1837: George RILEY
Louisa 23 Oct 1814 1843: Thomas TROY 25 Jan 1897

Mary Hanks
Louisa Hanks
Louisa HANKS
The life of Louisa HANKS

Louisa was born in Sydney on 23 October 1814. She was baptised in St Lukes Church, Liverpool, Sydney on 1 December 1833.

At around 17 years of age Louisa began a relationship with Edward Joseph KEITH. She had 3 children with Edward:

Born Married Died
Edward James KEITH 4 Aug 1832 1854: Charlotte WEBB 23 Sep 1902
Isabella KEITH 1833 1858: Joseph Watson
Alfred George KEITH 14 Aug 1836 1856: Frances WEBB
1889: Agnes CRENEY
30 Jul 1929

After Edward Joseph died on 29 May 1837, Louisa was left with the 3 children. The two boys, Edward and Alfred were taken in by Mr Thomas Deane ROWE, a city businessman, who had married Louisa's sister Harriet. Thomas died in 1838 and soon after Harriet married Dr William SHERWIN, the Colony's first locally-born doctor. Sherwin appears to have obtained land in Mittagong and may have helped Louisa and her husband to obtain land there. Louisa married Thomas TROY in 1843 and lived in Mittagong, but they soon took up land at Cootamundra. Louisa had another four children with Thomas Troy:

Born Married Died
Emily Ann TROY 1843 1863: James COMER
Mary TROY 12 June 1845 1865: John WEBB
George TROY 1848 1872: Vanity CRISP
Louisa TROY 1849 1872: Thomas WEBB

Louisa died in Mittagong, NSW on 25 January 1897.

The Children of Edward Joseph KEITH and Louisa HANKS

Edward James KEITH

Edward James was born in Sydney on 4 August 1832. He was with Louisa in Mittagong after she married Thomas TROY and when they moved to new farm land at Cootamundra. He married Charlotte WEBB on 30 March 1854. Charlotte had previously married Edward PERKINS on 17 April 1848 and had 3 children (Edward, Caroline and Emily) before Edward died on 1 November 1852 after falling from a buggy.

Edward James KEITH
Edward James KEITH
Charlotte WEBB
Charlotte WEBB

Charlotte died at Wallendbeen, Cootamundra on 19 September 1891.
Edward James died on 23 September 1902.

Edward and Charlotte had 2 children:

Born Married Died
Louisa KEITH 24 Sept 1854 1874: James CARTWRIGHT 24 Aug 1933
Alfred Henry KEITH 1856 1878: Angelina COMER
1892: Ann HEARES

Isabella KEITH

Isabella, the second child, was born in Sydney in 1833. It is reputed that she was cared for my her aunt Mary SHERWIN (nee HANKS) after her father Edward Joseph KEITH died in 1837. She married Joseph Frederick WATSON in 1858 in Sydney, and had three children:

Born Married Died
Mary WATSON 1859

William WATSON

Joseph WATSON 1863

Little further is known about Isabella and her family. Her death, or the marriage or death of her children are not in the NSW records. There is a report that the family moved to Dunedin (New Zealand or Scotland ?) where Isabella died in 1910. Their son William returned to NSW, although I cannot find the shipping record for his return.

Alfred George KEITH

Alfred George was born 14 August 1836 in Sydney. He married Frances Elizabeth WEBB on 31 December 1856 in Berrima, NSW. Frances was the younger sister of Charlotte WEBB who had married Alfred's brother Edward. Alfred and Frances had 11 children

Frances died in Murrumburrah, NSW on 8 January 1885. Alfred subsequently married Agnes CRENEY (nee DONALD) in 1889. Agnes died in 1906 and Alfred then married her sister Jean. Alfred died on 30 July 1929 in Mosman, NSW.

There is more detail on the life and family of Alfred George here...

Return to the Benton Family Index Page

Last updated: 19/05/2020