Deserting his Child

This was my final story – Week 6 of 6 under the subject of ‘Private Life, Public Record’.  It was written about my 1st cousin 3x removed, Adeline Jane Cotter nee Nisbet (first child of Annie and Thomas Nisbet I wrote about in Week 2).  It is pure fiction and is possibly how Adeline would have felt when she saw the article in the paper. It was submitted on 26 January 2017.

Deserting his Child

“Blasted reporters. Surely there were more interesting cases in court yesterday’’ muttered Adeline to herself.  “As if it wasn’t humiliating enough, it’s now splashed all over page 5 of today’s Argus newspaper” Adeline continued. “They didn’t even get the sex of my child correct”.

Adeline pushed the paper aside and reached for her soothing tea.  With her friends at work and the children down for a nap, the quietness in the house was calming after yesterday’s ordeal.  She’d barely slept the night before knowing how hard it would be to walk into Northcote Court and tell the whole sordid story.

She had been devastated after losing Daniel only six years into their marriage as well two of their four children in infancy.  When Augustus had moved in as a boarder she found it was nice to have a man around again and they had connected. She hated that it had been necessary to charge him but she had already been struggling to make ends meet before the unexpected surprise of Violet’s arrival.

At least Augustus hadn’t deny Violet was his.  Yes he had walked away, but if she was honest with herself, their relationship had only really been about companionship rather than love.  Not that it had made it easier or less embarrassing.

Adeline felt a little more comforted knowing that Augustus would be supporting their daughter.  She just hoped that he paid regularly and she didn’t have to resort to legal action again anytime soon!

1911- Adeline Jane Cotter - Deserting his child article

Side Note.  I always had a problem trying to find out who Augustus Gregory was and where he had come from. I did find an Augustus Gregory in the Victorian Rate Books for Fitzroy in 1896-1897 and he was listed as a comedian.  I also found an Augustus Gregory who enlisted in the Army in WW1 (30 Aug 1915) in NSW and was KIA in France on 4 Aug 1916 at age 25.  It was possible that he lied about his age and was older than 25. I am still investigating.

Published by


I have been researching my family history since 2009. I am interested it the family names Shingles, McEwan, Snowdon & Witt around Gippsland and Wodonga areas of Victoria, Australia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s