Week 13 of 52 (2022) Ancestors – Sisters

Week 13 (29 Mar – 4 Apr) prompt is Sisters

As I only have a brother, I decided to write this weeks story about sisters who married brothers or at least had a baby with one in my Shingles family tree!

Shingles/Alford connection

The closest sister/brother relationship to myself was my 2nd great grandfather having a child out of wedlock with his sister-in-laws sister!  This led to first cousins marrying and not just one but two.  Let me explain!

Frederick Shingles , the third child of James & Mary Ann, married his bride Mary Alford on 5 May 1881 in Maffra, a small country town in the Gippsland region of Victoria.

Frederick & Mary on their Wedding Day

Arthur Shingles, the fourth child and my 2xgreat grandfather, had a relationship with Elizabeth Jane Alford (Mary’s younger sister) which led to the birth of a child in 1884.  Although the birth certificate of that child read as though they had married, no record has ever been found. 

Elizabeth went to Tasmania to stay with her uncle Henry Alford, and gave birth to Georgina on 2 February 1884 in Launceston. In July 1885 Elizabeth married a local boy, James Goodwin and by the time they had their first child, they were living in her home-town of Maffra. 

Shingles/Goodwin connection

Fast forward many years to Frederick and Mary Shingles, daughters Maude and Doris marrying Elizabeth and James Goodwin sons, Walter and Norman.  Although it was nearly not the case for Maude as she had been engaged to a man who unfortunately died in World War 1.

Maude and Walter (left) married in February 1917 while Doris and Norman (right) followed in April 1920.

The Shingles/Goodwin connection did not stop there.  An affair between John Robert Shingles (brother of Maude and Doris) and Mary Elizabeth Goodwin (sister of Walter and Norman) led to the birth of Norman Leslie Goodwin in May 1926. Norman was unofficially adopted by his aunt and uncle, Maude & Walter.  

Shingles/Davies connection

It seemed the Shingles brothers like to marry or have a relationship with sisters!  Like the Alford sisters, the Davies sisters saw one being married and one having a child out of wedlock! 

Alfred Shingles, the eighth child of James and Mary Ann, married Grace Annie Davies in April 1898. 

Meanwhile Harold Shingles, the thirteenth (and last) child was courting Grace’s younger sister Sophia Mabel Davies. In 1906 the relationship led to the birth of a son Harold Jnr. Just like Arthur and Elizabeth they didn’t marry either. In fact Harold fled to New Zealand!  The whole sordid tale was reported in the local paper in April 1906 when Sophia took Harold to court for pre-maternity expenses.

I suppose relationships like this are bound to happen when you live in an extremely small town where it would be slim pickings to find a partner who isn’t related to you in some way!

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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

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