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The agony of a mom Acquire US

The primary we hear about Louisa Wells is in a household bible the place her start is recorded, alongside these of her brothers and sisters. She was born to Thomas Wells and Charlotte (nee Browne) in Hobart, Tasmania on 14 October, 1821.

Wells household bible. Louisa’s start is recorded second from the underside on the web page.

Thomas had come out to Tasmania on the Sir William Bensley, convicted for embezzlement in opposition to his employer. Charlotte and his younger household adopted quickly after. He served the brand new Tasmanian governor, William Sorrell, as his clerk, obtained his conditional pardon in 1818 and took up land in New Norfolk by the point Louisa was born. Within the 12 months of her start Thomas obtained his full pardon and started breeding merinos.

Louisa would have loved and suffered the stigma of her father being a well-to-do ex-convict who grew to become thought of a gentleman, dwelling on their property Allenvale within the Macquarie District. Regardless of struggling chapter and ending up in debtors jail, Thomas managed to maintain his household dwelling comfortably.

In 1846 Louisa married John Elley, the district constable in Hamilton, they usually had one daughter by the point they took up the licence of the Duke of Wellington tavern in Hobart in February 1851. Sadly enterprise didn’t go effectively and by Might 1851, John was declared bancrupt. He was charged with misdemeanour on two counts when he refused to ship up possession of the tavern. Though he was discovered not responsible, the younger household had been successfully homeless.

This was tragic for the couple, as they’d already misplaced two infants earlier than their daughter, additionally referred to as Louisa, was born and now they had been ejected from their residence. A second daughter was born to the couple the next 12 months in November, the place John signed the start certificates.

From there the younger father disappears from official data. Whereas there’s a report of a John Elley leaving on the Harriet Nathan for the gold fields in Victoria, the date is April 1852, seven months earlier than he signed his daughter’s start certificates. There isn’t a report of John Elley returning to Tasmania.

Regardless of her husband having left the colony, Louisa had three extra kids. She wasn’t discovering it simple to make ends meet and took up what needlework she may, together with monetary assist from her mom Charlotte.

The agony of a mom Acquire US Obtain US

Grave stone of Louisa’s mom, Charlotte Wells. Courtesy Gravesites of Tasmania.

Life grew to become tougher for Louisa, particularly after her mom died in 1862 and no relations had the monetary capability to help her and her 5 kids. She then did the one factor she thought doable and surrendered two of her kids, Sarah and William (aged 9 and 6) to the Queen’s Orphanage College in Hobart.

Persevering with to dwell in destitute situations Louisa suffered and died from consumption the next 12 months. Louisa, 13, Caleb, 3 and Richard, 1.5 quickly joined their siblings within the orphanage the place they had been raised till they may depart to search out work.

Louisa was buried at St Matthews Anglican Church in New Norfolk, the place she and John had married, nonetheless, no gravestone appears to be erected in her title. Whether or not she was buried in a pauper’s grave or the gravestone has crumbled over time, we might by no means know.


  • ‘Dying Louisa Elly (Wells), Ancestry, accessed twelfth June, 2023,

  • ‘St Matthews Church Burial Data’, accessed 12 June, 2023,

  • ‘Supreme Court docket, Hobart City’, The Courier, Saturday 26 July, 1851, Web page 3

  • ‘Utility for admission by John Elley and Louisa Wells – October 1862 and Utility for admission by John Elley and Louisa Wells – March 1863’, Queen’s Orphan College, accessed twelfth June, 2023,

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