Australasia, Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: Regional Secretary Australasia and Oceania

From our historic origins in Annandale, South West Scotland, to wherever we now reside, Clan Carruthers has reached all corners of the globe. Here is a piece on one of our own, from Scotland to Ireland to England to Australia. The story of a Carruthers and their history is never boring as our latest newsletter will attest (only available to Society members).

Today’s blog touches on the lineage of one of our Council Members in Oz.

92570271_10159797933442818_7620608929113833472_o.jpgCraig Monument and his wife Lizzie have been staunch supporters of our Society for a few years now, play an integral role in the newly-enhanced Clan Carruthers Society – Australasian and Oceania Council.

When not doing work for the Clan, Craig is an ICT project Manager, and keen home brewer (they have their own pub at the bottom of the garden!) and Lizzie works as a professional editor, teacher, Mum and is currently working towards finishing her PhD. Craig is astute man, meticulous in his planning. He ensures every step he takes is well thought through. This is reflected in his genealogy, which although a work in progress, is accurate to a ‘t’.


Craig Monument, Regional Secretary – Carrothersfamily history.

(Written and submitted for publication by Craig Monument, edited by Lizzie Monument)

My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final) 4.jpeg

As a family, we are still investigating our lineage back to Scotland. But we know from stories handed down through the generations, that we farmed land in the Lockerbie area and were most likely victims of the lowland clearances (1760-1830).

2 x Great Grandfather – Willam Carrothers

8th Hussars

William Carrothers was born in April 1835 at Trim, County Meath, Ireland (then part of the United Kingdom). William enlisted for general service at Westminster on January 5th 1856, when he was 21. He was described as a fit, well-built, 5’ 6 1⁄2” man with hazel eyes, brown hair, and a fresh complexion. His occupation was that of Gun Smith and his military number was 132. William was in India for 6 1⁄2 years during the Indian mutiny of 1857-8, and was promoted to Armourer Sergeant in September 1859.

(Many Carruthers served in India during the time of the British Raj, usually in the military, the civil service or for the  East India Company. This included  4 generations of the chiefly line of Holmains – Ed.)  

William married Sarah Coe, who was from Limerick, Ireland and 7 years his junior on December 1st 1864, in Dundalk. The couple had four children, three girls and a boy. Mary was born in 1866 in Aldershot, Sarah A was born in 1867 in Manchester, William was born on 6th October 1872 in Ireland, and May B was born in 1878 in Hounslow.iu-6.jpeg

India Mutiny Medal with clasp

During his service, William was awarded the Indian Mutiny Medal with Central India Clasp and the Good Conduct Medal. William was discharged at Shorncliffe in Kent (after serving two periods) on December 13th 1878. His service to the 8th Hussars lasted for 22 years 318 days.

(In 1693 Colonel Conyngham raised a Regiment of Dragoons in Ireland. The first active service of these 8th Hussars was during the War of Spanish Succession where they defeated a Spanish Cavalry Corps and to add insult to injury, stole their crossbelts and killed them with their own swords. They were afterwards known as the “Crossbelt Dragoons”, and the Regimental Journal is still called “The Crossbelts”. The 8th Hussars served alongside The 4th in the Crimea, and also charged with the fateful Light Brigade, successfully breaking up the Russian counter-attack which followed. The Regiment was then sent to India to help with the murderous Bengal Sepoy Mutiny.  In 1858, a Squadron of The 8th Hussars charged a vastly superior enemy force at Gwalior winning four Victoria Crosses in the process. A fifth Victoria Cross was added at the Battle of Beejapore a few months later. Central India 1857-58 became a Battle Honour for the Regiment. Ed.)

After discharge, William remained in Kent and was living in Chatham in 1881 and listed his occupation as “Chelsea Pensioner”. The family moved to Front Street, Tynemouth, before the next census in 1891, and were still on Front Street (but at a different property – the Bike Shop) in 1901.

William died in 1907. Though is death was registered in Hexham, with the family still living in Tynemouth, it is probable that his grave is in the Tynemouth Preston Cemetery. This was bombed and mostly destroyed during WW2. I found no record of when Sarah died. In the census of 1881, all the children were listed as scholars with the exception of May, who was only 3.

Great Grandfather – Willam Carrothers

The Curragh Camp, County Kildare, Ireland
Curragh Camp in County Kildare, Ireland

My Great Grandfather, William Carrothers, was born on 6 October 1872 at the British military base of Curragh Camp in County Kildare, Ireland, when his father, William, was 37 and his mother, Sarah, was 30. I have little information on William, apart from his profession, being listed as a Marine Engineer in the 1901 census, and that he married Harriet Elizabeth Green in 1901 at Memorial Congregational Church, Tynemouth. They had two children during their marriage: William Thomas on July 2nd 1904 (my grandfather), and Cecil on 14th November 1906.

My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final) 2.jpeg
William and his son
My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final) 2 2

In the 1911 census, William’s profession is listed as “Cycle Agent”. We have a photo of his son William and his son Thomas outside the bike shop he owned taken in about 1910. The only information I have on William’s siblings is about May. May was my mother’s favourite Aunt, whom she often went to stay with when May lived in Oswestry. May died there in 1968 and my mother remembers going to her funeral. I do not know when William died, but my mother remembers Harriet coming to stay with them at Stevens Road, Goodmayes, Essex before my mother got married. The photo to the right is of Harriet in their back garden.

Grandfather – William Thomas Carrothers

William Thomas Carrothers (aka Thomas) was born on 2 July 1904 in Tynemouth, Northumberland, when his father, William, was 31 and his mother, Harriet, was 30. Thomas had a brother, Cecil, born November 14th 1906. Cecil and Thomas became estranged at some point during their lives. Cecil married in Howden in 1940 and moved to Hull at some point afterwards. He had a son, Norman. Cecil died in 1995. Thomas married Doris Louise Terrell in 1937 in Romford, Essex. They had one child during their marriage, my mother Wendy. Thomas died on 15th February 1978 at the age of 73. My grandmother had just come off the phone with my mother at the time. Thomas felt poorly and gone to bed early. Him and Doris had been looking a after friend’s B&B in Westcliffe for a few days and had only recently returned home. After putting the phone down to Wendy, Doris heard a thump on the ceiling. Going upstairs, she found Thomas collapsed on the floor, dead. While officially it was hardening of the arteries – he loved his pipe and smoked Erinmore leaf tobacco – Doris always said it was the Russian (Red) Flu that actually got him. Doris didn’t call my mother back until the following morning as she didn’t want her going to bed upset. Doris was to live for another ten years as a widow before her time came.

My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final)3 copy.jpeg
(William Thomas c1907)

I know from my mother, that her father, Thomas, left Northumberland for London on the Jarrow March of October 5th to 31st 1936. This march was an organised protest against the unemployment and poverty suffered in the town of Jarrow during the 1930s. Around 200 men marched from Jarrow to London, carrying a petition to the British government requesting the re-establishment of industry in the town following the closure in 1934 of its main employer, Palmer’s shipyard. The petition was received by the House of Commons but not debated, and the march produced few immediate results. The men went home believing that they had failed. My mother says that her father did not return north, instead meeting his future wife Doris – they married the year after.

My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final)3 copy 2.jpegThomas was a cabinet maker and a joiner. We still have wooden, inlaid jewellery boxes that he made. I still have some of his tools, too. When the second world war broke out, he was not allowed to join the armed services due to his profession. Instead, Thomas worked on building aircraft. I remember, as a child, my grandfather in his blue bib and brace always doing jobs around the house, or building sheds, or tables, stools and even toys for my brother and me. He was a very handy man. He still spoke with a Geordie accent. Thomas died on February 15th 1978.

Mother – Wendy Carrothers

My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final).jpeg

My Carrothers History - LM Edited version (Final) 3.jpeg
Mother, with parents on her wedding day

My mother, Wendy Carrothers was born on 3 May 1939, when her father, William, was 34, and her mother, Doris, was 31. She married Derek Sydney Frederick Monument on 8 August 1964. They had three children during their marriage. My parents had 3 boys: My brother Neil (born February 24th 1968), who sadly died Christmas eve 1970; me (born 19th February 1970); and Iain (born October 29th 1971).

Craig and Lizzie Monument

I married Lizzie on June 5th 1999 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, where I had moved 4 years previously for work. Liz had lived in North Anston, a village between Rotherham and Sheffield, all her life – and at least 5 generations before her, possibly many more. Her mother’s Irish family (Linahan) had migrated from southern Ireland in the late 1800s and settled in Deptford (some of the family are still there). Liz’s mum’s Evason side moved to Yorkshire from Shropshire, where they had been market gardeners in the same area for over 250 years, when the coalmine was sunk in Dinnington around 1901.

Liz and I lived in North Anston until 2003 when we moved 25 miles away to a small village called Owston Ferry, on the Isle of Axholme in North Lincolnshire. On September 6th 2006 our daughter Kristie was born. Fynn was born on February 4th 2010.

Just before Fynn’s christening on 12th September 2010, my mother’s cousin Norman wrote to me via the Ancestry website asking if I was his Uncle’s grandson. Norman and his wife Pam were living in Alfreton at that time. He really wanted to meet up, so was invited to Fynn’s christening where he met my mother for the first time. We are all still in touch, so that circle is now closed.

I had wanted to emigrate since I was 25. I’d moved from Suffolk to Yorkshire, and had worked in America, so I felt a move abroad would not really be onerous. I wanted to raise a family somewhere safe where they could flourish. The UK and Europe were far from that and was only getting worse year on year.

Liz and Craig

Liz and I talked about emigrating to New Zealand before we moved to Owston Ferry and then again off and on for a few years. But, as Liz’s parents were increasingly frail, she preferred to remain in the local area. It wasn’t until they had passed away and Fynn was almost 2 that we really started to think about it seriously. Liz did some research and realised that as we had no real savings behind us, New Zealand wouldn’t benefit us – but Australia would. However, at that time, our ages (we were both 40) were against us. A short while later, luck proved to be on our side as Australia raised the points limit to age 45: it was now late 2012, and the starting pistol had fired!

Fynn and Kristie

We took the kids to an emigration expo at the Manchester Arena in early 2013, and attended another in Leeds shortly afterwards. These really didn’t help. We signed up to an agent later that year. As our age points were small and I had no university degree, we had many hoops to jump through to ensure we achieved the maximum points for each section; any less and we could not get a visa. I had to sit an International English Language exam and get the Australia Computer Society to review my career right back to 1990, including contacting my former managers – luckily, I parted on good terms and was still in touch with all of them. Liz had to prove her role of private music teacher of nearly 20 years, and her qualifications. Although Liz could only contribute 5 points to the process, they were the vital 5 to get us to the magical mark of 60, and permanent residency.

A setback came when my role of ICT Project Manager was withdrawn from the Long Term Shortage list for all states with the exception of Victoria. We pressed on to get our application completed before that door closed too. We submitted the application in March 2014 and our visas were granted 6 months later in September.We first came to Australia over Easter 2015 to activate the visas. I emigrated, as the advance party, late in July 2017 with Liz and the children following 3 months later in October.

We have lived in Geelong ever since.

Clan Carruthers Society WP footnote grey

2 thoughts on “Clan Carruthers: Regional Secretary Australasia and Oceania”

  1. In my mid life years, I often wondered what it would be lke to emigrate to Australia. I didn’t have the nerve!

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