Legal Battle – Adams v Adams

I recenlty published this post on my Blogger platform for a 52 ancestors challenge as “A Tough Woman” but it fitted this Sepia Saturday theme so am reposting it here.
In Trove I found many years of newspaper articles telling of legal battle of my great grandparents to force my great grandfather to pay child maintenance for their two youngest children.  One of those children was my grandmother.  There loomed the possibility of the children being “put on the State”
My great grandmother, Mary Agnes Morgan, was born on the 17th of October 1864 at Moonee Ponds in Victoria.  She was  the eldest daughter of six children born to John Morgan and Alice nee Kelly.

Mary married John Adams at Essendon in 1887.

John was a bricklayer by trade and the second eldest son of 9 children of George Adams and Catherine nee Barry.  He was born on the 23 February 1858 at Provost Street, North Melbourne.
Mary and John Adams had seven children.
Alexander (1888-1888)
John (1889-1983)
Alice (1891-1960)
Morgan (1895-1923)
Catherine (1896-1973)
Brenda, my grandmother, (1905-1999)
Frank (1906-1979)

The last electoral roll entry I have of him at the same address as his wife was 1909 at 104 Charles Street, Ascot Vale.  After that it looks like he was in Adelaide for a while before being remanded back to Victoria to face the bench.

There were 32 articles in the newspapers over a period of  five years.
Way too many to post so I will just post
the following main one.

Links to the many other news articles.

1913 ‘POLICE.’, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), 16 October, p. 5,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59107621

1915 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 15 April, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88508880

1915 ‘Flemington Police Court.’, Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 29 April, p. 2,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88509017

1915 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 11 November, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88511342

1916 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 17 February, p. 2, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88449211

1916 ‘Tuesday, Noveber 28.’, Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 30 November, p. 3,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88449161

1916 ‘MATTER O’ MONEY.’, Truth (Melbourne ed.) (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 2 December, p. 8,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130163903

1917 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 31 May, p. 3,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88453439

1917 ‘ADAMS ANCHORED.’, Truth (Melbourne ed.) (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 2 June, p. 2,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130167063

1917 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 23 August, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88448514

1917 ‘Arrears of Maintenance.’, Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 22 November, p.2
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92031162

1917 ‘FLEMINGTON-POLICE COURT.’, The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter(Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 20 December, p. 2 Edition: Morning.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604660

1918 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter(Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 17 January, p. 2 Edition: Morning,

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604859

1918 ‘Tuesday, March 26.’, The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 28 March, p. 2 Edition: Morning,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74605514

1918 ‘Tuesday, April 23.’, Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 25 April, p. 3,

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92029107

1918 ‘Arrears of Maintenance.’, Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 23 May, p. 6,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92029277

1918 ‘FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.’, Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 11 July, p. 2,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92028699

1918 ‘Tuesday, September 10.’, Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 12 September, p. 3,

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92029690

Mary Adams ca 1930

Mary Adams died at North Melbourne on the 24th of August 1933.
John Adams died at Heidelberg on the 10th of April 1937.
I doubt a divorce was considered as they were Roman Catholic.

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9 Comments

  1. I just love that second photo. What a shame that we cannot see that lovely dress in colour!

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  2. I suspect that there was much distress here caused by John and the necessity for Mary to resort to the law.

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    • Yes I can imagine a lot of distress caused Bob and I don’t think there was any government help in those days.

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  3. La Nightingail

    Was the ‘other’ woman’s daughter coerced by police into testifying that she took tea & toast to her mother & Mary’s husband in bed? Or was it actually the truth? I, for one, tend to believe she was telling the truth due to the fact Mary had her husband brought to court for failure to support her and the children. I don’t believe she would have done so had she believed him when he said he was trying to find work so he could send money home. She wasn’t, apparently, as naïve as he thought. Good for her!

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    • My first thought when I read it was that evidence came from the court case of the ‘other’ woman so the daughter was coerced by her father. I’d like to find news articles about that case but as yet I haven’t succeeded. If there had been a divorce, although unlikely due to their Catholicism, there may have been further records to find. I’m still hoping there may be more records in Victorian archives.

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  4. A fascinating story with a feeling of Dickens.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lorraine (Boobook)

    Keep looking Kerryn. I think there’s more to the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A fascinating, yet terribly sad story. I doubt there was ever a happy outcome.

    Like

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