Annie Agnes Cheeseman (1878-1944) and
George James Cowl (1872-1952)

(last updated 4 November 2018)

Alfred and Jane Elizabeth's third daughter, Annie Agnes Cheeseman (1878-1944), born at Carngham in Victoria, married George James Cowl (1872-1952) there in 1899. According to the 'Oallclose3' and 'Cowl' Family Trees on Ancestry, George was the youngest son of William Cowl (1831-1911) and Hannah Maria Dickenson (1833-1901), who were married at Launceston in Tasmania in 1852, and had ten children in addition to George: William Thomas, Isaac Robinson, Sarah Jane, Alfred, Walter, Esther Maria, Robert Ilis, Hannah Maria, John, Almira Elizabeth and Mona Elizabeth Cowl. The Australian electoral rolls show that Annie and George, who worked as a jeweller, lived all of their married lives in the Melbourne suburb of Hampton. Annie died there in 1944 and the family published the following notice in the Melbourne Age on 26 August: 'COWL - On August 24 at Melbourne, Annie Agnes, loving wife of George, of 30 Mills Street Hampton, loved mother of Essie (Mrs Houston), Linda (Mrs Clifton) and Nona (Mrs Marsden), aged 66 years'. George died at Hampton six years later. As Annie's death notice indicates, she and George had three three girls as follows:

1. Esther Christina Cowl (1900-69). Born at Horsham, Esther married Albert Henry William Houston (1895-1971) in Melbourne in around 1920. According to the 'Mcconachy/Sampson Family Tree' on Ancestry, Albert's parents were Charles Thomas Houston (1868-1937) and Lydia Marion Stewart (1874-1946). His military record in the Australian Archives shows that Albert enlisted in the First AIF on 11 June 1915 and was allocated to the 6th Reinforcements for the 5th/6th Battalion. He was then 19 years old and working as a painter. His NOK was initially Mrs L. M. Houston of Hampton and then his aunt Mrs L. Robertson of Johannesburg. Albert sailed from Australia on 25 June 1915 and served initially in Egypt and then in France with the 8th Field Ambulance and the 'K' Supply Column. During this time he suffered from various minor ailments and was hospitalised on a number of occasions. In 1918 he transferred into the Australian Army Service Corps and served in France as a driver in the 1st Australian Motor Transport Company until 17 March 1919. He returned to Australia on the ZEALANDIA on 28 June 1919 and was discharged from the Army on 28 August 1919.

After the war Albert spent a short time at the Central Flying School at Laverton before working as an accounts clerk for the Victorian Railways. The electoral rolls and other sources show that Esther and Albert lived in the Melbourne suburbs of Parkville and Deepdene after their marriage and had three children (and at least six grandchildren) we know of:

1.1) Nancy Marion Houston (1922-2015) who married Robert William Carr (1907-92) in Melbourne in 1939. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WW2 nominal roll shows that Robert enlisted in the RAAF at Melbourne on 15 January 1942. He was then living at Caulfield with his wife Nancy and eldest daughter Marion. He was discharged on 3 January 1945 at which time he was serving as a Leading Aircraftman at 1 Wireless and Gunnery School. The electoral rolls show Robert, who worked as a mechanic, and Nancy lived in Melbourne's Moorabbin West electorate from the end of the War until at least the early 1980s. The Springvale Crematorium records tells us that Robert died in 1992 and Nancy in 2015. They had two daughters we are aware of: Marion Edith Carr who we believe married William Carroll, and Judith Helen Carr who we believe married Richard William Hahn.

1.2) George William Houston (1923-71) who married Mavis Victoria Kidby (1929-88) and had, we believe, four children: Peta Jane, Janet Stoddart, John Alexander and Joanne Catherine Houston, of whom at least three are married; and

1.3) Evelyn May Houston who we believe married Alfred Ernest Humphries.

2. Linda May Cowl (1908-96). Born at Carlton in 1908, Linda married Clarence Raymond Clifton (1896-1988), also a house painter, in Melbourne in 1935. Ray, as he was known as, was born at Stawell in country Victoria, the son of Henry Clifton (1850-97) and Mary Eliza Bullus (1856-1924) who were married at Ballarat in Victoria in 1879. Ray's father died the year after Ray was born and his mother married James Joseph Lawson in 1898. His military record in the Australian National Archives, shows that Ray enlisted in the Australian Army on 29 June 1915. He was also allocated to the 6th Reinforcements for the 21st Battallion (so it is quite possible he knew his future brother-in-law Albert Henry William Houston). Ray sailed from Melbourne on the RMS MOLDAVIOR on the 15 October the same year. He, too, was bound for Egypt where, on 24 January 1916, he was admitted to 1 Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis suffering from rheumatic fever. This in turn caused him to suffer from valvular heart disease which led him to be transferred to 11 Auxiliary Hospital in Cairo and thence back to Australia on the HMT RUNIC. He was declared medically unfair and discharged from the Army in Melbourne on 6 July 1916. The electoral rolls show him living in North Melbourne, Brunswick and, in the early 1930s, on Mills street in Hampton where he would have met Linda. After their marriage, she and Ray lived in the Cowl family home until around the mid-1960s when they moved to Queensland's Gold Coast ( where we suspect members of Ray's family resided). They returned to Melbourne sometime after 1980. The Billion Graves website shows that Ray died in Melbourne on 6 January 1988 and Linda on 6 February 1996. They are both buried in the New Cheltenham Cemetery. We know they had at least one son, Donald Elliott Clifton, who, according to the Australian electoral rolls worked as a draftsman and was living with his wife, Judith Braithwaite Clifton, on Fewster Road in Hampton from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

3. Nona Alice Cowl (1917-98). Born at the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, Nona seems to have been twice married, first to Jack Griffiths Marsden (1913-78) with whom she had three children, and second to Joseph Thomas Daly with whom she had at least one son. The 'Marsden Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us Jack Griffiths Marsden was born at Darwen in Lancashire and came to Australia with his family when he was 13 years old. His parents were Elias ('Fred') Marsden (1885-1952) and Hilda Griffiths (1887-1946) who were married at Chester in England in 1909 and, with their four children, sailed from London on the P&O SS BARADINE on 20 September 1926. They settled initially in the Melbourne suburb of West Footscray, where Fred worked as a butcher, before moving to St Kilda, Jack and Nona were married at the Melbourne beach-side suburb of Brighton in 1937. Four years later Jack enlisted in the RAAF in which he served until 26 October 1945 (his last posting was at 6 RAAF Hospital). According to the 'Marsden Family Tree', Jack and Nona either separated or were divorced in around 1955 and both re-married or re-partnered (Jack twice). We believe Nona and Jack had three children: Robert John, Judith Ann and Linda Maree Mardsen all of whom married.

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