Jane Firstbrook (c1819-1886)

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Abandoned with child by husband who immigrated to Australia without her during the gold rush.


Jane Firstbrook was born circa 1819 in St Erth, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom to John Firstbrook (?-1855) and Ann Vibert (?-?) and died August 1886 in St Erth, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. She married William Rutter (1826-1901) 15 June 1853 in St Erth, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.

Jane’s life of misfortune

John Firstbrook (father), Thomas Firstbrook (C1822-1900) and Caroline Firstbrook witnessed the marriage of Jane Firstbrook (c1819-1886) to William Rutter (1826-1901) on 15 June 1853 at St.Erth, Cornwall.

The following year, 17 March 1854 William left her pregnant with child and sailed for Liverpool on the ship Saldanha, bound for Australia and the gold fields of Victoria, arriving at the Port of Melbourne 16 June 1854.


Offspring of Jane Firstbrook and William Rutter (1826-1901)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Nanny Vibert Rutter (1854-?)

From the census records of St.Erth, Cornwall we know that during the ensuing years Jane lived with, or nearby, her family for most of her days;

In June 1853 she married William Rutter, he left her for Australia in March 1854. In the same year, on 11 November 1854 her sister, Ann Firstbrook (married as Jacka) dies and is buried on the same day that Nanny Vibert Rutter (her daughter by William Rutter) is baptised. Then in 1855 her father died. Jane’s sister, Ann Firstbook left a widower, named Jacka.

In 1861 Jane aged 42 and her daughter, Nanny Vibert Rutter aged 7, are living with her brother Thomas Firstbrook, a grocer; Thomas is unmarried and Jane is listed as his housekeeper. Nanny Vibert (Jane's daughter) is still living with Thomas (Jane's brother) in 1871 but Jane isn’t, but she returns to living with her brother by 1881 having been briefly married to John Edyvean (born 1829). Jane is buried at St. Erth, Cornwall on the 8 August 1886.

In 1891 Jane’s daughter Nanny Vibert Rutter with husband, Richard James Allen, and their two children, Eliza Jane Allen and Nanny Vibert Allen are living with Jane’s brother, Thomas Firstbrook, a grocer aged 67. Thomas Firstbrook was buried at St Erth on 16 January 1900 aged 75.

One possible reason for Jane’s daughter being baptised the same day her sister is buried is that to take a day off work without pay for burials and christenings, which was the practice then would have caused great financial hardship, and to have taken two days off within a short period of time would have been even worse. Also, apparently, in Wales at that time and it may have been the same in Cornwall, woman who had given birth would have to be "Churched" and the child Christened before she would have been able to attend other Church ceremonies e.g. the burial service for her sister, Ann Jacka.


The Rutter website

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External links

Sources and notes



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