The story of Florence Ada Clement (1875 - c1955) and her husband Henry Nathanial (Harry) Denmead

Doug Denmead, the grandson of Florence Ada Denmead (nee Clement), contributed to some parts of this page. Note that there was another Denmead family in Geelong that was not related to this family.

The town of Denmead, Hampshire

There is a village called Denmead in Hampshire, near Porstmouth.

According to that Wikipedia page, in 1316, Denmead was owned by the Bishop of Winchester, who leased it to various tenants. It became referred to as a manor in 1449, when it was owned by William Wayte. When Wayte's grandson died, the lands were divided amongst various other members of the family and Denmead was passed down. The village is shown in the Hambledon Hundred on John Speed's map of Hampshire[4] which was published in 1611.

This information would appear to suggest that the people who became Denmead may have taken on the name of the town where they lived, unless Denmead was coincidentally a Palatine name.

Were the Denmeads German Palatines?

According to an Ancestry thread dated April 2001 (edited September 2005) by a Michael Denmead, the Denmeads were German 'Palatines'.

Palatines were Protestants who lived in the lands in Germany that were controlled by the Elector Palatine. The Palatines started to leave war-ravished Germany and travelled in British ships to England from May 1709 (during the reign of Queen Anne). Apparently the majority who ended up in England apparently came from the regions outside it and some were actually Catholic.

There is no evidence yet to show that Denmead was a Palatine name although some Denmeads also ended up in Ireland suggesting a common connection.

Some of the Palatines were eventually dispersed to Ireland and parts of England. Most of those who went to Ireland returned. Names of Palatine origin, such as Switzer, Hick, Ruttle, Sparling, Tesky, Fitzell, are dispersed throughout Ireland. An overview is provided on this Wikipedia page.

Some Palatines migrated to New York and from there moved to New Jersey and Pennslyvania. It is not known if the Denmeads in America are from these lines.

Denmeads in Somerset

Whether of Palatine origin or not, this site notes that the earliest Denmead family relating to the family on this page can be traced back to Somerset.

William Denmead was born around 1740, possibly in Nunney, Somerset. (If connected with the Palatines, his parents would have been born around the time of the migration to England). He married Hannah Williams on 25 April 1763 in Frome, Somerset, England. The only child known was John Denmead (bap 22 April 1764, Frome).

Mary Quinnel was baptised on 12 January 1775 in Stoughton to Thomas Quinnel and Elizabeth Asten, who had married on 14 August 1770 in Stougton.

John Denmead married Mary Quinnel on 31 January 1793 in Stoughton, Sussex, England. They had three children:

1841 Census - Nathaniel Denmead and Anne Kemp

Anne Kent/Kemp was born 5 November 1813, the daughter of William Henry Kemp and Ann. She may be the Anne Kemp who was born to a William and baptised at Liverpool in 1814.

Neither Nathaniel nor Anne have yet been found in the 1841 census.

1842 - Nathanial Denmead marries Anne Kemp

Nathaniel Denmead married Anne Kemp at Shoreditch (London), UK on 12 July 1842.

1848 - Nathaniel and Anne Denmead migrate to Australia

Nathaniel and Anne Denmead appear to have lived briefly in Leatherhead, UK and had three children in the UK before they left England.

Nathanial Denmead (said to be aged 42) and Anne Denmead (aged 34) arrived in Victoria, probably as two of the 236 bounty passengers on board (they are not listed as paying passengers), on 13 January 1849 on board the Manchester which had left London on 14 September 1848 and Plymouth on 28 September 1848. , and two more after arrival in Geelong:

1854 and 1857 - Nathaniel Denmead - Insolvent

The Age (Melbourne) of 27 November 1854 noted that Nathaniel Denmead, an ironmonger from Geelong, had surrendered his estate. It noted that 'his insolvency is attributed to the general depression of trade and pressure by a creditor. His debts were 3,138 pounds, 11 shillings and 1 pence, his assets were 6,344 pounds, 19 shillings and 2 pence'. The Argus on the following day carried a notice from the Insolvency Court regarding Nathaniel's estate.

According to The Argus of 27 October 1857, Nathaniel Denmead appeared in the Involvent Court in 1857. The article noted that (Nathaniel's) estate 'had sold ten shillings in the pound, and that he had been allowed to carry on his business with the view of paying his creditors in full, but as the business having fallen off since that period ... he was unow unable to carry out his engagement. The creditors had, however, signed a released and did not opppose the present application'. The certificate was granted.

1865 - Death of Anne Denmead

Anne Denmead died on 8 April 1865. The Geelong Advertiser's death notice on 10 April 1865 noted that she was the beloved wife of Nathaniel Denmead and was 52. It noted that the funeral would leave her residence, Nicholas Street, Chilwell.

From 1868 - Denmead children marry

William Henry Denmead married Hester Eliza Brain (1840 - 1914 (VIC BDM Ref 5742, the daughter of William Brain and Ann Mell)), in 1868 (VIC BDM Ref 1250). William and Hester Denmead had the following children:

1871 - Marriage of Ann Denmead to Bamford Bebee

Ann Denmead (born abt 1843) married Bamford Bebee (born c.1823-1884) in Geelong in 1871 (VIC BDM Ref 2085). Bebee was born around 1823 in Huntingdonshire, England, to John Bebee and (unknown) Selby. Bebee was the gardener of Roseneath Station, Casterton.

They had the following children:

Bamford Bebee died in Casterton in 1884 aged 61. (VIC BDM Ref 3929).

Anne Bebee signed the 1891 Womens' Suffrage Petition. Anne Bebee nee Denmead died at Casterton, Victoria in 1892 and is buried next to Bamford.

1874 - Death of Nathaniel Denmead

Nathaniel Denmead died in 1874 aged 78. The notice of his death in the Geelong Advertiser of 18 May 1874 states that he was a tinsmith.

1906 - Florence Ada Clement marries Henry Nathaniel Denmead

Florence Ada Clement was the third child and daughter of Richard and Margaret Clement. She married Henry Nathaniel (Harry) Denmead, a builder/cabinet maker, on 12 December 1906 at Aberdeen St Baptist church. They were both aged 31 years at the time. (Source: Marriage certificate). Witnesses to the marriage were Edward Harris, Isabel J Clement and C. T. Seeley.

Harry Denmead was the son of William Henry Denmead, a tinsmith/plumber, who lived and worked from an address, a two story timber building in Aberdeen St, north side, near the Baptist church, not too far up the hill from 'Little Scotland' and the old Clement butcher shop. In his earlier years, Harry lived in Barwon Heads and apparently worked at a wool scouring operation, possibly called Muns, on the Ocean Grove side of the Barwon River (before there was a bridge).

Harry and Florence Denmead had three children:

The children grew up at 5 Noble Street, Barwon Heads, in a small corrugated iron clad house, and went to school in a spring cart. The town was subject to flooding from the Barwon River and when that happened the children were ferried to school by the baker's cart (or have a day off school!).

Some time later, Harry and Flo Denmead moved to 22 Aberdeen St, Geelong. They then moved to a new house at 110 Skene St, built by Harry. Their grandson Doug recalls that 110 Skene St was/is a solidly built house on brick piers, clad in cement sheeting, probably one of the early examples of using this material. There was an old timber wash house with a wood fired copper and photography darkroom at the rear of the house (a separate building) which may well have existed when an older house occupied the site. The wash house had old brick paving, very worn, and the darkroom had a bitumen floor.

For photographs of the family see this page.

Harry Denmead was remembered as being a great photographer. He was a smoker and had a stained white moustache.

1929 - Death of Alfred Denmead

Alfred Denmead (born 1850, the son of Nathaniel Denmead), died on 20 June 1929. His obituary was carried in the Traralgon Record on 24 June 1929.

We regret to chronicle the death of Mr A. Denmead, of Traralgon, which took place on Thursday evening, at the age of 79 years. Deceased carried on a tin-smithing and plumbing business in Traralgon for many years, and some nine years ago sold out and retired. He was well-known and much esteemed by many friends. The late Mr. Denmead was born in Adelaide, South Australia, but the greater part of his life was spent in Victoria, where he lived for 60 years, 22 of which had been spent in Traralgon. Miss Denmead, Messrs A. W. and Frank Denmead are descendants of deceased, whose family consisted of five children. The remains of deceased were interred in Traralgon Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. The burial service was conducted by Rev. J. H. Blundell, and the mortuary arrangements carried out by Mr W. T. Armstrong, of Traralgon.

Alfred's death notice in the same newspaper on the same day read as follows: Denmead. On Thursday, June 20th, 1929, at his residence, Hotham Street, Traralgon, Alfred, beloved husband of the late Jane Denmead, and loving father of Alfred William, Charles, Arthur, Frank and Florence Adah. Aged 79 years.

1955 - Death of Florence Denmead nee Clement

Florence died from a stroke after lingering for a few days, around 1955.

Florence Ada Clement was remembered by her grandson Doug as being 'absolutely, in my eyes, the best Grandma you could ever have'. She worked as a nurse and was a very strict Methodist who often would (attempt to) influence her grandchildren re the evils of drinking. For all her life she was remembered as being a very active and fit person and a great walker - for example, she would walk with a shopping cart down to Pakington Street in West Geelong for supplies. Florence retained her involvement with the Baptist Church all her life. She hand crafted chaff bags or jute aprons (as a specialty, made for charity). Her wood stove produced, according to Doug Denman, 'the most wonderful cake sized soft ginger nuts, just the shot for a hungry school boy with a milk drink of course!'.

Children of Harry and Flo Denmead

Jean Denmead never married and lived in Geelong all her life. She worked in Melbourne as a bookkeeper (travelling the old 'red rattler' trains to and from Geelong), travelled widely, tutored her nephew when young, and died in February 1991 aged 84.

Bill Denmead, who also took up carpentry, married Esta Jean nee Adcock (1910 - 2010, aged 99 3/4 years) and they had four children. Bill and his father worked together during the depression years restoring old houses, mainly in West Geelong. Later, Bill Denmead worked mainly for the firm J. C Taylor and sons, on large building projects most of his working life. Bill later built a house at and moved to 91 Skene Street, Newtown, across the road from his parents, on the site of two older houses. Skene St was once the main route to the Ballarat goldfields. A grocer store was located just next to Bill's house, then Park St. and the Gold Diggers Arms Hotel.

Ruth Denmead married Trevor Murphy, lived in Denman Street, East Geelong, and they had three sons.

Page created 1 November 2012, updated 2 August 2019. Copyright Andrew Warland. email: andrewwarland(at)gmail.com