13. Daughter – Minnie Margaret Blundell (Hicks) – the Mystery Sydney Lady

Minnie Margaret Blundell (Hicks), b. 03-04-1862 in Wollongong.

Minnie is buried in the same grave as her parents, James and Margaret Hicks, at St Augustine’s Bulli. Their common headstone gives no indication of details of her birth, death, nor of her marriage or her married surname. Decades on, some of the family wondered if she had actually died in early childhood. There is a memorial stained glass window at St Augustine’s as well – but it gives no clue to her marriage either. In fact Minnie had been married to Archibald Blundell at St Augustine’s Bulli in 1899.

Stained Glass Memorial Window to Minnie Margaret Blundell (nee Hicks)

Stained Glass Memorial Window to Minnie Margaret Blundell (nee Hicks)

Intriguing then, to know that she had lived for 60 odd years, been married for 23 years, and yet none of this recorded on the gravestone?

A newspaper death notice has also proved difficult to trace. Yet some details have been located in the NSW Birth Deaths Marriages Records. At birth, in 1862, she was recorded as “Margaret M (Hicks)”, and at death, in 1922, she was recorded as “Minnie M (Blundell).”

Hicks descendents, Kerrie Anne Christian with daughter Katrina Elise and mother Joan Adams, near the grave of James, Margaret and Minnie Hicks at St Augustine’s Bulli

No wonder that recently, it seems that Family History enthusiasts, have often confused Minnie Margaret Blundell (Hicks), born 1862, with her four nieces, all similarly named,  Minnie Margaret Hicks or Margaret Minnie Hicks …

  • daughter of her brother Henry Thomas,  viz Margaret (Maggie) Minnie Cook (Hicks) born 1865,

George Hicks with his sisters Margaret Cook (Hicks) & Christina Woolley (Hicks) and wife Lou Hicks

  •  Broulee-born daughter of her brother William,  viz Minnie Margaret Edwards (Hicks) born 1870,
  • daughter of her brother George, viz Margaret Minnie Hicks born 1892,
  • daughter of her brother Hamilton Herbert, viz Minnie Margaret Hicks born 1902.

And with Minnie herself, and two such nieces, born between 1862 -1870, the confusion among Hicks Family History enthusiasts is not surprising.

Minnie Margaret Hicks, the actual daughter of James and Margaret Hicks, stayed at home to look after her mother, Margaret Hicks, for many years.  On her 1905 death, Margaret had appointed son Henry Thomas as Executor, and bequeathed everything to Minnie, that she in turn had inherited from her husband, James Hicks (see James Hicks’ Will), (see Margaret Hicks’ Will – Page 1 and Page 2). It’s interesting to note the brevity in James’ will and the detail in Margaret’s will?  By the time of Margaret’s death, Minnie was actually well into married life.

In 1899, at 37 years of age and six years prior to her mother’s 1905 passing, Minnie  had married a widower, Archibald Blundell, a father of four.  This was the year after the death of Archibald’s first wife Kate (Thompson) in Sydney, and the year of the birth of their fourth child, Harry.

Archibald had been born in 1856 at Snenton Nottingham, UK, and married his first wife, Kate Thompson, there in 1883. Their first child Oliver was born in Maclean in 1885 (died 1962 Ryde), daughters Josephine and Winifred were born in Wollongong in 1890 and 1891 (died 1975) respectively. Harry was born in Woonona in 1898, (died 1976), would become a WWI veteran after enlisting in 1918.

However Minnie and Archibald did not have any children of their own marriage. They were to be married for 23 years, and Minnie would have largely brought up some of Archibald’s now mother-less children.

Minnie predeceased Archibald in 1922 and Minnie had apparently bequeathed all to Archibald,  which was then inherited by his four children, on his death in 1934. Which explains the question of ” So whatever did happen to the Hicks Family ‘fortune’ ?

Archibald is presumed to be buried with his first wife Kate (Thompson) somewhere in Sydney. Whilst Minnie Blundell (Hicks) is buried in the same grave as her parents James and Margaret Hicks at St Augustine’s in Bulli. The headstone gives no indication of her birth, death nor of her 23 year marriage to Archibald Blundell ?

Gravestone of James and Margaret Hicks, and their daughter Minnie

The death notice for Archibald Blundell makes no mention of either of his two wives … .

“BLUNDELL – January24 1934 at Kogarah, Archibald Blundell of 80 Woniora Road Hurstville dearly loved father of Oliver,  Harry, Josephine and Winifred aged 70 years. At rest”

 

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