5 May 2019

Finding George and Rosa

The photo reveal

George and Rosa Bennett c.1932
One of the many benefits of writing up family stories is the interest shown by relations near and far. Recently I have received some additional photos from a first cousin. One of these photos shows our great grandfather George Bennett, my mother's maternal grandfather.

I had previously written about George in Restaurant on fire which detailed his marriage in 1877 and the subsequent births of the children. Then I wondered  What happened to George? after several court appearances when he left Bridget Helen in 1915.

This photo is listed as great grandfather George Bennett with his second wife. A clue at last, a remarriage. This sent me back to search the South Australian marriage records which reveal that George in August of 1932 claiming an age of 69, married Rosa Mary Davis aged approx 57. ₁

George had claimed to be 25 years old in June of 1887 at the time of his first marriage.

Less than ten years after this second marriage, his death notice of July 1943 lists his age as 83. ₂
BENNETT.—On July 17, at Adelaide, George, beloved husband of Rosa Bennett, of Frew street, City. Aged 83 years
Did he reveal that he was over 70 after they had married? It appears there was also some age discrepancies in Rosa's claims too. At her first marriage in 1903 ₃ she is listed as being 24 years old. Her first husband Edmund Daye Davis was more than twice her age at 51 and died as a result of a tragic gunshot wound only 7 years after their marriage.₄

Rosa and George are buried in the same plot at West Terrace cemetery in Adelaide. On her death certificate in 1959 she is listed as being 89 years of age which would place her birth around 1870 so in 1932 when they were married he was probably 73 and she may well have been 62.

We'll probably never know but now I wonder if this photo could have been taken in 1932 about the time of their marriage. 

1. SA marriages District Hindmarsh Book/Page: 333/431
2. 1942 'Family Notices', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 18 July, p. 10. , viewed 04 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48875217
3. SA marriages District Adelaide Book/Page: 217/988
4. 1910 'LIFE'S TRAGIC SIDE', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 29 January, p. 41. , viewed 05 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88393869

This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin


  1. I wonder if they made a pact to change their ages when they married (George and Rosa) or if they both thought they were very clever by not disclosing their real age. Wouldn't you love to find out just what the situation was.

    1. She had three children by her first marriage so perhaps if there are some descendants out there they might enllighten us.

    2. I hope you do find more to add to the family line...

      Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

      Thank you, Chris

  2. In earlier generations it was probably just a case of pick a number, any number!

  3. Very interesting - how wonderful to be given the photo and solve one unknown. Ages seemed to be a funny thing back then - I have found lots of discrepancies, always younger - haha

    1. Sometimes they claimed to be older for first marriage too!

  4. Seems many of us are wondering about details about our ancestors and hopefully the blogs will bring us some answers. First cousins with photos is always a great help. I love it when they say out of the blue - I have this......

    1. Yes, this photo was a complete surprise and there were a couple of other gems too. More research needed....

  5. An interesting story about your great grandfather. It is fun and frustrating trying to piece together ancestor's stories.

  6. Your email link didn't work so I'll ask here. Are you or your husband related to a Frank Galvin who worked in Papua New Guinea in the Taxation Office during 1960"s?

    1. Hi Diane The email address is an image to avoid screen scrapers and bots. As far as I can determine we are not related to that Frank Galvin. There were already Galvins in both NSW and SA before my husband’s ancestors arrived in 1861


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