Johanna Catherine Van Tassell, 17951850 (aged 55 years)

Name
Johanna Catherine /Van Tassell/
Given names
Johanna Catherine
Surname
Van Tassell
Name
Johanna Catherine /Howell/
Type of name
married name
Name
Johanna Catherine /Collier/
Type of name
married name
Name
Johanna Catherine /Goldsmith/
Type of name
married name
Birth
about 1795
Note:

Calculated from headstone and obituary.

Birth
about 1804
Marriage
before 1819 (aged 24 years)
Note:

Date of marriage assumed since their children's birth certificates infer they are married.

Birth of a daughter
Birth of a daughter
Birth of a son
Note:

check reference in Cessnock Pioneer Registrer

Death of a husband
1830 (aged 35 years)
Religious marriage
Address: St Luke's Church of England,
Liverpool
Birth of a daughter
Note: NSW BDM Index:
V183110963 1C/1831 GOLDSMITH MARY A GEORGE JOHANNA
V1831898 15/1831 GOLDSMI…

NSW BDM Index:
V183110963 1C/1831 GOLDSMITH MARY A GEORGE JOHANNA
V1831898 15/1831 GOLDSMITH MARY A GEORGE JOANNA

Birth of a son
Note:

NSW BDM Index: V18331070 18/1833 GOLDSMITH GEORGE GEORGE JOANNA

Birth of a son
Baptism of a son
Death of a husband
Religious marriage
Birth of a son
August 18, 1838 (aged 43 years)
Note:

NSW BDM Index: (unconfirmed) V18381554 24A/1838 HOWELLS JAMES JOHN JOANNA

Birth of a daughter
Marriage of a son
Note:

NSW BDM Index: V1843528 27C/1843 COLLIER THOMAS BUDD SOPHIA CT

Baptism of a daughter
Address: Parish of Hexham, County of Northumberland
Death
Note:

No entry in Early Church microfiche for RC burials of 1850.

Burial
Cemetery: Wollombi Cemetery
Address: Site_Plot I 23 Roman Catholic Wollombi Cemetery 1
SECTION I
LOT 23
SUB_NUM
RELIGION Roman Catholic
CEMETERY Wollombi Cemetery
SURNAME Howell
GIVEN_NAME Johanna Catherine
DIED 26/11/1850 12:00:00 AM
Interment 1
Note: Sacred
To the memory of
? Johanna Catherine Howel
who departed this life
on the…

Sacred
To the memory of
? Johanna Catherine Howel
who departed this life
on the 26th of November 1850
in the 55th year of her age
The Lord have mercy on her soul.

Let grief retire to weep alone
And pity's rights be sadly paid.
To she who lay within the tomb
In silence and in dust is laid.

Family with John Collier
husband
17861830
Birth: about 1786St George, London, England
Death: 1830
herself
17951850
Birth: about 1795
Death: November 26, 1850Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Marriage Marriagebefore 1819
6 years
son
ThomasWilliamCollyer_SophieBudd.jpg
18241904
Birth: July 25, 1824 38 29 Cork, Ireland
Death: August 13, 1904Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
-5 years
daughter
1819
Birth: May 2, 1819 33 24 Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland
Death:
13 months
daughter
1820
Birth: May 12, 1820 34 25 Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland
Death:
Family with George Goldsmith
husband
17941836
Birth: May 27, 1794 Tunbridge, Kent, England
Death: June 5, 1836Millfield, New South Wales, Australia
herself
17951850
Birth: about 1795
Death: November 26, 1850Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Religious marriage Religious marriageApril 19, 1831Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
7 months
daughter
18311903
Birth: November 10, 1831 37 36 Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Death: November 14, 1903Cedar Creek, New South Wales, Australia
2 years
son
23 months
son
John Goldsmith (1835-1916)
18351916
Birth: October 3, 1835 41 40 Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Death: December 4, 1916Wyong, New South Wales, Australia
Family with John Howell
husband
Headstone of John Howell
17891869
Birth: about 1789Reading, Berkshire, England
Death: April 22, 1869Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
herself
17951850
Birth: about 1795
Death: November 26, 1850Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Religious marriage Religious marriageNovember 7, 1837Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
3 years
daughter
18411922
Birth: March 13, 1841 52 46 Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia
Death: about 1922
-3 years
son
A Wife of the 57th

This is the story of Johanna Howell as best I can make out. This is supported by publicly available documents but there is some speculation on my part. If anyone has private, family records that can refine the story better, please contact me.

There is no confirmed record of where Johanna was born. Her maiden name (Van Tassell) is documented once in death registration details of one of her children. While a connection to the Low Countries of Europe is implied by her maiden name, there is no other hard evidence. All three of her husbands served in the 57th Foot Regiment of the British Army. The postings for this regiment offer some tantalising suggestions. The 57th received battle honours in the Peninsular Campaign (1808-1813). They then joined the garrison in Canada before being recalled to Europe. They arrived too late for Waterloo. The 57th was then part of Army of Occupation in France, stationed in Belgium and France (1815-). I think it unlikely she met her first husband, John Collier, during ther Peninsular campaign on the basis of age and not being able to get there. The more likely event is the post Waterloo deployment. (Footnote: the 57th wasn't deployed with the Walchern expedition of 1808 so I don't think that was a candidate either.)

Being a camp follower was a hard life. In these years, they had little official status in the army. They marched behind the army on campaign and when a regiment redeployed by ship, the official number of followers allowed was small. A number would be selected by lottery to travel with the regiment. The rest would be abandoned. Apart from other comforts, they would have cooked, cleaned and tended the wounds for soldiers. Some would have been in service to officiers. Officiers were able to bring their families with them so there was a potential for camp followers to be in service to the officier's famlies.

There is another anecdote (source please!) that says that Johanna came to Australia as a servant to one of the officiers. Given the number of years she had been with the regiment maybe she had their trust. While there is no documentary evidence for this cited yet, we do see evidence of a connection with the Shadforth family. According to the regimental muster books, Lt. Col. Thomas Shadforth had number of servants with him when he same to Australia with the 57th. Unfortunately, their names are not recorded. 

Johanna remarries after John Collier dies enroute to Australia. Her exact arrival in Australia is uncertain, but marriage record shows she was a widow who marries George Goldsmith of the 57th. Lieutenant Henry Shadforth of the 57th and son of Thomas is a witness to the marriage. Subsequently George retires from the army and takes up a selection at Cedar Creek, Wollombi. George dies before the five year term of the land grant expires. Although he had a written a will, the Colonial Secretary doesn't find the terms of the will binding. Despite this, the court was sympathetic to his widow's plight. The land is granted in trust to the Lt. Col. for the benefit of George's heirs, Subsequent to this, title on the land is recorded as passing from Shadforth to Johanna's third husband, John Howell.

Religious marriage
Religious marriage
Name
Death
Birth

Calculated from headstone and obituary.

Marriage

Date of marriage assumed since their children's birth certificates infer they are married.

Death

No entry in Early Church microfiche for RC burials of 1850.

Burial

Sacred
To the memory of
? Johanna Catherine Howel
who departed this life
on the 26th of November 1850
in the 55th year of her age
The Lord have mercy on her soul.

Let grief retire to weep alone
And pity's rights be sadly paid.
To she who lay within the tomb
In silence and in dust is laid.

Burial