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Bunn Family History

Bunn/Smiley family link

On 26 August 1894, Marion Harley Bunn, daughter of Henry Alfred and Margaret (Wilson) Bunn of St Kilda, married Thomas Alexander Ward Smiley, son of Shepherd Parkman and Margaret Phoebe (Ward) Smiley. This part of the Smiley family website explores a little of the Bunn family story from ancestors in England in the late 1600s down to the Australian generation of Marion Harley Bunn.

Henry Alfred Bunn 1827-1905

Henry Alfred Bunn 1827-1905

Family line:
John Bunn ca1680James Bunn 1703James Bunn 1737William Bunn 1765George Bunn 1789 → Henry Alfred Bunn 1827-1905.

Henry Alfred Bunn was born at Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, on 16 January 1827, the sixth of the nine children of George and Maria (Matchett) Bunn. Henry was baptised on 8 July 1827.

Henry Bunn is shown in the 1841 census as a 14-year-old living with his parents in Birmingham. He visited Australia when he was 17, and at age 21, while a medical student, he migrated aboard the Navarino, a London barque of 493 tons with a length of 116 feet (35 metres) and a beam of 29 feet (8.8 metres). After a 99-day voyage from Plymouth, the ship arrived at Adelaide on 10 November 1848 with 191 passengers and cargo.

The South Australian Register of November 15 reported that the passages of those "who arrived in the Navarino were paid by themselves, a circumstance un­precedented, we believe, in the annals of Australian colonisation."

Henry moved to the Colony of Victoria in 1850. His name appears in the Government Gazette of 19 July 1859 as one of a number of householders of East St Kilda who had signed a petition on 8 May 1859 about the boundaries of St Kilda.

At the time of his marriage to Margaret Wilson on 5 May 1860, he was living at 168 Hotham Street, East St Kilda, at the south east corner with Glen Eira Road. This part of the suburb was known in the late 1850s as the village of Owensville. Margaret Wilson, daughter of Walter and Isabella (Harley) Wilson, was born in Glasgow on 28 June 1833. The Wilson family came to Australia, also as unassisted migrants, from Greenock, Scotland, aboard the Earl of Eglington in 1854.

Henry and Margaret Bunn lived at 168 Hotham Street for many years, operating a grocery shop at that location and with their horses kept on ten acres of land known as Bunn's paddock on the north side of Glen Eira Road where Caulfield Grammar School now stands. Within two years, Henry went into partnership with his father-in-law Walter Wilson to open a grocery store at 105 High Street, St Kilda. The original family home at Hotham Street was demolished in 1955.
Margaret Wilson Bunn 1833-1898
From 1875 to 1878, they lived in a brick house with stables in Glen Eira Road. In 1978, the family moved to Argyle Street, St Kilda. Margaret died at their home on 19 July 1898. She was aged 65. Henry was living with their daughter Isabella Ackroyd and her husband Frank when he met his death on 7 July 1905 at the age of 77.

He drowned in the Yarra River at South Melbourne but his death certificate records there was no evidence to explain how he came to be in the river. It is believed that Henry suffered from dementia and he was known to wander at night. Both Henry and Margaret were buried at St Kilda Cemetery. The couple had 12 children.



See also Bunn historic photographs.



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