Francis Henry Alchin: Sawyer of Sydney
by Garry Smith
by Garry Smith
The third of three Alchins who never made it to Gunning and District.
Francis Henry Alchin (1830-1901) was born in Bromley-by-Bow, Middlesex, England the son of George Alchin (1806-1856) and Elizabeth Church (1807-1867). He was baptised on 20 June 1830 at Saint Dunstan’s Church, Stepney, London. Francis’s father was a sawyer; he appears on the 1841 England, Wales & Scotland Census as a thirty-five-year old, married to Elizabeth (Church) – they had four children, including eleven-year-old Francis. The family lived at Rope Walk Burchfields.
Saint Dunstan’s Church, Stepney, London
By the time he was twenty-one in 1851, Francis was living as a “lodger” in Robin Hood Lane, Poplar. His occupation was sawyer, like his father. Times were tough for sawyers leading into the late 1840's and early 1850's in England. Changing technologies were adversely affecting many workers. Many sawyers left England for the colonies.
Francis Henry Alchin was one such sawyer. In 1852 Francis married Ann Eliza Christopher (1829-1916); they set about having a family, their first child born in 1853, the second in 1854. Francis and Ann Eliza and their young family were soon on the way to the colony of New South Wales as assisted immigrants. They left Southampton aboard the Rose of Sharon on 10 January 1855, arriving at Botany Bay on 13 April 1855.
Judith Green, great granddaughter of Francis Henry & Ann Eliza Alchin, Rookwood Cemetery