Sunday, October 16, 2016

Emanuel Serrao b 1793

From Portugal to Australia and from Serrao to Serong

I have a tenuous relationship with Emanuel Serrao, he is my 1st cousin twice removed's wife's great-grandfather!  I came across this family through my great grandfather's sister, but he turned out to be very interesting indeed.

Emanual Serrao

What is known about the family.

The most likely place Emanuel was born is Madeira Island, Portugal as this is where he married and his wife was born, there is no conclusive evidence however.  Probably born About 1793, that's 223 years ago.

A document put together by some of the family has Emanuel marrying Antonia De Jesu De Freitas on 9th November 1820 in Funchal or Goncealo, Madeira Island, Portugal.  Again, there is no conclusive evidence so far.

The immigration of the family also has several options, according the the grave of Emanuel he immigrated on 29th September, 1880, but according to a family source the family came to Australia aboard the Alfred in 1824, and there is confirmation of that date on Antonia's headstone.

Emanual's Grave

Antonia's Grave
By the time they died, the name Serrao had been anglicised to Serong.  According to the Pioneers' Register produced by the Warrnambool FHS the Serong family came to Warrnambool c1849 possibly to work on the building of St Joseph's Church, Warnambool,  and they had arrived at Port Jackson in July 1842 from Madiera, Portugal.  (so this is another possible date for immigration).

There is an intriguing piece of information about the arrival of the ship Alfred, Captain Laughton is recorded in the Sydney Gazette Thurs 22 July 1824,
 "she arrived on Thursday last, sailed from London 19 Feb, touched at Madeira, which she left 2 April, and called at Hobart Town from whence she departed 9th July. Some of the passengers remained in that Colony, and the following have come to Headquarters; viz John Mackeness, Esq Sheriff for New South Wales; JB Richards Esq, E Abell Esq, R Wardell and WC Wentworth Esquires, Barristers at Law; Mrs Wardell; Wm Redfern Esq and Mrs Redfern with Masters William and JF Redfern, and two Miss Willeys; Miss Jane Fisher; Mr Claments; Mr Lloyd and family, and Mr C Osbaldeston."  (no mention of the Serrao family)

In the next column, The colonists are congratulated on the vast acquisition gained in the very recent arrival of seventeen casks of seeds from Europe.
"Mr Redfern, who returns to the colony after an absence of nearly three years, has brought with him nine rams and five ewes, bred by Mr Weston, MP for Essex, the celebrated agriculturist. This gentleman was at Madera some time, and from thence also brings the various kinds of grapes, and other choice friut trees. To facilitate, as well as ensure the culture of these fruits, Mr Redfern has engaged a Portugese family (natives of Maderia). Such efforts as these, the act of one individual too, are entitled to the warmest consideration of the Colonists, and will be thanked by posterity."

Is it possible that the family engaged by Redfern was Emanual and Antonia?  Doctor Redfern was an interesting charecter, and his life story included : "After a sojourn in Madeira for his health he returned to New South Wales in the Alfred in July 1824, received a further grant at Campbell Fields and acquired land near Bathurst and Cowra."

This piece of information is the first that might lead to something, as Emanual's first son, William was born in 1824, and second son Joseph was born in 1826 - but searches of both Victoria and NSW BDM's delivered nothing about ether son's birth.  I did find some of the children's deaths in the Victoria BDM however.

A search of the Museum of Victoria found some information about the family, confirming that the parents plus Selina arrived in Sydney in 1824, and moved to Warrnambool with their family in 1852.

So this last piece of information seems to fit with immigration in 1824 aboard the Alfred, possibly with Doctor Redfern.  So far this is all I have found out about the family, my next step will be to go to Warnambool and see what the family history society has there.  We want to see the great ocean road anyway so what a great combination!

More Information? If you are researching
Emanual Serrao and Antonia De Jesu De Freitas
 and would like the sources for this story, 
please contact me or comment below. 
 I would be happy to collaborate with you

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