History of our Ewart Family

Ewart has commonly been mis-spelled over the years and I remember my grandmother being called Hewitt many times. I have traced my Ewart ancestors back to the borders region of Scotland to a place called Annan in Dumfrieshire. This story focuses on my grandfather Harold Henry Ewart, a WWI veteran and his wife Ada Bessie Ewart (nee Cooper).

Margaret Isobel Ewart (1924-1987)

Margaret EwartMy mother was born in Hobart on 8th Dec 1924 to Harold Henry Ewart and Ada Bessie Cooper. Prior to her marriage in 1947 to my father Vin Blyth she was an Aircraft Woman in the WRAAF. She was a tireless worker for everyone around her, family, friends and good causes all benefiting from her cooking and organising abilities. After Vin died of cancer in 1980, Margaret began a cancer support group on the NW Coast of Tas and dedicated a great amount of effort to ensuring other sufferers and their families would be looked after. In June 1987 she suffered a series of heart attacks and died the same week in the Mersey Hospital in Latrobe. She is buried with my father Vin at Mersey Vale Lawn cemetery at Spreyton, Tas,

Harold Henry Ewart (1892-1957)

Harold Henry EwartMy grandfather was born at White Kangaroo River, near Colebrook, Tasmania on 6th December 1892. His parents were John Peter Ewart and Johanna Grieve (nee MacCauliffe)

Although I have been unable as yet to trace his birth certificate, his daughter Margaret told me he celebrated his birthday on 6th December, so for the time being that is all I have to go on. When he joined the army in January 1916 he gave his place of birth as "White Kangaroo River" near Colebrook and his age as 24 years and one month.

I am writing a story about a man I never knew, he died the year before I was born. Mum rarely spoke about him but I do have some photographs and his army history and medals. Normally when tracing a family tree it is proper procedure to work from yourself backwards, gathering certificates to prove ancestry as you go. In this case I have used other methods to trace Harold's parents, I believe the information I have is correct but there is always room for error.

John Peter Ewart (1863-1942)

John Peter EwartMy great-grandfather was born in Cressy, Northern Tasmania on 14 May 1863. His parents were Henry John Ewart and Ann Manahan or Mannan. At this time his father was a shepherd. John married Johanna Grieve (nee MacCauliffe) on 10th September 1887 in a house at 15 Williamson St., Hobart. They were both aged above 21 and John's occupation was listed as a farmer. Johanna had three children (John, Bridget and Mary) from an earlier marriage to John Grieve and then she and John had 3 children together (Isabella, Harold and Annie).

John remarried in 1908 to Georgina Dare (nee Saunders) a widow with 5 children (Mercedes, Linda, Lorice, Arthur and Herbert) and then he and Georgina had another 3 children together (Hazel, John and Don). All together John then had become father and stepfather to 14 children and yet his granddaughter Margaret Ewart did not know any of her father Harold's family!

Harry (Henry) Ewart (1819-1887)

My great great-grandfather was a native of Annan, Dumfries, Scotland, born to Thomas and Isabella Ewart. He was tried at the Cork Barracks on 8 Dec 1841 for desertion from his unit in King's Own Scottish Borderers the 25th Regiment. He was then convicted and sentenced to 7 years transportation to Van Diemens Land, arriving on the "Isabella Watson" on 5 Aug 1842.

There is some difficulty with establishing the family of Henry as it appears he married two women, one in October 1852 and another in November 1852! One of his sons Robert Ewart was a noted prospecter in Western Tasmania.
I believe Harry died on 15th Jan 1887 in Longford, Tas.

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