Help Me Find Caroline Dowden
They Say You Can Find Anything On The Internet
Although I have used a lot of different avenues for Family History research, I have never really just openly asked for help on the Internet before...so here goes.
Help! I need help finding one of my ancestors that seems to have vanished into thin air. Her name is Caroline Dowden.
Caroline Dowden is missing!
Caroline Dowden was the only living daughter, and youngest child, of James Walter Dowden and Jane Elizabeth Stroud, born in Brighton, Sussex, England on October 7, 1845. Caroline’s parents had six children including Caroline, but only four lived past infancy. The infant death rate was very high during the 1800’s in England due to the poor living conditions and inferior medical knowledge of the time.
Her older siblings James and Emma died as babies, and her brother William lived to the age of 12 before he also joined his older two siblings in death. Frederick Charles and Edwin Dowden were next in line of birthright order before the world came to know Caroline. Edwin Dowden, her older brother is the main source for any information I might have on Caroline, as he is my 2nd Great Grandfather.
Caroline Dowden on her own at a very young age.
Caroline’s father James Walter Dowden was a coachman like his father before him. He and his wife Jane were keepers at the Swan Hotel, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent England. Unfortunately their lives were short lived, as he died in April, and his wife joined him in August of 1855. Both are buried in Rusthall Common Church Yard. Caroline would have been a child of just 10 years of age. Caroline, along with her brothers Frederick and Edwin were sent to live with an aunt and uncle.
Life at the relatives must have been hard for these three orphans, as each left home at an early age due to conflicts in their living arrangements. By the 1861 census they were all separated and living on their own. Edwin decided to immigrate and came to the United States and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was married to Naomi Debenham by 1864 and starting a family of his own. He soon lost touch with his sister Caroline.
Caroline Dowden Arrived in New Zealand on the Montmorency
Adventures in New Zealand.
Caroline set out on her own for New Zealand. This is a very interesting decision for a young single woman at the time, for New Zealand was a place for many incorrigible refugees from England to go. She set sail for New Zealand on the Montmorency when she was 21 years old. The Montmorency landed in Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand on March 24, 1867 with Caroline Dowden listed as a passenger on the ships manifest. The passengers all left the ship, and were to retrieve their belongings later. Unfortunately the Montmorency caught fire and burned in the bay. All the cargo was completely lost.
Here is where things get fuzzy... I have only a picture of Caroline with her husband with the last name of Carter. She must have sent it to Edwin from her home in New Zealand. Unfortunately it is only labeled, “Caroline Carter.” My mysterious Mr. Carter must have died early because Caroline married again, this time to a William Harris. This is all the information I have, except for a death date of December 24, 1929 for Caroline Dowden, I am assuming in New Zealand.
Is Anyone Besides Me Looking For Caroline Dowden?
I have no other information on dear Caroline Dowden at all. I simply am driven crazy with curiosity. What was her life like in New Zealand as a single woman? How did she meet and marry? Did she have children? So many unanswered questions simply plague my mind. That is when it hit me... why not ask the all knowing World Wide Web!
So this is my plea...is there anybody out there that knows anything about Caroline Dowden Carter Harris from Napier, Hawkes Bay New Zealand?
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