Hi all,

I'm trying to track down the comings and goings of my grandmother who left my mother back in London in 1952 and travelled to Australia. I've got the ship record that states that Miss Millicent Pettit disembarked in Fremantle on the 28th Sept 1952 and it seems she was making her way to Paddington (I think in NSW) to work for the United Victuallers Association. At least that's what she's written in the 'address at destination' section. I'm a little stuck now as to how I work out when she naturalised (if she did at all) or how to trace her movements since disembarking. 

Any help would be enormously appreciated. She left my mum high and dry in an orphanage in London when my mum was only 7 and my dear mother has always been quite intrigued as to what became of her.

Thanks all, hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Kind regards,


Views: 288

Reply to this

Replies to this discussion

Aaron,  It is possible that Millicents birth was registered under another surname - I doubt that Joyce & John PETTIT were married by the sounds of it

Discrepancies in ages in immigration records are very common - I would only use an official birth registration if you could find it for Millicent

So this means that Millicent didn't put your Mother in a home but she ended up there because her grandmother who was caring for her had died - sounds like she was going to bring her up

Still Millicent could have taken over when Joyce died instead of disappearing to Australia & marrying there & having 2 children - I doubt there would have been any welfare payments for single Mothers in those days so she may not have been able to support a child - still hard to understand how a Mother could leave a child under these circumstances & never see them again

I hope some more information comes to light in the future to fill in the gaps - I checked the free UK BDM for Millicents birth without success under several different surnames


Just to clarify a few things:

The 1939 register was updated until 1991 so any changes or additions to a person's entry in the register including new surnames could have been added at any time during that 52 year period.

The electoral rolls show Beatrice as RUFFELL in 1945 and 1947 and she does not start using the HARAMBOURE name until 1949, so that surname was probably added to her 1939 register entry around that time when she began to use it regularly as her surname.

Millicent appears on the electoral rolls at the same address as Beatrice from 1945 so she cannot have been born any later than 1924 as the voting age from 1928 for all males and females was 21 years.

Beatrice did not die in 1954, she died in 1958.


December quarter 1958


Aged 50

Westminster 5c 375

You would need to see her death cert for a cause of death, but she may have been ill for some years prior to death, especially if it was something like TB.

Etienne married in 1960 to Ester BIANCHI.  Without seeing certificates I can't be positive, but he may have been the steward onboard ships who regularly travelled back and forth to the US.  Some of the records do identify him as French/Canadian and born around the same time as Beatrice's man so I think it is probably him.  Unfortunately UK electoral rolls do not show occupations.  I can see a person by that name on electoral rolls in the UK up until 1965 which is the extent on the online indexed rolls.

I would say that John Alfred RUFFELL had enlisted for service as he doesn't appear on the 1939 register.  I think that he probably did not return to Beatrice after the war and I suspect that he had a child with an Annie BRAND (maiden surname CLAY) in Nottingham in 1947.  Beatrice died in the last quarter of 1958 and John Alfred married Annie in the first quarter of 1959 so they must have been in contact in some way for him to have known that she had died.

I said earlier that the possible mother of Beatrice was Mary Elizabeth JOSE, and there is a marriage between a Mary E JOSE and John HAYMAN in 1918, so that may be the origins of the HAYMAN name that you gave as the maiden name of  'Joyce'.  I don't see any children registered for them and Mary may have died later that year.


© 2019   Created by National Archives of Australia.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an issue  |  Terms of Service