William Henry Henniker, my 2nd great grand uncle, was born to Thomas Henniker and Jemima (aka Mary) Willis. It is thought he was born about 1840, although at present I have not been able to verify this.
William Henry also is found with spelling of his surname as “Henneker”, and also “Heneker”. The surname has changed and varied over time, and even in the 1800s and 1900s it varies with many of the family members of Heneker.
Thomas Henniker, (my 3rd great grandfather) who emigrated from Kent, England, with his wife Jemima Willis, and some of his children who were already born, with more were born in South Australia, emigrated in 1839, and the spelling on the shipping manifest of his surname is Henniker. Even back in Kent, on various records the name Heneker varies widely, usually dependant on the literacy of the person, and the persons recording the surnames. So my assumption is that William was born with the spelling of Henniker, but early records also quite a few family members with the surname being spelled Henneker.
To add to the confusion, in some records, e.g. William’s death record, his name is recorded as Henry William Heneker. It does seem the name is more often in later dates spelled as “Heneker” which is also my maiden name and the same spelling.
So far, and with quite a bit of searching on Trove.nla.gov.au newspaper website, and using search parameters such as Henry Heneker/Henniker/Henneker and also William Heneker/Henniker/Henneker, I have only found 2 newspaper articles. One in 1881 is for a Tender that William put in to break stone, and the other of the Kapunda Council in regard to William’s death in 1896.
Also William (I will call him William but obviously that could be interchanged with Henry due to variations on records), appears to have had an unusual partnership with his so called wife. I say this as I can find no marriage records to state that he was legally married. However I will go into this a bit further along.
William’s father Thomas and mother Jemima (Mary) lived in Gawler in the later years of their lives, and this is where they died. It seems that in at least 1881 William was also living in Gawler. A newspaper article talks about the “Tender” he submitted. It reads as follows:
At a fortnightly meeting of the Town Council, there were four tenders for breaking about 400 yards (365 metres) of stone, and the following were accepted. – Thomas Kenall to break 60 yards at 1 shilling and 9 pence per yard, William Heneker to break 100 years at 1 shilling 11 pence per yard.
[Bunyip (Gawler SA:1863-1954) Friday 21 Jan 1881 / Page 2]
The second article published is about the death of William Heneker.
‘A CONTRACTOR DEAD’
His worship said William Henniker, who had a stone breaking contract, had died and some of the stone was left unbroken. On the motion of Cr. Ively seconded by Cr. Orchard, it was resolved that the stone broken be measured and the money due paid to the widow, and that the overseer arrange to have the balances of the stone broken.
[Kapunda Herald/Wednesday 15 Apr 1896/Page 3/Municipal Council]
As can be seen in the above article, William’s name is spelled differently than it had been in the 1881 article. I cannot find any further information about William’s death. I will order the certificate details which give further information about his death. However a death certificate within this date range, does not provide as much information as later dates. The certificate details from the GenealogySA website states “Marital Status” – none, yet the Kapunda Council talk about paying any outstanding money earned by William before his death go to his widow. However this is another mystery in regard to William’s actual marital status.
I will add further information as I can find it. I do have further information about known children, although once again, there is some query about some children attributed to William as having different surnames, therefore this requires further research, and it might be that no further information in this regard can be found.
One more added note is that it state’s on William’s death record that his Burial site is not recorded. However I have information he was buried at Kapunda Cemetery, which would seem reasonable considering people didn’t usually have enough money or access to being able to transport bodies to other places for burial. As it might appear that William didn’t seem to have family who recorded his death in newspapers, even the local paper, that it wouldn’t be possible for him to be moved to any other area for burial. However on checking the Kapunda Cemetery records no Heneker is recorded as a burial and I have tried all versions of the name.
I hope William didn’t live too isolated a life. He seems to have left very little footprint in the area or within his immediate family. I hope I am wrong.
With thanks to my Victorian cousin Harold Boddy, I now have a photograph of the grave of William named as “Henry William Henniker” on his gravestone and of his daughter Marian May, died 1893 at the age of 6 years. They are together at the Kapunda Cemetery, South Australia.
[Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/201495278/henry-william-henniker : accessed 9 October 2021), memorial page for Henry William Henniker (unknown–16 Apr 1896), Find a Grave Memorial ID 201495278, citing Kapunda Christ Church Anglican Cemetery, Kapunda, Light Regional Council, South Australia, Australia ; Maintained by J (contributor 50048377) ]
Thanks also to Harold Boddy for searching out this image. Much appreciated cousin.!