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William Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith born in 1823, is said to have been born in Essex, England and after migrating to the United States, enlisted as a Private into Company “C” of the 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment. There is controversy, however, over the William Joseph Smith buried in Australia as being the same one who enlisted into the 9th Alabama Infantry. There are gaps in the timeline, but records seem to indicate they are one and the same.

The 9th Infantry Regiment was organized at Richmond, Virginia in May, 1861 and contained men recruited in the counties of Mobile, Jackson, Marshall, Morgan, Lauderdale, Limestone, Greene, Sumter, Butler, and Calhoun Counties. In April 1862 the 9th was assigned to General Wilcox's Brigade consisting of 550 officers and men. Later it was brigaded under Generals Perrin, Sanders, and W.H. Forney. The 9th served with distinction in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from Williamsburg to Cold Harbor and was then active in the Petersburg trenches and the perilous campaign that closed at Appomattox. The 9th Regiment lost 134 men at Gaines' Mill, 130 at Frayser's Farm, had 12 killed and 42 wounded in the Maryland Campaign and 21 killed and 90 wounded at Chancellorsville. Fifty-eight more were killed or wounded at Gettysburg and still many were disabled at Cold Harbor. On April 9, 1865 it finally surrendered with only 6 officers and 70 men remaining. The 9th’s field officers were Colonels Samuel Henry, J.H. King, and Cadmus M. Wilcox; Lieutenant Colonel Stephen F. Hale, E.A. O'Neal, and Gaynes C. Smith; and Majors James M. Crow and Jere H.J. Williams.

After the war Smith again was said to have migrated, this time to Australia; arriving in Melbourne, Victoria. Upon his arrival in Australia he resided at 84 Gooch Street in Northcote, Victoria, and later married a lady named Elizabeth Ellen Curran in Melbourne. They four children; Elizabeth Ann, Marian, William Joseph born in 1858 at Lancefield, registration number 3429 and Amelia. Unfortunately, there is no registration in Victoria for Elizabeth Curran, neither are their other 2 children registered.

William Joseph, their son, married Alice Harrison Tyler in 1877 and their children were Harold Curteon Smith born in 1886 at Prahran reg 28792, died at Regent in 1949. reg 4920; no marriage was found, William George born in 1885 at St. Kilda reg 13875, Alice Myrtle Johnson born in  1889 who died in 1975 in Malvern at age 86 reg 18377,  Florence Bertha Mochrie born in  1895 and died in 1978 at Toorak reg 561; at age 83 and  William George who  married Lillian Nixon or Niscon in 1907 reg 7901 or 7901R; no children or deaths were found thereafter.

Other records uncovered include Amelia born 1859 in Lancefield reg 20662 who married Frank Jordan 1878 and their children were; William Harrison J. Jordan born in Romsey 1879 reg 18847, died 1922 in Cheltenham reg 12551;  Francis Hall Jordan born in 1881 at Romsey reg 11946, died 1933 at  East Malvern reg 3006; Edith May Jordan born 1883 at Caulfield, died at Malvern in 1906 reg 2320; Walter Hamilton Jordan born in Caulfield in 1886, died 1939 reg 2613; Edith May married Oliver John Lang of Caulfield in 1900, he died at Pyramid Hill in 1906 at age 30 reg 14620; Petoria May born in Fitzroy South in 1901 reg 11104; Doreen May died at age 5 in 1906 reg 14621 and Olive Viola born in Footscray in 1902, died in 1906, reg 14622.

It is said William worked as a farmer, residing in Victoria some sixty-eight years; his residence being recorded as 84 Gooch Street, Northcote, Victoria. On September 12, 1912 William Joseph Smith died at the age of eighty-nine years of age; death certificate number 1912/11541, and was buried in Northcote Cemetery on Separation Street, in Victoria, on September 25, 1912. His gravesite is recorded as “6W 20' S of path 1”. His death was reported by his son, William Joseph Smith, of Ferntree Gully who was said to have lived in Fern Tree Gully, Victoria. William was survived by Marian, aged 59; William Joseph aged 54 and Amelia aged 52. His wife, Elizabeth Ellen Curran, died four years later, in 1907 at 73 years of age, and was also buried in the Northcote Cemetery; certificate number 9749.

Their children, Amelia Jordan, died in 1943 at age 80 and was buried in Northcote, registration number 10838; Marian Dunn died in 1931 at age 72 and was buried in Brunswick, registration number 8202; William Joseph Smith, the son, died in 1943 at age 85 and was buried in Ferntree Gully Cemetery in Prahran, registration number 333 and Elizabeth Ann Wansley died in 1924 at age 66 and was buried in Balwyn, registration number 4092.

 

Cassy Beechey, Northcote Cemetery Officer

Early Settlers of Alabama”, James Edmonds Saunders, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982

Fern Tree Gully Cemetery, Victoria

From Alabama to Appomattox : History of the 9th Infantry”; Price Parker, Athens,

      Alabama, Athens News Courier, 1960

Glen Turnbull, Knox Historical Society Inc., Ferntree Gully, VIC

John C. Carter, Alabama

Julienne Schofield

Karen Beaton, Knox City Council, Victoria

Kathy Smalley, Victoria

National Archives, Microfilm Collection, Film Number M374, roll 41

Victorian Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Victoria White Pages

9th Alabama Infantry Regimental Records

9th Alabama Infantry Regimental Rosters

 

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