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Orphan Number: 4164
Orphan: Ralph OAKES
Mother:McGREGOR, Margaret
Father:OAKES, William
Mother's ship:Emma Eugenia
Father's ship:Lord Dalhousie
Age when admitted:6yrs
Date admitted:21 Oct 1870
Date discharged:
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to:
Remarks: father a whaler - father got life sentence for murdering his wife
References: SWD27, HAP1871/63, Mercury 29 Sep 1886


This orphan has been claimed by: Marguerite Broadby

Ralph and William (actually James) Oakes were the 2 youngest children of William Oakes and Margaret McGregor. William was in the Cumberland Regiment and convicted of striking his superior and of desertion and was transported on the Lord Dalhousie 1852. Margaret was married(John McLean) with 2 children, from Glasgow, she was transported on the Emma Eugenia in 1851 , her son James died on board. She had another child George born in the Female Factory in 1852, who died in Brickfields.
 Margaret married William Oakes 18 May 1857. She had 4 children - George Henry, Samuel, William James, Ralph. (debate as to whether William is Georges father). William was intermittently a whaler, and Margaret applied for aid at least in 1867 and received 2 pounds. In 1870 she applied to have her children placed in the Queens Orphan School - it appears that the 2 youngest Ralph and William were admitted. George at this time went to sea on the Bella Mae, then joined the Navy on the Blanche. He became a policeman then a lighthouse keeper and was awarded for bravery in both roles. One of his sons became Police Commissioner of Tasmania - Walter George Oakes, and another was a famous local boxer, Courtland Oakes.
William snr and Margaret came to sad ends - he was convicted of her murder in 1886 - prior to this they seem to be known as pleasant drunks living off Campbell St - there was some debate it was Ralph who actually did the deed!
Ralph married Esther Ethel Nicholls in 1918 divorced 1926 and  actually returned to his childhood home in St Johns Park in his old age -and was living in the Nursing Home when he drowned in the Derwent in 1940.
William snr died the year after his wife - his death sentence had been commuted to Life - he died in the Hobart Penitentiary in Campbell St.
William James married Kathleen Murray in 1885 and had at least 2 children , John and ? Vinita. William and Kathleen were buried with his mother Margaret at Cornelian Bay Cemetery.
 ( This is a summary of much combined research by several descendants of George Henry Oakes)


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Site last updated January 2017