Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for accident in Avoca


Maria Young (1863-1941) was my husband's great great aunt, the sixth of thirteen children of George Young (1826-1890) and Caroline née Clarke (1835-1879).

Maria married John Llewellyn Tunks (1858-1915) on 4 August 1884 at St John's Church, Avoca, Victoria.

Marriage certificate of John Llewellyn Tunks and Maria Young (click image to enlarge)

On her marriage certificate Maria's occupation was described as 'domestic'. Her husband John was a miner.

In January 1884, Maria, then 19, fell through a trapdoor at the Royal Oak Hotel, where she worked as a servant. (Actually, I am not entirely sure that the Maria Young who fell into the cellar was Maria, daughter of George Young. It seems likely.)

She was not hurt badly, but the incident was regarded as sufficiently newsworthy to be reported in the Avoca Mail:

No title (1884, January 18). Avoca Mail (Vic. : 1863 - 1900; 1915 -1918), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201530603

Maria and John had twelve children
  • Clara Maria Caroline Tunks 1885–1970 
  • Lillian Annie Tunks 1887–1971 
  • Theresa May Tunks 1890–1976 
  • John Lewellen Tunks 1892–1906 
  • George Edward Tunks 1894–1983 
  • Stephen Ernest Tunks 1897–1973 
  • Caroline Ethel Tunks 1899–1984 
  • James Victor Tunks 1899–1966 
  • Ivy Myrtle Tunks 1901–1972 
  • Thelma Harriet Maude Tunks 1904–2004 
  • Clement Lewellen Tunks 1906–1961 
  • Phyllis Grace Muriel Tunks 1910–1992 


The Tunks family about 1905 or 1906. There are ten children in the photograph. The baby is either Thelma born 1904 or Clement born 1906; John Lewellen Tunks junior died in February 1906. This photograph was given to me by Noel Tunks (1943-2008).