Eliza Butts

Eliza Butts was the wife of Richard Shortland who came from England to Australia in 1841. I found myself researching Eliza, as it seemed learning about Richard and Eliza, may lead me to learn more about the story I have been told, that my family is descended from Lieutenant John Shortland but she turned out to be interesting in her own right and I have now amassed quite a bit of information, which is published here.

Richard and Eliza married on 15 November 1847, at age 16 in Armidale, New South Wales and they had 12 children – their marriage certificate records Eliza as being a minor but that she is marrying with the consent of her father. Eliza passed away on 19 March 1910, at age 79 in Sydney.

A search of the My Heritage website found that Eliza was born on 5 December 1830, in Bisley, England, to Jacob Butt and Ann Butt.  I have also learned that Eliza’s father Jacob was a clothier named Robert Butt. Eliza’s mother Ann was also the daughter of a clothier named Moses Smart.

Further information about Jacob can be found on the Wiki Tree website below.

The website explains that after they married, Jacob and Ann lived in France Lynch, just north of Chalford where there were mills. However, in the 1830s the industrial revolution had an impact and over a third of the people were unemployed. Many were starving. The Bisley vestry records show that Jacob occasionally obtained financial assistance to enable his family to survive.

In 1837 the Rev Thomas Keble was involved in raising funds to enable 68 people to emigrate to Australia on The Layton. Jacob, his wife Ann and children were chosen. Sadly there was an outbreak of measles on this journey and some of the children died at sea.

An economic history of Bisley can be found below.

Information about the Rev  Thomas Keble can be found on the National Archives website.

The Butt family appear to have been assisted immigrants. Assisted immigrants were able to travel to Australia through the financial assistance of the government, organisations, or wealthy individuals.

Jacob, Anne and their family were among the first group of 13 families (68 people) to leave Bisley in England and travel to Australia, arriving in January 1838 aboard The Layton. I have located information about the family on the WikiTree website below.

The website explains that the barque Layton left Bristol on 8 September 1837, and arrived in Sydney in January 1838. It was carrying 122 emigrants and 110 children. An outbreak of measles caused the deaths of 70 children.

A copy of the passenger shipping records can be found below.

The arrival of the ship in Australia was reported in the Sydney Gazette.