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Charles Price

Charles was the son of Margaret Price, a widow. Charles' father is not identified and no record has been located of his baptism or birth. However he was identifed as living with his mother in the 1841 and 1851 censuses in Wales. From the census information it appears he was born in approximately 1839 or 1840 in Abergavenny in Wales. In the 1851 census, he is stated to be 12 years old and his occupation was "Errand boy".

Nothing else is known until he arrived in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne on the ship Lanarkshire on 29 August 1868.

Almost one month later, the following item appeared in 'Family Notices' in the South Australian Register, 24 September 1868, p.2.

newspaper death notice for Charles Price

PRICE.— Near Echuca, on the River Murray, by drowning, Charles Price, aged 29, brother of Mr. James Price ironmonger, Wentworth.


The following item appeared in the Sydney newspaper, Empire, 24 September 1868, p.2.

report of death of Charles Price

MELANCHOLY EVENT. - Mr. Charles Price, brother of Mr. James Price, storekeeper, of Wentworth, was a passenger by the Pride of the Murray, which left Echuca on Saturday last for Wentworth. On the evening of that day, about thirty miles this side of Gonn Station, Mr. Price jumped overboard. One of the deck hands jumped in after him, and got hold of him, but had to let him go in order to save his own life. A lifebuoy and line were thrown out, but Mr. Price went down, and several hours' search was made, but unavailingly, to recover the body, which was not seen again. He had only been ten days in the colony from England, having arrived by the Lanarkshire, and was on his way to join his brother at Wentworth. The friends of Mr. James Price will sympathise with him in his loss. - Riverina Herald.


The death was registered at Moulamein in New South Wales (NSW death registration 5102/1868). The death certificate states age as "about 25 years" and makes no mention of any family connection or time of residence in Australian colonies; the informant for the registration was the Sergeant of Police at Moulamein, and the registration occurred two months after the death. The newspaper report, close to the date of death, and staing an exact age and identification of a brother is presumed to be more accurate in this regard. The death certificate states that Charles Price's "body found in Murray River 30th September 1868" and states he was buried at Gonn Station which is a majopr property on the New South Wales side of the Murray River, just west of the town of Barham.

The death apparently occured on the evening of Saturday 19 September 1868, five days prior to publication of both newspapers. The second newspaper report indicates the body was not found. The death certificate notes "body found in Murray River, 30th September 1868" so that the registered date of death appears to be the date on which the body was found. The drowning occurred thirty miles from Gonn Station where the body was buried and it is possible that the body had drifted down the river in the eleven days between the drowning and discovery of the body. For the entire length of the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria, the state border is the southern bank of the Murray River so that any death in the river will have occurred in New South Wales. There may have been a closer town on the Victorian side of the border, but the nearest New South Wales police officer was apparently in the town of Moulamein, approximately 60 km by the shortest route to Gonn station where the body was buried (and possibly found). The burial at Gonn station occurred on 2 October 1868, two days after the body was found.


It seems that the family was dogged with tragedy as older brother, James Price, died also by drowning just over a year after Charles' death and in similar and mysterious circumstances except that they were in different rivers : Charles drowned in the Murray while brother James drowned in the Darling.

Any further information about this Price family would be welcome.

Thanks to Malcolm Williams who noted the first newspaper death notice when researching Trove (National Library of Australia) and drew attention to this Price brother.




Charles Price in the
Family History Index
family tree brief family tree of
Charles Price



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