Can you provide information about three Wisbech brothers who formed an Australian dynasty?

THREE young orphans who left Wisbech for a new life in Australia back in the 1850s founded a dynasty that now numbers more than 3000 descendants in the southern hemisphere.

The Hutchesson family became great landowners and farmers, and now there is a move to chart the family’s history, with their Australian relatives preparing to write a book.

Terence O’Brian, who lives in the Australian state of Victoria, is helping with the project, and is keen to trace any of the Hutchesson family’s relatives in Fenland.

“ I have been bitten with the family history research bug,” he explained. “At a family reunion it was discovered that I had information about the Thomas Hutchesson line, and so my arm was twisted to become involved in providing data for the book.”

The three orphan brothers, John, Reuben and Thomas, were aged 15, 11 and nine when they left the UK in 1854 with their grandfather John Crane. Also on board was their uncle William Hutchesson and his wife Elizabeth, nee Jewson, and their son and daughter.


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The boys’ father, Thomas Hutchesson, was born in South Brink, Wisbech, and died from typhus fever in 1844. Their mother Mary Hutchesson, nee Crane, was baptised at Elm in 1810 and died of cholera in 1851.

Terence, whose wife is a distant relative of the brothers, said: “Very little is known about the Hutchesson history in the Wisbech area, and the authors of the family history are most interested in being contacted with anyone who can assist with data from the 1850s or is related to the Crane, Hutchesson or Jewson families.”

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Terence added: “Each of the brothers pioneered farming areas in southern South Australia and in Western Victoria, before their descendants migrated to all part of Australia.”

John Hutchesson, the eldest brother, married Mary Hateley in 1864 and by 1914 they owned 2,000 acres of land and had six children, 22 grandchildren and 58 great-grandchildren.

Reuben married his cousin Eleanor in 1860, and they had 17 children, 50 grandchildren and 50 great grandchildren. Thomas married Elizabeth Baker in 1865. They had 12 children they farmed more than 600 acres.

Terence can be contacted via email, tobrian1@telstra.com

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