Richard Shaddock (1837–1906) and the Toowong and Toronto Shaddocks

This is an account of Richard Shaddock (1837-1906), who was a son of William Shaddock junior (1798-1865).

See a diagram of the entire Yarnscombe Shattocke family tree here. The Yarnscombe Shattockes are a branch of the entire Shattocke family tree. To see that click here.

Richard Shaddock's (1837-1906) Life Story

Richard Shaddock was born in 1837 in High Bickington, Devon to where his father had moved from Burrington, just a few miles away. His father was working as an agricultural labourer.

This wonderful picture of Mary Isaac (1838-1910) is courtesy of her great great granddaughter Viola Lyon. She looks solidly planted on the ground, dressed in her Sunday finest. Is that a bible in her hands, signifying her devotion? If you look closely at the family photograph further down the page you will see her likeness in this photo is very close to her image in the family photo.

It was tough times and fathers would often put their sons out of the house under contract to other farmers. One less mouth to feed. In the 1851 census we find Richard, age 15, working as an agricultural servant for James King, a farmer in Atherington, a small village only 1.7 miles northwest of High Bickington.

Then in 1859 he gets married in another village 4 miles northwest of Atherington, Chittlehampton. The bride is Mary Isaac (1838–1910).

What do we know about Mary Isaac's early life? On her marriage license her father's name is William Isaac. On the 1891 census she tells the enumerator that her birthplace was Filleigh, Devon, which is only about five miles from Chittlehampton, where she was married. On her baptism certificate from the Filleigh parish, her father is William, labourer, and her mother's name is Anne. This information conforms to handwritten notes on an Isaac bible handed down through the generations, according to Cliff Shaddock, her direct descendant. Also there is a letter from the vicar Andrews in Chittlehampton in 1979 to family historian Ken Shaddock (a descendant of Mary Isaac) where he points out that Mary Isaac could not have been born after 1838 because the marriage record says she was "full age." In my mind that seals the case.

Mary Isaac was not the only Isaac in the family. Her husband Richard Shaddock's aunt Honor Shaddock (1795-1874) had married William Isaac (1795-1858) in 1821 in Burrington. In fact the old patriarchs of the family, William and Sarah (nee Hammet) Shaddock lived with their daughter Honor at the end of their lives. According to Reverend Dr Bernard Susser in the "Exeter Papers in Economic History No 3: Industry and Society in the South West" (University of Exeter, 1970) many Isaacs in Devon were descended from German Jews who had emigrated to Devon sometime after 1730. My own search for the Isaac family produced Devon Isaacs going back to the middle of the 16th century, with most males named Abraham. The 1857 book "An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. With an Essay on Their Derivation and Import" by William Arthur lists the Isaac name as of Jewish origin. Cliff Shaddock told me that Mary's grave was found among non-conformists, which suggested to a local clergyman that she might have been Jewish. Viola Lyons, a descendant, told me that her great aunts always maintained that Mary Isaac was Jewish.

Possible site of Richard's Mill.

Richard continues to live in Chittlehampton because he finds work at a mill as a labourer. He continues in that trade. The 1881 census finds he has moved once again, this time moving almost nine miles due west to the village of Bishops Nympton where he is a journeyman miller. That means he had served his apprenticeship, and no longer had to work under a master. He was free to work on a daily or longer term of employment. He needs to work because his family has grown to ten children! Perhaps he was to blame for Devon's population explosion!

You can barely make out Richard and Mary Shaddock family in this very old photograph

There were two Shaddock brothers from Devon that arrived in Canada within a year of each other. They were called Richard (1870-1942) and Benjamin (1873-1955) Shaddock. They are shown in the bottom row, Ben on the far left and Richard on the far right. Lizzie Shaddock and her husband James Knight also emigrated to Canada. Viola Lyons add this family story:

"My great aunts liked to tell the story of their father, James Knight (who travelled with Richard Shaddock), saving his money to return to Devon. He worked on the ship back over to Devon. Sometime later he married Lizzie and returned to Canada."

William Henry Shaddock, James Shaddock, Samuel John Shaddock and Mary Shaddock migrated to Australia.

So out of the ten children, six children moved abroad, leaving the parents and four other children in England.

Richard Shaddock would become a fully qualified miller and would do farming as well. He stayed in Bishops Nympton until his death in 1906 at the age of 69.

Australian Descendants: The Toowong Shaddock Brothers

I found the three Shaddock sons of Richard living in the same suburb of Brisbane, Toowong, in 1887. They must have coordinated their immigration to Australia. They were all close to each other in age, William Henry born in 1859, James born in 1862 and Samuel John born in 1864. Unlike the Toronto brothers, the three Aussie Shaddocks were employed in the trades, one a mason and the other two carpenters.

The three brothers were not the first to be in the trades. Their great grandfather William Shaddock (1766-1856) had a brother Richard Shaddock (1769-1812) who was a mason. He was married in Chittlehampton and had at least one child there.

William Henry Shaddock (1859-1939) Richard's son William Henry Shaddock was born in Chittlehampton, Devon in 1859. He grew up there. At age 22 we find him in a boarding house run by a widow, Helen Bagster (1844-1931) in Georgehampton, north of Chittlehampton, about 16 miles away. Her father is living there and her son. William is working as a mason. There must have been sparks between William and the twenty-nine year old widow, because in that same year (1881) he marries Helen Bagster (nee Menhinnit) in nearbay Barnstaple.

I am not sure if two of three of the Shaddock brothers emigrated at the same time. Sometime between 1881 and 1887 William Henry and Helen emigrate to Australia. In 1887 the Brisbane Courier there is an electoral list that includes William Henry and a James and a Samuel John Shaddock. The three Shaddocks live in Toowong, a suburb of Brisbane. In the 1887 Brisbane Directory and Country Guide, Samuel John is listed as a labourer, William Henry as a stonemason, and James as a carpenter. William Henry owns his own house, so he has done well in the intervening years. In 1925 we find him in Toowong, on the outskirts of Brisbane, working as a bricklayer. He continues living there and working as a bricklayer, until his death at age 80. He did not have any children.

James Shaddock and his wife, undated photo.

James Shaddock (1862-1935) was born in Chittlehampton, Devon where he grew up. At age 19 in the 1881 census he is listed as a visitor in Thomas Reed's house in Bishop's Tawton, six miles from Chittlehampton. Thomas Reed was born in Burrington, so he made have been from old family friend. His occupation is listed as carpenter. In 1882 to emigrates to Australia, arriving in Cooktown. In the 1887 Brisbane Courier we find him on the electoral rolls listed as living in Toowong, along with his two brothers. His occupation is carpenter.

In 1887 James Shaddock marries Elizabeth E Stranding (1866–1950). They were a very handsome couple. We have a newspaper account of the happy affair:

"A very pretty wedding took place at Toowong on the evening of the fourth. The happy pair, with the groomsmen and bridesmaids, met at the residence of the bride's father, Mr. John Standring, Ivy cottage, at 6:30, when the ceremony was immediately proceeded with. The bride was dressed in light fawn nun's-veiling, draped with lace of the same shade, looped with sprays of orange blossom, with wreath and veil. Bridesmaids were all dressed in pink, relieved with white and fawn-colored lace. About 60 guests sat down to a very sumptuous repast, laid out on tables on the wide veranda. The health of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by the father of the bride in a poetical composition of his own, containing much sound advice, just enough of humor to make it acceptable to the many young friends present. After the breakfast, an inspection of the presents took place. It is impossible to specify them all or the givers, but amongst the articles I noticed two very handsome E. P. cruets, egg stands, two teapots, Wedgewood butter dish, jelly jar and biscuit box, fruit dishes and plates, marble clock, Japanese workbox, work-basket, espergue, double inkstand, hand-painted frames and needlework, toilet set, and tea set of agate ware; also very handsome Bible of guilt and Morocco from the teachers and scholars of the Sunday School. The happy couple of town by the Burwah, on Saturday for Rockhampton, admidst that congratulations of their friends."

James Shaddock and family. Written on the back is "L.R. James Shaddock with daughter Nellie, son William Richard, wife Elizabeth, granddaughter Olive. Back of joinery shop in background. Photo dated 1918.

In 1903, at age 41, he is found at Toowoomba, Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia. We also find him at a hotel in Warwick, Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia, probably working away from home. James and Elizabeth had four children, three girls and a boy. The first born child, Emily, was born in 1888 in October, but died in November. The second child, Ivy Arcadia, was married at 19 to William Henry Coulter. Unfortunately, when she was 28, she died giving birth to her first child Olive Muriel. The two other children were Nellie Shaddock and William Richard Shaddock.

James had a business. The photo shown above is annotated: "back of joinery shop in background."

In 1908 at the age of 46 he has moved to Warwick, Darling Downs, Queensland. He will live there for the rest of his life. He dies at the age of 73. His wife survives him another fifteen years dying in Warwick at the age of 73.

Samuel John Shaddock (1864-1936) was born in Barnstaple, Devon. However in 1871 we find him in Chittlehampton. Ten years later the family is found in Bishops Nympton. The next time Samuel John turns up in the records he is listed in that Brisbane newspaper, along with his two brothers, in Toowong, the suburb of Brisbane. We lose track of him after that, until he shows up living in Perth, on the other side of Australia, in 1910. He is single and working as a carpenter. He remains in Perth and dies there in 1936 at the age of 72. On his grave are the words "our dear brother and uncle," suggesting he died single, but well-loved.

The "Devon Boys." Cliff Shaddock found the following names on the back of the photo: First row, left to right: Uncle Ben (Shaddock), Uncle Tom Mair, Will Harris, Jack Harris, Uncle Dick. Back row: Sanger, Uncle Harry & Dad. I assume this Harry was a Knight, and Uncle Dick is Richard Shaddock. The Mair family I'm not familiar with at all. Dad was James Knight married to Elizabeth Shaddock.

Canadian Descendants: The Toronto Brothers

There were two Shaddock brothers from Devon that arrived in Canada within a year of each other. They are Richard (1870-1942) and Benjamin (1873-1955) Shaddock.

When I moved to Toronto in 1980, I knew my family came from Ontario, so I picked up the telephone book and phoned the first Shaddock I could find, asking about my ancestry. Within hours my phone was ringing steadily. The story I heard was about two Shaddock brothers coming over to Canada from England. I couldn't connect my father's family to these stories, but I carried the story of two Shaddock brothers around in my head for years. It was only when I began researching the Shaddocks in Canada that I realized these were the two Shaddocks the Torontonians were talking about. I descend from a previous generation of Shaddocks who came over around 1850. What I discovered is the first and second wave of Shaddocks were related, descending from a common Burrington, Devon patriarch.

Richard Shaddock, his wife Hettie and their baby, Johnny.

Richard Shaddock (1870-1942) was born in Chittlehampton, Devon England. He was named after his father.

In 1881 the family is found in Bishops Nympton and his father Richard was working as a journeyman miller. This Google map drops you right in the middle of the tiny village so that you can wander around in the streets trod by your ancestors.

Explore Bishops Nympton.

The 1881 census shows that he was at 74 "Newbuildings," living next door to his uncle John, aunt Mary and his cousins at 75 Newbuildings.

The three Shaddock brothers who emigrated to Australia went as skilled tradesmen, two carpenters and a stonemason. This suggests they apprenticed in Devon. The same is the case for the two Shaddock brothers who emigrated to Canada. Benjamin is shown to be a servant at a farm in the 1881 census, but he returns home to his family at night, which suggests to me he was an agricultural apprentice. The same must be the case for Richard because both worked in agriculture when they emigrated to Canada.

Richard was the first to arrive in Canada on 24 March 1889, just before the growing season. He arrived in Halifax and made his way to Toronto. The ship was the Parisian and its passenger lists shows "Mair" and "Knight" as other passengers heading to Toronto, so he probably emigrated with friends and relatives. His sister Elizabeth married a Knight and also immigrated to Scarborough.

Esther and her daughters. Cliff Shaddock provided this photograph.

Very soon after, in December 1891 he marries Esther (Hettie) Beer (1871-1951), who also an immigrant to Canada from Devon. The witnesses were Ben Shaddock, Richard's brother, and Elen Taylor, who became Ben's wife a few years later.

Hettie was born in the town that Richard left behind, Bishops Nympton. She had been in Canada since 1890 when she was seventeen, so their romance may well have been kindled in Bishop Nympton. In fact when Ben Shaddock emigrated to Canada in April of 1890 his traveling companion was none other than "Ester Beer," spinster. Did Richard send for her after earning money for her passage?

The shown above of Richard, Esther and her baby son must have been taken about 1893 because it shows Richard holding his first born son "Johnny" on his knee. But Johnny did not live very long after this picture. The couple would go on to produce eleven more children, all who survived childhood. Between Richard and his father, there were twenty-two Shaddock children brought into this world. It is a great tribute to the vitality of this Shaddock branch of the family, especially the vitality of the women the two Richards chose as their mates!

Cliff Shaddock, descendant of Richard, tells a story that illustrates just how tough and wiry Richard was:

Apparently Richard visited a farmer up the street from where he lived. The farmer was boasting about how big his pig was. Richard told the farmer that it was not so big that he couldn't pick it up. The farmer took a look at the little man and scoffed. Richard's reply was: "If I can pick it up will you let me keep it?" The bargain was struck. Richard then proceeded to butcher the pig on the spot, to hoist the meat onto his back and to walk all the way home with it. His family had plenty of protein in their diet for weeks after that.

Richard worked as a farm labourer most of his life, finally working as a market gardener. He died in 1942 at the age of 72.

Ben Shaddock and his family.

Benjamin Shaddock (1873-1956) was three years older than Richard. We find him in the English 1881 census working as a farm servant, probably an apprentice. It may be that he was under contract to a farmer, preventing him from emigrating the same year. In any case he followed in his brother's footsteps in 1890 aboard the ship Circassian and disembarking in Halifax. He traveled with Ester Beer.

The young woman who was a witness to his brother Richard's marriage, Ellen Taylor (1870-1931), became Ben's wife in a ceremony in Toronto in 1892. She was born in Ontario. They had four children, one boy and three girls. The oldest girl was Mary Janet. She was married in 1920 to Harold Percival Pegler (b. 1888). On her marriage certificate her father's occupation was given as "gardener."

His second oldest daughter was Fannie and his son was Edward. The picture looks like it was taken around 1905. Like many formal pictures taken at this time, I bet it was commissioned so that Ben could send a "progress" picture back to his family in Devon and to preserve the family image for posterity.

He lived to age 83. Helen predeceased him by 25 years, dying in 1931.


William Shaddock 1766-1856 (Sarah Hammet 1771-1854)

Richard's grandfather

William Shaddock (1798-1865) (Grace Richards 1809-1881)

Richard's father

Richard Shaddock 1837–1906 (Mary Isaac 1838–1910)

born in High Bickington, died in Bishops Nympton


William Henry Shaddock 1859–1939 (Helen Menhinnit 1844–1931)

born Chittlehampton, Devon, England, died Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

James Shaddock 1862–1935 (Elizabeth E Stranding1866–1950)

born Chittlehampton, Devon, England, died Warwick, Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia

Samuel John Shaddock 1864–1936

born in Barnstaple, Devon, died in Cannington, Western Australia, Australia

Elizabeth Ann (Lizzie) Shaddock 1866–1949 (James Knight 1862–1950)

born Atherington, Devon, England, died Uxbridge, Durham, Ontario, Canada

Richard Shaddock 1870–1942 (Esther "Hettie" Beer 1871-951)

born Chittlehampton, Devon, England, died Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Benjamin Shaddock 1873–1956 (Ellen Taylor 1870–1931)

born Chittlehampton, Devon, England, died Ontario, Canada

Jessie Shaddock 1875–1951 (John Tapp 1870–1911)

born Bishops Nympton, Devon, England, died England?

Emily Shaddock b. 1878 (Edwin J. Rose )

born Bishops Nympton, Devon, England, died England?

Edith Bessie Shaddock 1880-1963 (William Thomas Jenkins 1878-1969)

born Bishops Nympton, Devon, England, died England?

Mary Jane Shaddock 1882-1945 (Charles John Smith 1881–1970)

born Bishops Nympton, Devon, England, died Armadale, West Australia

Mary Isaac's daughter Elizabeth (Lizzie) and her child Edith. The pictures on this page are courtesy Cliff Shaddock. Below is a picture of Lizzie later in life in Uxbridge, Ontario.

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