William Hapgood (1842-1923) & Margaret Nugent (1837-1911)

Thomas Hapgood’s eldest son William Hapgood was born on 16 January 1842 in Bath, Somerset. He was 12 years old when he came to Australia in 1854 on the “Lady Ann” with his family [1] (see earlier post).

I haven’t found any records for William until his marriage 7 years later in 1861 to Margaret Nugent [2]. They were married in Ulladulla in 1861. Margaret was originally from Waterford Ireland and had arrived in Australia in late 1859.

Margaret’s sister Mary Nugent had emigrated to Milton Ulladulla much earlier in 1850 aged 17 as a housemaid [3]. During this period 1840-1850 many Irish migrated to Australia to escape the famine. After 9 years, Mary had saved enough money to sponsor her father William Nugent (59), sister Margaret (24) and brother (?) John (34) to also emigrate to Australia on the Abyssinian which left Plymouth in June 1858 and arrived in Sydney on 20 September 1859 [4].

NSW Assisted Immigrants Shipping lists, Abyssinian 1859. http://indexes.records.nsw.gov.au/ebook/list.aspx?Page=NRS5316/4_4795/Abyssinian_20 Sep 1859/4_479500303.jpg&No=4

The Abyssian had 404 emigrants, mostly from Ireland and sponsored by family members already in Australia, just like the Nugent family. The Sydney Morning Herald included a short article on the ships arrival.

Sydney Morning Herald, SMH 10 Sep 1859. vai Trove

Less than 2 years after she arrived in Australia, Margaret Nugent and William Hapgood were married on 26 October 1861 in Ulladulla [2].

Marriage certificate William Hapgood & Margaret Nugent. Ulladulla Registrars office. 26 October 1861. Witnessed by her sister Mary Nugent. Margaret and Mary were both illiterate.

There is one known photo of William and Margaret. The photo looks to have been taken in a studio and I would guess is 1860s. William is in a 3 piece suit with a bushy beard, which looks partly grey. He is seated with his arm resting on a pile of books. He looks relaxed and does not have his fathers very stern appearance! Margaret is standing, wearing a dress with fringes and small ruffled trim, and large buttons. Her hair appears to be plaited or tied back at the rear. From the dress style with the large skirt (and comparing to the Australian Dress Register), its possible that this is their 1861 wedding photo!

Photo from Joanne Ewin “Meet the Pioneers” book [2]

My hope is that one day a wedding photo turns out showing the extended family including William’s parents – especially his mother Hester Hanney, who died a year after the wedding in 1862. There are no known photos of Hester… (There is one photo of Williams father Thomas Hapgood, said to be taken around 1860 – perhaps on the same day??)

As the oldest son of Thomas Hapgood, William “Billy” Hapgood [6] helped run the farm and eventually took over the 120 acre farm at Brooman NSW [2] (see also earlier post about Hapgood Road and Creek). Wiliam and Margaret had size children all together – 3 sons and 3 daughters:

  • Mary Hanney Hapgood b1862 (note the use of the Hanney surname as a middle name). Wiliams mother, Hesther Hanney, died in 1862.
  • Elizabeth Margaret Hapgood b1863 d1863
  • William Hapgood (Jnr) b1864
  • Richard Hapgood b1866
  • Sarah Hapgood b1869
  • Sidney Hapgood b1874

Margarets father William died at her house in 1884 [5]

Margaret died on 9 May 1911 at her home “Fern Tree” surrounded by her family. She was clearly very well respected as the Ulladulla Milton Times wrote a long and glowing obituary notice (with a ton of helpful family information!). She had been unwell for a while, and her sister Mary had died only a few weeks earlier. Her family also posted a death notice with an equally affectionate quotation about a strong family chain which now has a link missing….

William died 12 years later in 1923 aged 81. They are buried together at the Mollymook cemetery, near Milton Ulladulla. Their headstones are engraved with the phrases “There is sweet rest in heaven” and “Peace, perfect peace”.

Grave of William Hapgood and Margaret Hapgood (nee Nugent) Mollymook Cemetery, NSW. via wattsy1107 on Ancesstry.com


[1] Hapgoods on Lady Ann http://indexes.records.nsw.gov.au/ebook/list.aspx?Page=NRS5316/4_4791/Lady Ann_29 Sep 1854/4_479100281.jpg&No=2

[2] Ewin Joanne, Meet the pioneers : early families of the Milton-Ulladulla district with photographs” 1991. https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/6409648?q&versionId=7394225

[3] NSW Assisted Immigrants Shipping list, Abyssinian, 1859: http://indexes.records.nsw.gov.au/ebook/list.aspx?Page=NRS5316/4_4795/Abyssinian_20 Sep 1859/4_479500303.jpg&No=4

[4] Abyssinian Ross Beattie’s Genealogy HomePage http://rnbt.id.au/vessels/abyssinian.html

[5] William Nugent death notice  https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/110306522

[6] Margaret Hapgood nee Nugent death notice https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/161472525

[7] Margaret Hapgood tribute in the Ulladulla Milton Times 1911 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161472533


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