[This page is under construction. Updated 11 Apr 2024.]

This chart shows our Edwards and Shorter families from Suffolk and Essex in England. Thomas Edwards and Susannah Shorter had both moved to Plumstead in London where they married in 1866. After the birth of their first child, Martha, they emigrated to Queensland in 1873. Thomas and his daughter Martha both tragically died the following year in Sydney. Susanna later had a child by, then married, James McCartney, a Scottish immigrant, who held mining leases is Charters Towers. Her other daughter, May, later married Wilhelm Schrödter (aka William Schroder) in 1900 at Charters Towers.

See the relevant maps (maps open in new browser tabs):

McCartney Connection

(With thanks to Roslyn Livingston-Shubert for some valuable research into the McCartney line.)

As mentioned above, Susannah Edwards (née Shorter) remarried in 1891 to James McCartney, gentleman (previously a miner in Charters Towers). James had been a witness on the death of her first husband, Thomas Edwards in Sydney in 1885. Susannah and James, though, had an illegitimate child, Reginald James McCartney, nearly four years before they married.

James had previously been married in Ballarat, Victoria, to an English lass called Harriet Smalley, and they had three children: Martha, Euphemia, and Charles, though there is some doubt that Charles had been fathered by James — perhaps this is the reason Harriot and James had separated sometime around 1874. James then moved first to Charters Towers where he had a couple of mining leases (and escaped penalty for the death of two miners in 1877), and then to Sydney where he met and finally married Susannah.

Harriet Smalley had previously had an illegitimate child with a Robert Morton in 1864, before she  she married James in 1867. After they separated, she took up with a John Maxwell, and had two more children: William (1884) and Janet (1889). These poor children watched on as their parents were drowned in a boating accident in Albany, Western Australia, in 1894.

No divorce or annulment  has ever been found for the marriage of James McCartney and Harriet Smalley, so it is feasible their later marriages were bigamous — but perhaps there was a ‘statutory exemption’ given because of the time they were apart. The following chart shows these various relationships.



2. Essex: Edwards-Shorter — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you whoever did this family tree, it is a goldmine for me.
    Susanna Shorter was my great grandmother, grandfather Reginald McCartney, mother Marie McCartney. Now the connection to Edwards is clearer for me.

    • Hi Kerry,

      Glad you’ve been able to make the connection to your Shorter-Edwards family.

      I think you wrote to us many years ago with some information about Alf Edwards in Sydney. We’re very pleased you’ve made contact again.

      I have a lot of documents and pictures I could share with you.

      You’re related to my wife, Robyn; Susannah Shorter was her great-grandmother too. I also have some information on the McCartney connection as well, including James’ first marriage.


      Alan Craig

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