Historical information

Family research queries
John and Sarah Watts
William and Mary Watts
Both families were shoemakers.

John and Sarah Watts arrived in Eltham circa 1850. John Watts was recorded in the initial 1858 Eltham Roads District Board rates book living in Little Eltham, also 1859 and 1860. The property then appears to be in the name of Thomas Watts from 1861 to 1863 at least. Thomas was married to Ann.

According to a Facebook contact from family researcher Rosie Watts in Queensland, the children of John and Sara were Betsy aka Elizabeth, Ann, Maria, Robert and Sarah (later Jones). Sarah was born 1850, the only child born in Australia.
Sarah Watts remained in Eltham and married a man by the name Meadows.

On 24 January 1860 John Watts was asaulted by a beligerant drunk (John Castle) whilst sitting at the bar of the Fountain Hotel that evening. Castle without warning grabbed Watts by the throat, pushed him over and kicked him in the head with his heavy boots. Constable Lalor was called and Castle attempted to assault him as well. Watts was helped up, was sick and was taken home by his son and a Mr Wallace. He went to bed. Watts died April 11 and his wfe Sarah advised the Coroner's inquest held April 11 that he had never left his bed from that time. Castle was charged with manslaughter. He was found guilty by jury and sentenced to 18 months hard labour on the roads.

John Watts is buried in Eltham Cemetery in an unmarked grave before records were kept. His wife, Sarah later Sarah Meadows (previously Watts, nee Tew) is buried there also along with her daughter Ann Southerly Head (nee Meadows).

Physical description

EDHS_05556 Folder: Watts
1. Letter: Betty Jeffrey, Yea, Vic, 3 May 1984; pertaining to John and Sarah Watts (great grandparents). John was killed at the Fountain Hotel, Eltham in 1860 (3 pages)
2. Letter: Sue Wills, Waterford West, Qld, n.d. seeking information on John and Sarah Watts and William and Mary Watts (both families shoemakers)
3. Letter: Betty Jeffrey, Glenburn, Vic, 1 Sep 2000 pertaining to John Watts killed at the Fountain Hotel, Eltham in 1860 and buried at Eltham Cemetery (1 pages)
4. Newspaper article (digital copy: SUPREME COURT. (1860, April 19). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved August 7, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154841195
5. Extract of Watts children registered at Eltham State School No.209 1867-1900 (digital)