Price and Provenance 8

The Provenance of my Miles and Miles Macaria

In this post, I will investigate the origin and prior ownership of my copy of the Miles and Miles edition of Macaria, by Augusta Jane Evans Lewis, that was probably published sometime between 1899 and 1902. The story of the author and her books and of the probable source of the publication appears in the previous posts, Price and Provenance 6 and its sequel Price and Provenance 7. My copy of the book is shown in figure 1 below.

As I mentioned previously, there is no printed date of publication in Macaria, nor is there a bundle of publisher’s advertisements bound into the book to assist with the establishment of a date. However, there is one other piece of useful evidence, a prize presentation sticker on the free front end paper (ffep). The front end papers and the prize label are shown in Figure 2 below.

The label clearly states that the book was awarded to George Goodburn by the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, Penrith for attendance and good conduct. Frustratingly, the date at the bottom of the prize label has not been filled in, nor have the marks achieved. We are left with the printed “190 “, with the final, crucial digit missing. We also have the two names printed on the bottom of the label: “REV. J. GRAHAM, Minister” with “Mr. JNO GRAHAM”, Superintendent printed beneath. Is the information on this label enough to provide us with any help with the date, and can we identify George Goodburn? Here is a larger picture of the label (Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Macaria prize label.

Where is the Penrith Primitive Methodist Sunday School?

There are two obvious main choices for the location of Penrith; Penrith, a small market town in Cumberland, now Cumbria, in England, or Penrith in New South Wales, Australia, now an outer western suburb of Sydney, in the approaches to the Blue Mountains.There are two other less likely candidates; Penrith , nowadays usually spelled Penrydd, a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and Penrith, a small community in Washington State, USA.

It quickly became clear that there had been Primitive Methodist Churches or Chapels in both Penrith, Cumberland and Penrith, NSW but that there were no records of one in the two other Penrith candidates. After further investigation, it became apparent that the Primitive Methodist Church I should concentrate on was the one in Cumberland. There will be much corroborating evidence for this later. In fact, there is a surviving town plan of Penrith, Cumberland from 1872 showing the location of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, and the building , although disused, is still standing today. It is located at the corner formed by Sandgate, Benson’s Row and Fell Lane. It was known locally as the Sandgate Chapel or the Sandgate Head Chapel. The importance of the name “Sandgate” will become apparent later. The map and the building are shown below.

The Sandgate Head Chapel was originally built by the Wesleyan church in 1815 to serve as their main chapel in Penrith. The Wesleyan movement eventually built a new chapel in Wordworth Street, (the poet William Wordsworth’s mother was from Penrith,) and when they moved into Wordsworth Street in 1873, the Sandgate Head Chapel was transferred to the Primitive Methodist movement. After the Primitive Methodist movement rejoined the “mainstream” Westleyan Church in 1932, the Sandgate Head Chapel continued to operate until 1967, since which time it has been empty. There have been plans to convert the building to housing, and in recent Google “Street View” pictures, the building seems to have been renovated.

Information from

It is interesting that two out of the three Miles and Miles books that I own have prize certificates from the Primitive Methodist Sunday School movement in them. Perhaps Miles and Miles had an arrangement with the Primitive Methodist movement for the supply of such prize books, although a sample of three is a very small number. You can find some information about the Primitive Methodist movement in Price and Provenance 4.

Rev. J Graham, Minister

The Rev. J Graham referred to on the prize label was Rev. John Graham (1865-1930), who was born in Blyth, Northumberland in 1866. In the 1891 UK census, he was recorded as a single, 25 year old Primitive Methodist Minister living in Goole in Yorkshire. In the 1901 census, he was described as a 35 year old married Methodist Minister living at 51 Wentworth Street, Penrith. This is about 100 metres north of the Wesleyan chapel on the corner of Wentworth Street and Drover Street and 200 metres from the Sandgate Head Primitive Methodist Chapel. He was married to 34 year old Sarah Annie Graham nee Payton from Bagworth in Leicestershire.

At the time of the 1911 census, Rev. John Graham was visiting a family at Allendale in his native Northumberland, and is again described as a 45 year old married Primitive Methodist Minister. However his life had changed considerably since he lived in Penrith in 1901. In the last quarter of 1903, his son John Richard Alston Graham had been born in Penrith, but unfortunately his wife Sarah Annie died in that same quarter, presumably due to complications from the birth. Rev. John Graham was remarried a year later to Jane Eliza Johnson (1875-1952) in Scarborough, Yorkshire, sometime in the last quarter of 1904. According to the records of the Primitive Methodist Church, John Graham moved to be the minister at Allendale in 1904, to Scotter in Lincolnshire in 1907, where his second son Edward Hugh Graham was born in 1909, and to Whitehaven in Northumberland in 1910. In the 1911 census, while Rev John Graham was visiting friends in Allendale, his second wife is reported to have been living in Whitehaven with her son Edward Hugh and her step-son John Richard Alston.

From these records, it seems clear that Rev. John Graham had left Penrith permanently sometime in 1904. The church records also reveal that he moved from Bishop’s Auckland to Penrith in 1900, having been the minister at Goole in Yorkshire from 1890 to 1893. So his tenure as Primitive Methodist Minister at Penrith was limited to the period 1900 to late 1903/early 1904. I have found a photograph of Rev. John Graham published in the Methodist magazine in 1919 (Figure 5), when he was 51. He looks younger in the photograph, which was presumably taken earlier than 1919.

Figure 5. Rev. John Graham (1868 – 1930)

The prize label also mentions a Mr Jno Graham as Superintendent of the Sunday School. This must be another John Graham, and the UK census records for 1901 reveal that there were eight other John Grahams resident in Penrith that year. These varied from a one year old infant John Graham to a 74 year old agricultural labourer. The most likely candidate, in my view, is John Graham, a 42 year old tailor and proprietor, with his wife Elizabeth, of the Castle Temperance Hotel in Castlegate. This was within 250 metres of the Sandgate Head Chapel. Temperance is strongly aligned with Methodism.

It is interesting that this older John Graham was born in 1858 at Bedlington Colliery Village, Northumberland, about three km away from Blyth, where the Rev. John Graham had been born 10 years later in 1868. From this story, we can reasonably suggest that George Goodburn would have most probably received his prize book Macaria during the years of 1900 to 1903. so, who was George Goodburn?

Who was George Goodburn?

The answer to this question is quite simple, but the family history that my investigation revealed was complex and fascinating. I will try just to give the main highlights in this post. There has been no shortage of George Goodburns in Penrith, and they have been there since at least the middle of the 16th century. Now there seem to be none left in Penrith. Where did they come from and where did they go?

Overview of the Goodburn family line.

I have been able to establish the following family line, most of whom were George Goodburns. I am starting the list from the most ancient ancestors and working down to the latest and last member of the line. All were residents of Penrith. The dates for the earliest ones are somewhat vague, due to the meagreness and scarcity of records that have survived for more than 400 years. The list represents 12 consecutive generations of fathers and sons.

  • Alexander Goodburn (mid 16th cent)
  • Christopher Goodburn (late 16th cent)
  • Thomas Goodburn (1600- ?)
  • George Goodburn (1640-1717)
  • Henry Goodburn (1682-1757)
  • George Goodburn (1710-1789)
  • George Goodburn (1738-1790)
  • George Goodburn (1765-1826)
  • George Goodburn the Innkeeper (1805-1883)
  • George Goodburn the Chemist (1835-1862)
  • George Albert Goodburn the Solicitor’s Clerk (1859-1931)
  • George Albert Goodburn the Bank Cashier (1886-1966)

Every one of these, from Thomas Goodburn down to George Albert Goodburn the Solicitor’s Clerk, was born, raised, married and died in Penrith. The earliest ancester, Alexander, is only recorded in the baptismal record of his son Christopher in Penrith. I found some even earlier Goodburns living in Penrith in the first half of the 16th century, but I could not establish their relationship to the family line.

The very last name, George Albert Goodburn (1886-1966), was the recipient of Macaria from the Primitive Methodist Chapel. There are several enigmas that became apparent in the story of his immediate family. I will look at them in more detail in the next section. He is the end of the line, both for Goodburns in Penrith, but also in terms of his direct genetic linkage.

George Albert Goodburn the Bank Cashier (1886-1966)

George Albert Goodburn was born on 8th May 1886, in Penrith and at his baptism, presumably as a Methodist, on 2nd July 1886 was given exactly the same name as his father. His mother was Elizabeth Goodburn who had been born Elizabeth Nicholson in the second quarter of 1866 in the small hamlet of Greystoke, which is found 3km east of Penrith. George Albert Goodburn was his parents’ first born child, following their marriage in the second quarter of 1885. He was followed by a sister, Mary Isabel Goodburn, who was born on 6th May 1888 and a brother, Ernest William Goodburn, who was born on 11 April 1891. The family had lived since the marriage of George Albert Goodburn senior and Elizabeth Nicholson at 19 Sandgate Head in Penrith, and all three children were almost certainly born at home. Starting from the 1881 census document of 3rd April that year, George Albert Goodburn senior was always described as either a Solicitor’s Clerk or a Legal Clerk. He lived at 19 Sandgate Head for the rest of his life, and eventually died there on 16th July 1931, the last George Goodburn to die in Penrith.

Sadly for the family, Elizabeth Goodburn nee Nicholson died at 19 Sandgate Head in the first quarter of 1895 at the age of 28, leaving her widowed husband to raise three children of 8, 6 and 3 years of age. His solution is apparent in the census record of 31st March 1901, where the family shown at 19 Sandgate Head is George Albert Goodburn senior, now 42, with the three children aged 14, 12 and 9 and a “servant” called Margaret Louisa Goodburn aged 22. This was Margaret Louisa Warwick (1879-1969), who later married George Albert Goodburn senior in the third quarter of 1901 back in her home village in Westmoreland. She bore him one child, Reginald Warwick Goodburn (1911- 1982), and survived her husband by 38 years before she too died in 19 Sandgate Head on 28th April 1969. Reginald became a solicitor’s clerk, just as his father had, and lived most of his life at 19 Sandgate Head, where he died on 18th January 1982.

If you inspect the census report for 2nd April 1911 for 19 Sandgate Head, you will see that the occupants were George Albert Goodburn senior, Margaret Louisa Goodburn, now his second wife, and the youngest child of his first marriage, Ernest William Goodburn, recorded as a 19 year old grocer’s assistant. Margaret would have been heavily pregnant, as her son Reginald was born about ten days after the census date. There is no mention of the two older children, who have left home, indeed left the town and the country and are now in North America. Where they were and how they got there needs some background and explanation.

The Goodburn Exodus from Penrith.

The two oldest children of George Albert Goodburn senior, George Albert Goodburn Junior and Mary Isobel Goodburn were not the first members of the Goodburn family to leave Penrith and cross the Atlantic. There had been two earlier quite separate migrations that I will briefly outline.

First, let us go back to George Albert and Mary Isobel’s maternal family. Their mother, Elizabeth, had been born the last of the 5 children of William Nicholson (1835 – 1866) and Elizabeth Nicholson nee Coulthard (1839 – 1925). William Nicholson had died in 1866, a few months after his daughter’s birth. In 1867, her mother Elizabeth remarried John Taylor (1840-1916), a farmer whom she probably had known for many years, stemming from their shared childhood in the village of Lazonby, a few km north of Penrith.

John and Elizabeth Taylor had seven children together while living in and around Penrith between 1869 and 1877. They also had included the five children from Elizabeth and William Nicholson’s marriage as a part of their expanded family. According to the 1871 census, the family were all together on John Taylor’s farm at Penruddock, 6km west of Penrith. By 1881, the combined family was operating as two groups, with two of the older Nicholson boys running the farm at Penruddock, and three of the Taylor daughters staying with them, while John and Elizabeth were running the Black Bull Hotel in Castlegate, Penrith with the other Nicholson and Taylor children staying with them. The Black Bull is no longer operating as a hotel in Penrith, but the original building, now converted into shops, is still standing. You can see it below.

Figure 6. The former Black Bull Hotel, Castlegate, Penrith.

In 1885, John Taylor migrated by himself to the USA, and in June 1887, his wife Elizabeth followed him with the six Taylor children on the SS British King from Liverpool to Philadelphia. We don’t know why they chose to emigrate. The family settled in Sewickley in Pennsylvania, where they became American citizens, and the children married local Americans. Two of the Nicholson sons also emigrated to the same area of Pennsylvania. John Taylor died in Sewickley in 1916, followed by his wife Elizabeth in 1925. They are buried there together.

The other related group that moved from Penrith to North America was the family of George Albert Goodburn senior’s sister, Mary Alice Crawford nee Goodburn (1856-1948). Their father, George Goodburn the Chemist (1835- 1862) and mother, Margaret Farrington Goodburn nee Halliwell (1833-1868) both died when their two children were very young. The two orphans lived with their maternal grandmother Lydia Halliwell, and then, after her death, with their uncle Bartholomew Halliwell. Mary Alice Goodburn married Richard Crawford in 1878 and they had taken over the running of the Woolpack Inn from Mary Alice’s grandfather George Goodburn the Innkeeper (1805-1883). In 1881, George Albert Goodburn senior, who was lodging with his sister and brother-in-law at the Woolack Inn, was already working as a solicitor’s clerk. The Woolpack Inn is still operating in Penrith. It is located at the south end of Burrowgate, and can be seen below.

Figure 7. The Wool Pack Inn, 1 Burrowgate, Penrith

Again, for no obvious reason, Mary Alice and Richard Crawford with their three children all under 6 years of age emigrated from Penrith to Hamilton, Ontario in Canada in 1884, where they spent the rest of their lives. They had another eight children together, all born in Hamilton Ontario between 1885 and 1897.

So, by the first few years of the 20th century, George Albert Goodburn junior and Mary Isobel Goodburn had two groups of relatives who had become well-established in North America since about 1885. Their grandmother’s family was in Pennsylvania and their aunt’s family was in Hamilton, Ontario. The urge to join them was apparently irresistable.

The Third Wave of Goodburn Emigration

On 13th Nov 1907, brother and sister George Albert Goodburn junior, aged 21, and Mary Isobel Goodburn, aged 19, boarded the SS Friesland bound for North America. They disembarked in Philadelphia on 25th November 1907 and presumably stayed initially in Sewickley with their grandmother Elizabeth Taylor. In the 1910 US census, George Albert Goodburn is still boarding with his grandmother at 603 Broad Street, Sewickley, but his sister Mary Isobel is not with him. We next hear of her living in Hamilton, Ontario at 137 Maple Avenue. Sadly she was terminally ill with typhoid fever, and died there on 16th November 1911, with her brother George Albert at her side.

George Albert Goodburn seems to have stayed in Ontario until 1st December 1915, when he took a railway trip from Hamilton to Niagara Falls, New York, where he declared his intention to stay again with his grandmother in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. On 9th February 1917, he filed his application for US citizenship in Pennsylvania, and interestingly, he renounced his Methodism and was confirmed into the Anglican church on 30th March 1917 at St. Stephen’s church, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. At the next US census on 1st January 1920, he was still living with his grandmother at 603 Broad Street, working as a shipper for a furnace company.

Later in 1920, George Albert Goodburn moved to Medicine Lodge in Barber County, Kansas, where in that same year, he married Nellie Beatrice Wright (1889-1958). She had been born in England but had emigrated to the USA at six weeks of age. They lived together in Medicine Lodge until Nellie’s death on 27th September 1958. He was married to Minnie Pearl Johnson on 19th October 1959 in Medicine Lodge.

George held various jobs in the banking industry in Medicine Lodge, mainly with the First National Bank, before becoming the manager of a grain company. He lived at 98 West Kansas Avenue from 1935 until his death on 22nd December 1966. There were no children from either of George Albert Goodburn’s two marriages.

Not to be outdone by his two older siblings, the youngest brother, Ernest William Goodburn also traveled from Penrith to North America, but his movements were more complicated.

Ernest William Goodburn (1891-1986)

Ernest Goodburn first left Penrith in 1912, sailing from Liverpool and arriving at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 14 April 1912. This was the day before the sinking of the Titanic in nearby waters! Ernest stayed at 262 Wellington Street North in Hamilton, close to his Aunt Mary Alice Crawford’s family who lived at 8 Richmond Street South. As far as I can tell, his brother George Albert was still in Hamilton at that time. Ernest left Ontario on 24th August 1912, travelling by himself via Niagara Falls in New York state to stay with his grandmother Elizabeth Taylor in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Ernest returned to England and in 1916 joined the Cumberland-based 3rd Border Regiment, which saw service at home in England as a training battalion in the First World War. After the war, he left England again via Liverpool on 7th August 1919, arriving at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 17th August. He stayed again in Hamilton, Ontario, living at 11 Richmond Street, and the next year, on 19th June 1920 he married Ellen Mary Bennett (1891-1982) at Lincoln, Ontario, a town 40 km east of Hamilton. They lived in Hamilton until the end of 1927, when they moved in January 1928 with their young daughter Elizabeth to live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where their son William was born in 1929. Ernest and his family moved to Hartford, Connecticut sometime after the death of their son William in Pittsburgh in 1951. Ernest and his wife both died in Hartford and are buried there together.

All three children from the first marriage of George Albert Goodburn, the solicitor’s clerk from Penrith had permanently emigrated to North America. One wonders whether family tensions caused by his delayed second marriage had led to the departure of his first three children. However, this can’t explain why the children’s aunt Mary Alice Crawford and grandmother Elizabeth Taylor also decided to leave Penrith to settle in North America in the mid 1880s.

Religious History of the Goodburns

The religious history of this family is also worth a comment. From one of the earliest records I can find, which is the baptism of Thomas Goodburn on 10th February 1600, almost all of the births, deaths and marriages of the Goodburn family line have been recorded at St Andrew’s parish church in Penrith. St Andrew’s was the oldest and leading Anglican church in Penrith, being founded no later than the 12th century. The last Goodburn family record I can find at St Andrew’s is the baptism on 14th January 1855 of Albert Goodburn (1855-1857), the short-lived first son of George Goodburn the Chemist. The next four family events in Penrith are all recorded on the civil registry, but not in the registers of St Andrew’s church. These are the baptism of Mary Alice Goodburn in 1856, the death and burial of Albert Goodburn in 1857, the birth of George Albert Goodburn senior in 1859 and the death of George Goodburn the Chemist in 1862. George Albert Goodburn junior clearly identified himself as a Methodist, attended the Primitive Methodist Sunday School and eventually converted from Methodism to Anglicanism in 1917. His brother Ernest recorded himself to be a Baptist in Pittsburgh in 1951.

It seems to me that the best explanation is that George Goodburn the Chemist converted to Methodism around 1855-1856, and that his children and grandchildren all followed suit. One really interesting element in the choice of the Sandgate Head Primitive Methodist Sunday School for George Albert Goodburn junior, and perhaps his siblings, is proximity. The family lived at 19 Sandgate Head, Penrith. It is a simple 5 room house that is still standing at the top of Sandgate, and is almost the closest house to the Sandgate Head Primitive Methodist church. It would literally be a 15 second walk from one building to the other.

In this recent picture taken from Google Street View, 19 Sandgate Head can be seen as the light lilac-tinted house on the right hand end of the terrace. These three houses seem to be the last survivors on this street from the 19th century. In the lower panel, the former Sandgate Head Methodist chapel can be seen on the right hand end of the picture, just a few steps beyond beyond the row of houses containing 19 Sandgate Head.


This exploration of the Goodburn family of Penrith and the Miles and Miles edition of Macaria has provided an insight into one set of family upheavals and migrations of a kind which was not uncommon in late 19th and early 20th century England. The information, both bibliographical and social, that I have uncovered in association with the book seems consistent with a publication date of 1899 – 1902.

George Albert Goodburn would have been around 15-17 years old when he was awarded the book as a prize. One wonders whether reading a book that glorified the Confederate Army in the American Civil War, at such an age, had any small part in George’s decision to emigrate to America.

I purchased the book from a second hand bookshop in Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria in September 2007. How it made its way from Penrith, perhaps via Ontario, Pennsylvania or Kansas to Australia will I suspect, remain a mystery. There is however one possible explanation.

George Goodburn the Chemist had a younger brother, John Ambrose Goodburn (1838-1919), who lived in Penrith up until 1911. Sometime after 1911 he moved with his wife and two daughters to Salford near Manchester, where he died in June 1919. In December 1922, his widow Mary Ann and his two daughters boarded the SS Ballarat in Liverpool and emigrated to Sydney, Australia. Mary Ann Goodburn died in Sydney in 1930 and her two daughters, who never married, also died in Sydney, Mary Goodburn in 1946 and Theresa Goodburn in 1970.

It is possible that George Albert Goodburn gave his Macaria to his great uncle John Ambrose Goodburn or to one of his second cousins, Mary or Theresa Goodburn in Penrith, before his emigration to the USA with his sister in 1907. The two girls would have been 25 and 22 years old in 1907, close in age to George Albert Goodburn who was 21. They were living at 13 Meeting House Lane, just a few houses west of 19 Sandgate Head. The book could then have traveled to Sydney with the Goodburn family in 1922 and been lost from the family after the death of its last surviving Australian member Theresa in 1970. A nice plausible theory, but I have no direct proof whatsoever.

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