William John Jewell, was the first child of John & Elizabeth Jewell born on the 28th of April 1870, presumably at home in Ballarat West. A typical place for children to be born in those days. The birth was reported by his father John, who is shown as being a miner living in Ballarat West. John could not sign his name so he marked it with an "X". I have in possession a copy of his birth certificate.
Life on the goldfields was tough not only for the miners but also from the children who were prone to becoming very ill. To add to their problems medicine was scarce and expensive. Like many children William contracted diarrhoe, which in those days was lethal for young children. Unfortunately William never recovered, and after being ill for 3 weeks died, at the age of only 8 weeks.
According to William's death certificate he died on the 30th of June 1870, in Ballarat West, He was buried on the 1st of July 1870, in Ballarat. Interesting point, burial was witnessed by John & James Tozer. I also have a copy of his death certificate.
Unfortunately there is no trace of his grave at Ballarat Cemetery. According to records he was buried in an open grave. This type of burial was fairly common with babies and young children, because families had little money for a proper grave and infant mortality rates were relativey high.
According to cemetery records, John & Elizabeth were living in Dowling Street Ballarat.
© Jewell Family History Centre
Last Updated 19th August 1996