Descendants of Henry BEST

First Generation

1. Henry BEST [image] was born in 1821 in Salisbury, England. He died on 20 Apr 1895 in Adelaide, South Australia. He was buried on 22 Apr 1895 in West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.

Henry was originally a tailor in England before joining the British 11th Regiment.(Reg No 1324) Enlisting on 31st Jan 1839. He embarked the ship 'David Malcolm' for Norfolk Island on 8th May 1845 and the ship set sail from Downs 5 days later on the 13th. He arrived at Norfolk on the 25th August. He served as a guard on the Penal settlement at Norfolk Island for about 3 years. In 1848 Henry went to Sydney and served at the Victoria Barracks where family history tells his new born son John Henry was the first baby at the Barracks. He was then transferred to Adelaide in 1849 and the following year was discharged from the Army due to a reduction of the regiment on 31st October 1850.
Henry is recorded as serving as a Police Constable on and off from 1851 to 1877 after which he worked as a tailor, which was his trade in London where he partnered his Brother John in the business until they had a falling out.
From records from the SA Police Historical Society and the Police defaulters book at the State Archives, Henry first joined the Police 1st February, 1851. He resigned in March of the following year, 1852, then re-joined in November the same year. He was dismissed in December 1856 for being drunk on duty, which occurred several times during his career. Only 3 months later in 1857 he is listed as becoming 3/c Constable then in 1859 2/c Constable. 3 months later he was dismissed again. 5 years later in 1864 he rejoined as a 3rd class constable and made 2nd class constable on 1st July 1865 then 1st class on 9th December 1867. Unfortunately Henry was disiplined twice in 1872 for being under the under the influence of alcohol. The first time reducing him back to bottom level 1st class and the second time was fined 3 days pay. He finally resigned in 1877 around age 55-56.

Records show that in 1870 that Henry took out a mortgage with the National Building and Investment Society for a part acre block in Selby St Adelaide and sold it in 1877.

Henry, like his wife, ended his days in the Destitute Asylum. To quote the records from the Asylum "Suffering from senile debility and loss of memory. This old man has been allowed outdoor relief for a considerable time, but is now without a home or shelter of any kind, his children are too poor to afford him shelter and he states that he has been sleeping out in the open for several nights."

Religion: Church of England

Henry Best signed his name on his Daughter Louisa's birth certificate as "John Henry", the name of his father and his son.

11th Regiment Military Returns from Mitchell Library, Sydney
Records from the Destitute Asylum at the SAGHS and State Records Office GRG 28/5/4 (145)
Police Gazette 8-4-1864, 20-12-1867
State Records Office, Police Defaulters Book. GRG 5/18/1
SA Police Historical Society
Death certificate (index 02226-222)
Lands Title register book, Vol. CXLVI Folio. 32
'The Convict Ships 1787-1868' by Charles Bateson (SAGHS)
WTC reg#: 32058

Henry married Mary FLYNN about 1844 in assumed to be in Ireland . Mary was born in 1828 in Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland. She died on 22 Mar 1898 in Destitute Asylum, Adelaide. She was buried on 23 Mar 1898 in West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.

Royal Adelaide Hospital records show that Mary was admitted to hospital on several occassions. Once for a broken leg in Jan 1864, and twice for an ulcer on the leg, in 1887 and 1894 and for Bronchitis 1898, the same year she died.
The following is taken from Marys notes from the Destitute Asylum where she died at age 69.
Sailed to Sydney on the ship "David Malcolm" then to Adelaide on the "Louisa" Brig to Adelaide (1849).
Prior to the Asylum she was noted as living at Gouger St Adelaide (probably with son John Henry). Her occupation, was listed as domestic duties.
"Reasons for requiring admission:
suffering from senile debility, unable to work, destitute. This old woman was allowed a ration outside but is now so feeble that she is no longer able to attend her own wants, her three married daughters who have a large number of children of their own, are unable to provide shelter for their mother"

I believe that for some years before admission to the Asylum she lived with one or more of her children.
* Records vary as to the name of the ship "David Malcolm" or "David Galveston" or variant *

Records from the Destitute Asylum at the SAGHS and State Records Office GRG 28/5/4 (12)
Royal Adelaide Hospital records
Death certificate index (0250-350)
WTC reg#: 34715

Henry and Mary had the following children:

  2 F i Eliza BEST was born on 6 Sep 1846 in Norfolk Island. She died on 22 Apr 1853 in Adelaide, South Australia. The cause of death was Scarlet Fever. She was buried on 25 Apr 1853 in West terrace cemetery.

Died 6yrs of age

Birth registered both in Norfolk Island and Sydney
NSW Birth Registration #(s):
V18462277 33A/1846
V18461542 44A/1846

WTC reg#: 201385
+ 3 M ii John Henry BEST was born on 19 Jul 1848. He died on 9 Sep 1921.
+ 4 F iii Mary Ann BEST was born about 1850. She died on 10 May 1926.
  5 F iv Catherine BEST was born on 5 Nov 1851 in Adelaide, South Australia. She died on 12 Apr 1853 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Catherine died at 1yr of age
  6 F v Harriet BEST was born on 11 Oct 1855 in Adelaide, South Australia. She died on 22 Nov 1855.

Harriet died at 6 weeks of age
+ 7 F vi Louisa BEST was born on 24 Nov 1857. She died in Oct 1915.
  8 F vii Charlotte BEST was born on 25 Jun 1859 in Adelaide, South Australia. She died on 12 May 1864 in Adelaide, South Australia. She was buried on 13 May 1864 in West terrace cemetery.

Charlotte died 4yrs of age
Residence on cemetery records was Wright St

The interesting story here is that Charlotte is now buried below an Italian gravestone since a section of the West Terrace Cemetery was illegally released to the Italian community. Ironically she is the only one of her generation to actually have a headstone.
  9 F viii Emma BEST was born on 24 Jun 1863 in Adelaide, South Australia. She died on 8 Jun 1864 in Adelaide, South Australia. She was buried on 9 Jun 1864 in West terrace cemetery.

Emma died 11 months of age
Last place of abode Wright St
WTC Reg#: 7340
+ 10 F ix Agnes BEST was born on 5 Mar 1865. She died unkown.

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