The longest name in Western Australia?

Wanerenooka track, north of Northampton, 1948, 067385PD

Wanerenooka track, north of Northampton, 1948, 067385PD

Anyone researching their family history will have come across interesting or unusual names in the course of their research. I recently found just such an entry in the Historical indexes to Western Australian births, marriages and deaths on the Department of the Attorney General website.

The entry was the birth registration for a baby girl who was given eleven forenames! She was named:

Charlotte Elizabeth Mary Eliza Octavie Therese Margaret Edith Blanche Olympiad Jane Du Boulay.

Her parents were Julius and Elizabeth Du Boulay and the birth was registered in Greenough in 1864. Sadly she only lived for a few months. Interestingly, the Dictionary of Western Australians lists this child as being eleven separate children, all baptised at the same time. This led me to do some research on the family to find out whether or not this was the case.

Using the London Parish Records on Ancestry, which is available here at the State Library, I found that Julius Houssemayne Du Boulay married Elizabeth Solly at Jesus Chapel in the parish of Enfield, Middlesex in England on 20 June 1860. They had their first child, Flora H (probably Houssemayne) in Capetown, South Africa in about 1862. By the following year their second child, Emma Mary Houssemayne was born at Wanerenooka near Northampton in Western Australia. Charlotte Mary Eliza Octavie Therese Margaret Edith Blanche Olympiad Jane Du Boulay was born in 1864 before the family returned to England.

The 1911 census for England and Wales is available on both Find My Past and Ancestry within the Library. This census is often referred to as ‘the fertility census’ because, for the first time, questions were asked about the length of a couple’s marriage, how many children had been born and how many had died. The Du Boulay family’s entry in the 1911 census confirms that Julius and Elizabeth had a total of eight children of whom four had died and four were still alive in 1911. Using the free website FreeBMD, I traced the births and deaths of the couple’s English-born children. All were registered in the district of Elham, Kent and the family is known to have lived in Sandgate which is within this district so it is likely that all the births and deaths occurred there.

Flora H – born Capetown, South Africa c1862 – survived
Emma Mary Houssemayne – born Wanerenooka, WA 1863 – died aged one month
Charlotte Elizabeth Mary Eliza Octavie Therese Margaret Edith Blanche Olympiad Jane – born Greenough, WA 1864 – died aged 3 months
Minna H – born Elham registration district, Kent, England 1866 – survived
Francis Houssemayne – born Elham 1868 – died aged a few months
Lola Houssemayne – born Elham 1870 – survived
Isabel Violet H – born Elham 1871 – died aged 12
Thomas William H – born Elham 1875 – survived

Almost certainly, those children with the initial ‘H’ were given the name Houssemayne. It’s interesting that Charlotte appears to be the only child who wasn’t given this name – perhaps the eleven forenames were to make up for that! Julius and Elizabeth Du Boulay only lived in Western Australia for a few years although other members of the Du Boulay family settled here.

Is this the longest name registered in Western Australia or do you know of someone with more names?

3 thoughts on “The longest name in Western Australia?

  1. All those names for a baby who died 3 mos later would make me think she may have been either very sickly at birth, or had an obvious challenge… the additional names might indicate a hope for prayers/intercession for this little girl. I ran across a similar situation (not as many names however) in my research, where a child lived only 2 weeks, but was baptised with an unusual number of names. Sad.

  2. It must have been heartbreaking – it’s hard to imagine how families coped with the high level of infant mortality in those days.

  3. Hi
    I know that I have come into this discussion later but I would be interested to know about Margaret Houssemayne du BOULAY. She is listed in the Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australia as the daughter of Julius and Elizabeth (nee Solly) who married Edward Tours Hamersley. I am working on my heritage and Edward Tours Hamersley is a relative. So I would welcome any information that you may have.

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