Charles Ernest Pearce

Charles Ernest Pearce at about age 20

Margaret King at about 18

Charles Ernest at about age 20

Margaret King at about age 18

Charles Ernest Pearce married Margaret Emma King on the 9th of April 1904 in Seymour.

As can be seen from this photograph Margaret was quite a striking looking young lady. My mother (Nancy) tells me that she had beautiful, but piercing blue eyes, the kind that could look right through you if you were not being truthful for instance.

Apparently Charles Ernest was very impressed and had made his interest known at a picnic where he had casually informed her escort at the time that he could "push off he'd take Maggie home". Not particularly subtle, but it must have done the trick as they married or I wouldn't be here.

We know that Charles Ernest called himself Ernie while Margaret was known as Maggie because the above photograph of Margaret is an enlarged section of a postcard that they sent to Ernie's sister Vanetta (as a best guess) probably in the first year of their marriage. We think that she may have been pregnant with their first child, Margaret Emma, at this time.

Charles Ernest Pearce and Margaret Emma King

The inscription on the back reads
(as best we can make out)
"To dear Nessie
from your loving
brother and sister
Ernie and Maggie."

Charles Ernest was a butcher, however his forceful nature meant that on several occasions he would tell his employer what they could do with their job. This lead to quite a bit of moving around. The following table provides as much detail as we have been able to collect relative to these moves.

Year Town/district Date Event
1904 Seymour 9th April Married
1904 Tooborac ?? 15th June Letter to wife
1905 Broadford 31st March first child, Margaret Emma Born
1907 ???? 23rd January 2nd child, Mary Elanor (May) born
1912 Preston 5th July 3rd child, Charles Ernest (Sonny) born
1914 Clifton Hill 2nd May 4th child, Clarence Frederick born
1916 Richmond 14th September 5th child, Gordon Elliot born
1916 Whittlesea ? ???? Motor cycle accident
1918 Richmond 8th July Died from lingering injuries

The newspaper clipping (Argus 1918) mentioning his death states "late of Seymour, Preston and Donald", but there are no concrete references to Donald that have come to light as yet.

Some of my dad's (Clarence Frederick Pearce) earliest memories are of Whittlesea where Ernie had worked in a shop owned by the Sasella family who owned a large chain of butcher shops. Dad had taken a trip to Whittlesea in 1980 and was astounded to find the house where they had lived still occupied while the shop was derelict although still standing. (somewhere he has some photographs which we are yet to find) My brother Shane has recently managed to find the house and it is well maintained although the shop is gone now.

Another of my dad's memories is of Ernie playing the Harmonica on the front veranda of their house. Maggie told my father that Ernie was quite musical and that he could play the cornet and similar instruments.

Ernie was coming home from Melbourne to Whittlesea when he crashed his motorcycle on the side of the road. This accident resulted in severe and lingering injuries which were to eventually send Ernie blind and to cause his death some two years later.

This next photograph is probably the last of Charles Ernest just prior to his Death in 1918.

This is Charles Ernest & family shortly before he died

Those present are from left at the back May (Mary Eleanor), Margaret Emma (nee King), Margaret Emma (Emm), Charles Ernest (Ernie), Charles Ernest (Sonny) The two youngest at the front are from the left Gordon Elliot and Clarence Frederick (Clarrie). Clarrie is my father.

The records that we have include

These are further photographs Charles Ernest's immediate family. The children together.

The C E Pearce Children

The two children at the back are Margaret Emma (Emm) Muriel (a child of Myrtle Kingett, Margaret King's sister. - They appear to have dropped the usage of the name Kingett or Kinnigett in favour of King about the turn of the century) The front row are Gordon, Charles, Clarence and May.


The three Pearce boys Sonny, Clarrie and Gordon

The three Pearce boys
Charles (Sonny), Clarence (Clarrie) and Gordon

The biggest mystery for us to solve has been to find a birth record for Margaret Emma King. It appears that her father's name was actually Kingette or Kiniget, or any spelling variation you can devise for these names.

Our current thinking is that she may be the oldest child of Francis Joseph Kingett and Mary Elizabeth Smith, but had not been registered. At that time there was an extremely heavy fine for not registering a birth and as a result, once missed, it may have just been ignored. On the birth records of two of her siblings she is shown as Margaret Cook, but there are also no appropriate records for a Margaret Cook, so I guess we may never know.

At that time in Melbourne there was a relatively famous bigamy case involving a Frank Kingate. There are a lot of similarities between Francis Kingett and Frank Kingate, however we cannot be sure if they are one and the same, or if the lack of records is part of some cover up.

By the time of her marriage to Charles Ernest Pearce both Margaret and her mother were using the name King. Her mother had signed the Marriage certificate giving permission for Margaret to marry as she was only 18 at the time.

The data we have on the Kingett children includes some that is fairly certain, plus some that is less reliable; I have also made note of when and how Margaret Emma is mentioned;

Date Person Record Place Mention of Margaret Reliability
1886 Maude May Kingett Birth ???? None Low (*)
27/12/1887 Margaret Emma King None ???? None Fair (*)
??/03/1889 Francis Joseph Kingett(**) Birth Carlton (reg #10600) None Good
04/05/1889 James Joseph Kingett(**) Birth Melb. Wom. Hosp. Maude May and Margaret shown as previous issue Excellent
15/12/1891 Elizabeth Ives Kingett Birth Dandenong Margaret & James previous issue Excellent
30/12/1893 Lillian May Phillipona Birth Chiltern Margaret Cook, Francis and Ives Elizabeth previous issue Excellent
05/08/1895 Mary Myrtle Elliot Birth Mt Elliot Margaret Cook, Francis Joseph, Ivy Elizabeth & Lilly May P. Previous Issue Excellent
1896 Doris Ivy Birth ???? None No Record

* Maude May only appears as previous issue on James Joseph's birth record. Neither Maude or Margaret appear to have been registered.
** We think that James Joseph and Francis Joseph are one and the same. He seemed to go by whichever name suited at the time. His enlistment and wedding papers have him as Francis Joseph King; although the enlistment papers clearly state that this is an alias for Kingett.

The next two photographs show Margaret Emma Pearce (Nee King, Kinnigett, Kingett, whatever) at ages 35 and 55

Margaret king aged 35

Margaret King aged 55

Margaret at about age 35

Margaret age 55

The next photograph is of the house in Whittlesea about 1916

Walnut Street Whittlesea

The house in Whittlesea cir 1916

The next shows old Grandma King (nee Smith ?) with Margaret Pearce (nee King) holding Gordon.

Grandma King with Margaret holding Gordon

Grandma King (nee Smith)
and Margaret with Gordon