Jim's genie jottings

Website of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and Website of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and their forebears

Flowerdew family


Origin of the surname
The name has nothing to do with flowers or with dew! The surname is an Anglicized form of a French name, derived from the 13th Century French words "flor", flower and "dieu", God. It was originally an oath-name. Other examples of oath-names include "Debney" (God bless you), "Dugard" (God protect you) and "Pardew" (By God!). Some of these may also have been nicknames, as in this instance, the term may have been given to someone who was greatly concerned with their smartness of dress.

The surname is recorded in England as early as 1461 when John Flowerdew was recorded as parson at Drayton, near Norwich in Norfolk. William (son of John and Kate Flowerdew) was christened in 1532 at nearby Hethersett. He was probably a brother of Edward Flowerdew of Hethersett who was educated at Cambridge, became a lawyer and was a Member of Parliament. He amassed considerable estates in Norfolk and is reputed to have been a harsh landlord. He was also responsible for stripping lead from the roof of the dissolved abbey of Wynmondham, contrary to the wishes of the parishoners.

In 1549 at Hethersett, a mob led by Robert Kett (a farmer) tore down hedgerows belonging to John Flowerdew because they were restricting access to the common lands. 

Spelling variations include: Flowerdew, Flowerdue, Flourdough, Flowerdo, Flowerday and many more.

John James Flowerdew and his brother Will were both mariners who visited Australia in the 1860s and decided to stay. Their direct ancestors had lived in the eastern side of Norfolk for two hundred years. There is very little doubt that they descended from the family that was established at Drayton in 1461 and Hethersett in the mid-1500s. The two Flowerdew brothers raised their families in the Sydney suburb of Balmain.

Flowerdew ancestors
Our more recent Flowerdew ancestors include:

Flowerdew clan

Our Flowerdew clan descends from Benjamin Flowerdew (c1815-1851).

  • Legend:
  • Subject
  • Daughter
  • Son
  • Spouse
Benjamin Flowerdew
(d. Aft 1870)
Elizabeth Tubby
(b. Abt 1813, m. 1837, d. 1848)
Elspet Donald
(b. 1848, m. 1868, d. 1919)
Benjamin Flowerday
(b. Abt 1874, d. Abt 1955)
Ethel Flowerday
(b. Abt 1881, d. Abt 1945)
John J. Flowerdew
(b. 1846, d. 1910)
Grace House
(b. 1845, m. 1870, d. 1900)
Mary G. Flowerdew
(b. Abt 1871, d. Bef 1900)
John B. Flowerdew
(b. Abt 1874, d. Aft 1910)
William T. Flowerdew
(b. Abt 1876, d. 1909)
Frederick Flowerdew
(b. Abt 1878, d. Aft 1910)
Ellen Flowerdew
(b. Abt 1880, d. Aft 1910)
Joseph Durham
(b. Abt 1880, m. Abt 1900, d. Aft 1910)
Ada G. Flowerdew
(b. 1881, d. Abt 1952)
Charles T. Fleming
(b. 1878, m. 1900, d. 1937)
Charles G. Fleming
(b. Abt 1901, d. Abt 1901)
John F. Fleming
(b. Abt 1902, d. Abt 1902)
Eric W. Fleming
(b. Abt 1905, d. Aft 1937)
Pearl Walden
(b. Abt 1915, m. Abt 1936)
Julie Fleming
(b. Abt 1937)
Michael Gibson
(b. Abt 1935, m. Abt 1958)
Reginald A. Fleming
(b. 1908, d. 1984)
Stella Jolliffe
(b. 1910, m. 1929)
Reginald B. Fleming
(b. 1929, d. 2016)
Halvene T. Kessey
(b. 1934, m. 1954, d. 2005)
James B. Fleming
(b. 1935, d. 2019)
Elena McGilvray
(b. Abt 1940)
Winifred Hanigan
(m. 1948, d. Bef 2000)
Fiona Cooper
(m. 1972)
Irene M. Fleming
(b. 1910, d. 1996)
Ada Fleming
(b. Abt 1911, d. 1921)
  • Legend:
  • Subject
  • Daughter
  • Son
  • Spouse