GILBERT Leslie John

Name Leslie John GILBERT
Country Of Origin England
Born Approx. 1855-6
Died 1926
Birth/Baptism Born approx. 1855-6, New Romney, Kent, England
Parents Jeffrey (watchmaker) and Eleanor Longley Gilbert (formerly Smith)
Apprenticeship Most likely with his father
Skills Watchmaker, Jeweller
Work Locations New Norfolk
Street Address
High Street, New Norfolk
Marriage/Spouse Esther Caroline Palmer (d. September 1914)
Other Approx. 1870s-early 1890s: Worked in his trade in England (Kent, Canterbury, and Northamptonshire).

New Zealand Times 2 March 1895:
‘STRATFORD. – Mr Gilbert, who is only quite recently out from England, is settling in Eltham with the intention of founding a first-class watchmaker and jeweller’s business. He has been 20 years in the trade and intends showing a good stock. A good watchmaker was certainly wanted in Eltham, and we feel sure Mr and Mrs Gilbert will be heartily welcomed there.’

Approx. early 1895-1906: Advertised as a watchmaker and jeweller in Taranaki, Patea, Eltham, and Kaponga (North Island), New Zealand. At least four children were born to the couple during this time; two died at only a few weeks of age.

By August 1906, the family relocated to Hobart, Tasmania. Shortly after their arrival, Leslie makes the news when he receives a fine for being in the Star Inn after hours. He was admitted to the New Norfolk Hospital in June 1907, recorded as ‘a person of unsound mind and not under proper care or control’, and experiencing financial worries. Esther was also a patient at the New Norfolk Hospital from June 1907 to September 1908. Her record states they had two children, and the family was in ‘absolute poverty’.

From 1908 until a few years before his death, Leslie was recorded as a watchmaker in New Norfolk.

Death 16 March 1926, Hobart Public Hospital, Hobart

Burial: 18 March 1926, Church of England, recorded as a 70-year-old widower, public grave, Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart.

Tasmanian Family History Society, Hobart Branch, June 2023.
Tasmania Post Office Directory 1909-1914.
TAHO: TAHO HSD285/1/978 1907; HSD285/1/977 1907; AF35/1/3, AF70/1/48 (BU25554) 1926; File No. 1415, Name Indexes 2029738 Death 1926.
Web: Ancestry: England Census 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891; London, England, Post Office Home Counties Directory 1887; New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1896-1906; Tasmania, Australia Electoral Rolls 1914, 1919, 1922; Millingtons Record No. EX25554 1926.
The Mercury (Hobart) 5 September 1906.