The Family History of Arthur Robert Luker (Snr.)

(1864-1952)

Arthur Robert Luker lived in the family home with his wife and family in Leadsmithy Street Middlewich (Cheshire). He was the son of Charles Luker, a draper.

Arthur Robert Luker sometimes known as "Arl" was born on the 28th May 1864 and was employed as the Town Clerk for the Middlewich Council. The area where the house stood in Leadsmithy Street is now a park so that part of the family history is gone forever.

There are still two Luker families living in the same area and attempts will be made to contact them and others who may be related in England.

Arthur Robert Luker was born in Gloucester and married Annie Maria Woodward (nee Hulme) (her second marriage) in Middlewich in 1885 and moved into her house in Leadsmithy Street where they had five children. The children were Charles (4th January, 1886), Percy (Tim) (9th October, 1887), Emily (23rd November, 1889), Arthur Robert (Jnr.) (12th February, 1892) and Henry Reginald (31st August, 1898).

The family emigrated to Australia in November, 1910 on board the German ship SS Breinen and settled in Warrnambool Victoria. Arthur (Snr.) was an accountant and came to Australia for the fledgling "Nestles" company to be "the head of the office" at the new factory at Dennington (near Warrnambool).

Following the death of Annie Maria (c1920), Arthur Robert who was at that stage 58, married his housekeeper, Gertrude Victoria Todd (27th August 1899) who was much younger, in fact only 23, at the time of their marriage in 1922 at Ashfield NSW. The marriage resulted in the birth of two further children, Patricia (Pat) 28th July 1924 and Alan (24th November 1926).

Pat Luker, now Pat Krecek-Luker, currently lives with her husband Jerry, in Tasmania and Alan with his wife, Patricia (nee Mooney) in Black Rock, Victoria.

Charles the eldest child, a printer by trade, married Ethel Bysouth and lived in Caulfield Victoria. They lost their only child, William, from Diphtheria as an infant.

Percy, who hated the name and preferred to be called Tim, was a lithographic artist and at the age of 36 married Mary Brebner (referred to as Pex) in 1924 after serving three years at the war. Their only child, Peggy Luker, was born in 1925 and currently lives in a retirement village at Wantirna, Victoria where she does voluntary work for the Anglican Mission. Tim died in 1962 and Mary six years later at the family home in Middle Park where Peg lived for 45 years from the age of 10. Peg provided much of the information about the family, as did Alan Luker from Black Rock (Vic) and his sister Pat who presently lives in Tasmania. Margaret Clarke (nee Luker) supplied the first details about the family when asked about her father and grandfather.

The third child, Emily born 23rd November 1899, married Albert Anderson but had no children to survive them. Emily celebrated her 21st birthday shortly arriving in Australia. For a time she assisted Ralph Barnes with his pharmacy.

The fourth, a son, Arthur Robert (Jnr.) known as Bob or Bobbie, also worked for the Nestles company in a management position and in 1919 transferred to Sydney to work for Nestles and manage the company's NSW distribution.

Bob joined the army as a warrant officer and before moving to Sydney he married Nellie May Grace in Ballarat (Vic) in 1916. Nellie, whose family came from Quainton, Buckinghamshire in 1872, was born in Warrnambool on 3rd January, 1893. Extensive details are recorded on the Grace family dating back to Nellie's great-great-grandfather in 1744.

Bob Luker died at his home in Five Dock (NSW) on 13th December 1950 and his wife Nellie (nee Grace) died twenty years later, also at home, in 1970.

Bob and Nellie Luker lived in Five Dock and had three children, Linda May (24th August 1916), Russell Hulme (19th October, 1920) and Margaret Grace (15th July 1923).

Linda, known by some as "Bunty", died in 1992 and was the eldest of Bobby's children. She married Jack Tyler and had two children, Judy (1944) who married Bob Wood and had three children, Tyler (1970) and twins Tara and Dinah (1972) and Russell (1946) who married Christine Prentagass. Their children are Kate (1977) and Beth (1979).

Margaret Luker, the youngest child, married Ken Clarke (1921) and still lives in the family home in Five Dock. They have two children Geoff (1949) and Philip (1954) and two grandchildren Julia (1981) and Bevan (1983) as a result of Geoff's marriage to Tonette Freeman.

Russell Luker a builder by trade, married Elsie (Jean) Hitchens on 7th November, 1940 at Parramatta (NSW) and had two sons, Ronald Russell (21st March, 1944) and Raymond (Glenn) born 3rd August, 1946 (the author of this history).

Ronald Russell Luker married Pauline McBrien (1944) in January, 1967 and has three daughters, Cherie Gaye (1972), Renee Jane (1974) and Yvette Irene (1978).

Glenn currently lives and works in the Sydney CBD. He married Carolyn Gail Gleeson (1947) on 12th April 1969 and has two sons, Steven Daniel (1973) and Brett Matthew (1975). Brett married Kelly Farrar on 9th June 2001 and had their first child, Amelia Florence Luker, on 30th November 2004.  Amelia is now the tenth generation of Luker.

Following the separation of Russell Luker and his first wife in the 1950s Russell married Jean Elizabeth Dickins (1930) in 1959 and had two further children, Arthur Robert (Rob) born 22nd June, 1960 and Catherine (Cathy) (9th December, 1964). Rob lives with his wife Anita (nee Robel) in Queensland. Jean (nee Dickins) currently lives in Victoria where her children were born and raised.

The youngest of the children of Arthur Robert and Annie Maria Luker was Henry Reginald known as Reg, born on 31st October, 1898. He was a qualified chemist and operated a pharmacy in Horsham with his wife Beverly (Pinky) Barnes who along with her twin sister, Beatrice (Bluey) Barnes, acquired their names as result of the colour of the hair ribbons which were placed in their hair by the nurses when they were born to identify them.

Reg and Pinky had three children, James Barnes (Barney) Reginald (1933), Peter (1937) and Helen Beverly (1942) all born in Horsham Victoria.

Barney married Eunice Noack (1935) and had a son, Brenden born 1st September, 1965. Barney passed away in December, 1994.

Peter married Pam Mary Courtney (1941) in Horsham in 1962 and they had two children, Jenny Anne (1963) who married Geoff Pike and Peter Charles (1964). Peter and Pam separated in 1975 and Peter married Carol Ann Hobbs (nee McRae) (1946) in 1985 and now lives in South Australia. Peter (jnr.) and his partner Trudy Timbs had their first child, a daughter Taylor Mary Luker, on 13th April, 1997.

Helen Beverley Luker married Brian McMillan (1935) and have three children. The eldest, Deborah Anne McMillan (1959) is now married to Richard John Shaw. Julie Helen McMillan was born in 1961 and Christopher Brian McMillan, the youngest, in 1963.

Pink continues to live in Horsham.

Before coming to Australia with his wife and children Arthur Robert Luker was offered a choice of two overseas positions by Nestles. We should all be grateful for the choice he made for if he had chosen the alternative we would all be Swiss citizens today.

The Family of Gertrude Victoria Todd (1899)

Gertrude, whose family came from Scotland, married Arthur Robert Luker following the death of Annie Maria. From the marriage Pat and Alan Luker were born. At the time Arty was in his sixties and obviously a fit and healthy man. For a while Gertrude and Arthur the licensees of the Golden Age Hotel at Beaufort.

His health continued and it is said that at the age of eighty he came out of retirement and continued his profession as an accountant with a Collins Street (Melbourne) accounting firm.

Pat Luker married Jerry Krecek (1925) in 1950 and we are fortunate that Jerry favoured the Luker name so much that he adopted it for his own and so commenced the "Krecek-Luker" name. Their daughters carried the name until their marriages, Patti Krecek-Luker (1956) to Michael Alexeeff and Karen Krecek-Luker (1958) to Hayden Dwyer.

Patti and Michael have three children Samuel (1984), Stephanie (1986) and Nicholas (1991). Karen and Hayden also have three children Nathan (1976), Mardi (1981) and Caitlin (1986).

Alan Luker and his wife Patricia (1930) (nee Mooney) visited Middlewich in search of the family home in 1995. I am told that it is a very small town but to their disappointment and to ours the family home and draper's shop on Leadsmithy Street no longer exists having been removed at some stage to make way for a park.

Alan and Pat have two children and four grandchildren. Their eldest child, Robert (1951) married Pam Frost and have Michelle (1976) and Bree (1978). The youngest, Marilyn (1953) wed Stephen King and have Briony (1977) and Nathan (1978).

The Family of Nellie May Grace (1893)

Nellie May Grace was the wife of Arthur Robert (Bobbie) Luker and my grandmother. As such I have investigated her family ancestors and have been able to trace them back to the mid 1700's with the help of a previously unknown cousin, Dick Grace, still living in Quainton Buckinghamshire, the village where the family has lived for over 250 years.

Nellie was born at Warrnambool Victoria on 3rd January, 1893. Her father, Charles Grace came to Australia in 1872. He met his wife, Annie Maria Fuller who was born in 1857 on board the ship "Black Eagle" while waiting to berth in South Australia. They married on 13th September, 1878 at Cobden in Victoria and had eight children.

In researching the Graces I applied for a copy of the marriage certificate of Nellie's parents, Charles Grace and Annie Maria Fuller, who were married in Cobden, Victoria in 1878. On the copy of the page from the marriage register were three registrations. To my astonishment directly above Charles and Annie Maria's was one other, dated August 1878. It just happened to be the sister of my wife's great grandmother, Annie McMillan. In fact, my wife's great grandmother, Mary Ann McMillan, was recorded as the witness. It is amazing that over 100 years earlier our paths had crossed.

The life of Charles Luker

Charles was born on 12th March, 1807 in Faringdon, Berkshire. He was the third son of William Luker and Sarah Shepherd. Charles had three brothers and three sisters. Ann a school mistress, was the eldest child born in 1800, William the first of the four boys born in 1802 was an organ builder. Thomas, a publican, was the second son born three years before Charles in 1804. The youngest child John born in 1811, went on to be a plumber. The other children were Lettice (c1801) and Miriam (c1803).

William, a plumber by trade, born in Faringdon in 1771, one of the eight children of John Luker (1736 - East Challow) and Elizabeth Shepherd (1736 - Faringdon). The Shepherds can be traced back in Faringdon to Ferdinando Shepherd (c1685).

Sarah Shepherd was the niece of her mother-in-law Elizabeth Shepherd who was in fact the sister of Sarah's father James Shepherd (1749). Sarah and William were cousins.

John Luker (1736) was one on eight children born to William Luker (c1690 - East Challow) and his wife Ann.

Other families associated with the Luker family in Faringdon and East Challow in the 1700s were Giles and Hall.

Charles Luker grew up in Faringdon, Berkshire, and took on the occupation of a linen draper. He was married twice and had a total of nine children. He appeared to have spent all his adult life in Gloucester. He was 31 when he first married and 44 at the time of his second marriage. He was 60 when his last child was born.

The first marriage on 18th September, 1838 was to Elizabeth Barrett who was born in 1817 and the second was to Emma Matilda Gardner born in 1825.

In the first marriage Charles and Elizabeth Barrett lived in Barton Street Gloucester and had six children.

Sarah Ann Luker born 1839

Charles Edwin Luker born 1842 married Elizabeth Sarah

Emily Luker born 13th March, 1844 married John Cole

George Luker born 1845 Married Ellen Mary Orton

William Luker born 1847 married Sarah K.

John Herbert Luker born 1853 died in 1881 and married in 1874 to Harriet (1850)

Elizabeth Barrett was the daughter of Charles W. Barrett and Sarah. She died on the 16th October, 1850.

 

In the second marriage to Emma Matilda Gardner, the daughter of John and Esther Gardner, on 24th August, 1852 he had seven children all born in Gloucester.

Louisa Luker born 1853

Jane Helen Luker born 1855

Thomas Luker a carpenter born 1857

Albert Edward Luker born 1859

Frederick James Luker a printers clerk born 5th May, 1861

Arthur Robert Luker a solicitors clerk born 28th May, 1864

Henry Herbert Luker a grocers clerk born 27th January, 1867

Charles Luker, the father, died in Wotton Street Mary Gloucester in 1881 as did Emma Matilda in 1890.

 

The American Lukers

Charle's younger brother Thomas married Mary Duck and had four children. The eldest Thomas was born in Faringdon in 1830 and emigrated to Cortland New York in 1857 where he married Elizabeth Scott. They had five children including two boys, Charles Ross Luker and John Scott Luker.

Related Lukers in Australia

In researching the Luker history I have discovered two other related Luker families descending from the Faringdon and Gloucester Lukers.

I have corresponded with John Luker who lives in Runaway Bay, Queensland. John is a grandson of Charles Edwin Luker the first born son of Charles Luker.

Richard Woodward Luker lives in Glenelg, South Australia. Richard is the great great grandson of Charles' father's brother John Luker (1773).

The Earliest Luker Settlers in New South Wales

The first Lukers to appear in Australia were George and Lucy (nee Hobbs) Luker who married in Sydney in 1844 and lived in Paddington (Sydney). They had twelve children. George was born in Bibury Gloucester in 1823. George arrived in Sydney with his brother Thomas in 1839.

The Origin of the name "Luker".

According to a research of surname dictionaries the name Luker apparently originated in Northern England and means "looker" as in sentry or watch. There are several early registrations in the 1600s where the name Luker and Looker are interlinked.

Acknowledgments

Among the many people who provided information about the family I would like to thank two in particular. The first is Lynne Luker of Plymouth UK. Although we have not traced any connection between our families Lynne went to extraordinary lengths to help my research in England. The second is Beatrice Levers of Surrey England. Beatrice is a descendant of the Faringdon Lukers and provided all the family information about that area. Since preparing this history I was contacted in June, 1997 by John Loosley from Gloucester who was able to advise me of a further four previously unknown children of Charles Luker.

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Sydney Australia

last amended 4th December 2004