A Dearly Beloved Wife – Edith Rosman

Memorial for Edith M V Rosman

Memorial for Edith M V Rosman

I’m sure that I’m not the only one that sees beauty in memorials in cemeteries.  I have spent a great deal of my life wandering around cemeteries, especially our Kalgoorlie Cemetery.  The view from the road is often as much as is seen but if you venture through the gates you will discover so many human stories about how people lived and died without knowing who they were.  We can find out who loved them and who they loved. The names of their children and perhaps their parents names.  Some graves have simple memorials with just the name and the date, many, so very many, just have a cast iron number marker where others have magnificent memorial  such as this one to ‘Edith Mary Victoria Rosman‘. From her grave we can see that she was the beloved wife of E H Rosman, that her father’s name was W J Spicer and that she was born in Melbourne Victoria. She died at the Great Boulder Mine on the 9th January 1901 and she was only 22 years old.  So much about someone we have never know.  So very young, I wonder what she looked like?

As you will see she has the symbol of an anchor with rope wrapped around it.  I have been told that this symbolises, steadfastness, a symbol of safety of something  to cling to, an anchoring influence.  It is often used on the graves of mariners but not in this case.  It is not a usual symbol for such a young woman I would think but I may be wrong.

I wanted to know more about this poor young woman. The lady who I was doing some research for provided me with the following photograph which depicts among the men present her Gt Grandfather. He is seated 8th from the left in the back row.  The photograph was taken for ‘The Chamber of Mines of Western Australia Inc, 10th Annual Meeting Kalgoorlie 28th march 1911’.  All she knew is that he had been married to Edith. She told me his name was Emanuel Rosman.

Chamber of Mines Kalgoorlie 1911

Chamber of Mines 10th Annual Meeting, Kalgoorlie 1911

I first found Edith’s death in the online deaths records and then found her  in the Kalgoorlie Cemetery and took the above photograph.  From this I learnt her full name and her maiden name and where she was born and that her father was W J Spicer. The online death records showed her parents as William and Jane nee Jackman Spicer.   It was then to my trusty friend  TROVE and it turned up the following article:- Kalgoorlie Miner – Mining Notes, 10th January 1901 The wife of Mr Rosman of the Great Boulder Mine succumbed yesterday afternoon from an attack of peritonitis. She was a member of the Baptist Church in Boulder.  If you look at the photograph above you will see that her husband looks quite a bit older than her.  I then searched the free online  marriage records and found that  Emanuel Horace Rosman married a Jane Pascoe in Boulder in 1904, they were to have a daughter the same year born on the Ivanhoe Lease (same web site) .  At some point the family moved to Perth and ‘courtesy again of TROVE’ Emanuel set up an accountancy business.  I then checked the Metropolitan Cemetery Records and found the death of Emanuel who was 89 in 1966 and is buried in the same grave in the Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth with his wife Jane who died on the 7th Nov 1931 aged 55. So he was a widower for 35yrs.

So from a walk in the cemetery (grave located with the help of the cemetery office), then a check of the free online Birth Deaths and Marriage Records. The the free ‘Trove’ index of Australian Newspapers. An amazing amount of information is able to be found about this family. Then one final search that I am sure everyone would do (or maybe not!!)  a Google search of her full maiden name (with quotes) “Edith Mary Victoria Spicer”  the search turned up only a few results. I did find the family tree of Edith’s sister ‘Elsie May Spicer’ which shows her siblings names as follows:-

MyHeritage Family Trees:
Elsie May SPICER  (Sister of Edith)
Birth: May 31 1887 – Fitzroy, Victoria
Death: Apr 20 1960 – Canberra, ACT
Parents: William Spicer, Jane Spicer (born Jackman)
Siblings: William John Spicer, Ada Emily Spicer, Alfred Albert Mitton Spicer, Edith Mary Victoria Spicer, George Henry Jackman Spicer, Samuel James Spicer, Lilly Spicer
Husband: Albert Charles Joyce
Children: William Frederick Joyce, Eric Albert Joyce, Cecil Samuel Joyce, Gladys Emily Joyce, Myrtle Elsie Wain (born Joyce), <Private> Joyce
 There probably would be further records to find on Ediths family but membership to various sites and fees to be paid would be required to search further.  But what a lot of information you can find for free.  If you would like a list of ‘Essential Web Sites for WA Research’ you can find a list on my we site at:- http://bit.ly/1FcwPL7  Best of Luck!  I must warn you though that most memorials would not have as much information as Edith’s (:




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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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  1. carol spicer says:

    Very interesting considering my maiden name is Spicer however although my ancestors had come from Victoria to the goldfields in the late 1800s I could not see any connection My grandfather William Spicer is buried in the kookynie cemetery and I have been able to go back to the 1600s from there thank you for your write ups I’m really enjoying them cheers carol spicer

    • Hi Carol Thank you for your comments and I am so glad you enjoy the stories. Do you know lots about your relative from Kookynie. Have you seen the book on Kookynie/Niagara by Margaet Pusey? Bye for now

  2. I love reading you story on the goldfield meny off the town were still in existence in my childhood as dad often drove out to them to deliver watch he had repaired but the name off people and there history. I no off them as I met them in dad shop or school north kal and C B C sadly we all leave this earth some time I’m in my 69 year as a kal boy playing bag pipes for 59 year no stop for our kal pipe band I look back and say there was never better time in my life then Kalgoorlie I left school to work on North kal mine under ground first in the survay department with Jim zander my boss mr Davie manager Len bug mine manager then I did plate layer on all 3 shaft for 5 year so I got to meet all the worker on the mine most had great story to tell and boy I have lots off them from this experience I was able to meet them when I did my apprentice with dad at the age of 22 I married the last white girl born in Mary and I had 3 children Keep the Good Story coming Ron Smales

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