View Full Version : Helmer William Seeling or Suling help please

17-05-16, 03:09
Can anyone help me to find the truth and fill in the gaps about my great grandfather Helmer William Seeling ( or Suling) and establish where his parents came from? This has been a 30 year search by myself and another descendant.

Family lore was that he was a remittance man, that is a black sheep in a wealthy family who is paid to leave England. Another story was that he was a graduate of Cambridge but unable to prove either. Family does not sound at all wealthy, but he appeared to be well educated.

What we do know is that he came to New Zealand on the "Woodlark" arriving in Wellington 24 March 1873, having left London on 14 December 1873. On the passenger list he was listed as William Suling age 34 from Middlesex.

He was single when he arrived but later married a widow and fathered 8 children, some of whom were registered with the Suling surname instead of Seeling. All the children though used Seeling as their surname. One son Charlie Seeling played in the 1905 All Blacks Rugby team and later played Rugby League for Wigan.

His New Zealand marriage certificate called him Helmer William Luling apparently a misspelling. His life here where he called himself Helmer William Seeling is well documented but the only absolute evidence we have of his life in England is a copy of letter written to him from Anne and Richard Keefe, a family he had been friends with and they call him Mr. Seeling. This however may have been changed from Suling to Seeling by the person who copied it as it clearly states it is a copy.

In the letter from his friends, reference is made of an Eliza. “As for Eliza, we often see her but of course never speak. I fancy she is married as she is never without a baby”. Reference is also made of passing on his regards to Mr. and Mrs. Scotchford.

In the 1861 Census William Suling born abt 1839 in Mile End of Town Stepney, was living at 24 Devonshire St, St Paul, St George in the East, aged 22
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1839, Spouse's Name:Eliza
Where born:Mile End O Town, Middlesex, England
Occupation: General dealer
Also living with him were Eliza Suling19 and Mary Ann Suling 9 Months

I have found a baptism record for an Aylmer William Suling which includes 2 brothers. Helmer and Aylmer are similar sounds.

These are the particulars for each brother christened same day 25 September 1842 for parents Henry Frederick and Sarah Suling. Henry’s occupation is given as a sugar refiner.

Henry Frederick Suling born 6 May 1833 at Great Street, Holborn
Henry Christian Suling born 3 November 1834 at Upper Cornwall Street
Aylmer William Suling born 8 Oct 1838 at Greenfield Street

Parish or Poor Law Union: Christ Church, Watney Street
Borough: Tower Hamlets

Then another record I have found is the marriage of a Henry Frederick Suling son of Henry Frederick Suling to Sarah Ann Clements on August 28 1859 at Saint Anne, Limehouse, Stepney. Witnesses to the marriage were James Charles Scotchford and Ann Scotchford.

Henry Christian Suling emigrated to Australia on Royal Essex ( named Seeling on this), arriving in Melbourne 26 January 1853 and changed his name to Fitch as reported as a missing person in a 1881 NSW Police Gazette.

Found a marriage bann for a Henry Frederick Sealing and Sarah Keys, 9 Dec 1832, St Botolph without Bishopsgate, possibly his parents.

That is all! He is missing in the censuses of 1841,1851,1871. No England birth or marriage certificate has been found. His mother was not named on either his New Zealand marriage or death certificates.

I do have his photo and will though!

Night Owl
17-05-16, 09:26
Welcome to the forum.

I have sugar refiners in my family tree and they were from Germany. There is a website here that has a lot of info about sugar refiners and includes a database. You may want to look at the various spellings for your family


The baptism for Helmer gives a date of birth of 8th October 1838. There is a birth registration for Elmner William Subling in Q/E Dec 1838 in Stepney.

17-05-16, 10:55
Hi Jackie,
Yes I was aware of the Sugar Refiners database showing Henry Frederick Suling as parent of the 3 sons christened in 1842 with the youngest being Aylmer William, but from then on such a big gap till the 1861 census and that was the only mention of his life in England right up until he left in 1873.
Had never found Elmner William Subling, which sounds very promising as being another spelling of his name so will search for more with this name.

Night Owl
17-05-16, 13:04
You may find that its not spelled like that on the actual certificate. The register is a typed copy. The very early ones were hand written and later on retyped. If you look on that page, it should be in alphabetical order but SUBLING is in between SUGG and SULIVAN. My guess is that the original is either SULING, SULLING or SUHLING. If its the right cert, it should give his mother's maiden name as well

17-05-16, 17:54
Not sure if you have this - he is not with his family in the 1851, but there is another son, aged 6, who has been transcribed as Hannah. I think he is Herman Henry Suling born in 1844. If you can't find Helmers BC, then this one should also give Mothers Maiden name

1851: http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/8860/MDXHO107_1547_1547-0286?pid=419696&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk//cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DsSy747%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource %26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26gss%3Dangs-g%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26gsln%3Dsuling%26gsln_x%3D 0%26msbdy%3D1838%26msbdy_x%3D1%26msbdp%3D10%26msbp n__ftp%3Dstepney%26msfng%3Dhenry%26msmng%3Dsarah%2 6cpxt%3D1%26cp%3D11%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3D3u3%26pcat %3DROOT_CATEGORY%26h%3D419696%26recoff%3D10%252037 %26db%3Duki1851%26indiv%3D1%26ml_rpos%3D1&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=sSy747&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true

Herman: http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/8912/ONS_B18442IS-1459?pid=53431508&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk//cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DsSy747%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource %26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26gss%3Dangs-g%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26gsln%3Dsuling%26gsln_x%3D 0%26msbdy%3D1838%26msbdy_x%3D1%26msbdp%3D10%26msbp n__ftp%3Dstepney%26msfng%3Dhenry%26msmng%3Dsarah%2 6cpxt%3D1%26cp%3D11%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3D3u3%26pcat %3DROOT_CATEGORY%26h%3D53431508%26recoff%3D13%26db %3DFreeBMDBirth%26indiv%3D1%26ml_rpos%3D14&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=sSy747&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true

Val wish Id never started
17-05-16, 18:50
you say he is a General Dealer in 1861 ? wonder if this is him in prison in 1862

Occupation Dealer
Age 23
Birth year 1839
Year 1862
Date 12 May 1862
Place London
Victim's first name(s) John Charles
Victim's last name Dennis

if you think its him can send you the image by email

18-05-16, 02:47
Good point. I have just ordered a birth certificate for ELMNER WILLIAM SUBLING. Many thanks. I thought I had exhausted all name variations.

18-05-16, 02:49
Yes I did have these. If I have no luck with the certificate for ELMNER WILLIAM SUBLING which I have ordered, I will order one for HERMAN HENRY SULING.
Helmer would have been 12 or 13 when the census was taken, so wonder where he was.

18-05-16, 02:50
Would not be surprised if this was him! Grateful if you could email image to me.

Val wish Id never started
18-05-16, 12:12
would need your email

18-05-16, 20:54
would need your email

I'm sorry nannaw but I have had to remove your e-mail address as our T&C's don't allow them to be posted. You need to send it to Val in a Private message. If you click on her name you will see a box come up to send messages.

18-05-16, 22:33
Thanks. Was worried about that.

Chrissie Smiff
18-05-16, 22:35
I have sent it to Val, just in case you had a problem doing it:)

05-06-16, 03:32
Have just received birth certificate for Elmner William Subling and yes it is Helmer William Suling/Seeling! Many thanks

Night Owl
05-06-16, 13:46
Pleased it was the right one.