Family Treasures - Pocket Watch

This is the first in a new series titled Family Treasures.
A couple of weekends ago, I went to my nanna's old house and scanned everything of genealogical value in the house.

I scanned this watch warranty. My great great grandfather John Charles Ryan purchased a watch from Evan Jones Jewellers in the Royal Arcade in Sydney on 24 December 1885. He paid £2-15 for the watch and it was guaranteed for a period of 3 years.

Who was Evan Jones?
Evan Jones was born in England and according to the About NSW website he was a leading silversmith, watchmaker, medalist and jeweller in Sydney from 1873 until 1917.

I was quite excited to see this guarantee. Imagine my surprise when about half an hour later my uncle produced the pocket watch. It is engraved with J.C. Ryan on the outside and is in perfect condition. A true family treasure!

I don't know when John Charles Ryan arrived in Australia from Portlaw, Waterford, Ireland. He is one of only 2 arrivals that I can't trace with any accuracy. My first record of him is when he married Mary Halloran/O'Halloran at St Stephen's in Brisbane on 1st July 1864.
They lived for some time on the Darling Downs and my great grandfather Michael Patrick Ryan was born there on 1 March 1866. Mary's sister Margaret lived in Sydney. Her husband, John O'Sullivan worked as a merchant for W.H Ariel, General Merchants at 335 Kent Street in Sydney. John invited the family to move to Sydney as he knew his nephews were looking for work. The Ryan family lived in Cambridge Street, Balmain - indeed family members rented the same house for 100 years from the same family - but that is another story.

The pocket watch is a true family treasure cared for for 126 years.


  1. You are fortunate to have such treasures in the family

  2. I'm catching up on my blogs after being away and loving your various series including the Family Treasures, letters, dead children. How fantastic to have such wonderful family treasures kept in the family. As to finding out all about the photographs, places etc last weekend -sounds utterly wonderful. Well done! How about putting all the family treasures stories in a book? Pauleen

  3. I have written two books about other branches of my famly. Not sure that I have another one left in me. Although this family is not very big, so perhaps it wouldn't be overwhelming.

  4. Hi Sharon, I'm trying to get a collection of items that Evan Jones created to put on display in the Sydney museum. Are you interested in selling the warranty card and watch?
    Kind regards,

  5. Please contact me via my email found on the blog.


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