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submitted by Peter Makarthis on 23.06.2014

Greek Wedding 1879 Melbourne

Early Greek Wedding 1879
Ocass – Holland
The marriage of Constance Ocass and Clara Holland was conducted at the Church of England, Holy Trinity Church, 162 Bay Street, Sandridge (now Port Melbourne) in the Colony of Victoria on the 5th October 1879.
The celebrant was the Rev, Frederick Charles Platts, the ‘incumbent’ of the Holy Trinity Church, who solemnized the marriage according to the Rites of the Church of England.
The couple were supported by John Nicholas, Alexander Stathy and Peter Alexander (for groom) with Mary Ann Hudson (for bride).
This marriage is one of the earliest recorded and conducted by the Church of England between a Greek and an Australian and predates all marriages conducted by the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.
Little is known about the origins and arrival of Constance Ocass, born in Greece c 1851. His death certificate ( 1896) indicates he was born Cerigo Greece; father Peter Ocass and mother Betholia and was survived by his wife Clara, nee Holland and children Thomas(16 Years), George (14 Years), Albert (12 years), Clara (8 years), Stephany (6 years) and Harold (2 years).
Presently the name Ocass poses something of an enigma as there does not appear to be a association to Kytherian names of the period. The family name has since evolved variously to O’Cass and Kocass etc.
Constance Ocass is known to have been a merchant seaman prior to his arrival in Australia c 1877 and was living at Sandridge on the waterfront of Hobson’s Bay Melbourne at the time of his marriage. The circumstances about his arrival are a mystery but are likely to have been motivated by the gold rush fever of the period. Like so many late arrivals on the scene he was forced to find employment in Melbourne. Shortly after the birth of their first son Thomas in Victoria the Ocass family relocated to Sydney. Constance was variously a seaman and labourer until his passing in 1896. At the time of his death on 22 August 1896 the family was living at 13 Cooper Street North Balmain.
Constance Peter Ocass was interred at Rookwood Cemetery Sydney NSW according to the Rites of the Church of England Church by Rev. J W Unwin on 23 August 1896.
Oral history suggests one of the older sons may have been married in the Greek Orthodox Church in Sydney.

Persons of interest
John Nicholas – Greek, Fisherman, Sandridge 1879
Alexander Stathy – Greek, Fish merchant/ Oyster Saloon Keeper, Melbourne 1879-90
Peter Alexander – Greek, Fisherman, Sandridge 1879

Albert Kocass married Esther Llewellen 1902
George Ocass married Annie Mullins 1906
Ernest Ocass married Kathleen O’Brien 1918

Written and researched by
Peter C McCarthy (Makarthis)
Inverell NSW
June 2014

Leave a comment


submitted by
Kalie Zervos
on 02.07.2014

Wow, what an interesting story , I am intrigued, I had a look in Gilchrist's book about Greeks in Australia and there is no reference to this man. The name Ocass ? Could it have been derived from Cassimaty or Castrissios? The church records on the greek archives website would definitely have his birth or christening as they go up to 1865. But you need to know the town he came from to search the correct records, without the correct surname and village it is hard. Does the family have his Greek Passport? that would definitely have his Greek surname on it. Hope this helps , let me know if you find out more information , This would be a great story for the Kytherian Newsletter Genealogy section. Kalie

submitted by
Rita Kocass
on 08.01.2016

My grandfather Albert William Kocass was Constance and Clara's son. He married my grandmother Esther Florence Llywellyn in the Greek Orthodox Church in Sydney. My information is that Constance's original name was Constantine Kokakarsas. I was also told that he came from Scorpios (the island Aristotle Onassis brought and where he married Jackie Kennedy - although Kythera seems much more likely). I would love to share any information to clarify any of this. Thank you Peter for your fascinating article. Rita Kocass

submitted by
Tahlia O'Cass
on 05.09.2016

I would love to know more about this if you can help me, My grandfather is Norman Charles - Son of Stephney. Constance would be my great x3 grandfather.

submitted by
Kytherian Genealogy Project by Amalia and Kalie
on 18.04.2019

We were contacted by a direct descendant of Constance recently for us to help her with her family history. We suggested she do a DNA test which she was very excited about. We had done extensive research in the past but was unable to find anything. We have sited the wedding certificater which showed Constance was born in Greece, but not Kythera and it als had different parent names. The DNA results have since come in and there rre no matches to anybody with a Kytherian sounding name.There were a few links to surnames from the mainland and one from Zakinthois. Also, she only registered as 1% Greek. We have proved that he was not Kytherian. This was very disappointing to us.