Some of the following information comes from, and is supported by, letters exchanged by the Tune siblings and other letters to the family. Copies of these letters were kindly shared with me by a fellow researcher. I do not know who holds the originals but my thanks go out to them for preserving such important clues to this family's history.
John Thomas TUNE:born 8th June 1804 baptised 8th July 1804 St Mary the Virgin, Dover, Kent, parents James Tune and Mary Ann Moyne. John was a merchant seaman [ticket number 238826] Also ticket number 275986 issued at Liverpool 24th October 1845. According to this ticket he was born 7th June 1803! He was 5 foot 81/2inches tall, black hair, hazel eyes, dark complexion. He first went to sea as a boy in 1815. He could write. He served in the Royal Navy 12 months and was rated AB. He did not see foreign service whilst in the RN. When unemployed he resided in Liverpool. Royal Navy records [FMP] show John entered the royal navy on 13th June 1828. He served as an Able Seaman aboard the Victor in Port Royal. He was discharged in Jamaica on 15th February 1829.
Marriage: John Tune [indexed as June] married Elizabeth Hooper on 26th January 1831 at St Johns Anglican Cathedral, Buenos Aires. John was a native of Dover Kent, Elizabeth was a native of Kingsbridge Devonshire. They were both now resident in Montevideo. Witnesses were Mary Pierce and John Pickford. As per http://www.argbrit.org/StJMarrs/marrs1828-32.htm]
Children: Birth dates are from a letter written by Elizabeth Perley nee Tune to her brotherJohn
Thomas Tune born 12th October 1829 Montevideo. Married Mary Bigelow [born Nova Scotia] in Chelsea MA in 1852. 1855 Census at Chelsea Suffolk Massachusetts aged 25 a labourer, with wife Mary aged 24 and son John E aged 1 born Massachusetts. Children: John E Tune born 22nd May [indexed as April FS] 1854, Boston Mass, father a mariner Mary Ida Tune born 6th January 1856 Chelsea Mass [Indexed as Teene at FS] Father on Chelsea Ferry Boat. Thomas Tune born 10th April 1857, Chelsea, father a stoker. [FS] William Jerome Tune [indexed and recorded as PORT] born 4th April 1860, but same family as father Thomas born Montevideo. Mothers maiden name recorded as Bagley. The 1860 US census also records Thomas and his family with the surname of Port. A letter in 1864 from sister Elizabeth refers to brother Thomas as Mr Thomas Port.
John Tune born 11th September 1831 Montevideo, Uruguay. Married Mary Ann Gardener 1858 [Free BDM] By 1861 John, a mariner, was residing in Barking, Essex England. 1871, an Inn Keeper at Shepherd and Dog public House Ramsden Crays, Essex. Died 1904. Children: Rose Mary Tune born 1860, Lambeth Surrey Eveline Margaret Tune born 1865, Ramsden Cray Fanny Tune born 1867 Ramsden Cray Ellen Tune born 1869 Ramsden Cray William George Tune born 1870 Ramsden Cray George G Tune born 1873 Ramsden Cray Ernest Tune born 1874 Ramsden Cray. 1881 census records 'imbecile from birth' Charles Tune born 1877 Ramsden Cray
James Tune born 19th May 1835 Montevideo. May have died young according to family letters.
Elizabeth Tune born 19th January 1838, Montevideo. Married Elbridge G Perley 1859 Chelsea, Massachusetts USA. Elbridge was a painter. Children: Mary Ella Perley born 16th January 1859 Massachusetts.[Ancestry] Married James O Davis [1910 census] Lucy Maria Perley born 16th November 1860 Massachusetts. Married Whitney Grace R Perley born March 1863 Massachusetts [as per 1900 census] Married Richard G Burns, 1901, Chelsea Mass. 1900 Census: Elizabeth, a widow aged 62, born June 1838 Argentine Confederation, has given birth to 3 children, all still living. Arrived in USA in 1851
What happened to John Tune and Elizabeth Hooper? The following is a chronological history of their stories.
Some time before 1847, John Tune and wife Elizabeth were formally separated. Both John and Elizabeth remarried. It is possible that neither knew the other was still alive at the time, although a family letter does state that Elizabeth was informed of John's death in 1851 by a Captain.
1838 According to family letters, eldest son John Tune junior left his family in 1838. Since he was a mariner, he may have a gone to sea as a boy with or without his father. He can be found in England from the time of his marriage in 1858 onwards.
Levi Jacobs: Elizabeth Tune states her mother remarried but we are not given any dates. She mentions this before she says the family came to the USA about 1847, so perhaps the marriage was prior to that. John Tune senior was still alive in 1847, but since Elizabeth senior hadn't heard from him for more than 7 years she may have married under the supposition that he was dead. Although Elizabeth junior never mentions her mother's husband by name it would appear that he was Levi Jacobs, a mariner, possibly African American. He is found with the family in the 1850 US census. On 13th November 1837, a man named Levi Jacobs born 1813 made a declaration that he was a free man of colour from Lumberton New Jersey. He was a US born Mariner. This may be Levi, but further research is needed.
Charlotte Jacobs: Charlotte was born about 1841 in South America and is presumably the daughter of Levi Jacobs and Elizabeth Tune nee Hooper. She is described as mulatto in the 1850 and 1860 censuses.
Immigration to United States: Elizabeth senior and children John, William, and Elizabeth came to the United States in 1847 according to a letter written by Elizabeth junior.
Elizabeth/Betsy Hare/Ayers: On 21st November 1848 at Appledore Devonshire, John Tune, a widowed Mariner [son of James Tune] married Elizabeth Hare, daughter of John Hare. Both were of the parish. Witnesses were James Hooper [related to first wife Elizabeth?] and Henry Copp?. Betsy Hare was born 23 July 1807 as AYRES Betsey/Betsy daughter of John and Mary. On 29th July in register 10a, received into church after private baptism. Betsy had several illegitimate children prior to her marriage to John Tune. Note: Baptism dates may be not as infants. Betsy ‘Ayres’ spinster of Northam mother of John Fowler Ayers [Hare] baptized 14th June 1829, Northam. Betsy Hare, spinster of Appledore mother of James Hare [James Lemon??]baptized 13th December 1837, Northam. HARE Mary Jane [aka Mary Tune??] born 16th Oct 1842 baptised 29th Nov 1850 mother Betsey Hare Parish Appledore TUNE Isabella 13th Nov 1849 Parish Appledore parents John Tune (mariner) and Elizabeth
1841 England Census:1841 census at West Appledore, Betsy Hare, stone heaver aged 30, James ‘Lemon’ aged 8, and John Fowler aged 11. Next door is her brother Richard and his family.
1850 US census reveals Levi Jacobs aged 34 a mariner born Pennsylvania [a mulatto] residing Boston Ward 5 Suffolk Massachusetts with Elizabeth Jacobs aged 49 born England, Elizabeth Jacobs aged 12 born South America [mulatto], Charlotte Jacobs aged 9 born South America [mulatto] and John Bishop aged 9 born Pennsylvania [mulatto].
Death of John Tune senior: According to letters, John Tune died at Elsinore Denmark in July 1850 whilst serving on the Brig Margaret.
1851 England Census: 1851 Census 76 Joshua Street Northam. Betsy Tune widow aged 43 ‘late mariners wife’ born Northam, son James Fowler 19 mariner born Northam, daughter Mary Hare, 10, born Northam, daughter Isabella Tune aged 2 born Northam. Married John Gayett, mariner.
1853: Letter written by daughter Elizabeth in 1860 states her mothers husband [Levi Jacobs] left seven years ago and they had not heard from him since he went to New Orleans. The family suppose he died there in a yellow fever epidemic.
The 1855 Massachusetts State Census:
Thomas Tune aged 25 born South America, labourer residing in Chelsea Suffolk Massachusetts, with wife Mary E aged 24 born North Brunswick, son John E aged 1 born Massachusetts and Charlotte Jacobs aged 14 born South America [mulatto]
William E Tune aged 22, a barber born South America residing in Chelsea Suffolk, Mass, with Sarah J B Tune aged 22 born New York [his wife] Elizabeth Jacobs aged 55 born England, Elizabeth Tune aged 18 born South America [sister] and Charlotte Jacobs aged 15 born South America [NOTE: Not mulatto]
1860 census: Charlotte Jacobs aged 19, a servant born South America [mulatto] working in the Bird residence Chelsea Suffolk Massachusetts. I have been unable to locate Elizabeth senior in the 1860 census.
Charlotte A Jacobs born Monte Video daughter of Levi and Elizabeth died of Typhoid fever in 28th December 1861 aged 21
Elizabeth Jacobs widow of Levi died 1st April 1863, Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Cause of death consumption. Age 62 years, 3 months and 5 days. Born England.
Betsy Tune aged 72, buried 1 Jun 1891 [Appledore Burials]