Trove Tuesday – Thomas Hannay’s Photographs

One of my favourite Facebook pages “Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection” alerted me to some new treasures at one of my favourite websites, Trove. Those treasures were the Portland photos of Thomas Hannay, taken around 1859 and held by another favourite, the State Library of Victoria.

From the collection, a photo of Claremont, built by Stephen Henty in 1852 and rented to his brother Francis Henty, caught my eye. The house was the subject of a Western District Families post two years ago. Thomas Hannay’s photo is terrific and if the date on the photos of c1859 is correct, Claremont was in its infancy. At the time of the photo, Francis Henty used the house as a summer home when not at his property Merino Downs.


CLAREMONT c1859. Photographer Thomas Hanney. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/5

CLAREMONT c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/5


As I scrolled through the photos, some familiar names appeared.  They were the names of some of the Portland pioneers who have appeared in Passing of the Pioneers posts or other Portland related posts here at Western District Families.

There was Thomas Must’s home Prospect (below). Thomas was a Passing Pioneer in September 2013. The photo I found of Prospect for that post was from the 1960s, but Thomas Hannay’s photo shows Prospect, built in 1855, as a reasonably new home and with the Must family posing in the front yard.


"PROSPECT"c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/26

“PROSPECT”c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/26


There was also a photo of Captain James Fawthrop’s home. James Fawthrop’s grave was part of the Old Portland Cemetery Part 2 post. He was famous as captain of the Portland lifeboat that went to the aid of the steamer the Admella in 1859. The good Captain, his wife Jane Rosevear, and child posed for Thomas Hannay on his trip to Portland.



FAWTHROP RESIDENCE, PORTLAND. c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/16.


George Crouch’s name was familiar to me, as his wife, Marianne Trangmar was one of the pioneer women of Portland featured in the book Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance I wrote about in January 2013.  Their family home is below.


CROUCH RESIDENCE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hanney. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/14

CROUCH RESIDENCE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/14


Thomas Hannay, not only photographed George Crouch’s home, he also photographed his business Trangmar & Crouch that he started with James Trangmar.  The business was established after James Trangmar, a December 2012 Passing Pioneer, arrived in Portland in 1844. James Trangmar  removed himself from the business in 1856 but the name continued on. The business moved to new premises in 1857 and it is presumably that building that was photographed by Thomas Hannay.



TRANGMAR & CROUCH c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H2013.345/20.


Stephen Rowan Robertson, a Passing Pioneer from August 2013, married William Corney in 1846 and the house below is their family home in Portland.


Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/9

CORNEY FAMILY RESIDENCE, PORTLAND, c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/9


Robertson’s Iron Store (below) was owned by the Robertson brothers, James, John, and William.  James and William are among Western District Families’ Passing Pioneers .


ROBERTSON'S IRON STORE, PORTLAND c1859. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/2

ROBERTSON’S IRON STORE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/2


But Thomas Hannay’s photos are not limited to Portland. I also found Larra near Camperdown, the home of March 2012 Passing Pioneer, John  Lang Currie.  John Currie purchased Larra Estate in 1844.


"LARRA" c1859. Photographer John Lang Currie. Image no. H2013.345/42

“LARRA” c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image no. H2013.345/42


There are over eighty photographs by Thomas Hannay, from towns including Digby, Sandford, Hotspur, and Woolsthorpe and you can find them on the following link – Thomas Hannay’s Photographs

Back at Trove, I searched for Thomas Hannay and found he was from Maldon, but was Thomas Hannay Sr the photographer or Thomas Hannay Jr? The following articles are their obituaries, with father Hannay, passing away in 1883 and his son in 1897.


"MALDON." Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918) 7 Dec 1883: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2015 .

“MALDON.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 7 Dec 1883: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2015 <;.



"LOCAL NEWS." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 24 Sep 1897: 6. Web. 8 Sep 2015 .

“LOCAL NEWS.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 24 Sep 1897: 6. Web. 8 Sep 2015 <;.


Passing of the Pioneers

August Passing of the Pioneers includes a member of the Victorian Parliament, a publican, and a school principal.  All of this month’s pioneers are now on the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Robert HEANEY – Died 20 August, 1890 at Melbourne. Robert Heaney was born in Ireland around 1836.  He married Jane Armstrong and soon after they departed for Australia. The Heaneys arrived on the General Hewitt at Portland Harbour on 9 October 1856.  They spent the first ten years in Victoria at Heywood before moving to Condah Swap, later known as Wallacedale.

Mary Ann COUGHLAN – Died August 1917 at Caramut. Margaret Coughlan was born around 1833 and arrived at Portland on 21 January 1848 aboard the Sir Edward Parry with her siblings to meet up with their parents Jonathan Gordon Coughlan and Jane Richmond who settled in that town.  After some years, during a trip to Caramut, she met John Bendall and they married in 1864.  John was the manager of Hopkins Hill and The Gums, near Caramut for John Moffatt.  After the sale of The Gums, John Bendall operated a store and post office in Caramut until his death in 1887.  Mary Ann remained living at Caramut and was eighty-four at the time of her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

John THOMSON – Died 3 August 1917 at Melbourne.  John Thomson was born at Warrambine Station near Shelford in 1853.  His parents were James Thomson and Christian Armstrong.  In 1870,  James Thomson purchased Monivae near Hamilton from the deceased estate of former Police Magistrate Acheson Ffrench.  The family resided in the original homestead built for Acheson Ffrench but a new homestead was completed in 1877.

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

John attended Scotch College in Melbourne where he was one of the college’s finest athletes.  After he completed his schooling, John returned to Monivae. Soon after he entered public life, first as a Dundas Shire Councillor.  In 1892 he contested the seat of Dundas in the Victorian State Parliament.  He held the seat from 1892 to 1900 and from 1902 to 1914.  At the age of fifty-six, in 1909 John married Christina Robertson.

Aside from his political life, John was on the management committee of the St Andrews Presbyterian Church and member and onetime president of the Hamilton Racing Club.  He was also a supporter of many of Hamilton’s community and sporting groups, including the P&A Society, the Hamilton Pipe Band and the fire brigade.  John Thomson was attending a public school football match in Melbourne on 3 August 1917, when he died suddenly.  He was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

In 1919, a fountain was unveiled in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens by the then Victorian Premier, Harry Lawson in memory of John Thomson




William DERHAM – Died 16 August 1918 at Port Fairy.  William Derharm was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and arrived in Victoria around 1863.  He first worked at Korongah Station at Rosebrook for Messers Lydiard and Knight. He then turned to onion growing and resided at Korongah Lodge. William left four daughters and two sons.

Robert FRASER – Died 4 August 1918 at Strathkellar.  Robert Fraser was born in Scotland in 1841 and arrived in Adelaide in 1854 on the Joseph Rowan with his parents Archibald and Helen Fraser and his four sisters.  They soon headed for Victoria and resided at Bochara.  In 1865, Robert married Jane Mason and they settled and farmed at Muddy Creek.  Robert died at the home of his daughter at Strathkellar and was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.  Jane died only a few weeks before.

Francis Hazel WRIGHT – Died 18 August 1918 at Hamilton. Francis Wright was born at Broadwater around 1865.  He took up the running of the Grange Hotel (later called George Hotel) in Hamilton around 1914. He was involved with many Hamilton sporting clubs and the gun club.  For thirty years he was part of the Victorian Land’s Department rabbit extirpation branch and served as an inspector for the last five years of his life.  Three weeks before his death, Frank broke his kneecap while climbing into his buggy.  He then contracted pneumonia and died.

Christina Ross LINTON – Died August 1926 at Hamilton.  Born at Inverness, Scotland in 1848, Christina came to Victoria with her parents William Linton and Jean Sinclair and her younger brother John around 1851 aboard the Statesman.  William gave his occupation as shepherd.  In 1868, Christina married Thomas Laidlaw at Wickliffe.  Christina and Thomas moved around between properties, Thomas had interests in and their first stop was Lake Roy in South Australia.  They also lived at Glenburnie, Macarthur, South Wonwondah Station and finally Glencairn just south of Hamilton.

Christina was buried in the Laidlaw family plot at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.




Rose Hannah HANN – Died 18 August 1935 at Portland.  Rose Hann was born in Somersetshire in 1850 to Paul Hann and Asenath Pitman.  The family arrived at Melbourne in 1852 aboard the Priam and stayed in the area for a time, before travelling to Portland to settle.  Around 1871, Rose married John Marshall.  Early in their marriage, they spent some time at the Bendigo diggings but most of their lives, Rose and John lived at Portland.  They raised a family of eleven  children.

Clara Jex EDRICH – Died August 1937 at Portland.  Clara Edrich was born at Portland in 1855 to Richard Jex Edrich and Eliza Martin and was baptised at St Stephens Church.  In 1877, Clara married John Guy at St Stephens Church, Portland by the Reverend Allnutt.

St Stephens Church, Portland


After a year of marriage they took up residence in Barclay Street, Portland, the birthplace of eight of Clara and John’s nine children and where Clara died in 1937.  John passed away four years before Clara.

Mary Arabella “Minnie” HISCOCK – Died 29 August 1941 at Hotspur.  Mary Hiscock, born in 1859 at Hotspur, was the daughter of James Hiscock and Mary Cobb and was known as Minnie. After her birth, the Hiscocks moved to Lower Crawford and Minnie remained there until she was fifty-eight in 1917 when she returned to Hotspur.   In her younger years, Minnie was known as a fine horsewoman and would ride around the countryside to attend balls and other social gatherings.  When she was seven, she rode with her father from Hotspur to Birregurra east of Colac, a distance of around 235 kilometers which took three days. Minnie never married.

Florence Helena LAIDLAW – Died 26 August 1944 at Malvern.  Florence Laidlaw was born at Port Fairy in  1858 to David Laidlaw and Eliza Fraser.  Although Florence was born at Port Fairy, where her grandparents William and Agnes Laidlaw lived, David and Eliza Laidlaw resided in Hamilton where David was a saddler.  David Laidlaw quickly rose to prominence in the Hamilton district and went on to serve five terms as Mayor of the town.  In 1873, David laid the foundation stone for the Alexandra Ladies’ College in Hamilton, of which he was one of the founders.

"TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 11 Nov .

“TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 11 Nov <;.

Florence Laidlaw attended Alexandra Ladies’ College and later became the headmistress.



On 29 December 1917, the Weekly Times reported on a trip Florence was making to Sydney to stay with her sister and mentioned she was the headmistress at Alexandra College.  However, she appears to have retired soon after.  On 25 July 1919, the Horsham Times reported that Florence was intending to visit Japan with Edith Lansell, daughter of George Lansell of Fortuna, Bendigo. After her return from overseas, Florence moved to South Yarra.

Trove Tuesday – A Venerable Couple

While researching Hamilton soldier Samuel Winifred Trigger recently, I stumbled across this wonderful photo at Trove of Samuel and Eliza Trigger, grandparents of Private Trigger, published in the Weekly Times on 14 April 1917.

"A VENERABLE COUPLE." Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015 .

“A VENERABLE COUPLE.” Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015 <;.

Further searching at Trove uncovered the obituaries of Eliza and Samuel, published in the Port Fairy Gazette on 18 March 1918 and 15 April 1918 respectively, and with the help of various records, I was able to find out a little more about Eliza and Samuel.

Eliza was the daughter of Charles Whittaker and Catherine Totterdale and was born in Naae, Ireland around 1823.  After the death of Charles Whittaker, a Battle of Waterloo veteran, Eliza’s family moved to Somersetshire, England.  That is where she met Samuel Trigger, formerly of Devonshire.  They married in 1847 at Bridgeport, Somersetshire and their first child Emily was born around 1848 in Somersetshire.  They then moved to Avening, Gloucestershire and another daughter, Christina was born in 1850.  Samuel was working as a miller and the family lived in Ball Street, Avening.  Another child, a son Henry, was born before they departed Plymouth in 1852 for Australia aboard the Eliza.  The family arrived at Portland on 9 April 1853.

Firstly, Samuel and Eliza settled at Mt Taurus north of Warrnambool, and Samuel worked as a sawyer.  They eventually moved to the Macarthur/Warabkook area where they remained for the duration of their lives.  Eliza passed away on 6 March 1918 and Samuel, only weeks later, on 1 April.  They were buried at Macarthur Cemetery.  The last piece of significant news they most likely received was that of the death of their grandson Samuel Winifred Trigger at Moquet Farm on 16 August 1916.  The family received notification almost a year later, on 11 July 1917.

After I found the photo of Eliza and Samuel, I posted it to the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, knowing a lot of Trigger descendants are members of the group, many I know personally.  Therefore, after reading the obituaries of the couple, I was not surprised to learn that when they passed, Samuel and Eliza left four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren.


Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915

National Library of Australia – Trove Digitised Newspapers

Pubic Record Office of Victoria, Index to Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871



More Soldiers, More Sorrow




Writing the profiles of the Hamilton WW1 soldiers has highlighted the month of August of 1915, 1916 and 1918 as particularly sad times for the town’s residents.  There was heaving fighting at Gallipoli during August 1915 with the battle of Lone Pine, the Charge at the Nek and the attack on Hill 971 and Hill 60.  During July and August 1916 there was heavy fighting at the Somme, France with the battles at Fromelles, Pozieres, and Moquet Farm.  During August 1918, there was the Battle of Amiens.  Many Hamilton men lost their lives during those months.

You can now read forty profiles of Hamilton’s WW1 soldiers from the tab at the top of the page “Hamilton’s WW1“.





Currently, I’m working to finish the profiles of the men who died during August, particularly those for whom it is now 100 years since they made the ultimate sacrifice.

The stories of Albert Sheehan, Arthur Lewis and Claude “Dot” Douglas are particularly sad considering they watched the occupancy in their tent diminish. Thirteen men occupied their tent at the start of their Gallipoli campaign.  By the beginning of August, only the three Hamilton mates were alive.  As the month passed, one by one, Albert, Arthur, and Claude did not return.  By the end of August 2015, their tent was empty.


Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P00649.004

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P00649.004


There is also the story of Lieutenant Edward “Ted” Henty of the 8th Light Horse Regiment (8th LHR), grandson of Stephen George Henty.  Before departing overseas, he married his sweetheart at Hamilton’s Christ Church. Ted was killed during the charge at the Nek.  A son he would never know was born in the months after his death.  Also killed at the Nek and with the 8th LHR was William Hind, who at the time of his enlistment was beginning his career in the printing industry with the Hamilton Spectator.  One man, an officer from an esteemed Victorian family, the other a private of working class blood, but each with so much more to offer.  They bravely gave their lives in what was one of the most futile battles of WW1.


"DISTRICT HONOUR ROLL." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 23 Sep 1915: 6. Web. .

“DISTRICT HONOUR ROLL.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 23 Sep 1915: 6. Web. .


With each profile, I attempt to uncover how the enlistment affected the family and the town’s residents and how each lost man was remembered.  In some cases, the shock of the loss of a son saw the death of a parent soon after, as was the case with the father of Arthur Lewis.  Other men had wives and children. I’m writing the profile of William John Clyde Kirkwood, a man who sits on the edge of my family tree with a Kirkwood link through marriage. The effect of his death on his children reverberated for well over a decade.  Parents and wives had exhausting ongoing correspondence with the Defence Department, often for years, sorting out pensions, medals and personal effects.  Some had to get around administrative challenges of incorrect names given at enlistment or the death of the listed next of kin.  There were also the men who returned home, like William Brake and Albert Davies (below) who never fully recovered from their war experiences.



STANLEY & ALBERT DAVIES. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DA15721


It is a privilege to research the stories of the Hamilton’s soldiers.  It’s easy to feel an attachment to them and in a small way feel the sorrow of their families, in the reading of their service records, letters published in the Hamilton Spectator, and looking at photographs of young, fresh faced men with innocence in their eyes.  One such soldier was Stan Niddrie (below) a quiet country lad, at home on his horse with his dogs bringing up a flock of sheep. He also shared his thoughts in letters home to his sister.  Nineteen at the time of his enlistment in September 1915 and just 5’4″, Stan would stand six feet tall during his service, working his way through the ranks, reaching Sergeant just before he was killed near Villers-Bretonneux in August 1918, only months from going home.  Stan’s eyes would have seen much during his three years of service, their innocence taken away.


STANLEY ROY NIDDRIE. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DASEY1899

STANLEY ROY NIDDRIE. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DASEY1899


The stories of the men, each from different backgrounds, with different war experiences, and different fates, all end the same.  There were no winners from The Great War and we really don’t understand what those that lived it endured.  Albert Lewis, writing home after the Gallipoli landing so rightly said, “I am certain there is not a single person in Australia who can near realise what their boys went through”.




James and the Bushranger

My son is now eleven and thinks he’s a bit too cool for history.  But not all is lost. Often I can get him interested in history without him even realising.  Besides taking advantage of his confinement in the car when travelling through the Western District and imparting snippets of history to him, I know that I can take him anywhere historic if I can capture his imagination.  I knew I could do that at the Port Fairy Cemetery in January.  I was after some more headstone photos and the lure for Lachlan was the chance to see the grave of a bushranger.




The story of “Dick” the Bushranger unfolded just up the road from the cemetery, in front of the St Patrick’s Catholic Church on the Port Fairy/Yambuk Road, now known as the Princes Highway. We visited the church in 2014 and Lachlan took the following photo.





It was 12 February 1859 and the local constabulary had heard two bushrangers were approaching the town.  With only three local mounted police, they split up to make sure all roads into town were covered.  Constable Wigmore came face to face with the alleged bushrangers at 5.00pm near St. Patrick’s church.  After some questioning, he attempted to arrest them and warned them he would shoot if they continued walking toward the town’s centre.  One of the men refused and produced a pistol and Constable Wigmore felt he had no choice but to follow through with his warning and he shot the man.  The following report appeared in The Age of 24 February 1859.  Another report was published in the Geelong Advertiser of 23 February 1859.



The name of the dead man was not known.  His companion, William Darcy, said he only knew him as “Dick” and said they had met at the Yambuk Hotel where they allegedly stayed the night before.





William Darcy was charged with highway robbery by Portland police in the days after, as reported in the Portland Guardian and Normanby Advertiser on 2 March and stood trial in May 1859. Darcy was found guilty and sentenced to five years hard labour for assault and highway robbery as reported by the Portland Guardian and Normanby Advertiser on 13 May 1859.  Witness statements at the committal hearing published on 2 March would suggest both men were guilty and they didn’t support Darcy’s claim that he and “Dick” were at the Yambuk Inn, rather camped by the road.  But many questions remain and it was only the word of the defendant against the two witnesses, that led to Darcy’s charges.  “Dick” had no opportunity to give his side of the story.

A search of the Central Register of Male Prisoners at the Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV VPRS 515) found that William Darcy (no. 4481), a Presbyterian, was just twenty-three and had arrived in the colony alone and had no relatives in the colony.  He was sent to Pentridge Prison. Beyond William Darcy’s personal information, there was little else to take from the file.

“Dick” was buried in the Port Fairy Cemetery in a grave marked with rocks.  In recent years, an addition to the grave is a headstone, with the words “Did He Deserve This?”.  I’ve been on one of Maria Cameron’s wonderful Port Fairy cemetery tours and she believes from her research, that “Dick” was Frederick, but the mystery remains as to his true identity.

The story of “Dick” the bushranger is unlike any other bushranger story I could share with Lachlan.  As the dying man took his last breath, Lachlan’s gggg grandfather James Harman was present.


"A BUSHRANGER SHOT." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 24 Feb 1859 .

“A BUSHRANGER SHOT.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 24 Feb 1859 <;.


It was no surprise to learn that James and his brother, possible Jonathan Harman, were heading out of town toward Yambuk.  Although I am yet to fully establish James’ movements from the time he disembarked from the Duke of Richmond at Portland harbour in 1854 until he arrived in the Byaduk area around 1861, I do know that James was first employed at Boodcarra between Port Fairy and Yambuk.  I took this photo of Boodcarra from a moving car, simply because the road at that point is not good for stopping.




By 1859, James may have resided at Port Fairy, so he would be visiting Yambuk.  A reason for a visit was to see good family friends and later extended family, the Olivers who were living at Yambuk around that time.  Jonathan and Reuben Harman later married two of the Oliver girls.  They were also church friends of the Harmans, another reason James, a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher, may have headed out the Yambuk Road.  Perhaps there was a prayer session at a the home of another Wesleyan Methodist.  When there was not a local Methodist church, gatherings were held at private homes, by candlelight, and often running late into the night.  Whatever the reason, I am sure it was a trip James and his brother never forgot.

So mission accomplished, Lachlan learnt something of his family history and I got more headstone photos to add to my collection.   You can see some of those photos in my two Port Fairy cemetery posts to date – Port Fairy Cemetery Part One and Port Fairy Cemetery Part Two.


Hamilton Old Cemetery

In 1850, Henry Wade, the surveyor for the Portland district, completed a plan of the township of Hamilton, then known as The Grange.  He was under instruction from Robert Hoddle, the head of the Melbourne Survey Office.  Hoddle requested Wade set aside eight acres for a cemetery.  Wade surveyed a site on the then Wannon Road, later known as Coleraine Road. That site became the Hamilton Cemetery but is now more commonly known as the Hamilton Old Cemetery after the first burial at the Hamilton Lawn Cemetery in February 1970.  Some burials occurred at the old cemetery after that time, but generally with existing graves.




Of the cemeteries I have visited in the Western District, the Hamilton Old Cemetery is the one closest to my heart. The following grave is the one that first took me there.  The time of my first visit is unclear but maybe as a toddler.  I’m not sure who I even went with.  Maybe my Nana or my great auntie Rosie, both daughters of Thomas and Sarah Hadden. Both Nana and Auntie Rosie took me to the cemetery many times as a child.




The visits to the cemetery were a regular Sunday ritual. If I heard Nana say, “Those flowers would be nice for the cemetery”, I knew the camellias or the dahlias were in bloom and a cemetery visit was impending. Of course, there were also the visits on significant dates.  Nana and Auntie Rosie would weed the plot and put fresh flowers in the vases and I would fill the vases with water at a nearby tap.  The vases in the photo (above) have been with the grave since the beginning as Mum remembers them when she was a child visiting the grave.  And now my son, a fourth generation descendant, has visited the grave of his gg grandparents Thomas and Sarah.

Thomas Hadden was born in Cavendish in 1879, a son of a Scottish immigrant while Sarah was born Sarah Elizabeth Harman at Byaduk.  Her mother, Lizzie Bishop, passed away when Sarah was seven and she and her two siblings were raised by their father Reuben and step-mother Emma Lorden.  Thomas Hadden and Sarah Harman married in 1904 at Byaduk.  They raised seven children in a small house on Coleraine Road, their first-born Lucy Angelina in 1905.





Both Sarah and Tom passed away in their sixties. Tom in 1943 aged sixty-four and Sarah in 1948 aged sixty-five, both still relatively young.

When I was ten, there was another grave to visit at the cemetery, that of my great Uncle Len Hadden.  We probably visited it before that, but it’s not in my memory. My great-aunt Jessie was buried in 1969, but I was one-year-old and don’t remember her, but I do remember Uncle Len.




Arthur Leonard Hadden (below), better known as Len, was the second child and oldest son of Thomas and Sarah.  He was born in  February 1907 at Hamilton.  Len attended the Hamilton State school and became a butcher.




Len married Jessie McPhail in October 1928 at Hamilton.  Jessie was born at Tahara to Archibald McPhail and Jessie Wilson in 1905.  Jessie and Len had four boys.


scan0018 (2)



Visiting Uncle Len at his home on Port Fairy Road, Hamilton during the 1970s was memorable.  Then a widower, he was in his mid-sixties but he seemed very old to me.  I recall he always had the newspaper open on the table and the radio going, the racing station I think, and he didn’t talk much to me, not in the way his younger brother Bill did anyway. Uncle Len had an ankle biting silky terrier called Scruffy I was a bit scared of and a talking cockatoo.  Most memorable was his outdoor dunny, the only one I had seen at the time, and I can still recall the smell which was probably phenyle.




From the Hadden’s, the next of my family graves are those I discovered when I began researching my family history.  As a child, I had no idea there were others in the cemetery related to me.  Little did I know my great-grandmother Sarah Harman’s great-uncle and aunt William Reed and Sarah Burgin were there and not too far away either.

William Reed and Sarah Burgin were the subjects of my post The Muddy Creek Reeds.  There you can read about William’s early life in Cambridgeshire and later as a husband and father living at Muddy Creek.




Also buried there is Edna Alice Ford, a grand-daughter of William and Sarah.  Her parents were Martha Reed and James Ernest Ford and she was their fourth born.  There is also William Reed Jnr, the eldest child of William Reed and Sarah Burgin. Dying aged eighty-six, William never married.

Not far away is the grave of another of William and Sarah’s children, Sarah Ann Reed (below). She married William Kirkwood of Buckley’s Swamp in 1903.  They settled at Buckley’s Swamp and raised a family of at least seven children.  I have several more photos of Kirkwood graves and I will feature those in a future post on the Hamilton Cemetery.




There are more of the Reed family graves to photograph including William and Sarah’s daughter and mother of Alice Edna Ford, Martha Reed and her husband James Ford.  Also daughter Eliza Reed and her husband James Clayton and her sister Alice Reed and Alice’s husband Henry Brewis.  Williams and Sarah’s son, Albert Reed and his wife Elilias Patman are also buried in the cemetery.

Nearby the grave of William and Sarah is the last resting place of Sarah’s parents Richard Burgin and Eliza Addinsall.  They were from Lincolnshire and arrived at Geelong aboard the Joshua in 1854.  Accompanying them were their children, Richard Jnr, Sarah, William and baby Hannah.  According to the passenger list, they were heading to nearby Batesford, the home of relatives.  They eventually made their way further west and were in the Hamilton district by 1858 when their daughter Eliza was born.  They settled at Muddy Creek, a small settlement just south of Hamilton with a large Methodist population.




Devout Wesleyans, the Burgins attended the Muddy Creek Methodist Chuch.  That is where the Burgin, Reed, Harman connection all began.  My ggg grandfather was a local preacher and in the early 1860s, before he settled his family at what would become Byaduk, Muddy Creek was their nearest church.  James’ wife Susan Reed was a sister of William, who arrived in the district from England as a single man and settled around Muddy Creek.  Sarah and William met, possibly at church, married and the rest is history.

The first burial in the Burgin plot was Eliza Burgin Jnr who passed away in 1874 aged sixteen.  Her mother Eliza followed in 1883 aged sixty-six then father Richard who passed away in 1888 aged seventy-eight.


"The Horsham Times." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 8 Jun 1888:.

“The Horsham Times.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 8 Jun 1888:<;.

The last burial was, Hannah Burgin who never married and passed away in 1923 aged seventy.

Still close by is the grave of Sarah Harman’s 1st cousin 1 x removed, Jessie Harman.  Jessie, of Byaduk, was the daughter of Reuben Harman and Elizabeth Oliver and married Hamilton man, Walter Greed in 1898.




Walter’s parents, John Weaver Greed and Emma Grinter started an undertaking business in Hamilton in 1861.  Around 1890, it was taken over by Walter’s younger brother Frank after the death of their father. It  became known as F.Greed & Sons and today the descendants of John and Emma run the business on the site where the business began 154 years ago.

Walter was the nephew of Abraham Greed a Hamilton coachmaker and at one time, Mayor. When he finished school, Walter went to work with his uncle in the coach building trade.  After their marriage, Jessie and Walter lived at 21 Stephen Street (below), with not only their children, Vera and Arthur, but at times, Jessie’s mother and two sisters, Beatrice and Sarah.


IMG_0774 (1)


Jessie and Walter’s son Arthur married Evelyn Sack around 1928 at the Hamilton Baptist Church, just a couple of blocks from the Greed home.


"SOCIAL." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 22 Jun 1928:.

“SOCIAL.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 22 Jun 1928:<;.





Evelyn was born in Shepparton, but her family moved to Hamilton soon after and her father Frederick Sack operated a jewellers and optician business in Gray Street.  The family lived at 46 Martin Street.

"Advertising." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918) 8 Jun 1918>.

“Advertising.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1873; 1914 – 1918) 8 Jun 1918;.


Arthur Greed worked in the materials and curtain department in Miller’s store also in Gray Street.  After he and Evelyn married, they lived at 20 Stephen Street, across the road from Arthur’s parents.  In their later years, Arthur and Evelyn retired to Portland.  They passed away within three months of each other in 1993.






We now make our way to the opposite end of the cemetery to the Diwell plot.  On my last visit, I found another Diwell grave along the way.




I’ll have to use the cemetery records to find out who it belongs to, however, I have narrowed it down to possibly being Jonathan Richard Diwell, born at Hamilton in 1919 and who died in Hamilton in 1928.  He was the son of William Diwell and Vita Gleeson and grandson of Richard Diwell and Elizabeth Jelly, buried in the next featured grave.

This grave is the most ornate of my family graves at the cemetery, the final resting place of my gg grandparents, Richard Diwell and Elizabeth Jelly and four of their children.




You can read more about Richard and Elizabeth in the posts Elizabeth Ann Jelly and Another What the Dickens Moment.

Buried with them are four children including the baby Elizabeth gave birth to in 1900, with both dying as a result.  Also Richard and Elizabeth’s seventh child, Ernest Richard. He died in 1939 aged forty-eight after accidentally drinking spirits of salt.




The grave is looking a little worse for wear.




There are still several Diwell related headstones to get photos of.  They include Richard and Anne’s three young granddaughters, Hilda, Linda and Margaret the daughters of Margaret Ann Diwell and her husband Frederick Coustley.  There are also Richard’s sister Margaret Ann McClintock and her daughter Martha Emily McClintock and another daughter Mary Crawford McClintock who married John Blackney.

Since my collection of Hamilton Old cemetery photos is close to 200, this is not the last post on the cemetery.  Next, a tour of some of the graves of those who shaped Hamilton.


Garden, Donald S. (Donald Stuart) and Hamilton (Vic.). Council Hamilton, a Western District history. City of Hamilton in conjunction with Hargreen, North Melbourne, 1984, p38.

Hamilton History Centre Driving Tour

Gardner, Margaret & Heffernan, Val & Hamilton History Centre (2007). Exploring Hamilton : mini histories for drive no. 1. Hamilton History Centre, Hamilton, Vic, p15.

Victoria. Register of Assisted Immigrants from the United Kingdom. Microfiche VPRS 14. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria, sourced from


©Merron Riddiford 2015.  The use of the content and images in this post is according to Western District Families’ Creative Commons License

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s four years this month since Passing of the Pioneers began.  Starting out with the Portland Guardian, Horsham Times and the Camperdown Chronicle, the number of newspapers at Trove from which I can now draw obituaries has increased considerably.  This month, it is with great pleasure that I am able to post my first obituary from the newly digitised Hamilton Spectator (1870-1879).  It wasn’t a Hamilton person, rather Thomas Anderson of Portland, with his death reported on by the Spec correspondent.  It’s also the first Passing of the Pioneers with the blog’s new layout.

There are a further fifteen pioneer obituaries included in this post and once again, the stories that come with them are good reading.  The July pioneers have been added to the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index taking the total number to 566.

Thomas ANDERSON:  Died 12 July 1870 at Portland.  Thomas Anderson, born about 1805, was an early arrival in the colony with the Hamilton Spectator correspondent believing in 1870 he was the oldest colonist in Portland other than the Hentys.  Thomas was a publican and ran the Old Lamb Inn Collins Street Melbourne around 1840 to 1843 as reported in the Spectator of 13 July 1870. That is also recorded on the Port Phillip Pioneers website.  Once in Portland, Thomas was for a time the owner of the Union Inn in Julia Street.  He lived at Clinton Cottage in Portland.   The funeral procession was described by the Spectator correspondent on 16 July 1870, as “one of the largest…which has been witnessed in this district”.  Present were magistrates, bankers, the President of the local shire, the Mayor of the Borough of Portland and “…every class of the community, in carriages, on horseback and on foot, from every part of the district…”.

OLD LAMB INN c1858 by George McRae, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H36480

OLD LAMB INN c1858 by George McRae, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H36480

Jane LAMB:  Died 1 July 1890 at Heywood.   Jane Lamb’s obituary brings together three generations of pioneer obituaries for the Steven family, with Jane joining her daughter Johanna Steven and granddaughter Isabella Reid on the Western District Family Pioneer Obituary Index. I have found with this family they were often listed as both Steven and Stevens. In Jane’s obituary, it was Stevens, however, I do think it is Steven.  Jane married Robert Steven/s in Scotland and they travelled to Victoria with their family.  Robert ran a bakery and confectionary shop in Julia Street and later owned “Wee Station”, as it was known locally, a small property at South Portland.  Robert passed away seven years before Jane.

Robert DONELAN:  Died 25 July 1901 at Karabeal.  Robert Donelan was born in Galway, Ireland around 1833.  He arrived in Victoria to live with his uncle, Hamilton’s first Police Magistrate, Acheson Ffrench of Monivae Estate near Hamilton.  Robert’s obituary said his family appeared in Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  Indeed, they did, the 1912 edition, for example, sees the Donelan family of Killagh, Galway on page 196.  More information about Killagh with photos is on the following link – Killagh House.

Robert married Bridget Lalley in 1863 and around 1870 they started the Karabeal Inn on the Cavendish/Dunkeld Road.  The couple had ten children, however, not all survived. There is a sad reminder, a couple of kilometres south of Cavendish.  It is the site of the lone graves of two of Robert and Bridget’s children, Eliza and Viola, both dying at age one, Eliza in 1875 and Viola in 1886. A photo of the grave is on the Victorian Heritage Database website.  Robert also sat on the Shire of Dundas and at one stage put his name up for candidature in the Victorian Parliament but later withdrew it.

James SMITH: Died 5 July 1914 at Bringlebert South.  Born in Wiltshire, England around 1833,  James Smith arrived in Victoria aboard the Ugiauah and apparently was one of the last of the early Henty employees to pass.  James spent time at the diggings and then carrying goods along the Portland Road. Then he lived at Sandford before eventually settling at Apsley.  A further obituary is available on the link  More about the Smith family is available on theGlenelg & Wannon Settlers & Settlement website 

William Grange HEAZLEWOOD:  Died 10 July 1914 at Portland.  William Heazlewood, it was said, was the first European child born at The Grange (Hamilton) at the time of his birth in 1844.  His father Robert Heazlewood had a blacksmith shop by the banks of the Grange Burn, that ran through the settlement of The Grange.  The map, below, from the interpretative sign at the site of The Grange in Digby Road Hamilton, shows the “Smithy” shop next to Blastock’s Grange Inn to the right.

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MAP OF THE GRANGE. Interpretive board, Digby Road Hamilton.


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After a few years, the Heazlewood family moved to Portland.  When old enough,  William began a printing apprenticeship with the Portland Guardian.  In 1864, he married Miss G.M.Richards who arrived in Portland ten years earlier aboard the Nestor. William was for a time the Portland pound keeper and was a member of the Sons of Temperance.  He purchased a property, Cherry Grove, in North Portland a planted a large orchard.  He remained on the property until around 1910.  William passed away after collapsing while walking along Henty Street, Portland.

Francis Thomas BEGLIN:  Died 11 July 1914 at Portland.  Frances Beglin died after collapsing while helping to unload the cargo from the SS Casino.   Born about 1849 in Portland, Francis was a cornet player with the Portland Band and was a member of the Portland Battery Garrison Artillery.

SS CASINO.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H92.302/23

SS CASINO. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H92.302/23


James William PASCOE: Died July 1917 at Terang.  James Pascoe was ninety-eight years and six months old when he passed away in 1917 and he did a lot during that time.  Born in Cornwall in 1819, he worked as a farm hand as a boy then in the Cornish mines.  Word of gold discoveries in Victoria reached Cornwall, and James and a group of other men travelled to the Victorian goldfields, landing at Geelong in 1852 and then travelling on to Castlemaine. James then went on to Ballarat and was there at the time of the Eureka uprising in 1854.

James discovered work as a carrier was more lucrative than looking for gold, and he starting carrying goods from Melbourne to the Bendigo goldfields.  He then settled at Creswick long enough to operate a store there, Pascoe and Thomas.  Next he returned home to Cornwall before going back to the Creswick district and operating a hotel and general store at Newlyn. Around 1887, James moved south to a bush block at Glenfyne, until the early 1890s when he moved to Terang for the last twenty-five years of his life.  That was the most settled period of his life.

James DOWNEY:  Died 13 July 1918 at Koroit. James Downey was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1822 and arrived in Victoria in 1853.  He settled  in Koroit where he remained for the next sixty-five years.  During his life, James went from a farm labourer to a rich landowner, but he never forgot where he came from.  He enjoyed mixing with his employees and lending a hand when needed.  James married Margaret Moloney in 1864 and they had seven children.  James was a devout Catholic and was a charitable community member.

John FLETCHER:  Died 31 July 1918 at Branxholme.  John Fletcher was born around 1842 in Scotland and arrived in Portland as a child of eleven.  He married in 1867 and he and his wife had eleven children.  John worked as a station manager, managing well-known properties including Ardachy, Mundarra and Straun and was considered a fine judge of livestock and an expert on Merino sheep.


MUNDARRA WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1079

William WILSON: Died July 1924 at Geelong.  William Wilson was born in Somersetshire in 1833.  He married in the early 1850s to Jane Clements and in 1855 they sailed to Australia arriving in Geelong.  The couple’s eldest three children were born in Geelong before the family moved to Ballarat hoping for some luck with gold prospecting.  A further eight children were born during their time in Ballarat.  By 1874, William had a selected land in the Heytesbury Forest at Scott’s Creek.  In the early 1880s, William moved into Camperdown, although he did keep his property at Scott’s Creek.  While in Camperdown, he ran a business in Manifold Street.  William was ninety-one at the time of his death.  Jane passed away around twenty-five years before him.

John CROMRIE:  Died 16 July 1927 at Warrnambool.  John Cromrie was born in Northern Ireland and first lived in Melbourne when he arrived in Victoria around 1860.  After about six years, he moved to Warrnambool and remained there sixty years until his death.  He first ran a saddlery business and then moved into coachbuilding.  He was in partnership with Mr A. Purcell and they operated from a large premises in Liebig Street.  John was also the oldest member of the St. John’s Presbyterian Church committee.  He was a widower of around forty years and had a family of five children still remaining at the time of his death.

WARRNAMBOOL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1903.  Photographer Joseph Jordan.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H96.160/837

WARRNAMBOOL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1903. Photographer Joseph Jordan. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H96.160/837

Jane WILSON:  Died 15 July 1934 at Ascot Vale.  Jane Wilson was born in Ballarat in 1860 and was the daughter of William Wilson (above).  After her marriage, Jane lived in Terang for around forty years before moving to Melbourne about 1920.  In 1885, Jane married John George Boyes.  John died in 1902 and Jane raised their three children alone.

Matthew Charles RHOOK:  Died July 1936 at Hamilton.  Matthew Rhook was born at Narrawong in 1854.  His first job was for George Lamb, a Portland butcher and he then worked at various large properties around the Portland and Port Fairy district.  He also spent time gold prospecting in Northern Victoria.  Matthew married Elizabeth Jane Quick in 1878.  They eventually made their way to Hamilton, settling in Eversley Street.  At the time of WW1, two of Matthew and Elizabeth’s sons, Archie and Harry, enlisted.  Harry was killed overseas while Archie returned home.  A profile for Archie Rhook is available on the Hamilton’s WW1 pages.

Angus Stuart REID:  Died 22 July 1937 at Camperdown.  Angus Reid was the son of Stuart Reid and Jessie Craig and was born at Eddington in 1878.  He attended school at Geelong Grammar before working in the mercantile business in Melbourne.  He returned to Eddington to take up the running of the station

EDDINGTON HOMESTEAD, Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

EDDINGTON HOMESTEAD, Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

In 1916, Angus married Irene Thomson of Hawthorn.

 Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 8 Jul 1916: 10.  .

Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 8 Jul 1916: 10. <;.

In 1918, Stuart Reid and in 1923, Angus’ mother Jessie died.  After the death of his mother, Angus bought out the beneficiaries of her estate, thus owning Eddington outright.  He sold the property in 1931.  Angus’ obituary has a lot of information about the lives of his parents.

Henry HAMMOND: Died 4 July 1941 at Cobden.  Henry Hammond was born in Dandenong around 1859 and during his life he travelled widely throughout Australia from Queensland to Western Australia.  However, in the early 1890s, Henry settled down at Cobden.  He carried timber using his bullock team for construction of the Cobden Pioneer Butter Factory.  He also did fencing for the Heytesbury Shire and ran a butcher shop.  Henry’s wife died around twelve years before him.

Fanny Lea PICKEN: Died 9 July 1941 at Camperdown. Fanny Picken was born in Geelong around 1856 and was the last remaining child of James Picken, a Camperdown legal practitioner.  Fanny never married and devoted much of her time to the St. Paul’s Church of England choir.  Fanny and her sister were members of the choir for many years.

ST. PAULS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, CAMPERDOWN.  Image Courtesy of the  J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

ST. PAULS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, CAMPERDOWN. Image Courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

Thomas WEBB: Died  19 July 1943 at Cobden.  Thomas Webb took his first steps while sailing with his parents from England to Australia.  He was born in Birmingham around 1869. Thomas was the local Cobden undertaker for forty-four years as well as blacksmith and wheelwright.  In addition to his role as secretary of the Cemetery for many years, he was also a Justice of the Peace and a past Master of the Cobden Freemason’s Lodge.  He also was a regular at the local football.  Thomas’ wife died only a month before him.  They had no children, although there was an adopted son who was missing in action while serving during WW2.