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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154837960&gt;.


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:<http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72883526&gt;.

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:<http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72628020&gt;.





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 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119502851>.

“Advertising.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1873; 1914 – 1918) 8 Jun 1918 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119502851&gt;.


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 Ancestry.com.au


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

Looking for Mary Ann

A week ago, Karen Annett of the Annett Family Australia Facebook group, posted on another group, Victorian Genealogy, about a missing family member, Frances Annett (born 1840, Seven Oaks, Kent).  As a member of the Annett Family group, I had previously read about the search for Frances, one of those elusive women we often come across in our family trees.  Frances had arrived with her parents William and Mary and siblings to Portland in 1853 and that is the last record of Frances’ being.  In reply to Karen, I posted a message of support that she shouldn’t give up hope of finding Frances, giving her a brief summary of my search for Mary Ann Harman.

For my 300th Western District Families post, this is the extended version of  the story of Mary Ann Harman who I thought was…


LOST WITHOUT TRACE. (1931, December 10). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 62. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90636449

LOST WITHOUT TRACE. (1931, December 10). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), p. 62. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90636449



Mary Ann Harman has always been a mystery.  I have accounted for all the first generation Harmans of Byaduk, their births, death and marriages.  Except for Mary Ann, the daughter of Jonathan Harman and Mary Oliver.

Born in 1869, the sixth child of Jonathon and Mary, Mary Ann drops off the radar after birth.  I’ve checked and double checked her birth record and yes she was definitely born.  Over the 20 years I’ve researched the Harmans, I reached the conclusion she had died as an infant.  Not that unlikely since her younger siblings Joseph and Sarah died during the 1870s, Joseph as a baby and Sarah aged six.

My pursuit of Mary Ann has not been a desperate one because. as she was a child of my ggg uncle, I thought I could live with the fact she was missing.  However, because I’m writing a Harman family history I considered I would have to get some of the records I have refrained from getting before.  Recently I received a copy of Jonathan Harman’s will from PROV via Archival Access, and the mystery deepened because there in black and white was the name of Mary Ann.  At the time of his death in 1930, Jonathan had four daughters, besides Mary Ann, and two sons,  Arthur a farmer from Byaduk and Jonathan, a man I considered  the black sheep of the family.  No surprise to me, he was not named in his father’s will.

Jonathan snr. left his ready money and money in the bank to all his daughters, with a proviso that it did not include Mary-Ann.  He bequeathed the net profit of one of his properties to his daughters…except Mary Ann.  Arthur was to receive the balance of Jonathan’s estate “but subject to and charged with the payment by him of the annuity of twenty pounds to my daughter Mary Ann during her life…”.

So Mary Ann wasn’t dead, rather 61 years of age in 1930, but why was she treated differently to her sisters and Arthur?  Was she untrustworthy or did her father think she was not worthy of a share of his property?  Why did was left an annuity instead?  Was she not capable of supporting herself?  The discovery in Jonathan’s will certainly raised more questions than it answered.

But it meant I could begin searching for her again with renewed confidence.  I went straight to the Victorian Death records and searched for “Mary Ann Harman” (assuming she never married) and found the closest match – Mary Ann Harman born about 1873, died Ararat 1948, parents unknown.  If  that is my Mary Ann,  the fact she died in Ararat possibly answers some of my questions.  The reason being there was a lunatic asylum in Ararat (Aradale).

A search of Trove only found a Law Notice from 1951 declaring the said Mary Ann Harman intestate, however it confirms to me that the Mary Ann who died in Ararat was a spinster.

Advertising. (1951, February 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 18. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23036219

Advertising. (1951, February 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 18. Retrieved June 2, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23036219

Now I have some new leads.  I’ll follow-up probate records and check for an inquest, with the latter helping me confirm if the said Mary Ann was in Ararat Asylum.  But maybe Mary Ann was merely the female black sheep of her family and moved away from the fold and it’s possible that the male black sheep was living with her.  My reason for that thought is that my only other Harman connection to Ararat was Mary Ann’s brother Jonathan jnr. further supporting my case that I’m on the right track with Mary Ann.

After Jonathan jnr. married Hannah Keyte of Arapilis in 1904,  they moved to Kingaroy, Queensland.  Hannah appears to have remained in Queensland but Jonathan disappeared after 1913 reappearing again at the time of his death in 1941 at Ararat.  I do know that after Jonathan’s death there was an inquest, raising the possibility he was in Ararat Lunatic Asylum and a copy is now a must.  To think I have driven past the imposing building of Aradale, on a hill east of Ararat, hundreds of time, looking up and wondering what when on behind its walls.  Now I’m a few steps closer to discovering if members of my family knew exactly what life was like as an inmate.

ARARAT ASYLUM c1880.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H1887 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/151015

ARARAT ASYLUM c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H1887 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/151015

Writing the Harman family history has  helped me get to know Jonathan Harman snr.  better than I did before and it would be tragic if either or both Mary Ann and Jonathan jnr. were inmates at the Ararat Asylum.  Between 1871 and 1886, he saw the passing of three of his 10 children and his wife Mary at just 43. Then, one by one, his remaining children moved away from Byaduk leaving him alone, while his brothers’ children continued on in the town, growing and prospering.

So in conclusion,  to all of you, including the Annett family researchers, never give up hope that you will one day find your Mary Ann.


**Tours are now held within Aradale, during the day by the Friends of J Ward (a hospital for the criminally insane also in Ararat) and ghost tours by night,conducted by Eerie Tours .Aradale operated from 1867 until 1998.

Passing of the Pioneers

What an interesting group of pioneers December brings us. Some were well-known in the Western District while others toiled quietly to build their lives. Obituaries come from a chemist, a cricketer, a former Portland Mayor, a pastoralist, a Monsignor, mothers and two pioneers of the newspaper industry in Western Victoria.

James TRANGMAR: Died 16 December 1888 at Portland. James Trangmar was a resident and a former Mayor of Portland, but he acquired land throughout the Western District.

James Trangmar, photographer Thomas Fostor Chuck -1872.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/17715

James Trangmar, photographer Thomas Foster Chuck -1872. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/17715

After working as a manager of a grocers in Tasmania, he arrived in Portland in 1844.  He worked in that field before turning to sheep farming. He bought  properties including Bochara, Violet Creek and Morgiana. James had connections to the Portland Hospital and the  Portland Free Library and was also a Justice of the Peace.  He was buried in the North Portland Cemetery


Headstone of James Trangmar & family. North Portland Cemetery.

William NICHOLAS: Died 17 December 1890 at Colac. Arriving in the Colac area around 1841, William Nicholas was an early pioneer of the district. He came first to shear for three local squatters, then he worked in the forests before purchasing a bullock wagon.  He carted produce to Geelong and Ballarat, returning with stores.  His obituary, by Mr B.N. Butcher of Colac, was written with emotion.

MEMOIR OF A DEPARTED COLONIST. (1891, January 2). The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87728049

MEMOIR OF A DEPARTED COLONIST. (1891, January 2). The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87728049

John HARRIES: Died 18 December 1914 at Stawell. John Harries was born in Carmarthenshire, Wales in 1843 and arrived in Stawell in 1875.  A true Welshmen, he was a great singer and was a member of the Presbyterian church choir and Prouts Band of Ballarat.  He married and had eight children. His brother, Reverend David Harries had joined him Australia, but he had passed away a few years earlier.

Ann WALTON: Died 31 December 1914 at Mount Arapiles. Ann Walton is one of my favourite pioneers and I am familiar with her as she was the mother-in-law of Jonathan Harman Jnr and mother in-law to the nephews of the Oliver sisters that married Harman brothers.  Also, I know the area around Natimuk and Mount Arapiles in the Wimmera where she and her husband James Keyte pioneered and it can be harsh country.

Ann, born in Scotland, arrived in Portland aboard the Indian Ocean in 1854 as a four-year-old. Her parents, David Walton and Margaret Tennant went to Mount Gambier and that is where she married James Keyte. James and Ann selected land in the Natimuk district in 1872 and remained until 1892 when the bought land in New South Wales. She later returned to Mount Arapiles when her health began to fail.

Oliver YOUNGMAN:  Died 17 December 1915 at Port Fairy. Oliver was born in Norwich, England in 1847 and arrived at Port Fairy with his parents in 1849. His father, Arthur Youngman was an owner of the Port Fairy Gazette and later the Alpine Observer at Bright and Oliver was involved with both newspapers.  He was the ledger keeper for grazier Sir William Clarke for twenty-nine years and later his for his son Sir Rupert Clarke.  Oliver held high office in the Methodist Church and was a member for fifty years. Leaving a daughter to mourn him, he was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

Catherine COWAN:  Died 14 December 1916 at Ararat. Catherine Cowan was born in Scotland and arrived in Australia with her parents around 1853.  She was married Alexander McKenzie at Trawalla Station near Beaufort where Alexander was manager. They spent time at De Cameron Station near St Arnaud before settling at Ararat.  Catherine and Alexander had nine children.

Florence GILLIES:  Died 16 December 1917 at Ararat.  lorence was born in Scotland and arrived  in Victoria aboard the Lady Peel as a sixteen-year-old in 1853. She married John Dow at Skipton before they took up land at Tatyoon under the Duffy Land Act of 1862.  After John died, Florence lived at the Burrumbeep homestead, before moving into Ararat.

Alfred Bussell CLEMES:  Died 26 December 1917 at Stawell. Born in Cornwall, Alfred Clemes trained as a chemist in Bristol before travelling to Victoria in 1852. He opened a business in Melbourne until 1854 when he and his wife opened businesses at the various goldfields. They arrived in Stawell in 1858 where he remained. He became Shire secretary in 1870 and held the role for forty-four years, only retiring four years before his death. He was a co-founder of the Stawell Hospital and the Mechanics Institute.

Bernard CONLAN:  Died12  December 1918 at Dixie. Bernard Conlan, born in County Down, Ireland, should have bought himself a lottery ticket after a twist of fate saved him from death from a cauldron of molten iron at the Clyde shipyards in Scotland and he survived a bout of typhoid fever on the voyage to Australia, despite given little chance of survival. He worked first in South Australia before moving to Victoria, living at Garvoc and Wangoom before buying land at Dixie, near Warrnambool.  Despite being burnt out in bushfires in 1887 and losing much of his stock during drought time, with Bernard’s hard work and perseverance he raised a family that had much respect for him.

John THORNTON:  Died 16 December 1919 at Mount Myrtoon.

Late Mr. John Thornton. (1919, December 18). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25362137

Late Mr. John Thornton. (1919, December 18). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25362137

And so begins the obituary of Yorkshire born, John Thornton.  At age eighteen, with his brother, he left England aboard the Great Britain for Melbourne. He spent time in Gippsland before buying land at Mount Myrtoon, where he lived for the next fifty years. He also opened a stock and station agents that he built into a successful business with transactions from Hamilton to Geelong. John was a talented cricketer and represented Victoria in 1859 and 1860 and made a great contribution to the Camperdown Cricket Club.

James Park Dawson LAURIE:  Died 2 December 1928 at Naracoorte, South Australia. James Laurie was a son of Reverend Alexander Laurie and was born at Kongatong station, near Warrnambool, in 1846, After his schooling, mostly at Portland, he pursued his journalistic aspirations and started the Mount Gambier newspaper The Border Watch, along with his brother Andrew Frederick Laurie. In 1868, he travelled to America and Europe and on his return, having sold his share in the newspaper, he moved into pastoral pursuits. In 1870, he was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly. He married Dora Kean, daughter of Thomas Kean, in 1882 at Portland.  James Kean, Dora’s brother, established the Portland Mirror.

Right Reverend Monsignor Michael Joseph SHANAHAN:  Died 6  December 1931 at Hamilton. Monsignor Shanahan was well-known among the Roman Catholic community in the Western District.  Ordained in his home country, Ireland in 1864 he then travelled to Melbourne. He took up the parish at Carisbrook and later the Inglewood parish overseeing churches in towns such as Clunes, Creswick and Talbot. In 1878, he became assistant pastor at Warrnambool, then parish priest at Hamilton in 1886 and was there for the completion of the St Mary’s Church. In 1916, he was appointed Dean of Ballarat.  During his time in Hamilton, Monsignor Shanahan was president of the hospital for twenty-two years.  Money raised and presented to him went towards completing the well-known spire of  Hamilton’s St Marys Church.

Louisa SEALEY:  Died 4 December 1934 at Casterton. Louisa Sealey was born around 1861 and arrived in Casterton with her parents when it consisted of only two houses. She married John Black and they lived in Miller Street, Casterton.  After her husband’s death, she resided with her son on his soldier settlement property at Nangeela.  Another son, Gordon was killed at Passchendaele, France during WW1. Four sons and four daughters survived at the time of Louisa’s death and she still had eight surviving siblings.

Thomas PHILIP: Died December 1937 at Hamilton. Thomas Philip was born in Scotland and came to Victoria as a child after his father, Captain John Philip, gave up the high seas and took over Lagoon Station near Cavendish. John then purchased Miga Lake Station and St Mary’s Lake Station, which his sons, trading as Philip Bros. ran after his death.  Thomas married Margaret Laidlaw in 1883 and they had one son and three daughters.

Thomas died at his home Kenmure in Ballarat Road, Hamilton. Kenmure is one of my favourite homes in Hamilton and one that I went  past almost daily for around fifteen years. It has recently been sold and is now, probably for a short time only, on a Hamilton Real Estate agent’s site, with some great photos too.

Mary Ann JOHNSTONE: Died 22 December 1951 at Portland. Mary Ann was born in Portland around 1856, the daughter of James Johnstone and Dorothy Hall. Her brother was John Johnstone and her sister-in-law, Mrs Hannah Johnstone.  Mary Ann married Mark Kerr in 1876 and they resided at Drik Drik before moving to Swan Lake about twenty-five kilometres away. Mary Ann was considered an excellent horsewoman, equal to any man.

Passing of the Pioneers

Many of the November pioneers came from the south-west of Victoria from Bridgewater to Timboon.  Somewhere in between is Koroit and four of the pioneers resided there, all of Irish descent.

Samuel LORD: Died 18 November 1906 at Pombeneit.  Samuel Lord was a resident of Pomberneit for forty-one years, but it took him the twenty years prior to settle. Samuel, born in Devonshire, England. arrived in Adelaide in 1845, went to Sydney, then back to Adelaide and in 1849 returned to England for a visit. He then came back to Australia, heading to the goldfields for several years. He then selected land at Pomberneit in 1865. He was a member of the Heytesbury Shire Council and had nine children.

Johanna RYAN:  Died 27 November 1914 at Panmure. Johanna Ryan and her husband Mr T. Lowrey and a child, left Tipperary, Ireland in 1851 for Australia, specifically Hobsons Bay, Victoria. After a time at the Bendigo goldfields, the Lowreys bought land at Kirkstall. Following  the Land Selection Act of 1865 the Lowreys selected at the Yallock Estate and turned bush into a “beautiful farm”  Johanna was ninety years of age at the time of her death.

GARVOC. (1914, December 5). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 6 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved November 22, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73556791

Daniel O’CONNELL: Died 5 November 1916 at Koroit. It was a lonely end for Daniel O’Connell. He lived in a hut near the Koroit racecourse and received the old-age pension. In his earlier years, he had worked as a groom and roustabout.  Daniel’s body was found in his hut after a kindly neighbour, Miss Mullens, noticed he seemed unwell and couldn’t hear her.  She rang the police who visited the hut and found his body. He was well in excess of eighty years, according to locals, and he had lived in the district for around sixty years.

Johanna CLEARY: Died 16 November 1916 at Chocolyn. Johanna arrived in Port Fairy from Ireland when she was sixteen, around 1845.  She married John Moloney and they raised six sons and one daughter. The Moloneys also resided at Koroit, but when John died, Johanna went to live with her son James at Chocolyn.

Hugh McDONALD: Died 17 November 1917 at Ararat. Hugh McDonald was another Ararat resident, like those in October Passing of the Pioneers, who did the goldrush circuit. Arriving from Scotland in 1854 aboard the ship Tasmania, he travelled to most of the goldfields in Victoria as well as a stint in New Zealand, but like those October pioneers, it was Ararat that he returned to. His travels must have brought some success as he selected land at Mt. Ararat and built up what became known as the Mt. Ararat Estate (a winery today).  He married and had five children.  He was buried at the Moyston cemetery.

George CAMPBELL: Died November 1918 at Portland.

(1918, November 25). Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved November 23, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88197935

Catherine MITCHELL: Died 6 November 1918 at Yambuk. Catherine Mitchell arrived in Port Fairy in 1852 aboard the Priam.  She married Richard Thomas of Yambuk and they had four sons, two daughters, forty-five grandchildren and thirty-seven great-grandchildren at the time of her death.  She lived to ninety-two years of age.

James BLACK: Died 17 November 1918 at Koroit. James met an unfortunate death at age seventy-six.  Despite bad health, he was turning out cows when a bull rushed him and knocked him to the ground. He never recovered and died four days later. James was born in Paisley, Scotland and had been a Koroit butcher for over forty years.  He was also Mayor of Koroit on several occasions.

Maria MOLONEY: – Died 24 November 1918 at Koroit. Maria Moloney’s obituary described her as a “good old sort”.  She had been a resident of Koroit for 60 years after arriving from Ireland with her father and brother in 1852 at the age of 15. Her son Richard was killed at war in 1916 and Maria’s health began to fail after hearing the sad news.  She was buried at Tower Hill cemetery.

Sarah Ann OLIVER: Died 15 November 1928 at Brisbane, Queensland. Sarah Ann Oliver was an older sister of Elizabeth and Mary Oliver, wives of Reuben Harman and Jonathon Harman.  Like her two sisters, she was born in Cornwall and immigrated in 1849 aboard the Courier into Port Phillip. Ten years later she married Edmund Dalton, an Irishman and they lived in Port Fairy for the following twenty years, raising eight children. In 1879, Sarah and Edmund moved to the Darling Downs, Queensland.

Thomas MAILON:  Died 10 November 1930 at Portland. Thomas Mailon was born in Portland and was a policeman during his working years.  He lived in what was known locally as the “White House”, a home set on the sand hills near Portland.   An advertisement in the Portland Guardian (below) lists the “White House” for sale. This was only nine months before his death. Thomas had a number of brothers and sisters but never married.

Advertising. (1930, February 10). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64291549

Marion Nunn JONES: Died 11 November 1936 at Bridgewater.  Marion Jones was born at the Tasmanian Hotel in Portland around 1851. She married William Forward Hedditch at Lal Lal, the Hedditch family home at Cape Bridgewater.  Forty-six years later, Marion died in the same room as she was married.  Her mother-in-law, Rachel Read was a January Passing Pioneer.

Janet Isabella Mary BLACK: Died 10 November 1941 at Mt. Gambier. Janet Black was born at Bridgewater in October 1863. She was the only daughter of Joshua Black and Janet Nicol and stepsister to Rachel Black who’s obituary was in the October Passing of the Pioneers.  Janet married Samuel Kenney and they had one daughter, Lexie. They lived at both Cape Bridgewater and Kongorong. Janet was the last surviving child of Joshua Black.

Mary KENNEY:  Died 19 November 1941 at St. Kilda.  Mary Kenney was a sister-in-law of Janet Black (above) and they passed away within nine days of each other. Mary was the daughter of John and Ellen Kenney of Lower Cape Bridgewater and she was born in Richmond Street, Portland in 1847. She later married J.K. Palmer of Hawkesdale.

Margaret Bennett MARTIN:  Died 12 November 1942 at Portland. Margaret Martin lived in Portland for the entire eighty-five years of her life. She married Mr Symington and they had two sons and three daughters.

Florence COUCH:  Died 17 November 1954 at Surrey Hills. Florence Couch’s father was one of the original pioneers of the Scott’s Creek district near Timboon. Florence was the last surviving member of a family of thirteen. The Couch family were well-known for their horse handling skills. When Florence married Mr Roberts around 1906, they moved to South Africa for two years before returning to Scott’s Creek. She had five surviving children at the time of her death.

Passing of the Pioneers

September’s Passing of the Pioneers brings the opportunity to post the obituary of Henry Annett of Wallacedale.  It shows how much information you can find out about a person from their obituary if you are lucky. Of course, any information found is purely a lead to primary sources.

After sixteen Passing of the Pioneers, there is now a large collection of Western District pioneer’s names. If you would like to see the full list of pioneer obituaries, follow the link – PIONEER OBITUARIES

Thomas BENNETT: Died 25 September 1889 at Portland.  Thomas Bennett was born in Derbyshire, England and arrived at Portland in 1854, taking on a job as a merchant tailor.  He enjoyed cricket, racing, athletics and hunting as both a participant and spectator.  Thomas married after arriving in Portland and he and his wife raised 10 children. His wife died of stroke some years before and Thomas raised the children, with only four having reached their teens by the time of his death.

Richard BLOOMFIELD: Died 16 September 1901 at Hamilton.  Richard Bloomfield arrived in Australia, first to Tasmania in 1842 and later to Victoria. He joined the Police Force with his first station at Hamilton as chief constable. In his later years, Richard turned to farming and was seventy-nine at the time of his death.

John RIORDAN: Died 27 September 1905 at Portland. Before arriving in Portland, just prior to the turn of the century, John Riordan spent time in Ballarat, Creswick and Ararat running businesses.  In Portland, he owned the London Hotel and served a period on the Portland Council.

The former London Hotel, Portland

Frederick BUCKNALL: Died September 1908  at Dartmoor. In his early days in Portland, Frederick Bucknall believed wattle trees could be commercially grown. He purchased land at Dartmoor and planted his wattles, but blight and fires made his venture difficult.  He went to the goldfields of Western Australia, where he had worked before. He returned to Dartmoor, a lot more financially secure and continued his Wattle plantation, with more success than his first attempt.

Thomas DONOHOE:  Died 26 September 1908 at Narrawong. Thomas Donohoe of Narrawong was a cabinet maker of much renown, a farmer and an administrator. He had a great political knowledge and for a time was the Narrawong correspondent for the Portland Guardian.

Thomas Richard OLIVER:  Died 21 September 1910 at Horsham. Thomas Oliver was a brother-in-law of Reuben and Jonathan Harman. Born in Cornwall in 1848, he arrived at Melbourne with his parents John Henry Oliver and Ann Richards and five older brothers and sisters. Thomas worked in the carrying business around Port Fairy before moving to Kalkee in the Wimmera in 1874. In 1876, he married Margaret Luxton, daughter of William Luxton.  Around the early 1890s, Thomas and Margaret moved into Horsham where Thomas opened a grocery business on Church Hill.

Sarah CLARK Died September 10, 1915 at Ararat.  Sarah Clark was born in Hertfordshire, England and came to Victoria with her parents as a small child.  Her father, Leonard Clark took up a position as gardener at the Burrumbeep Estate at Maroona.  Sarah married John Basham in 1866 and they had 13 children.  Nine children were still alive at the time of Sarah’s death.

Alfred BYRON: Died 28 September 1916 at Denicull Creek. There is no chance Alfred Byron, born at Ashton-Under-Tyne, Lancashire, England remembers his voyage to Australia as he was only ten days old when the ship sailed. Alfred’s parents settled at Port Fairy, but as a young man he headed off to the goldfields before settling at Denicull Creek, near Ararat.  Farming became his new pursuit. He married and raised a family of six children.

Thomas POLLAND Died 16 September 1917 at Moyston. Born in County Down, Ireland in 1924, Thomas Polland arrived in Victoria in 1853, making his way to the Ballarat goldfields. Present at the time of the Eureka uprising, Thomas enjoyed recounting the stories of the time. He eventually headed to Moyston and for a time worked carting timber from the Grampians, before purchasing land to farm.  is wife passed away around 1904 and Thomas left five of his eight children when he passed away.

Margaret THOMPSON:  Died 2 September 1919 at Horsham. Margaret Thompson was born in Melbourne around 1870, the daughter of Mr W. Thompson and Mrs Bedwell.  Her parents settled at Wonwondah and she lived there until she was seventeen.  Margaret’s mother remarried at this time and Margaret selected land at Telangatuk.  After three years, she married Herman A. Rokesky of Clear Lake.  They moved all over the district in the following years before Margaret and Herman settled in Horsham until the time of Margaret’s death.

Henry ANNETT:  Died 29 September 1927 at Wallacedale.  In the November 2011 Passing of the Pioneers, I promised I would post Henry Annett’s obituary in September 2012 and here we are.  At the time, I had posted Henry’s wife’s obituary, that of Sarah Millard.  I mentioned then that the story of Henry’s life one of the best of I had read in the form of an obituary.  I have read many more obituaries since that time, and I still think Henry’s is right up there.

Henry Annett was born in Sevenoaks, Kent, England on July 5, 1845. Seven years later he sailed to Portland with his parents aboard the Pryam and Henry’s father joined the police force. Their first home was a Government issued bell tent.  After four years in Portland, Mr Annett snr transferred to Port Fairy where Henry took up butchering.  Preferring the outdoors, Henry became a carrier taking goods to the Ararat diggings and to Dunkeld with materials for the first school.  At around seventeen, Henry travelled to New Zealand where he walked 10 days from Christchurch over mountains and rivers to reach the newest of the gold diggings in the country, but like many others, he left empty handed.

After returning to Victoria in 1866, Henry married Sarah Millard of Narrawong but Henry still could not settle down.

THE PIONEERS PASS BY. (1927, October 6). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved September 24, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64258739

Eventually he did settle taking an interest in community affairs and  he earned the name the “father of Wallacedale”

Henry and Sarah had thirteen children, eleven boys and two girls.  Three boys had predeceased Henry.  He also had forty-eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was buried at the Conday cememtery.

Robert HICKLETON:  Died 14 September 1932 at Koroit. Robert Hickleton arrived in Portland with his parents in 1852.  They had sailed aboard the Old Ellen.  Robert’s first job was a compositor with the Portland Guardian.  Over the following years, he worked for the Warrnambool Standard, the Portland Mirror, the Hamilton Spectator and the Port Fairy Gazette, where he spent twenty-nine years.  In his early years, he was a keen athlete and cricketer and later he was a successful lawn bowler.

Sarah HERBERTSON:  Died September 1932 at Portland. Sarah Herbertson was born in Portland in 1844.  She married Joseph Henry Porter and they lived in Portland during their married life, with Joseph passing away in 1931. They had no children.  Sarah’s obituary mentions she was “deeply attached to her home”.  A model, built by Joseph and Sarah, of that home in Gawler Street is now on display at Portland’s History House, testimony to her attachment.  Sarah’s obituary gives her maiden name as Henderson.

Model of the home of Joseph and Sarah Porter

Emma GRIFFITHS:  Died September 1936 at Irrewillipe.  Emma Griffiths was 100 years old when she died after spending eighty-five years in Victoria.  Emma was just a girl when her and her mother arrived in Sydney aboard the Avocalle, on which Emma’s mother was a matron caring for the female passengers.  Later they went on to Melbourne, Geelong and then Buninyong where she married Mr Nicholan. They had three children at Buninyong before moving to Irrewillipe, near Colac around the late 1850s.  Emma had fourteen children and when she died she had sixty-two grandchildren and over thirty great-grandchildren.

Clara Quick GEOMAN:  Died 24 September 1941 at Hamilton. Clara was born at Yambuk in 1859 and in 1884 married Francis Hollard at Portland. They moved to Wallacedale, being among the earliest settlers there. Clara appears to have had a link to Henry Annett as her daughter Ethel married Edward Annett.  Clara had five other children alive at the time of her death.

M is for…Methodist

This really should have been a post for the “W” week of the Gould Genealogy Alphabet challenge, but I have another “W” word in mind for that week (guess which word that will be).  To be precise,  “W is for…Wesleyan Methodist” would have been more apt as it is the branch of Methodism that the Harman family followed, but due to an overload of “W”‘s, I’ll turn it upside down and make it “M is for…Methodist”.

What did I know about Methodism before I discovered the Harman’s faith?  Nothing except for a link to temperance.  Therefore, over the years I have tried to find out more about the religion as I think it is definitive in finding out more of what the Harmans were really like, especially James and his brother Walter who were Local Preachers with the church.

It was the role of  local preacher that I discovered was one of the characteristics of Methodism.  This from the “Advocate” of Burnie on August 16, 1952 gives something of the background:

The Methodist Local Preacher. (1952, August 16). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954), p. 12. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article69442373

I have also found that James did preach at Hamilton Methodist Church on occasions, found in the history  Uniting we now stand : a history of the Hamilton Methodist Church  by Joan A. Smith (1999).  The Hamilton church was originally at 41 McIntyre Street before moving to Lonsdale Street in 1913.  In May this year a gathering was held recognising 150 years of Methodism in Hamilton.

The Byaduk Methodist Church built 1864, was the first church in the town and a weatherboard Sunday School was added in 1889.  Located on the Hamilton/Port Fairy Road which runs through the town the Byaduk church, along with the Hamilton church,  are now Uniting Churches.  This cam about after three churches, the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational came together in 1977.


Prior to the Byaduk church’s construction services were held in the home of John B. Smith, an early leader of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria.   In 1866, Smith went to Portland  and travelled a circuit which took him throughout the south-west.  His recollections were published in The Portland Guardian of June 25, 1928.  If you have Kittson, Lightbody or Hedditch links, this is worth reading in full.

Early Methodsim. (1928, June 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64266132

Smith was also a co-author of the book The Early Story of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria  available online.  Of course there is a lot in the book about John Smith himself who “.. had a clear grasp of the plan of salvation, and a touching and pathetic way of speaking of the “wrath to come”.”(p.269).

Also of Smith:

“The well-worn family Bible used morning, noon, and night for family worship, told of his love for the Psalms and the words of the Lord Jesus and few could use them (even the deep vast words of the fourth gospel), or the plaintive phrases of the Psalms, or the less familiar lines of shaded beauty found in our Hymn Book, with greater feeling and effect” (p269)

The influence of this holy man of God and of other kindred spirits make Byaduk a bright spot in the Hamilton Circuit, while the personal worth and , social standing of Mr. Peter Learmonth as a Christian and a citizen, and the active sympathy and generous help of the Wissins’ and Learmonths’ on the one hand, and the uno-rudsins labours of devoted Local Preachers on the other, have served to sustain the cause and comfort the Minister’s heart”(p270)

Peter Fraser in Early Byaduk Settlers, describes an early Methodist service at Byaduk:

“They conducted the services differently from now.  In singing hymns. the preacher read a verse and the congregation sang the verse, then he read another and the congregation sang it and so on to the end of the hymn.  In prayers, most of the congregation knelt; and when the preacher was praying, some in the congregation would sing out AMEN, BE IT SO HALLELUIAH and other words, while others in the congregation would grunt and groan all the time, but it must have been a nuisance to the preacher as the Methodist Ministers stopped it many years ago.” (p. 14)

Peter also names some of the local preachers of which there was an abundance.  They included Mr John Henry Oliver senior, father-in-law of Jonathon and Reuben Harman, and his son John Henry junior.  Also Daniel Love, John Holmes and Samuel Clarke, just to name a few.  George Holmes senior, father in law of Julia Harman, was superintendent of the Sunday School for over 40 years.

James and Walter seemed the most devout of the Harman family, with both spreading the word as local preachers. Also, Walter and his wife Lydia established the Sunday School at Ensay and Walter travelled many miles preaching.  Walter’s son Henry was an elder of the Omeo Methodist Church and I have previously told the story of the Omeo Methodist Minister Ronald Griggs .  The church closed ranks around Griggs and continued to support him at the time of his murder trial in 1928.

The post In Search of the Extraordinary Monster looks at the Port Fairy Methodist church.  Port Fairy was the home of the Harman family before they moved to Byaduk

Reuben James Harman, son of James and my gg grandfather,  was buried in the Methodist section of the Ballarat New Cemetery, with the faith continuing on to the next generation.


I know there is so much more to find about the Harman family link to the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  My ggg grandfather was a great servant of the church and saw some changes during its development in Byaduk and Hamilton.   He was still alive when the Hamilton Methodist Church moved to Lonsdale Street, but  a major change occurred a year after his death.  In 1917, the Methodist Church of Australia at its Melbourne conference ruled that local preachers were to become known as lay preachers.

METHODIST CONFERENCE. (1917, May 26). Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), p. 6 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved August 7, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50927004

A post on the website Gospel Australia, has a great post “Poor Old Tom Brown”.  I have included the link but now the site is only working intermittently.   It  describes a man who was a Local Preacher in New South Wales and he is very much how I imagine James Harman to have been.

If you have Western District family  who were Methodists, I highly recommend you read the The Early Story of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria.  Various towns throughout the Western District were represented along with many names.  Other areas of Victoria are also covered.

If any one has any idea how I can get a copy of  Uniting we now stand : a history of the Hamilton Methodist Church  I would love to hear from you.  There is a copy in the reference section of the Hamilton Library but it would be nice to have a copy of my own.

There is one question about the Harmans and their Methodist faith that I may never have answered.  Why did Joseph Harman, father of James and Walter, change his religion from Methodist to Presbyterian by the time of his death in 1893?  Mentioned in his obituary in “The Hamilton Spectator” it has had me wondering ever since I first read it.