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

April Passing of the Pioneers includes one of the pioneers of the Presbyterian Church in the Coleraine district, a mother of fourteen children, several Shire Councillors and a successful storekeeper.

Thomas GOODWIN: Died 7 April 1914 at Rosebrook. Thomas Goodwin was born in Tasmania about 1833 and arrived at Port Fairy as a child. He farmed first in the Glenormiston district but when land became available at Farnham, he moved there. In his later years, he farmed at Rosebrook.  He left three sons and four daughters.

Letitia WILLIAMSON: Died 11 April 1914 at Koroit. Letitia Williamson was born in County Armagh, Ireland. She arrived in Victoria in 1857 and married James O’Neill in Melbourne the following year. They spent some time in Melbourne then moved to Koroit where James was a boot maker. James passed away around 1903 and when Letitia passed away she left six children.

William QUILL: Died 13 April 1914 at Portland. William Quill was born at Werrangourt Station, Byaduk around 1845, but his family moved to Yambuk when he was a boy. After his marriage to Miss Doherty, William and his new bride settled at Macarthur. William was on holiday in Portland when he passed away.

Samuel KEEN: Died 21 April 1914 at Hamilton. Samuel Keen was born in Stafford, England around 1846 and came to Australia aboard the ship Helen about six years later with his parents. The family travelled to Hamilton by bullock wagon, where Samuel remained for the rest of his life.

Reverend William John GILLESPIE: Died 24 April 1914 at Hawthorn. Reverend Gillespie was born in Antrim, Ireland in 1826 and trained for the ministry in Belfast. He travelled to Australia in 1867 with his wife of five years, Mary Oliphant Morrison. The following year he took up position in charge of Coleraine, Casterton, Merino and Digby Churches and remained in that role until 1902. During his time at Coleraine, he was president of the Coleraine debating club, and chairman of the Board of Advice, Mechanics Institute and Railway League. With his health failing, the Reverend and his wife moved to Melbourne where he remained until his death. He was buried in the Coleraine cemetery.

Arthur Grainger HILL: Died 7 April 1917 at Edenhope. Arthur Hill was born in Somersetshire, England and when he arrived in Australia he first settled in N.S.W. He came to Victoria to work with the Railway Department of Victoria. Around 1880, he was appointed Engineer of the Wannon Shire Council. Due to  a successful period of employment with the Shire, upon his retirement Arthur was awarded a bonus of a years wages.

Sarah MOFFATT: Died 22 April 1917 at Hamilton. Sarah Moffatt was born in Ireland around 1836 and arrived in Australia in the late 1850s. She married Peter Lewis and they had two sons, however, Peter passed away. She married Benjamin Chamberlain of Port Fairy and they had three daughters and one son. Sarah was buried at the Port Fairy cemetery. Another obituary appeared in the Hamilton Spectator on 27 April 1917.

George TRANGMAR: Died 25 April 1917 at Melbourne. George Trangmar was born in Brighton, England around 1828  and arrived in Victoria in 1849. He started in business with his brother James in Portland before opening a store in Coleraine in 1851. He remained in business there for twenty-five years and during that time was a member of the Wannon Shire, including some years as President. During the 1870s, he purchased the Toolang Estate near Coleraine for sheep farming.  He sold Toolang around the turn of the century and moved to Melbourne. He was buried at Coleraine Cemetery.

Thomas Lewis WYATTDied 15 April 1918 at Hamilton. Thomas Wyatt was born in London, England around 1831 and married at St., Brides Church, London in 1853. In 1855, Thomas and Mrs Wyatt. a young son and Thomas’ brother James, left Plymouth aboard the Anna Maria, arriving at Portland in February 1856.  He took up the trade of plasterer and his work took him to Mt. Gambier and Melbourne before he went into partnership in Hamilton. He was a founding member of the Portland Oddfellows lodge. Thomas left a widow, two sons and three daughters

Johanna STEVEN: Died April 1925 at Heywood. Johanna Steven was born near Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in Victoria with her parents around 1860. Her father owned what was known around Portland as the “Wee Station” in South Portland,  a small acreage as up to date as a large pastoral station which attracted visits by tourists to the town. Johanna married William Reid at Portland and they raised a family of fourteen children. Johanna and William were foundation members of the Heywood Presbyterian Church.

William PHILIP: Died April 1933 at Hamilton. William Philip was born around 1858 and was educated at the Hamilton Academy and Geelong College. After Geelong, he returned to the Western District and owned properties including Violet Creek, Kenilworth and Mt. William. He was a member of the Dundas Shire Council for twenty years and was a member of the racing, golf and swimming clubs as well as the Masonic Lodge. His support assisted the financing the Hamilton War Memorial and  local swimming pool.



Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to July 2013 Passing of the Pioneers, the second birthday of Western District Families monthly feature. Including this month’s obituaries, there are now 372 pioneer obituaries recorded here. You can view all of them on this link – Pioneer Obituaries – or search family names using the search box on the side bar.

I didn’t expect Passing of the Pioneers would continue this long.  In July 2011, I didn’t even think I would be blogging this long.  Also, I have had a few desperate moments when I thought I would run out of obituaries. I started using only the Portland Guardian and the Camperdown Chronicle  and then the Horsham Times, but thankfully papers like the Port Fairy Gazette (1914-1918) and the Ararat Advertiser (1914-1918) came online.  Now with the likes of the Hamilton Spectator(1914-1918) and the Coleraine Albion (1914-1918) coming online I’m reassured that Passing of the Pioneers should see at least a third birthday.

As it is birthday month it is only appropriate that one of the obituaries belongs to one of the great pioneering women of the Western District  who left a legacy that is still around today and has a link to Trove, a source I’m totally dependent on for the obituaries in Passing of the Pioneers.  .

Janet NICOL: Died July 1903 at Bridgewater. After reading two obituaries and an entry in the Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance, I have concluded that Janet Nicol was an intelligent woman and one of the most significant pioneers to appear in two years of Passing of the Pioneers.

No title. (1936, May 5). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

No title. (1936, May 5). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

Janet Nicol was born in Lankashire, Scotland in 1822, the daughter of Professor Andrew Nicol a linguist, University lecturer and head of a boys college. Janet, one of eight daughters, attended boarding school and like her father could speak several languages. In 1841, she married the Reverend Alexander Laurie and shortly after they sailed to Port Phillip aboard the William Nicol, appropriately, arriving in February 1842. After a short time in Melbourne, they sailed for Portland Bay.

On arrival at Portland, Janet was carried ashore on a chair by the crew through the surf. It is unclear whether it was before or after her disembarkation, but on that same day, she gave birth to her first child,  Alexander. The Lauries couldn’t stay at any hotels when they first arrived because of quarantine restrictions and instead camped under a shelter near the flour mill. The draughts left Janet with a severe cold and a lifetime of deafness.

Alexander had been appointed minster for the Portland Bay Presbyterian ministry and went about setting up a church. He then took an interest in newspapers and became involved with the Portland Herald. After his death in 1854, Janet took over the running of the Herald. By that time, she had four children. Interestingly the first child, Alexander was not one of those children. I can find his birth record from 1842, but in 1854 Janet gave birth to another Alexander. Therefore I would assume the first Alexander passed away some time before 1854, however, I can’t find his death record. He may have been a victim of that cold introduction to the world.

That is the glossy story so far taken from the Pioneer Women’s book and the obituaries, however, I found another side of the story that I can support with articles found at Trove. The Pioneers of Port Phillip Inc website includes articles from the group’s newsletters.  One of those entitled “Portland – The truth, the whole truth and anything but the truth” submitted by Jan Hanslow reveals research by Ann Grant about stories passed down over the years and the facts behind them.  The Reverend Laurie and Janet are mentioned.

The first revelation is the cause of Janet’s deafness. It was not the cold draughts on the first night in Portland, rather a blow allegedly inflicted by Alexander for which Janet had him charged for assault, as recorded in Police records. This and various other incidents saw him removed from the church. A report of his falling out with the church appeared in the Geelong Advertiser of July 11, 1848. That is how he really came to be at the Portland Herald, not a voluntary swing from God to journalism.

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN PORTLAND. (1850, April 16). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1847 - 1851), p. 3 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN PORTLAND. (1850, April 16). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1847 – 1851), p. 3 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

The next revelation from Ann Grant was that Alexander got himself into trouble with the paper and Janet had to take over.  The following article supports that claim.

LOCAL. (1851, July 12). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), p. 436. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

LOCAL. (1851, July 12). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), p. 436. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

Alexander died in 1854 and after a short break, the Portland Herald resumed publication every Friday with a promise that the paper would be “renewed in strength and efficiency”.

Advertising. (1854, November 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

Advertising. (1854, November 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

ESCORT. (1854, December 1). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 - 1856), p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

ESCORT. (1854, December 1). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from

Janet finished up the Portland Herald in 1860 and she and the children went to Mt, Gambier where she assisted two of her sons in setting up the Border Watch, a paper still published today. The first edition was published on April 26, 1861 and is online at Trove. The eldest son was only seventeen then, so Janet must have been the main force behind the paper’s establishment. The name was definitely her idea as there was a Border Watch newspaper on the border of Scotland and England. Given the close proximity of Mt Gambier to the South Australian/Victorian border, she thought the name appropriate.

(1861, April 26). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from

(1861, April 26). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from

Also in 1861, Janet married widower Joshua Black of Cork Hill, Bridgewater. Joshua was a father to seven children and Janet must have had a busy time running a paper in Mt. Gambier and the duties of matrimony at Bridgewater. Janet and Joshua had three children together, the first in 1862 when Janet was 40.  By 1865 there were fifteen children from the combined marriages, aged from twenty-two to newborn. One would hope by this time Janet was leaving the running of the newspapers to her sons.

Janet was buried in the North Portland Cemetery in the same grave as Alexander Laurie. The Portland Guardian of 29 July 1903 reported that “the funeral procession was one of the largest, if not the largest seen in Portland”.

The Glenelg Shire have completed a Heritage study of Cork Hill and there is a good history of the Black and Laurie families

The State Library of South Australia website includes a history of the Border Watch.

The entry for Janet in the “Book of Remembrance of the pioneer women of the Portland Bay district”  including a photograph is found here

Janet’s obituary from the Border Watch, 29 July 1903  and from the Portland Guardian

132 (2)


Henry DOWN:  Died 4 July 1914 at Port Fairy. Henry Down arrived in Victoria around 1856 aged twenty-one and his first employment was at Yambuk. He was then appointed manager of St Helen’s were he displayed successful farming practices. He purchased his own land at Coddrington and continued his success. Henry married twice. His first wife, Susan Dawe was the mother of all of Henry’s six children. She passed away in 1893 and Henry married the widow of Mr William Cain. Henry returned twice to the north of England to visit his two brothers, both coal miners.

James FRY: Died 26 July 1914 at Broadwater. James Fry was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1830. He married Sarah Brown in 1853, in Gloucestershire. They left England in 1857 aboard Chance bound for Port Fairy. He set up a business as a plasterer in the town and was deeply involved in the Oddfellows and the Farmers Rest Lodge. He even built a lodge room at Broadwater for the Farmers Rest masons, at his own expense. James and Sarah had eleven children and Sarah predeceased James in 1907.

Silias SMITH: Died 5 July 1915 at Hamilton. Silias Smith was born in Somerset, England in 1824. He arrived in Hobart in 1855 and then in 1857, sailed for Portland, settling in the Narrawong area. Silias worked in the horticultural field and had great knowledge in both this and general agriculture. In later life, he lived with his married daughter in Heywood and later in Hamilton.

Bridget McCARTHY: Died 16 July 1916 at Crossley. Born in Ireland around 1835, Mrs Bridget O’Brien arrived in Victoria in the mid-1850s. Bridget and her husband Patrick O’Brien lived at Crossley for many years before leasing their land and moving to Port Fairy North. The O’Brien’s had four children but lost three of them at a young age. They had one son John survive them.

Francis McSORLEY: Died 16 July 1916 at Port Fairy. Francis McSorley was born in Ireland around 1826 and arrived in Victoria in the early 1860s aboard the Mindora, along with his wife and two sons. Francis was an expert on the Crimean War and the early history of Victoria. He worked on the railways for many years before retiring to Rosebrook.  He left six sons and one daughter. Another son Patrick, a jockey was killed in a race fall in Adelaide.

Thomas SHANLEY: Died 12 July 1917 at Killarney. Thomas Shanley took up residence at Killarney in 1856. He married Ellen Malone in the same year.  Thomas was the road overseer for the Belfast shire for twenty-two years.

John WILLIAMS: Died 26 July 1917 at Port Fairy. John Williams was born in Hobart in 1834 and arrived in Victoria as a fourteen-year-old in 1848. He worked on stations doing stock work and around the time of the discovery of gold, he was droving stock to Ballarat and Bendigo. He tried his luck while at each of these goldfields with no success and returned to station life and marriage in 1855. He later went to Port Fairy were he remained for forty-nine years. During that time he worked at Guinn’s Brewery and at the harbour. John and his wife raised thirteen children.

Kate St George McCANN: Died 27 July 1929 at Coleraine. Kate McCann was already well travelled by the time she reached Melbourne in 1866 aboard the Great Britain. She was born on a ship just off shore of San Fransisco in 1849.  Her birth certificate would have stated she was born in Stepney, London as all children born at sea under the British flag were allocated to the Parish of Stepney. Kate grew up playing on her mother’s ranch in the Rocky Mountains, California.  After her mother’s death she travelled to England with her sister, living with her aunt, Emma Crouch in London. It was with Emma that Kate and her brother and sister sailed on the Great Britain.  They caught the steamer Edina to Portland.

In 1876, Kate married James Trangmar. They moved from Portland to Coleraine and ran a family store. The store was run by members of the Trangmar family until 1969. Kate and James had eight children, six surviving at the time of Kate’s death.

Lottie McKEAND: Died 11 July 1942 at Casterton. Lottie was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Andrew McKeand of Penola and she was born there in 1875. She married James Carmichael of Argyle Station at Lake Mundi near Casterton and they moved to their own property Argyle after their marriage.  ames passed away and Lottie moved to Melbourne with her three sons to enable them to finish their education. She later married James Mitchell of Moredun Hills, Casterton, however, he predeceased her. Lottie was keen on dogs and horses and will still riding only a few years before her death. At the time of her passing, her three sons were serving with the A.I.F, with Thomas missing in Malaya.

Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance

The obituary of Sarah Jane Wadmore in the January Passing of the Pioneers prompted me to find out more about a booklet she co-authored  for the Portland Centenary in 1934, the Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance.  I had previously read about it in newspaper reports from around the time.

Pioneer Women of Portland. (1934, May 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from

Pioneer Women of Portland. (1934, May 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from

A  Google search led me to the State Library of Victoria website and it was pleasing to see it has been digitised and is available online.  I was even more pleased that ggg grandmother Margaret Ann Diwell (nee Turner) was among the pioneering women of Portland as well as some of those I have featured in Passing of the Pioneers.

The booklet begins with a forward from Alice Frances Moss, a pioneer of women’s rights.  She was the first President of the National Council of Women of Australia and Chair of the Victorian Women’s Centenary Council.

After an offering of appreciation to pioneer women, there is the story of  Mrs Stephen George Henty, the first European woman at Portland, to whom the booklet was dedicated.  She is often called Mrs Stephen George Henty, but let us call her Jane (Pace).

There are  the recollections of Mrs George Godwin Crouch (Marianne Trangmar) spanning from 1840 to 1917.  Then, a list of “Worthy Pioneers” compiled by Sarah Jane Wadmore.  Included is one of my favourites, Rebecca Kittson (Mrs William Lightbody) and Mrs Fawthrop, Jane Rosevear, wife of Captain James Fawthrop the life boat captain.

Following is the story of  Mrs Richard Charlton Hedditch and further on a letter she wrote on Christmas Day, 1848, to her parents in England.  Another woman often referred to by her husband’s name, she was Rachel Forward Read.

After some local poetry, comes “Belles and Beauties of the Early Days”.  Those included are Misses Henty, Learmonth, Trangmar and Herbertson.

Finally is a list of Portland’s Pioneering Women.  Women born or living in Portland prior to 1864 were eligible.  This is where I found Margaret.  The Diwells lived in Portland for about five years from the time of their arrival on the Duke of Richmond in 1852.

Margaret appears as Mrs William Diwell and her daughter-in-law, Frances Webb,  is also  listed as Mrs William Diwell.  Frances just scraped in as she was born in Portland in 1863 to John Webb and Margaret Smith, who is also listed.   This is a useful list as some entries have notes and maiden names.

The oldest pioneer women, recognized separately,  include Marion Nunn Jones, Emma Holmes and Anne Beglan.

The photographs in the booklet are of Mrs Jane Henty, Mrs Marianne Crouch, Mrs Janet Laurie, Sarah Jane Wadmore and Mrs Rachel Hedditch.

The booklet also comes as an Archive CD book and is available from the Genealogical Society of Victoria.

Online book – Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance 

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

James Trangmar, photographer Thomas Foster Chuck -1872. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

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

MEMOIR OF A DEPARTED COLONIST. (1891, January 2). The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from

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

Late Mr. John Thornton. (1919, December 18). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from

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.

Old Portland Cemetery – Part 2

“The Cemetery is the first object to greet the ascending tourist.  

This is charmingly situated on the top of the cliff overlooking the ocean

This quote is not from one of the tourist guides I collected while in Portland earlier this year.  Rather, it was written 155 years earlier by James Bonwick in his book  “Western Victoria: It’s Geography, Geology and Social Condition”: the Narrative of an Educational Tour in 1857″  (p.98)

One of the older graves in the cemetery is that of William Wheeler who was born in 1776.


The grave of James Fawthrop was of interest to us.  Earlier in the day we had visited Portland’s Maritime Discovery Centre which houses the Portland Lifeboat captained by James Fawthrop.   Fawthrop and his crew were part of the rescue of the steamer “Admella” in 1859.  His heroics are a legendary part of the maritime history of the stretch of coast from the south-west of Victoria to the south-east of South Australia.

After a search of the Victorian Death Index, I found that James Ward was Fawthrop’s stepson.  Fawthrop’s wife, Jane Rosevear, was previously married to James Ward senior who drowned in Tasmania in 1838.


The following is Captain Fawthrop’s obituary from the “Border Watch” of November 20, 1878.

TheDEATH OF CAPT. FAWTHROP. (1878, November 20). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 10, 2012, from


William and Sarah Rosevear were the parents of Jane, wife of James Fawthrop and grandparents of James Ward.  William Rosevear was the coxswain aboard the Portland lifeboat with his son-in-law during the “Admella” rescue.


The largest grave in the cemetery belongs to the Trangmar family.  James Trangmar died in 1888 and was a leading Portland identity.  He had been Mayor, a Lieutenant Colonal in the Western Region Artillery and owned the stations “Morgiana”, “Bochara”, and “Violet Creek” all  near Hamilton.  His home in Portland was “Burswood” bought from Edward Henty