160 Years Ago Today…

This morning at 11.00am, I will think of my Hadden family sailing through the Heads into Port Phillip Bay, 160 years ago today.  I have previously posted about their journey on the Marco Polo, a clipper ship that altered the course taken by immigrant ships on their journey to Australia and in doing so, earned the title of Fastest Ship in the World.

Marco Polo Brodie Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://tinyurl.com/9alkahe

Landing at Hobsons Bay, the Haddens made their own way to Melbourne and for the next 14 years, I have no idea where they were.  In that time they “acquired” two daughters, Margaret and Ellen.   John’s birth in 1864 is the first clue to the Haddens being at Mokanger Station near Cavendish where Charles worked.

The children of  Charles Hadden and Agnes Dobson were:

WILLIAM: Born 1847  Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland; Marriage Mary Mortimer 1870, Cavendish; Died 1938,  Hamilton.

JAMES:  Born 1850 Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland; Died 1935, Cavendish.

MARGARET: Born circa 1854; Married James Cameron 1883; Died 1927,  Swan Hill.

ELLEN: Born circa 1861; Died 1948, Cavendish.

JOHN:  Born 1864, Cavendish; Died 1931, Cavendish.

AGNES: Born 1872, Cavendish; Died 1949, Hamilton.


I have searched records from Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales for the births of Margaret and Ellen with no success.  Yet on their death records, they are the daughters of Charles Hadden and Agnes Dobson.  Also, the Probate Application at the time of the death of Agnes, listed among her children are Margaret Cameron of Swan Hill and Ellen Hadden of Cavendish.   To find where they were born would help me find where they were for those 14 years.  They may well have been at Mokanger Station all that time.

The Hadden children were not really the marrying kind.  Of the six children, only two, my great-great-grandfather William and his sister Margaret, married.  William must have wanted to make up the numbers with he and his wife Mary Mortimer having 10 children.  Margaret and her husband James had five children.  From the 15 grandchildren of Charles and Agnes,  I have found 47 great-grandchildren so far.

At 11.00am I will thank Charles and Agnes Hadden for deciding to leave Scotland to take the journey of a lifetime to come to Australia.  If they hadn’t, where would I be today?

2 thoughts on “160 Years Ago Today…

  1. oh Snap! my Ann Bell and her family came from Haddo and she was married in Melbourne 1854. Do you think they wrote home about how wonderful Victoria was/is ? I think they were all so brave to cross unknown oceans and the travelling families must have bonded in the boat saloons like Londoners did in Blitz bunkers. Plus of course, getting the ship through The Rip was just as dangerous as any day of the prior 6 ocean weeks.
    Re your two brick wall people – 14 missing years is long enough for them to be on a school roll somewhere? Good luck.


    • Thanks for your comment Ann. Whenever I have the chance to look across The Rip, I think of that. They would be thinking the worst was over and they hit The Rip. Same for those who were wrecked along the Shipwrecked Coast.
      Thanks also for the tip on the school records. It reminded me that the answer is probably sitting right in front of me, as I have a copy of “A History of Cavendish Primary School – 1852-1988” There is a photo of my gg grandparents, and William Hadden was on the school committee. I need to go to the roll in the book and check the earliest entry for Haddens. The book is at Mum’s at the moment, so I’ll check next time I’m there. Sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees…


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