A Box of Chocolates

Each year when writing a post to mark the “birth” of Western District Families, I describe the occasion differently whether it be blogiversary, anniversary or birthday.  After finding the traditional gift for a sixth anniversary is candy, I settled on an anniversary this year.  So, Happy 6th Anniversary Western District Families.

The idea of candy took my mind straight to my cousin “Sweet” Daisy Diwell, an employee at MacRobertson’s Chocolates in Fitzroy and to a Trove Tuesday subject the “Sweet-toothed Fox” a nocturnal visitor to the MacRobertson factory who feasted on the delights within.  Next, I thought of chocolate boxes, particularly the beautiful MacRobertson’s Chocolate boxes.

MacROBERTSON’S CHOCOLATE BOX c1933. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/34008

MacRobertson chocolate boxes are not all that comes to mind. I often think of Forrest Gump and his chocolate box while I’m researching, particularly the men of Hamilton’s WW1.  Starting with the name of a man I know nothing about, I then delve into his life never knowing what I might find.  So many times I’ve been surprised at what’s under the lid when I lift it.  Researching family history generally is much the same.  If you’re lucky, when you do lift the lid you’ll find something like this…

MacROBERTSON CHOCOLATES. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/32815

When I began reflecting on Western District Families’ year, I felt I hadn’t achieved a lot. Looking at the “Home” page and the low numbers of posts, it would seem not much has happened. Then I thought about why that was the case and only then realised how much I had achieved.  As well as being very busy on the home front, Hamilton’s WW1 has been time-consuming with most stories taking several hours of research and writing.  At the same time last year, I had seventy-five biographies and it’s taken a year to add another forty-three but it’s been worth every moment.

‘HAMILTON BOYS’ c 30 April 1915. Photo Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DAOD1060 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAOD1060/

As well as the lists of Hamilton enlistments and posts about Hamilton’s WW1 memorials, Hamilton’s WW1 now has 118 biographies of enlisted men. Each includes a family history, photos and links to relevant online records. Those 118 men make up most of the names of the Hamilton War Memorial and Hamilton’s Anzac Avenue combined, so by this Anzac Day, I hope to have available a full biography of each man.  And not forgetting the nurses, I am also close to finishing the first biography of a WW1 Nurse who trained at Hamilton.

Passing of the Pioneers and the associated Pioneer Obituary Index achieved a milestone in the past year, with 700 pioneer obituaries now indexed.  As I’ve been looking for an opportunity to highlight some of the female pioneers, Women’s History Month was perfect to look back at ten of the women who were Passing of the Pioneers subjects over the past five years in  “Wonderful Women of the Western District” Part 1 and Part 2

CAVENDISH OLD CEMETERY

The Facebook pages, Western District Families and Hamilton’s WW1 continue to grow.  I’ve been delighted to see the interest in the WDF page as it nears 3300 “likes” up from 2000 at this time last year.  During the year, I’ve led the page followers on three virtual historic tours of Western District highways which have been great fun. The wonderful memories shared by those following brought another dimension to the posts. Last month the page’s theme was Women’s History Month and this month, we are remembering the enlisted men and women of the Western District. Then it will be time for another virtual historic tour, this time along the Henty Highway.

A personal achievement was successfully completing a Diploma of Family Historical Studies with the Society of Australian Genealogists, a goal for some time. The task was to complete a 20,000-word family history using a range of sources.  Of course, I chose the Harman family because I knew the most about them.  It was a valuable exercise for my family history research. When I started Western District Families, I soon learnt writing a narrative about family members leads to new discoveries but writing a family history such as I did took it to another level. Now I have a broader knowledge of the family and more understanding of their motivations and emotions but there is still more to learn. It’s something I’d like to try with some of my other families…if I ever get the time.

So that’s the year all wrapped up in a bow.  When you lift the lid on your next box of chocolates I hope you are pleasantly surprised at what you find inside.

MacROBERTSON CHOCOLATE BOX c1933. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/34008

 

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s Women’s History Month so I thought I would have an all female Passing of the Pioneers. Men have dominated past Passing of the Pioneers posts so I didn’t think it was going to be easy. However, I managed to find thirteen obituaries of some amazing women including sisters.  There was a common theme with several losing their husbands at an early age, leaving them to raise children alone. There is also extra information for most of the women so click on any underlined text to read more about the subject.

Mary DRISCOLL – Died 3 March 1908 at Portland.  Mary Driscoll was born in Kent around 1828 and later married James Wadmore.  The couple came to Australia on the ship Constant on her maiden voyage for shipping agents Messrs S.G.Henty & Co with James acting as doctor’s assistant on the voyage. They arrived at Portland Bay on 24 February 1855 and one of the crew carried Mary ashore. They were in Portland a short time when James got work with Charlton Hedditch at Cape Bridgewater where they took up land themselves. The couple’s first daughter Ann was born during their first year in Victoria and a son was later born.

A month after their second daughter Sarah was born in 1859, James drowned after he was washed off rocks on the west coast of Cape Bridgewater.  That did not deter Mary who worked hard to raise her children regardless of the hardships.  She was a city girl but adapted quickly to her new life in the isolation of Cape Bridgwater. As well as caring for her own family, she rode a “spirited bay mare” across the district helping those who were sick.  When her daughter Sarah was fifteen, she was offered teacher training, pleasing Mary a great deal.  Mary remained at Cape Bridgewater until around 1905 when her daughters Ann and Sarah bought Annesley in Julia Street, Portland, operating a private guest house. That is where Mary died in 1908.

ANNESLEY, PORTLAND. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233404

Eliza McANALLY – Died March 1909 at Myamyn. Eliza McAnally was born in Ireland around 1836.  She married her husband James Cowan in 1855 and the couple immediately left Ireland for Australia arriving at Portland.  They made their way to Crawford Station near Condah where James had work.  They remained there nine years then selected their own land near Condah. The farm on Lake Condah Road was known as Pleasant Banks.  In April 1876, Eliza and James’ only son died after an outbreak of scarlet fever in the district.  He was nine.

Around 1886, the Cowans built a new homestead. Only months later, a fire in January 1887 burnt their garden fence and to within two feet of the new house.  The Cowans were away from home at the time but James returned just as the doormat caught fire.  The Cowans remained at Pleasant Banks until about 1903 when they moved to Myamyn to live with their daughters Sarah and Isabella who had both married into the Malseed family.  James died in 1905 at the home of their daughter Sarah Malseed.  Eliza remained living at Myamyn but fell sick in early 1909 and died six weeks later.

Lucy RICHARDSON – Died 9 March 1911 at Hamilton.  Lucy Richardson was born around 1831 at Ulverstone, England and arrived in Melbourne in 1857.  In 1861, Lucy married Law Gooderidge and they left for Hamilton where Law was opening Clough & Co., a wool brokers business in Gray Street. Three children were born at Hamilton but in late 1866,  Law died suddenly aged thirty-three. At the time, Lucy was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter Elizabeth Law Gooderidge in 1867.  By the 1880s, Lucy was living in French Street, Hamilton and on 9 May 1889, Lucy’s youngest daughter Elizabeth, known as Lawla, married Harold Learmonth a son of prominent Hamilton businessman Peter Learmonth.  Lucy died suddenly at The Gables (below) in French Street, Hamilton the home Harold and Lawla.  Lucy left one son and three daughters. She was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

THE GABLES, HAMILTON

Catherine MATHEWS – Died 9 March 1912 at Cavendish.  Catherine was born in County Louth, Ireland around 1843. She arrived at Geelong in 1861 before travelling to Hamilton. In April 1866, Father Farrelly married Catherine and Edward Hynes in the then wooden Roman Catholic chapel. Catherine and Edward settled at Flower Hill near Cavendish where they remained for twenty-eight years.  In 1895, they moved to Wattle Grove at Glenisla.  As a devout Roman Catholic, Catherine went to church every Sunday even as her health failed her.

Mary MALONE – Died 3 March 1914 at Dunkeld.  Mary Malone was a daughter of Henry and Rose Malone and her obituary states she was eighty years of age, born in Ashby Street, Geelong. Melbourne wasn’t settled in 1834, let alone Geelong so the story had become a little mixed up over the years. When I checked the Victorian Assisted Passenger Lists, I found a Henry and Rose Malone and three children, Joseph aged ten, Mary aged eight and Ann aged one.  They arrived at Geelong in 1841 aboard the Frankfield.

In 1851, Mary married Thomas Lynch and their first child was born in 1852 at Batesford.  They moved to Mount Burchett Estate west of Glenthompson by the 1860s. In January 1890, Thomas died and shortly after, in March 1890, a fire lit in scrub near Mount Burchett went through the property.  At the time there was only Mary and another woman there. Mary lost sheds, outbuildings and a haystack.  She sold Mount Burchett in November 1890 and moved to Dunkeld to live with one of her sons.  At the time of her death, Mary had six sons, two daughters, six great-grandsons and fifteen great-granddaughters. She was buried at Glenthompson with Thomas.

Mary BEATON – Died 2 March 1915 at Hamilton.  Mary Beaton was born on the Isle of Skye, Scotland around 1847.  She arrived in Portland aboard the Edward Johnson with her parents in 1854, then transferred to another ship to travel on to nearby Port Fairy. In 1867 when Mary was twenty, she married Thomas Clohesy at the Hamilton Presbyterian Church and they settled in the town. On 24 April 1910, Thomas died suddenly at the age of sixty.  Mary went to live with her daughter Mary-Ann and her husband Robert May in Gray Street.  On 2 March 1915, Mary had a visitor, a shipmate from the Edward Johnson. The pair had just set off for a walk from Mary’s daughter’s home when Mary suffered an apoplexy fit and never regained consciousness, dying six hours later. The cause was put down to the excitement of the occasion.  Mary was sixty-eight and was buried in the Old Hamilton Cemetery (below). She left two daughters and four sons.

GRAVE OF THOMAS AND MARY CLOHESY, OLD HAMILTON CEMETERY

Evelyn MAY – Died 5 March 1916 at Coleraine. Evelyn May and her sister Bessie both died at Coleraine in March 1916.  Evelyn’s death was barely acknowledged in the papers and it was Bessie’s obituary that alerted me to Evelyn’s death three weeks before.  As she did not have an obituary, I’ve had to do some digging to find out more about Evelyn.

Evelyn May was born in Middlesex, England around 1837, the middle daughter of Leon May and Abigail Lyons.  The 1841 England Census lists Leon, Abigail and three girls, Elizabeth (Bessie), Avelina (Evelyn) and Isabella.  Leon was a dentist and they lived at Harrison Street, Bloomsbury, London in what was known as the Harrison Estate.  Leon was from “foreign parts” and Abigail was born in Scotland.  Leon was not present at the time of the 1851 England Census, but the rest of the family were still in Bloomsbury but had moved to Russell Street.  Evelyn’s mother, by then known as Adelaide, listed her occupation as a dental surgeon.

Evelyn’s elder sister Bessie left for Australia around 1861 and married, taking up residence at Coleraine. In 1865, Bessie’s brother-in-law Louis Lesser travelled from Coleraine to England and in 1867, he and Evelyn married and left for Australia.  They arrived in Melbourne and made their way to Coleraine to join Louis’ brother Abraham and Evelyn’s sister Elizabeth.  Louis and Abraham had been in partnership in store in Whyte Street,  Coleraine but mutually dissolved it in May 1865 when Louis left for London.  But they seem to have resumed the partnership with Louis operating the store with other family members after Abraham’s death in 1886.  Evelyn died in 1916 and Louis died on 19 June 1921.  They were buried in the Jewish section of the Coleraine Cemetery.  It appears they had no children. The photo of A.Lesser & Co Pty. Ltd. (below) was taken in 1922, after Louis’ death.

A.LESSER & CO., WHYTE STREET, COLERAINE. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769410

Hanora FLEMING – Died 22 March 1916 at Hamilton.  Hanora was born in Ireland around 1850.  On arrival in Victoria, the Fleming family settled at Woodend.  In 1870, Hanora also known as Norah married Thomas Joseph Fitzsimmons, a railway worker.  Their first child Eliza was born in 1871 at Woodend and over the next decade, more children were born as the family moved around with Thomas’ work.  By the 1880s, the family was living in Ballarat. In 1892, Hanora had the last of her children at the age of forty-two.

On 19 January 1900, one of Thomas’ work mates and close friends Edward Lake, had part of his foot amputated while shunting trains at Elaine.  The accident had a deep effect on Thomas and he went into shock.  As a result, he died on 1 February 1900 at Ballarat.  At the time of Thomas’ death, the Fitzsimmons were living in Peel Street North, just near the railway bridge.  Hanora still had four children under the age of eighteen in her care.  Her eldest son Edmund lived in Hamilton and a daughter was also there with her husband Robert Drummond, the licensee of the Victoria Hotel in Gray Street, Hamilton. Hanora moved to Hamilton sometime after 1905, reuniting the family. Hanora died in 1916, leaving three sons and three daughters.

Elizabeth MAY – Died 22 March 1916 at Coleraine.  Elizabeth May, better known as Bessie, was born around 1835 in Manchester, England.  As a young child, her dentist father moved the family to Bloomsbury, London.  Around 1860, Bessie travelled to Victoria and in 1861, married Abraham Lesser at the Mikveh Israel Melbourne Synagogue.

“Family Notices” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 13 April 1861: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5699307

Abraham operated a store in Coleraine with his brother Louis, so Bessie moved to Coleraine taking up residence in a house she would live in until her death.  In 1867, Bessie’s sister arrived in Coleraine from London after her marriage to Abraham’s brother Louis.  A search of children born to Bessie and Abraham Lesser at Victoria Births Deaths and Marriage was interesting with the results showing several children.  Bessie lost her first two unnamed babies and by 1870, had lost five children. In November 1886, Abraham died suddenly after taking ill at a concert.  He was sixty.  They had four children still living at the time.

On 5 March 1916, Bessie’s younger sister Evelyn died and only three weeks later, Bessie died. At the time of her death, she had just one son and one daughter from her large family of ten. Bessie was remembered fondly in both the local papers and the Jewish Herald.  Bessie was musical and was believed to have taken the first piano to Coleraine, regularly playing at concerts. She was also the secretary of the Ladies Benevolent Society.  Bessie was remembered for her good sense of humour and charitable ways.  She bequeathed a large amount of money to various institutions and causes including £10 to the Hamilton Hospital.  Bessie was buried in the Jewish section of the Coleraine Cemetery.

Eliza WHITTAKER – Died 13 March 1918 at Macarthur.  Eliza Whittaker was born in Ireland but moved with her family to Somerset, England after the death of her father.  She married Samuel Trigger and they had three children.  On 9 April 1853, the family arrived at Portland aboard the Eliza.  They went to Mount Taurus, west of Winslow and Samuel worked as a sawyer.  They later settled near Macarthur, acquiring land at Warrabkook and Mount Eccles.  Four grandsons enlisted for WW1 and in 1916 one was killed, Samuel Trigger at Mouquet Farm, France. His body was never recovered. In 1917, Samuel and Eliza Trigger were photographed for The Weekly Times of 14 April 1917 when they were both aged ninety-five.

“A VENERABLE COUPLE.” Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 Apr 1917: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121151983

Eliza died on 13 March 1918 and Samuel died only three weeks later.  They left four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great children.

Johanna Helena HERGER – Died 17 March 1918 at Yulecart.  Johanna Herger was born around 1833 in Breslau, Silesia, now known as Wroclaw, Poland.  Around 1859, she married Ernest Reich and they had two daughters, Ernestine and Emelie.  In 1874, the Reichs arrived in Victoria and moved to the Yulecart district where Ernest farmed. Johanna and Ernest’s daughters never married and remained living with their parents.  By 1900, Johanna was an invalid and early that year fire burnt through 140 acres of the Reich’s property. Ernest, most likely into his seventies, and his daughters fought the fire alone on 28 January 1900.  It ran up to the homestead, a scary experience for housebound Johanna.  They managed to save the homestead but lost two haystacks. Ernestine and Emelie cared for their parents in their old age, operating a dairy farm to support the family.  Johanna died on 17 March 1918, and Ernest died six months later on September 1918.

Sarah Jane COLE – Died March 1947 at Geelong.  Sarah Jane Cole was born in Lethbridge in 1861.  She was the youngest daughter of teacher Robert Nelson Cole.  She spent her early years at Boot’s Creek near Daylesford where her father was teaching.  Sarah’s brother Robert followed his father into teaching and before long Sarah too had taken up the profession. When she was nineteen, Sarah was appointed head teacher at the Carpendeit School, east of Cobden.  She lived with her brother Robert who was living and teaching at the South Purrumbete school.  Sarah rode seven miles to school each morning and seven miles home at night.  She was a “fearless horsewoman” but if for some reason she couldn’t take her horse, she was happy to walk the distance and she was never late. But it wasn’t the safest thing for a young lady to do as she found out.

“Tribute to Life of The Late Mrs.Port” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 27 March 1947: 5 (Afternoons.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65240862

Eventually, Sarah was able to board at Carpendeit and in time a residence was built.  In 1884, Sarah married John Port of Port Campbell.  There first child a son John George Port was born the following year. Sarah had a further seven children.  Sarah also wrote poetry and sent them to the newspapers. Personal experience may have inspired one of those “On the Death of a Baby” published on 12 January 1889.

“ON THE DEATH OF A BABY.” The Caulfield and Elsternwick Leader (North Brighton, Vic. : 1888 – 1902) 12 January 1889 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66889460 .

In those times, it was still possible for a married woman to continue teaching and Sarah did so until around 1898 when the regulations changed.  In 1902, she wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Colac Herald defending a local married woman still teaching. Sarah was active in the Carpendeit community as a member of the Band of Hope and the Carpendeit Methodist Church.

In 1900, the Ports sold their farm and moved to Nalangil, west of Colac. During her time there, the Education Department asked Sarah to fill in for a few months at the Nalangil School.  Around 1926, John’s health was failing so he and Sarah moved to Ryrie Street, Geelong where he eventually died in August 1927. Around 1932, Sarah went to live with her daughter in Kilgour Street, Geelong. At the age of seventy-three in 1934, Sarah published a book “Victoria’s Centenary and Other Loyal Poems”.  There were fourteen poems and the book sold for a shilling. Sarah died at here daughter’s home in March 1947 aged eighty-six

Ellen Lavinia WINCHCOMB – Died 5 March 1954 at Cobden.  Ellen Winchcomb was born in Cobden about 1883, a daughter of James Winchcomb and Fanny Laundry. Known as Nell, she was organist at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Cobden and did all the floral arrangements for the church and was a Sunday School Teacher.

ST ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772413

Ellen was a keen gardener and kept a cottage style garden. In 1914, Ellen’s mother Fanny visited a sister living on the Penshurst Road, Hamilton.  She fell sick there and died at Hamilton on 4 December 1914 aged fifty-eight. Ellen’s father, James Winchcomb died in 1925. On 5 March 1954, Ellen died at her home in Cobden after a long illness.

Wonderful Western District Women Part 2

It’s Women’s History Month and this is my second instalment of Wonderful Western District Women.  As in Part 1, I share the stories of five women I’ve been taken with while writing Passing of the Pioneers over the past five years.  In this post, all five women were in business in some capacity. One was also a teacher.  All are very similar in the level of perseverance and determination they displayed, but each led very different lives.  For example, two never married with one shunning the company of others and the other drawing people to her. As noted in one of their obituaries, they are “those splendid women, whose unselfish, unwearying zeal helped to make the Victoria of today”.  Click on the underlined text for more information about a subject.

DONNELLY, Jane (c1834-1914)  Also known as Jane Walsh and Jane Jenkins.

Jane Donnelly was born in Ireland around 1834 and arrived in Victoria in the early 1860s.  She married William Walsh in 1865 and together they operated the Forester’s Hotel at Myamyn.  Jane and William had three children before William died in 1877 aged forty-nine. It was the same year a fourth child was born. Jane continued to run the hotel although she did try to sell it. In 1881, the hotel was badly damaged by fire leading to Jane’s insolvency in 1881 with debts of £145.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 24 April 1880: 3 (MORNINGS.). 

 

“Items of News” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 19 May 1881

In 1883, Jane married William Gordon Jenkins and they went to Portland to run the Victoria Hotel.  The building was dilapidated and they were soon closed down.  That appears to have been the end of Jane’s days in the hotel trade.  In their later years, Jane and William moved to Hawkesdale to live with Jane’s daughter.  Jane died at Hawkesdale in 1916 aged eighty.  William died the following year.

STEWART, Christina (1825-1921) Also known as Christina McPherson.

Christina Stewart was born at Kingussie, Scotland around 1825 and travelled with her husband, Duncan McPherson, to Australia in November 1851 on board the Hooghly.  While Duncan went off to the goldfields, Christina waited in Melbourne until they journeyed to Portland and then on to Strathdownie. In March 1857, Duncan purchased the Woodford Inn located just north of Dartmoor on the Glenelg River and a son Alexander was born in the same year. The inn was a busy place as it was at a crossing point on the river with a punt moored at the inn for that purpose. Christina had eight children and during her child-bearing years, rarely saw another white woman. She made friends with the local Aboriginal women, teaching them to cook and make damper. If she had guests staying at the inn, the Aboriginals caught crayfish in the river for her.  The McPhersons eventually moved to Hamilton, residing in Coleraine Road.  Christina died there in 1921 aged ninety-six.

RYAN, Mary  (c1834-1914) 

When I wrote about Mary Ryan for Passing of the Pioneers, there was little known about her other than she ran a servants’ registry office in Hamilton and she died ten months after fire burnt her home down. I also gathered from her short obituary, she was very independent. Mary never married and living a seemingly solitary life, save for the interactions through her business. When Mary died there was no-one to give the names of her parents, so her death record shows her parents as “unknown”.  Since her Passing of the Pioneers appearance, more Hamilton Spectators have become available at Trove and I’ve been able to find out a little more about Mary.

The earliest newspaper reference I could find of Mary Ryan in Hamilton was in 1864 when she advertised her dressmaking services in the Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser.  Her advertisement said she was “late of South Yarra” and she was operating from Thompson Street. Other women in Hamilton including a Mrs Owens were combining dressmaking with servant registry businesses so it was a natural progression for Mary to do the same.  She began advertising both services in 1867 from a shop in Gray Street.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 29 June 1867 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194474076

In September 1870, fire swept through several shops in Gray Street, destroying Mary’s shop.  The report in the Hamilton Spectator said the occupants were able to get their valuables out. Mary appears to have rebuilt and on 8 March 1877 the land where her shop stood was sold, the Hamilton Spectator published the results of the sale.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 8 March 1877: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226045698 .

Mary responded in the next edition.

“VALUE OF HAMILTON LAND.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 10 March 1877: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226042386&gt;.

Mary expanded into millinery and drapery.  Only days after Mary placed this advertisement, she sold her shop on  13 July 1878, by auction but I wasn’t able to find a report of the sale in the paper.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 2 July 1878:  <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226069431&gt;.

Two years later, an incident highlighted the potential dangers for a woman living alone.

“HAMILTON POLICE COURT.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 August 1880: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225488525&gt;.

That wasn’t the only such incident.  In October 1888, some local “larrikins” were in court charged with “rocking” Mary’s roof in Gray Street.  They also verbally abused her, calling her by name, well aware of who she was.  In her evidence, Mary stated her residence was opposite the Hamilton Mechanics Institute.  In 1895, Mary moved her business to Cox Street and by 1905, she had moved to Brown Street near the Hamilton Railway Station.  On 2 November 1910, Mary suffered another blow when fire swept through her shop and residence.  Built of pine, the shop burnt quickly and only a small box of valuables was saved.  Fortunately, Mary was away from home at the time.

Mary remained stubbornly independent in old age despite becoming very frail.  She stayed in her home, but besides the hospital, it seems she really had nowhere else to go.  In February 1914, a fire broke out in her home, accidentally started when Mary dropped a lit match on some papers on the floor.

“FIRE IN BROWN STREET.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 20 February 1914: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119823533&gt;.

While she wasn’t injured in the fire, it may have taken a toll as she passed away eight months later.  Her age was given as eighty.

“Hamilton Spectator” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 15 December 1914: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119874336&gt;.

SLOAN, Susan  (c1844-1918)

Susan Sloan was born in Glasgow, Scotland and after arriving in Portland in 1855, she went to Ararat where she married Thomas Sloan the following year.  Thomas ran a soda water manufacturing factory. In 1867, Susan returned to Portland with Thomas and they built the White Horse Brewery and a bakery in Gawler Street. Trade was tough and they moved inland in 1873 to Hamilton where they saw greater opportunities. Thomas purchased the North Hamilton Brewery from his brothers James and Robert.  In 1882, Thomas had a timber building constructed in Cox Street for a cordial factory.

Grace Sloan, a daughter of Susan and Thomas suffered consumption since 1893, and on doctor’s advice, she left Hamilton for a drier climate with friends in N.S.W. She departed on her journey but only reached Melbourne before her conditioned worsened and she telegraphed Susan to go to Melbourne. Grace improved so Susan returned home. A week or so later, Susan heard Grace had died in a Melbourne Hospital on 20 July 1895 aged twenty-one.  A memorial service was held at Hamilton’s Christ Church, where Grace had sung with the choir. The following year Susan had a close call herself.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 12 March 1896: 2. Web. 10 Mar 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225868558&gt;.

In 1903, the Hamilton Spectator reported Susan had sold the North Hamilton Brewery to Mr J.B.Webb.  He didn’t do much with it and in 1904, the Sloans revitalised it with new equipment. They did the same at the cordial factory where they could produce up to sixty dozen bottles per hour.  Susan advertised prior to Christmas 1908, citing her fifty-two years in the business.

 

“CHRISTMAS DRINKS.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 December 1908: 4. Web. 10 Mar 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225895607&gt;.

Thomas died in May 1910 and Susan continued to run the business until her death, after which time family members continued operations. The Sloan’s cottage Whinhill in Pope Street, Hamilton still stands today.

“WHINHILL” – THE FORMER COTTAGE OF THE SLOAN FAMILY, POPE STREET, HAMILTON.

 

WADMORE, Sarah Jane (1859-1941)

Sarah Wadmore was the youngest daughter of Cape Bridgewater pioneers James Wadmore and Mary Driscoll. She was born in 1859 and only a month after her birth, James Wadmore drowned after he was washed off rocks while fishing on the west coast of  Cape Bridgewater.

By the age of fifteen, Sarah was helping her brothers on their mother’s farm. Mr and Mrs Joseph Voysey from the local state school saw something special in her and offered to train Sarah as a teacher.  In 1880, Sarah became head teacher at the new Kentbruck school.  Prior to that she was living at Bacchus Marsh and teaching at the school of Mr and Mrs Voysey.  From Kentbruck, Sarah was head teacher at the Tahara State School twelve years, her last teaching appointment.   In 1905, Sarah and her sister Anne moved to Annesley in Julia Street, Portland to operate a private boarding house.

“ANNESLEY’, JULIA STREET, PORTLAND. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233404

One of their first “guests” at Annesley was Rosalie Brewer, the only child of the previous owner, Dr Brewer. Rosalie was confined to bed at Annesley for over twenty years until her death on 2 March 1926 at the age of fifty-seven.  Sarah, then sixty-seven, along with her sister, gave Rosalie the love and care a mother would, nursing her through those years.  Sarah’s mother Mary also moved into Annesley from her home at Cape Bridgewater and she died there in 1908.

Inspired by the pioneering life of her mother and others at Cape Bridgewater, Sarah had a great interest in the history of Portland and its pioneers.  It was always her ambition to publish the history of Portland’s women and in 1934, with the approaching centenary of the arrival of the Henty Bros, Sarah and two other local’s, Mrs Marion Hedditch and Mr E. Davis of the Portland Observer produced a booklet entitled Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance for the event.  As Secretary of the Portland Pioneer Women’s Association, she was also the main force behind the Pioneer Women’s statue near the Shire Offices at Portland.  Also in 1934,  Sarah contributed to a supplement for the Portland Guardian for the centenary of the arrival of the Hentys at Portland Bay called Lone furrows on sea and land, or, Historical Portland .  For the publication, Sarah wrote of the Reminiscences of a Pioneer State School Teacher

“OBITUARY” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 6 January 1941: 1 (EVENING). Web. 15 Mar 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64398666&gt;.

Sarah had a busy life. Many fundraisers, Pioneer Women’s Association meetings and even art exhibitions were held at Annesley.  At one stage, she travelled to England visiting Sussex the birthplace of the Henty brothers. She was interested in the Scout movement and donated a flag to the Portland Scouts. Sarah was also active in the St Stephens Anglican Church community and the church was conveniently across the road from her home.

ST. STEPHEN’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, PORTLAND

A wonderful life closed on New Year’s Day 1941 when Sarah died at Annesley at the age of aged eighty-one. Sarah’s obituary closed with, “It may be truly said of Miss Wadmore that she shares largely in the honour of those splendid women, whose unselfish, unwearying zeal helped to make the Victoria of today”.

 

You can read Part One on the link – Wonderful Western District Women Part 1

 

Wonderful Western District Women Part 1

On International Women’s Day this is for the women of the Western District.  The women who arrived in a new country, often as newlyweds with no other family, those who walked behind a plough planting seed, those who didn’t see their husbands from dawn to dusk or weeks at a time and the women who gave birth in a tent or shack sometimes without another woman present.  It’s for the benevolent women, the pillars of the church, the businesswomen, the matriarchs, and in many cases their husband’s rock. It’s for those women who lost their husbands young, and were left to raise children and survive in a man’s world. For many of these women, their lives went by unheralded.

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54600

As it’s also Women’s History Month, this is the first post during March remembering some of the great pioneering women of the Western District.  Firstly I will focus on those I’ve discovered through monthly Passing of the Pioneers posts. For many of those women, I’ve had to draw on their husband’s life story to get some idea of their own.  For others we are lucky as something of their lives still remain, maybe a letter or a diary and we glean some idea of who they really were. Even in their obituaries, women were mostly known by their husband’s name for example Mrs John Little or Mrs James Berry. At least those who were given an obituary have something of them left behind, for others their lives passed silently and without celebration.

Hopefully the women I have selected to celebrate this month are representative of those women whose stories have been lost.  Also, because most women lived behind the names of their husbands, I’ve chosen to remember the women by their maiden names.  Click on the underlined text through the post to read more information about a subject.

BLACK, Janet (c1822-1903) Also known as Janet Laurie and Janet Black

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77974940

Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954) 6 May 1933: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77974940

Janet was born in born in Lanarkshire, 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 appropriately named William Nicol, arriving in February 1842.  Alexander was appointed minister for the Portland Bay Presbyterian Church so they sailed for Portland Bay.  On arrival at Portland, Janet was carried ashore and on the same day she gave birth to her first child Alexander John Laurie.  The Lauries couldn’t stay at any hotels because of quarantine restrictions so they camped under a shelter near the flour mill in the bitter cold,  They soon settled in the town and another son Andrew was born the following year.

The year 1848 was tumultuous for Janet.  Alexander was accused of spending time in the company of a young lady, even travelling away with her.  The church frowned on his behaviour and Alex was removed from his role, not because of the shame he brought to his wife and children, but the shame he brought to the church.  A report of his falling out  appeared in the Geelong Advertiser of July 11, 1848.  In 1850, Alexander started making the news in a different way when he took over the Portland Herald in Gawler Street.  The Portland Guardian remarked,”Mr Laurie would have seemed to have abandoned the use of his church for the Herald and exchanged religion for politics”.

In 1854, Alexander died at the age of thirty-six, leaving Janet with four young children. She took over the running of the Portland Herald and after a short break, resumed publication every Friday with a promise the paper would be “renewed in strength and efficiency” and before long the subscribers to the paper grew.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 9 November 1854: 3 (EVENING.) http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571179

Janet also set up an employment registry in 1856 operating it until 1861 from her home in Percy Street.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 3 November 1858: 3 (EVENINGS.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64509486

Janet finished up the Portland Herald in 1860 and she and the children went to Mount Gambier where she assisted two of her sons in setting up the Border Watch, a paper still published today. The paper was established in the name of second born son Andrew, then seventeen and the first edition published on April 26, 1861. The name for the paper came from Janet as there was a Border Watch newspaper on the border of Scotland and England. Given the close proximity of Mount Gambier to the South Australian/Victorian border, it was the perfect choice.

In the same year, Janet married widower Joshua Black of Cork Hill, Bridgewater. Joshua was a father to seven children and Janet must have been busy helping her sons with the paper and the duties of matrimony. Janet and Joshua had three children together, the first in 1862 when Janet was forty.  By 1865, there were fifteen children aged from twenty-two to newborn. Joshua Black died in 1876 aged seventy-six.  Janet continued on at Bridgewater and was involved in the community.  

BRIDGEWATER BAY

She died in 1903 aged eighty-one and 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.” Returning to Alexander in death was possibly something Janet would not have wanted. Her thirteen years with Alexander were not happy times.  Aside from his adultery, it seems Janet also endured family violence.  She was known throughout her life as having a hearing impairment, put down to the cold on her first night in Portland.  Ann Grant and others in a paper, “Portland – The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”, tells of police records showing Janet had charged Alexander with assault and her deafness was in fact caused by a blow from him.

COLE, Elizabeth (c1845-1942).  Also known as Elizabeth Dalziel.

Elizabeth Cole was seven when she sailed into Hobson’s Bay in December 1852 with her family aboard the Bombay, the same ship my ggg grandparents James Mortimer and Rosanna Buckland arrived on.  Once in Port Phillip Bay, the ship was placed in quarantine because of a typhus fever outbreak on board.  During the 111 day voyage, at least twenty-four of the 706 passengers died from various causes including typhus.  After they disembarked, the family went to the diggings at Ballarat.

“OLD COBDEN RESIDENT” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 March 1938: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11174181&gt;.

The family then went to Port Fairy and Elizabeth remembers the first bullock team of Walter Manifold and was soon driving bullocks herself and despite being only a teenager, gained a reputation as one of the finest bullock drivers around.  From Port Fairy, her father purchased land at Yambuk.

Elizabeth was only seventeen when she married twenty-eight year old Alexander Dalziel on 31 July 1862 at Lethbridge where Alexander ran a boot store servicing the large canvas town set up for the men working on the Moorabool viaduct.  They then went to Bannockburn before moving to Carpendeit near Cobden in 1885. In 1891, Elizabeth signed the Women’s Suffrage Petition.  After Alexander died 1928 aged ninety-four, Elizabeth lived with her granddaughter at Cobden. At the time of her death at age ninety-six, Elizabeth had six sons, three daughters forty-five grandchildren, sixty-five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

HAZELDINE, Eliza (1857-1941)  Also known as Eliza Lea.

Eliza Hazeldine was born at Portland in 1857 and started her working life as a teacher.  Her first school was Portland North followed by Koroit, Corindhap, Coleraine, Queenscliff and Casterton. Her teaching career ended in 1890 when she married Job Lea.  The couple’s first son was born the following year, the same year Eliza signed the Women’s Suffrage Petition.  A second son was born on 22 March 1892. A month later on 22 April 1892, Job died of typhoid fever aged thirty, leaving Eliza with two children under two.  She returned to family in Portland before opening a drapery store at Condah Swamp.  Eliza applied to run the first Post Office in the district and in 1899 her application was approved and the Post Office opened with the name Wallacedale.

"Wallacedale." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 15 February 1899: 3 (EVENING). Web. 6 Mar 2017 .

“Wallacedale.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 15 February 1899: 3 (EVENING). Web. 6 Mar 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63675448&gt;.

Eliza played piano and organ and taught her boys with Charles showing great talent in acquiring three theory certificates from Trinity College, London.  When the boys were older, they helped Eliza in the post office.  She was also a generous community member, donating to various causes. In 1902, she started the fundraising for the purchase of a piano for the Wallacedale Hall donating  £1.  Although she was a devout Methodist, when the Wallacedale Presbyterian Church was built in 1913, Eliza donated the linoleum.

War broke in 1914 and on 22 January 1915, son Charles enlisted leaving for Egypt a month later. Charles served with the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade and found himself at Gallipoli where he was killed on 26 July 1915, six months after he left Australia.  The loss of Charles brought great sorrow for Eliza and she placed an “In Memoriam” notice for Charles and her late husband Job each year until her death.

"Family Notices" Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 24 July 1933: 2 (EVENING.). Web. 5 Mar 2017 .

“Family Notices” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 24 July 1933: 2 (EVENING.). Web. 5 Mar 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64282976&gt;.

During the war Eliza was a great contributor to the Red Cross. In 1919, Eliza returned to Portland where she died in 1941. Charitable to the end, Eliza left £100 to the Portland Hospital.

KITTSON, Rebecca (c1827-1929) Also known as Rebecca Lightbody.

"No title" The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 23 July 1932: 4 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). Web. 7 Mar 2017 .

“No title” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 23 July 1932: 4 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141361822

Rebecca was born at Fermanagh County, Ireland and arrived at Melbourne with her parents James Kittson and Katherine Trotter in 1841 aboard the Westminster.  Rebecca remained in Melbourne while her father went ahead to Cape Bridgewater to settle, joining her family in 1842. On 22 January 1852, Rebecca, described as the “fair Lady of the Lake” married Wesleyan minister Reverend William Lightbody at Geelong.  Rebecca and William rode on horseback from Bridgewater to Geelong, the location of the nearest minister, married and rode home again.

William was the itinerant minister for Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Portland and they spent time at each of the parsonages, raising a family of four sons and two daughters.  In March 1879, William visited a property he owned at Drik Drik and fell ill there.  He made it back as far as Mount Richmond where a doctor was called. He was then transported home and appeared to be on the mend.  Having business in Portland, he asked his son to drive him into town but William died on the way.

On Rebecca’s 100th birthday, Reverend Toi of the Portland Methodist Church presented Rebecca with 100 shillings, one for every year of her life.  On her 101st birthday, a celebration was held and Rebecca proved she still had her wits about her.

“A GRAND OLD LADY.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 9 February 1928: 3 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64264653

A colonist of eighty-eight years, Rebecca was a month from her 102nd birthday when she died at Portland in 1929.

READ, Rachel Forward (1815-1904).  Also known as Rachel Hedditch.

"Bridgewater Pioneers Commemorate Centenary of Landing of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Charlton Hedditch." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 27 June 1938: 4 (EVENING). Web. 7 Mar 2017 .

“Bridgewater Pioneers Commemorate Centenary of Landing of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Charlton Hedditch.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 27 June 1938: 4 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64279418

Rachel Forward Read was born in Dorsetshire, England and married Richard Charlton Hedditch in 1837.  The following year they planned to travel to Australia but the ship, The Eden was stuck in the then frozen Thames River and the voyage was delayed. They eventually arrived in Adelaide in 1838.  In 1841, they left for Tasmania but heard favourable reports about Portland Bay and the Henty’s settlement so they made their way there, but not before their son Charlton was born.  Rebecca and Richard were appointed to run the Portland Church of England school where Rachel taught the infant classes.  They then took up a pastoral lease at Bridgewater in 1845 and Rachel opened the first post office there in 1864, operating it for thirty-five years. The Hedditch property was known as Lal Lal Homestead.  The Book of Remembrance of the Pioneer Women of the Portland Bay District includes a letter Rachel wrote home to her mother on Christmas Day 1848.  She was thirty-three and life was very difficult.  It shows the depth of her faith and how she appreciated the isolation of Bridgewater for raising the children away from the bad influences in the town.

“…last Sunday after dinner I was considering whether it would be wrong to devote part of the Sabbath in writing to you, and coming to the conclusion that under present circumstances it not,  I rose to take a sheet of paper from my portfolio, when I felt quiet unwell, and continued worse, until about ten o’clock, when I gave birth to a little girl – stillborn – an event which I had long dreaded, for my hands were always full.  I also expected to suffer from the heat, for it is usually very hot here…but it has been cooler this summer…How apt we are to murmur and despair, forgetting our Heavenly  Father does all things for our good.  Although I felt amiss – a kind of loss of the infant – yet I cannot help feeling very thankful that it please God to order it as it was.

“But although we are not doing better in this country we have better health; and I think the children are better for being away from the others’ and children out her are generally brought up badly. Times are very bad indeed.  Almost the whole dependence of this district is on wool growing and tallow, and on account of the disturbed state of Europe the wool at home has fallen in value more than half.  Tallow is very, also, and it has caused such a depression of business here that it is almost impossible to dispose of anything.”

Our fences were all burnt, but we have a garden fenced and a half-acre paddock.  We have also a comfortable three-roomed cottage and a kitchen and dairy, besides fowl house and yard,…We have both fat cattle and milking cows for sale, but nobody is inclined to purchase.  Butchers will not give more than eight shillings a hundred weight for fat beef and a fine cow with calf at side will not fetch more than £3.  There were good milking cows with calves sold by action last week at about 30 shillings per head.  Butter is now down to 1 shilling per pound.  If things do not get better I do not know what shall become of us all.  Our prospects are not worse than that of many others.  Indeed, I think we live at less expense than most families here.

The troubles did not end. In 1854, daughter Emily died at the age of seven and in 1863, son Charlton died aged twenty-three.  Richard died in 1894 and Rachel lived on for a further ten years. She was buried at the Cape Bridgewater Cemetery.

Passing of the Pioneers

Fifteen pioneers go into the Pioneer Obituary Index this month including two Presbyterian ministers and two female pioneers from Port Campbell.  Also, two men who were in the transport business, a ship’s captain and a coach driver. And as with most months, there are those who lived a life of privilege and those for whom life was a struggle. 

Captain James Donaldson LIDDELL – Died 3 February 1878 at Queenscliff.  James Liddell was born in Scotland in 1807 and arrived in Sydney around 1826.  He came as Chief Officer of the brig Admiral Gifford and from there sailed on to New Zealand to trade with the Maoris.  It was a successful voyage, so James went back to New Zealand on the ship Hannah. In 1830, James married Mary King in Sydney.

In 1833, James arrived in Launceston as master of the Jolly Rambler.  It was there he met the Henty brothers and was employed to captain their schooner  Thistle on trading voyages to the Swan River, Western Australia.  That took James close to the south-eastern coast of Victoria and on one occasion with Edward Henty on board, he sailed into what would later be called Portland Bay to collect oil from the whalers.  They went ashore, saw William Dutton’s hut and potato patch then dug up a sod of the fertile soil to take back to Launceston to show Thomas Henty.  (Bassett, Marnie The Hentys: an Australian colonial tapestry (Australian Paperbound edition, p. 252). Melbourne University Press, [Parkville], 1962).

The following article from 1950 about the Public Library of Victoria (now State Library) collection lists part of the Thistle‘s manifest for a voyage to Portland Bay on 13 October 1834 with Edward Henty aboard, intent on settling there.  They arrived at Portland Bay on 19 November 1834 after over a month of heavy seas. Some of the livestock did not survive the trip. Edward Henty stayed behind and James returned to Launceston with a cargo of oil.  James Liddell’s manifest is now available online.  It is a two-page document listing supplies for Henty and the whalers. You can view the document on the link – Captain Liddell’s Manifest

"LAND AT FIVE SHILLINGS AN ACRE!" The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 20 May 1950: 4 (The Argus Week-end Magazine). Web. 21 Feb 2017 .

“LAND AT FIVE SHILLINGS AN ACRE!” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 20 May 1950: 4 (The Argus Week-end Magazine). Web. 21 Feb 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22830263&gt;.

By 1838, and aged just thirty-one, James took up whaling off the Victorian east coast. Five years later he was ready to return to New Zealand, a place close to him since his early trading voyages. Taking the family, James purchased land from the Maoris at Kawhia on the mid-west coast of the North Island.  He turned to farming and boat building and began transporting supplies between ports in New Zealand. With the discovery of gold in Victoria, James started taking passengers from New Zealand to the diggings.

Page 1 Advertisements Column 1,Daily Southern Cross, Volume VIII, Issue 520, 22 June 1852 http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DSC18520622.2.2.1

Page 1 Advertisements Column 1,Daily Southern Cross, Volume VIII, Issue 520, 22 June 1852 http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DSC18520622.2.2.1

Soon after, the family home at Kawhia burnt down prompting the Liddells to leave New Zealand for Melbourne where James joined the Victorian Pilot Service.  In early April 1855, James arrived in Portland as the appointed pilot for the harbour.  There were concerns about he would survive off the little money a pilot could make.

"PORTLAND." South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) 11 April 1855: 3. Web. 24 Feb 2017 .

“PORTLAND.” South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900) 11 April 1855: 3. Web. 24 Feb 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49308755&gt;.

The Liddells moved back towards Geelong and on 15 February 1859 James’ wife Mary died.  The following year, he married Annie Justice.  In his last years of work, James was master of the Geelong and West Channel lightships.  He retired in 1870, living at Queenscliff.  James had thirteen children, seven children from his first marriage and six children from his second marriage.  At the time of his death, he had a two-year-old son and a great-grandchild.  Life on the sea wasn’t lucrative and James and his family survived on his pension during his retirement. He had nothing to leave his family and some in the community were worried they would struggle if the pension was not continued for them.

Two interesting newspaper items are a letter James wrote to the editor of the Geelong Advertiser in 1868 on the link – Victoria’s First Settlers.  Also, a letter James’ daughter Miss J. Liddell wrote  to The Argus in 1884 about her father at Portland Bay available on the link – The Settlement of Portland

George HICKS  – Died 13 February 1894 at Stawell.  George Hicks was born in Cornwall around 1824.  After leaving England, George went to South Africa for a few years before arriving in Australia during the 1850s.  He got work with The Argus newspaper, eventually working as the commercial editor.  He then worked as editor of the Geelong Advertiser and later the Ararat Advertiser.  After a short time in Melbourne again, George went to Stawell and acted as that town’s correspondent for The Argus.

In his later years, George’s irritability increased and he lost many of his old friends.  In the end, he was living in a one-roomed cottage on the corner of Houston Street and Glenorchy Road, Stawell. His favourite quote was from Englishman Thomas Hood, “When he is forsaken, withered and shaken, what can an old man do but wither and die?” It was a sad, lonely death with George’s body discovered by the postman.  An inquest found although it was clear he had fallen out of bed and hit his head, the primary reason for death was starvation.

Jean ROBERTSON – Died 11 February 1895 at Geelong.  Jean Robertson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and arrived in Australia aboard the John Bull in 1840 with her parents. Her father Thomas Robertson took up Mount Mitchell Station near Ballarat. On board the John Bull, Jean had met William Skene and they went on to marry in 1843.

Once married, William became a partner in Mount Mitchell and Jean and William lived there until 1850 when they moved to Strathkellar near Hamilton, residing at the property William named Skene. William was elected as representative for the Western Province in the Legislative Council of Victoria and remained in the role until 1876. On retirement, the Skenes moved to Bell Park, Geelong, but William died the following year. Skene was sold in 1881 to Jean’s brother John. She remained in Geelong until her death.  Jean was interred in the Skene family vault at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

skene4

SKENE FAMILY VAULT, OLD HAMILTON CEMETERY

Reverend John Kennedy MacMillan – Died 9 February 1904 at Hamilton.  John MacMillan was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1832, a son of a clergyman.  He went to high school in Edinburgh and then university at age thirteen, graduating when he was seventeen. John began his clergy training in 1850 and was then an assistant at St George’s Church, Paisley, Scotland for around two years.  With a demand for clergymen in Australia, John left Scotland in 1858, taking up an appointment at Beechworth.  In the same year, he married Janet Manson Clarke.  John was appointed to Hamilton’s Presbyterian Church (below) in 1869. During his time there, the church and manse were both expanded.

ST. ANDREW'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

ST. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

While in Hamilton, John MacMillan sat on the committee of the Hamilton Hospital including time as President and was part of the development of Hamilton College and Alexandra Ladies’ College.  He was also involved with the Hamilton Mechanics Institute. At the time of his death, John MacMillan left his widow, Janet and eight children. A lengthy report of John’s funeral is available on the link Hamilton Spectator 13 February 1904.

Reverend Samuel FRASER – Died 27 February 1914 at Terang.  Samuel Fraser was born in Ross-shire Scotland around 1844 and attended the University of Aberdeen where he obtained a Master of Arts.  He studied theology at New College, Edinburgh and was granted a license to preach in 1869.  The following year Samuel arrived in Australia and Terang soon after that on a month’s trial.  His first sermon was on 1 July 1870.  A month turned into forty-four years in Terang for Samuel. In 1875, Samuel married Jane Hamilton, daughter of Reverend Hamilton of Mortlake and they had two sons and four daughters.  In 1894, a new church opened, the Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church (below).  At the time of Samuel’s death, he was the only Presbyterian Minister in Victoria to have stayed in the one location for over forty years.

J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234278

THOMPSON MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, TERANG. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234278

James Robinson WOODS – Died 2 February 1915 at Portland.  James Woods was born in Tasmania around 1849 and attended Horton College there. On arriving in Victoria, he worked for the Union Bank in Melbourne for some years. before joining merchants Grant & Co. of Port Fairy.  From there, James went to Portland in 1877  to set up an outlet of Grant & Co. in Julia Street. He then started his own business as a shipping agent and auctioneer.  In 1888, James married Margaret Robertson Cameron.  He next went into partnership with Mr A. R. Balfour on the corner of Percy and Henty Street.  James sat on the Portland Council for over thirty years and was Mayor several times. He played a large role in the resurrection of the Portland harbour and organising the Henty Jubilee.  James also sat on the hospital board and was a member of the racing club.  He left his widow Margaret, two sons and one daughter at the time of his death.

John McCORMACK  Died 2 February 1916 at Hamilton.  John McCormack was born in Limerick, Ireland around 1856.  He was a builder and had arrived in the Hamilton district around 1907 having previously lived in Geelong.  John first worked at Sleat Bank near Yulecart and then on the construction of the grandstand at Melville Oval, officially opened in 1910.

358

GRANDSTAND, MELVILLE OVAL, HAMILTON

John also worked on the construction of the Cavendish Railway Station.  He was living at Cavendish at the time of his death but had stayed in Hamilton for two nights to finish a job.  On Wednesday 2 February he called at the home of Mr W. Taggert in Thompson Street for lunch.  He had only taken a few bites when he died at the dining table.  John left three daughters who lived in Geelong at the time of his death.

Catherine RYAN – Died 4 February 1916 at Port Fairy.  Catherine was born in County Clare, Ireland around 1844. She married Thomas Maloney and they arrived in Port Fairy around 1865 on the Chariot of Fame, settling at Yambuk.  Catherine and Thomas went on to have fourteen children but Thomas died in 1891 aged forty-eight.  Catherine remained at Yambuk for a further twenty years before moving to Port Fairy to live with her son Dan Maloney in James Street.

Mary CAMERON – Died 2 February 1929 at Camperdown.  Mary Cameron was born around 1839 on the Isle of Bute, Scotland and arrived in Victoria in 1852, living at Modewarre, near Geelong, In 1884, with her husband Donald McRae and family, they moved to Port Campbell.  When they arrived in Port Campbell it looked like the sketch below.  Donald was active in town affairs and he and Mary attended the local Presbyterian Church. Donald died in 1913 and Mary went to live with various members of her family.  She left eight children at the time of her death.  Mary was buried at the Port Campbell Cemetery.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/253483

PORT CAMPBELL 1884. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/253483

Catherine Isabella McKEAN Died 3 February 1941 at Newfield.  Catherine was born around 1866 at Lucky Woman’s, a gold mining settlement south-west of Ballarat.  As a child, her parents moved to Cobden then, when she was eight they moved to Port Campbell. Like Mary Cameron (above), the Port Campbell Catherine grew up in was similar to the sketch above.  In 1887, Catherine married Moreland Magilton. They lived at Cowley’s Creek briefly before returning to Port Campbell.  Moreland died around 1938.  At the time of her death, Catherine left five sons and five daughters, twenty-four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Anne Josephine Selina LEMPRIERE – Died 12 February 1943 at Melbourne.  Annie Lempriere was born around 1863 at St Kilda. In 1888, she married Cecil Trevor Cooke, formerly of Condah but then of Murndal, west of Hamilton.  The wedding was held at St Mary’s Church Caulfield on 22 August 1888. From the time of their marriage until 1902, Anne and Cecil lived at Murndal as Cecil was managing the property.  His brother Samuel Winter Cooke had inherited Murndal from their uncle Samuel Pratt Winter.

MURNDAL.

MURNDAL HOMESTEAD.

In 1902, the family moved to the Clondrisse Estate at Flinders then to Abshot Estate, Korumburra around 1917. Cecil died in 1922 at South Yarra. Anne left three sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren at the time of her death.  She was buried at Murndal’s cemetery.

The photo below shows Annie and her son William Lempriere Winter Cooke.  William was born in 1892 so this photo would be from around 1894.  William served as a Captain with the 4th Battalion during WW1. While at Gallipoli, he collected acorns from a prickly oak growing on the island. He sent them home and the acorns were planted at Murndal and his former school, Geelong Grammar.  More than one hundred years later the descendants of those trees are being planted across Victoria as part of the Gallipoli Oaks project. After the death of Samuel Winter Cooke in 1929, William inherited  Murndal.

c1900 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334496

ANNIE LEMPRIERE WITH HER SON WILLIAM LEMPRIERE WINTER COOKE c1894, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334496

Christopher HUMPHREYS – Died  13 February 1943 at Kew.  Christopher Humphreys was born around 1863 at Koroit and married Maria Jane Johnston in 1884.  He was the licensee of the Otway Hotel in Warrnambool during the 1890s, before taking over the Farmer’s Rest Hotel in Warrnambool in the late 1890s.  Christopher enjoyed horse racing and was the owner of the steeplechaser Euro, winner of the 1898 Grand Annual Steeple at Warrnambool and the Great Eastern Steeple at Oakbank. He also won the Bendigo Cup with Miss Gower in 1911.

"WARRNAMBOOL RACE WEEK." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 7 May 1898: 25. Web. 23 Feb 2017 .

“WARRNAMBOOL RACE WEEK.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 7 May 1898: 25. Web. 23 Feb 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138666284&gt;.

Christopher retired from the Farmer’s Rest Hotel in 1928 and moved to Melbourne. Maria died on 23 December 1942 and Christopher died less than two months later. They had seven children but only a son and three daughters were living at the time of his death.

Mary O’DONNELL Died 18 February 1951 at Warrnambool.  Mary was born in 1850 at Kilbane, County Clare, Ireland.  She arrived in Victoria in 1870 with her parents and they settled at Yambuk.  In 1884, Mary married Michael Ryan.  They moved to Gippsland briefly then to Melbourne where they ran a green grocers at 27 Spencer Street, Melbourne. Their marriage was brief as Michael died in 1886.  Mary then married Yambuk local Michael Gleeson in 1890 and she returned to Yambuk.  Mary was buried at the Yambuk Cemetery.

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HEADSTONE OF MARY GLEESON (nee O’DONNELL) YAMBUK CEMETERY.

Edward ADAMS – Died 23 February 1952 at Cobden.  Edward Adams was born at Cobden around 1864.  He first worked as a road contractor then took up dairy farming.  In 1904, Edward married Elizabeth Richards and they had two sons.  Edward was a member of the Cobden Turf Club, Cobden Football Club and the IOOF Lodge.

William TARRANT – Died 6 February 1946 at Cobden.  William Tarrant was born in a tent at Camperdown around 1856 and for twenty-nine years drove coaches for E.J.Morehouse & Sons of Cobden.  He did runs from Camperdown to Princetown and Peterborough and mail runs on other routes.  On weekends, he drove a four-horse drag to football matches.  Another more grizzly task he undertook was transporting bodies from the coast to Camperdown or Cobden in the event of a fatal shipwreck.

"Death of Mr. W. (Bill) Tarrant" Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954) 15 February 1946: 3 (Afternoons.). Web. 23 Feb 2017 .

“Death of Mr. W. (Bill) Tarrant” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 15 February 1946: 3 (Afternoons.). Web. 23 Feb 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65435134&gt;.

In 1882, William married Mary Sarah Harding and they had three children.  Mary died in 1929 and the following year William married Agnes Elliott of Cobden.  After he retired from coach driving, William began a wood carting business.  He enjoyed fishing and tending his garden in Curdie Street Cobden.  He had a good sense of humour and quick wit and could tell a good yarn.

Sacred Memorials

You may have sat in a church and admired the stained glass windows, but have you had a close look? You’ll see church windows can tell a story about a town’s history and people.  To give you an example, let’s take a look at windows at two churches I’ve visited over the past year, the Hamilton Uniting Church and the Hamilton Anglican Christ Church.  A disclaimer…I like to think it’s a spiritual force responsible for the large percentage of blurry photos I’ve taken in churches.  In reality, it says something about my photography skill.  Also, there are loads of links in this post so if you see underlined text, click on it and you will find more information about the subject.

Opened on Sunday 5 October 1913 as the Hamilton Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Hamilton Uniting Church in Lonsdale Street has some beautiful windows.

HAMILTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1930. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769323

HAMILTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1930. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769323

I have some family history here as my ggg grandfather James Harman was a Wesleyan local preacher and often preached at the former Wesleyan Church in McIntyre Street.  The current church opened prior to his death and even though he was eighty-three he still found the energy to attend events important to him so I expect he was there.

Hamilton Uniting Church

HAMILTON UNITING CHURCH

There isn’t a memorial window for James, but there is a window for a man he knew well, Peter Learmonth of Prestonholme Hamilton, a local businessman, flour mill operator and stalwart of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Unveiled on 14 January 1900 at the then Methodist Church in McIntyre street, this beautiful window was later installed at the new church in Lonsdale Street.

Peter Learmonth Window

PETER LEARMONTH MEMORIAL WINDOW

The Reverend W.C. Thomas spoke of the Learmonth’s dedication to the Methodist Church during a memorial service for Mary Jarvey Pearson, herself deserving of a memorial window.

"LATE MRS. PETER LEARMONTH." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 8 December 1913: .

“LATE MRS. PETER LEARMONTH.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 8 December 1913: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225162684&gt;.

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James Allan Learmonth was a son of Peter Learmonth and Mary Jarvey Pearson.  He was born at Merino Downs on 8 April 1856 and went to school at the Hamilton and Western District College and Wesley College. Locally, James was well-known for his sporting prowess.  After some work experience in Melbourne, James returned to the Western District to manage his father’s Penshurst Flour Mill.

After his father co-purchased Maraposa Estate in Mexico, James and his brother left for that country to manage the estate for ten years, returning home briefly in 1886 to marry Annie Thomson of Monivae Estate.  In 1892, James and Annie returned from Mexico to live at Prestonholme.  James died on 29 October 1928 and Annie on 14 June 1930.  They were buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

learmonth6

Annie’s family were Presbyterian and the St Andrew’s Church in Hamilton features a large memorial window for her father James Thomson.  James and Annie Learmonth’s window at the Hamilton Uniting Church is below.

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JAMES AND ANNIE LEARMONTH MEMORIAL WINDOW, UNITING CHURCH, HAMILTON

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Hamilton’s Christ Church in Gray Street was built in 1878.

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CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN CHURCH, HAMILTON

Walking up to the door, I always imagine handsome Lieutenant Edward Ellis Henty and his beautiful bride Florence Grace Pearson emerging through the doors after their marriage on 18 November 1914.  They’re bittersweet thoughts because nine months later, Florence and Edward’s family and friends entered the same doors for a memorial service for Edward. He was killed at the Charge at the Nek at Gallipoli on 7 August 1915 while serving with the 8th Australian Lighthorse Regiment.  Florence was around seven months pregnant.

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I’ve visited the Christ Church three times in the past year. Each time I visit, I can’t help but touch the 137-year-old walls made from local bluestone just as I enter the doors below.

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Just inside the main door of the church in the vestibule is the first stained glass window, a memorial for the Tatlock family,  Alfred James Rolland Tatlock, his wife Marie McGowan and sons Norval and Alfred Jr. Depicted is St. Francis of Assisi possibly indicating the Tatlock’s love for animals.  Alfred Sr.’s father Thomas Henry Tatlock was a leading breeder and judge of poultry and horses.

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TATLOCK MEMORIAL WINDOW

Alfred Tatlock Sr. was a grand master of the Grange Masonic Lodge and a Hamilton councillor.  Marie died in 1937 and Alfred Jr. met a tragic end, killed in a plane crash in Queensland on 27 March 1943 while serving with the RAAF.  Twenty-two other crew and passengers were also killed. Norval died in 1951 and Alfred Tatlock Sr. in 1956.   

Another window in a different part of the church remembers another son of Alfred Tatlock and Marie McGowan, Rolland Tatlock who died in 1981.  This window depicts St. Vincent de Paul and is one of two windows in the church created by Jean Orval.  I went to school with three of Jean’s grandsons, all cousins. Each day on my way to primary school, I passed Jean’s house with his workshop at the end of the driveway.  You can read more about Jean Orval and see photos of his beautiful windows in churches across Victoria and South Australia on the link http://www.orvalstainedglass.com/index.html

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ROLLAND TATLOCK MEMORIAL WINDOW BY JEAN ORVAL

Once inside the Christ Church, stained glass windows line either side of the nave. To the left is the window for Abraham Greed and his wife Hannah Oaff.

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ABRAHAM AND HANNAH GREED MEMORIAL WINDOW, CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN CHURCH, HAMILTON

Abraham was a leading coachbuilder in the town and a Mayor of Hamilton.  He was born in Taunton, Somerset, England and arrived in Victoria around 1857. Abraham married Hannah Oaff in 1866.  He died on 27 July 1926 aged eighty while on holiday in Geelong with Hannah and their daughter.  Only the year before, Abraham had donated an oak altar and reredos to the church. 

"HAMILTON." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 22 May 1925: 6. .

“HAMILTON.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 22 May 1925: 6. .

In his will, Abraham left the Christ Church money for a peal of bells.  Hannah died at Hamilton in 1937 aged eighty-eight.

"ABOUT PEOPLE." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 1 November 1926 .

“ABOUT PEOPLE.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 1 November 1926 .

Also to the left of the nave is the window for Robert Edwin Windsor Sandys Stapylton Bree and his wife Anna Maria Henty.

stapylton

MEMORIAL WINDOW OF ROBERT BREE AND ANNIE HENTY

Robert Bree was born in Cornwall on 11 November 1839, his father an Anglican minister.  He worked for Dalgety & Co. in London before arriving in Victoria and working for Stephen Henty as a manager of Henty’s properties. It was during that time Robert met Stephen Henty’s daughter Annie four years younger than himself.  They married in Hamilton’s first Anglican Church on 30 July 1874.  Robert operated a stock and station business at Hamilton from 1872.  At one time he was in business with Alfred Tennyson Dickens, son of Charles Dickens.

Robert sat on the Hamilton Borough Council for thirty-five years, twice serving as Mayor. He was President of the Hamilton Hospital board and operating theatre was named in his honour along with a park opposite the hospital. On 26 May 1900, Robert and Anna’s son Reginald Robert Stephen Stapylton Bree serving as a Lieutenant was killed in Bloemfontein, South Africa during the Boer War.

Robert Bree died on 16 September 1907.  After Robert’s death, Anna continued living at the Bree family home Bewsall in Hamilton and in 1914 hosted the wedding breakfast of her nephew and his new wife, the aforementioned Edward Henty and Florence Pearson.  Anna died on 2 July 1921 at Bewsall in Hamilton leaving two daughters and a son.

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

BEWSALL, HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

stapylton-2

Next is the window for the Rountrees, James Hughes Rountree and his wife Margaret Strang Kitchen.

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MEMORIAL WINDOW OF JAMES ROUNTREE AND MARGARET KITCHEN

James Hughes Rountree died on 1 August 1902 after an operation for an ulcer.  He arrived in Victoria aboard the Great Britain in 1864 and worked as a dispenser at the Geelong hospital.  In 1874, he became superintendent at the Hamilton Hospital.  Fourteen years later, James opened a chemist shop in Hamilton. He was a member of the Masonic and Orange Lodges.  At the time of his death, James left his widow, Margaret and eight children.

Most of James and Margaret’s children followed James’ profession.  Daughters Mary, Margaret, Jean and Ella were chemists as was son James.  Mary Rountree married the well-known jockey Bobby Lewis in 1920.  Lewis rode four Melbourne Cup winners during his career and controversially rode Phar Lap to third in the cup in 1929. The wedding took place at the Hamilton Christ Church. 

"PERSONAL." The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) 19 June 1920: .

“PERSONAL.” The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924) 19 June 1920: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211909666&gt;.

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James and Margaret Rountree were buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

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GRAVE OF JAMES ROUNTREE AND MARGARET KITCHEN

The following photo is a perfect example of most of my church photos and I wasn’t going to post it.  Instead, I asked Mum to try her luck photographing the window.  When I compared the two photos, I had to share both because of the different colours in each photo.

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This is Mum’s photo.  Each was taken in the early afternoon, the first in April and the second in November. The angle was the main difference.  The window is dedicated to the memory of Percy Beaumont Osborne.

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MEMORIAL WINDOW OF PERCY BEAUMONT OSBORNE

Percy Beaumont Osborne was the stepson of Hamilton’s Anglican Vicar from 1907 until 1917, Charles Harris. He enlisted for WW1 on 11 February 1916 and left Australia for England on 28 July 1916.  Percy died of Meningitis at Tidworth Military Hospital, England on 2 February 1917 aged twenty-two.  His memorial window was unveiled on Sunday 17 June 1917.

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Memorial windows for WW1 soldiers are not unusual.  The former Baptist Church in Hamilton (now a private home), had five memorial windows installed for WW1 soldiers Alexander and Edgar  Stevenson, James Sack, Joseph Brokenshire, Walter Filmer and Albert Herbert Lewis.  The Victorian War Heritage Inventory site allows for searches by a soldier’s name or site of a memorial.

I intend to add to my stained glass window photo collection and hopefully, with more practice, they’ll improve. I’m keen to get back to St. Stephen’s Church in Portland where there are beautiful windows and a memorial tablet for Edward Ellis Henty was unveiled there on 1 July 1917.

Passing of the Pioneers

At the end of last month, the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index had 696 pioneers listed. With this post, the number passes 700.  My ggg grandmother is the first pioneer for January and becomes pioneer number 697.  Therefore, the 700th pioneer obituary belongs to Thomas Fitzgerald of Warrnambool and appropriately so.  Thomas was 111 when he died and some early 20th-century genealogical investigation confirmed his age.  To see the full list of 711 pioneer obituaries at Western District Families go the Pioneer Obituary Index.  Don’t forget any underlined words in this post and others at Western District Families are links leading you to further information about a subject.

Ellen BARRY – Died 24 January 1882 at Colac. Ellen Barry, born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1823 was my ggg grandmother and her obituary was not like the others here.  Rather it was a news article, published across Australia after the events of the night of 24 January 1882 at Colac.  You can read more about Ellen’s tragic life and death in an earlier post “A Tragic Night”with links to further stories about Ellen.

Patrick HYLAND – Died January 1884 at Tarrington.  Patrick Hyland was born in Ireland around 1823 and as a newlywed in 1841, arrived in Portland with his wife Elizabeth Darcy.  He got a job working for Arthur Pilleau at Hilgay near Coleraine and remained there around ten years before taking up a position as overseer of Edward Henty’s Muntham Station.   In between, Patrick had a short stint as publican of the Sandford Hotel, transferring his licence in 1859.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217208

THE RED BRICK BARN AT MUNTHAM STATION WAS ALREADY STANDING WHEN PATRICK HYLAND ARRIVED THERE AROUND 1851. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217208

Footrot was rife through the Western District in those times and while at Muntham, Patrick introduced practices to eradicate it and with success.

hyland

“THE ARGYLE ROOMS.” Bell’s Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (Melbourne, Vic. : 1857 – 1868) 16 May 1857: 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201372934

Patrick later moved to Tarrington and continued working for the Hentys at Stephen Henty’s Tarrington Estate.

John ROBERTSON – Died 16 January 1905 at Strathkellar. John Robertson was born at Ballater, Aberdeen, Scotland around 1823.  He arrived in Victoria with his family in 1840 on the John Bull. John’s father John Robertson Sr. settled first in at Broken River but as the land wasn’t suitable, he went into partnership with William Skene and purchased the Mount Mitchell Station west of Melbourne.  He eventually purchased more property including at Victoria Valley Station.  John Robertson Jr. eventually inherited the Victoria Valley property and settled there. In 1855, John married Mary Jane Carter, the daughter of Charles Carter of Rosebrook near Wartook in the Grampians and they had two sons and five daughters.

In 1881, John purchased the large property Skene at Strathkellar from the estate pf William Skene, John’s brother-in-law.  John also bought Gazette at Penshurst and Moyne Falls near Macarthur.  Aside from accumulating property, John was a  keen follower of horse racing as an owner and breeder and a devotee of coursing.  John Robertson was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery after the funeral cortege travelled from Skene to the cemetery taking two hours to cover the trip of around eight miles.  A further obituary for John Robertson is available on the link – John Robertson obituary 

Thomas FITZGERALD – Died 26 January 1909 at Warrnambool.  Thomas Fitzgerald was one of those people who was better known posthumously.  In 1904,  Thomas was admitted to the Warrnambool Benevolent Asylum.  At the time, he gave his age as 106 and those in charge were curious, so much so they wrote to Ireland for verification.   They received word back and found  Thomas was on the level.  He was born in Kerry, Ireland on 11 January 1798.  Therefore at the time of his death, he had just turned 111 years old.

Thomas Fitzgerald apparently arrived in Victoria in 1855 aboard the Margaret Chisholm, already aged fifty-seven.  I found only one reference to a barque Margaret Chisholm,  when she arrived Port of Melbourne on 1 June 1857 all they way from Corner Inlet,  Gippsland!  Thomas may have remembered his birthday but details of his arrival seem sketchy.  When Thomas died, news of the old man went around the country.  The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate published the following unflattering article with a dig at the Temperance movement.

"THAT WARRNAMBOOL CENTENARIAN." Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) 13 February 1909: .

“THAT WARRNAMBOOL CENTENARIAN.” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954) 13 February 1909: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138584038&gt;.

Henry Belfrage NIMMO – Died January 1915 at Camperdown.  Henry Nimmo was born in Falkirk, Scotland and arrived in the Western District around 1862.  Soon, he was participating in a sport he took up in Scotland, that of coursing and was a founding member of the Camperdown Coursing Club.  Laara Estate was a popular coursing venue and Henry was alway there with his often handy greyhounds.  In his later years, he took to spectating but as he grew older he found it difficult to spot the dogs.  On once occasion at Larra Estate, Henry commented to “Hotspur” the coursing correspondent for the Leader newspaper, “I cannot see the dogs, but mon, Hotspur, it’s a grand course.”

 

"PORT MORESBY." Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918) 30 June 1906: 36. .

“PORT MORESBY.” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 30 June 1906: 36. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198364516&gt;.

George WARREN – Died 24 January 1915 at Stawell.  George Warren was born around 1860 at Bourne End, Hertfordshire, England and arrived in Australia around 1874. He went straight to Lexington Station near Moyston to work and join an uncle,  James Graham. In 1877, George married Anne Flower Bennett and they took up land in the district.  Upon the death of an uncle Robert Graham in 1908, George and Ann’s daughter inherited his Halls Gap property Myrtlebank, located where the manmade reservoir Lake Bellfield is today. Robert Graham was one of the first freehold owners in the Fyans Valley.  George and Ann moved there and built and ran the Myrtlebank Guest House 

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/382906

MYTRLEBANK, HALLS GAP. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/382906

George was Church of England and even when struck with ill-health would make the trip to Stawell on Sundays travelling over twenty miles on a rough road.

"DISTRICT NEWS." Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 28 January 1915: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129499589

“DISTRICT NEWS.” Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 28 January 1915: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129499589

Along with Ann, George left seven daughters and five sons at the time of his death. Two sons were serving overseas. Francis Edgar Warren was killed at Gallipoli six months after his father’s death on 17 June 1915. Leslie Parsons Warren later returned home. Ann continued running Myrtlebank after George’s death until her own death in 1935 at Hamilton.     

Bridget CAREY – Died January 1916 at Hamilton.  Bridget was born in Ireland around 1835 and arrived in Victoria with her husband Joseph Lanphier. Joseph got work as an overseer of Kanawalla Estate just north of Hamilton but on 18 October 1875 at the age of fifty, he was killed on the property after a fall from a horse. Bridget moved closer to town, residing at Stanview on the Cavendish Road near the Hamilton Racecourse. Around 1908 Bridget, described as a robust woman, tripped on the step while entering St Mary’s Catholic Church (below) in Hamilton and was never the same.

ST MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63342

ST MARY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63342

Although bedridden Bridget remained cheery to the end.  She left eight children at the time of her death.

James McNAUGHTON – Died 5 January 1917 at Ellerslie.  James was born at Perthshire, Scotland in 1832. During his twenties, James arrived in Portland with his family including his father James McNaughton Sr. and started work as a stonemason.  His occupation saw him work on some of Warrnambool and Portland’s main buildings and a number of homesteads. James married Mary Ann Osborne in 1860 and they moved to the Ellerslie district. Mary Ann died in 1915.  

Mary AHERN – Died 17 January 1917 at Hamilton. Mary Ahern was born in County Clare, Ireland in 1834 and arrived at Geelong on 6 June 1857 aboard the Black Eagle accompanied by her brother  Patrick in 1857. On arrival, they met their sister, Anne who had been in Victoria for four years. The Victorian Unassisted Passenger list has the following entry beside Patrick’s name. “Gone to visit sister at J.Gibson’s Fyans Street.”  Mary’s entry reveals she gained employment as a housemaid for three months for Mr Howe of Park Street, Kildare (Geelong West).  In 1859, Anne Ahern married Richard Elijah and they moved to Hamilton.  Mary stayed on in Geelong for a few years before moving to Ballarat where she remained until she bought a house in Clarendon Street Hamilton.  

Sampson SMITH – Died 26 January 1917 at Caramut. Sampson Smith arrived in Australia as a baby around 1852 when his parents landed at Warrnambool.  As a young man, he went to the Wimmera and ran his own farm at Dunmunkle.  In 1901, Sampson arrived in Caramut and took up the position of librarian at the Mechanics Institute.  He was also secretary of the institute and a secretary and trustee of the Caramut Cemetery.  He found time for a role as correspondent for the Caramut School committee and registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in the town.  Sampson was a keen horticulturist and exhibited his flowers at local shows.  He left a widow and two daughters and six sons.  A further obituary was published in the Penshurst Free Press on the link  – Sampson Smith Obituary.

Margaret POWER – Died 5 January 1918 at Port Fairy. Margaret Power was born in Tipperary, Ireland around   During the 1850s, Margaret and her husband James Prior arrived in Melbourne aboard the Sarah Dixon.  They soon made their way to Port Fairy and settled and James worked as the curator of the Port Fairy Botanical Gardens.

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PORT FAIRY BOTANICAL GARDENS

Margaret and James had two sons and three daughters and attended the Port Fairy Catholic Church.  James died in 1911 and Margaret went to live with her daughter in Sackville Street where she died in 1918.

Friedrich LINKE – Died 29 January 1918 at Lake Linlithgow.  Friedrich Linke was born in Magdeburg, Germany around 1837 and arrived in South Australia in the early 1850s. He gained employment in Adelaide, saving his money before travelling to Victoria and selecting land just west of Lake Linlithgow near Penshurst.  In 1865, Friedrich married Anna Harnath and they went on to have twelve children. Friedrich was buried at the Tabor Cemetery.

Euphemia Adamson WALKER  – Died 23 January 1937 at Hamilton. Euphemia Walker was born at Dixie Estate, Camperdown around 1856.  Her father was Duncan Walker. In 1881, Euphemia married John Smith, manager at The Sisters and later Mount Noorat for Niel Black.

"Family Notices" The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 4 May 1881: .

“Family Notices” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 4 May 1881: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5988835&gt;.

In late 1885, John in partnership with Messrs Black Bros. sons of Niel Black purchased Grassdale Estate near Merino.

 J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/215963

GRASSDALE ESTATE HOMESTEAD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/215963

Eventually, John became sole owner of the property and he and Euphemia went on to have three sons. During 1890, John was of ill health and spent three months recuperating in Camperdown, while Euphemia’s brother managed Grassdale.  In just a few years at Grassdale, Euphemia was receiving praise for her garden, a restoration of the garden of the former owner, John Coldham.

smith

"IN THE WANNON COUNTRY." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 3 January 1891: .

“IN THE WANNON COUNTRY.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 3 January 1891: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140168027&gt;.

Euphemia was Presbyterian and taught Sunday School at Tahara. Meanwhile, John was a councillor with the Portland Shire. In November 1905, the 9000 acres of Grassdale Estate was subdivided into seventy-five lots and sold at auction.  John and Euphemia remained at Grassdale.  During February 1915, Euphemia and John’s son Eion Lindsay Smith sailed for Egypt with the 8th Light Horse Regiment. Eoin was killed at Gallipoli on 27 June 1915.  John Smith died at Grassdale in 1921 and Euphemia moved to Hamilton, residing at Coela in Gray Street and attended St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Charles Arthur LEY – Died 17 January 1943 at Casterton.  Charles Ley was born in a shepherd’s hut on Dunrobin Station around 1860.  His education was limited to learning from his parents and a man known as Ben.  Charles first worked for Mr Target who founded the Casterton News, next for the proprietor of the Glenelg Inn at Casterton.  After a stint working with a butcher, delivering meat on horseback, Charles worked on the railway line between Henty and Sandford.  In 1885, he married Annie Cotter and he began work for James McPherson at Nangella.  From Nangella, Charles worked at Muntham, Wando Vale and Bella Vista until 1889. He then turned to share farming at Bella Vista and finally in 1912, Charles settled on an allotment from the subdivision of Dunrobin Station where he started life.  Charles was survived by three sons and two daughters.

Sarah Harriet Ann WARREN – Died 13 January 1950 at Cobden.  Sarah Cooke was born around 1877 at Elaine and in 1898 she married Jens Rasmussen at Ballarat. In 1907, they moved to Cobden and ran a boarding house in Curdie Street opposite the Cobden Catholic Church for twenty-five years. Sarah attended Cobden’s St Mary’s Church of England. During WW1, Jens enlisted at the age of forty-three and left for France in January 1916, serving with the 2nd Tunnelling Company before returning to Australia in 1918. Moving on from the boarding house, Jens and Sarah bought a farm at Jancourt East where they remained until a few years before Sarah’s death when they returned to Cobden in retirement.  On  25 December 1949, Sarah and Jens celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary and within weeks, Sarah died aged seventy-three. She left four sons, one daughter and thirteen grandchildren.  Jens, around four years older than his late wife, remarried in 1952 but died around six weeks later during June 1952.