Wonderful Western District Women Part 5

This is the fifth edition of Wonderful Western District Women but the first with just one subject.  It is also the first with a woman who hasn’t been part of the WDF Pioneer Obituary Index.  I came to know Elizabeth Sharp when I wrote the Passing of the Pioneers entry for her husband Charles Gray leaving me thinking she was way more interesting than Charles (although he was far from dull). I discovered Elizabeth was a strong, independent woman who was musically and artistically gifted. She embraced the beauty of her surrounds and in doing so she charmed a Prince and earned praise from a Queen.  Click on the underlined text throughout for further information about a subject.

SHARP, Elizabeth (c1822-1903) Also known as Elizabeth Sharpe and Elizabeth Gray

Elizabeth Sharp was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1822, a daughter of watchmaker Christopher Sharp and Catherine Rankin. She had an older brother Richard (later a member of the Royal Irish Academy) and an older sister Catherine “Kate” and younger sisters Emily and Flora. On 4 January 1842, Kate married Thomas Doolan of Tipperary in Dublin (Dublin Morning Register, Thursday 06 January 1842, p. 2). Ten years later the Doolans and their children left for Portland, Victoria on the Runnymede, arriving on 3 June 1852.

As for Elizabeth’s arrival in Australia, it is generally accepted she spent time in Sydney up until 1857. That acceptance seems to come from artworks by Elizabeth depicting Sydney including this work showing Sydney Harbour (below) and another of the Sydney Heads which have been dated 1857.

SYDNEY TOWN AND SYDNEY HARBOUR c1857 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401521

The earliest I found Elizabeth in Australia is March 1855 but not in Sydney rather Portland, Victoria the destination of Elizabeth’s sister Kate and family. Dr Allison of Portland opened a museum in Gawler Street in 1855 and the first exhibition was in March 1855 with items of natural history and human art. Drawings in chalk by Elizabeth Sharp were part of the exhibition.  In December 1856, world-famous soprano Madame Anna Bishop (below) performed a concert at Portland. Elizabeth Sharp joined Madame Bishop for one of the pieces.  The Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser on 24 December 1856 said Elizabeth, who had a “musical reputation” performed the piece with Madame Bishop to “very good effect.”

MADAME ANNA BISHOP. The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser p. 1017. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164387353

The following year, Elizabeth and her sister Kate opened a school for young ladies at Portland with drawing and music on the curriculum.

Advertising (1857, January 21). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876), p. 3 (EVENING.). Retrieved March 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567605

On 19 March 1857 Elizabeth married at Portland to squatter Charles Gray (below) of Nareeb Nareeb, south of Glenthompson.

CHARLES GRAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294252

Elizabeth was around thirty-five and Charles thirty-nine.  Charles’ property was relatively isolated with Hamilton the closest large town, however, it was well established with Charles having settled there seventeen years before and no doubt there were servants making life more comfortable.

THE HOMESTEAD BUILT BY CHARLES GRAY AT NAREEB NAREEB ON THE BANKS OF THE GREEN HILLS CREEK. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294239

A daughter Annie was born to Elizabeth and Charles at Portland, on 17 April 1858 and another daughter Emily was born in 1860 at Nareeb Nareeb. On 15 March 1862, a son was born at Nareeb Nareeb but he sadly died before he could be named. Possibly on doctor’s advice, Elizabeth then forty spent some of her next pregnancy at Neptune Cottage, (below) in Gellibrand Street, Queenscliff where a daughter Elizabeth was born on 13 February 1863. The family would visit Queenscliff often over the coming years including the Christmas of 1866.

NEPTUNE COTTAGE, QUEENSCLIFF IN 1983 Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233621

Six days after daughter Elizabeth’s birth, two new lighthouses at Queenscliff, one black and one white were lit for the first time on 19 February 1863. Elizabeth would have seen the construction of the lighthouses in the lead up to the birth of her daughter as she looked at the coastline which inspired her to paint.  She created several watercolour drawings of Queenscliff including the one below dated 1863. Elizabeth drew the old sandstone lighthouse where the black lighthouse now stands which could be easily viewed close to Neptune Cottage.  The old lighthouse was demolished in March 1863.

VIEW OF QUEENSCLIFF SHOWING OLD LIGHTHOUSE c1863. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401523

The Queenscliff black lighthouse…

THE BLACK LIGHTHOUSE QUEENSCLIFF

The year after her time in Queenscliff, Elizabeth sent five pieces, watercolour drawings and etchings to the 1864 Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts in Melbourne. One was a “view of the coast” at Queenscliff.  Another Western District exhibitor was Elizabeth’s sister Kate Doolan.  The sisters received excellent critiques for their works.

Local News. (1864, April 22). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 2. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194723963

In 1866, Elizabeth exhibited at the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition. Her watercolours included a view of Schnapper Point, a view of the Queenscliff lighthouse, possibly the one below, and a view of Queenscliff including the house of Mr Fellows.  She also exhibited a set of doilies with landscapes etched in ink on to the linen.  She received a medal for her doilies.

OLD QUEENSCLIFF LIGHTHOUSE c1863. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401592

This is an amazing photo of the Fine Arts display at the 1866 Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition where Elizabeth and Kate’s works were displayed.

THE FINE ART GALLERY, MELBOURNE INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION 1866/7. Photographer: Thomas Ellis & Co. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/156175

During 1867, Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in the colony.

HRH PRINCE ALFRED c1866 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/246564

In December 1867, Prince Alfred spent a weekend at Hopkins Hill, the neighbouring property to Nareeb Nareeb, as the guest of John Moffat. Charles and Elizabeth were invited to Sunday lunch with the Prince. The girls also went along.  Elizabeth, with help from one of her daughters, presented His Royal Highness with two vases featuring etched Black Swan eggs. Delighted with his gift, Prince Alfred seated Elizabeth next to him at lunch.

RECEPTION OF THE PRINCE. (1867, December 18). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article185503900

So impressed was Prince Alfred, in January 1868 while still in Australia he sent Elizabeth a letter. He wrote “sincere thanks for the beautiful and useful presents”. He continued he “admired them so much” could he commission her to make another pair of vases for his mother, Her Majesty Queen Victoria.  Elizabeth set to work and even visited Ferntree Gully for research. The following is a pen and ink sketch depicting Ferntree Gully showing the intricacy of Elizabeth’s work

FERNTREE GULLY BY ELIZABETH GRAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294226

Elizabeth created four pieces for Queen Victoria decorated with scenes the Prince saw during his visit to Victoria, something they must have talked about at lunch. There were two small vases each with carved black swan eggs. One featured the Wannon Falls near Hamilton, (below right) and a view at Ferntree Gully (below left).

“VASES PRESENTED TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN.” Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875) 15 August 1868: 12. Web. 7 Feb 2018 .

 

WANNON FALLS NEAR HAMILTON

She also created two tazzas (bowls) with ostrich eggs etched with various scenes including Mount Sturgeon near Dunkeld and Port Phillip Heads.  Some reports suggested they were emu eggs.

VASES PRESENTED TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. (1868, August 15). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 12. Retrieved March 26, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60450420

 

MOUNT STURGEON NEAR DUNKELD

Each piece was mounted in silver by Kilpatrick & Co., jewellers of Collins Street, Melbourne and displayed in the jeweller’s window before departure for England.  Elizabeth oversaw the display, with the vases arranged with variegated seaweed of all colours she collected at Queenscliff. The Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser gave a full description of Elizabeth’s pieces available on the link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194474565

On 27 April 1870, a benefit concert was planned for Mrs Munro and her children who lost their home in Thompson Street, Hamilton to fire.  A week prior to the concert, the organizing committee was still looking for vocalists.  Elizabeth, her sister Kate and Miss Bunce offered to help out much to the enjoyment of the 500 people who crammed into the Hamilton Lands Office. Elizabeth accompanied singers on the piano and performed two piano duets with Kate.  The Hamilton Spectator wrote they imparted “to the performance an amount of fine execution seldom witnessed in amateurs”.  Miss Bunce sang several solo pieces.

Items of news. (1870, April 30). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 23, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196305962

In 1872, Elizabeth exhibited sketches of Aboriginals at Narreb Nareeb at the Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne, receiving an honourable mention and they later were sent on to the 1873 London International Exhibition.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER l8, 1872. (1872, December 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved March 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5844603

Later in the year, the Exhibition of Victoria showcased exhibits which would be sent on to the 1874 London International Exhibition. Elizabeth sent more of her vases to the London International and she was awarded a medal  

By the end of 1873, the Grays had decided to travel to Europe on what Charles described as a holiday.  They planned to leave by the February mail ship. Charles held a clearance sale of the household furniture and harness in December 1873.  On 26  February 1874, Charles, Elizabeth and the three Misses Gray did indeed leave by the mail ship RMS Bangalore.  Elizabeth was around fifty-one at the time.

SHIPPING. (1874, February 27). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199384026

In 1875, Elizabeth’s eldest daughter Annie received an invitation to attend the Queen’s first “Drawing Room” of the year at Buckingham Palace. A ‘drawing room” was a formal function held at intervals throughout the year which saw young ladies presented to Queen Victoria in her drawing room. An invitation to a drawing room was highly sought after.  Elizabeth’s early brush with royalty was said to have “broken the ice”.

DEBUTANTS PREPARE TO BE PRESENTED TO QUEEN VICTORIA. The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 – 1912), p. 315. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162191070

Elizabeth chaperoned Annie who captivated the overseas press who described her as an “Australian Beauty”. Her dress was “rich white satin; train, trimmed with bouillonnees and ruches of tulle, with sprays of lilies of the valley and roses; jupe of rich white grosgrain, trimmed the same; headdress, tulle veil with a spray of lilies. Some of their quotes included, “This young lady, who is not yet seventeen, is a very elegant and bewitching blonde, and bids fair to, be one of the belles of the season” and from the San Francisco correspondent of the New Zealand Herald, “amid all the diamonds and patrician beauties of a Royal drawing-room recently, the most .conspicuous person in the throngs was a young Australian girl of seventeen, who wore no jewels but her own incomparable beauty. She is Miss Annie Gray.” They were describing the same girl who rode on kangaroo hunts with her father at Nareeb Nareeb.

The Parisian correspondent for the New York Tribune wrote an article defining beauty inspired by the Australian girl with slightly rebellious blond hair.  The following is an extract from that article,

LADIES’ COLUMN. (1875, July 31). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 25. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70584172

Elizabeth didn’t go unnoticed with the Court Journal writing…” the toilette worn by Mrs Gray was remarkably rich and chaste.” With her hair done in the style of Madame de Montespan and a dress in the fashion of those worn by Madame de Pompadour with a “train, corsage, and upper skirt of rich ruby Lyons velvet, lined with white duchess satin, trimmed with richest white Brussels lace, velvet bows, and variegated moss roses; petticoat of white duchess; satin, trimmed with tulle, satin, and showered with bouquets of variegated moss roses; head-dress, feather, flowers, lappet, and veil; ornaments, diamonds and rubies.”  She was given credit for employing dressmaker Miss Scotter who had gone from working as a seamstress for David Jones of Ballarat to her own successful dressmaking business in Bond Street, London. The Hamilton Spectator wrote, “It is pleasing to find this kindly remembrance of one colonist by another, and is highly creditable to all concerned.”

In November 1875, Elizabeth, Charles and Annie attended a Grand Country Ball at Brighton. Soon after Charles was making plans to return to Australia. In early 1876, he left London and travelled to New York and then on to the Philadelphia Exhibition before embarking at San Francisco for Sydney arriving in June 1876.  He then made his way south to Nareeb Nareeb. Elizabeth and the girls extended their stay in England.  

Elizabeth was still creating pieces of art and in May 1880, she exhibited china plates with similar etchings to those on Queen Victoria’s eggs, at Howell & James in London. HRH Princess Christian visited the exhibition and had high praise for Elizabeth’s work. (Morning Post (London) Thursday 27 May 1880 p. 3).  On 16 November 1880, Annie married Charles Rowe at St Jude’s Church, South Kensington, London (London Evening Standard – Thursday 18 November 1880 p.1).

Charles continued on at Nareeb Nareeb until December 1886 when he put the property up for auction.  I had thought Charles returned to London at this time but in September 1888 he was seen walking along Collins Street Melbourne.  It was during the time of the 1886 Melbourne Exhibition and Elizabeth was exhibiting a series of photographs of her etchings. As usual, she received high praise, “This lady, whose talent for pen and ink work attracted royal notice made some wonderfully minute ethnological drawings of Aboriginals”.  After his death, Charles’ Victorian Probate referred to him as being late of St Kilda.  It’s not known when Charles returned to London or if Elizabeth ever returned to Victoria.

Emily Gray married on 3 July 1889 at Lancaster Gate, London to Leonard Sedgewick. Youngest daughter Elizabeth “Ebie” Gray had also married to John Murray but sadness came when Ebie died on 2 October 1892 at Eccles, Manchester aged twenty-nine. It was a sad year for Elizabeth as her sister Kate died at St Kilda on 24 May 1892.

In 1901, Elizabeth and Charles with four servants were living at 169 Cromwell Road, Kensington.  On Sunday 29 March 1903, Elizabeth died in London aged eighty-one. Her funeral was held at St Luke’s Earls Court, Redcliffe Square, London.

Elizabeth left two daughters, Annie Rowe by then a widow and Emily Sedgewick, and two grandsons Felix Rowe and Keith Murray. Charles died in 1905 at the age of eighty-seven. He was living at 18 Iverna Gardens, Kensington at the time of his death.  In his will, Charles left £100 to parlor maid Mabel Annie Ball “in recognition of her care of his late wife” (Dundee Courier – Friday 03 March 1905 p. 5)

The two vases given to Prince Alfred are now part of the Royal Collection located at Osborne House, the summer house of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight. A photograph of the vases is available on the link to the Royal Collection.

Additional Sources

Design and Art Australia Online – Biography of Elizabeth Gray              

Ireland Select Births and Baptisms, 1620–1911, Elizabeth Anna Sharpe, Birth date, 1822, FHL Film No. 100238

Irish Genealogy 

Current & Upcoming Events in the Western District

UPDATED 23 March –

We are really spoilt for choice over the coming months because some more history related events have come to light since I published this post on Monday. You’ll find the three new events added below…


Some great history related events are either happening or coming up in the Western District over the next few months.

Running now until 28 April at the Port Fairy Museum and Archives is a travelling exhibition “Submerged” about shipwrecks along the south-west coast and Australia wide.  Port Fairy is a good place to host an exhibition about wrecks with fourteen wrecks recorded within Port Fairy bay alone.  You can find out more at the museum’s Facebook page Port Fairy Museum and Archives or website.

PORT FAIRY MUSEUM & ARCHIVES, GIPPS STREET.

The Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection exhibition “Gone But Not Forgotten…The Lost Buildings of Portland” is now on at the Portland Arts Centre until 26 April. The exhibition includes a display of photos and other items on the long-gone buildings of Portland.

An exhibition curated by the Casterton RSL will look at the Centenary of the RSL will begin on 2 April at the Casterton Town Hall foyer.  You can find out more at the shire’s Facebook page Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection.

Near Lake Bolac on 28 April will be an unveiling of a plaque at the former Mellier State School. The plaque will remember the 100th anniversary since the school was moved to Norbank Road, Lake Bolac.  You can find out more on the Historic Lake Bolac Facebook page.

On the weekend of 18 & 19 May is the Hamilton Pastoral Museum May rally.  You can see some of the sights…and sounds of the museum in this video from my visit to the October 2018 rally.  Look for further rally information on the museum’s Facebook page Hamilton Pastoral Museum Inc or the museum website.

Also on 18 May, the Warrnambool Family History Group are holding a seminar with four guest speakers each with great topics including Ken Flack, a genealogist and historian from Horsham speaking on taking a different approach to research; Janet McDonald, the President of the Warrnambool and District Historical Society talking about using local records to research land and houses around Warrnambool; Kate Moneypenny from the State Library of Victoria talking about researching family history at the SLV. You can find out more on the groups Facebook page Warrnambool Family History Group or their website.

For those interested in DNA and Family History, the Colac & District Family History Group is hosting a workshop on Friday 31 May from 1pm to 3pm with a representative from Ancestry. This must be a Western District first on such a topic so take the chance to attend. The Colac & District Family History Group are doing some great things. For further updates, check out the group’s Facebook page Colac & District Family History Group and website.  It’s a new website too so definitely take a look.  

The following day, Saturday 1 June is the 2019 VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisation) Expo at the Chevalier Centre, Monivae College in Hamilton from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  Take the opportunity to hear some of the best family history speakers right here in the Western District. I’ll keep you updated with details including guest speakers as they come to hand or you can check out the VAFHO Facebook page VAFHO – Victorian Association of Family History Organisations or website.

THE VIEW TOWARDS CHURCH HILL, HAMILTON

Yambuk Cemetery

Back in 2015, I stayed a few nights in Yambuk, west of Port Fairy, in a house just down the road from the Yambuk cemetery.  Set on flat land, the headstones at the cemetery were clearly visible from the kitchen window.  Of course, I visited not once but twice. The first time was in the evening but as the headstones all face east, it wasn’t a good time for photos.  I went back just before 10am the next morning with the sun shining on to the front of the headstones. As you scroll through this post, you will guess which photo was taken in the evening. 

While the cemetery was generally clear, around the graves wasn’t and it was difficult to get close to the headstones.  I’ve since seen photos taken by Carol Judkins posted on her Carol’s Headstones Photos Facebook page in 2018 and I’m pleased to say, the graves were at least then, clear to walk around. 

058

The view of the turbines at the nearby Codrington Wind Farm with the headstones in the foreground contrasts the old with the new.

Below you will find the stories behind some of the headstones.   I started writing these stories not long after I got home from Yambuk four years ago with intending to share my post soon after.  However, it wasn’t long before I realised it wasn’t going to be that easy. Those buried in the cemetery are mostly of Irish descent, common for cemeteries in this part of the south-west. There were many people living in the same district with the same or similar name along with variations in spelling. Also, very few of those I chose to write about had newspaper obituaries to help work out who was who.  Also, because I worked off the information on the headstones and not burial records, I can’t guarantee all of those memorialized are buried in the cemetery, I can only assume. It’s not uncommon to find a loved one remembered on a headstone even though their final resting place is elsewhere.

John LEDDIN and his wives Catherine O’SHANNESSY and Mary CARROLL

072

John Leddin was born in Limerick, Ireland around 1842, a son of William Leddin and Johanna Carroll.  He arrived at Port Fairy with his parents on Chance in 1857 when he was fifteen, unable to read or write.  In 1866, he appears to have gone to New Zealand.  John was in Victoria in 1876  when he married Catherine O’Shannessy a daughter of John O’Shannessy and Johanna Hurley.  Catherine was born at Yambuk in 1857.  John and Catherine Leddin had five children, the first William in 1878 followed by a further two boys and two girls. The last was Johanna Magdalene Leddin in 1885.  Catherine O’Shannessy died in 1886 aged thirty and was buried at the Yambuk Cemetery, leaving John with five small children, the youngest still a baby.

In 1888, John Leddin remarried to Mary Anne Carroll, a daughter of John Carroll and Mary Crowe. She was born in Victoria in 1851.  John and Mary had three children together, one girl and two boys.

In 1902, while travelling to Port Fairy, John Leddin was thrown out of his buggy landing on the metal road on his head.  He was taken to the Port Fairy Hospital with paralysis, cuts and bruises and died of inflammation of the spinal cord. He was sixty years old.  John was buried with his first wife Catherine at the Yambuk Cemetery.

At the time of his death, John left his widow Mary, six sons and two daughters.  In 1917, Patrick Leddin, a son of John Leddin and Catherine O’Shannessy was killed in France. In 1933, Mary Carroll died at Crossley and was also buried in the Leddin plot at Yambuk.

I think I came across every possible variation of O’Shannessy while researching this grave.  Catherine’s Victorian BDM’s Birth Index entry has her as Catherine O’Shaughnessy as did the entry for her sibling Matthew.  When Catherine’s brother Daniel died, he was O’Shannassy.  When Catherine died, her father’s name was given as O’Shannessy.   

Daniel and Bridget O’SHANASSY and their grandson Thomas MALONEY

Just as with Catherine O’Shannessy, there were variations in the spelling of Daniel’s surname.  His grave shows O’Shanassy, but his Victorian BDM’s Death index entry, Marriage entry and PROV Probate File show O’Shaughnessy.  Considering Catherine’s (above) birth was registered as O’Shaughnessy we could probably assume O’Shaughnessy was the original spelling for both Daniel and Catherine.

Daniel was born in 1830 in County Clare, Ireland, a son of Daniel O’Shaughnessy and Judith Haden.  Daniel and Bridget settled at Codrington, just west of Yambuk.  Daniel died in 1900 aged seventy.

Family Notices (1900, September 8). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 17. Retrieved February 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169868264

Bridget died in 1907, and like her husband, I can’t be sure of her surname.  Her Death Index entry shows her father was Dryer and her mother unknown, while her daughter Mary’s entry has her mother as Bridget Dwyer.  However, son Daniel Thomas O’Shaughnessy and daughter Frances Judith O’Shaughnessy have Bridget’s maiden name as O’Dwyer on their Birth Index entry.

Thomas Maloney, a grandson of Daniel and Bridget, was born in Port Fairy in 1906. He was a son of John Maloney and Mary O’Shannessy.  He died two weeks later. As mentioned, his mother Mary’s birth was registered as O’Shaughnessy but on Thomas’ birth index entry, Mary was an O’Shannessy.  It’s likely John Maloney was the same John Maloney born to Thomas Maloney and Catherine Ryan in 1870 at Yambuk. More about them next…

Thomas MALONEY, son William MALONEY and mother in law BRIDGET RYAN

maloney3

Thomas Maloney was born in County Clare, Ireland around 1843.  On 9 January 1865, Thomas married Catherine Ryan at Six Mile Bridge, Clare. They left for Victoria in the months after aboard Chariot of Fame arriving at Port Phillip heads on 2 December 1865.

Thomas and Catherine settled at Yambuk and went on to have fourteen children.  Thomas Maloney was forty-eight when he died at Yambuk in 1891. At the time, there were still four children under the age of ten.  Catherine stayed on at Yambuk before moving to James Street, Port Fairy around 1911 to live with her son Daniel. That is where she died in 1916, aged seventy-two. Catherine was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

Thomas and Catherine’s son William was born at Yambuk in 1881. William had been in Wagga spending time with his brother Michael with a view to settling there.  After a couple of months, William was struck down by gastritis and died at the Wagga Hospital in 1912 aged thirty-one. His body was returned to Port Fairy by train and former Port Fairy residents then living in Wagga including members of the Leddin family, were at the station to see his body off.

Also named on the headstone is Bridget Ryan who was Bridget Keogh, Catherine’s mother who died in 1880 aged seventy-two.

Thomas and Bridget MALONEY

maloney2

Thomas Maloney was born in 1867 at Yambuk, a son of Thomas Maloney and Catherine Ryan (above).  He married Bridget Beatrice Devereaux in 1910.  Bridget was born at Port Fairy in 1870. Thomas died on 23 March 1912 at the age of forty-four.  Bridget died in 1958.  There appears to have been no children from the marriage.

John and Bridget RYAN

ryan

John Ryan was a son of Thomas Ryan and Bridget Keogh and brother of Catherine Maloney (nee Ryan) above.  John Ryan was born at County Clare around 1837 and arrived on Eutopia to Adelaide in 1857. He went to Melbourne around 1860 before heading to Yambuk two years later.  In 1867, John married Bridget Ryan.  Bridget was a daughter of Michael Ryan and Hanora Barry and was born in Tipperary, Ireland.  Bridget died in 1895 at the age of fifty-six.  John died on 26 October 1918 aged eighty-one leaving one son, Thomas Ryan.

James and Johanna GLEESON and children James, Sarah, William, and Cornelius GLEESON and Mary THOMPSON

gleenson

James Gleeson was born in Ireland around 1841, a son of James Gleeson and Mary Carroll.  He married Johanna O’Donnell in Victoria in 1868. Johanna was also born in Ireland in 1847, a daughter of Michael O’Donnell and Mary Corcoran.  James and Johanna Gleeson had eight children, with five of those remembered on their headstone. Cornelius died in 1891 at Yambuk aged eighteen and William Joseph Gleeson died in 1895 aged seventeen also at Yambuk. Sarah Agnes died in 1899 aged twenty-four at Yambuk.

Mother Johanna died at Yambuk on 23 April 1907.  Five weeks later, the Gleeson family were mourning again.  Son James died in 1907 at Merino aged thirty-two. He was working on a ballast train between Hamilton and Grassdale.  He presented to a Merino doctor with severe stomach cramps after eating tinned fish. He died two days later on 30 May 1907 of food poisoning. He was thirty-two.

Also named on the headstone is a married daughter Mary Gleeson, born in 1869 at Yambuk.  She married Alexander Thompson in 1897 and died in 1902 aged thirty-two.  Mary and Alexander had four children during their short marriage.  Their firstborn Mary died as an infant.  Three further children were born, the last being Agnes in 1901.

James Gleeson died at Port Fairy on 7 July 1911.

Michael and Mary GLEESON and daughter Mary Eileen GLEESON

gleeson2

Mary Gleeson (nee O’Donnell), was a sister of Johanna Gleeson (above).  She was born in 1850 at Kilbane, County Clare, Ireland and arrived in Australia with her parents Michael O’Donnell and Mary Corcoran in 1870.  Mary married Michael Ryan in 1884 and according to Mary’s obituary, they moved first to Gippsland and then on to Melbourne where Michael ran a greengrocer store in Spencer Street.  They had one son William Michael Ryan, born in 1885. Michael died in 1888 aged around sixty-four. 

After Michael Ryan’s death, Mary married Michael Gleeson in 1890 and they took up land at Yambuk. Michael Gleeson was born around 1831.  His Death Index record shows he was a son of James Gleeson and Elizabeth Carroll but seeing as James Gleeson above was a son of a James Gleeson and Mary Carroll, it may well be Mary Carroll was also Elizabeth meaning Michael and James Jr. were brothers…who married sisters…now I’m confused and no doubt you are too.

Michael and Mary had a daughter, Mary Eileen who was born in 1891 but died sixteen days later.  A son Michael was born in 1902. Michael Gleeson Sr died in 1910.  Mary lived in Fingerboard Road, Yambuk the same road as the cemetery.  She died on 18 February 1951 at Warrnambool the age of 100.  She was photographed in 1947 with another old resident of Yambuk, Michael O’Brien (below).

Yambuk and Tyrendarra (1947, May 7). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 18. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223916656

gleeson1

Being a glutton for punishment, I’m writing a Yambuk Cemetery Part 2 post and it’s proving no easier than this one.  Hopefully it won’t take four years to write though so keep an eye out for it in the (hopefully near) future.

Passing of the Pioneers

Eight more pioneers join the Pioneer Obituary Index this month in the 68th edition of Passing of the Pioneers.  There are a couple of Hamilton pioneers, one with a great racing story and there are a publican and a publican’s wife.  And what better lead into Women’s History Month (March) than the story of Janet Russell of Golf Hill, Shelford.  You’ll notice loads of links throughout the post, so click on underlined text for more information about a subject.  The links will take you to such things as relevant newspaper articles, the Passing of the Pioneers entries of those connected to this edition’s pioneers, and the Victorian Heritage Database.

UREN, Nicholas John – Died February 1872 at Hamilton.  Nicholas Uren was born in Penzance, Cornwall around 1823.  He joined the British Army serving in India for seven years.  He returned to Penzance and found others in the town were planning to travel to Australia and he decided to join them. Before he left, however, Nicholas married Tryphena Uren in 1854. They left soon after as Assisted Immigrants, arriving at Portland on 16 September 1854 on the ship Nestor.  They were recorded on the passenger list under the name of Wren.

Once in Portland, Nicholas obtained work with the solicitor John Dodd and he and Tryphena resided in Percy Street.  Nicholas stayed with John Dodd until mid-1856 before he and Tryphena went to Hamilton with one of Nicholas’ co-employees Henry Cox. Henry set up a solicitor’s practice in Hamilton and Nicholas joined him as a legal assistant.  In time Angelo Palmer took over the practice.  Nicholas also acted as the Borough solicitor.  In December 1869, he was nominated as a candidate for the Hamilton Borough Council along with Sigismund Jacoby.  Nicholas was successful and he took his place on the council in January 1870.  Nicholas also served was on various committees.

Nicholas was a lover of horses, enjoyed racing, and considered a good judge of horses. In 1865, he nominated a horse for the Melbourne Cup called The Miller.  It was around that time Nicholas acquired a filly foal owned by trainer James Wilson.  James wanted to put it out of its misery by his wife started hand feeding the poorly foal. Nicholas just happened to call in at the Wilson’s property and James mentioned he wanted the foal gone. Nicholas offered to take it and took her home and raised her. He named her Milksop.  Around 1866, Nicholas took Milksop to the well-known stallion, King Alfred and a filly was born to Milksop and given the name Mermaid.  Her beginnings are outlined below.  James Wiggins lived at Sandal on the hill above the Grange Burn off Digby Road, Hamilton.  It was he who took Mermaid to the Hamilton Show in September 1868.  

SPORTING NOTES, BY “AUGUR.” (1871, May 20). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved February 27, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article219367415

By 1870, Mermaid was sold to Edward Twomey for £30. In 1871, Mermaid won the Sydney Gold Cup as a four-year-old. Interestingly it was James Wilson who trained her to the win, the same man who wanted to take the life of Mermaid’s dam Milksop. The newspapers picked up on the story.

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. (1871, May 27). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved February 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196305363

They were still talking about the story of Milksop and Mermaid in 1935.

A James Wilson Story (1935, December 21). Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 – 1954), p. 6 (Edition1). Retrieved February 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189136383

Nicholas was just forty-nine at the time of his death in 1872.  His wife Tryphena died at Hamilton in 1907.  They had four children, three sons and one daughter, with two sons predeceasing their parents.  Frank Uren was one of their sons, a chemist and leading Hamilton citizen.  Nicholas was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

HORWITZ, Henry – Died February 1899 at St Kilda.    

Another of the old landmarks of the colony has been washed away by the stream of time, and Henry Horwitz has gone to join the long list of those who in a humble way helped to build up the destinies of the land in which he made his home

And so began the obituary of Henry Horwitz who was born in Prussia around 1819.  He came from a long line of musicians and lawyers and was himself a fine violinist.  He also had a want to travel and around the age of eighteen, Henry left for England.  From there he then went to Central America “where he was amongst the pioneers who crossed the Isthmus (of Panama), taking the route up Lake Nicaragua”. He then went north to California before travelling to Tasmania where he set up a business in Hobart.  He was there from at least 1843 and went into business with Abraham Woolf.

Advertising (1847, June 18). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8760796

Henry was not yet tired of travelling and went off to England on a stock buying trip.

Advertising (1848, June 20). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 1. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8762991

On 11 March 1849, Henry and Abraham’s shop burnt down. Henry was still in England at the time, but Abraham was sleeping on the premises.  Henry and Abraham built another shop and were open for trading again by August 1849.  In August 1850, Henry and Abraham dissolved their partnership and Henry went into business in Hobart with Abraham Marks, an old school friend of Henry’s.

While in London in 1850, Henry married Sarah Pyke, a daughter of Louis Pyke and Charlotte Wolfe.  By the end of 1851, Henry had returned to Hobart. Henry and Abraham opened a store in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne around 1855 and were acting as gold brokers.  In March 1856, Henry and Abraham faced charges of gold smuggling and were fined £100. In the same year, Henry and Sarah’s first child was born in Melbourne. They went on to have a further three children.  During his time in Melbourne, Henry was one of the first presidents of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation and was involved with the Melbourne Jewish Benevolent Society from the early 1860s.  In 1865, Horwitz and Marks were in financial trouble.

MELBOURNE. (1865, May 23). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929), p. 3. Retrieved February 27, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150405376

In 1864, Jacob Tallerman an importer of Lonsdale Street, Melbourne built a shop on the corner of Gray and Thompson Streets, Hamilton and opened for business.  At some point, Henry Horwitz went into business with Jacob and in August 1866 it was announced Jacob was leaving the partnership but Henry would keep the Hamilton store.  Henry did not move to Hamilton at that time and Abraham Marks instead went to Hamilton to manage the store.   

Advertising (1866, September 5). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 1. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194466922

The Horwitz family took up residence in Hamilton around 1869.  It was also around that time Henry went into business with Sigismund Jacoby who in 1869 married Henry’s daughter Hannah. Henry was soon involved in community matters.  In 1870, he was one of the founders of Hamilton and Western District College.  He was at the first meeting of shareholders in September 1870 at the Victoria Hotel.

HAMILTON AND WESTERN DISTRICT COLLEGE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/241676

During October 1883, Henry retired and sold his Hamilton business to Mr Hillman. The Hamilton Spectator wrote, “The jovial face and cheery conversation of Mr Horwitz will be much missed from the corner”. On 18 January 1884, Henry and Sarah left Hamilton by the midday train to take up residence again in Melbourne. On 27 June 1888, Sarah died at St Kilda.  Henry died at Shandon, Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda the home of his daughter Hannah Jacoby.  As seen, Henry enjoyed travel and his obituary stated he had sailed around the world three times via Cape Horn.

McCORMACK Thomas Francis – Died 1 February 1914 at Sandford.  Thomas McCormack was born around 1861, a son of James McCormack and Elizabeth O’Meara. He lived at Sandford most of his life.  On 11 April 1888, he took up the licensee of the Commercial Hotel in Sandford.  In addition, he was on various committees throughout the district including the Sandford Mechanics Institute and the State School committee.  He was a trustee of the Sandford Race Course and Recreation Reserve and vice president and treasurer of the Sandford Boxing Day Sports and was involved with Sandford football, cricket and rifle clubs. 

Thomas married Anne Mitchell in 1888 and their first child Richard Thomas McCormack was born the following year.  The couple went on to have a further four sons and one daughter. Thomas was just fifty-three at the time of his death in 1914.  Anne McCormack continued to run the Commercial Hotel until 1921.  She died at Casterton on 1 October 1933.

MacCALLUM, Mary Isabella – Died February 1915 at Dandenong. Mary MacCallum was born in Scotland about 1835.  During the late 1850s, she married Archibald Campbell who had returned to Scotland after ten years in Australia including time at the Victorian goldfields.  They travelled to Victoria and were at Ellangowan in December 1860 when Mary gave birth to her first child Archibald.

Family Notices (1860, December 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved February 23, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5694984

Not long after Archibald’s birth, the Campbells left for New Zealand and Archibald ran a shop in Dunedin.  Further children were born at Dunedin.

Family Notices (1864, September 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved February 23, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5734148

The Campbells were back in Victoria around 1872 and Archibald was granted the licence of the Green Hills Hotel at Green Hills (Condah).  A son Allan was born at Condah in 1873.  In December 1877, Alexander was granted a licence for the Argyle Arms Hotel in Gray Street, Hamilton which he operated until 1881 when he opened a wines and spirits business in Gray Street. 

In 1891, Archibald died and Mary remained at her home Pennycross in South Hamilton for a time, before moving to Pennycross Dandenong with her daughter. It was there Mary spent the last eight years of her life. In 1913, her brother Allan MacCallum who had previously lived in the Hamilton district went to live at Dandenong with Mary. Allan died in November 1914. Only the month before Mary’s son Archie died in Queensland on 18 October 1914.  Mary’s body was returned to Hamilton and she was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

McNEIL, Duncan – Died February 1916 at Hamilton.  Duncan McNeil was born in Inverness, Scotland around 1842.  He arrived at Portland with his parents Donald and Catherine McNeil and siblings in 1852 aboard John Davis. The family went to the Bochara area near Hamilton. Donald McNeil died in 1856 when Duncan was fourteen. Duncan farmed on the Grange Burn at North Hamilton for most of his adult life.  In 1885 he married Mary Ellen Pevitt at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Hamilton.  At the time of his death, Duncan left his widow Mary, five daughters and one son.  

QUIGLEY, Joseph Thomas – Died 2 February 1927 at Hamilton.  Joseph Quigley was born in Melbourne around 1846, a son of John Quigley and Winifred Tracey.  Around 1853, the Quigleys moved to Hamilton and Joseph’s father purchased the first township block offered for sale.  Joseph went to school at St Patrick’s College in Melbourne.  After completing school, Joseph spent time at Redruth (Wannon) where his parents were then residing at the Falls View estate.  Joseph was a good athlete, participating in sports days around the district.  He was also interested in racing and was the secretary and treasurer of the Redruth Racing Club. It was said he also rode in steeplechase races with Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Advertising (1865, April 12). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 4. Retrieved February 27, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194468224

In 1872, Joseph married Mary Costigan and around 1874, he took up  Maori Park near the Dundas Range north-west of Cavendish. Several children were born at the property. By the early 1890s, Joseph had left Maori Park and by 1902 was living at Burcott in Alexandra Parade, Hamilton.  Mary died there in October 1902.  Joseph continued on at Hamilton and worked as a commission agent.  In his last year, Joseph went to live with his daughter Mary and her husband John Dwyer in Lonsdale Street, Hamilton. In 1926, however, he did the rounds visiting family and friends throughout Victoria for one last time and he died in February 1927 at daughter Mary’s home in Hamilton.       

ADAMSON, Thomas Edmund – Died 25 February 1937 at Hamilton. Thomas Adamson was born in New York around 1852. He arrived at Port Phillip with his parents Thomas and Alice from the United States aboard the Flying Scud in 1854 when he was two.  The family made their way to Portland where Thomas’ father opened a store in the town. When he was older, Thomas farmed at Myamyn on his property called Leylands. He married Mary Malseed a daughter of John Malseed and Elizabeth Wallace in 1879 and they had two children.  Mary died on 9 September 1882 at Condah aged thirty-one. Thomas then married Fanny Ann Malseed in 1885, a daughter of James Malseed and Eliza Ann Malseed and they had eight children.  Fanny died on 13 February 1936 at Myamyn.  In 1938, Thomas fell sick and it was thought it best he go to the Hamilton Hospital where he eventually died on 25 February.  He was buried at the Condah Cemetery.   

RUSSELL, Janet – Died 15 February 1954 at Shelford.  

JANET RUSSELL c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/283407

Janet Russell was born in Melbourne in 1866, a daughter of George Russell and Euphemia Leslie (Carstairs).  Janet’s father owned the large pastoral property Golf Hill at Shelford.  She had six sisters and a brother, Phillip.  Her mother died on 3 March 1867 when Janet was eleven.  After her father’s death on 3 November 1888, Phillip inherited Golf Hill.  Phillip never married and on 12 January 1898, he died leaving Golf Hill to Janet.

“GOLF HILL”. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/320773

Aged thirty-four, Janet married John Biddlecombe on 7 July 1900 at Scots Church, Collins Street Melbourne. They had no children and John died in 1927. 

Janet was a renowned Hereford breeder and showed her cattle throughout Australia.  Herefords had arrived at Golf Hill in the 1870s but when John Biddlecombe went to Golf Hill, he brought in new stock. By the 1920s, the Herefords of Golf Hill were catching attention Australia wide.  After John’s death, Janet kept improving the herd and took the standard to new heights.

PASTORAL (1930, February 1). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 33 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). Retrieved February 26, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14142617

In 1930, Janet’s stud was considered one of the best in the Commonwealth. While she had a stud manager, Jack Tanner, Janet was the overseer of all activities at Golf Hill.  Her cattle were photographed many times over the years at the many shows Janet attended, but a photo of Janet was a little harder to come by.  This photo shows her presenting a ribbon to the Champion Shorthorn bull at the Royal Easter show in 1939.

 

JANET BIDDLECOMBE AT THE ROYAL EASTER SHOW (1939, April 8). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 12. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141815969

In 1953, Janet was eighty-seven and saw that it was time to wind up her stud. She couldn’t be as active in the operations of the stud as she would like.  It was announced in July 1953, she would sell her stock in October.  In September after the Royal Melbourne Show, an article in the Weekly Times of 23 September 1953 reflected on Janet’s efforts at Golf Hill and the reporter expressed sadness that Janet would no longer be at the Royal Shows around the country. 

On 29 October 1953, the dispersal sale was held with more than 1500 people in attendance  By then, Janet was bedridden but was able to listen to a broadcast of the auction.  It must have been a sad day for the woman they called “The Grand Old Lady of Golf Hill“.  The total price of 125,000 guineas for the 130 lots sold broke a record for the British Empire in what was considered a great tribute to Janet. Her Herefords by then were amongthe best in the world.  The money would have meant little to Janet. 

Less than three months have the dispersal sale, Janet died at Golf Hill.  At the time of her death, her generous philanthropy was acknowledged, something she had prefered to keep private.   

Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to the 67th edition of Passing of the Pioneers.  This month eight new pioneers from districts including Camperdown, Macarthur and Balmoral join the Pioneer Obituary Index .

MANIFOLD, John – Died 3 January 1877 at Purrumbete.

JOHN MANIFOLD. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/18071

John Manifold was born in Cheshire, England in 1811, the fifth son of William Manifold and Mary Barnes.  In 1831, the Manifolds left England for Tasmania to meet up with John’s brother Thomas who had gone ahead three years before.  They settled there but in 1836, Thomas Manifold was keen to see the colony of Victoria of which he was hearing stories.  He travelled to Point Henry near Geelong and took up land on the Moorabool River.  He put his two younger brothers, John and Peter in charge of the property and he returned to Tasmania. 

John and Peter wanted to investigate the land further west and in 1838 found themselves on the shores of Lake Purrumbete and decided that was the place for them.  Thomas joined them but later went to the Grassmere run further west.  John and Peter built up their property Purrumbete and eventually switched from sheep breeding to cattle.

PURRUMBETE c1913 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/75019

On 4 September 1856, John married Marion Thomson at West Tamar, Tasmania.  They went on to have four sons and five daughters including past Passing Pioneers, Edward, James Chester and William.  John wasn’t interested in public life but he and Peter were generous contributors to the community. One example of their generosity is St Peters Church, Camperdown (below) to which they contributed greatly.

ST PETER’S CHURCH, CAMPERDOWN. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63204

You can read more about John Manifold and his brothers on the link to the Australian Dictionary of Biography http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/manifold-john-2839

ARMSTRONG, Alexander – Died 12 January 1890 at Shelford.  Alexander Armstrong was born at Kildonan, Scotland around 1824.  He married Barbara Thomson in 1851 and soon after they set sail for Australia on board Europa with Alexander’s sister Christian and her new husband James Thomson, arriving in 1852.  The following year Barbara died. Alexander first managed Warrambine (also known as Warrambeen) for Major John Bell until Bell’s death in 1876.  He was left £2000 from Bell’s estate.  He then took up a lease on the property and remained there until his death.

WARRAMBINE HOMESTEAD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233634

In 1859, Alexander married widow Betsy Thomson (nee Sutherland) and they went on to have a large family.  Alexander’s sister Christian Thomson and her husband James took up residence at Monivae south of Hamilton in 1870. In 1888, Alexander purchased properties close by, Upper Audley and Arrandoovong near Branxholme.  He also had interests in an estate in the Riverina district of NSW.

At the time of his death, Alexander was the oldest councillor on the Leigh Shire Council, representing the East Riding.  He was known as generous and charitable and a leading member of the Leigh Presbyterian Church at Shelford.  At the time of his death, Alexander left his widow Betsy, five sons and four daughters.  He was buried at the Golf Hill Cemetery, Shelford.

Alexander’s estate was worth more than £200,000.  The estate of Alexander Armstrong retained Upper Audley until 1906 and Arrandoovong remained within the Armstrong family until 1923.  Betsy stayed on at Warrambine until the lease expired on 20 December 1892.  She moved to Brighton and died in 1923.

ROBERTSON, George – Died 15 January 1890 at Warrock.  

GEORGE ROBERTSON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/18268

When George Roberston died, an obituary was published in the Hamilton Spectator of 18 January 1890.  Included was George’s recent history from an unknown source and his early history taken from a Casterton Times obituary. On 22 January 1890, the Portland Guardian published an obituary with “particulars supplied” by an unknown source.  Information in the obituaries was quite different. The Hamilton Spectator obituary:

DEATH OF MR. GEORGE ROBERTSON. (1890, January 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved January 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225765999

The Portland Guardian obituary:

The Portland Guardian, (1890, January 22). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 (EVENING). Retrieved January 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63626300

The Hamilton Spectator/Casterton News stated George arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1843 aboard Lord Goodridge, staying there three or four years before travelling to Victoria with his brother J. Robertson “who took up Wando Vale estate”. Meanwhile, the Portland Guardian stated George had sailed on Lord Gaderage arriving in Van Diemen’s Land in January 1840 where he stayed a month before sailing to Victoria on Eagle captained by Captain Fawthrop of Portland.  A fellow passenger was William Corney and they landed at Portland Bay on 7 March 1840.  It continues…”He then joined his cousin J.G. Robertson who took up Wando Vale estate.  He remained with his brother for three years…”.

Checking the shipping news in newspapers of the time, I found George’s ship from England was not Lord Goodridge or Lord Gaderage, but rather Lord Goderich, also used to transport convicts.  The Lord Goderich arrived at Launceston on 7 February 1840.  George would have been around thirty-two at the time. On board was a Mr Robertson and two Misses Robertson. Unfortunately, there were no initials to help confirm if it was George.  While George might not have been related to the two Misses Robertson, he did have at least two sisters who came to Australia, Isabella and Ann. However, Isabella didn’t arrive in Australia until 1849 when she arrived with her husband Hugh Patterson and their family aboard  Duchess of Northumberland. George’s cousin John George Robertson (Wando Vale estate) who had already arrived in Van Diemen’s Land by 1840 also had at least two sisters who came to Australia.  Maybe they were the two Misses Robertson.

Shipping Intelligence. (1840, February 14). The Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette (Tas. : 1839 – 1840), p. 4. Retrieved January 23, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8748202

The Portland Guardian obituary stated George only stayed in Tasmania about a month before going to Victoria on Eagle.  Sure enough, Eagle did sail to Victoria in the suggested timeframe, leaving Launceston on 28 February 1840.  On board were sheep, bullocks and horses for cousin John Robertson.  Also, the Guardian mentioned William Corney was a passenger on Eagle with George.  William Corney later married George’s cousin and sister of John Robertson, Stephen Rowan Robertson.  The shipping report from Launceston’s The Cornwall Chronicle in February 1840 shows there was a Mr Robertson on board Eagle and he was travelling with Mr Corney.

SHIP NEWS. (1840, February 29). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), p. 3. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66015719

But was it John Robertson not George Robertson on Eagle?  There’s a good chance it was John.  Not only was there stock belonging to John on the ship but it’s likely at least two if not all the shepherds on Eagle were off to Portland Bay to work for John.  Only a month before the Eagle departed John Robertson, then living at Lake River in Van Diemen’s Land, advertised for shepherds and a splitter to go to Portland Bay.

Advertising (1840, January 2). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 1. Retrieved January 24, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84751944

In addition, 1840 is the year generally given as the year John Robertson took up the Wando Vale run.  Checking shipping arrivals and departures via the Names Index on the Libraries Tasmania site, I found John Robertson made more trips from Tasmania to Portland Bay on Eagle in February and March but unfortunately no mention of George.  The newspapers show several voyages to Portland in the first months of 1840 with John’s stock on board. 

In contrast to the Portland Guardian, the Casterton News/Hamilton Spectator obituary stated George travelled to Victoria in 1843 with his brother J.Robertson. The Portland Guardian had a bet each way as to whether George had a brother J.Robertson stating after George arrived in 1840, he went to stay with his cousin J.G.Robertson, staying three years with his brother.  The Casterton News/Hamilton Spectator continued, suggesting after his 1843 arrival he then went to Nangeela, west of Wando Vale estate. Although not mentioned in the obituary, Nangeela was held by Robert Savage in 1843 with Captain Robert Dana.  But the Casterton News/Spectator went on to say George purchased Warrock from Robert Savage in 1845 or 1846.  However, William Wilmore owned Warrock at the time of George’s purchase, supported by the Portland Guardian obituary which said George purchased Warrock in 1844, the generally accepted year.

After all that we are really none the wiser as to when George arrived in Victoria, although the Portland Guardian was probably closer to the mark.  Either way, George was at Warrock on the Glenelg River from around the mid-1840s. 

Moving on to the 1850s, The Argus reported in February 1851, George had lost his home and between 1000 and 2000 sheep in a fire. The following year, he married his cousin Mary Ann Robertson, a sister of John Robertson of Wando Vale. They never had children but instead devoted their lives to Warrock and charitable work.  Over time, George built a large pastoral complex at Warrock. Not just the usual homestead, woolshed and staff quarters but more than fifty mostly timber buildings including a church.  Mary Ann established a beautiful home, known for its tasteful decor.

WARROCK HOMESTEAD c1865. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769377

WARROCK HOMESTEAD c1865. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769376

WARROCK c1900 Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769391

WARROCK c1900 Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769389

George led a quiet life only stepping into public life to sit on the Glenelg Shire Council. As mentioned he was charitable and supported among other things, the Hamilton hospital, local public schools as well as the Casterton and Sandford Mechanics Institutes.  He was the founder of the Casterton Mechanics Institute (below) and was president at the time of his death.  He also donated to churches of all denominations.

CASTERTON MECHANICS INSTITUTE c1880. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/773754

Another passion for George was his dogs, importing Scotch Collies from the home of his birth.  The Kelpie breed descends from a pair of George’s imported collies.

Mary Ann died in 1886 and George died four years later leaving his large estate to his nephew George Robertson Patterson, a son of his sister Isabella. George was buried at the Old Casterton Cemetery.

You can see more of Warrock on the property’s website on the link www.warrockhomestead.com.au or Facebook page. www.facebook.com/warrockhomestead  Restoration is in progress with wonderful results so far.  George and Mary Ann would be pleased.

FAHEY, Patrick – Died January 1911 at Macarthur.  Patrick Fahey was born in Ireland around 1883. He arrived at Port Fairy about 1854 and settled at nearby Coddrington.  When land became available further north in the 1860s he selected land near Macarthur.  He stayed on his land until the mid-1870s when he built the Farmers Inn within the Macarthur township. Patrick married Catherine O’Connor.  Catherine died in 1881 aged forty-four.  He remarried to Mary O’Donnell in 1890. 

Patrick operated the Farmers Inn for around nineteen years, making additions in 1883.  He sold to Miss Grogan in 1892. Patrick then retired and lived out his days at Macarthur.  At some stage, an accident resulted in the amputation of one of his legs. Patrick was known for his good humour and his charitable ways.  He left his widow, Mary and six sons. The Farmers Inn burnt down on 18 June 1906.

MOLLOY, James – Died January 1913 at Balmoral.  James Molloy was born in Dublin, Ireland around 1853. He arrived at Portland around the age of sixteen.  He went straight to Charles Armytage‘s Fulham estate near Balmoral where he had a job.  After much hard work, James rose through the ranks until he became the manager of the property.  He worked there for forty-four years until his death.

STAFF QUARTERS AT FULHAM ESTATE c1977. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/214317

A Hamilton Spectator article from 2 September 1897 describing the Fulham stud stated James was “as enthusiastic a sheep man as one would care to meet”. James was a member of the Balmoral Pastoral and Agriculture Society.  He never married and left two sisters still living in Ireland at the time of his death.  James was buried at the Harrow Cemetery.

SAVIN, William – Died 2 January 1924 at Portland.  William Savin was born at Launton, Oxfordshire around 1843.  In late 1852, William left England with his parents Samuel Savin and Hannah Wise and five siblings aboard Eliza and landed at Portland in 1853.  The family headed to the Upper Crawford estate near Branxholme where there was work available.  Samuel then purchased the first land available for sale at Muddy Creek, just south of Hamilton.  When William was older, he and his brothers selected land at Mount Eccles (Budj Bim) near Macarthur. In 1865, William married Elizabeth Addinsall and they went on to have three daughters. 

Around 1900, William and Elizabeth retired to Portland where William was a member of the bowls and golf clubs.  He also had an interest in political happenings and was a past member of the Hamilton Farmers Union in the 1880s.  Elizabeth died in 1912 at Portland. William remarried to Theresa Lear in 1913.  They were living in Cameron Street, Portland when William died. He left his widow Theresa and three daughters from his first marriage.

HOOD, Eliza Mary – Died 22 January 1926 at Malvern.  Eliza Hood was born in Belfast, Ireland around 1847.  With her parents, she arrived at Hobson’s Bay, Victoria in 1852 aboard Marco Polo.

MARCO POLO BY THOMAS ROBERTSON (1819-1873). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/132534

Eliza’s father John Hood was a doctor and he set up a practice in Camperdown.  When Eliza was older she opened the Camperdown Ladies’ College.  In 1878, she was given a farewell as she was off to New Zealand to take up employment at the Invercargill Ladies High School.

The Chronicle. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1878. (1878, December 24). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved January 14, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22473892

Eliza returned to Camperdown around 1881 and continued to educate the young ladies of Camperdown and district.

Advertising (1884, July 16). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved January 14, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23581723

In May 1886, the Camperdown Chronicle announced Eliza was leaving the district and selling her home in Brooke Street along with her furniture including a German-made piano, a harmonium and even the curtain rods.

Classified Advertising (1886, May 5). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved January 14, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22098133

In early August 1886, news came to Camperdown of Eliza’s marriage.  At the age of thirty-nine, Eliza married in Melbourne to widower sixty-eight-year-old Peter McArthur of Meningoort near Bookaar just north of Camperdown, on 31 July 1886.  Peter’s first wife Margaret had died in 1883.  Peter had nine children at the time ranging in age from their mid-twenties downwards.  Eliza and Peter had one son George born in 1887.  Peter died on 1 July 1897 aged seventy-nine.

MENINGOORT. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169949

Eliza died at Malvern and her body returned to Camperdown for burial.

CARMICHAEL, Thomas – Died 5 January 1930 at Casterton.  Thomas Carmichael was born around 1874 at Casterton, one of fifteen children of Thomas Carmichael and Margaret Fletcher of Argyle station, Lake Mundi. Thomas attended the Portland College and then went to work for the Colonial Bank at the Casterton branch (below).

COLONIAL BANK OF CASTERTON c1880 Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. B 21766/88 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21766/88

Banking wasn’t for Thomas and he resigned from the bank and returned to Argyle station.  On 15 March 1915, Thomas married St Kilda’s Violet Malcolmson at Middle Park and they took up residence in Henty Street, Casterton. Despite living in town, Thomas kept a keen interest in the family-run Argyle and listed his occupation as a grazier.  He was a leading bowler for the Casterton Cricket Club and a councillor with the Glenelg Shire Council for ten years from 1911. He was Shire President from 1919 to 1920. During his time on council, Thomas was the main protagonist for a proposed Casterton water supply scheme which was eventually introduced.  He was also a supporter of the local returned servicemen after WW1.  Thomas left his widow, Violet and four children.

Trove Tuesday – In Tandem

It’s been a while since I’ve brought you a Trove Tuesday post so it’s time for another.  If you’ve only recently come across Western District Families, you may not know about Trove Tuesday.  It was a blogging prompt started several years ago by an Australian geneablogger for fellow geneabloggers to share their discoveries found at Trove, the National Library of Australia’s wonderful site.  At one stage I had posted eighty-two consecutive Trove Tuesday posts.  Most of the posts are about quirky and amusing articles I’ve found while researching Trove’s digitized newspapers.  This week, it’s another of those quirky stories.

I have read many articles about horses coming to grips with the mechanised age, from shying at steam engines pulling threshing plants to cars sharing Western District roads.  Not all had a happy ending.  Bicycles were around from the 1860s in Australia, but it wasn’t until the arrival of the “safety” bike in the 1890s when cycling took off as an alternate form of transport. Even ladies fashion evolved as a result.

THE CYCLING VEALE GIRLS OF LAKE BOLAC. Image courtesy of the William E. Veale collection of Lake Bolac. State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/89464

Bikes also became popular among shearers moving between sheds in the Western District.

CYCLING SHEARERS AT CASTERTON c1900. Images courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767593

Although the bicycle was a quieter form of mechanisation, they were still mind-boggling for a horse, especially bicycles built for two as discovered near Macarthur in 1896:

Items of News. (1896, May 7). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225871697

A TANDEM BIKE AND STANDARD BIKE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/184376

You can read my earlier Trove Tuesday posts on the link – Trove Tuesday archives

Best of 2018

Another great year for Western District Families is drawing to a close.  Sixty-six new pioneers joined the Pioneer Obituary Index and we celebrated more Wonderful Western District WomenHamilton’s WW1 continued to grow with new biographies and addition of the Borough of Hamilton WW1 Honour Roll to the Hamilton WW1 Memorials.  You can now read the 411 names on the board and read selected stories of those represented.  The most popular post for the year was When the Earth Moved at Warrnambool about two earthquakes in the town in 1903, one of which is still Victoria’s most damaging quakes.

Over on Facebook, the Western District Families Facebook page now has over 6300 “likes”.  We have looked at various themes over the year including hotels, Back to School, Town & Country and more.  I really appreciate all the contributions by those following the page.  Their comments offering extra information about various towns and families are invaluable.  The video below is a look at the most popular photos I posted to the page over the year.

 

Thank you for visiting Western District Families during 2018. I look forward to sharing more family and local history from the Western District with you in 2019.