In Broad Daylight

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the youngest son of Joseph Harman and Sarah Mulberry of Byaduk and formally of Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. “Alfred Winslow Harman – Stepping out of the Shadows” was so named because research for the post uncovered things about Alfred I hadn’t known.

Finding a photo of Alfred was the next aim and I thought I had just one shot at it…a photo of the Rupanyup Rifle Team c1880-90.  Having seen their great Facebook page, I thought I would contact the Rupanyup Historical Society.  I soon heard back from Helen, the society’s Secretary. The society had a meeting the following evening and the President was an expert on the Sargood Shield.   That was great news as the Rupanyup Rifle Club had great success in the Sargood Shield, a highly prized annual competition between Melbourne and country Victorian teams. Alfred was captain of the team in 1886.

Helen came back to me after the meeting and finally I was able to see Alfred Harman, out of the shadows and in broad daylight.  Helen had emailed me a photo of the 1885 Rupanyup Rifle Club. Alfred is the middle row, first on the left in this photo of the 1885.  To give you some idea about where he was in his life,  he was thirty-three years old, married for seven years and father to a six-year-old son.  His brother-in-law Samuel Miller is in the back row, third from the left.  There are some impressive Hairy Mancestors among them.

Image courtesy of the Rupanyup Historical Society.

Image courtesy of the Rupanyup Historical Society.

Thank you so much to the Rupanyup Historical Society.  Please go and check out their wonderful Facebook page on the link – Rupanyup Historical Society Facebook Page.  It was there I found WW1 photos of Alfred Harman’s great-nephews Robert and George Cruikshank, my 2nd cousins, 3 x removed,  who grew up in Rupanyup.  I also found photos of members of the Loats and Starbuck families who had lived in the Muddy Creek area, near Hamilton, and with whom I have family links.


Passing of the Pioneers

Robert Laidlaw becomes the fifth member of the Laidlaw family included in the Pioneer Obituary Index.  Others this month include a man who left Portland at an early age but often returned for a visit and another who lived at beautiful Bridgewater all of his life.  And why not?

Lindsay CLARKE – Died 16 October 1891 at Portland.  Lindsay Clarke was born in Ireland in 1818 and at the age of sixteen began training as a surveyor.  He arrived in Sydney some time after 1845 and Portland in 1848.  Lindsay’s role in Portland was Assistant Government Surveyor.  By 1851, he had done much surveying around Portland and further north.

"PORTLAND BAY." The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) 15 Jan 1851: 26. .

“PORTLAND BAY.” The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880) 15 Jan 1851: 26. <;.

Lindsay was promoted to District Surveyor for Portland, Hamilton and Ararat and spent some time residing in Ararat.  In 1873, Lindsay moved to Hamilton after the closure of the Lands Office there, and he remained there for six years until his retirement in 1879.

Lindsay Clarke was on the committee of the Portland Benevolent Asylum and Hospital and was in the role of President for ten consecutive years.  He was also a member of the Portland Borough Council and declined the Mayoral role when it was offered to him.  Another roll, was Justice of the Peace acting as Bailiff for the Western area.  He would attend Portland Court (below) every court day to fulfill his role as bailiff.


PORTLAND COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

PORTLAND COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Lindsay was also Superintendent of the Sabbath School at the Church of England, a member of the Bowling Club; and Horticulture Society.

Mary MARSDEN – Died 9 October 1909 at Cobden.  Mary Marsden was born around 1833 and arrived in Victoria in 1854, living in Ballarat for around thirty years. Around 1887, she and her husband Roger Hirst settled in the Timboon district.  In her last years, Mary and Roger moved to Cobden where Mary died in 1909.

Robert LAIDLAW – Died 28 October 1914 at Beulah.  Born in Scotland in 1831, Robert Laidlaw arrived at Portland in 1851.  He spent time around the diggings before purchasing Lake Roy station near Naracoorte, South Australia.  He sold that property during the 1880s and retired to Geelong.  Two of Robert’s brothers, Thomas and Walter, have been Passing Pioneers in the past.

Richard BARNES – Died October 1915 at Hamilton.  Richard Barnes was born in South Australia around 1852.  He arrived in Penshurst as a child and remained there throughout his life.   Richard was well-known around Penshurst  through his community activities.  He was a founding member of the Penshurst P&A Society, a trustee of the racecourse and the recreation reserve. For six years he was  a Councillor with the Mt Rouse Shire (offices below)

PENSHURST SHIRE HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

PENSHURST SHIRE HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Richard was also known as the “father” of the Penshurst Boxing Day Racing Club and was President of the club for fifteen years.

James Frederick HILL – Died October 1935 at Essendon.  James Hill was born in Portland in 1852 where his father was Principal of one of Portland’s National Schools.  As a young man James left Portland and obtained a job with the Chief Secretary’s Department.  Despite leaving Portland, he was a regular back to the town of his birth and was well-known by all.

Henry William OSBORNE – Died 20 October 1936 at Malvern.  Henry Osborne was born in 1865 near Amhurst in Central Victoria.  After a couple of newspaper jobs, Henry moved to Warrnambool working as a junior reporter for the Warrnambool Standard in 1886.  He was appointed Shire of Warrnambool secretary in 1898 and held that role for six years before resigning to take up the roll of General Manager of the Western District Co-operative and Insurance Ltd.  The company grew under the Henry’s management and his job also took him overseas.  In 1920, the Federal Government sent him overseas to negotiate the sale of Australia’s surplus butter.  He was selected to advise the Australian delegation at the Ottawa conference in 1932 and was a member of the Australian Dairy Producers’ Board.   There is an entry for Henry Osborne in the Australian Dictionary of Biography

John James KENNEDY – Died 20 October 1939 at Bridgewater.  The Kennedy family were early settlers at Bridgewater and John Kennedy spent his childhood days roaming the hills surrounding Bridgewater Bay and running on the sandy beach.

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John was born at Bridgewater around 1861 to James Kennedy and Margaret Lennan, and he lived there, following farming pursuits, for his entire seventy-eight years.  In 1939, three family members died at the Kennedy homestead on Blowholes Road overlooking the bay.  Along with John on 20 October, his brother Daniel died on 8 April and an aunt, Frances Ann Kennedy on 21 November.  More information about the Kennedy family and their homestead, now in ruins, is available on the link – Kennedy Family Bridgewater




What’s News?

While organising Western District Families new pages, the blog posts have been neglected.  So I thought I would give you an update on what’s happening at WDF and let you know of some family and local history events coming up in the Western District.

Hamilton WW1 Memorials

The Hamilton’s WW1 pages have had a boost with the addition of the WW1 Memorials of Hamilton.  Currently only outdoor memorials are included but I would like to move on to the various honour rolls around the town.  On each page, you can now view photos of the memorials and the names of those remembered.  If a soldier’s name is underlined on the any of the memorial pages, you can click on the name to read that soldier’s profile. The memorials are:

Anzac Avenue

Anzac Memorial Planting

Australian Light Horse Memorial

Clarke Street Memorial Avenue

Hamilton Sailors and Soldiers Father’s Association Memorial

Hamilton War Memorial

There are now forty-eight Hamilton soldier profiles available.  The most recent additions are Military Medal recipient, Arthur Percy Bell Underwood, along with Edgar Richmond Stevenson who was killed in Belgium on 4 October 1917.  His brother Alexander John Stevenson died of wounds eleven days later and I’m working on his profile.

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Facebook Happenings 

Western District Families’ Facebook page has now passed 1500 ‘likes’ which is well beyond my expectations.  It’s been great to connect with people who may not have found the blog otherwise.  I have also enjoyed the personal accounts that come when I post photos of Western District historic buildings and homesteads.  The interest in history is also great to see.

That interest is evident with the Facebook group I set up, I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria.  It is going from strength to strength, now with close to 4,500 members.  We have thousands of photos of Hamilton’s past and great stories to go with them.  Even if you haven’t lived in Hamilton, but may have family links there, you are most welcome to join and ask questions.  There are many people willing to help answer questions about Hamilton’s past.


I updated all the links on the Western District Families Links page recently so, fingers crossed, they are all working now.  If you find a link anywhere across the blog that doesn’t work, please feel free to contact me.  There are so many over the 300+ posts, it gets hard to keep track of them.


It’s a privilege to have Western District Families now archived at Pandora, Australia’s web archive.  The National Library of Australia started Pandora and since its beginnings, the State libraries have joined in preserving websites with Australian content.  It was from the State Library of Victoria that I heard the news.  It’s reassuring to know that Western District Families will still be available for all to read into the future, even if WordPress disappears.

Mortlake Historical Society – Hatches Matches and Dispatches

Join the Mortlake Historical Society on Sunday 18 October for a tour of Mortlake’s bluestone churches, such as the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church (below).  More information is available on the Mortlake Historical Society’s Facebook Events page.  Give the society’s page a “like” while you are there and support one of the most active societies in Western Victoria.


mortlake presbyterian church

ST. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, MORTLAKE, 1968. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Horse Power

There are two memories I have when I pass the intersection of Hiller Lane and Ballarat Road in Hamilton.  The first is a fall from my bolting pony at the intersection in 1975, metres from the Hamilton Pastoral Museum fence on one corner of the intersection.  That’s were the other memory comes in.

The Hamilton Pastoral Museum was born in the same year as me, 1968, which is seems right because it’s where I first got the idea I liked history.  The museum is under 500 metres from where I grew up, so I used to walk or ride my bike up the road when the museum was open for a rally.

The little church below, was originally the St Luke’s Lutheran Church built in 1861.  One of the early pastors was Pastor C.G. Hiller, hence the name of the lane, and his manse still stands just across the road from the museum.  I remember when I first stepped inside the church, sometime around 1976, and was taken back to the district’s pioneer past with a collection of household objects and the like, all once common place but new to me. Outside the church, steam engines chugged and men in hats admired old tractors and farming equipment.  I loved it.


HAMILTON PASTORAL MUSEUM, 1974. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

HAMILTON PASTORAL MUSEUM, 1974. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

The Pastoral Museum collection has grown out around the church over the years and is a credit to the volunteers. In 2017, they will host the National Historical Machinery Association annual rally.

The museum holds three rallies each year with the next on Saturday and Sunday 17 and 18 October.  The theme of the weekend is Horse Power.  You can see heavy horses, a tractor pull, machinery demonstrations, a blacksmith and much more.  Further information is available on the Hamilton Pastoral Museum Facebook page.

While you’re there, less than 500 metres on from the museum is the Hamilton South Lutheran cemetery on the Chatsworth Road.  It’s also well worth a visit, especially to see the impressive Noske family vault.

Terang Historic Homes 

As part of History Week 2015, on 25 October from 1:00pm you can take part in an a self-guided walk/drive of Terang’s historic homes including Keayang, below.  More details from the Terang & District Historical Society website.  They also have a Facebook page, so drop by and give it a “like” – Terang & District Historical Society Facebook page.

"KEAYANG", TERANG.  Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

“KEAYANG”, TERANG. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Mt Rouse Historical Society, Penshurst – Open day 

The Mt. Rouse Historical Society at Penshurst is another active Western District society.  On Saturday 24 October, the society is holding their spring Open Day.  There will be memorabilia from the Penshurst Butter Factory, historic maps, photos and histories.  Also, you can take part in a guided tour of the historic town and have chance to win a society membership. For more information, go to the Mt Rouse Historical Society, Penshurst Facebook page.  Give them a “like” too.

While in Penshurst take a trip to the top of Mt. Rouse and wonder at the beautiful landscape.  In one direction you will see the Grampians, in another Mt. Napier one of the district volcanoes.  And if you want to know more about the volcanoes, Penshurst is also home to the Volcano Discovery Centre, another great place to visit.



Unlock the Past Horsham Seminar

Exciting news for family history researchers of Western Victoria, especially those researching their German heritage.  Unlock the Past are holding a seminar in Horsham on 31 October with a focus on German, English and Australian research.

I’m sure there are many of you with Western District family links who also have some German heritage.  Many German immigrants travelled from South Australia to Western Victoria settling at places such as Tabor and Hochkirch (Tarrington).  Living in Hamilton, German surnames are common place and its sad to consider what the grand-parents and great-parents of Hamilton’s German descendants endured during of WW1.  The WW1 profile of Bernard Herrmann gives evidence of that.  His mother Caroline, born in Australia of German parents, sent three sons to fight for the British Empire, with one, Bernard never to return.  Yet at home in Hochkirch and surrounding settlements,  Caroline and others of German descent were suffering shocking persecution, including a change in the name of Hochkirch to Tarrington in 1918.

ST. MICHAEL'S LUTHERAN CHURCH, TARRINGTON. Image Courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

ST. MICHAEL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, TARRINGTON. Image Courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

The Unlock the Past seminar in Horsham is a great chance to hear two experts, Eric and Rosemary Kopittke, speak on the subject of German research. And what a bargain. A $20 fee includes a two-course lunch, morning and afternoon tea.  I’ve been to an Unlock the Past event and had a great time.  They are professionally organised and lots of fun, you might even win a prize. For more information and the full seminar program, go to the Unlock The Past website.


Passing of the Pioneers

A small group of Western District pioneers join Passing of the Pioneers this month.  Among them are immigrants from Scotland, England and Canada and, as usual, each have an interesting story. Their names have now been added to the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Peter DALLIMORE – Died September 1901 at Warrnambool.  Peter Dallimore was born in New Brunswick, Canada around 1842.  His father Captain Joseph Dallimore was born at the Isle of Wight in 1805.  He went to North America and married Mary Smith of Philadelphia.  The settled at St. Andrews in Charlotte county, New Brunswick, Canada where Peter was born in 1842.  In 1850, Mary Smith died.  Peter arrived in Australia and  went to the Warrnambool district in the late 1860s.  He married Marianne Meek on 15 March 1870 at St. James Cathedral in Melbourne.

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 19 Mar 1870: .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 19 Mar 1870: <;.

Peter set up a wool-scouring business on the banks of Lake Gillear near Allansford.


 "[No heading]." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918) 21 Dec 1870: 1. .

“[No heading].” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1873; 1914 – 1918) 21 Dec 1870: 1. <;.

In 1876, father  Joseph Dallimore arrived to Victoria aboard the Macduff.  He died at Warrnambool in 1878 and was buried at the Warrnambool Cemetery.

In the 1884, when journalist The Vagabond was touring Victoria, he called in on Peter Dallimore.  I  feel that he  may have crossed his wires, thinking Peter was a “native of the Old Dominian”…Virginia.  Peter was from Charlotte County in New Brunswick in Canada.  There is also a Charlotte County and a Brunswick in Virginia and no doubt Peter had a North American accent further confusing The Vagabond.

"PICTURESQUE VICTORIA." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 10 Jan 1885: 43. .

“PICTURESQUE VICTORIA.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 10 Jan 1885: 43. <;.

Peter Dallimore was buried in the Warrnambool Cemetery with his father and wife.  I have the Cemeteries of the S.W. USB that includes the Warrnambool Cemetery and a photo of the Dallimore headstone.  It is very informative and includes a memorial to Peter’s mother and all dates and places of birth.

George MARRINER – Died 7 September 1911 at Colac.  George Marriner was born in Fulham, London around 1833 and arrived in Australia around 1857. George was a nurseryman and established the Fulham Nursery in Colac.  He was also a founding member of the Colac I.O.O.F. In 1908, George’s wife Elizabeth was sitting by the fire in their home when her clothing caught alight.  George, in his mid-seventies, returned to the room and tried to douse the flames but to no avail.  Elizabeth died from her burns.  At the time of George’s death he had three sons and a daughter.

Thomas STAINSBY – Died 26 September 1914 at Warrnambool.  Thomas Stainsby was born in Melbourne in 1848.  He went to Warrnambool and worked as a bootmaker and lived on Raglan Parade.  Thomas took a keen interest in all sports in Warrnambool but cycling and pedestrianism where his preferred sports and was a handicapper for both.  He was also a sergeant in the Volunteer Militia and was involved with the Church of England men’s society.  Thomas had a shop in Fairy Street, Warrnambool and rode his bike each day from his home in Raglan Parade.  On the morning of his death, he rode to work as usual but on his return home around lunchtime, he collapsed off the bike and died soon after.  As two of Thomas’ sons were members of the Warrnambool Brass Band, the band did not play at the Saturday afternoon football or the evening pictures on the day of Thomas’ death.

Ellen MAY – Died 27 September 1914 at Ecklin South.  Ellen May was born in Berkshire in 1834.   She arrived in Australia in 1857 aboard the Sir William Fyre and in 1860 she married George Rodgers at Ballarat.  Their first child was born at Smythesdale in 1861.  During the early years of their marriage, George tried gold mining around the Haddon area and operated a grocers at Speciman Hill.  Eventually, they selected land in the Heytesbury forest, near Cobden and named their property Sunny Banks.  Ellen and George had seven children and one of those, Ellen Matilda Rodgers married my 1st cousin 4 x removed, Arthur John Harman, in 1891.  Arthur was a son of Jonathan Harman.

John Hutchinson MURRAY – Died 23 September 1935 at Glenthompson.  John Murray was born at Brighton in 1873 to William Murray and Harriett Hutchinson.  William Murray was the owner of Brie Brie near Glenthompson and had resided there since 1869, breeding fine Merino sheep.  When John was twenty-two, he built a golf course at Brie Brie, after playing the game in Scotland. It was one of the first private golf courses in Victoria.

John Murray was also a keen student of Australian History and had many books on the subject.  He was also interested in the history of Brie Brie with Sir Thomas Mitchell having passed over the same land while exploring Western Victoria in 1836.  In 1909, when that part of Brie Brie was sold off, John removed a tree that one of  Mitchell’s party had marked.  He was concerned bushfires would eventually destroy the tree and history would be lost.  He donated the trunk to the town of Hamilton as a public memorial.  The trunk was positioned in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens with a pair of whale bones.  The display was removed in 1984.  John was buried on the private cemetery at Brie Brie along with his parents and other owners of the property.  More about the Major Mitchell tree trunk is on the following links:

James Patrick DEVLIN – Died 4 September 1942 at Portland.  James Devlin was born at Cape Bridgewater in 1858.  He first worked for John Thomas Edgar at Kadnook near Harrow, then moved to Edgar’s station Thackaringa near Broken Hill.  At Broken Hill, James caught the mining bug and prospected first at Broken Hill and then Kalgoorlie where he spent thirty years.  He was manager of several different mining ventures while in Kalgoorlie.  James was also associated with Sir Sidney Kidman, possibly during their time in Broken Hill, and was good friends with Thomas Browne aka Rolf Boldrewood, author of “Robbery Under Arms”.  In 1891, James married a Portland girl Kate Duffy and they had two children.  In 1908, James returned to Portland residing in a property at North Portland until his death.

Jane KIRKWOOD – Died 2 September 1944 at Hamilton.  Jane Kirkwood was born at Hamilton in 1856, the daughter of  Scottish immigrants, William Kirkwood and Jane O’May.  The Kirkwoods lived at Buckley Swamp.  In 1885, Jane married William Chadderton and they settled at Glencoe near Bochara.  William was a renown breeder of Jersey cattle.  After William’s death in 1916, Jane moved into Hamilton to live until her death in 1944.  She was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.





Jessie Cairns SPALDING – Died 25 September 1944 at Cobden.  Jessie Spalding was born in Scotland in 1861.  As a baby, she travelled with her parents to Australia, arriving at Geelong.  They then went on to the Ballarat diggings.  From her time at Ballarat, Jessie recalled the visit from the Duke of Edinburgh in 1867 as depicted in the engraving below.

Samuel Calvert, engraver. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

Samuel Calvert, engraver. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

When Jessie was eighteen, she moved to Camperdown where she met Thomas Fletcher.  They married and raised a family of ten children.  One son was killed fighting during WW1.  At the time of her death, Jessie had thirty-five grandchildren and forty great-grandchildren.

Trove Tuesday – Thomas Hannay’s Photographs

One of my favourite Facebook pages “Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection” alerted me to some new treasures at one of my favourite websites, Trove. Those treasures were the Portland photos of Thomas Hannay, taken around 1859 and held by another favourite, the State Library of Victoria.

From the collection, a photo of Claremont, built by Stephen Henty in 1852 and rented to his brother Francis Henty, caught my eye. The house was the subject of a Western District Families post two years ago. Thomas Hannay’s photo is terrific and if the date on the photos of c1859 is correct, Claremont was in its infancy. At the time of the photo, Francis Henty used the house as a summer home when not at his property Merino Downs.


CLAREMONT c1859. Photographer Thomas Hanney. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/5

CLAREMONT c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/5


As I scrolled through the photos, some familiar names appeared.  They were the names of some of the Portland pioneers who have appeared in Passing of the Pioneers posts or other Portland related posts here at Western District Families.

There was Thomas Must’s home Prospect (below). Thomas was a Passing Pioneer in September 2013. The photo I found of Prospect for that post was from the 1960s, but Thomas Hannay’s photo shows Prospect, built in 1855, as a reasonably new home and with the Must family posing in the front yard.


"PROSPECT"c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/26

“PROSPECT”c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/26


There was also a photo of Captain James Fawthrop’s home. James Fawthrop’s grave was part of the Old Portland Cemetery Part 2 post. He was famous as captain of the Portland lifeboat that went to the aid of the steamer the Admella in 1859. The good Captain, his wife Jane Rosevear, and child posed for Thomas Hannay on his trip to Portland.



FAWTHROP RESIDENCE, PORTLAND. c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/16.


George Crouch’s name was familiar to me, as his wife, Marianne Trangmar was one of the pioneer women of Portland featured in the book Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance I wrote about in January 2013.  Their family home is below.


CROUCH RESIDENCE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hanney. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/14

CROUCH RESIDENCE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/14


Thomas Hannay, not only photographed George Crouch’s home, he also photographed his business Trangmar & Crouch that he started with James Trangmar.  The business was established after James Trangmar, a December 2012 Passing Pioneer, arrived in Portland in 1844. James Trangmar  removed himself from the business in 1856 but the name continued on. The business moved to new premises in 1857 and it is presumably that building that was photographed by Thomas Hannay.



TRANGMAR & CROUCH c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H2013.345/20.


Stephen Rowan Robertson, a Passing Pioneer from August 2013, married William Corney in 1846 and the house below is their family home in Portland.


Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/9

CORNEY FAMILY RESIDENCE, PORTLAND, c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/9


Robertson’s Iron Store (below) was owned by the Robertson brothers, James, John, and William.  James and William are among Western District Families’ Passing Pioneers .


ROBERTSON'S IRON STORE, PORTLAND c1859. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/2

ROBERTSON’S IRON STORE, PORTLAND c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2013.345/2


But Thomas Hannay’s photos are not limited to Portland. I also found Larra near Camperdown, the home of March 2012 Passing Pioneer, John  Lang Currie.  John Currie purchased Larra Estate in 1844.


"LARRA" c1859. Photographer John Lang Currie. Image no. H2013.345/42

“LARRA” c1859. Photographer Thomas Hannay. Image no. H2013.345/42


There are over eighty photographs by Thomas Hannay, from towns including Digby, Sandford, Hotspur, and Woolsthorpe and you can find them on the following link – Thomas Hannay’s Photographs

Back at Trove, I searched for Thomas Hannay and found he was from Maldon, but was Thomas Hannay Sr the photographer or Thomas Hannay Jr? The following articles are their obituaries, with father Hannay, passing away in 1883 and his son in 1897.


"MALDON." Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918) 7 Dec 1883: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2015 .

“MALDON.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 7 Dec 1883: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2015 <;.



"LOCAL NEWS." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 24 Sep 1897: 6. Web. 8 Sep 2015 .

“LOCAL NEWS.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 24 Sep 1897: 6. Web. 8 Sep 2015 <;.


Passing of the Pioneers

August Passing of the Pioneers includes a member of the Victorian Parliament, a publican, and a school principal.  All of this month’s pioneers are now on the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Robert HEANEY – Died 20 August, 1890 at Melbourne. Robert Heaney was born in Ireland around 1836.  He married Jane Armstrong and soon after they departed for Australia. The Heaneys arrived on the General Hewitt at Portland Harbour on 9 October 1856.  They spent the first ten years in Victoria at Heywood before moving to Condah Swap, later known as Wallacedale.

Mary Ann COUGHLAN – Died August 1917 at Caramut. Margaret Coughlan was born around 1833 and arrived at Portland on 21 January 1848 aboard the Sir Edward Parry with her siblings to meet up with their parents Jonathan Gordon Coughlan and Jane Richmond who settled in that town.  After some years, during a trip to Caramut, she met John Bendall and they married in 1864.  John was the manager of Hopkins Hill and The Gums, near Caramut for John Moffatt.  After the sale of The Gums, John Bendall operated a store and post office in Caramut until his death in 1887.  Mary Ann remained living at Caramut and was eighty-four at the time of her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

John THOMSON – Died 3 August 1917 at Melbourne.  John Thomson was born at Warrambine Station near Shelford in 1853.  His parents were James Thomson and Christian Armstrong.  In 1870,  James Thomson purchased Monivae near Hamilton from the deceased estate of former Police Magistrate Acheson Ffrench.  The family resided in the original homestead built for Acheson Ffrench but a new homestead was completed in 1877.

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

John attended Scotch College in Melbourne where he was one of the college’s finest athletes.  After he completed his schooling, John returned to Monivae. Soon after he entered public life, first as a Dundas Shire Councillor.  In 1892 he contested the seat of Dundas in the Victorian State Parliament.  He held the seat from 1892 to 1900 and from 1902 to 1914.  At the age of fifty-six, in 1909 John married Christina Robertson.

Aside from his political life, John was on the management committee of the St Andrews Presbyterian Church and member and onetime president of the Hamilton Racing Club.  He was also a supporter of many of Hamilton’s community and sporting groups, including the P&A Society, the Hamilton Pipe Band and the fire brigade.  John Thomson was attending a public school football match in Melbourne on 3 August 1917, when he died suddenly.  He was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

In 1919, a fountain was unveiled in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens by the then Victorian Premier, Harry Lawson in memory of John Thomson




William DERHAM – Died 16 August 1918 at Port Fairy.  William Derharm was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and arrived in Victoria around 1863.  He first worked at Korongah Station at Rosebrook for Messers Lydiard and Knight. He then turned to onion growing and resided at Korongah Lodge. William left four daughters and two sons.

Robert FRASER – Died 4 August 1918 at Strathkellar.  Robert Fraser was born in Scotland in 1841 and arrived in Adelaide in 1854 on the Joseph Rowan with his parents Archibald and Helen Fraser and his four sisters.  They soon headed for Victoria and resided at Bochara.  In 1865, Robert married Jane Mason and they settled and farmed at Muddy Creek.  Robert died at the home of his daughter at Strathkellar and was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.  Jane died only a few weeks before.

Francis Hazel WRIGHT – Died 18 August 1918 at Hamilton. Francis Wright was born at Broadwater around 1865.  He took up the running of the Grange Hotel (later called George Hotel) in Hamilton around 1914. He was involved with many Hamilton sporting clubs and the gun club.  For thirty years he was part of the Victorian Land’s Department rabbit extirpation branch and served as an inspector for the last five years of his life.  Three weeks before his death, Frank broke his kneecap while climbing into his buggy.  He then contracted pneumonia and died.

Christina Ross LINTON – Died August 1926 at Hamilton.  Born at Inverness, Scotland in 1848, Christina came to Victoria with her parents William Linton and Jean Sinclair and her younger brother John around 1851 aboard the Statesman.  William gave his occupation as shepherd.  In 1868, Christina married Thomas Laidlaw at Wickliffe.  Christina and Thomas moved around between properties, Thomas had interests in and their first stop was Lake Roy in South Australia.  They also lived at Glenburnie, Macarthur, South Wonwondah Station and finally Glencairn just south of Hamilton.

Christina was buried in the Laidlaw family plot at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.




Rose Hannah HANN – Died 18 August 1935 at Portland.  Rose Hann was born in Somersetshire in 1850 to Paul Hann and Asenath Pitman.  The family arrived at Melbourne in 1852 aboard the Priam and stayed in the area for a time, before travelling to Portland to settle.  Around 1871, Rose married John Marshall.  Early in their marriage, they spent some time at the Bendigo diggings but most of their lives, Rose and John lived at Portland.  They raised a family of eleven  children.

Clara Jex EDRICH – Died August 1937 at Portland.  Clara Edrich was born at Portland in 1855 to Richard Jex Edrich and Eliza Martin and was baptised at St Stephens Church.  In 1877, Clara married John Guy at St Stephens Church, Portland by the Reverend Allnutt.

St Stephens Church, Portland


After a year of marriage they took up residence in Barclay Street, Portland, the birthplace of eight of Clara and John’s nine children and where Clara died in 1937.  John passed away four years before Clara.

Mary Arabella “Minnie” HISCOCK – Died 29 August 1941 at Hotspur.  Mary Hiscock, born in 1859 at Hotspur, was the daughter of James Hiscock and Mary Cobb and was known as Minnie. After her birth, the Hiscocks moved to Lower Crawford and Minnie remained there until she was fifty-eight in 1917 when she returned to Hotspur.   In her younger years, Minnie was known as a fine horsewoman and would ride around the countryside to attend balls and other social gatherings.  When she was seven, she rode with her father from Hotspur to Birregurra east of Colac, a distance of around 235 kilometers which took three days. Minnie never married.

Florence Helena LAIDLAW – Died 26 August 1944 at Malvern.  Florence Laidlaw was born at Port Fairy in  1858 to David Laidlaw and Eliza Fraser.  Although Florence was born at Port Fairy, where her grandparents William and Agnes Laidlaw lived, David and Eliza Laidlaw resided in Hamilton where David was a saddler.  David Laidlaw quickly rose to prominence in the Hamilton district and went on to serve five terms as Mayor of the town.  In 1873, David laid the foundation stone for the Alexandra Ladies’ College in Hamilton, of which he was one of the founders.

"TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 11 Nov .

“TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 11 Nov <;.

Florence Laidlaw attended Alexandra Ladies’ College and later became the headmistress.



On 29 December 1917, the Weekly Times reported on a trip Florence was making to Sydney to stay with her sister and mentioned she was the headmistress at Alexandra College.  However, she appears to have retired soon after.  On 25 July 1919, the Horsham Times reported that Florence was intending to visit Japan with Edith Lansell, daughter of George Lansell of Fortuna, Bendigo. After her return from overseas, Florence moved to South Yarra.

Trove Tuesday – A Venerable Couple

While researching Hamilton soldier Samuel Winifred Trigger recently, I stumbled across this wonderful photo at Trove of Samuel and Eliza Trigger, grandparents of Private Trigger, published in the Weekly Times on 14 April 1917.

"A VENERABLE COUPLE." Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015 .

“A VENERABLE COUPLE.” Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015 <;.

Further searching at Trove uncovered the obituaries of Eliza and Samuel, published in the Port Fairy Gazette on 18 March 1918 and 15 April 1918 respectively, and with the help of various records, I was able to find out a little more about Eliza and Samuel.

Eliza was the daughter of Charles Whittaker and Catherine Totterdale and was born in Naae, Ireland around 1823.  After the death of Charles Whittaker, a Battle of Waterloo veteran, Eliza’s family moved to Somersetshire, England.  That is where she met Samuel Trigger, formerly of Devonshire.  They married in 1847 at Bridgeport, Somersetshire and their first child Emily was born around 1848 in Somersetshire.  They then moved to Avening, Gloucestershire and another daughter, Christina was born in 1850.  Samuel was working as a miller and the family lived in Ball Street, Avening.  Another child, a son Henry, was born before they departed Plymouth in 1852 for Australia aboard the Eliza.  The family arrived at Portland on 9 April 1853.

Firstly, Samuel and Eliza settled at Mt Taurus north of Warrnambool, and Samuel worked as a sawyer.  They eventually moved to the Macarthur/Warabkook area where they remained for the duration of their lives.  Eliza passed away on 6 March 1918 and Samuel, only weeks later, on 1 April.  They were buried at Macarthur Cemetery.  The last piece of significant news they most likely received was that of the death of their grandson Samuel Winifred Trigger at Mouquet Farm on 16 August 1916.  The family received notification almost a year later, on 11 July 1917.

After I found the photo of Eliza and Samuel, I posted it to the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, knowing a lot of Trigger descendants are members of the group, many I know personally.  Therefore, after reading the obituaries of the couple, I was not surprised to learn that when they passed, Samuel and Eliza left four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren.


Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915

National Library of Australia – Trove Digitised Newspapers

Pubic Record Office of Victoria, Index to Assisted British Immigration 1839-1871