Passing of the Pioneers

This month seven pioneers join the Pioneers Obituary Index including a banker, a blacksmith, and a man who inadvertently shaped my family history.  As usual, I’ve included links to further information throughout the post so click on the underlined text to learn more.

CHIRNSIDE, Thomas – Died June 1887 at Werribee.  As much as I’d like to look at Thomas Chirnside’s life story in-depth, it would need more space than I can give in this post. There are so many interesting facets of his life such as the many properties he owned, his contribution to thoroughbred breeding and racing in colonial Victoria, and his association with the Victorian Acclimatization Society.  Instead, I’ll give you an overview of his life with links to further information and at the end.

THOMAS CHIRNSIDE (1874). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/153091

Thomas Chirnside was born in 1815 at Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland.  He left Scotland in 1838 and his first stop in Australia was at Adelaide in January 1839 before going on to Sydney.  His younger brother Andrew arrived in Melbourne later in 1839 so Thomas travelled to meet him. The brothers then went on to Sydney to buy stock to take overland to Adelaide to sell.  Thomas and Andrew then took up a run on the Loddon River in 1840, passed and named by Major Thomas Mitchell only four years before. From the Lodden, Thomas and Andrew followed the path of Mitchell again towards the Western District and in 1842 they found before them the highest peak in the Grampians named Mount William by Major Mitchell.

VIEW TOWARDS MOUNT WILLIAM

The land appealed to the brothers and they established a station named after the nearby peak.  It was not without its dangers.

“THE GAOL BREAKING CONVICTS.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1840 – 1845) 27 March 1843

The brothers ran Merino sheep and cattle at Mount William and a large woolshed (below) with twenty stands was built in 1865.

MOUNT WILLLIAM WOOLSHED BUILT c1865. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. B 71655/17 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+71655/17

Thomas and Andrew went on to buy Mokanger station on the Wannon River near Cavendish in 1843 and in the years after, acquired properties such as Mount Emu Creek and Carranballac near Skipton (below) and Kenilworth South and Victoria Lagoon near Cavendish.  By 1870 between them, they had acquired around 250,000 acres of land in Victoria.

CARRANBALLAC WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233898

The Chirnside name was soon connected with horse racing in the colony.  It’s amazing to think they were standing thoroughbred stallions at stud in 1845, but while it was the early days of racing in Victoria it was happening decades before in New South Wales and Tasmania.

“Advertising” The Melbourne Courier (Vic. : 1845 – 1846) 27 August 1845: 3. Web. 14 Jun 2018 .

The Chirnsides were soon racing their progeny and it was Mount William station bred Alice Hawthorn in the late 1850s who brought them their first notable success.  It appears Thomas was more interested in the breeding side of the business while Andrew was into racing, with many horses they bred raced in Andrew’s name including 1874  Melbourne Cup winner Haricot.

From 1849, Thomas began acquiring land at Wyndham, west of Melbourne and he soon built up an estate of 80,000 acres known as Werribee Park.  As a member of the Victorian Acclimatisation Society, Thomas began importing animals from the old country, red deer, foxes, hares, pheasants, and partridges. It wasn’t long before “fine old English gentleman” were hunting the new arrivals around the vast expanse of Werribee Park.

“MR. CHIRNSIDE AND THE CAMP AT WERRIBEE PARK. To the Editor of the Geelong Advertiser.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929) 16 March 1861: 3. Web. 17 Jun 2018 .

Although a homestead and outbuildings were built in the early days at Werribee Park, in 1873 work started on a beautiful mansion.

WERRIBEE MANSION c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/155659

Thomas lived at the mansion but in the years before his death, he moved to another of his properties, Point Cook where much of the Chirnsides’ thoroughbred breeding took place.

POINT COOK HOMESTEAD IN 1971. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169911

Thomas never married and as he reached old age in the 1880s, he signed all his property over to his brother and nephews except for Point Cook.  Thomas did return to live at Werribee Park and took his own life there in 1887.  He was buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

You can find more information about Thomas Chirnside on the following links

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Australasian

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Argus

Biography of Thomas Chirnside from the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Alice Hawthorn – The Western Mare

If it was not for Thomas Chirnside and his brother Andrew, my family history may have been very different.  From the 1850s, my ggg grandfathers Charles Hadden and James Mortimer were employed by the Chirnsides.  The Haddens came from Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland just thirty kilometres from Thomas Chirnside’s birthplace. Charles, his wife Agnes and three sons went straight from Melbourne to Mokanger after they arrived on the Marco Polo in September 1852.  They weren’t there long before they went east again to the Chirnside’s Carranballac Station where Margaret was born in 1853. Charles then thought he’d try his luck at the diggings but it wasn’t long before he was back working for the Chirnsides again but at Mount William Station where a daughter Ellen was born in 1861.  In 1863 they arrived back at Mokanger and son John was born there the following year.  After ten years, of moving they finally decided to settle there.

James Mortimer, his wife Rosanna and four children also arrived in Melbourne in September 1852 on the Bombay, and a daughter Mary was born the following year at Mount William Station. Around 1860, the Mortimers moved on to Mokanger.  James Mortimer was a ploughman and later an overseer and Charles Hadden a boundary rider at the Cavendish property.  The Hadden and Mortimer children grew up together and on 17 March 1870, William Hadden by then himself working at Mokanger, married Mary Mortimer at the property.  William was twenty-three and Mary just seventeen.  William continued working at Mokanger into his eighties and saw the property change hands from the Chirnsides.

McEWEN, Peter – Died 9 June 1902 at Hamilton.  Peter McEwen was born in Argyllshire, Scotland and arrived in Victoria in 1863.  He went first to Tullich station near Casterton owned by Miles Fletcher before becoming the manager of Argyle Station. In 1867, Peter took over the running of Dunrobin Station also near Casterton, holding the position of manager until his death.  In 1872, Peter married Jessie Fletcher and they had three sons and three daughters.

In 1901, the Casterton Caledonian Society was formed and Peter was the inaugural chief of the society.  A kind and charitable man, the respect for him was demonstrated when people from across the district attended his funeral to pay their respects.  More than seventy buggies along with horsemen followed the cortège which travelled from Dunrobin station to Casterton reaching a length of almost a kilometre as seen in the photo below.  You can read an article about the funeral on the link – Funeral of Peter McEwen.

THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF PETER McEWEN MOVING ALONG RACECOURSE ROAD, CASTERTON ON 11 JUNE 1902. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/774845

HELPMAN, Walter Stephen – Died 24 June 1914 at Warrnambool.  Walter Helpman was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, a son of Captain Benjamin Helpman and Ann Pace, a sister of Mrs Jane Henty. The Helpmans moved to Victoria and settled in Warrnambool.  Walter attended school in Portland before going to a grammar school in South Melbourne.  In 1869, he joined the National Bank at Warrnambool before moving to the Geelong branch as an accountant.  In 1875, he became manager of the Colonial Bank at Koroit and in 1876, started a branch at Port Fairy. In 1877, Walter became the manager of the Warrnambool branch of the Colonial Bank and he married Isabella Murray in the same year. The first of Isabella and Walter’s children was Francis born in Warrnambool in 1878. Then followed twins Isabella Jean and James in 1881 and Gordon born in 1884.

Walter left the Colonial Bank in 1902 and the Helpmans left Warrnambool. Walter had a job as a clerk with the Customs Department in Melbourne and he and Isabella moved to 547 Collins Street, Melbourne, the location of the Federal Hotel.

FEDERAL HOTEL, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/247026

In 1907, Isabella and Walter’s son James married May Gardiner at Millicent, South Australia.  A son Robert known as “Bobbie”, was born to James and May at Mt Gambier in 1909.  Walter and Isabella returned to Warrnambool around 1912, but two years later Walter died.  Isabella died at Warrnambool in 1924.  Their grandson “Bobbie” grew up to become Sir Robert Helpman.

ILLINGWORTH, John – Died 11 June 1915 at Casterton.  John was born in Lancashire, England in 1835 and went to London to take up an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and wheelwright.  On completion, he travelled to Dublin, Ireland and while there, he and friend decided to travel to Australia.  They arrived in 1860 and John spent time in Melbourne and Castlemaine before moving on to Ballarat where he remained for twenty years. There he married Sarah Jane Culliford in 1867.  In 1882, John and his family arrived in Casterton and settled on Toorak Hill.  John purchased the blacksmith and wheelwright business of Alexander McBean.

JOHN ILLINGWORTH’S CARRIAGE FACTORY AND BLACKSMITHS, CASTERTON c1906. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766354

“Advertising” Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954) 7 March 1903: 32. Web. 18 Jun 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169741611&gt;.

In the same year, John also purchased the Temperance Boarding House in Henty Street, Casterton. 

Away from work, John attended the Casterton Methodist Church and was a trustee and circuit steward as well as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent.  John was also a member of the Glenelg Lodge of Freemasons. At the time of his death, John left his widow Sarah and two sons and two daughters.

CASTERTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1880. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766563

HICKLING, Wyatt Ware – Died 19 June 1916 at Macarthur.  Wyatt Hickling was born in  Warrnambool around 1876.  As a child, he was sent to Dresden, Germany for two years to attend an English school.  On his return, Wyatt attended Geelong Grammar before going to St Peter’s College in Adelaide.  After his schooling, Wyatt went to work for Mr Henry De Little at Caramut North Estate before managing a property in Western Australia. On his return to Victoria, Wyatt became a partner of Caramut North.  He was known throughout Victoria as a good judge of merino sheep and was often called upon to judge at sheep shows.  He was involved with racing, coursing and the arts, taking the lead role in a number of local productions. In 1900, Wyatt married Tessa Ada Ferguson of Adelaide and they had two sons.

On Wednesday 31 May 1916, Wyatt was travelling in a motor car near Macarthur with Mr N. Whitehead when they crashed into a large rock.  Wyatt was thrown from the car and severely injured his spine at the base of his skull.  When help arrived he was unconscious and taken to the nearby Ripponhurst homestead.  Doctors were called from Hamilton and Warrnambool before two doctors from  Melbourne travelled to Macarthur to asses Wyatt’s injuries.  He showed a slight improvement but never regained consciousness and died nineteen days after the accident on 19 June.

DAVIDSON, William – Died June 1917 at Woolsthorpe.  William Davidson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1832.  He married Eliza Ogilvie in 1854 and they travelled to Australia, arriving at Port Fairy in 1855.  William went to work for Joseph Ware at Minjah before opening a store at Woolsthorpe. His store was located on what was known as the Great North Road from Warrnambool to the Ararat diggings.  It was a busy road and Woolsthorpe was a popular overnight stop for travellers. They often stocked up at William’s store and he was known to take up to £100 a day.  William left the store and took up dairy-farming continuing until he suffered a stroke around 1905.  William was well-known in the Woolsthorpe district by his nickname of “The Chaffer” because of his tendency to tease.  Eliza died around 1914 and William lived on for another three years. He left twelve surviving children, forty-three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

THOMSON, Annie – Died 14 June 1930 at Hamilton.  Annie Thomson was born in 1855 in the Shelford district were her parents James Thomson and Christian Armstrong were living at the time.  Around 1860, the Thomsons moved to the Edenhope district after James purchased an interest in the Ullswater and Maryvale Stations.  In 1870, James Thomson purchased the Monivae estate, just south of Hamilton.  In time, Annie’s father built a new homestead to accommodate his large family and she spent around seven years living there prior to her marriage.

MONIVAE HOMESTEAD OPEN DAY 2017.

When she did marry, Annie was thirty but it could have been earlier.  In 1881, her beau James Allan Learmonth, a son of Hamilton businessman and grazier Peter Learmonth and Mary Jarvey Pearson of Prestonholme left for Mexico to manage a property bought by his father.  Five years passed yet Allan and Annie’s love remained strong and in 1886, Allan returned from Mexico to marry her.  The wedding was a large social occasion and sparked much interest within the Hamilton community.  Celebrated on 1 September 1886, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hamilton, the marriage was not followed by the usual wedding breakfast.  Instead, two weeks later James Thomson hosted a private ball for two hundred guests in the Hamilton Town Hall for the newlyweds in lieu of a wedding breakfast.   

Soon after, Allan and Annie left for Mexico and they remained there until 1892, arriving back in Australia with four children, all born in Mexico.  Allan then took up the running of Corea near Dunkeld. The following year, Peter Learmonth died and Allan took over Prestonholme.  Allan died in 1928 and Annie in 1930, leaving three sons and three daughters.  She was buried with Allan at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

GRAVE OF ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

Annie’s parents James and Christina Thomson were to the Hamilton Presbyterian Church as James’ parents Peter and Mary Learmonth were to the Methodist Church, each devout supporters of their chosen faith. Of course, when Annie married James she moved to Methodism and she and James showed the same devotion to their faith as their parents before them.  After Annie’s death, a stained glass window was installed in Hamilton’s Methodist Church (now Uniting Church) to memorialise the couple.

MEMORIAL WINDOW FOR ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON UNITING CHURCH (FORMERLY HAMILTON METHODIST CHURCH)

Wonderful Western District Women Part 4

Wonderful Western District Women is a series looking at some of the great women I’ve come across while compiling Passing of the Pioneer posts.  All posted during Women’s History Month, each part examines the women’s lives a little more than in the Passing of the Pioneers entries.  This is the fourth part and you will find the links to the previous three at the bottom of this post.  The three women featured this time have contrasting lives and for two, there are the twists of fate bringing them to the Western District.  As usual, if you click on any underlined text, you will go to further information about a person or subject.

GRADY, Catherine (c1832-1916) Also known as Catherine Hamilton

Catherine Grady was born in County Wexford, Ireland around 1832.  The Ireland Catholic Parish Registers show the baptism record of a Catherine Grady from the St Mullins Catholic Parish, Wexford, Ireland during June 1832, a daughter of Michael and Catherine Grady.  When Catherine was thirteen, Ireland went into a period of famine, often called the Irish Potato Famine. Around one million people and another one million people left Ireland.  Catherine Grady found herself in the New Ross Workhouse.  The Earl Grey Scheme running between 1848 and 1850 saw 4000 Irish girls sent to Australia. They came from various workhouses across Ireland and New Ross Workhouse was part of the scheme. Seventeen-year-old Catherine was taken to Plymouth, England and with around 200 other girls she left for Melbourne on the New Liverpool.

“THE EXECUTION. OF RUSH.” Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal (Vic. : 1845 – 1850) 11 August 1849: 4. Web. 13 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223156756&gt;.

After more than three months Catherine arrived at Melbourne on 9 August 1849.

“Shipping Intelligence.” The Melbourne Daily News (Vic. : 1848 – 1851) 10 August 1849: 2. Web. 13 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226472872&gt;.

The Geelong Advertiser reported on 30 August 1849, “The girls appear to be clean and healthy, and female labour being scarce, their opportune arrival will prove a great acquisition to the district.” Advertisements ran in newspapers with potential employers invited to the Immigration Depot, a collection of tents off what is now King Street, Melbourne.

“Advertising” Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal (Vic. : 1845 – 1850) 28 August 1849: 3. Web. 13 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223155586&gt;.

Catherine could read and write and her calling was a nursemaid. However, a month later she was still waiting at the immigration depot.  In September 1849, it was reported, “Only 57 adult emigrants by the Courier, could be prevailed upon going to Portland per Raven; about sixty-four orphan girls from the depot are to be sent to make up the number for which the vessel was chartered”.  (Geelong Advertiser 22 September 1849).  Catherine was one of the girls selected to sail on the Raven, a voyage which provoked a response from the Portland Guardian, criticising then Superintendent of the Port Phillip district Charles La Trobe.  The Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal published the Guardian‘s article with a disclaimer from the paper’s own editor.

THE HUMANITY OF MR. LA TROBE EXEMPLIFIED – In the midst of occurring wrecks at Belfast, Mr. Latrobe despatches a vessel with a lot of Irish orphans! Just at the very nick of time when Insurance Companies and Underwriters, as with one consent, refuse to take risks on property proceeding to Port Fairy, Mr. Latrobe chooses that moment, above all others, to send immigrants to such a port! Scarcely have the local newspapers, (detailing the accounts of mountainous seas, the loss of anchors and chains, the drifting of vessels to sea, the total wreck of fine large vessels, and the melancholy loss of life at Port Fairy) been laid down, than the next paper greets the eye with an account of the despatch of a vessel with immigrants to the identical port where these appalling occurrences ere succeeding each other in rapid succession. Has Mr Latrobe lost the feelings of or common humanity, that he wantonly risks a number of innocent lives? Are Irish orphans and immigrants families of less value than bags of wheat and bales of wool, puncheons of rum and the timber and planks of which vessels are composed? Has Mr. Latrobe the inhuman nerve to risk the lives of immigrants, at the very instant when men of wealth dare not risk their property! If the Raven should happen to meet with favourable weather, while lying at Port Fairy and disembarking her immigrants at this time of the year, when the equinoctial gales are prevalent. it will have been a merciful Providence, which had interposed in screening the innocent from the appalling dangers into which they had launched, by the ignorance, wilfulness, or selfishness of beings in the form, but wanting the essential attributes of man – Portland Guardian. (We are very much surprised at such remarks, as nothing is more necessary than the distribution of emigrants amongst the settlers at the out ports — E.P.P.G.)  Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal 11 October 1849 

Despite the Guardian’s gloomy prediction, the girls arrived safely at Portland on 4 October 1849.  It wasn’t long before Catherine was employed by Port Fairy solicitor George Barber. George had married Charlotte Meare on 2 July 1849 at Port Fairy and Catherine may have been employed Catherine for her nursemaid skills.  Her pay was £12 for a twelve month term.

Around 1852, Catherine married Archibald Hamilton at Port Fairy.  The following year, the couple’s first child was born in that town. Her name was Catherine Grady Hamilton.  Catherine and Archibald raised a family of twelve children born from 1853 to 1877. Archibald got a job as an overseer for Donald McKinnon at Kangaroo Station, Hotspur. By 1857, Archibald was overseer at Mt Napier Station for Mr Phillips.  In 1873, Archibald applied for a ten-acre allotment at Macarthur.  

On 23 June 1884, Archibald died at Macarthur aged sixty-three.  At the time, the youngest of the children was seven and Catherine needed to provide for her family.  She offered her services as a nurse and midwife and it was said she attended over 300 maternity cases over the following years.  Almost seventy-seven years after Cathrine arrived from Ireland, she died at Macarthur on 3 January 1916. Her age at the time was given as eighty but Catherine could have been as old as eighty-four. Her obituary read, “her quiet unassuming manner and readiness to render assistance and advice to anyone in need…had endeared herself to the whole community”.

SOURCES

Catholic Parish Registers, The National Library of Ireland; Dublin, Ireland 

Famine Orphan Girl Database

Irish Famine Memorial (Sydney)

New Ross Workhouse 

MURRAY, Isabella (c1852-1924) Also known as Isabella Helpman

Isabella Murray was born around 1852 at Summer Hill, Allansfordthe property of her parents James Murray and Isabella Gordon.  Her parents had arrived from Scotland around 1839 and arrived at Allansford after time at Glenample at Port Campbell.  Isabella married Walter Stephen Helpman in 1877.  Walter was a son of Captain Benjamin Helpman and Ann Pace, a sister of Jane Henty.

“Family Notices” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 22 August 1877: 1. Web. 9 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5934405&gt;.

Walter was a banker, having worked with the National Bank at Warrnambool and Geelong and as manager of the Colonial Bank at Koroit from 1875 and in 1876, started a branch at Port Fairy. In 1877 he became manager of the Warrnambool Colonial Bank. The first of Isabella and Walter’s children was Francis born in Warrnambool in 1878. Then followed twins Isabella Jean and James in 1881 and Gordon was born in 1884.

It was in 1884, Isabella’s brother John Murray entered state politics, becoming Member of the Legislative Assembly in the seat of Warrnambool.  Isabella shared his interest in politics and campaigned at State and Federal level.  A cause John was passionate about, one not popular among politicians, was the welfare of  Aboriginals, in particular, those at the Framlingham Reserve.  John and his sisters Isabella and Mary came to know many of them personally and fought for their rights.  In 1890, when the government attempted to move the Aboriginals on the reserve, John fought to save part of the land for them.  In 1909, John became Premier of Victoria and chair of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines.

Isabella was active in the Warrnambool community helping the less fortunate.  She was a member of the Ladies Benevolent Society for thirty years, including time as President.  She also fundraised for the hospital and served as treasurer of the Red Cross for five years.

Walter left the Colonial Bank in 1902 and the Helpmans left Warrnambool. Walter had a job as a clerk with the Customs Department in Melbourne and the couple moved to 547 Collins Street, Melbourne, the location of the Federal Hotel (below).

THE FEDERAL HOTEL, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/247026

Meanwhile, grandchildren were arriving with Theo born in 1904 to Jean Helpman and her husband Boer War veteran Albert Duka In 1907, Isabella and Walter’s son James married May Gardiner at Millicent, South Australia.  A son Robert known as “Bobbie”, was born to James and May at Mt Gambier in 1909.  They are pictured below.

JAMES, MAY AND ROBERT HELPMANc1911 Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no B 21404 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21404

Walter and Isabella returned to Warrnambool around 1912, but two years later Walter died on 24 June 1914.  More sadness came in 1916 when Isabella’s brother John, the former Premier also died. She had added concern with her son Gordon serving with the King Edward Horse from 1914, and the Royal Flying Corp from 1916.  Daughter Jean was also at the front in a nursing role with her husband Albert Duka, a surgeon.  During that time grandson, Theo Duka came into Isabella’s care and he was enrolled at Hamilton College.

By that time, Isabella was renting The Hutte at 21 Banyan Street, Warrnambool.  She continued her community work and was also active socially. On one occasion in 1919, she was the hostess of a tea given by the President of the Warrnambool Racing Club over the May Carnival.  It was in the same year, Isabella had a lucky escape in December when a rag with flammable liquid was lit at her home during the night. Fortunately, Isabella’s maid woke and found the fire before there was too much damage.  Although the fire was suspicious, there was no motive.  After that incident, Isabella moved to Waikato in Waikato Court, Warrnambool, home of her brother James.  Isabella died at Waikato on 27 January 1924.

The Helpman name became a household name from the 1920s when Isabella’s grandson Bobbie made his stage debut in Adelaide as a ballet dancer.  He went on to become one of the world’s leading dancers and Shakespearean actors, Sir Robert Murray Helpmann.  He is pictured below with the great Kathryn Hepburn in 1955.

“NO SUBTLETIES IN OLD VIC’S SHREW” Tribune (Sydney, NSW : 1939 – 1976) 1 June 1955: 7. Web. 16 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article236256137&gt;.

McCANN, Kate St George (c1849-1929)  Also known as Kate Trangmar

Kate McCann was born on the ship St George off the coast of San Francisco, California on 15 September 1849, a daughter of Robert James McCann and Matilda Jane Crouch. Robert and Matilda had married in 1834 in London.  The law at the time meant since Kate was born on a British ship, her birth was registered in the Parish of Stepney, London. The same year the McCanns arrived in California, Robert died.  Matilda remarried to Eustace de Arroyave.  Kate grew up playing on the family ranch Lone Pine in the Rocky Mountains, California but Matilda died in 1865 when Kate was sixteen.  Kate,  her brother Arthur and a half-sister Eustasia travelled to London to live with their aunt Emma Crouch. In 1866, Emma with Kate, Arthur then aged twenty and Eustasia aged eight boarded the ship Great Britain for Melbourne arriving on 26 December 1866.  They then caught the steamer S.S. Edina to Portland.

In 1876, Kate married James Trangmar at St.Stephen’s Church, Portland.  She had a connection to the Trangmar family as her uncle George Crouch was in business with James Trangmar and he married James’ sister Mary Ann Trangmar.

“Family Notices” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 22 March 1876: 2. Web. 10 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226036873&gt;.

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

Kate moved from Portland to Coleraine where James had worked from around 1866 in a store owned by his father and managed by his uncle George Trangmar.  On 3 February 1878, Kate had a son. They went on to have eight children. In 1880, Mary Ann was born on 24 June 1880 and died the following day.

In time, George Trangmar moved on and James took over the running of the Coleraine store (below)

J.W.TRANGMAR & CO. COLERAINE. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767465

By 1904, Kate was living at Coma Villa, Sturt Street, Ballarat while James was still at Coleraine.  In 1904, her then elderly aunt Emma Crouch took sick and travelled with Kate’s sister Eustasia to be with her in Ballarat.   Emma died on 11 April 1904 at Kate’s home. The following year there was a burglary at Coma Villa while Kate was out at the South Street Competitions.

“No title” The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924) 2 October 1905: 2. Web. 19 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209029432&gt;.

In time, Kate was back in residence at Coleraine and in 1906, James opened a new store on the same site as the original building.

THE OPENING OF TRANGMAR’S STORE, COLERAINE 1906. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766933

During WW1, Kate and James’ married son Arthur enlisted on 28 February 1916. He served as a Lieutenant with the 39th Battalion and was killed on 21 February 1918 at Messines, Belgium.  Another son, Herbert enlisted on 1 April 1915 and served with the 17th and 22nd Battalions and was awarded a Military Cross. During 1916, Kate and James celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with celebrations in the Coleraine Hall before travelling to Portland for a service at the place of their marriage, St Stephen’s Church followed by dinner at the Richmond Hotel. When they arrived at the hotel, they were showered with rose petals

Kate died on 27 July 1929 at Coleraine.  James and six of her children were still alive at the time of her death.  James died in 1938 at Coleraine. Trangmar’s store was run by members of the Trangmar family until 1969, first under the charge of Kate and James’ sons Herbert and Edmund.

WONDERFUL WESTERN DISTRICT WOMEN

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3