Hamilton Old Cemetery – Beyond the Headstones

Enter the gates of the Hamilton Old Cemetery and rising up before you are hundreds of diverse and fascinating headstones and monuments.  Some always catch my eye when I visit whether it’s for their design, the effects of time or the inscription.  Taking six headstones I find interesting, I’ve looked further into the history of each and those who lie beneath.

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GEORGE AND JANE BOWLER

GRAVE OF GEORGE AND JANE BOWLER

A broken column, a life cut short.  In 1856, Jane Scott married London-born George Bowler presumably at Portland where their first child Thomas Joseph Bowler was born the following year.  In 1858, a second son, George Richard Bowler was born at Hamilton.  In 1860, the Bowlers suffered the loss of baby George and welcomed a daughter Mary Jane. The following, year on 16 July 1861, George Bowler Sr. also died at the age of twenty-seven and was buried in the Anglican section of the cemetery.  Jane was left with two small children aged four and one.  In 1864, she lodged a request for the Hamilton Borough Council to relieve her from paying her rates due to poverty.

In later years, Jane’s daughter Mary Jane married Robert McFarlane in 1887 and son Thomas Bowler took up the trade of blacksmith in Hamilton.  He for a time was in partnership with David Arnott in the Hamilton Carriage Factory, blacksmith, wheelwrights and coachbuilders.  Jane lived in Griffin Street and took in boarders to make ends meet.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 25 January 1894: 3. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225784055&gt;.

Jane died on December 1896 at Hamilton. She was buried with George.  George’s parents Joseph and Mary Bowler occupy the adjacent plots.

“Family Notices” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 23 December 1899: 3. Web. 25 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188661034&gt;.

ISAAC FOSTER

HEADSTONE OF ISAAC FOSTER

 On 9 March 1901, Isaac Foster had his Station Street property up for auction as he was leaving town.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 9 March 1901: 2. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226091868&gt;.

But Isaac didn’t leave town. By 23 March, he was dead at the age of sixty-eight and still in Hamilton.

Isaac Foster arrived at Williamstown in 1870 before heading to Portland where he started a building and contracting business.  A new hospital was planned in Hamilton and Isaac was appointed   Clerk of Works on the project and moved to Hamilton.

HAMILTON HOSPITAL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399127

He also worked on the Hamilton Anglican and Presbyterian Sunday Schools and William Melville’s residence at Weerangourt. Two years before his death, Isaac began suffering from consumption which would claim his life. Isaac also owned property at Branxholme which was auctioned in the week after his death.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 26 March 1901: 2. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226090807&gt;.

NAOMI HICKMER

HEADSTONE OF NAOMI HICKMER

Inscribed with the words “There remaineth a rest for the people of God” from the Book of Hebrews, stands the headstone at the final resting place of Naomi Hickmer.  Naomi, a spinster lived in Stephens Street, Hamilton and died on 6 April 1883 aged fifty-two.

Naomi’s brother Henry also lived in Hamilton and fortunately, he was a storyteller occasionally sharing his recollections with Mount Gambier’s Border Watch. Henry’s obituary included his life story from his own pen and from that I was able to find out more about Naomi and her family. The Hickmers were from Brighton, Sussex, England. Naomi was born around 1831. The family arrived at Adelaide, South Australia in 1851 when Naomi was twenty. Most of the members of the family then moved to the Lake Leake Station, east of Millicent, South Australia.

“OBITUARY.” Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954) 26 April 1918: 1. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77655550&gt;.

Henry Jr arrived in Hamilton around 1874, living at various rural properties around the district before settling in Milton Street in 1892.  It is possible his parents and Naomi were in the district from around 1856.  The 1856 Australian Electoral Roll lists a Henry Hickmer, a farmer of South Hamilton.  Henry Hickmer Sr. died at Milton Street, Hamilton on 8 September 1881 aged eighty-three and Ann Hickmer died on 17 September 1884 also at Milton Street. They are buried beside Naomi.

HICKMER FAMILY GRAVE

Naomi’s estate consisted of property to the value of £20 being her home in Stephens Street and £543 of personal property.   During the month after her death, Naomi’s assets were auctioned off.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 15 May 1883: 2. Web. 18 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225492898&gt;.

Naomi’s probate file held by the Public Record Office made interesting reading and the outstanding accounts she had when she died, give some clue about her life at the time.  She owed £4 15′ shillings to the grocer Henry Horwitz, £2 6′ to W. & W. Thomson, drapers and £2 7′ for buggy hire from Richard Elijah.  Her other debts show she had a period of illness with amounts due to two surgeons Thomas Scott and George Annaud.  There was also a fee owing to Mrs Young for nursing services and an account of £1 from Carl Klug the chemist.  Naomi also paid Elizabeth Kennett servant’s wages and there was a charge of 13″ 6′ to Mott and Rippon publishers, being the Hamilton Spectator.  It’s likely the bill was for Naomi’s funeral notice pictured further up.

ANTONIO & ROSINA RIZZO

GRAVE OF ANTONIO AND ROSE RIZZO

The Rizzo headstone not only displays Hamilton jeweller Antonio Rizzo’s devotion to his wife Rose but also a love of cameos, his specialty.

Rose Genevieve McCrystal was born around 1855, the daughter of Patrick McCrystal and Bridget Crinnion of Portland.  The McCrystals married in 1845 at Launceston.  In 1878, Rose married William Pearson.  Their first child a son was born at Branxholme around the time William purchased Hamilton’s Temperance Hotel and Confectionery Establishment.  Two more children, a son and daughter were born in Hamilton in 1883 and 1884.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 16 March 1880: 3. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226055844&gt;.

Four years later, a buggy accident near Branxholme claimed William’s life.

“FATAL BUGGY ACCIDENT.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 30 September 1884: 5. Web. 18 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191469587&gt;.

Rose kept the Temperance Hotel operating after William’s death.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 27 January 1885: 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225659244&gt;.

In 1886, Rose put the Temperance Hotel up for lease and she and the children moved to Portland. Rose ran a boarding house in Percy Street.

“The Portland Guardian, (ESTABLISHED 1842.) With which is incorporated The Portland Mirror.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 14 November 1887: 2 (EVENING). Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65411182&gt;.

Meanwhile, Italian Antonio Rizzo had arrived in Australia sometime in 1884. He was born around 1845 and came from Naples. In 1887, he travelled to the Adelaide International Exhibition for which he received first prizes.

“EXHIBITIONS.” South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900) 17 October 1887: 1 (Supplement to the South Australian Register.). Web. 20 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46830011&gt;.

Antonio moved on to Melbourne for the 1889 Melbourne International Exhibition exhibiting his speciality of shell cameos.

“Italy.” The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 – 1934) 2 February 1889: 30. Web. 25 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article186193649&gt;.

It was in 1889, Antonio first ventured to Portland when he entered the Industrial and Art Loan Exhibition there in March 1889 and won first prize in his section for his artistic and cameo jewellery. Some of Antonio’s chosen materials were coral and lava from Mount Vesuvius.

“Portland Industrial and Art Loan Exhibition.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 8 March 1889: 3 (EVENING). Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63592279&gt;.

Having previously worked for Gaunt and Drummond Jewellers in Melbourne, later in 1889, Antonio opened his own jewellery shop at 37 Sturt Street, Ballarat.  In that year, the Ballarat Star, described Antonio as “our Italian sculptor” after he created a marble statue for an All Nations Fancy Fair in October 1889.

“Advertising” The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924) 25 December 1889: 3. Web. 19 May 2017 .

Although he was in Ballarat, Antonio’s thoughts were in Portland and in 1891, he married the widow Rose Pearson at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ballarat.

“Family Notices” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 2 May 1891: 44. Web. 25 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198045151&gt;.

A daughter, Italia Florence was born the following year in Melbourne.  Next, Antonio applied for a wine license in Portland in December 1893 but failed in his application as he was not born in the colony or naturalised.  Instead. he started a jewellery store in Percy Street, Portland in March 1894.  In the same year, Antonio and Rose’s eldest son Hubert was born at Brunswick.  On 30 September 1895,a fire swept through the Percy Street shop and residence.  Rugerio Patrick was born in the same year at Portland. Not perturbed by the fire, Antonio opened a jewellery store in Gray Street, Hamilton in December 1895.  Antonio’s talents were soon noticed in Hamilton and in 1897 he was commissioned to produce an engraved silver-handled trowel for Jane Henty to lay the foundation stone of the Hamilton Hospital Fever Ward.

“Established August 1842. The Portland Guardian, With which is incorporated The Portland Mirror.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 28 June 1897: 2 (EVENING). Web. 18 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63661275&gt;.

In 1904, Antonio became one of the many unwitting victims of fraudster Louis Horwitz. Horwitz was Antonio’s landlord and legal advisor.  He swindled Antonio into signing documents with regard to his overdraft with the Union Bank.  Before he knew it, Antonio was taken to court by the bank and other creditors all demanding money. It was enough to ruin Antonio.  He had debts of around £1600 and only £830 of assets, leaving a shortfall of £700 forcing him into insolvency in September 1904.  He could no longer trade and a clearance sale was held in early 1905.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 19 January 1905: 3. Web. 25 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225883597&gt;.

In  August 1905, Antonio made a successful application to have his insolvency dissolved and was able to reopen his business.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 29 December 1908: 3. Web. 18 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225891265&gt;.

Antonio was a generous donor of trophies for various events around Hamilton.  One trophy known as the Rizzo Trophy, was for the Hamilton Gun Club becoming highly sort after prize among shooters. While in Hamilton, Antonio and Rose resided at Roma in Milton Street. When WW1 broke, their son Hubert enlisted in 1915 and safely returned to Australia in 1919.

Rose died on 8 November 1920 at a Kyneston Private Hospital in Caulfield aged sixty-five.  Her body was returned to Hamilton and buried in the Roman Catholic section of the cemetery. In time, an exquisite and unique headstone was added to Rose’s grave.  The feature, a cameo made in Italy in the image of Rose. Antonio died on 27 October 1924 at his daughter Italia’s home in Kew at the age of seventy-nine. He was reunited with Rose and today their grave is part of the cemetery’s Notable Graves Walk.  While the entry recognises Antonio, Rose shouldn’t be forgotten. She earned a living and raised her two children alone for seven years, later losing everything in the Portland fire and was there for Antonio through his enforced insolvency.

SIGN ON THE RIZZO GRAVE

Rugerio Rizzo followed his father into the trade and continued operating Rizzo Jewellers for several decades after Antonio’s death.

TIMOTHY TWOMEY & THE TWOMEY FAMILY PLOT

HEADSTONE OF TIMOTHY TWOMEY

The beautiful Celtic cross in the Roman Catholic section of the cemetery belongs to a man they called the Squire of Banemore, Timothy Twomey.  Timothy was a member of the Twomey family of Penshurst.  He was born in Ireland around 1829, the son of John Twomey and Margaret O’Conner. When the family arrived in Victoria, John Twomey acquired a large amount of land near Penshurst.  He later divided the property into three for his son Timothy’s property was Banemore from 1866  In 1867, Timothy married Annie Hayes. The Twomeys enjoyed overseas travel and by 1887, Timothy and Annie had visited Asia, Europe and America.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 January 1887: 2. Web. 3 Jun 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226154135&gt;.

In early 1894, Timothy and Annie were off to England again.  The trip did not go to plan with Timothy dying suddenly in London on 10 July 1894 aged sixty-five.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 12 July 1894: 2. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225779799&gt;.

Timothy’s body was returned to Hamilton but on the way there was a stopover at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne for a memorial service on 7 September 1894.  The cortege left for Spencer Street Station in time for the 6.50pm train to Hamilton. The following day, Timothy’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Hamilton before burial.

“Family Notices” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 8 September 1894: 3. Web. 19 May 2017 .

In 1896, Annie commissioned Messrs. P. Finn & Co, stonemasons of Mitchell Street, Bendigo to make an appropriate headstone. What they created was considered one of the finest headstones in the colonies.  It was a huge undertaking with the granite quarried at Cape Woolamai on Victoria’s east coast, then shipped to Melbourne for transport to Bendigo.  The four metre high Celtic cross was available for viewing at Finn’s yard prior to its transportation to Hamilton.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 6 October 1896: 3. Web. 19 May 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225554924&gt;.

Timothy’s Celtic cross is just one of a number of graves in the Twomey family plot and is by no means the tallest. There were eighteen Twomey burials at the cemetery, including Timothy’s parents and brothers Edward and Daniel.  The two brothers were at one time on the Hamilton Cemetery Trust.

TWOMEY FAMILY PLOT, ROMAN CATHOLIC SECTION

THOMAS & MARGARET WALKER

HEADSTONE OF THOMAS AND MARGARET WALKER

A scroll such as that on the column of the Walker monument can symbolise a life unfolding for an uncertain time. It’s doubtful Margaret Walker ever expected her life to unfold across 104 years. Thomas Walker arrived at Portland around 1840 and married Margaret Brown in 1843.  They lived in Portland until 1866 when they moved to Hamilton.   Thomas acquired various properties around the Hamilton township and for a time worked as a land agent.  He died on 15 April 1909 aged eighty-six, leaving his widow Margaret, then aged seventy-four, one son and two daughers.

Margaret, born on 11 August 1835 at Launceston, went on to live for a further thirty years. On 10 August 1939, Margaret celebrated her 104th birthday at her home in Shakespeare Street, Hamilton. At the time, it was thought she was the oldest woman in Victoria living through the reign of six monarchs.

MARGARET WALKER The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 11 August 1939: 14. Web. 19 May 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204924449

Margaret long life ended two months after her birthday on 19 October 1939.  Her obituary in the Hamilton Spectator of 23 October 1939 said Margaret was, “…a lover of all things beautiful, and in quiet contentment, surrounded by her own people and home where she could indulge her liking, which amounted to almost a passion, for her garden she enjoyed to the full of her heart’s desire.”

Also buried with Thomas and Margaret is their daughter Maria, who Margaret outlived by seven years.  Maria Watson died at Hamilton aged seventy-six.

 

HEADSTONE OF MARIA WATSON (nee WALKER)

This is the second in a series of posts about the Old Hamilton Cemetery.  You can read the first on the link –  Hamilton Old Cemetery – Finding Family

© 2017 Merron Riddiford

Passing of the Pioneers

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

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

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

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

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

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

hyland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

176

PORT FAIRY BOTANICAL GARDENS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

smith

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

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

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

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

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

Passing of the Pioneers

Most of the pioneer obituaries found in the newspapers are for men which is unfortunate because we are always searching for more information about our female ancestors. For the month of October, the obituaries for pioneering women outnumber the men.  And great pioneers they were, making great contributions within their communities and all living to a very old age. But none lived longer than Margaret Walker (nee Brown) of Hamilton. Passing away in 1939, Margaret reached the age of 104 and remained healthy almost to the end.

Mark NICHOLSON: Died 27 October 1889 at Warrnambool. Mark Nicholson was born in Gloucestershire in 1818 and arrived at Port Phillip in 1840. Rather than practice his profession of law, Mark chose to run cattle at various stations across the colony. In 1848, Governor LaTrobe selected him to act as a Justice of the Peace at Warrnambool and in 1853 he was elected as the Warrnambool and Belfast (Port Fairy) representative in the Victorian Legislative Council. In the following years, Mark spent time in England but returned to Warrnambool to settle in 1873. A full biography of Mark Nicholson is available at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

John BEST: Died 9 October 1907 at Portland. John Best was born in Ireland in 1835 and arrived at Portland in 1857 aboard the General Hewitt. He travelled with his parents William and Letitia Best and his six siblings. The family settled at Heywood and John took up work as a carrier. Later he built bridges and roads for the local Shire. He purchased a farm at nearby Mt. Clay and he remained there until his death. He left a widow and seven children.

William SCOTT: Died 7 October 1909 at Wallan. William Scott arrived in Victoria for the gold rushes and settled in Camperdown around 1860. He took an active role in local politics, serving on the Hampden Shire Council. He was also secretary of the Camperdown P&A Society. There was barely an organisation around Camperdown that did not have William Scott on the committee. His obituary read,

In him has passed one of the rugged pioneers who came magnificently equipped physically, and with the indomitable energy and capacity for sustained effort responsible for the remarkable development that has marked the brief history of this country.

Williams remains were returned from Wallan by train and he was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.

Euphemia McLEOD: Died 3 October 1914 at Purnim.  Euphemia McLeod was born in Scotland around 1826 and travelled to Australia on the Edward Johnston around 1854. She eventually settled at Purnim with her husband George Crowe and she lived there for fifty years. Euphemia left three daughters and a son.

Ann Rebecca EAGAR: Died 12 October 1917 at Hamilton. Ann Eager was born in Devon, England around 1832 and sailed to Adelaide in the mid-1850s. It was there she married George Rowe and they made their way to Victoria, settling at Wickliffe. They remained there for around thirty years before taking up residence at Hamilton.

Only six months before her death, Ann and George had celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.  An article appeared in the Ballarat Star of 14 April 14, 1917 reporting on the couple’s anniversary. It told of George’s work as a builder. He worked on several notable buildings in the district including the Coleraine Catholic Church and the Argyle Arms Hotel in Hamilton. During the war years, Ann supported the cause, knitting socks for soldiers and by the time of her wedding anniversary, she had knitted 120 pairs of socks. Ann and George had three sons and two daughters, twenty-eight grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

Margaret BROWN: Died October 1939 at Hamilton. Margaret Brown was a great Hamilton pioneer living until the grand age of 104. In her last years, her life was documented as she reached milestone birthdays.  Margaret was born in Launceston in August 1835 with her parents having come from Scotland in 1830. The family sailed to Victoria around 1840 aboard the City of Sydney and in 1852 Margaret married Thomas Walker at Portland. During the mid-1860s, they settled at Hamilton where they remained. They had eight children, but two died as infants.

When Margaret was ninety-eight, she was given a walking stick but she had not used it by the time of her ninety-ninth birthday in 1934. That was also the year of the Portland Centenary and Margaret attended the town’s celebrations. During that year, she had also produced seventeen pieces of eyelet linen work. In 1935, Margaret’s 100th birthday celebration was held at the Hollywood Cafe in Hamilton with the Mayor of Hamilton, Cr. Stewart, in attendance. She also planted a commemorative tree for Victoria’s centenary celebrations. For her 101st birthday, twenty-five friends and family gathered at Margaret’s home at 5 Shakespeare Street. The highlight was a birthday cake with 101 candles. The next three birthdays were celebrated quietly at home. but Margaret continued in good health. That was until only weeks after her 104th birthday when Margaret became more fragile, eventually passing away in October. During her life, Margaret saw the reign of six British monarchs.

Margaret’s birthday articles 90th Birthday    99th Birthday  100th Birthday   101st Birthday   104th Birthday

Elizabeth SILVESTER: Died 7 October 1940 at Noorat. Elizabeth Silvester was born in England around 1852 and arrived in Cobden with her parents as a two-year-old. She ran a business in Cobden for fifty years and attended the Cobden Methodist Church. Married to William Gilham, Elizabeth left two sons at the time of her death, one of whom she lived with at Noorat for the last year of her life. She was buried in the Cobden Cemetery.

Robert Thomas SILVESTER: Died 7 October 1943 at Portland. Robert Silvester was born in Merino in 1862 but as a young man he moved to Portland and trained as a solicitor. He worked in the partnership Lynne, Silvester and Fielding before going into practice alone. From 1910-1920, Robert was president of the Portland Racing Club and was also president and captain of the Portland Golf Club.  Robert was also a member of the Portland Bowling Club and the following link is for an obituary from the club –   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64386872

Catherine McCLURE: Died 29 October 1952 at Camperdown. Catherine McLure was born at Mepunga in 1866, the daughter of James and Eliza McLure, early pioneers of the Warrnambool district. In 1885, Catherine married  Benjamin Jeffers at Warrnambool and they moved to Strathbogie. They later returned to the Western District and lived at Timboon, Kellambete and finally, Chocolyn were they resided for forty years. Catherine enjoyed making toys with her five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren and telling stories of days past.

Passing of the Pioneers

Seventeen more obituaries of Western District pioneers join the collection this month, and what a group they are.  I must say I had to pass a lot over, but it will ensure Passing with the Pioneers will be going to at least January 2014!  New papers at Trove has guaranteed that. Obituaries came from the Portland Guardian, Horsham Times and Ballarat Courier.

There are a couple of special ones, those of  James HENTY and Rebecca KITTSON and I highly recommend that you read the obituary in full.  I actually found Rebecca’s obituary rather moving and after driving through the Bridgewater area recently, I have great respect for her family and others that settled there.  To read the full obituary, just click on the pioneer’s name and the obituary will open in a new tab.  Some are a little hard to read, but magnifying the page helps.

I have also included a “young” pioneer who has a family link to me.  Thank you to Rachael Boatwright for allowing me to include a photo of her family member.

James HENTY: – Died 12 January 1882 at Richmond.  I thought trashy magazines today told all, but the obituary of the Honourable James HENTY M.L.C. shared every detail of the last twenty-four hours or so his life.  How can I possibly give a summary of the life of James HENTY, one of the famous pioneering HENTY clan?  Instead, read the obituary, it is great!  Sadly I think James’ life may have ended prematurely, if that is possible at eighty-two, due to a collision with a Newfoundland dog the week before.

JAMES HENTY c1855.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H83.158/2 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/290239

JAMES HENTY c1855. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H83.158/2 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/290239

Hugh MCDONALD: Died 30 January 1899 at Portland. This is a timely obituary coming so soon after my Portland trip.  While there, I learnt something of the wreck of the steamer Admella in 1859 and the Portland life boat crew that went to her aid. Hugh McDONALD was one of the brave men on board the life boat during that daring rescue.

William GARDINER: Died 17 January 1904 at Warracknabeal.  William GARDINER, another pioneer with an interesting life.  He arrived in Victoria in 1849 aboard the barque Saxon and spent time in Melbourne, Geelong and the goldfields, before heading to New Zealand.  On his return to Australia, he lived in Port Fairy and Hamilton, working as a journalist, before moving to the Wimmera as a correspondent for the Belfast Gazette.  He like it so much, he decided to select land at Warracknabeal.  He also worked as a correspondent for the Horsham Times and built houses!

Jean McCLINTOCK:  Died 19 January 1904 at Melbourne. While only forty at the time of her death and not an “old pioneer”, I have included Jean as she was the sister-in-law of  Alfred Winslow HARMAN.  Jean married William MILLER and they resided at Rupanyup.  After some illness, Jean travelled to Melbourne for an operation, but she died as a result.

Jean McClintock & William Eaton Miller. Photo courtesy of Rachael Boatwright & family.

Joseph JELBART: Died 17 January 1904 at Carapook. Joseph worked as the mail contractor between Carapook and Casterton up until his death. Prior to that, he had worked as a blacksmith and a wheelwright at Chetwynd, Merino and Natimuk. Interesting coincidence, just as Joseph did, his father and brother both died on a Sunday morning in the same house.

Rachel Forward READ: Died 15 January 1904 at Lower Cape Bridgewater.  Rachel Forward READ and her husband Richard Charlton HEDDITCH arrived in Adelaide in 1838 and settled at Cape Bridgewater from 1845 after a stint teaching at the Portland Church of England school.  They resided at the Lal Lal Homestead.  The  Victorian Heritage Database listing for Lal Lal includes a letter home by Rachel after their arrival at Cape Bridgewater.  Rachel was buried at the Cape Bridgewater cemetery rather than the Hedditch family cemetery at Lal Lal.

Donald McRAE: Died 12 January 1914 at Tooan.  Donald McRAE was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1842 and travelled with his parents to Portland. In 1865, he moved to Muntham near Hamilton to farm with brother. The pair eventually selected 320 acres of land each at Natimuk.  Donald was a member of the Horsham Caledonian Society.

Samuel WALKER: Died 24 January 1914 at  Ballarat. Samuel WALKER was born in Cheshire, England around 1828 and travelled to Australia in 1852.  After his arrival on the goldfields of Ballarat, he set up a soda water factory which proved profitable for him.  He then became a partner in Evans and Walkers and worked as an accountant.  He was also the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at Ballarat from 1872.

Selina MILLER: Died January 1917 at Wickliffe. Selina MILLER had resided at Wickliffe for almost sixty years.  She was twice married.  Her first husband was Mr HAIG and her second, George HARRIOTT.

Elizabeth HUBBARD: Died 3 January 1919 at Horsham.  Elizabeth HUBBARD was born in Norwich, England around 1831 and travelled to Australia with her husband, Mathias HARDINGHAM in the mid-1850s.  From Geelong, they travelled to the Horsham area and were two of the first pioneers in that district.  Mathias ran the Horsham Hotel for some time.

Christina FOX: Died 8 January 1921 at Vectis.  Christine FOX was born in Yorkshire, England around 1835.  As a teenager, she travelled to South Australia with her parents.  She married Robert SANDERS who had also travelled with his parents on the same immigrant ship.

John W. DAVIS: Died 24 January 1928 at Horsham.  John or “Jack” as he was known, arrived in Australia as a three old, living in Williamstown and then Stawell.  He played with the Temperance Union Band in Stawell and then moved to Horsham in 1877 to play with one of two brass bands in the town.  Known throughout the northwest for his ability as an euphonium player, Jack was also a bandmaster at Natimuk and Noradjuha.

Rebecca KITTSON: Died 4 January 1929 at Portland. What a grand old pioneer Rebecca KITTSON was.  A colonist of eighty-eight years, she was a month from her 102nd birthday.  Arriving in Melbourne from Ireland aged eleven, she spent the next year in Melbourne, before joining her family at Cape Bridgewater where her father James Kittson had settled.  She married Reverend William LIGHTBODY, a Wesleyan minister in 1852.  This obituary is a must read.  Mrs LIGHTBODY, as she was known for most of her life, was the last surviving member of her family and the obituary gives a glimpse at how the KITTSON’S came to be in Australia.

Obituary. (1929, January 7). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved January 17, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64268096

Adrian ANDERSON: Died 16 January 1932 at Horsham. This is a first for Passing of the Pioneers.  Adrian ANDERSON was an immigrant from the United States. Wisconsin to be precise. He arrived aged four, with his parents and resided in Western Australia until he was ten.  The family moved to Victoria, where he remained.  He ran a shop in Jeparit before his death in the Horsham Base Hospital.

Agnes Sarah COOK: Died 18 January 1942 at Casterton. This obituary begins “Born in a small house on the banks of the  Glenelg River at Casterton seventy-nine years ago…”.  Agnes was a lady that like the past and the future, knowledgeable about the history of Casterton, she also liked to predict the future.  Agnes married  Robert SYLVESTER and they had four children.

Helen GULL: Died 18 January 1942 at Casterton. Helen was born on the ship Helen during her parents’ voyage to Australia in 1852.  The GULL family became respected pioneers throughout the Western District.  Helen married Frederick PERRY in 1876 and they resided at well known Western District properties, Rifle Downs at Digby and Runnymeade at Sandford.  Frederick later ran the Digby Hotel.