Passing of the Pioneers

It’s Women’s History Month and the Passing of the Pioneers of March 2017 featured only women.  Unfortunately, since there are many more newspaper obituaries for men than women, I wasn’t able to keep it up this year.  This March there are eight pioneers with half of them women.  As I find often, the pioneers had things in common. Two of the male pioneers were struck by gold fever in the early 1850s as was the husband of one of the female pioneers.  One lived in a house built by another of the featured pioneers, and two pioneers operated hotels.  If you click on any of the underlined text throughout the post, you will go to further information about a person or subject.

VIALLS, EdmundDied 19 March 1879 at Hamilton.  Edmund Vialls was born in London around 1848.  He studied medicine and did his residency at Poplar Hospital, London.  In 1867, he won the medicinal and surgical gold medals for his work.  Edmund arrived in Victoria in 1870 and by 1872, he was in Richmond at the Melbourne Hospital.  He was appointed surgeon at the Hamilton Hospital but he also set up a private practice.  He engaged Hamilton builders William Holden (see below) and William Dunn in 1876 to build a home and surgery at the corner of Gray and Kennedy Streets,  Hamilton (below) and soon had a thriving practice at the building known as Hewlett House, Hewlett being the maiden name of Edmund’s mother Elizabeth.

HEWLETT HOUSE, HAMILTON

Edmund was also the medical attendant for the Hamilton branches of the Foresters, Hibernian and Oddfellows societies. At the age of thirty-one, Edmund died from epilepsy and congestion of the brain.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF EDMUND VIALLS

QUIGLEY, John – Died 31 March 1898 at Wannon.  John Quigley was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1819.  In 1841, John a surveyor by trade left Ireland for Australia, via Plymouth, England. Arriving at Plymouth, John went to the immigrant depot finding, 

…600 other emigrants were not being fairly treated in the matter of rations, and made it his business to communicate to the commissioner, a Mr James, in London, who personally enquired. into the matter and set it right. Shortly afterwards, notwithstanding that the head scrang of the depot had given orders for the fiery young Irishman not to be admitted there, he found that the immigrants had been mulcted to the extent of 10s 6d per head, kept back from them by the agents. Once more he communicated with Mr. James, who hurried down to Plymouth with £300 in cash wherewith to recoup the defrauded ones. This so annoyed the master of the depot that he took more stringent steps to prohibit Mr.Quigley’s entrance to the place, with the consequence, that he was sued for a breach of the regulations and ordered to pay £15 damages with costs. Mr Quigiey was congratulated by Mr. James on his determination of character, which, subsequently, stood him in good stead, and, needless to add, made him very popular with the six hundred. These, engaging a band, marched through the streets of Plymouth with young Quigley and a companion, McCluskie, at their head, in celebration of the victories he had won for them.  (Hamilton Spectator, 2 April 1898)

Once in Melbourne, John sought work with horses and was employed by Messrs Solomon at Saltwater River Station.  Today Flemington Racecourse stands on land once part of the station which extended as far as Keilor.  After two years working for the Solomons, John decided to go out on his own. He had two failed attempts in the Murray Region and at Kilmore before meeting Acheson Ffrench of Monivae Station, south of the present Hamilton, who offered him a position.  However, John received a better offer at the neighbouring Grange Burn Station arriving during December 1846.  John was in charge of 600 head of cattle at the station where the main homestead was located near what is now Prestonholme HomesteadIn 1848, John married Winifred Tracy.

In 1851, many in the west of the colony were travelling east to the newly discovered goldfields and John joined them.  He went to Fryer’s Creek, south of Castlemaine where gold was discovered around October 1851.  Life on the diggings wasn’t for John and he returned to Hamilton in 1853. But that time, the first township blocks were for sale. John managed to buy the first lot offered on the site of the Bank of Victoria, for the £50 and was Hamilton’s first ratepayer. John also bought the first farm offered in the district, sixty-six acres across the creek from Peter Learmonth at Prestonholme.  Another first, John was reportedly the first man to win a steeplechase in the district held on the flat near the Digby Road bridge at Hamilton.

In 1854,  John purchased the Wannon Inn on the Wannon River at Redruth near the Wannon Falls. His licence was granted in 1855 and John set about improving the business.  

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 5 October 1854: 1 (EVENING). Web. 16 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571022&gt;.

In 1860, he sold the Inn for £4,000 and acquired 5000 acres at the Wannon which became the Falls View Estate.

WANNON FALLS c1860s Photographer Thomas Washbourne. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/361595

 The photo below was taken very close to the northern border of John’s property.

VIEW TOWARD WANNON FALLS

“REDRUTH.” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 31 August 1861: 2. Web. 13 Mar 2018.

John also bought the Bochara Estate and selected land on the Merri Creek near Warrnambool among other places.  He was often asked to enter politics but he liked to keep his political interests at a local level and was one of the first men on the Dundas Roads Board in 1858. It later became the Dundas Shire Council and John was President from 1863 to 1866. By 1870, John was feeling the strain of overextending himself financially.  He retired from public life and lived out his life quietly at the Wannon until his death in 1898. John was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

KILPATRICK, Ann – Died March 1903 at Sandford.  Ann Kilpatrick was born around 1826 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She married John Grant and they left for Victoria arriving in 1841 aboard the Grindlay. With a man named William Murray, John and Ann headed west.  John first found work at the property of the Whyte brothers near Coleraine before moving on to the Henty’s Merino Downs. The Grants then took up a run near Penola, South Australia where two children were born, however, by the early 1850s, John was off to the diggings. On his return, the Grants sold up at  Penola and they bought the Woodford Inn at Dartmoor by 1853.  They stayed there for around three years and in that time another son was born. 

In 1856, the Grants purchased land at Sandford and built the Caledonian Union Hotel in the town and operated it from 1857.  It was considered a pretentious building considering the size of the town. A fire broke out at the hotel in 1871, damaging the second storey of the building.  The Grants rebuilt but did not reinstate the second storey.

THE CALEDONIAN UNION HOTEL, SANDFORD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234008

After John Grant died in 1879, Ann continued operating the hotel up until her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

HOLDEN, William – Died 18 March 1910 at Hamilton. William Holden was born at New Brighton, Lancashire in 1832.  He arrived at Adelaide in 1852 and headed east to the Victorian diggings.  After some time in search of gold, he returned to Adelaide but was back in Victoria by 1860. On 19 May 1863, William started out from Dunkeld to travel to Hamilton, the place he would finally settle after ten years of a nomadic life. He left Dunkeld at 11.30am and arrived in Hamilton at 7.30pm.  He found the people of the town out in the streets celebrating the marriage of the Prince of Wales. 

A mason by trade, William got work on a new stone Post Office in Gray Street built in the year of his arrival and then worked on a two storey bluestone building in Kennedy Street for use as a grain store.  In time, it became Hamilton’s Temperance Hall. It is seen to the left of the photo below.

KENNEDY STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

In the 1870s, William entered a partnership with builder William Dunn and together they set about “building” Hamilton. They built some of Hamilton’s grandest buildings, most still standing today. They included the banks, the Bank of Australasia, Bank of Victoria and Colonial Bank, and the residences of doctors including Hewlett House and  Roxburgh HouseThere was also the Hamilton Academy completed in 1875, the St Mary’s Hall in Lonsdale Street and the Hamilton goal.  In addition, they built several shops in the CBD of Hamilton including a strip of shops running from the corner of Gray and Thompson streets.

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In 1876, William married Elizabeth Pearson, a daughter of William Pearson and Ann Routledge. John and his family were part of the Hamilton Baptist Church congregation with the devotion to his faith in the naming of his first son, William Joseph Baptist Holden.  William Jr was born on 17 April 1977 at Brighton Cottage, in Lonsdale Street, Hamilton.  The property is now known as Tavistock.  In 1887, Ralph the two-month-old son of William and Elizabeth died and in 1891, Thomas aged two weeks died. The two boys are buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery below.   

GRAVE OF THE CHILDREN OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH HOLDEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

William later had a business in Thompson Street operating as a bakery, grocer and chaff merchant.  He retired from work around 1895 and in 1901, he put up for sale a house on the corner of Lonsdale and McIntyre Street and his shop in Thompson Street up for sale.   In 1905, Elizabeth died at fifty-seven.   

William, a democratic man, was interested in politics and the development of the political parties.  He was keen to know the winner of the 1910 Federal election but died before there was a result.  William died on 18 March 1910 leaving a family of five sons and one daughter.  He was buried with Elizabeth at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  William’s home Brighton Cottage was sold in August 1910.

HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH HOLDEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

WHITTAKER, Eliza – Died 13 March 1918 at Warrabkook. Eliza Whittaker was born in Ireland around 1823, a daughter of a Battle of Waterloo soldier. The Whittaker family moved to Somersetshire, England where Eliza met Samuel Trigger.  The couple had one child Emily in Somersetshire before moving to Ball Street Avening, Gloucestershire (1851 UK Census) where Christina was born.  Samuel was working as a miller but after the birth of a third child, the family boarded the Eliza sailing to Australia. By then there was also a baby Henry. 

The Triggers arrived at Portland on 9 April 1853 and made their way to Mount Taurus, north of Warrnambool. Eliza had a further five children, including twins at Penshurst in 1858.  Samuel selected land near Macarthur in the early 1860s and they moved to the area. In 1863, baby Mary Ann died at Macarthur.  After more than seventy years together, on 6 March 1918, the partnership ended when Eliza died at the age of ninety-seven. Just three weeks later, Samuel also died aged ninety-eight.  At the time of their deaths, the Triggers had four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren still living.

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

BOWKER, John Thomas – Died 23 March 1928 at Princetown.  John Bowker was born in King Street, Melbourne around 1848.  During the 1860s, John went to the Camperdown district.

In the late 1860s, and while still a young man, John was part of the founding committee member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Pastoral and Agricultural Society. After an inaugural P&A Show at Camperdown, it was decided a new showground site was needed. There were two sites on offer and John was among those who pushed for the selected site, mainly due to the picturesque views it offered.

CAMPERDOWN SHOWGROUND. Image courtesy of the State Library or Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386059

…for situation and the beauty of its surrounding, the Camperdown showground is unequalled in the colony. In its natural state, it is a beautiful spot, with the green slopes of Mount Leura and its more stately companion. Sugarloaf, rising up immediately behind it; whilst northwards is the township, looking prettier in the distance with its grass clothed streets, and its incomparable avenue of trees now almost in their complete spring attire: beyond the town, Lake Culongulac from the shores of which spread away to Mount Elephant and other distant hills, the verdure-clad plains. (Camperdown Chronicle, 25 October 1884 )

CAMPERDOWN SHOWGROUND. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

In February 1874, John married Eliza “Lissie” Lord at Geelong.  John was a butcher by trade and operated his shop in Camperdown.

“Advertising” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 30 January 1877: 3 (TRI-WEEKLY.). Web. 26 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64010246&gt;.

John and his family moved to a property at Princetown called Kangaroobie by 1884.  Eliza was a teacher and since there wasn’t a school at Princetown she started classes there in that year.  John was active within the Princetown community including as secretary of the Princetown Farmers’ Union.

In 1915,  John’s son Alwynne was killed at Gallipoli on 7 August 1915 while serving with the 8th Light Horse Regiment.  By 1926, John was the last surviving member of the founding committee of the Camperdown P&A and that year he travelled from Princetown to Camperdown for the show.  Two years later, John died at Princetown. He left his widow Eliza and three sons and one daughter.  He was buried at Port Campbell Cemetery.  Eliza died in 1935 at Princetown.

MOORE, Eliza – Died 24 March 1939 at Colac. Eliza Moore was born in the north of Ireland on  20 May 1954.  At the age of four, Eliza left Ireland with her parents and travelled to Australia aboard Chance, arriving at Port Fairy, in September 1857.  After some time in Port Fairy, the Moore family moved to Hilder’s Bridge near Grassdale.  Eliza, known as a “splendid horsewoman”, married Alexander Russell in 1874 at Warrnambool and they resided at Dennington. 

From around 1904, Eliza and Alexander lived in Colac and for the last fifteen years of their lives, they resided in Manners-Sutton Street, Colac.  Alexander died in 1938 and Eliza went to live at Lismore but was only there five months before she was hospitalised at Colac where she died two weeks later at the age of eighty-five.  Eliza was a keen worker for the church and went to services when possible. After her death, Eliza was remembered at St Andrews Church, Colac (below), the following Sunday during the service. Eliza was buried at the Colac Cemetery and left four daughters and five sons.  

ST ANDREWS CHURCH, COLAC c1945 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/384952

SCOULLER, Ann – Died 21 March 1952 at Stonyford.  Ann was born at Birregurra in 1863 but when she was a small child, the Scouller family moved to Carpendeit. Ann had to walk six miles to school through the bush to the Catholic chapel at South Purrumbete for school.  She later attended a school built on the property of Peter Morrison.  Ann was a devout worker for the Methodist Church and the Sunday School.  Services were then held in the barn of Mr Anson at  Lightwood Vale and the Minister would ride from Camperdown.  Ann was a good horsewoman and rode sidesaddle. She was also an expert needleworker, excelling in dressmaking, fancy work and crochet. 

On 5 May 1897 at her mother’s home at Carpendeit, Ann married William Horace Lucas of Pomberneit.  They first lived at South Purrumbete before moving to Rocky Ridge, Stonyford around 1910 and were dairy farmers.  Around 1926, William retired and he and Ann decided to move to South Yarra.  A send-off was held on 3 December 1926 at Stonyford with many turning out to farewell the couple.  City life wasn’t for them and Ann and William returned around 1931 and remained at Stonyford for the rest of their lives. William died in 1943.  In 1950, Ann celebrated her eightieth birthday. Two years later she died aged eighty-eight.  Ann was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery and left two sons and one daughter.

 

Passing of the Pioneers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GABLES, HAMILTON

Lucy was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

 

Gooderidge (2)

GRAVE OF LAW AND LUCY GOODERIDGE, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

 

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

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

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

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

GRAVE OF THOMAS AND MARY CLOHESY, OLD HAMILTON CEMETERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  At Winifred’s side is a dog and Samuel is holding a pup.

"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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121151983&gt;.

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 three weeks later, on 1 April.  They were buried at Macarthur Cemetery. Samuel and Eliza left four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren. The last piece of significant news they most likely received was that of the death of their grandson Samuel Winifred Trigger, one of four grandsons to enlist.  Samuel was killed at Mouquet Farm on 16 August 1916 but was reported missing.  The family received official notification of his death almost a year later, on 11 July 1917.

SOURCES

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

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