When an obituary has only a female pioneer’s married name, I do like to find their maiden name. This month, there was one such pioneer, Mrs Susan Sloan. After a quick search, I found on her death record her father’s name recorded as Francis Sloan. As I don’t want to make assumptions based on a death certificate, I will continue to call her Mrs Susan Sloan, however, I will keep trying to find her maiden name in the future as I have an interest in Susan as you will see in her obituary below.
Marks DAFFY: Died 22 February 1902 at Cundare. Marks Daffy was born in County Clare, Ireland, and arrived in Melbourne in 1857. He spent his first five years in the colony around the Barrabool Hills near Geelong, working on various farms. With money saved, Marks selected land in the Colac district after the passing of the 1862 Duffy Lands Act. He set about building a fine dairy farm, using his good eye for stock to select the best dairy cows. He gave up dairy-farming after twenty-five years and settled into an “easier” life as a grazier. In 1887, after dissatisfaction with the Colac Shire, he ran for a seat which he won. Around eighteen months before his death, a fall from his buggy eventually left him bedridden and ultimately claimed his life. His funeral procession was a mile long and was the largest to arrive at the Cundare cemetery.
William MOODIE: Died 25 February 1914 at Coleraine. William Moodie arrived in the Coleraine district with his Scottish parents at the age of six weeks around 1841. His father took up the property Wando Dale at Nareen and so began William’s life on the land, breeding some of the finest wool stock. After taking over the property from his parents, he built the current Wando Dale Homestead (below) in 1901.
He also spent a good part of his seventy-three years in public life. He was a member of the Casterton Roads Board and the Wannon Shire Council. He was also involved with the P&A Society, the local Horticultural Society and St Andrews Church at Coleraine. William Moodie left a widow, seven sons and five daughters.
John KELLY: Died 7 February 1915 at Macarthur. John Kelly arrived from Tasmania, his birthplace, with his family when he was three years old. If John was eighty-five at the time of his death, it would mean that he arrived in Victoria in 1833, so I’m thinking it may have been a little later. Even still, he was an early arrival in the colony. John worked as a carrier with his brother, working the route between Geelong and stations as far west as Casterton. He also ran a store at Yambuk for many years and took up property at Codrington. He died at the home of his daughter Mrs Hindhaugh of Macarthur.
John MURRAY: Died 13 February 1915 at Hamilton. Born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, John Murray was a resident of Hamilton for over fifty years by the time of his death. His family arrived at Geelong aboard the Chariot of Fame and went directly to Hamilton. He spent much of his working life as a labourer and was a member of the Court Brotherhood of the Ancient Order of Foresters for over forty-five years. He was a widow and left five sons and one daughter from a family of twelve children.
Jane O’MAY: Died 17 February 1916 at Buckley Swamp. Jane O’May was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1822 and married William Kirkwood in 1842. William and Jane arrived in Portland in 1852 aboard the John Davis. They travelled by bullock dray to Warrock, near Casterton.
The Kirkwoods were hard-working pioneers and Jane left a large family at the time of her death. Three daughters were still alive along with twenty-four grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. Jane’s grandson, William Kirkwood of the Hamilton South area, married my first cousin 4 x removed, Sarah Ann Reed.
James COWELL: Died 24 February 1917 at Mortlake. James Cowell was born in Cambridgeshire around 1838 and by 1868, had already established a butcher’s shop at Mortlake. He later became a road contractor for the local Shire. One of James’ three sons, Pte Harry Cowell, lost his life at Gallipoli.
Joseph WOMBWELL: Died 9 February 1918 at Casterton. Arriving in Portland in 1853 aged seventeen years from Essex, England, Joseph Wombwell’s first job was at the Henty’s Muntham Station. He married Betsy Ann Coulson in 1869, the daughter of Christopher Coulson and Mary Frances Stubbs and stayed in Merino until 1875. They then moved to Casterton and lived in a bark hut while Joseph ran a carrying business between Casterton and Portland. One claim to fame is that he delivered the “first load of grog” to the Sandford Hotel. The Hamilton Spectator also published a lengthy obituary for Joseph Wombwell
Susan SLOAN: Died 9 February 1918 at Hamilton. Susan Sloan was born in Glasgow, Scotland and after arriving in Portland in 1855, she went to Ararat where she married Thomas Sloan. They returned to Portland and ran a shipping business, but the trade was tough and they moved inland to Hamilton where there were greater opportunities, and they established a cordial business. Thomas died in 1910 and Susan continued to run the business until her death, after which time family members continued its operations until 1930. The Sloan’s cottage Whinhill in Pope Street, Hamilton was featured in an I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria group post as it is a highly visible and known to most who have lived in Hamilton. None of us knew the history of the cottage and there is still more we would like to find out. The cordial business operated behind the cottage.
John MOFFATT: Died 9 February 1926 at Chatsworth. John Moffatt was born in Scotland in 1854 and arrived in Victoria with his parents in 1872 and resumed his education at Geelong Grammar. At age 19 he took up the running of the Burnewang Estate near Bendigo before he inherited Chatsworth House from his uncle John Moffatt in 1879. He also leased his uncle’s property Hopkins Hill from the estate’s trustees. John Moffatt was a sat on the Shire of Mt Rouse and was a member of the Landowner’s Council.
John Moffatt’s uncle, John Moffatt, has been a Passing Pioneer and his obituary offers more history about the Moffatt family.
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