Author Archives: Merron Riddiford

Trove Tuesday – Charlie and Arthur

Newspapers are a great for filling in the gaps in our family histories, uncovering information that would never be known using vital records alone.  That has been the case with my research on my gg uncle Charles James Harman.  The co-subject of last week’s Trove Tuesday post, Charles just keeps popping up in the papers offering me more and more about him.  I had found a lot of information on his post-war life in The Argus, but the arrival of the Hamilton Spectator and the Port Fairy Chronicle at Trove has helped me fill in his pre-war days, spent around Macarthur and Byaduk.

Firstly, I discovered why Charles’ engineering skill was quickly noticed by the A.F.C., with his mechanical crew keeping the No.1 Squadron in the air over Egypt during WW1.  Also, I found Charles had a friend.  Yes, even our ancestors had friends and I’m always keen to find those relationships.  The following article from the Port Fairy Chronicle drew my attention to the working relationship between Charles and Arthur Parfrey, but the letter Charles wrote to Arthur, featured in last week’s Trove Tuesday, proved they were mates too.

Twelve months before this article, Charles was left a widower when his wife Catherine Kinghorn passed away.  Catherine was 10 years older than Charles and 37 at the time of their marriage in 1905. They never had children.

cj3cj4Macarthur Matters. (1914, December 31). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91982808

Macarthur Matters. (1914, December 31). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91982808

By January 1915, Charles and Arthur had their water boring plant up and running and available for hire.  Business was brisk with dry conditions prevailing.

Macarthur Matters. (1915, January 18). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94724361

Macarthur Matters. (1915, January 18). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94724361

 

Advertising. (1915, January 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 6. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119833885

Advertising. (1915, January 18). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 6. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119833885

But things can change so quickly and with the war escalating, and no family ties, Charles sold up everything in April 1915. On July 12, 1915 at the age of 36, Charles enlisted, never to return to the Western District as a resident again.

Advertising. (1915, April 20). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119839929

Advertising. (1915, April 20). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119839929

The rise of Charles through the ranks with the A.F.C., finishing the war as a 2nd Lieutenant with military honours, led to a posting in London during the 1920s with the R.A.A.F. followed by a life in Melbourne until his death in 1943.  The last half of Charles’ life was a total contrast to the first half.  He went from pigs and dairy cows on the farm at Macarthur to rubbing shoulders with the highest ranked officials in the R.A.F. and R.A.A.F, flying in airships and attending the funeral of the victims of the R101 airship crash at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Other attendees included some of the highest ranked officials in England including the Prince of Wales.  All found out thanks to online newspapers at Trove.


Trove Tuesday – Those Magnificent Men

This is my 80th consecutive Trove Tuesday post but I thought my run would end at 79.  Yesterday I took a tumble and now have soft tissue damage in my knee and after a late night in the emergency department, things weren’t looking good for a 80th Trove Tuesday post.  Thankfully, I had started the post over the weekend, so I thought I would give you what I have so far and finish next Tuesday with the relationship between the subjects in my article, found once again at Trove.

Over the past weekend, the R.A.A.F.  celebrated 100 years of military aviation with an air show at the Point Cook R.A.A.F. base.  So, I thought it was a good time to share an article I found about my gg uncle Charles James Harman, that I found in the Hamilton Spectator when the paper came online in 2013.  Charles was the son of Reuben James Harman and Lizzie Bishop and grandson of James Harman and Susan Reed of Byaduk.  He has had a post here before, about the time he took a flight in the R101 airship.

Charles Harman joined the Australian Flying Corp in 1915 as a flight sergeant and over the course of the war rose to an officer ranking with the No. 1 Squadron of the A.F.C.  He spent most of the war in Egypt and mid-way through 1916, wrote home to his mate and business associate, Arthur Parfrey of Macarthur.  Arthur passed the interesting letter across to the Hamilton Spectator and the paper published  it on September 14, 1916.

The flight he writes of was with pilot  Oswald Watt  as they reached heights of 7000 feet.   Considering the planes the then Major Watt was flying, they were daring.  Oswald Watt’s biography is available to read at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

 

A LETTER FROM THE AIR. (1916, September 14). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133707498

A LETTER FROM THE AIR. (1916, September 14). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133707498


Passing of the Pioneers

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 February 22, 1902 at Cundare.  Marks Daffy was born at 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 25 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 18 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 arrived at the Cundare cemetery.

William MOODIE - Died February 25, 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.

"WANDO DALE", NAREEN.   Image courtesy of the  J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.  Image No.  H94.200/302 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217385

“WANDO DALE”, NAREEN. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H94.200/302
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217385

He also spent a good part of his 73 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 February 7, 1915 at Macarthur.  John Kelly arrived from Tasmania, his birth place, with his family when he was three years old.  If John was 85 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 February 13, 1915 at Hamilton.  Born  in Stirlingshire, Scotland, John Murray was a resident of Hamilton for over 50 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 45 years.  He was a widow and left five sons and one daughter from a family of 12 children.

Jane O’MAY - Died February 17, 1916 at Buckley Swamp.  Jane O’May was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1822 and married William Kirkwood in 1842.  William and Jane arrived at 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 24 grandchildren and 21 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 February 24, 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 February 9, 1918 at Casterton.  Arriving in Portland in 1853 aged 17 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

Mrs Susan SLOAN – Died February 9, 1918 at Hamilton.  Mrs 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 a I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria group post as it is a highly visible and known to most who have lived in Hamilton time, 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 February 9, 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 aged 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.

DEATH OF MR. JOHN MOFFATT. (1926, February 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 21. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3733963

DEATH OF MR. JOHN MOFFATT. (1926, February 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 21. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3733963

John Moffatt’s uncle, John Moffatt, has been a Passing Pioneer and his obituary offers more history about the Moffatt family.

 

 

 


Trove Tuesday – The Oldest Man in Victoria

The intention for this week’s Trove Tuesday post was brevity.  But as often the way, as I investigated my chosen article further, I discovered a few twists and turns.

Mentioned last week, The Australasian has arrived at Trove and I’ve been searching for photos relevant to the Western District.  That is how I discovered Aaron Weller, the subject of a photo in The Australasian in 1897.

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

On July 24, 1897, The Australasian published an article and photograph of Aaron Weller, headlined “The Oldest Man in Victoria”.  A Mr George Baird had come across Aaron, living in the Balmoral area, listened to his story and took a photograph.  Aaron told George he was born in Wimbledon, England on August 11, 1790.  By the 1830s, he was in Tasmania where he worked for the Circular Head Company.  Later in the ’30s, aboard the “Henry” he sailed to Port Phillip, obtaining work as a shepherd with Phillip Rose at his pastoral run “Rosebrook”, near Horsham.  Mr Rose must have felt something for Aaron as, on a trip back to England, Phillip picked up Aaron’s birth certificate.  It was later destroyed in a fire at the “Rosebrook” homestead during Black Thursday, 1851.

After 1851, Aaron was working for Mr Robertson at his property “Mount Mitchell” near Lexton.  With the discovery of gold just south at Ballarat,  all the property’s labourers took off to try their luck, all except Aaron. He was content to stay on as a shepherd and besides, he was into his 60s.  He then headed across the Murray, continuing as a shepherd until he gained employment with Alex McIntosh at his property “Glendinning” near Balmoral where Aaron remained for 22 years.  After the death of Alex McIntosh,  Aaron moved to nearby “Rocklands “and even after he passed the age of 100, he was still chopping wood.

The digitised copy of the article is very faint but you can read it in full on the following link, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803  , but it concluded in this way:

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

So, that’s the story of Aaron Weller.  Well at least I thought it was, but I wanted to know how far past 107 Aaron had lived.  Now, the story becomes sad as Aaron only lived a short time after July 24, 1897, the date of his article’s publication.   The Balmoral correspondent for the Hamilton Spectator reported that almost to the hour the July 24 edition of The Australasian landed in Balmoral, the townspeople were bidding farewell to Aaron at the local cemetery.  According to his wishes, he was buried close to Alex McIntosh, the man who employed him for over 20 years and whom he held in such high regard.

After his death the Horsham Times remembered Aaron Weller through the reminisces of  “Rocklands” owner ,Mr Turnball.  Aaron had told him tales of the Duke of Wellington and Waterloo,  George III and William IV.  Maybe delirious in his last days, he claimed he was off to Melbourne to retrieve a sum of £40,000, the dividend of a £100 investment, money given to him by Angela Burdett-Coutts, a 19th English philanthropist  and her husband the Marquise of Westminster.

The Horsham Times. (1897, August 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73121416

The Horsham Times. (1897, August 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73121416

The Australasian article, probably published without Aaron’s knowledge, was thought to have brought unwanted attention to him.  He had spent 60 years keeping to himself in Victoria, living a simple life with dogs as companions. But he’d been in the papers before,  when he turned 100 and again when he turned 106.  On that occasion, Mr Turnbull  held a celebration in Aaron’s honour    How much Aaron knew about The Australian article, which in no way mentioned his liking for a drink or his pipe, and the resultant public reaction, is unknown but reports after his death suggest he may have had some knowledge.   The Australian responded to his passing,

aw3

TALK ON 'CHANGS. (1897, August 7). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 32. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139745269

TALK ON ‘CHANGS. (1897, August 7). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 32. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139745269

While they said they were not blaming the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) as such, they weren’t exactly shying away from the possibility.  Not so subtle was the Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), a Catholic newspaper that in 1942 merged with the Catholic Press to become the Catholic Weekly.  The Freeman’s Journal was not an official publication of the Catholic Church, but it offered news of a Catholic and Irish nature.

    ACTA POPULI. (1897, September 18). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 8. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115469610

ACTA POPULI. (1897, September 18). Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932), p. 8. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115469610

If the article about Aaron had not been published, would he have lived for another year or two?  Or was his time up anyway?  Looking back at the concluding paragraph of the original article, Aaron was tiring.  Maybe, if the W.C.T.U. did write a letter to Aaron’s guardians, presumably the Turnballs. maybe they too could sense his weariness through his photo and words.

Aaron’s story was interesting.  Interesting enough to see what else could be found.  A search of Australian records at Ancestry.com.au revealed within the New South Wales and Tasmania Australia Convict Muster records (1806-1849),…Aaron Weller, assigned to Mr John Sinclair, 1833.  On to the English records and there was Aaron Weller in the Australian Convict Transport Register 1791-1868, convicted at Kent and sentenced to transportation for seven years.  His crime, listed in the England & Wales Criminal Registers, 1791-1892, was fraud.  Next, across to the Tasmania’s Heritage website and the convict index and there again was Aaron Weller,  transported aboard the Gilmour from London on November 27, 1831, arriving at Tasmania on March 22, 1832.

After all of that, I couldn’t find the age of the said convict, Aaron Weller.  If it was Aaron of Balmoral, he would have been 41 at the time of his departure from England.  I did find one other Aaron Weller, and of Kent, in the UK Land Tax Redemption Records from 1798, eight years after Aaron’s birth.

Back to Trove, and I searched for Aaron Weller through the 1830s and, looking to confirm some of Aaron’s story, I searched for the Henry, the ship Aaron said he sailed aboard to Victoria.  Despite not having any ages to match up Aaron, the results of my two searches found something that may get me a little closer to confirming Aaron Weller, of Balmoral came to the Australia as a convict.  In May 1836, convict Aaron Weller, only three years into his seven-year term, was granted a ticket of leave.  Coincidentally, on July 15, 1836, the Henry, Balmoral Aaron’s ship, sailed from Launceston to Port Phillip.

Classified Advertising. (1836, May 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4176331

Classified Advertising. (1836, May 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4176331

SHIP NEWS. (1836, July 16). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65950241

SHIP NEWS. (1836, July 16). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65950241


Bric-a-Brac

You may have noticed mostly Trove Tuesday posts and monthly Passing of the Pioneers from me lately, but there’s been a good reason.  Aside from  school holidays, that always slow me down, and family keeping me busy in general,  I’ve been writing the history of the Harman family of Byaduk for a Diploma in Family Historical Studies.  So for something different, I thought I would share some snippets from my research so far and some other news.

It’s been difficult for me to get to the out-of-town places that may hold information to help my Harman research, but I’ve found ways around it.  I’ve mentioned in a earlier post about an email enquiry to the Port Fairy Historical Society that resulted in some wonderful Harman history forwarded to me.  I have also contacted both Macarthur Historical Society and Hamilton Historical Society by email to first find out what they have, to weigh up a visit.  Unfortunately, I can cross Macarthur H.S. off my list but Hamilton H.S. do have some other bits and pieces relevant to the Harmans’ lives in Byaduk that will help develop their story.  There is still the Port Fairy Genealogical Society , somewhere I hoped to visit during a short holiday to the town in January.  The heat got the better of me and the beach won out.  I will now have to resort to an email enquiry.

HARMAN VALLEY,  BYADUK

HARMAN VALLEY, BYADUK

I’ve known for sometime that the State Library of Victoria held a copy of a letter written about the voyage of the “Duke of Richmond” to Portland in 1853, the same voyage that brought James and Susan Harman to Victoria.  I’ve always had great intentions to get to the library and view it, but I realised that was not going to happen.  Instead, I made use of the Library’s wonderful copying service and last week I received a copy of a beautiful letter from 1853 written by Mrs Maria Taylor (nee Ridgeway), just after her arrival at Portland.  She describes aspects of the voyage including the food and the crew and the conditions on arrival at Portland including the price of vegetables and employment opportunities.

Archival Access has been a life saver for records from the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV).  Recently I received a disc in the mail with a copy of the Victorian Inquest file for a cousin, Charles Frederick Ward, who died in the Ballarat Asylum in 1928.  I am trying to build a profile of Charles, knowing little of him except his birth and death dates and that his mother, Isabella Harman, died while giving birth to him, an only child.

The most significant thing I had found to date, thanks to James Harman’s will, was that Charles’ aunt, spinster Henrietta Harman, a  daughter of James, played a big part in his upbringing.  Henrietta is the person who my Harman history will revolve around and to know more about Charles is vital in reaching my final conclusions.  Details from the inquest were useful and I discovered he was only in the asylum a matter of weeks ,taken there by the police after being found in a malnourished and agitated state in Ballarat.  He was 42 when he died.

IMG_1830 (800x600)

Also on my Archival Access disc were Wills and Probate records for my gg grandfather, Reuben James Harman, gg aunt Henrietta Harman and ggg uncle Jonathan Harman.  Well, well, well.  The things I have found out about the Harman family dynamic, particularly those I am directly descended from is amazing and while not altogether surprising, it was still confronting to see the written proof.  Henrietta’s will is an absolute gem and some of the items she bequeathed where her Mason & Hamlin organ and framed photos of her parents James and Susan Harman, her brother Albert, her nephew Charles Ward and herself.  What I would do to see a photo of Henrietta.  I still have some more  Probate records to get from PROV, so I will again call on the  wonderful services of Archival Access.

So that’s my thesis, but I’ve been up to a some other things.  My I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria Facebook group continues to grow. now with 2313 members and over 1800 photos.  I highly recommend anyone with a family link to Hamilton and even the surrounding towns to check it out.   We have some keen family and local historians among the members and those that have joined for research purposes have had success.  I have found that someone usually knows something about most topics raised and we have all enjoyed learning more about our hometown.

hamo4

THE TOWN OF HAMILTON.
THE NORDENFELT GUN IN ACTION : A SKETCH ON THE DETACHED SQUADRON. (1881, July 16). The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 – 1889), p. 225. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60622490

Some mini-reunions have evolved from the group, but on the past weekend, over 30 former Hamilton residents attended a reunion in Brisbane.  They had a fantastic day and are planning another for 2015.  Thank you to Helen for getting the reunion up and running and those that helped her with memorabilia and other arrangements. It really has been wonderful to see not only the reunions, but the collaboration among members to solve mysteries, share stories and discuss current Hamilton events and issues.

Don’t forget the Western District Families Facebook page.  “Likes” are about to reach 150 which is exciting and it’s been great to see others sharing photos to the page.

As mentioned,  I was in Port Fairy in January and amassed an array of photos.  Currently, I’m slowly preparing two posts, each on the Port Fairy Cemetery.  I hope to get a least one of them out soon .  Also, I have ideas for posts coming out my ears, but I will just have put them on hold until the second half of the year, but there will be some good things to look forward to in the meantime.  We will continue The Vagabond‘s journey through the Western District, finishing off the Portland area and then on to Warrnambool, and  I still have many photos from a Portland trip two years ago to share.  And I have some more Hamilton photos along with some interesting stories I’ve picked up from the Hamilton group and of course some more great stories about my Western District Families.

A Hint of Port Fairy

A Hint of Port Fairy

To close, may I share a little from Edna Harman’s history of the Harman family of Port Fairy.  Edna was a granddaughter of George Hall Harman.  Unmarried, she served with the RAAF in WW2 and after that devoted much of her time to recording and preserving the history of Wangaratta, writing a book and tirelessly volunteering with the Wangaratta Historical Society.  The following is an excerpt from her closing paragraph about her maternal grandparents the Grahams of Port Fairy.  The subject is Edna’s great-grandmother Mary Graham.

“My eldest cousin often tells me she can recall seeing great Grandmother (Mary) Graham and she remembers her bests as a ‘little old lady sitting up in bed, smoking, of all things a pipe’.  Mary Graham died in 1898 at the age of 93 years” (Harman Family History,(1970), Held by the Port Fairy Historical Society)


Trove Tuesday – The Australasian

Editions of The Australasian Melbourne (1864-1946) began arriving at Trove in early January and since there has been five further updates.  On my first search of the paper, and there are still many issues “coming soon”, I was pleased to find many articles, with photos, that are of interest to me.

The Australasian grew out of the  Weekly Argus (1855), Examiner and Melbourne Weekly News (1857), Yeoman and Australian Acclimatiser (1861), with the first issue published on October 1, 1864.  Later,  Bells Life in Victoria and the Australasian Sketcher (1873) merged with The Australasian.  Sold as a “town and country” paper,  it includes plenty of news from Western District towns.  The Australasian became the Australasian Post in 1946.

There was one photo I was keen to get access to from The Australasian, that of “Bewsall”, the home of Robert Stapylton Bree of Hamilton.  I have searched everywhere for a photo of the house which no longer exists,  but I had seen one in Don Garden’s book, “Hamilton, A Western District History” (1984), sourced, including others in the book, from The Australasian.  Well, the photo of “Bewsall” is now available and you can see it below.

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

The following photo is of Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street, published in 1903.  The Christ Church steeple is in view as well as the black face of the Hamilton Post Office clock, later changed to white.

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

Influence from Bells Life in Victoria,  a  sports newspaper, is present in The Australasian, which has some great sporting photos, including the following from the 1902 Hamilton Golf Tournament.

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

As I page through the many illustrated articles from The Australasian, I can see that there are still many more articles with photos to come from the Hamilton district.  Thank you Trove, for once again providing us with such a wonderful newspaper.


Trove Tuesday – Hong Sip of Cavendish

One of the great things about the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, is that you just never know what is going to turn up.

Over the weekend, Emma posted photos of some old Hamilton Spectators dated Saturday March 11, 1876,  They were a found in the roof of Emma’s house that is undergoing renovations.  One of the photos was of the Dundas Shire Rate valuations for the South Riding.  On the list were my Haddens.  Emma posted a photo of the entire list for and there was another name that caught my interest,  Hong Sip.  I mentioned to the group I would find out more about him and headed to Trove, the first place I go when there are history queries in the group.  As usual I got a result.

In 1869, Hong Sip, a cook, married local girl Margaret Moran.  The Cavendish correspondent was unsure of the name of Hong Sip’s bride, but unlike him, I have access to Marriage records courtesy of Ancestry.  He did however write a lovely account of the occasion and displayed a very optimistic outlook about the acceptance of Interracial marriages.

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

Just to follow-up, I also found this reference to Hong Sip, know as John, after his death in 1885.

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

 


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