Category Archives: Harman

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)


Elsie, Rupert… and Mike.

So intrigued was I by the photo from the State Library of Victoria that accompanied my Trove Tuesday post this week, Leopard on the Loose, I just had to find out more about the photo.

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

It wasn’t too hard really.  Another search at Trove for “Leopard Hobart Zoo” uncovered the following article.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE HOBART ZOO. (1930, May 17). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54241041

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE HOBART ZOO. (1930, May 17). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 – 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54241041

You can read the full article on this link – Beauty and the Beast – but in short, the leopard was two-year old “Mike” hand reared by the Hobart Zoo’s curator’s daughter  Alison Reid had rescued the cub after his mother, an exhibit at the zoo, ate Mike’s brother, and she could not let him suffer the same fate.

So what happened to Mike after his photo with Alison?  While I couldn’t find anything specific about his life after 1930, the history of the Hobart Zoo, also known as the Beaumaris Zoo, gives some clue.  Beaumaris Zoo was originally a private zoo owned by Mrs Mary Grant Roberts.   After her death, the Hobart City Council took over the zoo and in 1923 it opened to the public.  During the 1920s the zoo expanded, bringing in animals from other Australian zoos and overseas,  but when the Depression hit, the zoo struggled throughout the 1930s until the Council closed it in 1937.  During those troubled times the last thylacine in captivity, died at the zoo in 1936.

Reports during the 1930s didn’t give Mike much hope. In 1932, a leopard and lion were destroyed to save money, although the newspaper report suggested they were older animals.  Other animals were also sold off to the circus, including Leopards.  So where Mike ended up is not clear.

ZOO UNPROFITABLE AT HOBART. (1935, July 9). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86569164

ZOO UNPROFITABLE AT HOBART. (1935, July 9). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86569164

While reading the 1930s articles,  I found that my research had gone full circle.  One article,from 1934, mentioned none other than radio stars Elsie Day and my 2nd cousin, 3 x removed, Rupert Alexander Hazell.  Rupert and Elsie had visited the zoo on an earlier trip to Tasmania and Elsie and Mike had their photo taken together.  The photo proved a hit back in England bringing publicity to the zoo and Tasmania.

NORTHERN NOTES. (1934, March 7). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24916596

NORTHERN NOTES. (1934, March 7). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24916596

After reading this article, I proceeded to add it to my “Rupert Hazell” list at Trove.  As I scrolled up, I realised I already had, 18 months ago when I was originally researching Rupert for the post, Everybody Happy.  When I originally found the photo of the leopard for the Trove Tuesday post, I didn’t think this is where I would end up.  If I only I could find the photo of Elsie and Mike.  I have tried the British Newspaper Archive with no success.

I found some interesting blogs with posts about Beaumaris Zoo if you would like to read more of the zoo’s history or would like to see some pictures of the abandoned zoo today:

Australasian Zoo & Circus Animals Historical Journal – Beaumaris Zoo (Hobart) Zoo Part 1 – The Legacy of Beaumaris

Simon Says – Tasmania V: Beaumaris Zoo


It’s A Small World

I didn’t think I would ever see the names Harman and Combridge together in a newspaper article.  Harman,  is my maternal great-grandmother’s family name and Combridge, my paternal grandmother’s family name.  One is from the west of the Western District and the other family was predominately from around Geelong, but my paternal grandmother’s own family moved across to South Gippsland.  Also, I thought that not until my parent’s marriage in 1967, would Harman and Combridge descendants have stood together in a church, but in fact 53 years before in Kyneton, Central Victoria they did.

The Harman in question was Nina Harman (who you have met before when she appeared in the Australian Women’s Weekly with her carpet, a royal inspiration).  The Combridge in question was John Robert Combridge (1868-1934), brother of my gg grandfather, Herbert Combridge.

Nina Harman, then 19, was in Kyneton back in 1914 because her father, Walter Graham Harman had moved the family there from Port Fairy in the early 1900s.  John Combridge, a Church of Christ minister, was finishing a stint at the Kyneton Church of Christ, before moving to Horsham, the deepest any Combridge had ventured into Western Victoria. The purpose of the gathering at the Kyneton Church of Christ was to farewell John and his wife, Julia Mill, and wish them luck for their time in Horsham.  Not only was Nina a member of the congregation, she played the piano alongside Julia on the organ.

Nina wasn’t the only Harman in church that Sunday evening.  Mr and Miss Harman sang the hymn “Look up to Christ” accompanied by Nina and Julia.  Mr Harman would have been Nina’s father Walter and the Miss Harman, one of Nina’s sisters, either Elise or Nellie.  John then launched into his final sermon at Kyneton Church of Christ.

While it was a smaller world in 1914, I’m still surprised the families met and I can only wonder how well they knew each other.

com

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. (1914, June 30). Kyneton Guardian (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129618902

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. (1914, June 30). Kyneton Guardian (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129618902


Byaduk Methodist Church Jubilee

With the Hamilton Spectator (1914-1918) now online at Trove, I am finding some good articles about my family members. One of those articles included ggg grandfather James Harman  and the Byaduk Methodist Church Jubilee in May 1914.

I have outlined the history of the Byaduk Methodist Church and the part  James played, in the post M is for….Methodist, and this new find further confirms what I knew.  The Byaduk correspondent remarked that James, “who claims and justly so, to be the father of the movement” in the town was present at the celebration dinner.  James spoke, reminiscing about the early days and his time as a lay preacher.  I wish there had been video cameras in those days.  What I would give for that information.

Some of the local pioneers to return for the Jubilee were Thomas Harper, Samuel Clark, John Poynton.  Daniel Tyers, then 94,  was also in attendance at the dinner, joining 200 others in the Byaduk Mechanics Institute.  The evening had a jam-packed program of speeches, recitation and song.

methmeth1meth2

METHODIST JUBILEE AT BYADUK. (1914, May 9). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 8. Retrieved September 18, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119828889

METHODIST JUBILEE AT BYADUK. (1914, May 9). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 8. Retrieved September 18, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119828889

BYADUK METHODIST CHURCH

BYADUK METHODIST CHURCH

In 1907, some of the early Byaduk pioneers gathered for a photo outside the Byaduk Methodist Church.  In the back row, 2nd left was Samuel Tyers,  James and Jonathan Harman,  5th and 6th (both were listed as J. Harman, helpful) Thomas Harper, 9th from the left.  Daniel Tyers was In the 2nd row, 5th from the left.

pioneers700

BYADUK PIONEERS 1907, Photographer G. Earney. Image courtesy of the Hamilton History Centre.


Harman Housekeeping

It’s time to tie up the loose ends with my Harman research before I launch into writing a thesis on the Harmans of Byaduk (1852-1952) for a Diploma in Family Historical Studies.  That’s a daunting thought despite what you may think.  I write often about my family here, especially the Harmans, I have  research gathered over 20 years and I could ramble for 20,000 words about the Harmans if anyone would listen.  Putting the research together into one structured and organised piece is what I find daunting.

So daunted in fact,  I purchased Hazel Edward’s Writing a Non-Boring Family History and revisited a NLA podcast – “How to write history that people want to read” by Professor Ann Curthoys and Professor Ann McGrath.  Not that I’m worried about it being non-boring or uninteresting, I need tips on putting it all together

Structure aside, there are still some unanswered questions about the Harmans that need resolution.  The year the Harmans arrived in Port Fairy from N.S.W. is one question.   Looking for leads,  I contacted the  Port Fairy Historical Society (PFHS) hoping they may have something.  Robyn Bartlett, an archivist at PFHS got back with the news there was a lot of information particularly from a source I had forgotten as a possibility but was not unexpected.  Last week I received a nice thick parcel from the PFHS.  Thank you Robyn,  You provided a wonderful service.

After the dancing died down and I carefully examined the contents of the envelope, I knew If I got nothing else from the information Robyn sent (which I doubt will be true), I have had my Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA) moment.  You know that moment  when a celebrity finds a family member that helps defines them, explains their career path or personality traits.  It is different to the other WDYTYA moment when a celeb. visits the former home of an ancestor and feels some affinity.  I have had that moment too.

My WDYTYA moment came as I read several letters written by my 2nd cousin 3 x removed, Edna Harman, formerly of Wangaratta.  Distant cousin I know, but as I read the letters I could feel her passion for her family’s history and history in general .  It was like reading me.  Edna wrote six letters over a 20 year period from 1963 to the PFHS.  I knew she was an active member and one time research officer of the Wangaratta Historical Society and had also co-written a book,  Wangaratta: old tales and tours (1983) with Judy Bassett.  Edna’s grandfather George Hall Harman left Port Fairy for Byaduk with the other family members, but later returned to Port Fairy where he remained for the rest of his life.  That is how Edna came to have a Port Fairy connection.

LETTERS FROM EDNA

LETTERS FROM EDNA

Edna’s letters contain snippets of some wonderful family stories and as luck would have it, Edna put those stories. and others she had gathered from cousins, into a text book, complete with photos (yes, she used photo corners!).  There are pages and pages of history of the Harmans of Port Fairy and her family in Wangaratta including her father Herbert Harman, a long serving journalist with the Wangaratta Chronicle.  One of Herbert’s poems was in the package, and I had to smile because the subject  was the S.S.Casino.  The steamer was the subject of a recent Trove Tuesday post.  A story of Edna’s grandfather’s visits to Wangaratta resonated with me,  George Harman would take a bunch of boronia for his granddaughter.  That reminded me of my grandmother Mavis Riddiford telling me about grandpa Percy giving her bunches of boronia.

I am eternally grateful to the late Edna Harman, and I am sorry that I never met her.  I know I would have liked her.

I have also been buying a few certificates that I have need to help answer some questions, well at least try.

Reuben Harman died in 1883 at only 44,  less than half the age of most of his siblings.   I wanted to find the cause of his death,  and check his “length of time in the colony” status, to compare with the other family members.  Turns out Reuben died of hydatids, a condition on the increase in the Western District during the 1880s and was probably caught from his dogs or dirty drinking water.  This article from the Horsham Times of  March 16, 1883, warned of the dangers of hydatidis and its spread.  Reuben died weeks later on April 28.

hyd

The Horsham Times. (1883, March 16). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved August 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72872771

The Horsham Times. (1883, March 16). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved August 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72872771

I have also purchased the marriage certificate of Sarah Harman, sister of Reuben.  She married Walter Oakley in  1864 but married again to George Adams in 1885.  When I first wrote about Sarah and Walter I heard from  Brad,  a member of the Oakley family.  As the family story goes,  Walter disappeared while delivering horses to India, part of the active export trade during the later half of the 19th century.  I wanted to know how Walter’s “disappearance” was explained on Sarah’s second marriage certificate.  It said that Walter was “not seen or heard of or from for a period of nine years”.  That would make it around 1876 when he disappeared, leaving Sarah with four children aged six to eleven,

Finally, I  purchased the death certificate  of Charles Frederick Ward, son of Stephen Ward and Isabella Harman and grandson of James Harman.  Isabella died during child-birth and the Harman family raised Charles and from what I can gather, his aunt Henrietta played an integral part.  Charles died in 1928 at Ballarat aged just 42, presumably unmarried and childless.  It always appeared that something tragic had happened to Charles, but I had never found anything in the papers.   Now the story is much clearer.  Charles Ward died in the Ballarat Asylum, later known as the Lakeside Hospital, from “organic disease of the brain” and yes, confirmation he never married or had children.  Of course, this now leads me down the path of inquest and asylum records, but if I am to know the part that Harmans of Byaduk played in the life of Charles, particularly Henrietta, I do need more.

HEADSTONE OF CHARLES WARD AND HIS MOTHER ISABELLA HARMAN

HEADSTONE OF CHARLES WARD AND HIS MOTHER ISABELLA HARMAN

The next steps in my research will be a call to the Macarthur Historical Society,  a visit to the State Library of Victoria for some elusive Byaduk history books, PROV for land records and correspondence with living Harmans.  Just all the things I’ve put off for the past twenty years.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

While I’m here talking about corresponding with living Harmans, it is worth mentioning some of those descendents I’m keen on catching up with.

Descendants of:

Gershom HARMAN (1869-1940) and Elizabeth HILLIARD (1874-1931) of Byaduk

Related Names:

ADDINSALL (Wallacedale)

WHEELER (Branxholme)

Walter GREED (1870-1955) and Jessie HARMAN (1871-1949) of Hamilton

Related Name:

JONES (Mumbannar)

James HANKS (1871-1909) and Ellen May HARMAN (1881-1948) of Horsham

Related Name:

WOODS (Horsham & Kaniva)

Reuben Edward HARMAN (1894-1959) and Elizabeth Evaline HENRY (c1900-1979) of Preston.

Related Names:

KING (Thornbury)

SIMMONS (Mordialloc)

 

 

 

 

 


The Muddy Creek Reeds

Researching the family of my ggg grandmother Susan has been like searching a muddy creek looking for clues with reeds blocking my way.  The thing is Susan was a Reed and for a time members of her family lived at Muddy Creek.

The main challenge has been the family name.  My ggg grandmother and her siblings were christened as Reed .  She and her family were Read on the 1841 and 1851 UK Census and on Susan’s death record.   Despite the variance,  I had chosen to call Susan and her parents and siblings by the surname Read.   Then I found that Susan’s brother William was living just down the road from her in Victoria.  In 1866 when William married Sarah Burgin, he was William Read.  By 1869, and the birth of William’s first child, he was Reed.  That was the surname taken by his children and that went with him to the grave.

Even though the “Reed” name was consistently used by William from 1869, always lurking is the thought that at sometime the name may be Read.  Or Reid.  Especially in the newspapers.

Susan and William’s story began in Cambridgeshire, first in Melbourn where Susan was born in 1830 and then Whaddon where William was born in 1835.  They remained in Whaddon until they left England.

From the 1841 UK Census, the Read family of Whaddon appeared a fairly typical family in the village.  Parents William Read and Mary Waymant had four children, Susan being the eldest.  William senior was an agricultural labourer.  By the time of the 1851 Census it was clear that over the preceding decade, life for the Read family had changed somewhat.  Susan, recorded as Sussanna was now head of the household, her occupation “pauper”.  There were two new children in the family, Julia aged 7 and John aged  6.  They, along with Sybil then 13 and James 11, were also paupers.  William jnr. 16, was working as an agriculture labourer.

The most noticeable difference from the 1841 Census, other than most of the family being paupers, is that parents William and Mary were not in the house on the night of the 1851 Census.  No amount of searching has found a trace of them on that night or there after.  The other missing family member was Isabella, then 16.  I found her in Bassingbourn working as a servant.  She married in 1853 to Henry Cutts but she died in 1856.  In addition to the information on the Census,  in 1847, another child was born to William and Mary, a son Alfred William.  Like his parents, I have not found any further trace of him.

If William and Mary had died by 1851, it raises questions about Susan’s emotions about leaving for Australia in 1852, shortly after her marriage to James Harman.  Departing would have been heart wrenching enough, but to leave her brothers and sisters under such circumstances must have been extremely difficult for Susan.  She named three of her children after her siblings, Alfred, Julia and Isabella.

Sometime over the following eight to ten years, William jnr left England for Australia but I have not been able to find his arrival in Victoria.  A lot of “William Reeds” and ” William Reads” arrived in Victoria during the 1850s and 60s and that is assuming he came directly to Victoria.

He had arrived in Australia by 1866 as he married Sarah Burgin in that year.  Sarah was the daughter of Richard Burgin and Eliza Addinsall and was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1846.  The Burgins arrived in Geelong in 1854 aboard “Josuha“.  They settled at Muddy Creek, south of Hamilton.

William and Sarah had seven children:

WILLIAM – Born 1869 at Macarthur; Died 1952 at  Hamilton;  Never married.

ELIZA MARY -  Born 1871 at  Hamilton; Died 1954 at  Hamilton;  Marriage – James Percy CLAYTON in  1896.

MARTHA -  Born 1873 at  Macarthur;  Died 1945  at Warrabkook;  Marriage – James Ernest FORD in  1901.

ALBERT -  Born 1874 at  Warrabkook;  Died 1954 at Hamilton;  Marriage -  Elilias PATMAN in  1904.

JOHN -  Born 1877 at Warrabkook;  Died 1878 at Warrabkook.

SARAH ANN -  Born 1879 at  Warrabkook;  Died 1948  at Hamilton;  Marriage -  William KIRKWOOD in 1903.

ALICE -  Born 1882  at Warrabkook;  Died 1974  at Hamilton;  Marriage – Henry Alfred BREWIS  in 1904.

Another difficulty with William Reed is that he lived at both Warrabkook near Macarthur and Muddy Creek, near Hamilton, but he could also be recorded as living at South Hamilton as Muddy Creek fell in the Parish of South Hamilton.  I also can’t rule out nearby Yulecart being used as his place of residence.   So that leaves me searching for William Read or Reed (or Reid) at two locations with four possible place names across the same time period.

In 1888, William was executor of his father in-laws  will.  Noted was William’s signature, “William Reed” and his residence Warrabkook.

Advertising. (1888, June 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 9. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6130428

Advertising. (1888, June 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 9. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6130428

Not taking a lead from his father in law, William passed away the following year, on December 23, 1889, intestate.   William’s two brother-in-laws William  Burgin and my ggg grandfather James Harman, lodged applications to administer the estate.  However,  William’s wife Sarah was granted administration.  The notice, below, said William was from South Hamilton while Sarah was from Muddy Creek, South Hamilton.

Advertising. (1890, January 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 10. Retrieved June 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8586393

Advertising. (1890, January 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 10. Retrieved June 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8586393

William was buried at Hamilton Old Cemetery and his headstone recorded his place of death as Muddy Creek.

REED GRAVE, HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY

REED GRAVE, HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY

It was William’s’ probate papers that told me more about him.  William owned six properties at the time of his death, three in the Parish of South Hamilton, two in the Parish of Warrabkook and one in the Parish of Yulecart.

One of the properties in South Hamilton of 94 acres, had a five-room stone dwelling with an iron roof and all walls plastered.  One ceiling was still canvas lined.  There was also a stone out building.  This would have been the Reed’s Muddy Creek residence.  The other two smaller properties were next to the “home paddock”.  They were all partially fenced with an old log fence and post and wire.  There is a clue to how long William may have been at Muddy Creek.  The improvements on the properties had occurred over 30 years.  That would go back to around 1859.

This list of tender bids, presented at the District Road Board on February 20, 1863 includes a W.Reed who lodged a tender to repair the ford at Muddy Creek.  He did have the cheapest quote but he was beaten to the job by contractors, Vivian and White.

DISTRICT ROAD BOARD. (1863, February 23). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64628235

DISTRICT ROAD BOARD. (1863, February 23). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64628235

The two properties in the Parish of Warrabkook were close by to the Eumeralla River and they can be seen on the  Parish of Warrabkook map from 1879.  John Kirkwood, father-in law of William’s daughter Sarah owned the property to the west.  To the north was the property of William Burgin, William’s brother-in-law.

The larger property of 229 acres  had a four room mud dwelling with a two room wooden add-on.  There were three brick chimneys and the walls were papered.  Two rooms had pine lined ceilings.  This would have been the Reed’s Warrabkook residence.  Improvements on the property had taken place over 22 years, beginning around 1867.

This Local Land Board notice from 1871  reports on an application from W.Reed of Warrabkook.

LOCAL LAND BOARD. (1871, November 30). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 6 Edition: EVENINGS. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65426388

LOCAL LAND BOARD. (1871, November 30). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 6 Edition: EVENINGS. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65426388

It seems that while William may have bought land at Muddy Creek first, he and Sarah spent the early years of their marriage at Warrabkook, although there did seem to be some going backwards and forwards until their third child, Martha was born.  It was some distance between Muddy Creek and Warrabkook, but I think William may have taken a shorter more direct route than Google Maps offers, with a distance of around 42 kilometres.  Susan lived at Byaduk on the way.  The map below shows Warrabkook (A), Byaduk (B) and Muddy Creek (C).

Later they seem to have spent more time at Muddy Creek.  There was a strong Methodist community and the Reeds were members of the Muddy Creek Primitive Methodist Church.  In 1929, Sarah Reed laid the foundation stone for a new Muddy Creek Pioneer church .  Daughter Martha’s  wedding notice from 1901 has Sarah from Muddy Creek and Warrabkook.

SOCIAL. (1901, May 7). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved June 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73026998

SOCIAL. (1901, May 7). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved June 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73026998

While I can’t find William Reed’s South Hamilton properties on land maps, the road names around Muddy Creek/Yulecart give a clue.  Like at Warrabkook, the Reed, Burgin and Kirkwoods were never far away from each other.

Until now, I have recorded Susan as Susan Read on my family tree and William as William Reed which is a bit messy.  Writing this post as forced me to look harder at the sources and I have decided that I will change all those I have listed as Read to Reed as that is what Susan and her siblings were christened.  I will still need to factor in the different name variables.

William and Susan were not the only Reeds of Whaddon to come to Australia.  Their sister Sybil lived in Ulmurra, New South Wales.  Her husband John Revell was the puntman on the Coldstream River at Ulmurra.  At the time of Sybil’s death in 1903, Susan placed a notice in The Hamilton Spectator for her younger sister.

So for at least three of the Reed family, life improved and the move to Australia must be attributed to that.  William would not have owned six properties had he stayed in Whaddon.  Although they led  hard pioneering lives, at the end, I doubt they had few regrets.


Byaduk Cemetery

I enjoy a trip to the Byaduk Cemetery.   When I turn off the Hamilton-Port Fairy Road and drive up the hill on not much more than a track, I can sense the ghosts of my ancestors around me, walking or driving a buggy up the hill following a horse-drawn hearse to the cemetery.  It is like stepping back in time.

fun

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE STATE LIBRARY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA B62833 http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/63000/B62833.htm

There are over 250 burials, in the cemetery and I will share photos of a small sample of headstones, including some of my family.  There are also unmarked graves, such as that of my 4 x great grandparents Joseph and Sarah Harman.

IMG_1848

THREE BROTHERS

Scottish brothers, Colin, Duncan and James Fraser called Byaduk home and became respected residents.

The brothers immigrated from Scotland in 1853 and went to the Ararat diggings.  When land became available in 1861, the brothers went to Byaduk and Colin and James selected “Aird“.

They all at one time lived at “Aird. “James built a hut there but later built a home at “Lower Aird”, the adjacent property.  Colin built his home at “Aird” where he resided until his death.  The Victorian Heritage Database has a concise history of the Frasers and information about the Aird Homestead complex and the Lower Aird Homestead complex.  The Weekly Times ran an article about Lower Aird” in 2009.

Duncan didn’t buy land initially, rather, he returned to Scotland.  In 1871 he was back in  Byaduk with his wife Margaret and four children, Simon, Helen, Donald and William and they lived at “Aird” for a time.  In 1873, Duncan purchased “Camp Creek” where he lived until his death in 1878 aged just 49.

HEADSTONE OF DUNCAN &     FRASER, BYADUK CEMETERY

HEADSTONE OF DUNCAN & FRASER, BYADUK CEMETERY

James and Mary Fraser produced a WW1 hero, 2nd Lieutenant Simon Fraser, and his bravery at the Battle of Fromelles, is commemorated at the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles.  A statue “Cobbers, depicts Simon carrying a fellow soldier during the battle.

2nd Leuitenant Simon Fraser, 58th Battalion.  Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial-ID no H05926 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H05926/

2nd Leuitenant Simon Fraser, 58th Battalion. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial-ID no H05926 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H05926/

A member of the 57th Battalion,  Sergeant Simon Fraser carried men from No Man’s Land.  As he lifted a man on his shoulders, he heard another call out , “Don’t forget me cobber”.  Simon was later promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. The following year he was killed in action.  “Cobbers” has been replicated at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne.

Colin and Margaret Fraser lived at “Aird” but unlike the other two brothers, they had no children.  “Aird” was later purchased by another well-known Byaduk family, the Christies.

GRAVE OF COLIN &     FRASER, BYADUK CEMETERY

GRAVE OF COLIN & FRASER, BYADUK CEMETERY

I am very thankful to James and Mary Fraser’s third son, Peter Fraser.  It was Peter’s writings of the Early Byaduk History in 1931, compiled from events he kept in diaries, that has given me so much information on the history of Byaduk and the families that lived there.

Peter did not publish his writings, but in 1994, Ian Black of Hamilton, typed them out and published a wonderful little book, Early Byaduk Settlers.  It may only be only 15 pages long, but it is a star on my bookshelf and a must for anyone that has ancestors that lived at Byaduk.  Peter tells the story of the Fraser brothers in great detail.

IMG_1815

There are at least sixteen Frasers buried at Byaduk.  Following are some of the family’s headstones:

IMG_1818

IMG_1819

IMG_1821

The following headstones are either linked to each other in some way or have direct links to the Harman family

Jane Carmichael (nee Pope) came to Byaduk from Scotland later in life with two of her children, Charles and Emma.  From what I can gather her husband had either died in Scotland or remained there.

IMG_1823

Family Notices. (1917, November 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1664422

Family Notices. (1917, November 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1664422

Emma Carmichael, born in Dundee, Scotland around 1859 married Albert Harman in 1907.  She was 48 and Albert 39.  Albert was the fourth son of James and Susan Harman.

HEADSTONE OF ALBERT AND EMMA HARMAN

HEADSTONE OF ALBERT AND EMMA HARMAN

Samuel and Jane Tyers did not have any children, but other members of Samuel’s family lived in Byaduk.  There are at least nine other Tyers family members in the Byaduk Cemetery including Samuel’s sister Jane.

IMG_1829

Other than Charlotte’s obituary, I could not find a lot about James and Charlotte Ward.  It was that obituary, however, that helped me find a link between this headstone and the one following it.

IMG_1841

Family Notices. (1904, April 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10315347

Family Notices. (1904, April 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10315347

This  Holmes headstone has a link to the previous one and to Samuel and Jane Tyers (above).  Joseph Holmes (1862-1929) was the son of George Holmes and Jane Tyers.  Jane was a sister of Samuel Tyers (above).

Joseph married Agnes Brand.  Her grandparents were James and Charlotte Ward (above).  Her parents were William Brand and Agnes Ward and Charlotte’s obituary mentions her daughter “Mrs William Brand”.

IMG_1840

The following headstone belongs to Isabella Ward and her son Charles Ward.  Isabella was Isabella Harman, daughter of James and Susan Harman.  Her sister, Julia, married George Holmes, brother of Joseph Holmes (above).

Isabella married Stephen Ward in 1885 and their son Charles Frederick Ward was born in 1886, the same year as his mother’s death, presumably as a result of the birth.

I had heard from Nana that Henrietta Harman, Isabella’s unmarried sister, raised Charles.  James Harman, in his will, made provision for his daughter Henrietta and grandson, Charles to stay in the house that he owned beyond his death and for as long as needed.  Also, after the death of Henrietta, a trust would allow for Charles’ maintenance.  That was not because Auntie Henrietta outlived her much-loved nephew Charles.  He died in 1928 at Ballarat.

IMG_1830Henrietta Harman was Nana’s great-aunt and she could recall as s a child,  Auntie Henrietta visiting their home.  That would have been during the 1920s and 30s.  Henrietta would catch the coach from Byaduk to Hamilton.  “She was a dear old thing” Nana would say.  I think maybe because Nana, Linda Henrietta, was named after her great-aunt she felt a special bond.  Henrietta passed away in 1952 and was buried in a simple grave at Byaduk,.

IMG_1839

Catherine Harman was the wife of my great-great uncle Charles James Harman, son of Reuben James Harman and Elizabeth Bishop.  Catherine was Catherine Kinghorn, daughter of Francis Kinghorn and Elizabeth White.  Born in 1868 at Byaduk, Catherine married Charles, at the age of 37, in 1905.  Charles was 10 years her junior.  Catherine died in hospital in  Melbourne in 1913.  Charles enlisted in the Australian Flying Corps in 1916 and remarried in 1922 to Lavinia Raven Fisher of Middle Park.

IMG_1845William Leslie Harman was born in 1888 at Byaduk, the third child and eldest son of Alfred Harman and Louisa Newman.  William was the grandson of James and Sarah Harman.

IMG_1838Isabel Bunworth was Isabel Harman, the sixth daughter of Alfred and Louisa Harman and sister of William (above).  Isabel married John Bunworth of Byaduk in 1923.

IMG_1842

Gershom Harman (1869-1940) was the second son of Reuben Harman and Elizabeth Oliver.  He married Elizabeth Hilliard in 1905 and they had two children, Ivy and Gordon.

IMG_1835

Family Notices. (1934, March 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 13. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10917287

Family Notices. (1934, March 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 13. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10917287

Family Notices. (1940, June 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 4. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12469954

Family Notices. (1940, June 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 4. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12469954

Now to the Bishops and another Harman link as my gg grandparents were Reuben James Harman and Elizabeth Bishop.

The following headstone belongs to Charles Bishop and his wife Sarah Dancer.  Charles (1856-1916) was the eldest son of James Bishop and Sarah Hughes.  He was the brother of Elizabeth Bishop.

Charles married Sarah Dancer in 1884 and they had 11 children.  Frances Bishop Hylard was their ninth child, born in 1900.  She married Edward Thomas Hylard in 1920.

IMG_1824Charles Bishop passed away from a heart attack while loading wood.

COUNTRY NEWS. (1916, August 28). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 9. Retrieved March 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1598956

COUNTRY NEWS. (1916, August 28). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 9. Retrieved March 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1598956

Percy Almond Bishop was the second son of Charles and Sarah Bishop.  Percy was born in 1888 at Byaduk and enlisted in 1916 at Hamilton and served with the 39th Battalion.  He was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal and a Military Medal.  Percy never married.

IMG_1827

Family Notices. (1946, May 31). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 2. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22250486

Family Notices. (1946, May 31). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 2. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22250486

IMG_1847

Ian Marr’s website, Cemeteries of S.W. Victoria has a full list of the headstones at the Byaduk Cemetery.

**Thank you to Maria Cameron, President of the Port Fairy Genealogical Society for providing with me additional information on the Fraser family and correcting an oversight I had made on the parentage of Simon Fraser.


Trove Tuesday – Time for a Song

The Port Fairy Gazette has a lot of Byaduk news and I just love this treasure from May 31, 1915.   Australia celebrated Empire Day on May 24 from 1905.  School children participated in patriotic singing and speeches and flags adorned buildings.  The children had a holiday from school in the afternoon.  May 24 was also Cracker Night and in the evening people would gather around bonfires and let off fireworks.

Empire Day 1915 saw ggg grandfather James Harman visit the Byaduk State School and address the children.   He then sang “Just Before the Battle, Mother” and I’m pleased to see he “delighted” the children.  At age 85, he was only a year away from his passing.

BYADUK. (1915, May 31). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 14, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94725183

“Just Before the Battle, Mother” was an American civil war song but given it was in the midst of WW1, it was apt.  If you have not heard the song before, click on the play button below to hear a rendition courtesy of Soundcloud and P. Murray.


W is for…What Else Could It Be?

Naturally I had to rejoin the Gould Genealogy Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge at “W”.  W is for Western District and that means a lot to me not only because this blog is called “Western District Families”.  I was born and raised in the Western District and all the families of my maternal lines, going back six generations, chose to settle in the wonderful Western District.

One of the highlights of the Western District is the geography.  Entering from the east, the Western Plains lead to the rise of the Grampians and on to the volcanic plains and green rolling hills beyond.  To the south are the forests of the Otways, the south-west coastline and volcanic Tower Hill .

I will take you on a geographical journey through the Western District, just a glimpse really, beginning with two colonial artists, Nicholas Chevalier and my favourite, Eugene Von Guerard.  These  artists and others, traipsed around Victoria sketching and painting.  Von Guerard also travelled to Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand.  Looking at their paintings reminds me of the lives they lived for the sake of their art.

Chevalier’s sketch shows the Serra Range including Mt Sturgeon and Mt Abrupt at the southern end of the Grampians.

View of the Grampians, Western District [art original] N. Chevalier.
State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/100967

Moving south-west, dormant volcano Mt Eccles near Macarthur has played a part in my family history.  My gg grandfather Reuben James Harman, son of James Harman, owned property at Mt Eccles.  It was also a favourite fishing spot of my grandfather William Gamble.

Crater of Mt. Eccles, von Guerard, Eugene,1811-1901,artist.
Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/46307

I prefer von Guerard’s depiction of Lake Surprise, the crater lake of Mt Eccles, to my own (below).  I remember as a child asking about the name “Lake Surprise”.  The answer:  When you get to the top of the crater and see the lake, you get a surprise.  Fair enough.

LAKE SURPRISE, MT ECCLES CRATER LAKE

A little north of Mt Eccles is the volcanic lava flow, the Harman Valley at Byaduk, named after my Harman family.  In the distance is the source of the lava, Mount Napier.

THE HARMAN VALLEY, BYADUK

To the south-east is Tower Hill, another dormant volcano.  It lies between Warrnambool and Port Fairy.

TOWER HILL

Further south is the famous Loch Ard Gorge, named for the Loch Ard which wrecked on the treacherous coastline.  The only two survivors, Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael were washed on to the beach at Loch Ard Gorge.

I find standing on the beach in the Gorge a haunting experience.

LOCH ARD GORGE

East along the coast line is one of the most iconic views, not only of Victoria, but Australia.

THE 12 APOSTLES

North-west, and back where we started, are the Grampians.

HALLS GAP, GRAMPIANS

The Grampians are a perfect place to leave the subject of the Western District and move on to another “W” which has been a part of my family since the 1860s, the Wannon River…

W is for…Wannon River

The Wannon River begins its’ flow at the base of Mt Abrupt in the Southern Grampians.  It flows toward Dunkeld, around the base of Mt Sturgeon and leaves the Grampians heading north-west toward Cavendish. Along the way it passes by Mokanger , workplace of both the Mortimers and Haddens.  Through Cavendish, it passes close to the cemetery, burial place of members of those two families.

From Cavendish, the river begins a southward journey toward two of the Hamilton district’s jewels, the Nigretta and Wannon waterfalls.  As the river progresses west, the Grange Burn joins the Wannon, having flowed from just east of Hamilton, the city founded on the Grange.  This section of the river was another favourite fishing spot of my grandfather William Gamble.

On the river flows to Tahara and then Sandford. I have family links to Sandford with Julia Harman, daughter of James Harman residing there with her husband George Holmes.  Two children were born their including WW1 casualty Arthur Leonard Holmes.  My gg uncle William Diwell also spent some time around Sandford.  In 1914, he completed extensions to the St Marys Church.

The Wannon River then joins the another great river of the Western District, the Glenelg River, having passed through some of Victoria’s most beautiful countryside.  It is not surprising Joseph Hawdon, travelling overland to Adelaide with Lieutenant Alfred Miller Mundy of the 21st Regiment in 1839, endorsed Major Thomas Mitchell’s description five years earlier. Major Mitchell followed the Glenelg River from its’ beginnings in the Grampians through to the sea at Nelson. It is little wonder all of my direct ancestors stayed in the Western District after settlement.

(1839, September 26). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT. Retrieved October 11, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8723904

After the merge with the Wannon, the Glenelg flows on to Casterton where I have many family links.  My ggg grandfather George Jelly, father of Elizabeth Ann Jelly, was one man who could say he had conquered the river.  His obituary read:

“He was a remarkably good swimmer and by his abilities in this direction was instrumental in saving many persons from drowning and rescuing the bodies of many others who had perished in the river” 

He even dived for the bones of Robert and Mary Hunt, murdered by George Wains in 1860.

By the time the Glenelg River reaches the sea, it, the Wannon and Grange Burn have passed by many of the places my ancestors lived, worked, fished, swam and were laid to rest.

The Wannon River between the Nigretta Falls and the Wannon Falls, about 20 kilometres from Hamilton, would be the section most frequented by myself and my family before me.  My own memories come from family visits, Sunday drives with Nana, school excursions and birthday parties.

The following views near the Wannon Falls are from the State Library of Victoria Collection and were captured around 1878 by  Thomas J. Washbourne , a Geelong photographer.

Wannon River Scene – Washbourne, Thomas J. photographer.Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Victorian Patents Office Copyright Collection (VPOCC) http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53092

Wannon River Scene Washbourne, Thomas J.,photographer.
Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria – Victorian Patents Office Copyright Collection (VPOCC) http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/52931

THE WANNON RIVER AT THE WANNON FALLS

Of the two waterfalls, I prefer the Nigretta, especially after rain.  The Wannon Falls could be described as pretty in the way they drop off the edge, but the Nigretta Falls are, at times, spectacular.

Nigretta Falls on the Wannon River
Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria – collection: Cogger album of photographs http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41740

The Vagabond (John Stanley James) described the Nigretta Falls in his series “Picturesque Victoria” which appeared in The Argus.  In the  April 4, 1885 edition of The Argus , The Vagabond wrote of his visit to the Wannon.  He enjoyed the hospitality at the Wannon Inn and then marveled at the “miniature Niagara”

PICTURESQUE VICTORIA. (1885, April 4). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 4. Retrieved October 11, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6073697

This photo taken in August this year by my friend Catherine, after good rain, sees the Nigretta looking like the minature Niagara Falls as described by The Vagabond.

NIGRETTA FALLS – Image courtesy of Catherine Huisman

It was pleasing to see that the old viewing platforms still remain at the Nigretta Falls.

NIGRETTA FALLS VIEWING PLATFORM

An impressive wooden staircase now leads down to the falls, but the original steps remain.

The Wannon Falls (below) holds memories of walking beyond the viewing platform, down to the rocks and behind the falls, but only when they were flowing lightly as they are in this photo.  A new viewing platform now prevents such precarious escapades, even undertaken while on school excursions!

I have two framed prints of the Wannon Falls by Louis Buveot, painted in 1872.  One hangs on a wall as a constant reminder of Hamilton, the Wannon River and the waterfalls.  The original hangs in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. To see  the original click on the link – Wannon Falls

The topic of the Wannon River gives me an opportunity to share my all time favourite family photos.  As a little girl when I first saw Nana’s old photo album, these photos captured my imagination.  When Nana came to live with us she kept her photo albums in her wardrobe. I would take them down, sit on her bed and go straight to this photo.  It was near the beginning of the album which had black, much turned pages.

From right: Nana, (Linda Hadden), my great-grandmother (Sarah Elizabeth Harman) and my great auntie Alma’s (Nana’s sister) mother-in-law Mrs Issac William Short (Catherine Gissane Tilley).

They are standing on the original lower viewing deck.   The four photos from a day at the Wannon where originally very small.  It wasn’t until I enlarged them on a computer, that I noticed Nana’s coat hanging on the railing.

I think the reason I like this photo is because Nana looked exactly liked she did when I knew her, but with long braids and I still can’t believe she was only about 15.  Even the small research assistant thought Nana was the lady in the middle when he first saw it.  He only knew her as an older person and does not think of her as having been a child too.

The second photo was taken from the lower viewing deck, looking toward the upper level.  I didn’t like standing here as a child and as you can see the rail was high at the front  and difficult to see over and to the right of  Nana was a gap between the fence and the rocks.  I much preferred the lower deck.

Recent years have seen a rotunda built at the Wannon Falls reserve with information about the waterfall, the local geography and history.

On our visit, the small research assistant said “Look Mum, they even have family history here for you”  He was right. There is a lot of my family history at the Wannon Falls.


Trove Tuesday – Matter of Relativity

Try and get your head around this article I found at Trove.  It appeared in The West Australian and the Adelaide Advertiser in December 1951.

I am almost certain this is my first cousin 4 x removed, Amelia Harman, daughter of Jonathan Harman.  Amelia married Christopher (Chris) Bell of Heywood in 1901.  They had three children,  Millicent Irene (born 1901), Clarence Jonathan (1902) and Christopher George (born 1903) all born at Heywood.  Clarence died in 1905.

If it is Amelia, the three children in the photo would be descendants of Christopher George Bell.  I believe that he may have married twice. Cheryl would be his daughter, Helen his granddaughter and Lynette his great-granddaughter.  At the time of the photo, Christopher was working as a senior constable of police at Casterton.  He would have been around 48 at that time. I’m still trying to do the maths!

Amelia would have been around 87 at the time of this photo.  She passed away in 1957 aged 91.

 

MATTER OF RELATIVITY. (1951, December 14). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49005300

 

Another amazing thing is the three girls are all nine months old! Cheryl, Helen and Lynette would be 61 now.  If they or any other Bell family members see this, I would love to confirm if this is Amelia Harman.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers

%d bloggers like this: