Category Archives: Pioneer Obituaries

Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to the last Passing of the Pioneers for 2013.  The obituaries include one belonging to a favourite Halls Gap pioneer of mine, Sophia D’Alton.  There is also a former convict and a man who saw Melbourne shortly after settlement.

For some holiday reading why not check out the earlier Passing of the Pioneers posts.  There are now 30 in total with hundreds of family names and some great stories.

William RENWICK - Died December 11, 1874 at Portland.  Born in Scotland around 1897, William Renwick left his native country around 1827 and sailed to Tasmania as an overseer of animals on a ship.  He continued his employment with the company after the voyage.  Around the early years of Melbourne’s settlement, when there were only three houses, William Renwick moved to the new colony.  He then moved on to Portland where he remained until his death.

Samuel HUTCHINSON - Died December 21, 1874 at Portland.  While his obituary doesn’t mention it, an article about the construction of the Steam Packet Inn, built by Samuel Hutchinson around 1841, reveals Samuel was a convict.  At the time of his departure for Portland from Tasmania, he had obtained his ticket of leave and was working as an overseer in a woodyard.   Samuel was listed as one of the purchasers of land in Portland in 1840.  His first wife, also a convict, passed away and he remarried.  At the time of his death he left a widow and six children.

Mrs Ellen J. LLOYD – Died December  1915 at Hamilton.  Born in Waterford, Ireland around 1831, Ellen Lloyd arrived at Portland in 1849 and went to Violet Creek Estate near Yulecart to take up work.  She met her future husband there and they married in Hamilton in 1850.  They settled at Muddy Creek and raised a large family, with 11 children living at the time of her death.  Ellen moved to Strathkellar around 1906 to live with her daughter, Grace Munroe, and she resided there until her death.

Henry POTTER – Died December 4, 1916 at Hamilton.  Henry Potter was born in Norfolk, England around 1841 and travelled to Adelaide with his parents around 1854.  The family moved to Portland where Henry took up a plastering apprenticeship before entering into a building partnership with Mr T. Wyatt that lasted 40 years.  They first operated from Mt. Gambier then Portland, Melbourne and finally in 1874, Hamilton.  In his later years, Henry Potter worked as Clerk of Works on several buildings around Hamilton.  At time of his death he was the oldest affiliated member of the Grange Lodge.

Sophia D’ALTON – Died December 13, 1916 at Stawell.  I have a soft spot for Sophia and her twin sister, Henrietta, actually they intrigue me.  The D’Altons were Halls Gap pioneers and lived at “Glenbower” just out of Halls Gap, near Lake Bellfield.  I had read about the site of their former home, now overgrown with bush, and wanted to find it.  I asked an old local and was directed to the site. At the time the D’Altons lived there, there were several residences, but bush fires over the years destroyed them.  It is amazing to stand in such an isolated spot and imagine the goings on at “Glenbower” when the sisters lived there.  Henrietta was an acclaimed wildflower artist, and many of her artistic friends from Australia and abroad visited their Grampians home.  So bohemian.

FIRES IN THE GRAMPIANS. (1914, February 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 26. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89311608

FIRES IN THE GRAMPIANS. (1914, February 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 26. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89311608

Sophia and her sister were born in Kilkenny, Ireland around 1836.  In 1856, their widowed mother, the girls and other members of the D’Alton family came to Australia, settling first at Stawell before moving to “Glenbower”.  Sophia and her sister remained there until a few years before Sophia’s death when they moved back to Stawell.  The pioneers of the Halls Gap district were tough and they were faced with many perils from fire to flood.  “Glenbower”, while eventually burnt out, out a close call in 1914 when fires licked its walls.  This fire most likely the reason for the sister’s last move to Stawell.

OBITUARY. (1916, December 16). Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12949152

OBITUARY. (1916, December 16). Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12949152

 

Isabella GORRIE – Died December 18, 1918 at Ararat.  Isabella Gorrie was an old resident of the Ararat district, having moved there with her parents when she was a girl. She taught at the local school and in 1878, she married Andrew Murray.

pp4

Family Notices. (1878, January 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 1. Retrieved December 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5916993

Isabella was a member of the Australian Women’s National League, a President of the local Red Cross branch and with the outbreak of WW1, she became the local representative of the Neglected Children’s Department.  Her brother Robert was the Town Clerk of Ararat for many years.

Richard Benson McGARVIE - Died December 19, 1938 at Camperdown.  Richard McGarvie arrived in the Pomberneit district, with his father  William in 1865.  Richard was a farmer until the 1920s when he moved into Camperdown.  Prior to that Richard he was an active community member of Pomberneit, as a member of the Victorian Mounted Rifles, the Pomberneit Rifle Club and the Camperdown Pastoral and Agricultural society.  He was a Councillor on the Heytesbury Shire and served as a committee member of the St James Church of England, Pomberneit.  He left a widow, Emma, and three sons and three daughters.

Mary SWAIN – Died December 19, 1941 at Camperdown.  Mary Swain was born in Port Fairy around 1860 but moved to Camperdown as a girl.  She married Joshua Beard and they had one son and a daughter.  Joshua helped build the railway between Camperdown and Timboon in the late 19th century and one of Mary’s dearest possessions was a photo of Joshua and a wagon laden with posts from that time.

James WILSON – Died December 25, 1944 at Portland.  James was born at The Lagoons, Lower Bridgewater in 1863 to John and Agnes Wilson, pioneers of the Bridgewater district.  In 1886, he married Priscilla Hollard.  James was a hairdresser and tobacconist in Portland and worked for Learmonth’s auctioning firm.  He ran a business in Melbourne for some time before returning to Portland in the late 1940s.  During his time in Portland, he attended the Methodist church and was member of the Sons of Temperance benefit society.  He and Priscilla did not have a family.

Ruth GALE – Died December 5, 1949 at Portland.  Ruth Gale was born in Portland around 1863 and attend Hill’s School at West Portland.  Ruth was a dressmaker and learnt her trade from Mrs Trickey of Portland.  Around 1889, she married Angus Martin and they moved around the state, residing at several different towns, before moving back to Portland around 1942.


Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to November Passing of the Pioneers with a Stawell, Port Fairy and Irish flavour.  The pioneers include a licensee, a chemist and an inventive engineer.

If you are new to the monthly Passing of the Pioneers, the obituaries listed here are a summary of the original obituaries, using dates and other information direct from the obituary.  I make no attempt to check or correct information contained in the obituary. The original obituaries are found by clicking on the names of the pioneers.

A word of warning, while obituaries often have a wealth of information, that information must be treated with caution.  Naturally, obituaries are written using second-hand information and recall events that occurred many years before the subject’s death, therefore that information can often be incorrect and sometimes even fanciful.   Therefore information found in an obituary can only used for a guide to find primary sources to qualify the claims of an obituary.

Alexander RUSSELL - Died November 27, 1867 at Port Fairy.  When Alexander Russell first arrived in Port Fairy in 1847, he took up his chosen profession as a doctor.  However, upon his return to the “old country” he gave away medicine and moved into the field of “mercantile speculation” and upon his return to Port Fairy established the Moyne Mill using machinery he brought back from Scotland.  Alexander was also the first Mayor of Belfast (Port Fairy) and was elected to the State parliament as member for Villiers and Heytesbury.  He relinquished his seat due to ill-health.

Mary D. KEATING – Died November 8, 1914 at Port Fairy.  Mary Keating was born in Port Fairy and before her marriage to William Wall, she worked as a teacher at the local Catholic school.  William was the Secretary of the Belfast Shire.  During her life, Mary was a tireless worker for the Catholic church.  William predeceased Mary by 15 years and they had four children.

Michael QUINLAN – Died November 1914 at Hawkesdale.  Michael Quinlan was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1835, and he travelled to Australia when he was around 24.  He settled first around Koroit, before taking up land at Hawkesdale.  He was a Minhamite Shire Councillor and enjoyed visiting the winter race meeting at Warrnambool.  Michael left one daughter at the time of his passing.

George KAY – Died November 11, 1915 at Stawell.  George Kay lived his 49 years in Stawell, in that relatively short time left his mark.  He began work at the Stawell foundry and worked in engineering.  He took up a partnership in the Kay & Co. Stawell Foundry and remained there until his death.  One of his engineering feats was inventing a judging machine for the Stawell Athletics Club, famous for the Stawell Gift.  The machine earned him much praise, including from the Governor of Victoria on a trip to Stawell.  He was a member of the Stawell Rifle Club and a member of the Pride of Wimmera Lodge.  He left a widow and two daughters.

William WAREHAM – Died November 3, 1916 at Woolongoon.  William Wareham was born at Box Hill in 1844 and at 19 went to work at Woolongoon Station, near Mortlake.  He married and settled in the area.

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

He left a large family including 32 grandchildren.

Mary KELLY – Died November 19, 1916 at Stawell.  Mary Kelly was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1836 and travelled to Australia with her parents when she was a girl.  She married John Kay and  they settled at Great Western. They later moved to Stawell and ran a wine saloon in Main Street before becoming licensees of the Star Hotel (later known as the Stawell Club) in the late 1890s.  Family members continued to run the hotel until 1910 when John Alison took over the licence, but Mary continued to own the building.

Margaret ANDERSON – Died November 20, 1916 at Port Fairy.  Margaret Anderson was born in Melbourne in 1844 and moved to the Western District with her family at the age of three, taking up residence at Rosebrook.  She married John Wright and they settled at nearby Yambuk.  Four years prior to her death, Margaret moved into Port Fairy.  She was a devout member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church at Port Fairy.  Three sons and one daughter were alive at the time of her death, with son George a parish priest in New Zealand.

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria,  Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

William DAWSON –  Died November 30, 1916 at Stawell.  William Dawson was born in Stawell around 1868 and followed his father into the chemist business.  After his father’s death, William took over the family chemist shop.  William’s passion was sport and he was involved in most of what was on offer in Stawell.  He rode high wheeled bicycles when they were in vogue, and was an official at the Stawell Cycling Club.  William was also a cricketer and played with the state side, the Victorian Rangers.  He was also a founding member of the Stawell Rifle Club and Golf Club and was a keen fisherman.  Sport aside, William was a prominent member of the Stawell Brass Band.

Mrs Bridget CLANCY – Died November 15, 1918 at Port Fairy.  Mrs Clancy was born in Ireland in 1823.  She arrived in Australia with her husband John Clancy in 1855, travelling from America.  Bridget and John settled on a farm at Yambuk.  John passed away around 1895 and Bridget continued to live at Yambuk until seven years prior to her death when she moved to Port Fairy to live with her daughter Lizzie.

William REES - Died November 29, 1918 at Stawell.  William Rees was born in South Wales around 1830.  He  began an apprenticeship as a joiner and for the next five years he travelled to Canada and the United States, arriving in California in 1853.  In 1854 he was lured to the goldfields of Victoria, including Ballarat, Carisbrook and Ararat.  He married another native of South Wales in Jane Symons in 1855.  William and Jane arrived at Stawell in 1857.  William  worked as a carpenter for the Oriental and North Cross Mining Company for many years.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

If you have read my last post, A Pleasant Distraction, you will understand why October Passing of the Pioneers just got in by the skin of its teeth.  Thankfully I had the bones of the post done before “Hamilton Fever” took hold.  This month there are the obituaries of a bricklayer, a Gaelic preacher, a disgraced crewman from the General Hewitt and a member of the Henty family.

David HUTTON – Died October 9, 1875 at Mount Rouse.  David Hutton was born in Greenock, Scotland around 1809.  He was an engineer by trade, and left Scotland in 1833 for Hobart to follow his brothers.  One brother, William,  saw opportunities in the new colony of Victoria, and David later followed, arriving at Portland in around 1844.  He took out a lease on land at Mount Rouse and established Cheviot Hills.   David Hutton was a foundation member of the Mt. Rouse Board and served for seven years.  A Presbyterian, he was one of those behind the building of a church at Penshurst.  He was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery with other members of his family.   Hutton street in Penshurst is named after David Hutton.  Another obituary, published  in The Mercury of Hobart, has more on David’s story

Ewan McDONALD – Died October 13, 1891 at Warrion.  Ewan McDonald was born around 1808 and first went to the Colac district when he settled on land at Dreeite around 1866.  Ewan was a Presbyterian and at one time gave services at the Larpent Presbyterian Church in Gaelic.

John H. DUNN – Died October 29, 1914 at Hamilton. John Dunn was born in Geelong around 1860 and arrived in Hamilton, with his parents, two years later.  Like his father, John was a bricklayer and together they built some of Hamilton’s larger buildings.  A search for Dunn’s bricklayers found a reference on the Victorian Heritage Database.  The home mentioned, in the Church Hill area of Hamilton is well-known to me and was built by William Dunn, when John was still a baby,  In later life, John was a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites and the Methodist Church.  He married Miss H. Luxton of Macarthur and they had nine children.

James DUNCAN – Died October 8, 1916 at Balmoral.  James Duncan was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1837 and he arrived on the Flora McDonald to Portland in 1855.  He went to Rocklands, near Balmoral, working as a shepherd.  He left the district for Serpentine before returning to Glendinning station as overseer.  He later took up the carpentry trade in Balmoral.  He married Emily Rogers in 1876 and they had six children.

Elizabeth LEAHY – Died October 15. 1916 at Cavendish.  Elizabeth Leahy was born in Adelaide around 1849.  Her family came to Victoria to the goldfields of Bendigo and Ballarat, before returning to South Australia, taking up residence at Mt. Gambier.  Elizabeth later moved to Lake Bolac and met her future husband, J.H Wallis.  They married at Ararat.  The couple farmed in the Wimmera, moved back to Ararat before settling at Mooralla around 1910.

Samuel BROWNLAW – Died October 13, 1917 at Tyrendarra.  Samuel Brownlaw and his wife, Mary Ann Speechly, arrived on the Severn to Portland in 1856.  They first went to Yambuk, before settling at Tyrendarra were they remained.  In 1875, Samuel donated land for the Tyrendarra School.  Samuel left three sons and three daughters at the time of his death.

John Stevens ANDREW aka John FORSTER – Died October 5, 1918 at Merino Downs.  I have touched upon the obituary of John Andrew/Forster before, in the post The General Hewitt.  John’s obituary gave me some clues to the names of the crew members that caused unrest during the voyage and those that deserted.  John was one of those crew members, explaining his alias.  Unfortunately his obituary speaks of nothing else but that voyage that hung over his head, even after death,

Christina McGREGOR – Died October 1925 at Hamilton.  Christina McGregor was born in Inverness, Scotland around 1835. and arrived in Melbourne around 1847 on The Indian.  Aboard the schooner The Wave, Christina travelled to Portland.  Her next destination, on horseback, was to “Satimer Estate” near Casterton, owned by her uncle Alexander Davidson.   Station life must not have been proper for a young lady as Christina returned to Portland to attend the ladies school run by the Misses Allison.  It was in Portland she met her future husband Archibald McDonald, from Condah, where they remained for the rest of the lives.

Phillip Henry THEISINGER – Died October 1942 at Portland.  Geelong native, Phillip Theisinger, moved to Portland as a small child and remained there for the rest of his life.  He worked as a storeman and was a secretary of the Portland Waterside Worker’s Union.  Phillip was also a member of the Portland Citizen’s Band for 45 years and was a member of the Portland Masonic Lodge.  He married Sarah Ann Surrey and they had 12 children, but only three still survived at the time of Phillip’s death.

Henry COWLAND - Died October 21, 1942 at Portland.  Henry Cowland was born in Brixton around 1847.  He arrived with his parent to Portland aboard the Severn in 1856.  He attended the Butler’s School in Portland until he was 12 and then he obtained work as a contractor at Sandford.  He also worked as a fencer and a carrier, carting sleepers for the railway line between Hamilton and Portland.

HENRY COWLAND.  OBITUARY. (1942, November 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 24, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382636

HENRY COWLAND. OBITUARY. (1942, November 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 24, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382636

Annie DAWKINS – Died October 2, 1942 at.  Annie Dawkins was born at Glencoe, South Australia around 1866 and travelled to Victoria as a girl with her parents and they settled near Condah.  Annie married Henry Dyer Rundell at Condah in 1890.  She was a supporter of the Red Cross and did her bit during the two World Wars.  She left a family of five children,

Agnes Cecil HENTY – Died October 30, 1945 at Nelson, New Zealand.  Agnes Cecil Henty was the 6th daughter of Stephen and Jane Henty and she was born at Portland in 1850.  In 1877, she married Edward Stafford Coster in New Zealand and they resided at Canterbury on the South island. Twenty-five years later Agnes and family moved to Nelson and she remained there until her death aged 95.

Robert Henry HOLLIS – Died October 1946 at Portland.  Robert Hollis was born in Tarragal around 1863.  His parents moved to Gorae when Robert’s father began work as a stockman for the Henty’s.  After some time working as a butcher, Robert turned to farming and at the time of his death he “had a fine dairy farm and orchard property”.


Passing of the Pioneers

This September’s Passing of the Pioneers includes some early colonists, many offering up some interesting extra tidbits.

The images I have used in this post, show how Trove can help illustrate your family stories.  Simply pick a landmark, ship or even a theme (thinking of the recent post Stretching my Genealogy Muscles), and then do a Trove search.  I find many “out of copyright” images from both the State Library of Victoria and the State Library of South Australia.  As long as you cite the image correctly, you are free to use that image.  Other repositories require that “out of copyright” images be used for personal use only, except with permission from the institution.  For the purposes of my blog, that’s not practical as I’m usually searching on a whim, but would not be problem if writing an article or book.

John MOFFATT – Died September 5, 1871 .  The story of John Moffatt is a something of a rags to riches story and easily could have ended in rags again.  Moffatt was born in Scotland around 1817. He arrived in Victoria around 1839 and began work as a shepherd at “Hopkins Hills” Estate, then run by the Clyde Company.  He then went to “The Grange” at Hamilton owned by Captain William Lonsdale.

In 1854, prophesies of financial doom were directed at the squatters. The Clyde Company got cold feet and sold Hopkins Hill.   John Moffatt was able to buy the property where he worked as a shepherd, 15 years before, presumably at a reasonable price.  In the late 1850s he built “Chatsworth House” for around £20,000 and given his small freehold, many thought such a lavish investment  would lead to his demise.  By the time of his death, however, he was earning £35,000 per annum from rental on his properties.

HOPKINS HILL HOMESTEAD.  Engraving by Grosse, Frederick, d 1828-1894, Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No. IAN04/02/68/SUPP/4 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/237805

HOPKINS HILL HOMESTEAD. Engraving by Grosse, Frederick, d 1828-1894,
Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. IAN04/02/68/SUPP/4 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/237805

John Moffat sat as a member of Villiers and Heytesbury from November 1864 to December 1865 in the Victorian Parliament.  He also imported horses with some of the finest bloodlines seen in the colony.  His greatest triumph was hosting Prince Alfred in 1867 as depicted in the sketch below by Nicholas Chevalier.  An extensive report of the visit, including Chevalier’s sketch were published in the Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne: 1867-1875) on February 4, 1868.  Unfortunately the Prince was keen hunter and was able to indulge in his “sport” at Hopkins Hill which sadly involved a yard of kangaroos.  That incident too, was reported on at length.

THE ENTRANCE HALL, HOPKINS HILL. - Nicholas Chevalier. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IAN04/02/68/SUPP/1  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/237840

THE ENTRANCE HALL, HOPKINS HILL. – Nicholas Chevalier. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IAN04/02/68/SUPP/1
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/237840

John Moffatt travelled to England around 1869 .  In 1871, he decided to return to Australia, taking an overland route,  but died during the course of the trip and was buried at Galle, Sri Lanka.  He never married.  A line at the end of the obituary gives some insight into John’s character.  His brother, Robert Moffatt, was described as “even more eccentric” than John.

Thomas MUST – Died September 2, 1905 at Portland.  Thomas Must was born in London in 1815 and arrived in Sydney in 1832 aboard the Guardian.  He worked for general merchants and shipping agents, Marsden and Flower and in 1842 he married Ann Wilcox.  Marsden and Flower sent Thomas to Victoria in 1846 and he established an agency at Portland.   Horace Flower joined him and they formed the partnership, Flower, Must & Co., traders.  A large warehouse was built in Bentick Street.

After seven years, Must bought out Flower’s share in the company.  Thomas later set up a branch at Port McDonnell, South Australia. He operated his business for a further 27 years, but in the meantime he served on local government and sat on the Victorian Legislative Assemble and saw some shaky financial times.  Thomas had the family home Prospect built in 1855, and from there he and Ann raised eight daughters and four sons.

"Prospect" Portland circa 1962-1966. Photographer:  John T. Collins.  J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H98.250/2022 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233117

“Prospect” Portland circa 1962-1966. Photographer: John T. Collins. J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H98.250/2022 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233117

Angus McDOUGALL – Died September 4, 1914 at Hamilton.   Angus McDougall, a Scot,  arrived at Portland around 1854 aged 17, aboard the Edward Johnstone.  He started working as a carrier between Portland and Hamilton, but eventually took up land at Buckley’s Swamp.  He married, but he and his wife never had children.  Eight of his siblings were still alive at the time of his death and the funeral was one of the largest seen in the district, with around 60 vehicles and many on horseback.

Sarah Ann BURNETT – Died September 7, 1914 at Warrnambool.   Sarah Ann Burnett arrived at Port Fairy aboard the Persian in 1852 with her husband William Miller and three of their children.  They lived first between Port Fairy and Tower Hill, then settled on the Merri River at Cassidy’s Bridge.  Sarah and William raised seven children.  Her obituary states there were two grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren at the time of her death.  Reverse that I think…or, maybe, her two grandchildren were just prolific breeders,

Sarah and her fellow Methodist church goer, Henry Beardsley (below), died a day apart and were both remembered at a service at the Warrnambool Methodist Church led by Reverend Harris.

WARRNAMBOOL METHODIST CHURCH.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No. H32492/2746 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63534

WARRNAMBOOL METHODIST CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. H32492/2746 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63534

Fortunately, the Warrnambool Standard documented the service.  Reverend Harris reminded the congregation of the great contribution pioneer women made to the colony, a fact often forgotten.

METHODIST CHURCH. (1914, September 14). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73581774

METHODIST CHURCH. (1914, September 14). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73581774

Henry BEARDSLEY – Died September 9, 1914 at Russell’s Creek.  Henry Beardsley, born in Derbyshire on Christmas Day, 1842, arrived in Hobsons Bay, Victoria, 1852 aboard the Marco Polo.  He accompanied his parents, John and Elizabeth, and four siblings.  That information is from the PROV Index to Assisted British Immigration (1839-1871), something the writer of Henry Beardleys’ obituary did not have access to.  If he did, he would have known that the Marco Polo didn’t land at Geelong in 1850.

Henry first went to Ararat with his family, then on to Warrnambool where he took a job at “Spring Gardens” nursery.  After nine years he took a managerial role at the nursery of Mr R. S. Harris.  He remained there for another nine  years.  After 18 years in the industry he started his own nursery at Russell’s Creek.

At the Warrnambool Methodist Church memorial service, Henry, a Sunday School teacher,  was remembered as the children’s friend,

pp2pp3

METHODIST CHURCH. (1914, September 14). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73581774

METHODIST CHURCH. (1914, September 14). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73581774

Margaret BISSETT – Died September 14, 1914 at Richmond.  Margaret Bissett was born in Scotland and came to Victoria around the 1850s.  She went to Dunmore Station (below), between Port Fairy and Macarthur, owned by  Charles MacKnight.  It was there she met her future husband, Michael Horan, a worker at the property.

DUNMORE c1866. Photographer Joseph Henry Sodden. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. H1736 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/74132

After Charles and Margaret’s marriage, they moved to Orford, near Warrnambool,  and purchased the Horse and Jockey Hotel which they ran for several years  Margaret also ran the Post Office.  Margaret passed away at her daughter’s home in Richmond and she was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

James PAPLEY – Died September 18, 1914 at Port Fairy.   In 1852, James Papley from Orkney Island, Scotland, his wife Jessie and two babies and a female relative, presumably his sister, left Birkenhead for Port Phillip aboard the  Ticonderoga on what was to become a hellish voyage with 170 passengers dying during the passage. 

MELBOURNE SHIPPING. (1852, November 15). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 2. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60132168

MELBOURNE SHIPPING. (1852, November 15). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), p. 2. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60132168

There is an excellent website Ticonderoga that documents the voyage, the passengers and related articles.  It is well worth a look.

James and Jessie began work as the master and matron of the Port Fairy Hospital and remained there many years before turning to farm life at Narrawong, their home for 43 years.

FORMER PORT FAIRY HOSPITAL c1958.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

FORMER PORT FAIRY HOSPITAL c1958. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

Letitia WALL – Died September 8, 1915 at Toorak.  Letitia Wall was born in the Wynard Barracks, Sydney in 1824, her father Colonel Charles William Wall led the 3rd Regiment (The Buffs).  She married Robert Henry Woodward in 1846 at Moreton Bay and they went to the Port Fairy district soon after.  In her later years Letitia took up residence at “Kilmaron” Toorak Road, Toorak where she passed away.

Margaret SEFTON – Died September 1915 at Coleraine.  Margaret Sefton, born in County Down, Ireland in 1823, travelled to Port Phillip with her father and siblings,  She married William Brown in 1847 at St. James Church,  Melbourne,  The couple spent some time in Melbourne and Hamilton before settling at Coleraine.  They had 13 children and by the time of Margaret and William’s Diamond Wedding anniversary,  there were 81 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren to  join the celebrations.  William passed away in 1908.

The  Australia Marriage Index records Margaret and William’s marriage as 1847, as does the site “Came to Port Phillip by 1849″, however Margaret’s obituary refers to their marriage in 1846, their Golden anniversary as 1896 and Diamond anniversary as 1906.  Maybe Margaret and William forgot the year they married?

Michael CASEY – Died September 8, 1918 at Macarthur.  Born in Limerick, Ireland around 1835, Michael Casey arrived at Geelong aboard the “Great Australia“, possibly on her 1862 voyage.

GREAT AUSTRALIA, Image Courtesy of the  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.  Image no. 77078 http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/36910375?q=%22great+australia%22&c=picture&versionId=47922188

GREAT AUSTRALIA, Image Courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image no. 77078 http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/36910375?q=%22great+australia%22&c=picture&versionId=47922188

He obtained Municipal contracts for work and he also married, but the newlyweds left Geelong for Sydney when Michael obtained work as a stone mason on the new St Mary’s Cathedral.

ST MARY'S CATHEDRAL, SYDNEY.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H92.200/429  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/22531

ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL, SYDNEY. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H92.200/429 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/22531

After Sydney, Michael and his family moved to Colac, then the Wimmera and finally Macarthur

George Elias BUTLER – Died September 15, 1918 at Hamilton.  A son of a doctor, George Butler was born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1844.  At the age of 25 he travelled to Australia aboard the Great Britain”.

GREAT BRITAIN.  Image courtesy of the Brodie Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.  Image No.  H99.220/4119 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/14669

GREAT BRITAIN. Image courtesy of the Brodie Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H99.220/4119 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/14669

He married at Ballarat in 1875 to Catherine Abbott.  George spent time working at “Blumesbury” Muntham before leasing “Glengleeson” near Macarthur.  In his later years, George moved to Hamilton and was known as a respected citizen with many friends throughout the district.

Edward SIMMONS – Died September 20, 1918 at Melbourne.  Edward Simmons found his fortune  but it seems he didn’t set out to do it the way he did, unlike many other that tried.   Edward started out selling stock in the Moonambel district before moving to Stawell and running a butcher shop with his brother William.

Fortunately, they obtained shares in Stawell’s Orient Mine, one of the town’s most profitable, as history would show.  Healthy dividends saw them increase their interests in other mines in the town.  Edward was able to buy “Oban” ,now the Stawell RSL.  He also purchased pastoral properties including “Yarram” and “Drung” .  In his later years, he moved to Melbourne and lived with his daughter at “Shanghai” on St, Kilda Road.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

A small but interesting band of pioneers join the August Passing of the Pioneers.

Stephen Rowan ROBERTSON – Died August 19 1900 at Portland.  Stephen Rowan Robertson was a she not a he, a sister of John G. Robertson, owner of Wando Vale station.  Stephen arrived in Victoria in 1842 around the age of 34 and in 1846 she married William Corney who took up the lease of Wando Vale.  After some time back in England, William and Stephen made their home at South Portland.  One of the stained glass windows at St Stephen’s Church , Portland was dedicated to William Corney (below) by his son Robert.

WILLIAM CORNEY (1872).  Photographer Thomas Foster Chuck.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H5056/211 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/17942

WILLIAM CORNEY (1872). Photographer Thomas Foster Chuck. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H5056/211 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/17942

Peter MacKINNON - Died August 5, 1902 at Hamilton.  Peter MacKinnon was born in Sterlingshire, Scotland around 1825 and arrived in Victoria around 1852.   His first job in the colony was at Coleraine as a bookkeeper and then later at Hamilton as a bookkeeper for the timber yard of Mr Collins in Gray Street.  He then worked for many years at the Hamilton Spectator as a machinist.  In his later years he returned to bookkeeping with the Collins timber yard.

Thomas REES – Died August 7 at Hamilton.   This one of the first obituaries I have posted from the Hamilton Spectator and it has one of the best openings to an obituary (only a genealogist could/would say that).  The reference to the early colonist encapsulates the spirit of the monthly Passing of the Pioneer posts.

THE PASSING OF THE PIONEERS. (1918, August 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119505339

THE PASSING OF THE PIONEERS. (1918, August 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119505339

Basil McConochie LYON - Died August 7, 1916 at Coleraine.   Basil Lyon was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1850.  When he arrived in Victoria he went to the Konongwootong Creek Estate the property of his maternal uncle. John McConochie.  He later took up land with his brother at Balmoral.  Basil was  a member of the Kowree Shire Council for several years and was also a Justice of the Peace.  He was a founding member of the Coleraine branch of the Australian People’s Party.

Arthur BALLMENT – Died August 26, 1916 at Perth, Western Australia.  Arthur Ballment was from Plymouth, England where his father Hugh was a well known shipbuilder and merchant  Arthur left England in 1865 aboard the “Roxburgh Castle” to Melbourne aged 21. He gave New Zealand a try before returning to Victoria and Ararat where he ran a tannery business.  He had a strong interest in politics, at a local level while in Ararat and upon retirement to Western Australia, 13 years before his death, he followed both Australian and British politics.  Arthur was described as a “typical Englishman”.  One of Arthur’s sisters married British political cartoonist, Sir Francis Carruthers Gould, while his daughter  Marion was a Western Australian based artist of some note.

William ROBERTSON - Died August 6, 1918 at East Melbourne.   William Robertson, a son of Duncan Robertson and Ann Fraser,  was born in New South Wales in 1839 and went to the Western District with his family aged four.  Duncan took up “Straun”   He later moved to “Gringegalgona”  where William remained, unmarried, for the rest of his life.  William was keen on horse racing and over a forty year period his horses won the Casterton Cup on two occasions, the Warrnambool Cup and the Great Western Steeple.  His trainer was James Agnew, also a Passing Pioneer this month (below).

Bridget HASSETT - Died August 14, 1919 at Dundindin, Western Australia

Obituary. (1919, September 9). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73052506

Obituary. (1919, September 9). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73052506

Bridget Hassett and Patrick Mullan raised a family of 13 children, five of whom were still living at the time of her death, as was Patrick then aged 90.

Letitia BEST – Died August 7, 1941 at Melbourne.  Born around 1848 in County Caven, Ireland, Letitia Best arrived at Portland in 1856 aboard the “General Hewitt” with her parents William and Letitia Best and six siblings (NB: the date of arrival in Letita’s obituary is 1853).  The family settled at Heywood where Letitia later married Donald Rankin.  Donald and Letitia spent some years at Harrow before moving to Western Australia for 30 years.  When Donald passed away, Letitia returned to Victoria.

James AGNEW – Died August 10, 1942 at Hamilton.  James Agnew was born at Cowie’s Creek near Geelong around 1857 and as a boy moved with his parents to the Wimmera.  In his  teen years, James moved to the NSW Riverina working at Yanco Station  where his career with horses began.  A meeting with the trainer of Carbine, Walter Hickenbotham spurred him on to become a racehorse trainer.

James eventually settled in Hamilton as a trainer and took on horses for owners such as George Robertson (above) and John Kirby.  The racing career of Kirby’s horse The Parisian was all but over when he arrived with Agnew with the horse failing over short distances .  James saw the staying potential in the horse and trained him accordingly.  As a result he won the Warrnambool and Hamilton Cups.  Kirby then too saw The Parisian’s potential to win a Melbourne Cup and moved the horse to a Melbourne trainer, thus robbing James Agnew of a chance to win a Melbourne Cup, as The Parisian saluted in 1911.  If it wasn’t for James Agnew, James Kirby is unlikely to have held the Melbourne Cup in 1911.

Charles BRADSHAW – Died August 13, 1944 at Portland.  Charles Bradshaw lived his entire 89 years at Portland, the son of William Bradshaw, operator of a wool washing business.  Charles worked in several industries including bone crushing, tomato growing and like his father, wool washing.  He married local girl Eileen Robins and they raised two sons and two daughters.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to July 2013 Passing of the Pioneers, the second birthday of  Western District Families monthly feature.  Including this month’s obituaries, there are now 372 pioneer obituaries recorded here.  You can view all of them on this link – Pioneer Obituaries – or search family names using the search box on the side bar.

I didn’t expect Passing of the Pioneers would continue this long.  In July 2011 I didn’t even think I would be blogging this long.  Also, I have had a few desperate moments when I thought I would run out of obituaries.  I started using only the Portland Guardian and the Camperdown Chronicle  and then the Horsham Times but thankfully papers like the Port Fairy Gazette (1914-1918) and the Ararat Advertiser (1914-1918) came online.  Now with the likes of the Hamilton Spectator(1914-1918) and the Coleraine Albion (1914-1918) coming online I’m reassured that Passing of the Pioneers should see at least a third birthday.

As it is birthday month it is only appropriate that one of the obituaries belongs to one of the great pioneering women of the Western District  who left a legacy that is still around today and has a link to Trove, a source I’m totally dependent on for the obituaries in Passing of the Pioneers.  .

Janet NICOL – Died July 1903 at Bridgewater.  After reading two obituaries and an entry in the Portland Pioneer Women’s Book of Remembrance, I have concluded that Janet Nicol was an intelligent woman and one of the most significant pioneers to appear in two years of Passing of the Pioneers.

No title. (1936, May 5). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77987617

No title. (1936, May 5). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77987617

Janet Nicol was born in Lankashire, Scotland in 1822, the daughter of Professor Andrew Nicol a linguist, University lecturer and head of a boys college.  Janet, one of eight daughters, attended boarding school and like her father could speak several languages.  In 1841, she married the Reverend Alexander Laurie and shortly after they sailed to Port Phillip aboard the William Nicol, appropriately, arriving in February 1842.  After a short time in Melbourne they sailed for Portland Bay.

On arrival at Portland, Janet was carried ashore on a chair by the crew through the surf.  It is unclear whether it was before or after her disembarkation , but on that same day, she gave birth to her first child,  Alexander.  The Lauries couldn’t stay at any hotels when they first arrived because of quarantine restrictions and instead camped under a shelter near the flour mill.  The  draughts left Janet with a severe cold and a lifetime of deafness.

Alexander had been appointed minster for the Portland Bay Presbyterian ministry and went about setting up a church.  In  he then took an interest in newspapers and became involved with the Portland Herald.  After his death in 1854, Janet took over the running of the Herald.  By that time she had four children.  Interestingly the first child, Alexander was not one of those children.  I can find his birth record from 1842, but in 1854 Janet gave birth to another Alexander.  Therefore I would assume the first Alexander passed away some time before 1854, however I can’t find his death record.  He may have been a victim of that cold introduction to the world.

That is the glossy story so far taken from the Pioneer Women’s book and the obituaries, however I found another side of the story that I can support with articles found at Trove.  The Pioneers of Port Phillip Inc website includes articles from the group’s newsletters.  One of those entitled “Portland – The truth, the whole truth and anything but the truth” submitted by Jan Hanslow reveals research by Ann Grant about stories passed down over the years and the facts behind them.  The Reverend Laurie and Janet are mentioned.

The first revelation is the cause of Janet’s deafness.  It was not the cold draughts on the first night in Portland, rather a blow allegedly inflicted by Alexander for which Janet had him charged for assault, as recorded in Police records.  This and various other incidents  saw him removed from the church.  A report of his falling out with the church appeared in the Geelong Advertiser of July 11, 1848.  That is how he really came to be at the Portland Herald, not a voluntary swing from God to journalism.

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN PORTLAND. (1850, April 16). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1847 - 1851), p. 3 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93135253

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN PORTLAND. (1850, April 16). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1847 – 1851), p. 3 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93135253

The next revelation from Ann Grant was that Alexander got himself into trouble with the paper and Janet had to take over.  The following articles support that claim.

LOCAL. (1851, July 12). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), p. 436. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65576481

LOCAL. (1851, July 12). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), p. 436. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65576481

Alexander died in 1854 and after a short break, the Portland Herald resumed publication every Friday with a promise that the paper would be “renewed in strength and efficiency”.

Advertising. (1854, November 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571179

Advertising. (1854, November 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571179

ESCORT. (1854, December 1). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 - 1856), p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91858365

ESCORT. (1854, December 1). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91858365

Janet finished up the Portland Herald in 1860 and she and the children went to Mt, Gambier where she assisted two of her sons in setting up the Border Watch, a paper still published today.  The first edition was published on April 26, 1861 and is online at Trove.  The eldest son was only 17 then, so Janet must have been the main force behind the paper’s establishment.  The name was definitely her idea as there was a Border Watch newspaper on the border of Scotland and England.  Given the close proximity of Mt Gambier  to the South Australian/Victorian border, she though the name appropriate.

(1861, April 26). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7596636

(1861, April 26). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7596636

Also in 1861, Janet married widower Joshua Black of Cork Hill, Bridgewater.  Joshua was father to seven children and Janet must have had a busy time running a paper in Mt. Gambier and the duties of matrimony at Bridgewater.   Janet and Joshua had three children together, the first in 1862 when Janet was 40.   By 1865 there were 15 children from the combined marriages, aged from 22 to newborn.  One would hope by this time Janet was leaving the running of the newspapers to her sons.

Janet was buried in the North Portland Cemetery  in the same grave as Alexander Laurie .  The Portland Guardian of July 29, 1903 reported that “the funeral procession was one of the largest, if not the largest seen in Portland”.

The Glenelg Shire have completed a Heritage study of Cork Hill and there is a good history of the Black and Laurie families  http://www.glenelg.vic.gov.au/files/52757_CORK_HILL_HO184.pdf

The State Library of South Australia website includes a history of the Border Watch http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?c=2585

The entry for Janet in the “Book of Remembrance of the pioneer women of the Portland Bay district”  including a photograph is found here  http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/vicpamphlets/1/4/4/doc/vp1442-007-0000.shtml

Janet’s obituary from the Border Watch, July 29, 1903 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77160512   and from the Portland Guardian http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/63998138

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BRIDGEWATER BEACH

Henry DOWN – Died July 4, 1914 at Port Fairy.  Henry Down arrived in Victoria around 1856 aged 21 and his first employment was at Yambuk,  He was then appointed manager of St Helen’s were he displayed successful farming practices.  He purchased his own land at Coddrington and continued his success.  Henry married twice.  His first wife, Susan Dawe was the mother of all of Henry’s six children.  She passed away in 1893 and Henry married the widow of Mr William Cain.   Henry returned twice to the north of England to visit his two brothers, both coal miners.

James FRY – Died July 26, 1914 at Broadwater.  James Fry was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1830.  He married Sarah Brown in 1853, in Gloucestershire.  They left England in 1857 aboard “Chance” bound for Port Fairy.  He set up a business as a plasterer in the town and was deeply involved in the Oddfellows and the Farmers Rest Lodge.  He even built a lodge room at Broadwater for the Farmers Rest masons, at his own expense.  James and Sarah had 11 children and Sarah predeceased James in 1907.

Silias SMITH – Died July 5, 1915 at Hamilton.  Silias Smith was born in Somerset, England in 1824.  He arrived in Hobart in 1855 and then in 1857, sailed for Portland, settling in the Narrawong area.  Silias worked in the horticultural field and had great knowledge in both this and general agriculture.  In later life, he lived with his married daughter in Heywood and later in Hamilton.

Mrs Bridget O’BRIEN - Died July 16, 1916 at Crossley.  Born in Ireland around 1835, Mrs Bridget O’Brien arrived in Victoria in the mid 1850s. Bridget and her husband lived at Crossley for many years before leasing their land and moving to Port Fairy North.  The O’Brien’s had four children, but lost three of them at a young age.  They had one son to survive them, John,

Francis McSORLEY – Died July 16, 1916 at Port Fairy.  Francis McSorley was born in Ireland around 1826 and arrived in Victoria in the early 1860s aboard the Mindora, along with his wife and two sons.  Francis was an expert on the Crimean War and the early history of Victoria.  He worked on the railways for many years before retiring to Rosebrook.  He left six sons and one daughter.  Another son Patrick, a jockey was killed in a race fall in Adelaide.

Thomas SHANLEY – Died July 12, 1917 at Killarney.  Thomas Shanley took up residence at Killarney in 1856.  He married Ellen Malone, a Passing Pioneer last month, in the same year.  Thomas was the road overseer for the Belfast shire for 22 years.

John WILLIAMS – Died July 26, 1917 at Port Fairy.  John Williams was born in Hobart in 1834 and arrived in Victoria as a 14-year-old in 1848.  He worked on stations doing stock work and around the time of the discovery of gold, he was droving stock to Ballarat and Bendigo.  He tried his luck while at each of these goldfields  with no success and returned to station life and marriage in 1855.  He later went to Port Fairy were he remained for 49 years.  During that time he worked at Guinn’s Brewery and at the harbour.  John and his wife raised 13 children.

Kate St George McCANN – Died July 27, 1929 at Coleraine.   Kate McCann was already well travelled by the time she reached Melbourne in 1866 aboard the “Great Britain“.  She was born on a ship just off shore of San Fransisco in 1849.  Her birth certificate would have stated she was born in Stepney, London as all children born at sea under the British flag were allocated to the Parish of Stepney.  Kate grew up playing on her mother’s ranch in the Rocky Mountains, California.  After her mother’s death she travelled to England with her sister, living with her aunt, Emma Crouch in London.  It was with Emma that Kate and her brother and sister sailed on the “Great Britain“.  They caught the steamer “Edina” to Portland.

In 1876, Kate married James Trangmar.  They moved from Portland to Coleraine and ran a family store.  The store was run by members of the Trangmar family until 1969.  Kate and James had eight children, six surviving at the time of Kate’s death.

Lottie McKEAND – Died July 11, 1942 at Casterton.  Lottie was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Andrew McKeand of Penola and she was born there in 1875.  She married James Carmichael of Argyle Station at Lake Mundi near Casterton and they moved to their own property Argyle after their marriage.  James passed away and Lottie moved to Melbourne with her three sons to enable them to finish their education.  She later married James Mitchell of Moredun Hills, Casterton, however he predeceased her.  Lottie was keen on dogs and horses and will still riding only a few years before her death.  At the time of her passing,  her three sons were serving with the A.I.F, with Thomas missing in Malaya.


Passing of the Pioneers

June Passing of the Pioneers features the obituaries of several former Councillors, Mayors and a Mayoress.  There are members of  well known pioneering families and a man who died with no other relatives in Australia.  There is also a Hamilton cricket champion who had the potential to play for Australia.

William RUTLEDGE – Died June 1, 1876 at Farnham.  William Rutledge, born in Ireland, arrived in Sydney in 1833 aged around 27.  After his marriage in 1839, he headed south to Queanbeyan, N.S.W. then Kilmore, Victoria in 1840.  A visit to Port Fairy in 1843 saw him buy the business of John Cox and he transformed it into William Rutledge & Co, importers.  He also selected a large amount of  land at Farnham near Koroit.  William also sat on the first Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1851.  The Christ Church Anglican church at  Warrnambool has a  memorial window dedicated to the memory of William.

DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, OF FARNHAM. (1876, June 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5890095

DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, OF FARNHAM. (1876, June 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5890095

A biography of William Rutledge (below) by Martha Rutledge in the Australian Dictionary of Biography tells of Edward Henty having referred to William as “Terrible Billy”.

WILLIAM RUTLEGE.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H5056/68

WILLIAM RUTLEGE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H5056/68

George OSBORNE – Died June 14,  1884 at Geelong.  George Osborne was born in Sydney around 1809, his father a member of the 45th Regiment of Foot.  George was a ship maker’s apprentice and worked on a whaling ship as ship’s carpenter.  George first arrived in Victoria  in 1840 at Portland.  He then went to Melbourne before returning to Portland where he remained with his family. While he had lived in Portland for 25 years, after his wife’s death, George moved amongst his family members until his death.  He was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

Eliza PITTS – Died June 2, 1914 at Edenhope.  As an infant, Elizabeth Pitts travelled to Victoria with her parents aboard the “Severn” in 1846 and they settled at Wattle Hill, Portland.  In 1860, Elizabeth married Richard Guthridge.  They raised a family of six sons and six daughters.  Son Frederick has also been a Passing Pioneer.  In the early years of their marriage Richard and Eliza moved several times between Portland, Mt Gambier and Carapook before settling in the Edenhope district.  They were a well respected family, renown for their longevity.

Walter DISS – Died June 3, 1916 at Port Fairy.  Walter Diss died with no relatives in Australia.  He was born in London around 1851 and arrived in Victoria during the 1880s.  He ran bakery businesses in Port Fairy and for a time ran the Exchange Hotel at Sale, East Gippsland.  He returned to Port Fairy after the death of his wife, two years before his own passing.

Ellen MALONE – Died June 20, 1916 at Killarney.  Born in Queen’s County, Ireland around 1831, Ellen arrived at Portland in 1855 aboard the “Caringorm“.  In 1856, she married Thomas Shanley and they settled at Killarney and raised seven children.  At the time of her death, Ellen had 42 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Robert WOOD – Died June 27, 1917 at Warrnambool.  Robert Wood was born in Scotland in 1847 and arrived at Port Fairy, with his parents, aboard the “Athletae” in 1854.  He farmed around  Hopkins Point and Woodford before taking up a job as a storeman for R.H. Patterson of Warrnambool.  He had a strong association with the Warrnambool Fire Brigade, serving as a member for 42 years, 20 years of which he was the station keeper.

Agnetta VIGAR – Died June 24, 1917 at Ararat.  Agnetta Vigar was born on the island of Guernsey around 1831.  She arrived in Adelaide in 1852 and married William Aggett.  They moved to Ararat during the 1860s, settling on the Stawell Road.  She left one son, Thomas, serving in Europe at the time of her death.

John TWOMEY – Died June 30, 1918 at Lilydale.  John Twomey was born at ‘”Banmore” Penshurst, the son of John Twomey a pioneer squatter of the district.  John Jr entered in the stock and station business and lived at Warrnambool.  He was a member of several racing clubs and was a successful owner.  In the years before his death he moved to Melbourne then Lilydale where he passed.  He was buried at Warrnambool Cemetery.

John DOYLE – Died June 8, 1922 at Heywood.   John Doyle was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1842.  He arrived in Port Fairy about 1856 with his twin brother and they set up a carrying business.  John then bought land in Casterton before purchasing the Hamilton Inn at Hamilton.  Tired of life as a publican, John bought land at Cape Bridgewater and Heywood and  farmed dairy cows.   He served as a Councillor with the Portland Shire. After the death of his first wife in 1877, he remarried.  He left five sons and two daughters.  A sixth son predeceased him.  John’s twin brother died five weeks before at Hamilton.

James GOLDIE - Died June 4, 1924 at Port Fairy.  James Goldie’s death was tragic  but it should not take away from the contribution he made to Port Fairy.  James was born around 1860, the son of John Goldie of Port Fairy.  He was the first butter factory manager in Victoria, running a factory at Rosebrook.  He later managed a large butter factory in N.S.W.

James’ father, John Goldie tended his farm using the latest scientific practices.  A photo of his farm is below.  Taken in 1895, it shows trial crops of sugar beets.  After John died, James took up part of the farm and became a respected breeder of Ayrshire cattle.

SUGAR BEET GROWING AT PORT FAIRY ON THE FARM OF JOHN GOLDIE c1895.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

SUGAR BEET GROWING AT PORT FAIRY ON THE FARM OF JOHN GOLDIE c1895. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

James served on the Council of the Borough of Port Fairy with two terms as Mayor.  He was also a member of the Agriculture Society committee and he was one of the men that established the Glaxo Milk Company at Port Fairy.

Mary FLETCHER – Died June 19, 1942 at Sandringham.  Mary Fletcher was born in Scotland around 1847 and arrived in Victoria as a child.  Her parent settled at Goroke and in 1865 she married William Affleck.  William passed away in 1867 and in 1869 she married James Wooton Shevill.  James was a Warrnambool Councillor from 1875-1878, holding the Mayoral role in 1877-1878.  In later life the Shevills moved to Melbourne.

Peter DUSTING – Died June 30, 1946 at Melbourne.  As Peter Dusting was the last surviving member of the family of  John and Sally Dusting of South Portland, this obituary is more a Dusting family obituary rather than Peter’s.  In fact I was able to find little about Peter from it.  He was born in Portland around 1866 and followed his father and brothers into the fishing business.  Later he moved to Melbourne and remained there until his death.

Emma Watsford TERRILL –  Died June, 1948 at Hamilton.  Emma Terrill was born at Cape Bridgewater around 1880, the youngest daughter of Mr & Mrs George Terrill, pioneers of the district.  Emma married William Jennings in 1905.  William was the grandson of Cook Abraham Jennings and Hannah Birchall, also Cape Bridgewater pioneers.   Emma was an expert on poultry and was often sought after for advice.   After living all her life at Cape Bridgewater, two years before her death she moved into Portland.  Emma passed away in the Hamilton Hospital.

George KENNEDY – Died June 1950 at Hamilton.  When I think of Hamilton cricket, I think of Kennedy Oval.  George Kennedy is the man who the oval was named for.   An obituary for  George Kennedy  in the Portland Guardian of June 29, 1950, suggests a decision by Melbourne born George to leave the city for Hamilton as a young man in 1905, may have cost him the opportunity to compete at interstate or even at international level.  He played for the Grange club in Hamilton and excelled at both batting and bowling, the later his specialty.  His talent was on display in 1912, when a touring English team played at Hamilton and George’s bowling figures where 3/35.  After the match, the ball and a bat signed by the English team was presented by one his scalps, Sir Jack Hobbs, the most prolific scorer in first class cricket history.  George was 71 at the time of his death.


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