Tag Archives: Byaduk

Australia Day Blog Challenge – The Drover’s Wife

Helen V. Smith’s brief  for the 2013 Australia Day Blog Challenge – Tell the story of your first Australian ancestor.

Easy –  Ellen Barry arrived in 1840 on the Orient.  But you have heard enough about Ellen and her husband Thomas Gamble, another early arrival (and possible convict).   Most of my other ancestors were 1850s Assisted Immigrants.  Maybe I could go with a hunch.

My ggg grandparents James Bishop and Sarah Hughes have been difficult to research.  I eventually discovered they married in Adelaide in 1852.  A few years ago, on the passenger list of the Lysander an 1840 arrival to Adelaide, I found Robert Hughes, his wife and four daughters.

Shipping Report. (1840, September 8). Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 - 1844), p. 3. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71619943

Shipping Report. (1840, September 8). Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 – 1844), p. 3. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71619943

As Sarah’s father was Robert,  I’ve kept the Lysander filed away in my mind (yes, there are probably better places), occasionally having a search around the records hoping for something new.

For this post, I decided to try to find, the arrival date of  either Sarah or James, but I had to choose.  Firstly, I would need to cough up, pay $20 for a digital image of a Death Certificate simply because I was short of clues. This was still cheaper and faster than ordering a hard copy of their South Australian Marriage Certificate.

I’ve posted about James before and I know something of him but nothing of Sarah except she gave birth to 11 children, but I did want to know more.  Also, as Sarah passed away before her husband, the informant would most likely have been James and, if he was still of sane mind, information would be more accurate than that on his own certificate.   He  died 10 years later in 1895 and his informant may not have known the detail I was after.

Based on that reasoning , Sarah it would be.  So I begrudgingly  happily paid $20 and waited, with fingers crossed for the digital image to appear. More often than not when I order a certificate, I end up disappointed.  I was, on this occasion, pleasantly surprised.  The column I was most interested in was “How long in the Australian colony”.  It read, “14 years in South Australia”, in Victoria…almost illegible but it looks like 34 years.  What do you think?

sh

 

It does not prove that Sarah came on the Lysander but it does qualify her as an early arrival, so let the story begin.

I have told much of the Bishop family story in the post Jim’s Gone A-droving but what of Sarah’s story?  I know so little about her but with help from Henry Lawson’s “The Drover’s Wife” one can  wonder and imagine what  life was like for her.  While I don’t believe that she felt the isolation experienced by Lawson’s “wife” she must have felt the same loneliness.

Sarah Hughes was born in Brighton, East Sussex, England in 1834 to Robert Hughes and Mary Godfer.  Robert was a sailor according to Sarah’s Death Certificate.  As a child, Sarah arrived in Adelaide.  By 1852, aged 18, she had met and married James Bishop from Dorset, nine years her senior.  They lived at Thebarton an  Adelaide suburb.  Eight days short of their nine month anniversary, Sarah and Jim welcomed a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, named after her two grandmothers.

For most of his working life, Jim was a drover.  The following article describes a James  Bishop, working as a shepherd near Gawler, South Australia in 1853.

jb

This could well be my Jim, off working early in the marriage.  I have often wondered why only one child was born during the  Adelaide days from 1852-1855/6, considering the speed of conception of the first child and frequency of the later children. Maybe Jim was away working?   Could the gaps between the eleven children be a  measure of Jim’s absences?

Baby Mary passed away in 1855 and this may have been a catalyst for a move.

Family Notices. (1855, March 26). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 2. Retrieved January 24, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49308047

Family Notices. (1855, March 26). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900), p. 2. Retrieved January 24, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49308047

Or was it gold?  Jim and Sarah next turned up in Ararat where a new lead was found in early 1856.

ARARAT. (1856, June 27). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88050962

ARARAT. (1856, June 27). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88050962

Would life as a miner’s wife be any different to a shepherd’s wife?  The goldfields were harsh for women, in the minority and left alone while their husband’s sought to change their fortunes.  There was the cold (and Ararat  can get very cold), the mud, the heat and dust.   Home was either a tent or  hut.  Settled in Ararat,  Sarah gave birth to three children in four years, including my gg grandmother Elizabeth, and at best, if lucky, a midwife assisted or another miner’s wife.  Disease lurked on the goldfields, a constant worry for a mother with young children.

Seemingly luckless, the Bishops moved to Mount Gambier.  Jim would have turned to droving by this time.   While they were in Mount Gambier,  Harriet was born in 1860 and Ellen in 1862.

dw

By 1865, the family had  moved to the Macarthur/Byaduk area and in the same year, after a break of three years, Sarah gave birth to a daughter.  She called her Mary after the child she lost 10 years before.

dw2During Jim’s absences, he often took cattle to the Adelaide markets, Sarah would have faced the harshness of the land on her own.  By 1870, she had eight children from a newborn to 14.  That year,  Jim selected 16 acres at Warrabkook, out of Macarthur.  At least the older boys could have helped her with daily farm tasks and Elizabeth, 13 and Harriett, 10, with the babies.

dw3dw4

dw5

dw6

dw7

dw8

Sarah’s relationship with James is something I wonder about.  Nine years younger than him and only a girl when they married.  Drovers were stereotypically hard-drinking men adapted to long periods alone.  Margaret Kiddle in her book, Men of Yesterday, A Social History of the Western District of Victoria  described drovers as “…hardbitten, sunburnt and blasphemous.”(page 411) How did Jim adjust back at home?  The peace of life on the road with a mob of cattle would be very different to a home full of children.  Did Sarah do as Lawsons’ drover’s wife and not make a fuss?

dw9 In 1878, one of Sarah’s boys committed an act that would break any mother’s heart.  Second son  George and two other young men were charged with the rape of Mary Ann McDonald, an incident that rocked the district.  That charge was later dropped, however George was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on a charge of indecent assault.

TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES. (1878, May 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 7. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5932114

TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES. (1878, May 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 7. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5932114

As Lawson’s “Drover’s Wife” killed a snake that terrorised the family in their home, her eldest son, with some sense of her emptiness, declared “Mother, I won’t go drovin’, blast me if I do”.

dw11For Sarah this was not the case.  Eldest son Charles worked as a drover.

PASTORAL INTELLIGENCE. (1890, January 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 6. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8583931

PASTORAL INTELLIGENCE. (1890, January 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 6. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8583931

Third son Robert worked as a drover.

rb

The droving blood ran deep.  The 1913 Electoral Roll lists Sarah’s grandson Hubert Nathaniel Gurney Bishop, with the unmistakable name and son of Charles, as living in Longreach, Queensland.  I  believe this his him.

PASTORAL NOTES. (1913, December 15). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60386074

PASTORAL NOTES. (1913, December 15). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60386074

Sarah died on May 15, 1885 at Byaduk from pulmonary tuberculosis.  Buried at only 51 at  the Macarthur cemetery.  The Wesleyan minister presided.  On Sarah’s death certificate her profession was not home duties, or wife or even mother.  It was a role that was all of those and more…drover’s wife.

 

sb

After I wrote this post I watched Australian country singer Luke O’Shea ‘s take on The Drover’s Wife.  Pass the tissues please.

SOURCES:

Excerpts of Henry Lawson’s short story “The Drover’s Wife” from Queensland Country Life – EPICS OF THE BUSH. (1936, June 11). Queensland Country Life (Qld. : 1900 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97158517 and Henry Lawson’s Stories of the Bush. (1936, June 18). Queensland Country Life (Qld. : 1900 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97158597

A full version of “The Drover’s Wife” is available at this link – http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/lawson/henry/while_the_billy_boils/book2.1.html

Bound For South Australia

 

 

 


Trove Tuesday – In the News

The newspaper articles I have shared each week for Trove Tuesday are similar to those I choose for the spasmodic “In the News” posts.  There are now 21 in total (TT is drawing close with 19 posts), so I thought I would share a few of my favourites for this week’s Trove Tuesday.

September 23, 1870 – Fire swept thorough Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street.

The Bushfire series – February 8-13 1901, January 13, 1905, January 19, 1944

December 8, 1909 – The Grampians Bunyip

November 16, 1929 – Less than 12 months after my gg uncle, Charles James Harman flew on the airship R101, it crashed over France.

June 16, 1881 - Ploughing matches from Byaduk and beyond.


In The News – November 24, 1941

The Portland Guardian of November 24, 1941 heralded the 100th birthday of Heywood, a small town about 25 kms north of Portland.  The article remembered The Bell family and their contribution to Heywood’s settlement.  I recently  introduced to you my family link to the Bells in a Trove Tuesday post – A Matter of Relativity about Amelia Harman.  Amelia married Christopher Bell, a grandson of John and Elizabeth Bell.

John Bell and his wife Elizabeth Morrow, left Ireland in 1841 with eight children in tow, some were adults, and sailed to Australia aboard the “Catherine Jamison“.  Five months after their departure, the Bells had settled at Mount Eckersley, a few kilometres north of Heywood.

 

 

 

Great contributors to Western Victorian racing, the family were good friends with poet Adam Lindsay Gordon.  William Bell was with Gordon when he made his mighty leap at Blue Lake, Mt. Gambier.

The Department of Primary Industries cites the height of Mt Eckersley as 450 feet (137 metres) but that didn’t stop John Bell, at the age of 101, from climbing the volcano, only months before his death.

As a family known for longevity, twin sons Henry and James lived to 92 and 97 respectively.  At one time they were Australia’s oldest living twins.

HEYWOOD IS ONE HUNDRED. (1941, November 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 1 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 16, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64402492

All of this is well and good but is it all true?  John’s year of death is recorded as 1885, with his birth about 1787.  That would have made him around 97/98, short of the 101 reported.  Still, if he did climb Mt.Eckersley, to do it aged 97/98  was still a mean feat, but John may not have been a centenarian.  The family notice in the Hamilton Spectator at the time of his death gives his age as 98.

There could also be a discrepancy with the year the Bells settled at Mt Eckersley.  The Bells did arrive on the Catherine Jamieson on October 22, 1841 to Port Phillip.  The newspaper article says they were in Heywood by November 1841.  The Glenelg and Wannon Settlers site states John Bell settled at Mt Eckersly in 1843.

A further reminder to not always believe what you read in the papers.


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.


M is for…Methodist

This really should have been a post for the “W” week of the Gould Genealogy Alphabet challenge, but I have another “W” word in mind for that week (guess which word that will be).  To be precise,  “W is for…Wesleyan Methodist” would have been more apt as it is the branch of Methodism that the Harman family followed, but due to an overload of “W”‘s, I’ll turn it upside down and make it “M is for…Methodist”.

What did I know about Methodism before I discovered the Harman’s faith?  Nothing except for a link to temperance.  Therefore, over the years I have tried to find out more about the religion as I think it is definitive in finding out more of what the Harmans were really like, especially James and his brother Walter who were Local Preachers with the church.

It was the role of  local preacher that I discovered was one of the characteristics of Methodism.  This from the “Advocate” of Burnie on August 16, 1952 gives something of the background:

The Methodist Local Preacher. (1952, August 16). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954), p. 12. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article69442373

I have also found that James did preach at Hamilton Methodist Church on occasions, found in the history  Uniting we now stand : a history of the Hamilton Methodist Church  by Joan A. Smith (1999).  The Hamilton church was originally at 41 McIntyre Street before moving to Lonsdale Street in 1913.  In May this year a gathering was held recognising 150 years of Methodism in Hamilton.

The Byaduk Methodist Church built 1864, was the first church in the town and a weatherboard Sunday School was added in 1889.  Located on the Hamilton/Port Fairy Road which runs through the town the Byaduk church, along with the Hamilton church,  are now Uniting Churches.  This cam about after three churches, the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational came together in 1977.

FORMER BYADUK METHODIST CHURCH

Prior to the Byaduk church’s construction services were held in the home of John B. Smith, an early leader of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria.   In 1866, Smith went to Portland  and travelled a circuit which took him throughout the south-west.  His recollections were published in The Portland Guardian of June 25, 1928.  If you have Kittson, Lightbody or Hedditch links, this is worth reading in full.

Early Methodsim. (1928, June 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64266132

Smith was also a co-author of the book The Early Story of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria  available online.  Of course there is a lot in the book about John Smith himself who “.. had a clear grasp of the plan of salvation, and a touching and pathetic way of speaking of the “wrath to come”.”(p.269).

Also of Smith:

“The well-worn family Bible used morning, noon, and night for family worship, told of his love for the Psalms and the words of the Lord Jesus and few could use them (even the deep vast words of the fourth gospel), or the plaintive phrases of the Psalms, or the less familiar lines of shaded beauty found in our Hymn Book, with greater feeling and effect” (p269)

The influence of this holy man of God and of other kindred spirits make Byaduk a bright spot in the Hamilton Circuit, while the personal worth and , social standing of Mr. Peter Learmonth as a Christian and a citizen, and the active sympathy and generous help of the Wissins’ and Learmonths’ on the one hand, and the uno-rudsins labours of devoted Local Preachers on the other, have served to sustain the cause and comfort the Minister’s heart”(p270)

Peter Fraser in Early Byaduk Settlers, describes an early Methodist service at Byaduk:

“They conducted the services differently from now.  In singing hymns. the preacher read a verse and the congregation sang the verse, then he read another and the congregation sang it and so on to the end of the hymn.  In prayers, most of the congregation knelt; and when the preacher was praying, some in the congregation would sing out AMEN, BE IT SO HALLELUIAH and other words, while others in the congregation would grunt and groan all the time, but it must have been a nuisance to the preacher as the Methodist Ministers stopped it many years ago.” (p. 14)

Peter also names some of the local preachers of which there was an abundance.  They included Mr John Henry Oliver senior, father-in-law of Jonathon and Reuben Harman, and his son John Henry junior.  Also Daniel Love, John Holmes and Samuel Clarke, just to name a few.  George Holmes senior, father in law of Julia Harman, was superintendent of the Sunday School for over 40 years.

James and Walter seemed the most devout of the Harman family, with both spreading the word as local preachers. Also, Walter and his wife Lydia established the Sunday School at Ensay and Walter travelled many miles preaching.  Walter’s son Henry was an elder of the Omeo Methodist Church and I have previously told the story of the Omeo Methodist Minister Ronald Griggs .  The church closed ranks around Griggs and continued to support him at the time of his murder trial in 1928.

The post In Search of the Extraordinary Monster looks at the Port Fairy Methodist church.  Port Fairy was the home of the Harman family before they moved to Byaduk

Reuben James Harman, son of James and my gg grandfather,  was buried in the Methodist section of the Ballarat New Cemetery, with the faith continuing on to the next generation.

GRAVE OF REUBEN JAMES HARMAN & EMMA LORDEN – BALLARAT NEW CEMETERY

I know there is so much more to find about the Harman family link to the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  My ggg grandfather was a great servant of the church and saw some changes during its development in Byaduk and Hamilton.   He was still alive when the Hamilton Methodist Church moved to Lonsdale Street, but  a major change occurred a year after his death.  In 1917, the Methodist Church of Australia at its Melbourne conference ruled that local preachers were to become known as lay preachers.

METHODIST CONFERENCE. (1917, May 26). Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), p. 6 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved August 7, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50927004

A post on the website Gospel Australia, has a great post “Poor Old Tom Brown”.  I have included the link but now the site is only working intermittently.   It  describes a man who was a Local Preacher in New South Wales and he is very much how I imagine James Harman to have been.

If you have Western District family  who were Methodists, I highly recommend you read the The Early Story of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria.  Various towns throughout the Western District were represented along with many names.  Other areas of Victoria are also covered.

If any one has any idea how I can get a copy of  Uniting we now stand : a history of the Hamilton Methodist Church  I would love to hear from you.  There is a copy in the reference section of the Hamilton Library but it would be nice to have a copy of my own.

There is one question about the Harmans and their Methodist faith that I may never have answered.  Why did Joseph Harman, father of James and Walter, change his religion from Methodist to Presbyterian by the time of his death in 1893?  Mentioned in his obituary in “The Hamilton Spectator” it has had me wondering ever since I first read it.

 


Everybody Happy?

This is the third draft of this post and definitely the last.  Researching this subject has taken me through several twists and turns.  I’ve gone from happy dancing around the room, to slumped over the keyboard with frustration to happy dancing around the room again.

In my post Left Behind, I alluded to a discovery which linked  Mary Ann Harman to Australia.  It was Passenger Lists which led me to my subject and those same Passenger Lists which have contributed to my despair, leaving me desperately searching for answers.

So far, I have bookmarked close to 100 newspaper articles, watched film archive footage, listened to sound archive footage, read musical scores and entered into a lost world of entertainment, vaudeville.  I have gone from the stages of the Bristol Hippodrome to the Melbourne Tivoli, from the BBC to the ABC.

Basically, I could not share this story until I knew the truth.

So without further ado, let me introduce to you the star of the show -

!!!!!!!!!RUPERT HAZELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!RUPERT HAZELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rupert Alexander Hazell was born in West Ham, London in 1887 .  He was the son of Charles George Hazell and Harriett Sarah Loats, daughter of Mary Ann Harman and granddaughter of  Byaduk pioneers, Joseph and Sarah Harman.  Charles Hazell worked on the wharves and Rupert followed him there to work, first for the Royal Naval Stores and then the Port Authority.

But Rupert’s heart was not in it.  He was funny, a born comedian.  Despite passing the necessary examinations to enter the Civil Service and in turn delighting his parents, he wanted to share his humour.  With that and his musical talent, he said goodbye to the Civil Service.

In 1913, he formed his first partnership, marrying Florence Adele McKnight at Kingston, Surrey.  Adele worked as a saleswoman at a costumers and is possibly where she met Rupert.  Years later, it would be revealed that Rupert had a great interest in ladies’ stage costume.

The following year their son was born and christened with the same name as his father, Rupert Alexander.

Rupert was already treading the boards when he enlisted for WW1 in 1916, listing his occupation as entertainer.  He was an acting sergeant in an English hospital, one that saw ANZAC troops as patients.

It was writing songs for Music Hall star George Robey, that saw his career take off.  From there he was impressing Wal Pink and vaudeville director Albert De Courville.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF HUMOR. (1927, February 5). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 14. Retrieved May 25, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40762292

Radio came to England in 1920 with Dame Nellie Melba making one of the first broadcasts on  Marconi’s test station,  2MT  at Essex. Rupert too was one of those early broadcasters, being one the first comedians signed by the Marconi Company.  The Marconi Company evolved into the BBC in 1922, with whom Rupert broadcast with for at least the next two decades.

In 1922, Rupert travelled to New York for Broadway show, Pins and Needles co-written by De Courville and Pink, with lyrics co-written by Rupert.  He also appeared in the show for the month of February.

The 1923 Royal Command Performance was Rupert’s next big appearance, before King George V and Queen Mary.  After this event, advertising for his shows promoted him as “The Man who Made the King Laugh”.

In 1925, Rupert Hazell hit Australian shores for a tour of the Tivoli circuit.  With soprano, Miss Elsie Day (her stage name), they toured Sydney and Melbourne with both critical and popular acclaim.

The visit turned into a four-year stay, with Hazell not returning to London until 1929.  During the time he became a radio star with the ABC with stints in all the Australian capital cities and New Zealand.

Always accompanied by Elsie Day, their vaudeville act consisting of Rupert’s jokes and Elsie’s songs.  Taking on a clown like appearance, Rupert had wild hair and a funny little hat. Elsie was always dressed in her famous crinoline dresses.  Rupert greeted audiences with the familiar opening:

“Hello People. Everybody happy?”

This advertisement for the Tivoli , Melbourne has Rupert and Elsie on the bill with their show “Harmonylarity”

[No heading]. (1925, November 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 32. Retrieved May 25, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page443364

Around the Studios. (1929, September 5). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 12. Retrieved May 25, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37675276

By 1928, Rupert Hazell was well-known around Australia thanks to radio broadcasts, vaudeville shows and speaking engagements with groups such as Rotary.  According to the The Register (S.A), Rupert and Elsie were the first performers to fly between venues.

BY AIR TO BROADCAST. (1928, July 31). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 14. Retrieved May 25, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57063715

POPULAR ARTISTS ON THE AIR. (1928, August 1). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 14. Retrieved May 25, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29283864

Not only was Rupert a comedian, broadcaster and composer, in 1925 while in Australia he  patented his invention the Cellocordo, an instrument like the Phonofiddle invented by A.T. Howson.  Rupert also played the Phonofiddle but also did much to promote his version.

Display Advertising. (1926, March 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 20. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3741055

MUSICIAN aka HAZELL AND DAY

Copyright Image courtesy of the British Pathe www.britishpathe.com. Click on the image to go through to the British Pathe website to view this and other footage of Rupert.

It is around this time in Rupert’s life where questions start to come up.  I had read many articles at Trove about the pair’s 1920s visit and a later visit in 1933-34.  On several occasions newspapers reported Elsie as Rupert’s wife.  If “Miss Elsie Day” was a stage name, was I to assume that her real name was Florence McKnight?

It was a search at the UK National Archives that uncovered a record of divorce served on Rupert Alexander Hazell by Florence Adele McKnight in 1929.  The same year  they both supposedly returned from Australia.  But why did Rupert continue to perform with Elsie into the 1930s and beyond if she was Florence?

I had to find out the true identity of “Miss Elsie Day”.  I went back to the Passenger Lists and once again studied Rupert’s entries.  One would expect that Miss Day would travel using her real name.

There was another “Hazell” listed on three occasions.  The first was in 1929 on their return to London.  Accompanying Rupert on the voyage was Eva Hazell, vocalist.  Very interesting. Also interesting was they each listed a different residence on their return to London,  Rupert at 74 Cornhill, London and “Eva Hazell” at 28 Salmon Road, Kent.

In the later records, 1932 from South Africa and 1934 from Brisbane, Rupert was travelling with Sarah Eva Hazell.  Their address was the same, 13 The Fairway, North Wembley.   The 1932 record listed Sarah as “wife” and on the 1934 record as “soprano”.  On each record there was a 15 year age difference between Rupert and Eva, when there was only a two year difference in age between Rupert and Florence.

Eva.  That name rung a bell.  I had found a marriage record from 1931 listing  Rupert Alexander Hazell marrying a woman with the surname Pank.  Further investigation revealed her full name was Eva Pank.  I had initially assumed this record was for Rupert junior as I thought Rupert senior was happily married to Florence “Elsie Day” McKnight.  I also found the death record for Sarah Eva Hazell from 1988.  Things were starting to look a lot different.

I was now working on the assumption that “Miss Elsie Day” was Sarah Eva Pank.   That would mean when Rupert and “Elsie” were in Australia the first time, they were not married.  Then, on their arrival back in England, Florence was waiting with divorce papers.  Two years later in 1931, Rupert finally married his”Miss Elsie Day” and they returned to Australia, legally man and wife.  But I could not make such claims without proof.

Back to Trove and I began to read through articles from the first visit, comparing them to the second.  Was there any way reporting on their relationship was different on each visit?  I analysed every interview looking for clues.  With no paparazzi following the couple, there were no scandalous rumours, but there were some differences.

On the earlier visit,  articles mentioned Rupert Hazell appearing with Miss Elsie Day or his partner Miss Elsie Day.  On one occasion “The Register” (Adelaide) reported Elsie was Rupert’s wife and he referred to her as his “little grandmother”.

BROADCASTING. (1928, July 11). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 13. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57056909

BRIGHT COMEDY VAUDEVILLE. (1928, February 15). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), p. 25. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21223381

After the formal reporting on the “relationship” during the 1920s visit, the first article after they stepped off the boat at the Perth on their return to Australia was totally different:

A BROADCASTING STAR. (1933, December 22). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32777824

I love this article.  They couple were certainly living the good life.

ATTRACTIVE PERTH GIRLS. (1934, January 23). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32795395

Getting copies of  divorce papers were a possibly but a quote of £63 for a digital copy was it making less of option, although I was getting desperate. I then remembered a comment on a photo on Flickr from the ABC Archive.

The photo is of Rupert and “Elsie” to the right with 3LO Melbourne’s Fred Williams.  The comment, from Claire, mentioned that Elsie Day and Rupert were her gg aunt and uncle.  Before I parted with my money for the divorce record, I would contact Claire.

A prompt reply came back with the contents giving me cause to happy dance around the room once again.  Claire told me Elsie Day’s real name was Eva Pank or Sarah Eva Pank.  She was Claire’s gg aunt on her maternal side.  Claire’s dad has a tree at Genes Reunited which I will check out when I finally get this post finished.

I had noticed advertisements from 1924/5 for the Bristol Hippodrome with Rupert performing his show “Harmonylarity” accompanied by Eva Parke.  I now believe that was Sarah Eva Pank and that was when their relationship begun.

I can now move on.   There is so much more I could tell you about Rupert Hazell’s life.  His philosophies of comedy and the audience , topics he spoke of regularly, are a fascinating insight into early 20th century entertainment.  I also tried to strip back the grease paint to find the “real” Rupert and revealed a complex, intelligent man not afraid to give his opinion, especially about his own talents.

Determination and hard work took him from the ports of London to the stages of the world.  He saw comedy move from vaudevillian  performances, to radio and in his last years, television, a medium he would have enjoyed being a part of, but I have no evidence of his involvement.  Rupert passed away in 1958 at Hampstead, London aged 71.

When I first discovered Rupert, my only question was if the Harman family in Australia knew of him.  I feel they probably had no idea of their family link as contact between the Harmans of England and Australia may have ended once Mary Ann passed away in 1873.  All the same, it is nice to think Sarah Harman of Flemington, aged in her early 80s by that time, may have tuned her wireless to 3LO and listened to her great-nephew Rupert.

Am I happy?  Yes I am Rupert!

                                                                                                                                                                                     

THANKS

I must thank Alison Rabinovici who has researched Rupert and his Cellocordo, including for a piece at the Jon Rose Web Project site.  She replied to my enquiry promptly and offered many places to look for further information.  She has since followed up with more contacts and I thank her for all her help.

I big thank you must go to Claire Hardy, the gg niece of Sarah Eva Pank.  Without her, I would still be tearing out my hair spending every waking moment reading, rereading and analysing.  Thanks to Claire I can now move on to something else.  Some would suggest housework…

                                                                                                                                                                                      

SOURCES

1891, 1901, 1911 England Census

British Army WW1 Pension Records (1914-1920)

British Newspaper Archive

British Pathe

England & Wales Death Index (1916-2005)

England & Wales Marriage Index (1916-2005)

Flickr

FreeBDM

Hippodrome Bristol

National Archives of Australia

Papers Past

Trove Australia

The Jon Rose Web Project

The National Archives (UK)

UK Incoming Passenger Lists 1878-1960


From Stone Country to High Country

If I wasn’t the ggg granddaughter of James Harman, I would be just as happy to be the ggg granddaughter of his brother, Walter.  He broke away from Byaduk farm life to pioneer in the High Country of Victoria at Ensay.

There are many things to like about  researching Walt.  He and wife Lydia Poynton chose beautiful names for their children. They also liked to be photographed and I have been lucky enough to view some of those wonderful snaps. Also, Walt’s obituary was rich with history and is the kind I wish I could find from James Harman’s death.

Walter was born in December 1845 at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, England to Joseph and Sarah Harman.  It would be unlikely he remembered a time when older brother James, 15 years his senior, lived in the family home.  While in England he would not have had much to do with any of his older brothers as by the time he was 8, four of them had left for Australia.

In 1854,  Walter sailed with his parents, Joseph and Sarah, sister Sarah and younger brother Alfred for Sydney aboard the “Queen of England“.  We now know the family went to Western Victoria and were in Byaduk by 1863.

In 1872, aged 27, Walter married Lydia Poynton, daughter of John Poynton and Lydia Walton. Immigrants from Lincolnshire, England, the Poyntons lived in the Macarthur area. The following year Walter applied to the Lands Board for a license on 300 acres near Macarthur.

LOCAL LAND BOARD. (1873, February 24). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 5 Edition: EVENINGS. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65429471

In 1879, he applied for the land next door to the earlier allotment, a further 44 acres.

LOCAL LAND BOARD. (1879, June 7). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: MORNINGS.. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63398356

Walter and Lydia started their family without haste, with Eunice Walton Harman born the year after their marriage.  Another nine children followed over the next 15 years.

Eunice Walton:  Birth:  1873 at Byaduk; Marriage: 1893 to  Benjamin Miller Lucas;  Death: 1954 at Heathcote Junction, Victoria.

Susannah Nash:  Birth:  1875 at Byaduk; Marriage:  1898 to William Condon;  Death:  1957 at Bairnsdale, Victoria.

Nathan:  Birth: 1878 at  Byaduk; Death:  1892 at Omeo.

Henry: Birth:  1880 at  Byaduk; Marriage:  1922 to  Eva Gertrude Jamison; Death: 1954 at  Bairnsdale, Victoria.

Louisa Mulberry:  Birth:  1881 at Byaduk; Marriage: 1900 to John Phiddian; Death: 1946 at Kyneton, Victoria.

Julia Georgina:  Birth:  1882 at Byaduk;  Marriage:  1915  to  Arthur Frances Lousada;  Death:  1929 at  Malvern, Victoria.

Selina Victoria:   Birth: 1884 at  Byaduk;  Death:  1977 at  Kew, Victoria.

Seth Livingstone:  Birth:  1884 at  Byaduk;  Death: 1892 at Omeo.

Golder Alberta Arlettie:  Birth:  1886 at Byaduk;  Marriage:  1923 to Solomon Kerrison; Death:  1963 at Melbourne.

John Joseph Stanley:  Birth: 1888 at Omeo;  Marriage:  1916 to Daisy Edith Masters;  Death: 1959 at Bairnsdale, Victoria.

This brings us to the wonderful names of the children of Walter and Lydia.  Eunice Walton takes her second name from her maternal grandmother Lydia Walton.  Susannah Nash was named after her maternal aunt Susannah Poynton.  Susannah married John Nash in 1869 but she died in 1875 aged just 34.  That was the same year Susannah Nash Harman was born. Lydia’s other sister Mary, also named her daughter Susannah Adeline Skipworth in the same year as her sister’s death.

My favourite name is Julia Georgina.  Julia is such a beautiful name and it may have come from her older cousin Julia Harman, daughter of James.  Selina Victoria is another of my favourite names.  Louisa Mulberry takes her second name from her paternal grandmother, Sarah Mulberry and John Joseph Stanley was named after his grandfathers, Joseph Harman and John Poynton.  I have absolutely no idea where the name Golder Alberta Arlettie may have come from!

The art of child naming carried on to the next generation, with grandchildren of Walter and Lydia having given names such as Stella Camilla Ina May, Edison Winslow, Harold Ornamen Tennnesyn, Cyril Montrose, Aldith Lorraine, Alban Harcourt, Beryl Maitland, Rodney Raeburn, Wilbur Henry, Athol Elwyn, Winton Harman, Jewel Victoria, Molly Lousada and Gloria Felicity Cambridge.

Just when it seemed Walter was settling into a life in the Western District, around 1888  Walter Harman packed up the family and made the long trip to Ensay in East Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country.  It is the move which  interests me, both the reason for travelling to the other side of the state and how they made the trip of over 600 kilometres, including the route they travelled.  The Ensay district did sound enticing as this article from 1888 suggests:

In Gippsland. (1888, April 7). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 44. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71096208

In 1843, Ensay Station consisted of 38,400 acres.  An article from the Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo Chronicle in 1917 cites the total acreage at Ensay Station at that time as 11,000 acres.  Over time land was sold off to the likes of Walter Harman.

When I started researching the Harmans and I found the first references to Omeo, about 40kms north-west of Ensay, I imagined that Walt and his family went alone.  As my research continued I discovered the Condon family from the marriage record of Susannah Nash Harman and William Condon in 1898.  William was born in Portland in 1870, the son of William Charles Condon and Susan Baker.

(1888, April 28). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 33. Retrieved February 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5096395

Later, thanks to newspaper reports of  Henry HARMAN’s court appearances in the trial of Ronald Griggs, I found John Henry CONDON, father of Lottie Condon.  While John was born in Omeo, he was the cousin of William Condon, Susannah Harman’s husband.  Not only that,  John Condon’s wife, Frances Ethel HUGGINS was born at Mount Eccles, near Macarthur in the Western District.  Frances’ mother was a SKIPWORTH, from Macarthur and her grandmother was a POYNTON, sister of Lydia Poynton, Walter Harman’s wife.  That sister, Mary, was also in the area with her husband, Thomas Skipworth. Phew!

Confusing maybe, but it shows five families living in the Omeo/Ensay area all with links to Byaduk/Macarthur and all connected through marriages over three generations.  Oh yes, Mary Poynton’s daughter Lydia Skipworth took along her new husband Andrew BAULCH from Tower Hill, near Warrnambool.  By 1890, his parent James Baulch and Ann Hulm were living at Bairnsdale.

So, the next question was who was the trailblazer that made the first big move to the High Country, or was there a convoy of families making the move at the same time?

Using the years the children were born as a guide, the first family to make the move appears to be Henry Condon, older brother of William Condon with his wife Agnes Huggins, aunt of Frances Ethel Huggins.  Married in 1885, their first child was born at Omeo in 1886.  Agnes’ brother James Huggins and wife Elizabeth Skipworth had a child in Macarthur in 1886 with the next child, Thomas Leslie born in 1888 at Omeo.  This is also the same year John Joseph Stanley Harman was born at Omeo.

The obituary of John Tomlin Poynton, nephew of Lydia, talks of his move to the High Country in 1888 with his brother Edward with yet another family tie in, this time to the Skipworths.

PASSED AWAY. (1943, July 19). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63255330

From 1886 to 1888 a  stream of Condons, Poyntons, Huggins, Skipworths and Harmans left the stone country for the high country.

Walter, with help from Lydia, worked quickly to establish a Sunday school at Ensay and they were a major force behind a State school being opened in the town.  In1890, Walter was one of the first trustees of the Ensay Public Cemetery.  The name of the Harman property at Ensay was “Systonholme”.  This name paid  tribute to Lydia’s birth place, Syston, Lincolnshire, England.

Like his brother James, Walter was a lay preacher for the Methodist Church and would travel by horseback spreading the word of John Wesley.

In 1892, tragedy struck the Harmans in quick succession.  Seth died in July aged 7 and Nathan passed away in August aged 13.  The boys were buried at the Omeo cemetery.  Their death certificates are just another two on my long list of “must get” certificates, to see how the boys died so close together, although one would assume it was illness.

I love this photo of  Walt and Lydia.  Despite the stiffness and lack of emotion of early photographs, there is a warmth here with the two seeming very comfortable in each others company.  They were a team and this is clear from the photo.  I would like to thank Linda Thatcher for allowing me to use this wonderful photograph.

Walt and Lydia Harman (photo courtesy of Linda Thatcher)

In Walter and Lydia’s later years, they moved into “town”, taking up residence in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern.  In 1923, they were living at 11 Jordan Street with their house named “Systonholme” , a reminder of Ensay. Daughter Selina was living with them and Julia and her husband Arthur Lousada moved from their home in Toorak to 113 Tooronga Road Malvern, only two streets from her parents.

In 1926, Lydia passed away at the age of 79.  Walter had lost his beloved wife, the woman with whom he had  pioneered and raised 10 children.  A  family notice was placed in “The Argus” at the time of her death:

Family Notices. (1926, September 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 17. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3808510

In 1928, two years after Lydia’s death, Walter and daughter Selina placed an “In Memoriam” notice in “The Argus” and the pain was still clear.

Family Notices. (1928, September 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 13. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3957034

Faced with life without Lydia, Walter  returned to live at Ensay, his other great love.  On October 22, 1936 Walter passed away at “Systonholme” Ensay.

Family Notices. (1936, October 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 1. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11928521

His obituary from the “Gippsland Times” is a fitting tribute to such a wonderful pioneer who gave so much to his local community, while ensuring a comfortable life for his family.

PASSING OF AN EARLY PIONEER. (1936, November 5). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62986267

As yet I have not found an obituary for James Harman but the words written of Walter may give a clue to James himself…”his sterling Christian character, his genial personality, and his extreme kindness to all whom he met”.  There are many similarities between James and Walter, despite their age difference and the fact the lived on opposite sides of Victoria including their devotion to the Methodist Church and their community involvement.  Both brothers played a role in establishing schools in their respective towns.  The obituary also reconfirmed the Harman’s journey from N.S.W. on arrival in Australia to Port Fairy and then Byaduk.

While Walter Harman is  remembered as an Ensay pioneer, he also lived in Byaduk and district for 25 years from the age of 18 to 43, which one could describe as his “formative years”. There was plenty of time for the characteristics, passions and wisdom of his brothers to rub off.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 166 other followers

%d bloggers like this: