Tag Archives: Coulson

The General Hewitt – Portland Bay 1856

When I read pioneer’s obituaries, a ship comes up time and again, the General Hewitt.  The ship, also called the General Hewett, was a convict ship and later an immigrant ship, sailing to Moreton Bay in 1854 .  The voyage I will focus on was to Portland Bay in  1856.  And what a voyage it was.

On May 5, 1856 the Geelong Advertiser’s correspondent in London wrote:

LONDON. (1856, July 16). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 - 1856), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93142901

LONDON. (1856, July 16). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93142901

The General Hewitt left Plymouth, England on July 5, 1856 and arrived at Portland on October 9, 1856.   Many of  the passengers would become some of the finest pioneers of the Western District and the South-East of South Australia and beyond.  A mix of English, Scottish and Irish, the passengers were described as being “of a very useful and eligible class”

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The General Hewitt also carried much needed supplies from the home country, whiskey, brandy, gin and champagne.  There was also some practical cargo such as clothing and haberdashery, garden seeds and glassware.

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1856, October 13). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567020

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1856, October 13). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567020

The single females from the ship were available to hire from £15 to £26 for a domestic.  Married couples could be employed at a rate of £40-£45 .  While most of the immigrants were “suitable” there were some crew members that were not, resulting in an eventful voyage, with a mutiny attempt no less.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1856, October 13). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567019

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1856, October 13). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567019

The drama did not stop once the ship arrived at Portland Bay.  Four crew members, left the ship on a raft.  Ten others had been locked up and five on the ship were refusing to work.

POLICE COURT. (1856, October 17). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567053

POLICE COURT. (1856, October 17). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567053

On October 14, the two men accused with assault , William Jose and Joseph Barrow appeared in the Portland Police Court, as did the 10 men refusing duty.  Their names included Able Seamen  Millard, Gash, Parry, Gudridge, Gashar and Howson the sail maker.  They received four months hard labour.

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POLICE COURT. (1856, October 15). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567037

POLICE COURT. (1856, October 15). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567037

The General Hewitt’s arrival was kept the Police Court busy.  On October 15, one of the immigrants, Henry Haley appeared for being found in the Government Immigration Depot without permission.  Four more crewmen appeared for refusing duty, Daniel Newbury, Joseph Steel, George Rumbellow and William Dowell.  Their sentences ranged from 12 weeks to four months imprisonment.

The trial of William Jose and Joseph Barrow for the assault on Captain Christopher H. Loutitt continued.

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POLICE COURT. (1856, October 17). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567053

POLICE COURT. (1856, October 17). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567053

Advertising. (1856, October 17). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567048

Advertising. (1856, October 17). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567048

The General Hewitt was already low on crew when, on November 7, two more absconded, the steward, William Thomas an John Carroll the cook.  They had the diggings in their sights, but instead they ended up digging roads.

POLICE COURT. (1856, November 10). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567197

POLICE COURT. (1856, November 10). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567197

A Police Constable kept watch on board the General Hewitt to  prevent any more crew jumping ship.  Captain Loutitt travelled to Melbourne in search of more crew.

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1856, November 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 4. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7140721

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1856, November 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 4. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7140721

Sixty-two years after the arrival of the General Hewitt, the death of John. S Andrew aka John Forster, brought to light more about the crew of the General Hewitt.  John Andrew was a crew member that bolted, ending up at Muntham near Casterton, were he remained for the rest of his life.  According to John’s obituary, other men of the district that were members of the crew included Messers Rooking and Gasperino.

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Passed Away. (1918, October 10). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74222260

Passed Away. (1918, October 10). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly.. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74222260

The obituary of William Rooking outed by John Andrew as an escaped crewmen

OBITUARY. (1901, June 14). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73027645

OBITUARY. (1901, June 14). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73027645

Now to the passengers.  As I’m currently tied to home, I didn’t think I could get access to the General Hewitt’s passenger list, so I thought I would find some of the passengers using Trove and a bit of Googling followed by a cross check with the PROV Online Shipping records.  While I did not come close to the “363 souls” on board, I did find around 70. Some of  those continued to live in the Western District or just across the border in the South East of South Australia.

Then, a need to double cross check  and a feeling of guilt about omitting the other 290 or so passengers, I thought I would give Ancestry.com.au a go.  Using the Victoria, Australia , Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists 1839-1923, I searched with General Hewitt in the Keywords field and the year 1856 and the list came up.  Early excitement faded rapidly when I realised the work another 290 names was going to bring and the transcribing of the passenger list was far from perfect.  The Cameron family had become the Cameau family, to name just one discrepancy.

As I’ve pottered away on this post for a few weeks, I have decided to just feature those passengers that had their voyage on the General Hewitt mentioned in their obituaries, plus a couple of others I found on the Glenelg and Wannon Settlers site.  Maybe, one day when I am stuck for something to do, I may start working my way through the other “souls” and share them with you.

ARTHUR, JOHN & PHILLIPPA   - John and Phillippa Arthur did not stay in Victoria long after their arrival, moving to Callington about 60 kilometres east of Adelaide. PROV Passenger List Index:  http://tinyurl.com/c8a8jfj

OBITUARY. (1912, August 3). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 42. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88699759

OBITUARY. (1912, August 3). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), p. 42. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88699759

ELIAS AND JOHN BATESON:  Elias and John from Cambridgeshire took up work with Edmund Kirby (father of John Kirby) at “Spring Bank” near Sandford. PROV Passenger Index: http://tinyurl.com/am9k8f7

BEST FAMILY:  William and Letitia  Best and their family of seven children were from County Cavan, Ireland and settled at Heywood.   PROV record – http://tinyurl.com/c2l5ekh

The obituaries of three of the children follow:

John was 20 at the time of his arrival at Portland.

First Issue, August 20, 1842. (1907, October 14). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63967003

First Issue, August 20, 1842. (1907, October 14). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63967003

Margaret Best married James Bell a member of another of Heywood’s pioneering families.

OBITUARY. (1933, September 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64283449

OBITUARY. (1933, September 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64283449

Letitia Best married Donald Rankin.  After her marriage she lived in Harrow, Western Australia and Heywood.

OBITUARY. (1941, August 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64401403

OBITUARY. (1941, August 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64401403

COULSON FAMILY – Christopher and Mary Frances Coulson were originally from Yorkshire and later London.  They sailed on the General Hewitt with their four children aged 4 to 14 .  I have previously written about Christopher in the post  I Wish I Were Related To Christopher Coulson.  One of their sons, Francis married my ggg aunt, Harriet Martha Diwell, daughter of William and Margaret.  PROV Passenger Index:  http://tinyurl.com/babw5x2

The obituary of Christopher Coulson Snr.

PERSONAL. (1904, July 28). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4991780

PERSONAL. (1904, July 28). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 6. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4991780

Passed Away. (1916, April 10). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74485266

Passed Away. (1916, April 10). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74485266

BREEZE FAMILY:  Or is it the Breese family?  As listed on the PROV Index, Thomas and Ann Breeze and their children were aboard the General Hewitt.  However the following letter indicates their name have been Breese.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/avj5sse

The letter is from William G. Breese, son of Thomas and Ann.  William was just seven when he arrived at Portland Bay, but 73 years later he was able to recount the voyage particularly the attempted mutiny.

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Nautical History. (1929, April 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64269148

Nautical History. (1929, April 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64269148

DWYER, EDMOND – I am yet to find the fate of the General Hewitt , however Edmond Dwyer’s obituary states the ship was destroyed by fire after one more trip to Australia.  The General Hewitt did make one other trip to Australia landing at  Port Adelaide in 1858.

Edmond’s obituary is also useful in that it mentions other passengers on the ship  – the Heaneys and Messers Roulston and Waters.  I can find each of these passengers but I cannot find a passenger under the name of Cannon he mentions.

There were three other Dwyers on the General Hewitt, but I have not been able to find if they are linked to Edmond.  They were:  Catherine (22), Johanna (27), Denis (29)

PROV record http://tinyurl.com/azt5jac

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Obituary. (1930, March 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64291851

Obituary. (1930, March 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64291851

HADDEN, David and Mary –   Listed on the Passenger list as Haddon, David and settled in the Carapook area.  PROV Link http://tinyurl.com/asvck8q

HEANEY, Robert and Jane – From Ireland, Robert and Jane pioneered at Condah for 52 years.  PROV Link http://tinyurl.com/a5rgakf

Infections Diseases in Animals. (1890, August 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63629135

Infections Diseases in Animals. (1890, August 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63629135

Passing of the Pioneers. (1920, February 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64020779

Passing of the Pioneers. (1920, February 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64020779

LAVERY Family:    Patrick and Rose and children Ann, Mary and Bernard were from County Armagh, Ireland.   PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/ba6juo3

Patrick and Rose celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1900.

SOCIAL. (1900, February 27). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75063691

SOCIAL. (1900, February 27). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75063691

Obituary of Patrick Lavery.

OBITUARY. (1905, November 24). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72818770

OBITUARY. (1905, November 24). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72818770

Rose Lavery passed away only days before her fellow General Hewitt shipmate, Mary Lear (below).

OBITUARY. (1903, August 11). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72841100

OBITUARY. (1903, August 11). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72841100

LEAR FAMILY:  Thomas and Mary and their children William, Thomas and Mary were from Devon, England.  They had another seven children after their arrival.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/cdeuklp

There was a “take two” with Thomas Lear’s obituary.  The Gymbowen correspondent wrote an obituary published in the Horsham Times on February 18, 1919.  The issue of February 21, 1919 set a few facts straight.

Obituary. (1919, February 18). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72993062

Obituary. (1919, February 18). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72993062

Obituary. (1919, February 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72993152

Obituary. (1919, February 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72993152

 McCABE, John and Mathilda:  John and Mathilda, from Ireland, had 10 children after their arrival in Victoria.  They settled in the Sandford district.    PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/d785kzx

McLACHLAN, Mary and Alexander :  The interesting thing about Mary McLachlan’s obituary, that appeared in many newspapers, is that it names her as a passenger on the General Hewitt, with her son.  However I can find Alexander on the passenger list but not Mary.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/d39sg4u

PERSONAL. (1900, January 15). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 4. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29526830

Alexander passed away only six months after his mother.

MR. A. MACLACHLAN. (1900, June 27). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81040451

MR. A. MACLACHLAN. (1900, June 27). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81040451

McCANN, PETER AND JANE and MARY SMITH McCANN:  Peter and Jane were from Ireland and settled around Sandford.  Mary Smith McCANN also sailed with Peter and Jane.  I am not sure if she was a daughter of the couple as she was six, Peter was 22 and Jane was 30.   PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/botobco

McFARLANE FAMILY:  Andrew and Jane and children George, Elizabeth, Margaret and unnamed infant.  The McFarlanes did not linger in Victoria very long, moving first to Sydney and later Brisbane.  Their first child born after they moved to Queensland was the first child born in Queensland after its proclamation.  PROV Index http://tinyurl.com/c3kx3dk

PASSING OF THE PIONEERS. (1913, December 20). The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), p. 238. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22219423

PASSING OF THE PIONEERS. (1913, December 20). The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939), p. 238. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22219423

The McFarlanes also offer a lesson:  Even though a person/s disembarked in a particular port, it does not mean they stayed in that general area or even that state.  The McFarlane’s made it from Victoria to Queensland after only two years in the Australia.

MACKINNON, Lachlan:  Lachlan MacKinnon, originally from Argyllshire, Scotland, arrived with his wife and frankly, proving he was on the General Hewitt has almost done my head in.  He does not come up in a search on the PROV Index, in fact no MacKinnons do.  There are McKinnons that sailed on the General Hewitt, but no Lachlans.

Looking to the Ancestry.com.au index, there was a Lachlan McKenzie and several other McKenzies with christian names the same as the McKinnons found on the PROV Index.  The PROV Index has no McKenzies arriving in 1856.  Given the aforementioned dependencies at Ancestry, do I assume the McKenzies are McKinnons and the Lachlan McKinnon listed is really Lachlan MacKinnon?

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OBITUARY. (1906, September 5). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77583891

OBITUARY. (1906, September 5). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77583891

 

McKINNON FAMILY:  John and Catherine and their children PROV Index  http://tinyurl.com/bn45olf 

NEATE FAMILY:  James and Anne and children Margaret, Julia, Emily, Henry, Albert and Catherine.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/ad5l7hu

No Title. (1909, May 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63988049

No Title. (1909, May 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63988049

POLAND, William and Eliza.  William and Eliza arrived in Portland with an infant and went on to have another six children and became two of Portland’s best known pioneers.  William esd the manager of “Burswood” owned by Edward Henty.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/clrhd58

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First Issue, August 20, 1842. (1912, October 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64003159

First Issue, August 20, 1842. (1912, October 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64003159

 

ROULSTON, ROBERT AND JOSEPH:  Trying to pin down Robert and Joseph was difficultEdmond Dwyer mentioned the Roulstons as shipmates and name being well known in the Condah district.  There were also Roulstons at Heywood and I found a reference to that family and the Heaney’s (above).  The Heaney family lived in Heywood for 10 years after arriving on the General Hewitt then moved north to Condah.  Robert and Joseph appear on the PROV Index as Roulstone: http://tinyurl.com/az4b9mt

Heywood's Pioneers. (1938, September 29). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 5 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64280358

Heywood’s Pioneers. (1938, September 29). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 5 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64280358

 

STARK, JAMES AND ELIZABETH :  Newlyweds James and Elizabeth spent their first years in Australia at Penola, South Australia before moving to Lake Mundi near Casterton.  PROV Index http://tinyurl.com/d8n7h6t

OBITUARY. (1917, April 28). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77664546

OBITUARY. (1917, April 28). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77664546

WATERS, JOHN and ELLEN: John and Ellen are on the index as Walters.  They settled in the Nareen district.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/av27lhf

CONCERNING PEOPLE. (1913, April 16). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 6. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59253916

CONCERNING PEOPLE. (1913, April 16). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 6. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59253916

PORTLAND RED CROSS. (1917, May 10). Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88675915

PORTLAND RED CROSS. (1917, May 10). Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: MORNING. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88675915

WATERS, MALACHI AND MARYMalachi and Mary moved around, firstly to Horsham for work and later Portland, Digby and finally Wallacedale. PROV Index http://tinyurl.com/av27lhf

Established August 1842. The Portland Guardian,. (1902, March 12). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63992048

Established August 1842. The Portland Guardian,. (1902, March 12). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63992048

WILSON, Robert:  Robert sailed with his sister Mary Ann on the General Hewitt.  A year later Mary Ann had already lost track of her brother.  PROV Index:  http://tinyurl.com/a48edrr

Advertising. (1857, September 4). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64569266

If one of your family members sailed on the 1856 voyage to Portland Bay on the General Hewitt, please let me know in the comments.

SOURCES:

Ancestry.com.au

Glenelg and Wannon Settlers

Victorian Public Record Office  – Index to British Assisted Immigration 1839-1871

Trove Digitised Newspapers


Misadventures, Deaths and Near Misses

You have found your ancestor’s date of death, but you are wondering how they died.  You could buy a death certificate, but a certificate for all relatives can be a costly business.  Newspapers are the answer.  With the growing number of Australian newspapers available to search at Trove, there is a good chance you may find an article on your relative’s demise.  In turn, it may lead to an obituary which can also be a wealth of information, but I will discuss those in a future post.

When I began reading old newspapers, I was amazed at the number of deaths and accidents reported, compared to today’s papers.  It seemed even the smallest of accidents could make newspapers right around Australia.  Death reports were explicit and sparing little detail.  However, despite the nature of these reports, I do find them intriguing reading and they can show when, where and how a family member died.  Also accident reports show information that you may never have found otherwise.  I may never have known that my great great grandmother lost the top of her finger or my great great aunt was bitten by a snake.

Horse related accidents were naturally common whether  falls or buggy accidents.  As the years passed, motor cars where the culprits, with many stories of them rolling or hitting trees.  The increasing number of  motor cars also caused some problems for those still using horses as their main source of transport.  Fire was also a common cause of death or accidents.  Candles, coppers and fire places all increased the risk of burns.

Following are some examples of deaths and accidents involving my family members found in the papers at Trove:

Charles Bishop worked at Weerangourt Station, Byaduk,  but I found he also died there.  While chopping wood in 1916,he suffered heart failure and died at the age of 60.   I found this reported in four newspapers.

I feel sorry for poor James Elston.  He died at only 21.  The first article I found on him was in 1901, eight years before he died.  James had broken his leg, but this was the fifth break in two years.  He was sent to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.  The Barrier Miner published in Broken Hill reported the accident as a possible record breaker.

A Marino Boy Puts Up a Record. (1901, August 29). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888-1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 4, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44302344

In March, 1908, James was back in hospital.  He had been thrown from a buggy and fell on a fence.  As a result he fractured his spine between the shoulder blades and was crippled, his condition critical.  In January 1909, it was report that James had succumbed to injuries at the Hamilton Hospital.

Robert McClintock died from heart strain and tetanus as a result of chasing a fox.  This was in 1913 and Robert was only 18.  I decided to search Trove with the phrase “chasing a fox” and it threw up many articles about  deaths and accidents incurred while chasing foxes.  Some had fallen from horses, others accidentally shot by themselves or others died  the way of Robert McClintock.

Jane Diwell’s death in 1909 demonstrates the dangers women faced doing simple housekeeping tasks.  Married to Samuel Hazeldine,  Jane was in a back shed at their home in Murtoa boiling up beeswax and turpentine, when her clothes caught fire.  Despite desperate attempts by her husband to save her, she died from her burns.  Samuel received severe burns to his hands.

Frederick Hazeldine of Murtoa, was watching the eclipse of the sun in 1910, when the 10 year old slipped off a fence and broke his arm

Frank Coulson was only 17 when he met his fate in 1935.  His body was found near Digby.  He had sustained a fractured skull and his pony’s saddle and bridle were lying close by.  Different articles tried to offer and explanation to his death from having been kicked in the head by the pony or haven fallen awkwardly as the pony jumped a fence.

George Gamble lost his life after a cave in at the Colac Brick Works in 1910.  He was dug out but later died at the Colac Hospital,

Mary Jane Hodgins(Mrs Matthew Gamble, below), my great great grandmother,  lost the top of her finger in an accident involving a horse.  Notice that this took place in Colac, Victoria, but was reported as far away as Maitland, New South Wales

GENERAL NEWS. (1877, September 1). The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843-1893), p. 7. Retrieved June 4, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18829977

In 1906, Amy Margaret Bubb, Mrs Benjamin Combridge, was bitten by a snake which had hidden in a mattress.  Her daughter Amy was darning the mattress and noticed something she thought was mice, moving inside.  She called her mother who hit the mattress and was bitten by a black snake on the wrist.  Young Amy ran to the neighbours’ house almost a kilometre away through paddocks and returned with a Mrs Arklay.  By this time, Amy snr’s arm was black.  Mrs Arklay made an incision and drew black blood from the wound which saved Amy.  This article ran in Tasmania and Adelaide as well as The Argus.

I had known that my great, great, great grandfather William Diwell had died in a fall at the Merino Flour Mill in 1871, but I have since found that he was severely injured three years earlier.  In 1868, the Merino school-house verandah was falling down, so William volunteered to remove it.  Part of the verandah fell on him and his was pulled out suffering a severe head injury.  By all accounts if the full verandah had of fell on him he would have been crushed to death.  He was 43 at the time and I think he may have been lucky to make it 46 when he did die.

The most gruesome article I have ready about one of my family members, is that of my great, great, great grandmother Ellen Barry, Mrs Gamble.  Ellen was a feisty Irish woman, often in the courts and rather fond of a drink.  One night in January 1882, Ellen was home alone in her cottage in Colac, when a fire broke out.  The next day, the coroner found that due to Ellen’s propensity for a tipple, it was most likely she had knocked a candle which started the fire.

A WOMAN BURNT TO DEATH. (1882, January 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), p. 8. Retrieved June 5, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11530343

These few examples prove how much you can find out about  your ancestor’s death, not to mention their life before death.  If you are using Trove, it is useful to search  all the papers available because as Mary Jane Hodgins’ accident  shows, incidents can be reported interstate.  You can use filters to narrow your search down, particularly if you have a specific date.

In a future post I will share some of the other articles I have found which don’t relate to my family, but show the value of these stories in developing an understanding of  how precarious life could be for those living in the 19th and early 20th century.  We can also learn how death was considered in those times by the style of writing and the depth of description.  Most importantly for family historians, our ancestors become more than just a one-dimensional date on a page.


I Wish I Were Related to Chris Coulson

I am sure most of you have come across a person in your research who,while not related, still captures your imagination.  I have found myself off on a tangent many times with a family who have married into my own, only to rein myself in to focus on my direct relatives.

One such person is Christopher Coulson who I first encountered when I found his son Frank married my 2nd great grand-aunt Harriet Diwell.  Chris was a horseman and had some involvement with the early days of  Western District racing, and this tweaked my interest.

Christopher Coulson was born at Scarborough, Yorkshire in 1817 and married Mary Frances Stubbs in 1841.  Not long after, Christopher began working as a groomsman at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace during  Queen Victoria’s reign.  Christopher and Mary had one child at that time, Francis Stubbs Coulson (Frank), born in 1842, and they had three more children at the Mews.  The 1851 Census shows the family living at the Royal Mews. Christopher’s occupation was recorded as “helper in the master of the horses department”.  In 1855, Queen Victoria set up the Buckingham Palace Royal Mews School for the children of those working at the Mews.

In 1856, Christopher, Mary and the four children sailed for Australia on the “General Hewitt” arriving in Portland.   The Coulsons’  immigration record shows Christopher was to be employed by Mr McKellar of “Ardachy” at Branxholme for twelve months.  At some stage, Chris went to “Rifle Downs” at Merino to work as a trainer for Richard Lewis who owned such horses as thoroughbred “King Alfred” and Clydesdale stallion “Agronomer”.  “King Alfred” was revered throughout the district and Adam Lindsay Gordon wrote of him. He is worthy of his own story.  He stood at stud with “Agronomer”  who competed in local shows and was sire to many of the heavy work horses in the area.  Eventually Chris selected his own land at Dwyers Creek and became a sheep breeder, but always remained a horse lover.  He died in 1904 aged 86.

Chris Coulson Obituary - THE FRUIT INDUSTRY. (1904, August 2). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864-1933), p. 5. Retrieved May 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19293600

Christopher and Mary had five children, four born in England and the fifth Georgiana born in Australia at Digby.  Sadly Georgiana died aged five in 1865.  The remaining four children all married and raised families.  They were:

Francis Stubbs Coulson – Born 1842 Yorkshire Died 1916 Victoria.  Frank married Harriet Diwell, daughter of William Diwell and Margaret Turner in 1873.  They had 13 children and lived in the Dwyers Creek/Merino area during their married lives.  Descendants’ surnames include Miller, Cameron and Gull.

Betsy Ann Coulson – Born 1845 Westminster, London, England Died 1896 Casterton, Victoria.  Betsy married Joseph Wombell and they had six known children.  Descendants’ surnames include Petterd, Chester and Rowely.

Christopher Coulson Jnr – Born 1847 Pimlico, London  Died 1893 Merino, Victoria. Chris married Lorina Ann Eastick in 1872.  They had nine known children and their descendants’ surnames include Crawley,  Grant, Ames, and Stanmore

Amy Oliver Coulson – Born 1852 Pimlico, London Died 1926.  Amy married Alexander Cameron in 1875.  They had three known children.  Descendants’ surnames include Milward and McCombe

I have researched enough of my family tree  to know I will not unearth an ancestor who had contact with the early days of the racing and horse breeding industry in the Western District.  A romantic time when Adam Lindsay Gordon wrote of the fields of Coleraine, there was a racecourse in most towns and the early horses, ancestors themselves to many Western District progeny,  where swum to shore from boats.  That is why I wish I were related to Christopher Coulson.


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