Tag Archives: Harman

Trove Tuesday – Charlie and Arthur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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


Trove Tuesday – Those Magnificent Men

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


Bric-a-Brac

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

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

HARMAN VALLEY,  BYADUK

HARMAN VALLEY, BYADUK

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

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

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

IMG_1830 (800x600)

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Hint of Port Fairy

A Hint of Port Fairy

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

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


Elsie, Rupert… and Mike.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simon Says – Tasmania V: Beaumaris Zoo


Trove Tuesday – Christmas Music

The Hamilton Brass Band has played a big part in lives of some of my family members, especially the Diwell and Gamble families, and there are still descendants of those families in the band today.  Another family member, Frederick Hughes the husband of my ggg aunt Martha Harman was a long-standing leader of the Hamilton Brass Band.

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would share this little snippet found at Trove, from the Hamilton Spectator of December 22, 1917.  An annual tradition for the band, was to play on “Kennan’s corner”, (the corner of Gray and Thompson Street) on Christmas Eve.  Freddie Hughes, a Hamilton jeweller, was band leader.  Interesting not a Christmas Carol in sight on the program.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC. (1917, December 22). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119860771

CHRISTMAS MUSIC. (1917, December 22). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119860771

Band music is my blood, so  I just had to find a rendition of one of the pieces on the play list, “Sunshine of Your Smile”, to take me to Kennan’s Corner, Christmas Eve, 1917.


It’s A Small World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Byaduk Methodist Church Jubilee

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

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

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

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

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

BYADUK METHODIST CHURCH

BYADUK METHODIST CHURCH

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

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


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