Tag Archives: Macarthur

Trove Tuesday – Mysterious Aeroplanes

The media is often accused of fear mongering and it seems it was no different 100 years ago.  The onset of WW1 saw reporting that heightened fear with people leaping at shadows believing the Germans were invading Australia.

When I first came across the following article, I thought it was an isolated case.  A Victorian drover, Mr Sutton spotted a plane in the night sky after the noise of his agitated cattle woke him while camped somewhere between Byaduk and Macarthur.  While half asleep, he saw two rockets fired.   According to the article, from the Hamilton Spectator his was not the only sighting in the district.

 

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"A MYSTERIOUS AEROPLANE." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 20 Apr 1918:  .

“A MYSTERIOUS AEROPLANE.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 20 Apr 1918: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119501085&gt;.

 

The copy of the article was not good so I thought I would see if any other papers reported on the sighting.  Did they what.  A search of “Mysterious Aeroplane” at Trove brought up dozens of reports of various people across Victoria claiming to have seen or heard planes.  The Defence Department investigated, however  some witnesses were doubting what they previously thought they heard or saw.  The Minster for Defence clarified the markings of  the planes of the allies and the enemy which surely wouldn’t have allayed the fear of the public.

 

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"The Mysterious Aeroplane." The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 25 Apr 1918: 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly. .

“The Mysterious Aeroplane.” The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 25 Apr 1918: 3 Edition: Bi-Weekly. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74220662&gt;.

 

Dr. Brett Holman from the University of New England has written several posts about the mystery planes of the WW1 period on his site, Airminded.  You can read one of those on the following link, with his explanation on the large number of reports of mysterious aeroplanes during that time –  http://airminded.org/2012/05/22/fear-uncertainty-doubt-i/

It reminded me of something similar from a previous Trove Tuesday post, UFO Alert about four flying saucers seen over Hamilton in January 1954.  Sci-Fi films were moving in to the realm of UFOs and aliens and in the same month as the sighting, The Argus was publishing installments of “War of the Worlds.”

Mysterious aeroplanes aside, what was really mysterious for me was the surname of witnesses from the 1915 and 1918 sightings.  The drover who saw the rockets in 1918 was Mr Sutton.  Three years earlier, Eric Sutton of Redbank, NSW saw the lights of  a plane.   I did check.  There were Suttons living at Macarthur in 1914 and Mr Sutton the drover was possibly Issac Sutton from that town so it’s unlikely there was any connection. Just a strange coincidence.

"GARRA SENSATION." Western Champion (Parkes, NSW : 1898 - 1934) 9 Dec 1915: 28. .

“GARRA SENSATION.” Western Champion (Parkes, NSW : 1898 – 1934) 9 Dec 1915: 28. .

 


Trove Tuesday – The Hamilton Ghost

I have previously written about paranormal activities in Hamilton for Trove Tuesday, when residents thought War of the Worlds had come to town.  Now I bring you the story of the Hamilton ghost.  Well, actually four stories but not all of the same ghost and on one occasion the Hamilton apparition drifted out of town to Macarthur.

What I like about these stories is that the ghosts were not the transparent style of apparition, but rather the classic white sheet type made popular by 19th century theatre.  There is a varying amount of tongue in cheek used in the reporting, but on each occasion there were a number of people scared out of their wits.

1941

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Hamilton's Ghost Walks. (1941, July 21). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64401002

Hamilton’s Ghost Walks. (1941, July 21). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64401002

1922

A "GHOST" SCARE. (1922, June 6). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72732250

A “GHOST” SCARE. (1922, June 6). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72732250

1898

Established August 1842. (1898, September 14). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63674221

Established August 1842. (1898, September 14). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63674221

1876

THE HAMILTON GHOST. (1876, May 13). Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889), p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61905173

THE HAMILTON GHOST. (1876, May 13). Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 – 1889), p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61905173


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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 


Jim’s Gone A-Droving

In the 1970s, I visited a Western District drovers’ camp with my father.   I remember the weathered stockmen, their battered caravan and wiry dogs.  It was not uncommon in those days to drive up behind a mob of sheep being slowly moved along the grassy roadsides.

Then, drovers moved stock to find feed when grass was scarce, but in the early years of settlement, the only way to get stock to and from market or from the ports was to use a drover. Known for their hard-drinking and foul mouths they were often away for months at a time.

My ggg grandfather James Bishop was of those hardy breed.  He herded cattle from Adelaide to the Western District and moved sheep for the local stations for around 30 years.

Jim was born in Dorset in about 1825.  I am still to find how he came to Australia, but I first catch up with him in this country when he married Sarah Hughes on October 26, 1852 at Adelaide.  They had one child in Adelaide, Mary Elizabeth, but she died aged two.

James and Sarah then moved to Ararat, where James tried his luck on the goldfields.  Charles was born in 1856 in Ararat, followed by my gg grandmother Elizabeth on September 12, 1857.  Her birth certificate shows James’ occupation as a miner.  James and Sarah had one more child at Ararat, George in 1859.

Not long after, the Bishops moved back to South Australia with two children born in Mt Gambier.  Peter Fraser mentions in Early Byaduk Settlers that James Bishop went to Byaduk around 1865.  This is backed by the birth of Mary Bishop at nearby Macarthur in 1865.   In 1870, Jim selected 16 acres of land at Warrabkook between Byaduk and Macarthur.   Robert, Louisa and Alice were born at Macarthur and William was born at Byaduk.

CHILDREN OF JAMES BISHOP & SARAH HUGHES

Mary Elizabeth – Born:  1853 Adelaide, SA.  Died:  1855 Thebarton, SA

Charles – Born:  1856 Ararat, Victoria.  Died: 1916 Macarthur, Victoria

Married:  Sarah DANCER

Elizabeth- Born: 1857 Ararat, Victoria.  Died: 1890 Byaduk, Victoria

Married:  Reuben James HARMAN

George – Born: 1859 Ararat, Victoria.  Died: ?

Married:  Mary HUGHES

Harriet – Born: 1860 Mt Gambier, SA.  Died: 1922 Merino, Victoria

Married:  James ELSTON 1882

Ellen- Born: 1862 Mt Gambier, SA.  Died: 1931 Byaduk, Victoria

Married:  Frederick Watson HINDES 1885 Married:  Abraham CLARKE 1905

Mary- Born: 1865 Macarthur, Victoria.  Died:  1889 Byaduk, Victoria

Robert- Born: 1867 Macarthur, Victoria. Died: 1945 Port Fairy, Victoria

Married:  Edith HARMAN 1901

Louisa – Born: 1870 Macarthur, Victoria.  Died:  1915 Strathmerton, Victoria

Married:  Jonathan Thomas REEVES 1892

Alice – Born: 1872 Macarthur, Victoria.  Died:  1894 Byaduk, Victoria

William James – Born 1874 Byaduk, Victoria.  Died:  ?

Peter Fraser tells of  Jim droving cattle overland to the Adelaide market and I have  found several references to Jim’s droving in The Argus.  “Pastoral Intelligence” notes in The Argus updated readers on the weather, crops and stock movements, among other things.  Jim is mentioned on August 4, 1890  droving fat cattle from Muntham, between Coleraine and Casterton to Warrnambool.  The same article mentions the weather as being very cold with constant heavy rain over the previous 24 hours.   Tough conditions for a drover of any age, but at 65 Jim must have found it incredibly tough.

A month after the Argus article, Jim’s eldest daughter Lizzie (Elizabeth) died of consumption (TB) aged just 33.  Only a year before, daughter Mary also died at age 24.  Of 11 children born, Jim had lost three of his daughters.  Also, his wife of 33 years, Sarah,  died in 1885 at only 51 years.  Another daughter, Alice, died before Jim’s own death.

Jim just kept droving.  In October 1892, he was moving cattle from the property of the Powers at Byaduk to Framlingham near Warrnambool this time in humid conditions.  Two months later he was moving heifers during a cold December.

PASTORIAL INTELLIGENCE. (1892, December 16). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), p. 6. Retrieved July 12, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8493210

The last article I find about Jim is on February 15, 1893.  He had taken horses from William Melville’s Weerangourt station at Byaduk through to Ballarat.

Jim died just two years later in 1895 at Hamilton, aged  70, leaving behind four sons and three daughters.

 



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