Tag Archives: McBean

Mystery Photos

Isn’t  it frustrating when you find old family photos but don’t who the subjects are?  Not long ago Mum found some photos of Nana’s we didn’t know she had. We don’t know who the people are and we have no one to ask.

I was recently contacted by Catherine Simmins, who has family links to the Western District.  She is facing the same dilemma with some photos passed on to her family some time ago.  Some were identifiable but others remain a mystery.

Catherine asked me if I could post the photos in the hope someone may recognise the subjects.  Alternatively,  if anyone is better at dating photos than myself, help in that area would also be appreciated.

THE PHOTOS

PHOTO 1

Also from Meek’s

PHOTO 2

 

PHOTO 3

The following three photos go together.

PHOTO 4

 

PHOTO 5

 

PHOTO 6

THE CLUES

The Family

Catherine’s family from the Western District included the family names THOMAS, McPHERSON, JONES and McDONALD.

Alfred Charles THOMAS (Catherines great-grandfather) was the son of  William THOMAS and Hannah JONES.  He was born in 1869 at Hamilton.  Alfred married Sarah Ann McPHERSON, the daughter of Angus McPHERSON and Christina McDONALD.

Alfred and Sarah had a large family of 11  children.

Alfred’s obituary lists the names of their children, their married names and locations.

Obituary. (1937, August 5). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64276614

Sarah’s obituary:

OBITUARY. (1940, February 26). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64395373

Of course, there is a good chance that the photos are not of this branch of the THOMAS family but have some link.   Catherine has offered a suggestion as to who the family in Photos 3, 4 and 5 could be.

Sarah Ann McPHERSON’s sister, Margaret Jessie McPHERSON married Donald McBEAN in 1891.  They had five known children:

Jessie Christina Jane born 1891 at Hamilton married Arch. NAISMITH

Alexander Angus born 1895 at Hamilton

Mary Monivae born 1900 at Hamilton

Margaret Murial born 1903 at Hamilton married Alfred BONE

Dorothy Jean born 1913 at Portland

This is the Family Notice for Donald McBean:

Family Notices. (1930, March 6). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64291722

I think Catherine’s hunch could prove correct given the number of children, their sex and the age differences in the children.  If that is baby Dorothy McBean, the  family photo could be from around 1914.

**My interest piqued when I saw the name Mary Monivae.  Monivae, my former secondary school in Hamilton, named after the Monivae homestead, the school’s first site during the 1950s, was formally owned by Acheson Ffrench and James Thomson.  I wonder if Donald McBean worked at the property or they simply liked the name. I’ll save that one for later!

The Photographer

James Meek, tobacconist and photographer of Gray Street Hamilton took Photos 1 and 2.  The earliest reference I can find of Meek in Hamilton was 1884 when he played a role in the investigations of a well-known murder case of the time “The Pierrepoint Murders”.  Pierrepoint is just out of Hamilton and Meek took a photograph of the murder victim to help with the identification process.  Interestingly a member of my Bishop family found his way into one of the witness statements.

Meek also spent some time in Portland in the mid 1890s

Established August 1842. (1896, February 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63634459

James Meek appears to have had a studio at Clunes during the early 1900s,  but I have also found references of him in Hamilton up until 1920.  There are a number of  photographs taken by James Meek at Trove

If you think you can help Catherine name the subjects in these wonderful photos, please leave a comment.  It would be much appreciated.


Passing of the Pioneers

It is never ceases to amaze me how the branches of my family tree reach out through the Western District and entwine with the branches of other family trees.  The roots of each tree are different but the branches come together by way of marriage.  In this month’s Passing of the Pioneers, two of the families represented have links to two of my own families.

This month also sees Mr and Mrs George Excell who sadly passed away within hours of each other.  There is also a member of the Kittson family of Bridgewater and a dentist born in the same area.  There is Mrs Jukes, educated in Belgium and John Gorman, an Irish policeman.

William LUXTON – Died June 4, 1903 at North Hamilton.  William Luxton was born in Devonshire, England about 1819.  He arrived in South Australia around 1846 before moving to Macarthur, Victoria in the 1850s where he remained until his death.  He had four daughters still alive at the time of his death including Mrs T.R. Oliver (Margaret Luxton) who was the sister-in-law of Elizabeth Oliver (wife of Reuben Harman) and Mary Oliver (wife of Jonathan Harman).

Robert ISBEL – Died June 1908 at Ararat.  Robert Isbel’s father came to Victoria from Adelaide in search of gold, with Robert and his mother joining him at Great Western in 1862.  Robert settled at Concongelia.

Francis MATTHEWS – Died June 6, 1915 at Landsborough.  Francis Matthews was a native of Ireland and had worked in the Dublin Customs Department before coming to Australia.  He eventually settled at Joel Joel and worked hard on the land.  He only had two relatives in Australia at the time of his death, a brother and a cousin.

Mrs Sarah Elizabeth REECE – Died June 8, 1915 at Hamilton.  Originally from Blackwood, Victoria, Sarah married James Reece from Purdeet, near Penshurst.  She saw Penshurst grow from nothing to a permanent town.  Sarah and James had three sons and four daughters.

Mrs Duncan McKENZIE – Died June 13, 1915 at Rhymney.  Mr and Mrs Duncan McKenzie arrived in Victoria from Scotland in the early 1850s.  Duncan obtained a job at Allanvale Estate a large sheep station near Great Western.  Mrs Duncan died at the home of her daughter, Mrs Foley, and was buried at Ararat Cemetery.

Mrs A.M. JUKES – Died June 27, 1915 at Warrnambool.  Mrs Jukes arrived in Melbourne from Scotland in 1852 to marry Alfred M. Jukes.  After time living in Richmond, they moved to Warrnambool where Alfred took up a post of solicitor, one of the first in the town.  He was also Town Clerk for a time.  Alfred died in 1872.  Mrs Jukes was a member of the Christ Church Ladies Guild and when World War 1 broke out she was particularly interested in the fate of Belgium and its residents.  As a girl, she was educated in Malines, Belgium a town later destroyed by the Germans.

George EXCELL – Died June 11, 1916 at Stockyard Hill.  George Excell was a successful breeder of dairy cattle, draught horses and sheep.  He began his time in Victoria when he landed in Geelong aged around 27 during the 1850s.  He went to Ballarat and was there at the time of Eureka, before residing at Swan Bay near Queenscliffe for forty years.  He later moved to Stockyard Hill, east of Ararat where he remained until his death.

Mrs George EXCELL – Died June 11, 1916 at Stockyard Hill.  Mrs Excell was the wife of George, mentioned above.  There union was so great that Mrs Excell died only hours after hearing of George’s passing.

Alexander McBEAN – Died June 13, 1917 at Casterton.  Alexander was a blacksmith, who learnt his trade as a teenager, fresh from the boat.  His first boss was known as “Terrible Billy” Thomson.  He was then apprenticed to Mr. W. Handley at Sandford before moving to the Ballarat district.  He later moved to Edenhope and then Casterton where he had a blacksmith’s business behind Cawker’s Mart.  He again moved, this time to Harrow, before once again moving back to Casterton and opening another blacksmith business which he ran until his death.

John Henry Morris BILSTON – Died June 17, 1917 at Penola, South Australia.  John Bilston was the son of  Thomas Bilston, an early settler of Melbourne and brother of Frederick William Bilston,  from August Passing of the Pioneers.  John was born in Heywood around 1846 and his first job was an apprentice saddler which he did for five years.  Finding that rather sedate, he became a gun shearer and a buckjump rider.  After some time farming, he took up saddlery again in his later years.  John married  Mary Mingoue, the daughter of Simon Minogue of Portland.

William MULLEN - Died June 13, 1917 at Drik Drik.  Born in Ireland, William Mullen arrived in Victoria in 1862 aged 18.  He married Emma Holmes of Lower Cape Bridgewater and they  celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just prior to William’s death.  They had a family of nine children.

Mr T G HENRY – Died June 16, 1920 at Portland.  The lure of gold brought T.G. Henry to Australia from Ireland but his life soon went from that of a miner to teacher.  He taught at the Heywood school from 1870 to 1876 and the Mumbanner school from 1876 to 1888 after which he retired.  He then farmed until he moved to Portland in 1906.  His wife was Miss Tatham of Doncaster, Melbourne and they had five children.

Luke BYRNE – Died June 18, 1920 at Ballarat.  This is obituary which tells a great pioneering story.  Irishman Luke Byrne began in his time in Australia at Ballarat and his life ended in Ballarat.  Luke originally carted goods from Ballarat through to Horsham and the stations beyond.  At the time, the only residents of Horsham were all male except for one woman.

Obituary. (1920, June 22). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved June 28, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73193445

Luke was one of the first to select land in the Wimmera in an area which became known as Byrneville.  The early years were very difficult and at times Luke had to leave his selection and take up jobs to suppliment his income.  By the time he retired, Luke had increased his holding to 3,000 acres of the best wheat growing land which he was able to pass on to his three sons.  Luke and his wife had a total of 12 children.

John GORMAN – Died June 18, 1922 at Geelong.  As a policeman of 34 years, John Gorman worked in towns throughout Western Victoria.  John joined the police force shortly after arriving in Victoria from Ireland in 1863.  In his retirement, he lived in Geelong.  He left a wife and five children.

Susannah KITTSON – Died June 3, 1926 at Portland.  Susannah Kittson came to Victoria from Ireland as a six-year-old in 1841.  She was a member of the pioneering Kittson family of Bridgewater.  On arrival at Geelong, her family “trekked” to Colac, then Tahara and then on to Bridgewater.

Susannah married John Harcoan and they settled at Minyip in the Wimmera.  Three months before her death, Susannah returned to live at Portland where she found “peace at last” in the place of her childhood.  She left five children.

William OSBOURNE – Died 19, 1930 at Portland.   Born in Portland, William with his brothers, followed his father into the butchering business.  Osbournes Butchers were known as giving  “full value and a square deal to all”.  William was also a foundation member of the Portland P & A Society and was a vestryman at St Stephens Church.

St Stephens Church Portland

Caroline HUMPHRIES – Died June 8, 1931 at Casterton.  Born at Portland around 1860, Caroline was the daughter of Charles Humphries and Caroline Sampson.  Within a few years of her birth, Caroline’s family moved to Henty, between Merino and Casterton.  She later married James Lane and they settled at Dunrobin, north of Casterton where they raised a large family.  I have a link to Caroline Humphries through my Diwell line.  Caroline’s niece  Margaret Ley Humphries, married my1st cousin 3 x removed ,William Ralph Francis Coulson a grandson of William Diwell and Margaret Turner.

Peter GAMBETTA – Died June 5, 1931 at Stawell.  Peter Gambetta came to Stawell from his home in Ticiano which lies in Italy but is a state of Switzerland.  Gold was the lure but after the boom, he started a vineyard “St Bernards” near Stawell.

Joseph Henry PORTER – Died June 22, 1931 at Portland.  Born in England around 1840, Joseph Porter arrived in Portland around 1854.  Taking on the trade of cabinet maker, he was known for his fine craftsmanship.  His wife was Sarah Herbertson, a member of a well-known family from Portland West.  They had no children.

Dr. James Thompson TUNNOCK – Died June 16, 1933 at Hamilton.  Despite moving away at a young age, Dr. Tunnock had strong links to the early pioneers of south-west Victoria.  James was the son of Jonathon Carrick More Tunnock and Jane Kennedy and was born at Cape Bridgwater in 1853.  Being bright at school and having no interest in farming, James took himself off to Melbourne to study dentistry.  Maybe I should not have put the prefix of Dr. in front of James’ name as in 1913, he was fined £5 for using the title Dr. on signage,breaching the Dentists Act 1910.

Advertising. (1908, September 5). Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 – 1922), p. 1. Retrieved June 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73259572

I don’t think I would fancy visiting a Dental Parlor.  It sounds too much like Funeral Parlor!

Ann BEGLEN – Died June 7, 1940 at Portland.  Miss Ann Beglen’s Irish parents John and Margaret, arrived at Williamstown in 1841 before travelling on the “Frances Henty” to Portland.  On arrival, John set up a butcher shop.  Ann was born in 1848 and educated at Miss Dunbar’s private school at Portland.  In her later years Ann could still remember playing as a child around the foundations of the then under construction”Burswood” built by Edward Henty.  At the time of her death, Ann was living with her nieces at “Pioneer Cottage” the home where she was born.

Nonogenarian’s Birthday. (1938, July 18). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved June 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64279644


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