Passing of the Pioneers

When an obituary has only a female pioneer’s married name, I do like to find their maiden name.  This month, there was one such pioneer, Mrs Susan Sloan.  After a quick search, I found on her death record her father’s name recorded as Francis Sloan.  As I don’t want to make assumptions based on a death certificate, I will continue to call her Mrs Susan Sloan, however I will keep trying to find her maiden name in the future as I have an interest in Susan as you will see in her obituary below.

Marks DAFFY – Died February 22, 1902 at Cundare.  Marks Daffy was born at County Clare, Ireland and arrived in Melbourne in 1857.   He spent his first five years in the colony around the Barrabool Hills near Geelong, working on various farms.  With money saved, Marks selected land in the Colac district after the passing of the 1862 Duffy Lands Act.  He set about building a fine dairy farm, using his good eye for stock to select the best dairy cows.  He gave up dairy-farming after 25 years and settled into an “easier” life as a grazier.  In 1887, after dissatisfaction with the Colac Shire, he ran for a seat which he won.  Around 18 months before his death, a fall from his buggy eventually left him bedridden and ultimately  claimed his life.  His funeral procession was a mile long and was the largest to arrived at the Cundare cemetery.

William MOODIE – Died February 25, 1914 at Coleraine.  William Moodie arrived in the Coleraine district with his Scottish parents at the age of six weeks around 1841.  His father took up the property “Wando Dale” at Nareen and so began William’s life on the land, breeding some of the finest wool stock.  After taking over the property from his parents, he built the current “Wando Dale” Homestead (below) in 1901.

"WANDO DALE", NAREEN.   Image courtesy of the  J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.  Image No.  H94.200/302

“WANDO DALE”, NAREEN. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image No. H94.200/302

He also spent a good part of his 73 years in public life.  He was a member of the Casterton Roads Board and the Wannon Shire Council.  He was also involved with the P&A Society, the local Horticultural Society and St Andrews Church at Coleraine.  William Moodie left a widow, seven sons and five daughters.

John KELLY – Died February 7, 1915 at Macarthur.  John Kelly arrived from Tasmania, his birth place, with his family when he was three years old.  If John was 85 at the time of his death, it would mean that he arrived in Victoria in 1833, so I’m thinking it may have been a little later.  Even still, he was an early arrival in the colony.  John worked as a carrier with his brother, working the route between Geelong and stations as far west as Casterton.  He also ran a store at Yambuk for many years and took up property at Codrington.  He died at the home of his daughter Mrs Hindhaugh of Macarthur.

John MURRAY – Died February 13, 1915 at Hamilton.  Born  in Stirlingshire, Scotland, John Murray was a resident of Hamilton for over 50 years by the time of his death.  His family arrived at Geelong aboard the “Chariot of Fame” and went directly to Hamilton.  He spent much of his working life as a labourer and was a member of the Court Brotherhood  of the Ancient Order of Foresters for over 45 years.  He was a widow and left five sons and one daughter from a family of 12 children.

Jane O’MAY – Died February 17, 1916 at Buckley Swamp.  Jane O’May was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1822 and married William Kirkwood in 1842.  William and Jane arrived at Portland in 1852 aboard the “John Davis”.  They travelled by bullock dray to “Warrock“, near Casterton.  The Kirkwoods were hard-working pioneers and Jane left a large family at the time of her death.  Three daughters were still alive along with 24 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.  Jane’s grandson, William Kirkwood of the Hamilton South area, married my first cousin 4 x removed, Sarah Ann Reed.

James COWELL – Died February 24, 1917 at Mortlake.  James Cowell was born in Cambridgeshire around 1838 and by 1868, had already established a butcher’s shop at Mortlake.  he later became a road contractor for the local Shire.  One of James’ three sons, Pte Harry Cowell, lost his life at Gallipoli.

Joseph WOMBWELL – Died February 9, 1918 at Casterton.  Arriving in Portland in 1853 aged 17 years from Essex, England,  Joseph Wombwell’s first job was at the  Henty’s Muntham Station.  He married Betsy Ann Coulson in 1869, the daughter of Christopher Coulson and Mary Frances Stubbs and stayed in Merino until 1875.  They then moved to Casterton and lived in a bark hut while Joseph ran a carrying business between Casterton and Portland.  One claim to fame is that he delivered the “first load of grog” to the Sandford Hotel.  The Hamilton Spectator also published a lengthy obituary for Joseph Wombwell

Mrs Susan SLOAN – Died February 9, 1918 at Hamilton.  Mrs Susan Sloan was born in Glasgow, Scotland and after arriving in Portland in 1855, she went to Ararat where she married Thomas Sloan    They returned to Portland, and ran a shipping business, but the trade was tough and they moved inland to Hamilton where there were greater opportunities, and they established a cordial business.  Thomas died in 1910 and Susan continued to run the business until her death, after which time family members continued its operations until 1930.    The Sloan’s cottage “Whinhill” in Pope Street, Hamilton was featured in a I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria group post as it is a highly visible and known to most who have lived in Hamilton time, None of us knew the history of the cottage and there is still more we would like to find out.  The cordial business operated behind the cottage.

John MOFFATT – Died February 9, 1926 at Chatsworth. John Moffatt was born in Scotland in 1854 and arrived in Victoria with his parents in 1872 and resumed his education at Geelong Grammar.  At aged 19 he took up the running of the Burnewang Estate near Bendigo before he inherited “Chatsworth House” from his uncle John Moffatt in 1879.  He also leased his uncle’s property “Hopkins Hill” from the estate’s trustees.  John Moffatt was a sat on the Shire of Mt Rouse and was a member of the Landowner’s Council.

DEATH OF MR. JOHN MOFFATT. (1926, February 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 21. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from

DEATH OF MR. JOHN MOFFATT. (1926, February 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 21. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from

John Moffatt’s uncle, John Moffatt, has been a Passing Pioneer and his obituary offers more history about the Moffatt family.




About these ads

3 responses to “Passing of the Pioneers

  • Natalie Jones (née Cowell)

    Hello, I’m the great great grandaughter of the late James and Emily Cowell of Webster Avenue, Mortlake. Their son Richard relocated to Winton QLD in the early 1900’s and married and produced my grandfather, Edward who
    in turn produced my father, Lanny. I would love to find a photo of James and Emily and any of their other decendents. Is there a local historical society in Mortlake that you are aware of that may have something of interest to me?
    Kind regards,
    Natalie Jones (nee Cowell)

  • Bill Reid

    Hi Merron,

    I came across your entry on Susan Sloan. Susan is my GGM and her maiden name was indeed Sloan. Susan Sloan (b. Glasgow, Scotland) married Thomas Sloan (b. Dungannon, Ireland) in Susan’s bridesmaid’s tent on the goldfields of Cathcart near Ararat.
    She arrived in Portland on the ship Utopia in 1854 accompanied by her elder brother and sister Thomas and Mary. Her father Francis and mother Mary arrived about a year later in 1855 on the ship Derry Castle together with her younger brothers Francis and Phillip. Unfortunately her infant sister Flora died on the voyage.
    Thomas Sloan arrived in Portland in 1852 with his parents Robert and Mary and his three brothers and two sisters. For a time Thomas worked for his grandfather Thomas Sloane who came to Australia in 1842 and was a farmer near Tower Hill.
    Thomas then went to the goldfields with his brothers where he met and married Susan.
    After their marriage they lived in various gold areas before settling in Portland. During their time there they operated the White Horse Brewery, bakery and cordial factory. Thomas was also a Portland Borough Councillor.
    About 1873 the family moved to Hamilton where they initially leased the Grange Brewery and later operated the North Hamilton Steam Brewery and cordial factory. I believe the brewery was behind the cottage in Pope St and the cordial factory was in Cox St.
    During their life together Thomas and Susan had 11 children, 5 sons and 6 daughters.

    Bill Reid

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 190 other followers

%d bloggers like this: