Author Archives: Merron Riddiford

Passing of the Pioneers

Writing Passing of the Pioneers is becoming a longer process each month as I get drawn into the stories.  I think it all began when I started searching for photos to compliment the obituaries, making the posts more visually appealing.  That sometimes takes some extra searching and other information arises that is just too good to let pass.

For the January Passing Pioneers, there is Sarah McDonald one of those pioneering women I read about and think “Wow.”  Also another member of the Laidlaw family, a Hamilton publican and a man who had the unenviable task of being called as a witness in a Casterton murder case.

David Wemyss GALLIE – Died January 12, 1868 at Portland.  From the first reading of his obituary, David Gallie was simply the long-time bank manager of The Bank of Australasia in Portland. But digging up a bit more about him  unearthed some interesting family links.

From the Australian Death Index at Ancestry I discovered David was the son of Hugh and Robina Gallie and was born around 1813.  The earliest record I could find of him in Australia was again at Ancestry and the  New South Wales, Australia, Returns of the Colony, 1822-1857.  David was working as a clerk in the Surveyor General’s office.

In 1840, David’s sister, Anna Maria married Edward Henty of Portland at St James Church in Melbourne.

"Family Notices." The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) 14 Nov 1840: 2. Web. 27 Jan 2015 .

“Family Notices.” The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880) 14 Nov 1840: 2. Web. 27 Jan 2015 .

David Wemyss Gallie himself married in 1842 to Elizabeth Francis Gordon in Launceston.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Captain Donald McArthur.

Family Notices. (1842, June 9). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), p. 3. Retrieved January 27, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84771074

Family Notices. (1842, June 9). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 3. Retrieved January 27, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84771074

Just for interests sake, I Googled the said Captain and found a great site called the Telford Family of Ellinbank.  The site includes the McArthur family and from there I discovered Elizabeth’s mother. Elizabeth Wemyss.   That name was familiar.  Of course, Wemyss was David Gallie’s middle name.  What?  Yes, David was related to his new bride.  In fact, David and Elizabeth were cousins with their mothers Elizabeth and Robina sisters.

At some point, David began working for the Bank of Australasia and in 1846, he and Elizabeth travelled to Portland on the Minverva accompanied by David’s brother-in-law Edward Henty.  This was possibly the time David took up his position as the manager of Portland’s Bank of Australasia.

 

"Shipping Intelligence." Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) 2 Jun 1846: 2. Web. 27 Jan 2015 .

“Shipping Intelligence.” Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857) 2 Jun 1846: 2. Web. 27 Jan 2015 .

The Minerva was owned by the Henty Brothers and Captain Fawthrop her master.  The Henty’s used the schooner to transport goods and sheep between the two colonies.

"Advertising." Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876) 24 Sep 1842: 1. Web. 5 Feb 2015 .

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 24 Sep 1842: 1. Web. 5 Feb 2015 .

The funeral of David Gallie was well attended with “most of the principal gentlemen of the town and district” there to pay their respects.  They included brother-in-law Edward Henty and his brother Stephen Henty.

"Family Notices." Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876) 30 Jan 1868: 6 Edition: EVENINGS. Web. 24 Jan 2015 .

“Family Notices.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 30 Jan 1868: 6 Edition: EVENINGS. Web. 24 Jan 2015 .

 

William FOSTER – Died January 12, 1896 at Branxholme.  William Foster was not as old as the usual pioneers listed here, but his sudden death at 33 years of age made headlines around the country.  On Sunday January 12, 1896 William, a carpenter by trade, attended his local Church of England along with his wife and elderly parents.  During a hymn, William appeared to have fainted, but upon removing him from the church he died.

George BAXTER – Died January 8, 1900 at Hamilton.  George Baxter has links to two different branches of my family tree.  The first was his role as a witness in the murder of the Hunts of Casterton in 1860.  My ggg grandmother Mrs Margaret Diwell was also a witness in the trial.  George’s second link was via the Holmes family.  His daughter, Elizabeth Jane married William Tyers  Holmes a brother of George Holmes, husband of my ggg aunt Julia Harman.  Julia and Elizabeth both signed the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Petition at Casterton in 1891.   For more information on George’s and his family, see the SW Pioneers site.

Adam TURNBULL – Died January 1905 at Coleraine.  Adam Turnbull’s parents, Dr Adam Turnbull and Margaret Young travelled to Tasmania from Scotland in 1825 and Adam junior was born around 1827.   In 1845, Adam’s father sent him to Victoria to oversee the purchase of the Mt Koroite and Dundas runs.  Who accompanied him on that trip varies between the article below and Adam’s obituary but it was either William Young, Adam’s uncle or another member of the Young family, George.

"PASTORAL PIONEERS." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 17 Aug 1935: 4. Web. 25 Jan 2015 .

“PASTORAL PIONEERS.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 17 Aug 1935: 4. Web. 25 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141761090&gt;.

The company of Turnbull and Son’s also purchased the Winninburn run where Adam died in 1905.  During his time in the district, Adam Turnbull jnr. was the first president of the Shire of Wannon and was on the first committee of the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Coleraine.  His grandson, Sir Winton George Turnbull of the Country Party, was a member of the House of Representatives as the Federal member for the Wimmera.

Edward WHITE – Died January 20, 1910 at Coleraine.  Edward was born around 1837 and arrived in South Australia from Ireland around 1851.  In the early 1860s, he moved to Victoria when the family took up the Den Hills run near Coleraine.  Edward served on the roads board and was a worthy athlete during his younger years.  His wife predeceased him and they had one son.  There is more information about the White family on the SW Pioneers site.

Thomas LAIDLAW – Died January 12, 1915 at  Macarthur.  Thomas Laidlaw was born in Scotland in 1833 and arrived with his brother Robert to Victoria around 1851.  He headed to Newlands Station near Harrow to work with his brother Walter Laidlaw,  a Passing of the Pioneers subject last month.  A description of Thomas’ arrival was in his obituary and that of this son Thomas Haliburton Laidlaw, a Passing Pioneer in September 2011.

"THE LATE MR. T. H. LAIDLAW." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 25 Sep 1941: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. 5 Feb 2015 .

“THE LATE MR. T. H. LAIDLAW.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 25 Sep 1941: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. 5 Feb 2015 .

In 1857, Thomas married Grace McLeod of Wallan however Grace passed away in 1864 but not before five sons were born, including Thomas Haliburton.  In 1868, Thomas married Christina Linton and they had a son and a daughter.   Thomas moved to South Australia to farm with his brother Robert before moving to Dunkeld and then Glenburnie at Macarthur. He then purchased South Wonwondah south of Horsham, living there for eighteen years before moving closer to Hamilton, residing at Glencairn.

Daniel Michael SCULLION – Died January 27, 1915 at Hamilton. Daniel Scullion was born at Garvoc in 1868 to John Scullion and Janet McKeller.  He appears to have ventured into the hotel business in his hometown as licensee of the Yallock Inn which he still owned at the time of his death.  By then, Daniel had been in Hamilton around ten years, first operating the Hamilton Inn and then the Caledonian Hotel that still exists today.  In 1909, Daniel moved to Horsham and took on the license of the Wimmera Hotel.  Within a couple of years, he had returned to Hamilton, resuming as licensee at the Caledonian Hotel.

In 1914, Daniel’s sister, Lilias Scullion, a nursing sister, purchased one of Hamilton’s most well-known buildings, St. Ronans,  just up the hill from the Caledonian Hotel and previously owned by former Mayor David Laidlaw.  Interestingly, the Victorian Heritage Database entry on St Ronans, a report prepared by the Southern Grampians Shire, does not list Sr. Scullion as a former owner.  There is an interesting article about the opening of the Sr. Scullion’s hospital, and the work that was to make that possible, on the following link –  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119870490

"HAMILTON." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 2 May 1903: 27. Web. 25 Jan 2015 .

“HAMILTON.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 2 May 1903: 27. Web. 25 Jan 2015 .

Daniel was a keen supporter of sport in Hamilton particularly the North Hamilton Football Club and donated many trophies to the club.

Mrs Margaret PRIOR – Died January 1918 at Port Fairy. A colonist of 58 years, Margaret Prior arrived in Melbourne with her husband James Prior in 1859 aboard the Sarah Dixon.  Originally from Tipperary, Ireland, the Priors moved to Port Fairy the following year and remained there until their deaths.  James died around 1911 and when she died, Margaret had two sons and three daughters remaining.  Margaret was buried at the Port Fairy cemetery.

John COGHLAN – Died January 8, 1918 at Garvoc.  John Coghlan was an early native of the Colony of Victoria, born at Eastern Hill, Melbourne around 1841.   His father, William Coghlan was a landholder in Melbourne but sold his properties and moved to the Western District, taking up land at Port Fairy.  The family next moved to Warrnambool, living at a property on the Merri River, and John’s father continued to farm.  After his marriage to Miss Patton, John and his wife moved to Cooramook near Grassmere and then later on to Garvoc around 1878, purchasing the property Pine Hills  where he engaged in dairy farming,   According to the obituary, John did not live as long as his parents.  His father William lived to 97 while his mother apparently lived to 107.  John was buried at the Terang Cemetery.

"BREVITIES." Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915) 5 Nov 1907: 4. Web. 15 Feb 2015 .

“BREVITIES.” Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 – 1915) 5 Nov 1907: .

 

John PETTINGILL – Died January 23, 1923 at Yambuk.  John Pettingill was born in Suffolk, England around 1843.  When he was nine, he travelled with his parents to Portland aboard the Eliza.  John’s father first worked at Castlemaddie Station at Narrawong owned by Andrew Suter.  Mr Suter moved to Yambuk Station and the Pettingill family went along.   When nearby St. Helens was surveyed around 1863, John and his father purchased 200 acres.  John remained on that farm for the rest of  his life.  Around 1870, John married a Port Fairy girl, Miss Bowyer who was still living at the time of John’s death along with five sons and four daughters.

James YOUNG – Died January 6, 1925 at Hamilton.  James Young was born around 1851 in Scotland and arrived in Victoria as an infant.  The Young family settled in Ballarat and James attended school there before farming at Tatyoon, west of Ballarat.   He then joined his brothers in the Wimmera to work with them in their stock and station business.  When a branch opened in Hamilton in 1888, James moved south to manage affairs.  A successful businessman, James soon built up the trade, also moving into public office as a town councillor for a several years.  In 1909, he served as Mayor and laid the foundation stone for Hamilton’s new Town Hall in Brown Street (below).  Unfortunately, the front section of the Town Hall was demolished in the 1960s and a “modern” façade added.

HAMILTON'S SECOND TOWN HALL - Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

HAMILTON’S SECOND TOWN HALL – Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

 

James Young passed away at his home Ivanhoe in Chaucer Street, Hamilton.

pp

IVANHOE, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of Google Maps http://tinyurl.com/ot44noa

 

 

Sarah McDONALD – Died January 25, 1941 at Hamilton.  Born about 1855 in Inverness, Scotland,  Sarah McDonald was a true pioneering woman.  She travelled to Tasmania as a child in 1857 with her family aboard the Persia.  Unfortunately, her father and brother died during the voyage but after a short break in Tasmania, the family continued on to Portland.  Around 1877, while still a single woman, Sarah rode from Branxholme to Horsham, with an overnight stop, to buy 320 acres at Scotchman’s Creek (Telangatuk) at the land sales.  It was in that district Sarah met Lachlan Cameron and they  married in 1876.  Lachlan passed away in 1901 and Sarah stayed on the farm for a further twelve years before moving to Hamilton.


Western District Enlistments-8th LHR B Squadron

 

098

 

The AIF’s 8th Light Horse Regiment (LHR) formed in September 1914, had among its ranks many Western District men.   It was for that reason I was recently contacted by Dean Noske who is currently researching the 8th LHR in particular B Squadron.  As I’m familiar with the 8th LHR,  mostly due to the involvement of Edward Ellis Henty of The Caves Hamilton, grandson of Stephen G. Henty, I was keen to help Dean reach out to family members of the Western District men.

The following photo has been a favourite of mine, found among the Australian War Memorial‘s collection.  Pictured are four Western District officers of the 8th LHR, Lieutenants Edward Ellis Henty, Eliot Gratton Wilson, Robert Ernest Baker and Major Thomas Redford.  Also joining them in the photo was Lieutenant Borthwick of Melbourne.  The relaxed nature of their poses and uniforms, the mateship and the baby face of Eliot Wilson  have intrigued me since I first saw it.

 

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial  Image No.  P00265.001        http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P00265.001/

STANDING FROM LEFT: MAJOR THOMAS REDFORD (WARRNAMBOOL); LIEUTENANT (LT)EDWARD ELLIS HENTY (HAMILTON) ; AND LT ELIOT GRATTON WILSON (WARRNAMBOOL). SEATED FROM LEFT: LT ROBERT ERNEST BAKER (LARPENT) AND KEITH ALLAN BORTHWICK (ARMADALE) Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial Image No. P00265.001 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P00265.001/

 

The photograph is also one of the most poignant I have found, once one considers that within months of the sitting, four of the five soldiers were dead.  They did not see service beyond Gallipoli, as they were all killed at the “charge at The Nek” on August 7, 1915.  Only Robert Baker survived.   Further reading  about The Nek and the 8th LHR’s involvement is available on the following link – http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/2visiting/walk_12nek.html

A photograph in full uniform was also taken, depicting three of the Western District officers again with Lt. Borthwick and a unidentified man.

 

Identified from left to right: Lieutenant (Lt) Eliot Gratton Wilson from Warrnambool, Victoria; Lt Edward Ellis Henty ; unidentified; Major (Maj) Thomas Harold Redford  and Lt Keith Allan Borthwick    http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAX0139/

Identified from left to right: Lieutenant (Lt) Eliot Gratton Wilson from Warrnambool, Victoria; Lt Edward Ellis Henty ; unidentified; Major (Maj) Thomas Harold Redford and Lt Keith Allan Borthwick http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAX0139/

 

Those four Western District officers and the soldiers listed below are those Dean is seeking help with.  If you are able to offer Dean any assistance by way of photographs, letters or stories, please contact him at dean.noske@gmail.com  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

All names were sourced from the 8th LHR B Squadron Embarkation Roll.

 

BAKER, John Henry – Nareen

BAKER, Robert Ernest – Larpent

BARKER, Robert – born Yambuk

BORBRIDGE, Robert Henry – Ararat

BOSWELL, John – Woorndoo

BOWKER, Alwynne Stanley – Princetown

BROUGHTON, John Moffatt – Hamilton

CLAYTON, Henry Norman – Casterton

 

"THOSE WHO HAVE DIED FOR FREEDOM'S CAUSE." Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918) 2 Sep 1915: 2. Web. 29 Jan 2015 .

“THOSE WHO HAVE DIED FOR FREEDOM’S CAUSE.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 2 Sep 1915: 2. Web. 29 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91091398&gt;.

"ROLL OF HONOUR." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 17 Sep 1915: 6. Web. 29 Jan 2015 .

“ROLL OF HONOUR.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 17 Sep 1915: 6. Web. 29 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1561135&gt;.

 

CORR, Reginald Clarke – Warrnambool

DODDS, Franklyn James – Warrnambool

FINN, Laurence Gerald – Port Fairy

FLOYD, Harry – Colac West

HAYBALL, Herbert – Camperdown

HENTY, Edward Ellis – “The Caves” Hamilton

 

8th2

"ROLL OF HONOUR." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 27 Oct 1915: 7. Web. 29 Jan 2015 .

“ROLL OF HONOUR.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 27 Oct 1915: 7. Web. 29 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1575352&gt;.

 

HINDHAUGH, Russell George – Port Fairy

HYDE, Norman John – Cavendish

JOHNSON, Donald Matthieson McGregor – Warrnambool

 

"WARRNAMBOOL HEROES." Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 7 Sep 1915: 3 Edition: DAILY.. Web. 29 Jan 2015 .

“WARRNAMBOOL HEROES.” Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 7 Sep 1915: 3 Edition: DAILY.. Web. 29 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73458334&gt;.

 

JOHNSTONE, Percy – Camperdown

KERR, James Mark – Dartmoor/Portland

LEARMONTH, Keith Allan – Hamilton

McGINNESS, Paul Joseph – Framlingham

MITCHELL, William Albert – Cobden

 

"CAPTAIN A. W. MITCHELL." Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954) 8 Jul 1915: 3. Web. 29 Jan 2015 .

“CAPTAIN A. W. MITCHELL.” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 8 Jul 1915: 3. Web. 29 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22979740&gt;.

 

MOORE – Samuel Vincent – Ararat

PARTINGTON, Thomas James – Heywood

PATTERSON, Hector Alexander – Casterton

PETTINGALL, John Thomas – Port Fairy

REDFORD, Thomas Harold – Warrnambool  – Squadron Major

 

"MAJOR T. REDFORD." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 23 Aug 1915: 4. Web. 29 Jan 2015 .

“MAJOR T. REDFORD.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 23 Aug 1915: 4. Web. 29 Jan 2015 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120398693&gt;.

 

REGAN, Thomas – Camperdown

SUTHERLAND, Charles Tyler – Tatyoon

WALLACE, William Issac – Warrnambool

WEATHERHEAD, John Fortescue Law – Camperdown

WHITEHEAD, Eric – Minhamite

WILSON, Eliot Gratton – Warrnambool

 

http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAX2703/

8th LHR B SQUADRON c1915. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DAX0139 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAX2703/


Passing of the Pioneers

The last Passing of the Pioneers for 2014 includes some characters from the early days of Portland, a wealthy grazier and a Swiss born gold-seeker who settled at Heywood.

William CHARTER – Died December 1888 at Portland. “The relentless reaper death has sought another addition to his uninterrupted harvest from amongst the ranks of our oldest residents.” And so began the obituary of William Charter, a Portland resident from the 1850s and one time Portland police sergeant .  He did have some time away from Portland when he operated the Rising Sun Hotel at Hotspur.

 

pp

"[No heading]." Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876) 20 Jun 1864: 3 Edition: EVENING. Web. 26 Dec 2014 .

“[No heading].” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 20 Jun 1864: 3 Edition: EVENING. Web. 26 Dec 2014 .

William returned to Portland and operated a cordial and soda water factory.

 

"Advertising." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 8 Jun 1880: 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Web. 26 Dec 2014 .

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 8 Jun 1880: 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Web. 26 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63401172&gt;.

 

Walter LAIDLAW – Died December 1906 at Apsley.  Walter Laidlaw was born in Scotland around 1825.  He arrived in Victoria in 1850 and with the discovery of gold, he tried his luck on the Bendigo diggings.  He then farmed at Broadmeadows before moving to the Western District, farming on the land that became known as Skene at Strathkellar.  He was then appointed overseer of Newland Station at Apsley for James Gordon and in time, married his employer’s sister .  At the time of his death he owned Ardachy Estate and Melville Forest Estate.

 

"OBITUARY." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 29 Dec 1905: 3. Web. 30 Dec 2014 .

“OBITUARY.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 29 Dec 1905: 3. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72819119&gt;.

 

Around the time of his marriage, Walter purchased Mundarra (below) near Edenhope.

 

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H95.200/1068    http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

 

He was buried at the Newland Station Cemetery with other members of his family.

Theobald FETHERSTONHAUGH – Died December 1909 at Hamilton.  Theobald Fetherstonhaugh was the son of Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh snr. an early police magistrate at Hamilton and brother of Cuthbert jnr., the author of “After Many Days” which I have previously posted about.   Cuthbert snr. resided at Corragh at Strathkellar and Theobald continued to live there after his father’s death.  Unlike his brother Cuthbert, Theobald seems to have lived a quiet life at Corragh.  While Cuthbert mentions “my brother” many times throughout “After Many Days”, he does not name Theobald as he does his other brother Robert.  Theobald was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

Mary RYAN – Died December 11, 1914 at Hamilton.  When Mary Ryan passed away in 1914, the names of her parents were not recorded and it’s unlikely she left anyone behind to pass that information on or even to remember her, so let us remember Mary Ryan of Hamilton.

Mary Ryan ran a registry office for servants in Hamilton for many years, first in Gray Street and later in Brown Street.

"Advertising." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 17 Apr 1883: 3 Edition: MORNING. Web. 17 Dec 2014 .

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 17 Apr 1883: 3 Edition: MORNING. Web. 17 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71585092&gt;.

 

Determined to stay independent in old age despite becoming very decrepit, she remained in her home.  Early in the year of her passing, Mary had a fire in her house, the third time she had endured a house fire, herself suffering burns on one occasion.  She wasn’t injured in the 1914 fire but it may have taken some toll as she passed away eight months later.

 

pp

"FIRE IN BROWN STREET." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 20 Feb 1914: 4. Web. 30 Dec 2014 .

“FIRE IN BROWN STREET.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 20 Feb 1914: 4. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119823533&gt;.

 

After checking the headstones of the Old Hamilton Cemetery recorded by Cemeteries of the South-West, there was no record of Mary, so if she was buried there, her grave is without a headstone.

William Gordon JENKINS – Died December 28, 1916 at Hawkesdale.  William Jenkins was born in Scotland, a son of a Church of England clergyman.  On arrival in Victoria, he worked at flour mills around Hamilton, then went to New Zealand with a survey party.  He returned to Victoria and worked in the sawmilling industry.  In 1883 he married widow, Jane Walshe (nee Donnelly).  At the time Jane was operating the Forester Hotel at Myamyn.   After their marriage, William and Jane moved to Portland and operated the Victoria Hotel from 1884 until 1886. William had no family of his own but was living with his step-daughter at the time of his death.

Charles FARR – Died December 15, 1917 at Portland. Born in Wiltshire, England around 1833,  Charles Farr, an interesting character, was the proprietor of livery stables in Portland having arrived in the mid 1850s.

 

"Advertising." Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876) 1 Jan 1875: 1 Edition: EVENING., Supplement: Supplement to the "Portland Guardian". Web. 24 Dec 2014 .

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 1 Jan 1875: 1 Edition: EVENING., Supplement: Supplement to the “Portland Guardian”. Web. 24 Dec 2014 .

 

Charles also ran cabs in Portland, taking parties from Mac’s Hotel to the railway station.

 

TABLE TALK. (1877, December 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63340211

TABLE TALK. (1877, December 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63340211

 

MAC'S HOTEL, PORTLAND

MAC’S HOTEL, PORTLAND

 

Although his obituary stated Charles Farr did not involve himself in public affairs, he was often in the public eye especially in the papers, whether advertising his stables or involved in some type of dispute.  His following “Letter to the Editor” was either damage control or cashing-in on another stable’s misfortune.  Charles’ letter was in response to an article in the Portland Guardian of June 10, 1880.

"Over - charging by a Portland Livery Stable Keeper." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 12 Jun 1880: 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Web. 27 Dec 2014 .

“Over – charging by a Portland Livery Stable Keeper.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 12 Jun 1880: 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Web. 27 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63401212&gt;.

 

Serafino RIGHETTI – Died December 21, 1917 at Heywood.  I first “met” the Righettis of Heywood when I wrote the Trove Tuesday post “Accidental Tourist”.  I didn’t realise then that the family was one of the Swiss/Italian families that settled at Hepburn near Daylesford after arriving in Victoria during the 1850s.  Serafino was born in Switzerland and arrived in Melbourne in 1854.  His brother Battista arrived the following year.  A photo of Serafino and Battista appears on the following link - http://tinyurl.com/l4o5k5n

After time operating the American Hotel at Hepburn, Serafino moved to the Heywood district in the late 1870s establishing the merchant business Righetti & Co.  He was a shire councillor for 2o years and served as Shire President several times.

 

"Groups at Swinburne College, Glenferrie." Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918) 10 Jan 1918: 17. Web. 24 Dec 2014 .

“Groups at Swinburne College, Glenferrie.” Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 – 1918) 10 Jan 1918: 17. Web. 24 Dec 2014 .

 

An interview with Serafino’s grandson Alan Righetti, with details of the family’s early days, is on the following link –  http://www.3squadron.org.au/subpages/AAWRighetti.htm

Eliza Sarah SEABORNE – Died December 9, 1932 at Portland.  Eliza Seaborne was born in Adelaide in 1838 and arrived in Portland with her parent three years later.  In 1856 aged 18, Eliza married bootmaker James Mallett in the first wedding conducted at St. Stephen’s Church at Portland.  They settled at Merino around 1866 and James ran a bootmaking business in the town.  He died in 1901 and Eliza continued to live at Merino until around 1928 when she moved back to Portland to live with her daughter Mrs Martha Sutchbery.

In May 1931, Eliza celebrated her 93rd birthday and she spent the day with family and friends.

 

"Birthday Celebration." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 25 May 1931: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. 30 Dec 2014 .

“Birthday Celebration.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 25 May 1931: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64295183&gt;.

Eliza was 94 years and seven months old when she passed away in 1932.  She left three daughter and three sons with four children having predeceased her.  Eliza was buried at the Merino Cemetery.   More information about the Mallett family is available on the South-West Pioneers site – http://www.swvic.org/merino/mallett.htm

 

 

 

 

 


Trove Tuesday – Happy New Year

Following on from last week’s Trove Tuesday post, my Trove search has turned to “Happy New Year.”   Like Christmas, there were the cards home from the boys overseas but with little choice in specialised “New Year” cards, postcards or family photographs were popular for sending “New Year” greetings.

The following postcard is from a solider in England to his wife at home.

 

 

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16584

Images courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H99.166/273 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16584

 

Added to the following postcard of Healesville, was “Compliments of the Season 1/1/1906.”  Written on the back was “Miss M. Prisk, Windermere St. Ballarat. A Happy New Year. 1/1/1906.”  I couldn’t help myself.  I checked the Electoral Roll and found Miss Margaret Prisk living with her family at 503 Windemere Street South, Ballarat.  Around 81 years later, I was living one block down and a street over from the 500 block of Windemere Street.  Margaret and her mother Bertha eventually moved to Richmond.  When I have time, I will follow her up a little further.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/82840

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H85.70/107 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/82840

The following photo, sent around 1905, had written on the back – “To grandmother with love from “Jack & Jill” aged 7 months.”  It looks like Jack and Jill’s mother had her hands full.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73481

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victora. Image No. H2005.34/2674 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73481

It wasn’t the only time Jack and Jill were the subjects of the a “New Year’s” photo.  Just a few years later they were back at the photographers and written on the photo was “To dear Vera wishing you all a happy new  year.”

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H2005.34/2675 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73481

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2005.34/2675 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73481

Happy New Year everyone.


Trove Tuesday – Merry Christmas

Trove has something for all occasions especially Christmas.  This week’s Trove Tuesday revolves around my Trove search for “Merry Christmas,” the message I’m sending you today.

A general search of Trove for “Merry Christmas” results in hundreds of books, thousands of newspaper articles, journals and sound recordings, but the “Pictures, Photos and Objects” are my favourites because of the treasures that abound such as the following:

 

Handwritten note on verso: France 3/11/16. Dear Meryn wishing you a Merry Xmas & a Happier New Year from "Juggo" or Jack Miller. Sent to address in Victoria.

Christmas Card 1916. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no, .H99.166/285 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16619

The card (above), sent from France on November 3, 1916 was to Meryn and it’s the first time I have found a “Meryn” of any spelling at Trove.  The note on the card read  “Dear Meryn wishing you a Merry Xmas & a Happier New Year from “Juggo” or Jack Miller.”

CHRISTMAS CARD 1911.  Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H82.96/168 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/110126

CHRISTMAS CARD 1911. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H82.96/168 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/110126

The Christmas greeting below, is from the workers at the Ballarat Telegraph Office to their “fellow officers” at the Murtoa Telegraph Office.  It is was from Christmas 1883.

CHRISTMAS CARD 1883.  Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H8704 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73925

CHRISTMAS CARD 1883. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H8704 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73925

Portraits or group portraits. as was the case below, were a popular form of greeting card.  Written on the back of the following card was – “Mrs E. C. Rodgers, Hind Street, Portland. Horsham. Dec. 1911. Dear Friends, Just to wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Bright New Year. You will see a good many faces in this group that you know. With best wishes…”

CHRISTMAS CARD 1911.  Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H84.37/4/90 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/129663

CHRISTMAS CARD 1911. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H84.37/4/90 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/129663

The next card is one of my favourite images that I have found at Trove to date and I have used it to illustrate a post before.  It is a Christmas card to an Australian soldier from an admirer he met while overseas.  Unfortunately her name is illegible on the card. POSTCARD c1918.  Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No. H99.166/327 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16626

POSTCARD c1918. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. H99.166/327 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16626

She wrote:

December 1918, Dear Arthur thanks for your most welcome letter I got a few days ago and also glad you have not forgotten. and I think I am the one who loves you best. Jack was here to last week-end going to Blighty on leave. Lucky We shall all be delighted if you come to say good-bye before going back to Australia. For my part I shall be very pleased to see you again. Do not be surprised if you receive a photo of myself one of these days. Every body at Auntie’s place wishes you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Also best wishes and —- from myself. Hoping to hear from you again. Believe me. Yours sincerely…

I wonder if they ever met again?

 

Merry Christmas to the many followers of Western District Families and thank you for your ongoing support.  May your 2015 be filled with many new discoveries about your Western District family.

 


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.

 

tt1

"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.

 

tt3tt4

"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. .

 


Port Fairy Cemetery – Part 1

If you find yourself travelling along Victoria’s south-west coast, don’t miss the Port Fairy Cemetery.

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Last summer, I revisited the cemetery with the aim of photographing as many headstones as possible.  During our four days in Port Fairy, the weather was hot and our days were spent at the beach.  My only chance was to head off early to beat the heat.   I took the dogs, and after a stop at the beach for a run, them not me, we arrived at the cemetery around 7.30am.

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Taking photos and holding two dogs on leads, is not an easy task.  I’m glad they didn’t see the rabbits sitting among the graves but I didn’t count on the burrs.  Soon the dogs were stopping periodically to pick burrs from their paws.  I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked but I have captured some of the older and more interesting headstones.  I will post the photos in two parts.

On one of my past visits to the Port Fairy Cemetery, I joined a tour run by the Port Fairy Genealogical Society.  It was fantastic and I wished I had our knowledgeable guide Maria Cameron on this visit as I tried to remember the stories behind the graves.

227 (800x600)

 

As sealers and whalers, Charles Mills and his older brother John, first saw Port Fairy in 1826, eight years before the Henty brothers arrived at Portland.  However, their whaling camps were not considered permanent in comparison to the Henty settlement, thus the Hentys take the title of first European settlers in Victoria in most discussions on the topic.  Launceston born Charles Mills passed away in 1855 aged 43 and John in 1877 aged 66.   The biography of the brothers is on this link – John and Charles Mills 

 

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HEADSTONE OF BROTHERS CHARLES AND JOHN MILLS

 

 

"BELFAST." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 21 Nov 1855: 6. .

“BELFAST.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 21 Nov 1855: 6. .

 

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 24 Sep 1877: .news-article5938525>.

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 24 Sep 1877: .news-article5938525>.

 

This was the home of John Mills in Gipps Street, Port Fairy just across the road from the port where he was harbour master.

 

108

FORMER HOUSE OF JOHN B. MILLS, GIPPS STREET, PORT FAIRY.

 

106

 

Port Fairy Harbour

PORT FAIRY HARBOUR

 

An obituary for John Mills, published September 28, 1877 in the Portland Guardian:

 

"BELFAST." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 28 Sep 1877:.

“BELFAST.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 28 Sep 1877:.

 

The Portland Guardian published an interesting article about the Mills Brothers on September 21, 1933.  It included their life stories and that of their father Peter Mills who served as secretary to Governor Bligh  – Early Settlers

 

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GRAVE OF BROTHERS CHARLES AND JOHN MILLS (Foreground)

 

William and Agnes Laidlaw were early pioneers of the Port Fairy district, arriving from Scotland with their family around 1841.  William was born on January 20, 1785 and died on April 6, 1870 and Agnes was born on September 20, 1790 and died  on February 12, 1867.

 

186 (600x800)

HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM AND AGNES LAIDLAW

"Family Notices." Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875) 23 Apr 1870 .

“Family Notices.” Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875) 23 Apr 1870 .

 

At least two of their children had great success.  David Laidlaw went on to serve five times as Mayor of Hamilton and was also a leading businessman in that town.   Robert became well-known in the Heidleberg area as a land owner and sheep breeder.  The following is a family photograph taken at Robert’s 90th birthday.  Robert is at the front with the white beard and brother David to his right.

 

"A Nonagenarian Birthday Party." Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939) 23 May 1907: .

“A Nonagenarian Birthday Party.” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 23 May 1907: .

 

James Andrews (1780-1855) and Elizabeth Andrews (1811-1870) nee O’Brien and their two sons, Michael and Patrick lie in the following grave.

 

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HEADSTONE OF JAMES AND ELIZABETH ANDREWS AND THEIR SONS MICHAEL AND PATRICK.

 

The headstone is difficult to read from the photo, so I have transcribed it:

Sacred to the Memory of 

James Andrews

Formally of Ratoath County Meath

Ireland

Died January 1855 aged 55 years

Elizabeth Andrews

His Beloved Wife

Died 26 August 1870, aged 59

Also their two sons

Michael

Died 3rd May 1854 aged 15 years

Patrick

Died 15 March 1863, Aged 23 years

There was little information around about the Andrews family but I thought I would check shipping records.  An Andrews family arrived at Portland during October 1853 aboard the Oithona.  They were from Meath, Ireland, matching the headstone.  The family consisted of James, aged 56, Elizabeth aged 45, Patrick aged 12, Fanny aged 10, James aged nine and Therese aged 2.  On arrival James snr and the family went on to Port Fairy of their own account.  If this is the same Andrews family, James was in Victoria only two years before he died.

 

After sorting my photos I’m really disappointed with myself.  The following Goldie family grave is one I remember well from the cemetery tour.  Maria pointed out the top of the grave purposely broken off to signify a life cut short. Firstly, I didn’t get a photo of the top of the grave and secondly I didn’t get a photo of the reverse side of the grave

Instead I got the following photo showing John and Elizabeth Goldie epitaphs.

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GOLDIE FAMILY GRAVE

 

If I had a photo of the reserve side, you would also see three babies. It was their the lives cut short:

Catherine Goldie
Died in Scotland Feb 1859
Aged 21 Months

Margaret
Died Sep 1862 Aged 19 Months

John
Died May 1864 Aged 17 Months

John Goldie and Elizabeth Clarke arrived in Melbourne aboard the Greyhound in 1862.  With them were their children, Elizabeth aged 11, James aged 2 and Margaret aged 1.  John was born in 1862 at Port Fairy and Margaret barely survived the voyage, dying in 1862.

John Goldie snr was a pioneer of the agricultural industry, working with the Agricultural Department planting experimental crops.  Photos of one of his experimental sugar beet crops is below.

 

JOHN GOLDIE'S SUGAR BEET CROP TRIALS.   Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IAN01/10/95/20  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

JOHN GOLDIE’S SUGAR BEET CROP TRIALS. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

 

John died in 1901 after a cow knocked him down.  Elizabeth had passed away 29 years earlier aged 45.

 

"OBITUARY." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 3 Sep 1901: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73029026>.

“OBITUARY.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 3 Sep 1901: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73029026&gt;.

 

Son of John and Elizabeth, James Goldie. who was two when he arrived at Port Fairy. was a previous Passing Pioneer – James Goldie obituary

 

The grave of William Kerby goes back to the earliest years of the cemetery.  William was buried in 1847 in a grave with headstone and footstone arranged by his wife Mary.

 

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GRAVE OF WILLIAM KERBY

 

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HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM KERBY

 

Look a little closer at the next headstone and a sad story begins to emerge.  A check of the marriage record of Robert and Annie Grosert sees the story turn sadder still.  Robert Grosert, the son of  a Port Fairy butcher and himself in the trade was born in 1852.  He married Irish immigrant Annie Greer in 1877.  By November 14 of that year Robert was dead and by December 4, so was Annie.

 

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GROSERT FAMILY GRAVE

 

George Best was born in Port Fairy in 1853, a son of  George Best and Lucy Weston.  He married Emilie Melina Jenkins in 1877 at Wagga Wagga, NSW and they settled at Port Fairy.  George enjoyed sailing and it was while competing in a regatta on the Moyne River at Port Fairy in March, 1891, he was knocked overboard and drowned.

 

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BEST FAMILY GRAVE

 

 

A diver recovered George’s body from the river floor.  A team of townspeople worked on George for two hours trying to revive him.  An  account of the drowning appeared in the Portland Guardian on March 13, 1891 and described the incident and the preparations of the diver which makes interesting reading.

An inquest was held into the accident.

 

"THE BOATING FATALITY AT PORT FAIRY." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 10 Mar 1891: 5. Web..

“THE BOATING FATALITY AT PORT FAIRY.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 10 Mar 1891: 5. Web.<http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8482214&gt;.

 

Coincidentally, George’s father, George Best snr a Port Fairy saddler, drowned in almost the same place 30 years before.  His body was never located.

 

"THE EDUCATION DIFFICULTY SOLVED." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 23 Apr 1861: .

“THE EDUCATION DIFFICULTY SOLVED.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 23 Apr 1861: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154888852&gt;.

 

George and Emilie’s daughter, Elsie May Best was buried with her parents.  She died on October 10 1897 at Port Fairy aged 20 years and 10 months.

 

"Family Notices." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 23 Oct 1897: 55.  .

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 23 Oct 1897: 55. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138629574&gt;.

 

George’s wife  Emilie Melina Jenkins died in a private hospital “Somerset House” in East Melbourne on April 10, 1924.

 

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 12 Apr 1924:  .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 Apr 1924: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1903476&gt;.

 

When you walk through a country cemetery and see dozens of unfamiliar names, then later research those names, it’s amazing what you can dig up, so to speak.  Francis Alexander Corbett is one such name. Francis born in 1818, was buried in the Port Fairy cemetery with his wife Ellen Louisa Lane.

 

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GRAVE OF FRANCIS ALEXANDER CORBETT AND HIS WIFE ELLEN LOUISA LANE

 

After searching Trove newspapers, I discovered that Francis arrived in Australia in search of gold and after some time on the diggings went to Melbourne and worked as a reporter for the Argus. Not fond of the work, he moved to the Census Commission conducting the 1854, 1857 and 1861 census as Census Secretary.  He was also a life member of the Royal Society of Victoria.

 

corbett1

 

In 1857 he wrote a book Railway Economy in Victoria and in the same year married Ellen Louise Lane born c1829.  During the 1860s, Francis and Ellen moved to Port Fairy and Francis managed the estate of James Atkinson.  They later moved to Kirkstall near Warrnambool.  In 1889, the following article appeared about Francis Corbett in the Australian Town and Country Journal:

 

"Western Seaports of Victoria." Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907) 5 Jan 1889 .

“Western Seaports of Victoria.” Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907) 5 Jan 1889 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71113608&gt;.

 

Francis was visiting Port Fairy when he died suddenly at the Commercial Hotel (now Royal Oak Hotel) on June 10, 1893.

 

ROYAL OAK HOTEL, PORT FAIRY (FORMALLY THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL)

ROYAL OAK HOTEL, PORT FAIRY (FORMALLY THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL)

"Family Notices." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 17 Jun 1893: 42.  .

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 17 Jun 1893: 42. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138656519&gt;.

 

An obituary appeared in the Argus:

 

"COUNTRY NEWS." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 12 Jun 1893: .

“COUNTRY NEWS.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 Jun 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8563251&gt;.

 

The information contained in Francis’ will was even more enlightening especially that about his brother John Corbett.

 

"Wills and Bequests." Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939) 28 Jul 1893:  .

“Wills and Bequests.” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 28 Jul 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145711319&gt;.

 

I tracked down John Corbett or rather,  Admiral Sir John Corbett born 1822 and died 1893, five months after Francis.

 

"[No heading]." South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1895) 16 Dec 1893: 4. .

“[No heading].” South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1895) 16 Dec 1893: 4. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8442835&gt;.

 

On December 4, 1904, 11 years after Francis, Ellen passed away at St Kilda.

 

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 5 Dec 1908:   .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 5 Dec 1908: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10188785&gt;.

 

Five members of the Finn family lie in the following grave.  The first to pass was John Finn in 1879.  John was the owner of the Belfast Brewery and the Belfast Inn with his licence issued in 1841. He was also one of the trustees of the old cemetery which possibly refers to the Sandhills Cemetery although the Port Fairy cemetery website says. at times both cemeteries were referred to as the “old cemetery.”

 

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FINN FAMILY GRAVE

 

The next death in the Finn, family was John’s daughter-in-law Ellen, wife of Laurence Finn.  In 1896, Laurence and Ellen’s youngest son, George passed away aged 25.

 

"Family Notices." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 21 Mar 1896: 45. .

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 21 Mar 1896: 45. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139723181&gt;.

 

Another son, William Henry passed away in 1902.  That left just Laurence who died on May 24, 1914 aged 81 years.  His obituary appeared in the May 2013 Passing of the Pioneers.  Laurence died a wealthy man having inherited land from his father, however his will was contested.  A hearing in 1916 saw many witnesses called to assess the soundness of Laurence’s mind when his will was drawn up.  The article is available on the following link – http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73880024

 

Just a handful of graves, yet so many interesting characters and stories.

 

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For more information about the Port Fairy Cemetery, check out the website –  Port Fairy Public Cemetery.   Also ABC Local Radio did a great story on the cemetery including an interview with Maria Cameron and you too can listen to Maria talk passionately about the cemetery.  There are also photos with the story which are so much better than mine.  It is available on the following link  – Radio Interview.  The Find A Grave entry for Port Fairy has had some great work done on it with hundreds of headstones photographed.

 


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