Elizabeth Allen (Brison)

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White Family of Waanyarra

The White Family 2007

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January 2012

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter January 2012lr_Page_1

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter January 2012lr_Page_2

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter January 2012lr_Page_3

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November 2010

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter November 2010lr_Page_1

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter November 2010lr_Page_2

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter November 2010lr_Page_3

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter November 2010lr_Page_4

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February 2010

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter February 2010_Page_1

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Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter February 2010_Page_3

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December 2007

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter December 2007_Page_1

Waanyarra Reunion Newsletter December 2007_Page_2

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January 30th. 2007

Waanyarra Renunion Newsletter - 30 January 2007_Page_1

Waanyarra Renunion Newsletter - 30 January 2007_Page_2

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Depression letter

Tailings

Newsletter of the Goldfields Historical

and Arts Society Inc. No.A9641

Museum at 75 Broadway Dunolly 3472

John Tully editor

No. 564                                                                                                                    November 2012

 

DEPRESSION LETTER 

Many people came upon hard times during the 1930s depression. This letter is from one of them.  It is written in pencil on an old scrap piece of paper. It was found with a penny in a tobacco tin at Waanyarra. The letter is in the Dunolly Museum collection. The donor kept the penny.

Dunolly 5 May 1935

Any body finding this I might be dead.

I built this stone house by myself as a recreation. I was or am a student of art. I have been very unlucky lately and I hope this penny brings a change for me and to you.

Rupert Hutter

40 years of age a born Swiss. 

Johann Rupert Hutter had been born in Zurich in 1895. He preferred to use the name Rupert. He was, as he said, an artist. Prior to and after this letter he entered his paintings into the Archibald Prize and was a finalist many times. These were:-

1933 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1937 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1938 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1939 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1940 Rupert Hutter – H S Elvin esq

1944 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

He probably never stayed in the Dunolly – Waanyarra area for very long and as the economy improved he found work in Melbourne. When war broke out he sent a letter to the Australian Navy Office with an idea for dealing with submarines. It is not known if his idea was ever adopted. In September 1941 he became naturalised.

Rupert Hutter showed some of his paintings in the Victorian Artist’s Society Spring Exhibition of 1946. Here he was described as a lesser known artist who deserved a mention. Hutter remained in Melbourne where he died in 1961 aged 65.

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Pupil Photos—Waanyarra School 1879

Contact us please if you have any information about any of these photos.

Do you have any photos which could be included here ?

 

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Strahan Skuthorpe

SIMON and ANNIE (“GRANNY”) STRAHAN (nee Bright)
(Famous Waanyarra Midwife)
and WILLIAM SKUTHORPE
Simon Strahan, with his three half brothers, went gold digging in California from Dublin, but were not successful and came to Australia. On their ship coming to Australia was a Mr. Boan whom Simon taught to write and read. They went to Waanyarra where Mr. Boan opened up the ‘White Swan Hotel’. When the diggings started to peter out Mr. Boan took his family to Perth. There he opened a store which later became a large department store under the name of ‘Boans Limited’.
Simon Strahan and Annie Bright from Greenwich, England married and became small farmers at Waanyarra.
Edward and Septimus Strahan became Doctors and practiced in Lygon Street, Carlton and Moonee Ponds respectively, Dick became a Schoolteacher in Bendigo, Frank Strahan was Secretary to the Prime Minister at one time and Archibald was Secretary to the Lands Department of Victoria.
Frances Strahan’s sister Ann, married Lance Skuthorpe, a great horseman and well known rough rider throughout Australia. Jack Pollard wrote Skuthorpe’s biography titled “The Rough Rider”. Skuthorpe’s sons were also great horsemen.
Lance Skuthorpe and Ann Strahan had two sons, William and Wallace. Lance and Ann divorced when the boys were quite young. Ann’s sister-in-law, Annie Strahan took the boys and brought them up at Waanyarra. When the boys were older they joined their mother who had remarried in Western Australia. William served in the First World War.
In the Longreach Stockman’s Hall of Fame there is a sculpture of ‘Dick Skuthorpe 1883-1980’ also a portrait of Lance Skuthorpe with the following caption:-

“A legend in the golden age of horsemanship – a crowd of 100,000 turned up in Sydney to witness the rough riding hero ride the outlaw buckjumper, Bobs, to a standstill in one of the most celebrated rides in history. Ten years earlier when he jumped the perilous ““Gordon’s” Gap Leap’ at Mt. Gambier his name was placed forever on the list of Australia’s greatest horsemen”.
Lance Skuthorpe Jnr., a son from his second marriage, was also a great horseman, known to have represented Australia overseas.”

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Scholes/Gallienne/Jones Families

 SCHOLES / GALLIENNE/JONESGallienne 1

Nicholas and Rachael Gallienne / on Nicholas’ birthday 22/07/1877

By Nell Silke and Freda Scholes
“Nicholas Gallienne of French descent, and his second wife, Rachel lived on the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel. They set sail from England bound for Australia on the 9th December, 1849, on the ship Trafalgar, which left from the port of Plymouth. The family arrived in Port Adelaide on the 11th April, 1850.
Nicholas’ daughter Marie, and six children from his marriage to Rachel travelled with them. (One of their daughters, Harriet later married Robert Scholes).
In 1854 Nicholas and Rachel bought a horse and dray and travelled overland to Victoria, in search of gold. Rheola was the area they first began their gold search, but soon followed the ‘rush’ to Jones’ Creek.

The family settled at Jones’ Creek and took up land which remains in the family to this day.
Harriet Gallienne married Robert Scholes and lived at Waanyarra. After the death of Harriet’s brother, Frederick, Harriet and Robert moved into the homestead and raised their family there.
Their first child was George Nicholas, born in 1872, then Rachel 1874, followed by Edmund in 1878.
Edmund’s three sons, Edmund, Robert and George carried on working the original property in partnership as ‘Scholes Brothers’, until Robert retired and went with his wife Mavis, to live in Maryborough. Edmund Jnr.’s youngest son lan, took over his father’s share and bought Robert’s land. George still lives on the original property and with his wife Freda works the farm.

GEORGE & FREDA SCHOLES

JONES FAMILY

Rachel Scholes married William Jones and lived at Waanyarra. They had four children, Emma May, William Robert, Arthur Harold and Edmund.
Arthur (Icksey) remained on the Jones property all his life, he never married, and died at Dunolly on the 19th July, 1976.

JONES FAMILY
Emma, Arthur (Icksey),William, William Jnr., Rachel (nee Scholes)
George Nicholas Scholes married Edith Jane Lockett. They had three daughters, Ivy, Edith Louisa and Rachel, also three boys and one girl who all died young.
George Allan Scholes was born at Dunolly in 1924. He has lived all his life on the original family property at Waanyarra first selected by Nicholas and Frederick Gallienne in the 1860’s. George’s father, Edmund, passed away on the 23rd September, 1955, aged 78, and Sara (nee Freemantle) George’s mother, passed away at the age of 93, on the 14th August 1973. George married Freda McKenzie in 1947 and had three sons, Stewart, Maxwell and Trevor.”

How Things Have Changed
By Freda Scholes (nee McKenzie)
“Mail was delivered two days a week and the only telephone was at the Post Office, which was in a private house. The postmistress would ride her bike to give anyone a phone message. Electricity did not come through to Waanyarra until 1966. We had no refrigerator until we got one run on kerosene.
The butcher and baker called twice a week. The grocer came every two weeks, took our order and brought our goods the following day. The grocer took our eggs and we paid for our groceries once a year with the price of the eggs deducted from the account. The tradesmen we dealt with came from Dunolly.
There were no washing machines as such (except the old wooden hand operated one of Grandma’s). We boiled the clothes up in the wood-fired copper and scrubbed the clothes clean on the scrubbing board. A battery wireless was listened to sparingly as we had to go to get the batteries charged up in Tarnagulla or Dunolly.
We played a lot of cards and games with the children before bed time.

HARRIET SCHOLES (nee Gallienne) c1900

THE GALLIENNE FAMILY
By E. & A. Holt
From various sources, including:
The late Miss Alice Lewis of Mt. Gambier
Mrs. Clarice Millowick of Mt. Gambier
Mrs. Eva Bool of “Kalkee Home”, Geelong

Nicholas Gallienne the 5th. migrated from Plymouth, England on 26th December, 1849 arriving at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 31 st March, 1850. According to the nominal roll of passengers the following are shown:-
Nicholas Gallienne Aged 51 years Labourer Married
Rachel Gallienne Aged 40 years Married
Marie Gallienne Aged 26 years Servant Single
Frederick Gallienne Aged 24 years Labourer Single
Sophia Gallienne Aged 18 years Servant Single
Louise Gallienne Aged 13 years – –
Harriette Gallienne Aged 11 years – –
Lucrece Gallienne Aged 8 years –
Elise Gavet Gallienne Aged 3 years

Elise died at sea on 27th February, 1850. Guillieme (William) born 5th January, 1843 and Alice Louise born 25th September, 1844 died in infancy.
Nicholas Gallienne (born 2nd July, 1797 “) died 21st November, 1888 at Waanyarra, “of old age debilities”. Buried at Tarnagulla Cemetery.
Rachel Gallienne (nee Gavet) died 4th March, 1882 at Waanyarra “of bronchitis”. Buried at Tarnagulla Cemetery (aged 74 years)
Marie (Mary) Gallienne (born 2nd July, 1824) married Charles Baker on 8th June, 1850 at Trinity Church, Adelaide. They had six children, all born at Waanyarra:-
Alfred (married Mary Smith) born 24.12.1855
William (never married)
Edmund (never married)
Frederick (never married)
Elveina (married Charles Schiller, Veterinary Surgeon of Korong Vale)
Adeline (married Frederick Williams)
Alfred Baker had nine children, five sons and four daughters. Four were over eighteen years of age as at May, 1914. He took up 40 acres of Crown Land- Allotment 4C Section 9, Parish of Waanyarra in 1914, some of which he had occupied previously under Miners Residence Right for 19 years.
Frederick Gallienne (born c. 1826) – died 8th April, 1888 at Waanyarra “of pleuro-pneumonia”. Buried at Tarnagulla. He never married.
Sophia Gallienne (born 29th June, 1832) – married Pierre (Peter) Pallot on 15th February, 1853 at the Church of St. Paul, Port Adelaide. She died at Iron Bark Gully, Tarnagulla on 23rd December, 1871.
Louisa Gallienne (born 22nd September, 1837) – married Thomas Lewis at Dunolly on 11th March, 1857. They had at least ten children:-
Thomas (born c.1858) – married Alice Louise Pallot
Elise Louise (born c. 1 860) – married James Robinson  (Clarice Millowick is a granddaughter of Elise Robinson)
George (born c. 1862) – no further details
Mary Ann (born c. 1864) – no further details
Lucy (born c. 1 868) – married Charles North -Warracknabeal
Ellen Augusta (born c. 1868) – married Alfred Ernest Pallot
Charles Edward (born c. 1 870) – no further details
Harriatte Lucretia (born c. 1 8 72) – no further details
Nicolas Frederick (born c.1874) – no further details
Eugene Anthony (born c. 1 8 76) – no further details

Lucrece (Lucretia) Gallienne (born 29th May, 1841) – cared for some of the family of her deceased sister, Sophia after her untimely death in l871. Eventually, Lucretia, at the age of 45 years married her late sister’s husband, Peter Pallot. She survived only some ten months, dying on 6th January, 1887.

Jen Shepherd (nee Lewis) of Perth has supplied the following additional material

1. Eliza Louisa Lewis DOB 13/1/1858 Dunolly Victoria

2. Thomas Lewis DOB 15/10/1859 Dunolly Victoria

3. George Lewis DOB 10/7/1861 Adelaide

4. Mary Ann Lewis DOB 28/9/1865 Adelaide – 3/1/1954

5. Lucy Lewis DOB 12/1/1868 Mt Gambier

6. Ellen Augusta DOB 14/11/1869 Mt Gambier

7. Charles Edward Lewis DOB 19/2/1872 Mt Gambier – 6/5/1939 – (my GG

g/father)

8. Harriet Lucretia DOB 11/3/1874 Mt Gambier – 8/7/1968

9. Nicolas Frederick Lewis DOB 10/11/1876 Mt Gambier –

10. Eugene Anthony Lewis DOB 5/1/1879 Mt Gambier – 17/1/1962 ?

 

Extract from Tarnagulla Courier of Saturday, 30th December, 1871.

“An inquest was held on Christmas Day by the District Coroner, G. Cook, Esquire, on the body of a woman named Sophia Pallot. From evidence of the witnesses examined, it appeared that on Saturday night the deceased was seized with pains of child-birth, and, in the absence of her mother, who generally attended her, she was attended by a neighbour named Arm Adams, who delivered the deceased of twins. The mother of the deceased arrived shortly afterwards, and everything in their power was done for the sufferer.
Meanwhile, the husband was sent for the Doctor, but before he could arrive, the woman was dead. Dr. Green said that he had been sent for about ten o’clock on Saturday night, but on arrival the woman had died. He made a postmortem examination and gave it as his opinion that the deceased had come by death by the retention of the placenta, and, had medical aid been present at the time, it could have been removed.
A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was given.
The deceased, together with her husband, were a hard working couple and had raised twelve children in the most destitute circumstances. Already the public of Tarnagulla, notwithstanding so many calls of late upon their charitable feelings, are making arrangements to assist the bereaved parent in his misery.
Contributions will be received by Messrs. Thomson and Comrie.”

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Pearce’s

PEARCE FAMILIES 

 THE JOHN PEARCE FAMILY OF WAANYARRA
Information from Clive Pearce, Sea Lake and from granddaughter of Charles Pearce, Lorna Beaton (nee Pearce)

“There were fifteen children in our family, all but one was born at Waanyarra.
Thomas Charles was born at Murphy’s Creek, but soon after came to Waanyarra.
We were very much a Waanyarra family, ten boys and five girls, the children of
John Pearce and his wife Caroline (nee Biggs).

Thomas Charles…………..Born 1890
John ………………………….Born 1891
William …………………….Born 1892
Cliff ………………………….Born 1893
Winifred ……………………Born 1897
Carrie (Doll)………………Born 1895
Clarence (Pomp)…………Born 1898
Harry…………………………Born 1900
Jessie & Jane (Twins)…Born 1902
Muriel ………………………Born 1904
Ron & Raymond (Pat) (Twins) …Born 1906
Bert…………………………..Born 1908
Clive…………………………Born 1909


John Pearce & Caroline (nee Biggs)
50th Wedding Anniversary 1939
At least six of the boys and four girls from our family attended school at Waanyarra, the older ones finishing school there. I was the youngest so did not go to school until we left the area. Although there was always talk of school I only remember my brothers and sisters talking about the usual fights and name calling which was common at schools. When my brother Clarence started school at Waanyara the school teacher called him ‘Pomp’. The name stuck throughout his life and few people knew his real name.
The young people soon learned how to find gold as my father was experienced at mining. At one time he found a 100 oz. nugget, and at another time found the same amount but in small pieces over a very small area.
Other work done by my father was wood carting, sleeper cutting and forest thinning. My father, while working on the forest thinning gang, cut his leg. It was not a bad injury but it became infected and he was in hospital recovering for several months. These were hard times with no compensation.”
My mother went to work doing a mail delivery by horse and buggy. My brother William left school to work in the Poverty mine in Tarnagulla, to earn money to help the family – he was 13.
Food did not seem to be a great problem although it was of a plain kind with most of it coming from our own garden. We’d have fish, some game and sometimes goat meat. I can just remember my sisters gathering cranberries and geebungs in the bush.
My family selected land in the Mallee as gold was getting scarce at Waanyarra and there were few jobs for school leavers. The Mallee seemed a good place for a family to work together.
Charlie (Thomas Charles) married Victoria May Atherton from Dunolly. He left the Mallee for Rushworth in 1916 where he lived until his death in June, 1988 aged 98. He was the oldest man in Rushworth at the time. His wife predeceased him aged 92.
Jesse Pearce was my father’s brother, there was also another two brothers in the family, James who went to Melbourne and Charlie who worked on the railways. Charlie later selected land on the east side of ours in the Mallee. Jarrys were to the north of us so we still had our friends and relatives around us.
Torpey brothers from Waanyarra also settled in the Mallee area after they had tried their luck on the Waanyarra gold.”

From Lorna Beaton (nee Pearce)

“My great grandmother’s name was Page.
I do not know her Christian names (Thought to be Ann.(Ed.))
She came from Cornwall.
She married a Pearce. (Charles R. (Ed.))
Their son, Jesse Pearce married Matilda Louisa Cogswell in 1892 at Waanyarra and had eight children.

Mary Elizabeth Morton (nee Sturni), John Thomas Cogswell, Matilda Louisa Pearce (nee Cogswell)
Edward Morton, Jesse Pearce

Les married Grace Charlesworth
James married Mary (“Pink”) Morton
George Accidentally killed at the age of 18
Lillian married Fred Williams
Myrtle married William Kellet
Herbert married Lillian Comrie
Hazel married Reg. Kellet
John Robert married Florence Amelia Kick

My father, John Robert Pearce was born on the 20th February, 1900. My mother, Florence Amelia Kick was born at Dunolly on the 6th September 1901; there were seven children in her family.
My parents married it Sea Lake on the 14th July, 1920. Father worked as a forest officer at Tarnagulla and Waanyarra. Their first three children were born at Dunolly; Nigel, Loris and Royden. When the children were only very young my parents journeyed to Gunbower Island, Koondrook by horse and cart. There they lived in tents at the iron punt and then moved down the river further, still living in tents, until the Victorian Forestry Commission built them a house on Gunbower Island.
While on Gunbower Island, twelve more children were born, seven girls and five boys; Noel, June, Dulcie, Dawn, John (died 1934), Ross, Nesta, Heather, Audrey, Cedric, Bruce (died 1976) and Lynette.
Father worked for 32 years as a Forest Officer and took pride in his work.
My father was a great lover of horses, he used a horse and gig to get around to brand timber for sleeper-cutters. He always kept his horses well groomed and in fine condition. His drays, gigs and harness were things of joy to see. He also did a lot of blacksmith work in the area. People from many miles away brought their horses to be shod, he also made the shoes himself.
My father worked in the forests until February, 1959. He died of cancer on the 12th September, 1959. My mother passed away on the 8th April, 1973, aged 72. In the family there are 71 grandchildren and about 220 great grandchildren.”

James Pearce’s Family
Edna Evans (nee Pearce)
Jesse Pearce, my grandfather married Matilda Louise Cogswell at Waanyarra.
Their son James was my father. He married Mary (Pink) Morton, daughter of Ted and Mary Morton (nee Stumi).
Their children were myself (Edna), Jesse and Ronald.
My father loved animals. He tended many sick animals and was like a ‘Vet’ in the Waanyarra area.
He also did a lot of blacksmithing work in Waanyarra. His bellows, which once belonged to the Cogswell family, were still working and were in use at the Beaufort Steam Rally in 1988. Dad ran cattle and later sheep on his farm.
My mother ‘Pink’ made soap, using ‘Borax’, and glycerine for softness. She polished the floors of our house using separated milk. There were no refrigerators of course and she would get up at four in the morning to pat up the butter in butter moulds before the day became too hot.
In the 1930’s surprise parties were a favourite entertainment along with’magic chairs’, and also we played a lot of cards.


Jim Pearce
With Prince, Nugget and Laddie and Nigger the dog
GROUP AT JIM PEARCE’S
Felix Jarry, Mary (Pink) Pearce, John Jarry, Andrew Sturni, John Cogswell
with Jesse (Left) & Ron Pearce in front
JIM’S FAMILY
Back – Ron, Edna & Jesse. Front – Pink and Jim
with Johhny Cogswell “peeking”
MORTONS & PEARCES
Edward (Ted) Morton, Mary (Pink) Morton, Jim Pearce
with Lillian Pearce (front)

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Lockett Family

LOCKETT FAMILY
JAMES LOCKETT
Some Memories I Have Of My Grandfather, James Lockett
By Nellie Grant
“When James Lockett’s mother died the young James went to sea. At an overseas port he met this older brother who told him to ‘Get Back Home’, but James disobeyed and kept on with his life at sea.
One of his jobs on the ship was to light the Captain’s pipe at the stokehole or kitchen and take it to the Captain at the wheel.
James went Whaling in ‘Newfundland’(sic). The crew used to sight the whales, and when in the area jump from iceberg to iceberg, holding a spear up high, thrust it into the whale and head back to the ship. Back on board the men were filled up with rum, and the whale was then hauled on board.
Once James missed his footing on an iceberg and went down a crack between the ice. By holding his spear across the top he saved his own life.
On his return from one voyage his sister told him his elder brother was in Australia. James decided then that he would work on a ship bound for Australia. By chance, James met his brother in the street in an Australian port so he then worked on the ship back to England and on arrival, booked for work on a ship going back to Australia. This time it was a one way trip, destination Melbourne.
Early after his arrival in Australia, James was at Geelong but soon travelled to the goldfields namely Waanyarra.
At Waanyarra he planted grape vines and brewed wine, he also had cows and a milk round. His room in his house was at the front of the dwelling and his boys lived in a building at the back of the house. James had a cowbell hooked on a wire from their room to his so he could call them each morning without much bother to himself.
In his old age James took a boat trip to Sydney, but it was “ a land lubber run”, he said.
He then went to live in Tarnagulla with Alf and Birdie (Bertha and Alfred Reilly).
Cribbage and his vegetable garden were James’great interests then. When Alf and Birdie went to the Mallee in about 1919, James went to stay with Mary who lived nearby.
My great delight was listening to Grandfather’s cylindrical recordings on his gramophone. I remember well that he loved his game of Crib. And although washing day was a Monday, rain or shine, he asked Eliza, “What about a game of Crib?”. She said, “Get the one up top”, which was her sister Elizabeth Ann. So the washing was interrupted and the card game was set up. “Only one game”, the girls said.
I can remember Elizabeth Ann was always called by both names.

GRANDFATHER LOCKETT
Well there he is, sitting in the garden, filling his pipe as he rests. An upright man, tall broad shouldered, fading brown beard and bright blue eyes. He has cleaned his garden tools and put them away. The children are sitting at his feet.
A gentle, easy going grandfather, kind and proud of his children and grandchildren. How they enjoy his stories of life at sea and of other lands, and still an occasional Cornish word, showing the place of his birth.
He hasn’t lit his pipe yet, I think I know the reason, we will see. “Cup of tea Grandad”, he has heard the first call and is on his way to the kitchen door.
“Thank you, thank you, the sun told me it was round about tea time, and then you called me. What about some music or a game of Crib this evening?”

LOCKETT, JAMES
Born at St. Ives, Cornwall, 1829. Arrived in Australia in 1852. Died at Tarnagulla, Australia, 23rd August, 1913 – aged 84.
Brothers and sisters – Annie, Margaret, Dick, Bill, George, Richard, John, all were born in Cornwall.
James married Margaret Ann Bryant at Tamagulla on the 23rd December, 1868. James was then 39 and Margaret was 19. Margaret Ann died 18th November, 1890 aged 40.
Their children:- Born:
Mary Elizabeth 21.1.1870
James Edwin 22.7.1871
Edith Jane 29.6.1873
George 14.2.1875
Thomas 20.2.1877 (died on active service)
William John 7.8.1878
Bertha Evelyn 4.7.1880
Charles Herbert 4.12.1882
Richard Henry 13.3.1885
Alfred 10.5.1887
Beatrice Louise 4.7.1889 (died 12.7.1892)

 

 

 
George Lockett and Rose (nee Underwood)  Rosie Lockett and Brother Kevin 

LOCKETT HOMESTEAD WAANYARRA
 

 JACK (JOHN HENRY) LOCKETT
BORN 1891 – Died May 2002

From an interview in 1988
Jack is still alive at 108 and in robust health (1999)
He plans to be one of the few who will have lived in three centuries (And he did!)
Jack died in May 2002

“I can’t remember much about Waanyarra, as I left there when I was about 13 to work for Mr. Johnson, a farmer at Eastville. I worked there nearly six years.
My mother was Mary Elizabeth Lockett, born at Waanyarra, the eldest daughter of James Lockett Snr. My mother went to a privately run school which used to be where Stumi’s place is along the Nuggetty Road.
Gibbs ran the school. There were three brothers, and one of them was a school teacher. When I was in Dunolly Hospital with a badly fractured leg in 1909, that was the year the Laanecoorie Weir broke, I met up with Bill Gibbs. I would go down and have a yarn with him. He told me he was the first person to hatch out chickens without a hen.
The school teachers I had at Waanyarra were Miss Fyfe and Miss Slattery was the sewing mistress. Miss Fyfe did not stay long, she was replaced by Mr. George Clark. He would go to Morton’s pub at lunch time and drink, then come back to school half drunk.
There was a rivalry between the East and West of Waanyarra. We used to have some tremendous cow-dung fights, we were nearly enemies.
I left school when I was 12.
There were lots of miners and wood cutters in the area then, and about 65 kids attended the school.
The creek nearly always had fish in the deep waterholes which became silted up through the mining. We would often catch blackfish or redfin in the creek.
I only saw two Aborigines in the time I was at Waanyarra, there was never much evidence of them being there.
I used to help Grandfather Lockett make wine. He sold it for sixpence a bottle and Port was ninepence. Grandfather also had a milk round to Tamagulla for 35 years, he’d take the wine in and sell it when he delivered the milk, 1 think he had a permit to sell wine.
I went to the Mallee in about 1910 and cleared many acres of land with a large Mallee roller and a team of horses. The Mallee was booming then. I went shares with my Uncles Dick and Alf in land. The blocks were 750 acres in area.
We had ten bullocks in our team, they all had names, Cockie and Snaily were two of them. This was at Ouyen. To get the bullocks into harness you’d pick up the whip and call the two leaders in, then the next two would follow and so on, then you’d yoke them up. They were wonderful patient animals.
We cleared land in the Carwarp area for 4/- an acre. We put in a crop for somebody and generally worked around. They were hard times and we had very little money. For a time we just lived on rice and very little else.
I went to the War in 1916 and was in the 38th Batallion serving overseas.
I married Mabel Victoria Ingwersen in 1923, we had four children, Jack, Kevin, Joyce and Ron.
Last year my driving licence was renewed until 1993. I will be 102 when I have to front next. I don’t drive anymore, I’ve always been a pretty impatient driver, but I get a good laugh out of the driver’s licence.”

A Century of Memories

JACK LOCKETT (R) with ALF BAKER (1992 “Back To Waanyarra”)

Angus Morton & Jack’s Olympic Torch

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Raven & Williams Family

THE RAVENS & THE WILLIAMS’ 


HENRY RAVEN
RAVEN AND WILLIAMS FAMILIES
The Williams Family
By: Nell Callister

“There were eight of them, Dave, Bill, Jim, Tom, Ted, Jane, Emily and Alice.
Along with the Raven kids, they walked two and a half miles to attend the Waanyarra School. The families had no money but they had plenty of fun, and my brother and I were made to feel quite envious when we’d hear some of their stories.
Jane married a garage owner by the name of Frank Zinnecker. With their daughter Hazel and friend they decided to be the first to cross the Nullabor Plain by car from Perth to Melbourne, which they did in 1926. There was no real road to follow, only telegraph poles. As they left each outpost a phone message was sent to the next stop to say there were travellers on the way, so that if they did not make their destination in a certain time a search party would be sent out. Fortunately, this measure was never used. They had many stories to tell about the trip. The Melbourne ‘Herald’ had a large spread on the journey when they arrived in Melbourne.
My parents were Jane Raven, the youngest of the Raven children and Thomas Williams. Being the youngest, my mother wore all the hand-me-down shoes and never had a new pair all her childhood. One time she had no shoes as there were none ready to be handed down so could not attend a picnic. I remember my mother being very conscious of the upkeep of her shoes, and would have them repaired immediately they became slightly worn, probably the memories of being shoeless remained with her all her life.
My parents were born and bred at Waanyarra. Henry Raven and his wife raised a large family, five girls and two boys and there is not one ‘Galah’ amongst all the Ravens.”

 

 

JANE WILLIAMS c1870

EMILY WILLIAMSc1870

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Edward Morton & Mary Elizabeth Sturni


 TED & MARY’ Family Tree Chart.pdf

 

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Bartolomeo Sturni & Amelia Thorp

BART STURNI and AMELIA THORP

BARTOLOMEO (BART) STURNI
The name Sturni is a dialect form of the Swiss word Storni whose literal meaning is “starlings.”
Bartolomeo (Bart) Sturni arrived in Western Australia in 1858 aboard the ship Winefred.” He was one of the many hundreds of Swiss people who came to Australia around this time, many of whom came with the express purpose of making their fortune on the goldfields and then returning home.
An older brother Pietro (Born circa 1827) made the journey with the young Bart who was about sixteen at the time. Their parents were John and Mary (nee Galliciotti). Also traveling on the ship with them were Giovanni Domenico Galliciotti and Pietro Galliciotti—probably their cousins. All four said they came from Contra, now part of an area known as Tenero-Contra.
The Tenero-Contra area is located some 5 kilometres east of the city of Locarno and is probably a suburb these days, although maps show Contra and Tenero being a small distance apart.
When Bart was living there it is likely that the area was a little rural village. It is in the Ticino Canton just over the border from Italy.
A Canton is an area with distinct political rights similar to an Australian State. Canton Ticino consists of the upper Ticino River basin and is the only Canton where Italian is the main language, and we know that this was Bart’s mother tongue.
Contra and Tenero are located on the narrow stretch of rich river flats where the Ticino river empties into the northern end of Lake Maggiore.

Bart’s baptism certificate (Latin)


Family legend maintains that Bart’s father had remarried after the death of Mary, and Bart and his new step mother did not see eye to eye. John thought it best to get Bart out of the household, and gave him his fare to come to Australia.
On the 18th. of June 1875, some seventeen years after his arrival, Bart married Amelia Thorp, the daughter of Edmund Stephen Thorp and Isabella Halley (nee Black), at the Congregational Church Maryborough. Both were living at Adelaide Lead, a few miles out of Maryborough, where Bart was a wood splitter and charcoal burner.
Amelia had been born at German Gully, Fryers Creek (near Castlemaine) the family having settled at Adelaide Lead after a couple of moves within the State after their arrival from Van Dieman’s Land. Amelia’s English father was a shoemaker—a trade he had learned whilst in prison—her mother a Scottish country servant. Both were convicts transported originally to Van Dieman’s Land, who had been given their Freedom Certificates.
Bart and Amelia later moved to Nuggetty, an area near Waanyarra between Tarnagulla and Laanecoorie, where they began farming and raised their nine surviving children. Third child John had died in 1883 prior to their move. Their eldest daughter Mary Elizabeth married Edward Morton, a son of Michael Morton and Elizabeth Hawkins.

STURNI FAMILY GROUP
(L to R) Mary Elizabeth, Isabella, Amelia holding Angelina, Bart & John
It is my understanding that whilst the older children were christened as Catholics, some of the younger ones were not. The alleged reason for this makes a humourous story.
Apparently Bart became seriously ill and it was thought prudent to have the local priest attend to confer the last rites.
When however the priest demanded what Bart considered an outrageous fee for this service, he was given his marching orders. Bart recovered so well that he sired more children, all of whom were christened Presbyterian.
Another version of this story is that the priest refused to travel to Nuggetty because it happened to be raining very heavily, and that this was the reason for Bart’s disillusionment.
After a protracted period of illness with heart disease, Bart died in November 1904 and is buried in the Tarnagulla cemetery.
Amelia survived Bart by twenty six years during which time she twice married again—first in 1908 with Frederick De Heid, a French pastry cook, and after his death, again in 1913 with William Biggons.
Notwithstanding these two marriages Amelia was buried in the Tarnagulla plot with Bart, as his wife.

 

 ANOTHER STURNI STORY


By Mrs. Angela Rodoni
Great Grandaughter of Bart and Amelia

“On 19th February, 1858 Bartholomeo Sturni emigrated to Australia from the Port of Liverpool, U.K. on the S. S. Winefred. The Winefred, carrying 140 statute adults under the Shipmaster, Alexander Graham, arrived in the Colony of Victoria on 2nd June, 1858. Bartholomeo, aged 16, was listed as a farmer in the Winefred’s log book.

“Few made fortunes from the fickle whipstick gold and with the growth of quartz mining, as a group they (Swiss immigrants) turned increasingly to charcoal burning and timber-getting for the miners”. (Cusack ( 1 ))

At the time of his marriage in 1875 Bartholomew’s profession was that of a splitter. Dr. Gentilli stated that woodcutters and splitters and burners of charcoal could earn a little more than unskilled labourers, and a few who could buy horses set up business as timber or carting contractors. Their main problems were ignorance of language and the lack of capital. (Gentilli (2))
On 18th June, 1875 Bartholomeo Sturni married Amelia Thorp. Their marriage was celebrated by Minister William Allen in the Congregational Church in Adelaide Lead, Maryborough. Amelia was the fourth of seven children born to Edmund Stephen Thorp and Isabella (nee Black).
Amelia’s parents had come to Van Dieman’s Land courtesy of His Majesty’s Court system during the late 1830’s and early 1840’s respectively.
Amelia bore Bartholomeo ten children throughout their 29 years of marriage. Apparently the elder Sturni children were christened Catholics. The younger children in a direct defiance of a financial request taking precedence over a spiritual anointing when Bartholomeo lay on his death bed, were baptised into the Presbyterian faith.
Sarah, born at Waanyarra on Christmas Day, 1891 was the youngest child born to Amelia and Bartholomeo. Like her siblings, Sarah received her formal education in spasmodic bursts at the local school in Waanyarra until approximately twelve years of age. After the death of her beloved father in November, 1904 Sarah’s career, called “Going to Service” saw her move finally to the home of Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Gallagher. While Sarah worked for Mrs. Gallagher, she renewed her Catholic faith and met the “boy next door” Hugh Fitzpatrick. Hugh was the second youngest of thirteen children born to prominent Bradford/Maldon citizen Henry Fitzpatrick and his wife Mary (nee Clancy).
In May, 1916 Sarah and Hugh were married at St. Brigid’s RC Church, Maldon.

Hugh and Sarah on their Wedding day

Hugh Fitzpatrick and Sarah (nee Sturni)

During their 45 years of marriage they had nine children. It was not until 1930 when Hugh purchased a 1926 “Dodge” for £130, to replace Sarah’s faithful “Zulu and Buggy” that their family could travel together.
Apart from attending church, the Easter Procession and St Patrick’s Sports Day were the two social events on the calendar eagerly awaited by such large families typical of the Waanyarra, Shelbourne and Bradford district.
“Paddies Day” held at the local reserve clearing included such events as sheaf tossing, wood chopping, horse events, and were renowned for country-baked afternoon teas to be had for a bargain price. As the big day in March drew near one of Sarah’s sons, Joseph, remembers tacking posters on any and every available tree or post and marvelling at all that Paddies Day had to offer a youngster of the Depression era. He recalls witnessing twice the spectacular horsemanship displayed by Mrs. Murrell (later of ‘Garryowen’ fame). Local men, many of whom kept their wives pregnant or kitchen-tied, credited her with being equal to the best male riders of the district. A rare admission in such a male dominated society.
The climax of this family social gathering was the St. Patrick’s Day Handicap. Neighbouring farmers were anxious to race their prized hacks for the coveted Cup Day Trophy. In the early 1930’s Hugh and Sarah’s horse ’Slim Jim’, with jockey Walter Charles in the saddle, won this cup.
The trophy that year was a substantial purse of approximately £5. To this, Sarah added fifteen shillings and bought a fashionable silver coffee pot from a Maldon jeweller. This pot is now an heirloom to stay in the family of the eldest Fitzpatrick grandson.
Sarah, known as Sadie by Hugh, survived her husband by twenty-two years dying in August, 1983, aged 91 years. Although she missed seeing her first great-grandchild by four weeks, she is survived by her nine children and the legacy is further enhanced by 37 grandchildren and their succeeding new generation.
Life at the turn of the twentieth century was simple, a far cry from today’s sophisticated technology, and could be summed up by the philosophy “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work”. Just as the outbreak of World War 2 was to signal the end of Paddies Sports Day, a way of life for the man and his family on the land was also fading into the past.”

1. Cusack F, 1973 : Bendigo, A History, Heineman, Melbourne
2. Gentilli J, 1987 : The Settlement of Swiss Ticino Immigrants in Australia, Geowest 23. University of W.A.

 

AND ANOTHER STURNI STORY

Ohrt and Sturni Families
By Pat. Harris

“My great grandparents were the Ohrt and Sturni families. The Ohrts arrived at Waanyarra in 1904. They were Johanna and Emest and their four children, Mary 11, Vera 9, Hugh 7 and Phyllis 4.
Mary and Vera married the two Sturni brothers, Peter and Andrew. Hugh fought in the First World War and received two medals. In the 1920’s he died in Melbourne from injuries received during the war.


Front

Back

HUGH OHRT’S MEDAL
Inscription
“Presented to Pte H. Ohrt from his Waanyarra friends on his return from the war – 1917”

Mary married Peter Sturni in 1911. They had four children who were all born near Waanyarra. They were Doris, Victor, Iris and William. Mary and Peter left Waanyarra after their two sons, William and Victor joined the army to go to the Second World War. Some of their possessions sold at their clearing sale are listed below:-

Pump 2/6d
Chains 3/-
Tyres 3/-
Cradle & Dishes 3/6d
Broad Axe 8/-
Chair I/-
Cross cut saw I/-
Dish and Bath 1 0/-
Side board 3/6d
Aladdin Lamp £1/12/6d
. Butter dish and jug I/-

Vera married Andrew Sturni in 1914 and they had seven children, Alan, Violet, Doreen, John, Joan, Harold and Hugh.
Peter and Mary were married for 63 years and Vera and Andrew were married for 52 years. Both couples are buried near each other in the Tarnagulla cemetery.
The Ohrt family lived near the Waanyarra 1879 school. The grandchildren would have a nice hot lunch at their grandparent’s home nearly every day. Today only the chimney of the house remains as evidence that there was a house there.
Hugh never married. He used to have a motorbike and when he came home on leave he’d give all his nieces and nephews rides on it.
Phyllis was born in 1900. She married twice, first to Tom Smith who died in 1929, then to “Doc” Dermody.
My great grandparents, Amelia and Bartholomew Sturni, lived at Waanyarra for several years. They arrived there about 1890.
Bartholomew died in 1904 and Amelia in 1930 at Dunolly. They are buried together at Tarnagulla.
Emest and Johanna Ohrt are buried at Dunolly, they were married for 42 years.”

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John Moten—His Crime, His Trial, The Verdict

Extracts from the “Nenagh Guardian” of the day.

 

 

 

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Tobacco growing in Waanyarra

TOBACCO GROWING AT WAANYARRA 

Tobacco was first grown at Waanyarra in the summer of 1864-65. Mr. Thomas Leech planted ½ acre crop at Grassy Flat, the fertile creek flats North of Morton’s Welcome Inn. The venture was successful, so the following season he planted a larger area.
After dismissing the belief that the locally grown product was inferior, he sold the crop for 3/- a pound.
Mr Leech then constructed a press which was used to press the produce into a more saleable item at 4/- a pound.
In the years 1866-67 Mr. Leech planted an acre of tobacco which yielded around ½ a ton. The crop, when cured and pressed, was sold for 4/6d. a pound.
Mr. Leech’s venture gained much notoriety in the Waanyarra neighbourhood, and in the following season the crop was again a success, with more acres being planted.
In the 1868 Waanyarra Postal Directory a Mrs. Mueller of Mosquito was listed as a Tobacco grower, so there was no doubt that Mr. Leech’s tobacco venture caused interest.

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Other years

A listing of some events, some humourous, some tragic, some natural and some not, that have been documented as part of Waanyarra’s colourful history.
Do you have any such recollections that may be worthy of inclusion on this page?
See home page for contact details.

1862
In January, 1862 temperatures soared to 118 degrees F and 120degrees F in the shade. The following week temperatures went as low as 45 degrees F.

1863
“On Saturday night last, the 14th instant, I was milking the cows in the yard when I heard a child scream.
I ran to the house immediately and saw the deceased outside the door with her clothes on fire.
I ran to her and tore her clothes off.”

This is part of the statement made by Michael Morton at the inquest into the death of his daughter Elizabeth, who died on November 16th 1863, aged 4, from burns she received when her nightdress was set alight by the candle she had been playing with.

Her sister Catherine testified:-
“I remember Saturday night last I was in the kitchen with my sister.
She cut up a candle into small pieces and was burning ants with them on the table – I did not see her clothes catch fire – I fell asleep and awoke when I heard my sister scream – she was then in the yard”

Other sections of statements made by the Doctor who attended, of Michael, and a witness Lachlan Roberts, tell of the treatment of her burns with salad oil and grated potato.
Elizabeth is buried in the family grave in the Waanyarra Historic cemetery.

1865
Cholera was believed to be the cause of death of Mr. Peter Campbell of Waanyarra. Mr. Campbell took ill and died only a few hours after returning from Dunolly on 15th April.

Seik Cassin, a native of Calcutta, died in his tent at Long Gully on the 24th August. The inquest revealed that he died from the want of proper nourishment.
Dr. McGregor performed the post mortem.

1868
Burns caused the death of John Frayne, a native of Devonshire, England, aged 38. The inquest was held at the White Swan Hotel in July, 1868. The verdict was that he had died from burns received when he fell into a fire. Mr. John Frayne, who was the cousin of Dunolly Publican, Peter Frayne, had been in Victoria for 15 years.

1872
An inquest was held into the death of Stephen Holtz (real name – Pozzi, a native of Switzerland) who collapsed and died when returning to his hut at Deadman’s Gully after visiting “The Welcome Inn” at Jones’ Creek, where he had been served beer by Michael Morton’s eldest daughter Catherine.
The inquest was held at Morton’s “Welcome Inn” on 18th September, 1872.

On Saturday, 28th September, 1872, Mrs. Mary Beiza of Waanyarra was returning to her home at Mosquito Gully from Morton’s Welcome Inn, when she slipped and fell into an old mine shaft nearly full of water. She fortunately had on an unusually large crinoline, which she states kept her afloat in the water, or she would certainly have drowned. Mrs. Beiza called for help, and after some time, grabbed a bush, dragged herself out and made her way slowly home.
The following day she was taken to the Dunolly Hospital where it was discovered her left arm was broken below the shoulder.

1873
1st February, 1873 saw the heaviest flooding known at Jones’ Creek. Water completely covered the surface of the road. The bridge over Jones’ Creek was severely damaged – the solid creek banks washed away at the abutment leaving a gap of 8 ft. wide, 10 fl long and 5 ft. deep. The cost of lining the abutment and wings with two inch planking and fixing the approaches would cost from £12 to £14.

1874
The suspected “murder” on the Tamagulla road was finally believed to be a case of suicide.
On 14th September, behind a large fallen Ironbark tree at the side of the road, a man was found hanging by a cord from his neck. The cord was fastened to the limb of a tree about 4 ft. from the ground. At the inquest it was considered that the man could not have hanged himself.
On 22nd September, the body was exhumed and identified by a resident of Jones’Creek as being that of Godford Ludwig Dancel Thiedmann. The informant had seen Thiedmann tramping along the road in great pain. Thiedmann had been a patient of Amherst Hospital and on the 4th September left Talbot on his way to Dunolly and the Riverina. It was said that he told his mate not to be surprised if he committed suicide.
On 6th October, it was reported that the body had been exhumed again and viewed. The coffin was then closed and lowered into the grave. It was finally believed the death was due to suicide.

1875
January, 1875. Large flocks of locusts passed through the district causing havoc to gardens. No rain of consequence had fallen for eight weeks. Creeks and waterholes had dried up and it was difficult to get sufficient household water supplies. Wheat prices were 4/2d to 4/6d a bushel, oats 4/- to 4/6d, hay £3 to £4 per ton, straw 30/- to 40/- per ton.

An earth tremor was felt in a north-south direction at Jones’ Creek and surrounding areas on Ist March, 1875. Houses were shaken and doors banged. The tremor lasted from 10 to 15 seconds.

1878
At Jones’ Creek on 12th June, the death occurred of James Evans, native of Birmingham, England.
Mr. Evans, who was aged 72 was one of the first settlers to arrive at Port Phillip on the “Enterprise” with John Pascoe Fawkner.
Mr. Evans was a sawyer whe had two sawpits in Elizabeth Street on the site of the Melbourne Post Office. There he cut timber for Cole’s Wharf on the Yarra, for the Melbourne Gaol as well as some of the main buildings in Melbourne.
When the goldrush started, Mr. Evans left Melbourne and had been at Jones’ Creek since 1855.

1879
Mr. and Mrs. Barnes of Grassy Flat, Waanyarra had their home destroyed by fire on 26th February, 1879. Nothing was saved. Pigs were roasted in their sties. News of the elderly couple’s loss spread to Jones’ Creek where at a sale a collection of £6.7.6d was taken up.

1888
7th December, 1888. Mrs. Burns of the Waanyarra Store stumbled while putting up the shutters. She sustained a head wound which resulted in loss of blood and her confinement to bed.

There was greater scarcity of water in the Waanyarra/Tarnagulla farming district in 1888. But for the dam built by the Bet-Bet Shire, hundreds of cattle would have died.

A. Burns, son of James Burns, Waanyarra, Post Master and very old resident, died on 9th February. The following day he was buried at Waanyarra Cemetary. The Rev. McLellan conducted the service.
The late Mr. Burns was a cricketer and Secretary of the Waanyarra Presbyterian Church.

1896
Bushfires were prevalent around Dunolly because of excessive heat a few days prior to 10th January, 1896. Fires were raging at Waanyarra and Arnold West.

1900
Mrs. Caroline Gourley died on 2nd February, from burns she received when she fell into the fire. Mrs. Gourley, who was aged 70, was buried at Waanyarra.

1902
On 8th January, Thomas Jones aged 73 years was found dead in his hut at Waanyarra. Mr. Jones, who had been a resident of the district for many years, was buried at Tamagulla. Police found £100 and valuables in his hut.

In May, the death of Henry Raven occurred at Waanyarra. The late Mr. Raven, who was 74 years of age, was a native of Norwich, England. Prior to coming to Waanyarra he had been a miner at Bendigo and Inglewood.

1902
On 21 st January, 1902 a severe wind and dust storm struck the district. Trees were blown down, houses unroofed and apples, pears and peaches blown off the trees.

18th March, 1902 saw two cases of diphtheria reported from Waanyarra.

1903
Waanyarra residents complained to the Shire of defective sanitary arrangements and sought improvement in January, 1903.

On Tuesday, 3rd March, 1903 heavy rain from thunderstorms filled dams and waterholes and caused creeks to flow strongly. At Waanyarra claims were flooded and work was suspended for some time. By the end of the month the Waanyarra Rush was still recovering from the recent floods, and returns were the smallest for some time. Holes in the creek had fallen in and would be dangerous to work. The claim of E. Williamson was said to be the best on the creek.

There was a failing off in numbers at the rush by early April, 1903, due to the danger caused by the large volume of water in the creek. McPherson and Co.’s claim near the creek was suddenly flooded, but the miners escaped in time. Water was being pumped from claims.

1910
The death of Mr. Thomas Comrie, ex M. L.A. was reported in August. He was a native of Perthshire, Scotland and came to Victoria in 1856 at the age of 25.
Mr. Comrie found his way to Jones’ Creek where he was employed by the firm of Thomson and Turnbull. The business later transferred to Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla). When Mr. Turnbull died, Mr. Comrie entered into business, and on Mr. Thomson’s death in 1876, he became the Proprietor of the entire company. Mr. Comrie also acquired the Tarnagulla Roller Flour Milling Co.

1917
Mrs. Maunders, aged 88 years, a devout church member at Waanyarra, died in December. Her funeral was held at Tarnagulla.

1919
This year was classed as a drought year. Conditions were as bad as in 1888.

1922
One of the heaviest thunderstorms ever known by residents of Waanyarra took place on Sunday morning, 26th February, 1922 when over eight inches of rain fell in a few hours. An immense flood in Jones’ Creek and Grassy Flat Creek rose above the previous records.
A lot of damage was done, hardly a settler on the flats escaping.
Flood waters swept away miles and miles of fencing, swamped houses, damaged haystacks, spoilt stored grain in barns and gardens and dams were destroyed. Fortunately, there was not much loss in stock.
Many of the residents spent an anxious time until the floodwaters receded. Among the chief sufferers were Messrs. De Santis, Maunder, Bofill, Morton, Douthat, Williams, Locket, Jones, Scholes and the brothers Williamson.
The roads suffered badly, some were almost impassable.

1922
0n 4th June, the death of William Davies of Waanyarra occurred. The late Mr. Davies, aged 66 years, was a native of Tasmania. He had been in Victoria about 20 years.

1931
Mr. Robert Soulsby of Rheola died on 26th May, aged 70 years. He was a native of Waanyarra and spent his boyhood at “Secret Hill’. From 1890 to 1924 he conducted the Post Office at Rheola.

1941
On 23rd March, the Dunolly Express reported the death of Harry Boan of Perth, Western Australia, at the age of 80 years.
His father, Thomas, conducted the White Swan Hotel for many years at Waanyarra.
Harry was the founder and governing director of Boans Ltd., Perth, established 40 years before.
When he died, the store employed 1,200.
Born in 1860 at Dunolly, he went to Ballarat at the age of 18 and worked in a warehouse for 5/- per week and meals. He later became a traveller for the business, and received 50 shillings weekly. He worked in Melbourne; then in Sydney where he sold quilts.
With £200 entrusted to him by his parents, he and his brother opened a business at Broken Hill which had a turnover of £ 1,000 for some time.
In 1895, he sold out and with another brother, Benjamin, founded Boan Bros. on a site which was little more than swampland in Perth. A single storey shop was erected on a quarter acre site.
On opening night, Perth residents were brought to the store, free of cost, in a fleet of cabs.
In 194l,the store covered 8 acres and its capital value was £1,000,M.
Benjamin Boan died in 1901, and Harry carried on.
The business name was changed to Boans Ltd. in 1918.
Mr. Boan was a Life Governor of Dunolly Hospital, and some years ago when visiting the institution, presented a wireless set and the cost of installation to each bed. (Back)

On 17th August, 1941, Mrs. Mary Cheetham died in Tarnagulla at the age of 99 years. She arrived with her parents from England, and attracted by the gold rushes, the family went to Waanyarra and later moved to Tarnagulla.
Her husband, James Cheetham was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, and the first member for Dunolly in the Assembly. He was Secretary of the Bet Bet Shire.

Mr. Cheetham died when thrown from a buggy when the horse bolted.”
(Dunolly Express, March 25, 1941)

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Campbell

John and Margaret Campbell
John Campbell– born March 29 1832 Laigh Glencroe Farm, Lochgoilhead Parish, Argyll, Scotland
Arrived in the Colony of Victoria at Port Phillip on the 11th March 1853 at the age of 21 years from the port of Greenock, Scotland on the ship “Malabar.” The ship carried all Scots emigrants. He was accompanied by his two eldest brothers – Peter (28 yrs) and Alexander (25yrs). John had learnt his Blacksmith trade in Glasgow.

Margaret Patterson– born August 8 1843 Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland
At the age of 11 years had arrived in the Colony of Victoria with her parents and siblings on the 17th September 1854 from Scotland via Liverpool. UK, on the ship “Queen of the East”.

We do not know the actual movements of John prior to his marriage, but the background to his movements would be based on the very early days of the various “Rushes”. The principal town of the district was Dunolly which was first established under Canvas in 1853, after a couple of small Rushes. In the same year the first rush to Jones Creek occurred
Dunolly got a major boost in July 1856 when huge quantities of rich Nuggets were discovered in the “The Old Lead” next to the original track/road leading in a Northerly direction to Jones Creek. These finds brought 40,000 diggers and associated people to the town.
This “Rush” stripped all the miners from diggings for miles around. The main street ran for 3 miles with shops on both sides by September 1856.
This Rush was only exceeded in numbers by the Rush that founded Maryborough, and such was the frenzy and intensity of finds by the diggers at Dunolly that by February 1857 things had died down and people were leaving, to go to other areas.
Jones Creek had another Rush in late 1857 which attracted about 4000 diggers.
John and his brothers Peter and Alexander may have come to the district in either the 1853 or 1856 Dunolly Rushes or in the Rushes to Jones Creek in 1853 and 1857. Unconfirmed information from another branch of the family indicates that the brothers may have been also at the Ballarat diggings in 1853 for a while.
We only have one “fact” that the brothers were in the district at that time. Peter Campbell married Catherine Stoddart at Castlemaine in January 1857. They gave their place of residence as “Jones Creek” and his occupation given as “Storekeeper”. One of his brothers Alexander Campbell was the witness
The writer feels this indicates that they were in the Dunolly district until at least 1856 because the 3 brothers would have stuck together where possible.
There is another possible link in that an Alexander Campbell was listed as a miner at Muligoil in the 1856 Electoral Roll. This place was few miles to the West of Dunolly. That person may be our Alexander.
John Campbell and Peter Campbell not listed on this roll.
In December 1858, Robert one of Johns younger brothers arrived from Scotland with two of his youngest siblings Donald and Dugald. Family Legend says that John taught his brother Robert the trade of Blacksmithing for 4 years over a period after January 1859.
John aged 26 years married Margaret Patterson of Tarnagulla aged 16 years on 21 January 1859 at Dunolly. The witness was William Patterson. (Margaret’s father)
John gave his occupation as “Miner” and place of residence “Jones Creek”
Johns mother Jane arrived in December 1858 from Scotland so it is likely that his wedding was arranged to coincide with her arrival.
After their marriage John and Margaret returned to Jones Creek /Waanyarra, which was about four miles North-East of Dunolly.
John originally was a miner then later set up business in his trade of blacksmith in the town. Probably on the main road into Dunolly.
What kind of house did they live in? Probably under canvas at first then under wooden framed, calico lined and corrugated or flat iron sheets building or shelters. Some houses were made of mud brick walls and tin roofs
Their first five children were born in the district:
1- Isobella in 1859 in Jones Creek
2 -Agnes in 1861 in Dunolly
3 -Margaret in 1863 in Jones Creek
4 -Alexander in 1865 in Dunolly
5 – William in 1867 in Dunolly
A comment on where John and Margaret’s first five children were born will be made. We wondered why they were born in the two different locations.
Midwives were the main deliverers of babies and their skills varied. The parents of the child made the choice, and experience and worth of the midwives would have been of importance, so the actual locations did not matter.
Isobella, Agnes and Margaret would have received schooling at Jones Creek. They would have attended School No 339 until the family left in circa 1868.

(Accents – John and Margaret would have had broad Scottish accents. Their first children would have heard their parents talk everyday. Did the children have Scottish accents or not. Schools were not widespread then. When did the distinctive Australian accent originate? The writers Grandfather -Donald born 1876 at Timor had an Aussie accent. He went to school in Timor from circa 1881. Does this mean his schoolteachers had the Aussie accent? Where did he pick it up? The writer poses these questions for the readers to ponder on.)

The locations of where John and his brothers and their families lived up until 1868 not known.
In 1863 the families suffered the loss of their mother Jane who died of Pneumonia after three weeks illness on the September 28th. Jane was buried at the Waanyarra Cemetery. Her eldest son Peter was the witness.
Further bad news struck the family when the eldest son Peter contracted English Typhoid and after 24 hrs illness died on April 8th 1865. Peter was buried at the Waanyarra Cemetery. His brother Donald was the witness. Peter’s death was reported in local paper and is recorded on the Waanyarra Web site.
More bad news followed when on December 6th 1865 Peters youngest of his three children, Alexander passed away after a short illness. Alexander was also buried at the Waanyarra Cemetery.

John’s five brothers were in the Jones Creek area for many years.
1-Peter from circa 1856 to his death in April 1865
2 -Alexander from circa 1856 until at least Jan 1857 – We have lost him after that
3 -Robert from Dec 1858 until he finished his apprenticeship with John in 1862. Robert went to Maryborough area at Norwood Station then returned, and married in Dunolly in 1865 to Caroline Eliza Rice of Melbourne, and returned to Norwood. They went on to have thirteen children.
4 – Donald from Dec 1858 until 1868- We have lost him after that
5 – Dugald from Dec 1858 until? – We had lost him. Recently a photo of him taken in NZ has turned up.
(Many certificates were ordered trying to find the missing brothers with no luck)

In circa 1868 John and Margaret with their five children loaded all their possessions on their horses and drays/carts and moved South-East to the Timor district located on the northern side of Bet Bet creek where John opened another Blacksmith shop on the banks of the same creek. John and Margaret ran this business for many years, and their sons assisted them as they grew up. Their next ten children were born at Timor. Sixty seven grandchildren arrived after that and their descendants in turn are scattered all over this wide brown land called Australia.

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Barelli

Gail Cox (Great Grand daughter of William Barelli)
writes
Edwin Barelli was born in Bristol England on 21st August 1822, he was a
Coachbuilder,he and his wife Ammelia Hiatt migrated to Australia
(unassisted passage) aboard the “Vanguard” in 1862. Four children
accompanied them, Maria aged 16, William aged 10, Rosa aged 5 and Henry
1 year old.
This family lived at Waanyarra, William married Ellen Addison (born at
Tarnagulla in 1860, the daughter of Andrew Addison and Isabella Lawson )
on the 8th April 1879. William and Ellen had eight children, the
eldest two, Florence was born in 1880 at Tarnagulla and William born in
1884 at Sandhurst. The next two children Louis and Ruby were born in
Ringwood and the next four Norman, Vivian, Percy and Reginald were born
at Mitcham. At this stage of my research I do not know exactly when the
family moved to Melbourne, nor do I have any information on the Addison
Family.
I have a photograph of Ellen Addison Barelli taken when she was a middle
aged woman in Melbourne.

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Ballier’s 1868 Victorian Directory for Jones’ Creek

BAILLIER’S 1868 VICTORIAN DIRECTORY

JONES’ CREEK;
Loddon District; Postal Village; Dist from Melb 113 miles
Samuel Heming, C Sch Teacher, Thomas Comrie Postmaster
———————————-
Allen William, storekeeper
Anderson James, miner
Argnani Augusto, inkmaker
Aubrey David, miner
Baker Charles, miner
Barns Thomas, tailor, Grassy Flat
Benson Robert, dairyman, Mosquito Gully
Berry John, farmer, Grassy Flat
Boan Thomas, publican
Britten James, miner
Burns James, butcher
Campbell Donald, miner
Campbell John, blacksmith
Carewickham J, brickmaker, Long Gully
Cogswell James, gunsmith
Comrie Thomas, postmaster
Daly James and William, miners
Derrick William, miner
Douthat William, dairyman, Mosquito Gully
Draper Alexander, miner, Grassy Flat
Elliott Henry Felix, storekeeper
Frayne John, carpenter
Galliene Nicholas, Farmer, Mosquito Gully
Gibbs John, storekeeper
Gourlay James, wheelwright
Graham George, farmer, Mosquito Gully
Grimsdale Edward, farmer
Head Benjamin saddler, Dunolly road
Heming Samuel, schoolmr, Secret Hill
Herton Benjamin, gardener, Eddington
Holland M, wheelwright, Mosquito Gully
Holt Mrs, cowkeeper, Dunolly rd
Holt William, dairyman
James Joseph, farmer, Mosquito Gully
Johnstone R, storekeeper, Dunolly rd
Jones John, farmer, Mosquito
Leech Thomas, dairyman, Grassy Flat
Lester Harman, miner, Mosquito Gully
Lockey Thomas, farmer, Mosquito Gully
Manby Emanuel, dairyman, Mosquito Gully
Mc`Corkindale D, baker, Dunolly rd
Mc`Donald John, miner
Morrisey James, storekpr, Long Gully
Morrison D, carpenter, Long Gully
Morton Michael, storekeeper, Mosquito Gully
Mueller Mrs, tobacco grower, Mosquito Gully
Page Richard, miner, Williams Gully
Pearce Charles, miner, Dunolly rd
Peck John, miner, Barns Flat
Rands Edward, gardener, Grassy Flat
Richardson James, miner
Robertson Edward, miner, Barns Flat
Robson John, blacksmith, Dunolly rd
Samson Thomas, miner, Secret Hill
Scholes Robert, gardener, Mosquito Gully
Sharp James, miner
Thomson George, JP, Waanyarra
Thomson James, shoemaker
Turner Mary, gardener, Dunolly rd
Vaughan Law, miner, Williams Gully
Williams Henry, miner, Mosquito Gully

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Chinese people on the goldfields

CHINESE ON THE GOLDFIELDS

CHINESE MAN ON GOLDFIELDS NEAR WAANYARRA
Note the use of flattened out kerosene tins on the walls.

By early 1857 things had quietened down at the Jones’ Creek diggings. But there was still the steady stream of “locals” and Chinese working the gullies, some having large finds.
The Chinese were well aware of the richness of the Jones’ Creek alluvial field and left the
Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla) diggings during the week of the big finds at Jones’ Creek.

The Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, on 15 th September, 1857 reported:-
“After their (the Chinese) departure, the remains of the camp were set fire to, partly we presume to purify the locality from the filth and dirt which are an integral part of Chinese encampments and partly to leave no inducements for fresh hordes of wandering Mongolians to favour Sandy Creek with their presence”.

Racial undercurrents were strong during the gold rush period although there was a reasonable racial tolerance by the British immigrants toward the non-British immigrants.
There was no question that Australia at that time was following the British way of life. British customs and British law prevailed. Other nationalities mined together and there was a sense of harmony among the different groups until anti Chinese feelings arose. In many places there were riots and murders. Some stories which have been handed down, tell of Chinese being murdered and dumped down diggers” holes and nothing being done to detect the culprits. Mine holes at Jones’ Creek are said to hide many Chinese miners murdered this way.
Non Chinese regarded Chinese customs and language with a great amount of suspicion. Antagonism developed and disputes arose. The non Chinese were alarmed at the large number of Chinese on the diggings and feared they would be over-run. Most non Chinese were ignorant of the Chinese way of life, they saw their livelihood threatened by people who were prepared to work over the tailings and those areas abandoned by other diggers.
Generally, the Chinese worked in large groups and kept to themselves. They were painstaking and hard working and as a result were very often successful. Hostilities arose because diggers saw the Chinese as depriving them of wealth and opportunities, especially the chance to go back over the old diggings. Others saw the Chinese as decadent and a threat to the morals of the white female population. But this was just another ploy to discredit the Chinese as morals were being threatened by the white diggers daily.
The total population of Chinese on the diggings is unclear as many walked across land from South Australia. The 1861 Census Returns recorded 24,732 – being 24,724 males and 8 females.
Burnt Creek(Bromley) was the site of a large settlement of Chinese, who had many notable gold finds. The settlement became an integral part of the Dunolly area and boasted a Joss House. It was reported that a Chinese named Ah Hing walked there from Waanyarra to worship regularly.
Wong Ying, a Chinese youth from Canton came to Dunolly to work for his uncle in a grocery shop. Wong Ying’s work and diligence allowed him to purchase the
Terminus Hotelin Dunolly. It is said that he once had a mine at Waanyarra. There is documentary proof that he sent gold back to China at one time and he made a visit to his home country, where he married. Alone, he arrived back in Australia and married a European woman.
The Ying family ran the Terminus Hotel until 1956, when it closed. Wong Ying was a respected and successful member of the Dunolly community.
His grand-daughter, who lives at Waanyarra, says that his money was made by hard work and tenacity rather than luck.

Information of any involvement of Chinese people in the Waanyarra area would be welcome.

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Edmund and Isabella Thorp

 EDMUND & ISABELLA THORP

Edmund Stephen Thorp

The background stories of this man and his wife Isabella show them to be two of Waanyarra’s most interesting early pioneers.
Edmund was the fourth child of John Robert Thorp and Mary Ann Stevens who were married on January 12th. 1821. He was christened on the 15th. of October 1826, at the Stepney Spitalfields Christ Church in London.
A census shows the family lived in Fashion St. John was a porter of some description.
On the 13th. of June 1836 young Edmund pleaded guilty in the Old Bailey Central Court to having stolen four sovereigns and two half sovereigns from his father.
He could not yet have reached twelve years of age, but was sentenced to seven years transportation!
After sentencing Edmund was confined on the old prison ship hulk the “EURYALLUS”, probably for the whole of the fifteen months until he was placed aboard the convict transport ship “ROYAL SOVEREIGN” which sailed for Van Dieman’s Land on September 7th. 1837, arriving January 9th. 1838.
Perhaps he and his father organised this “robbery” so that the young lad could have a better life in the Antipodes? Maybe Edmund was indeed a bit of a rebel. His convict record shows that he gave the authorities many opportunities to punish him with solitary confinement on bread and water, hard labour and even instances of “stripes” with the lash.

Typical entries in Edmunds Convict Record include :-

Repeatedly absenting himself from the muster grounds when confined thereto, and insolent conduct when reported—3 days solitary confinement on B & W. Pt. Ar. (Port Arthur)
Positively refusing to wash up a mess kit when ordered by an overseer—12 stripes on the breach. (Cleft or crack—“Backside”) Ed.
Secreting bread on his person contrary to orders—48 hours solitary confinement on B & W. Pt. Ar.
Making use of imperfect language and absenting himself from the muster ground—3 days solitary confinement Pt. Ar.
Misconduct in being on the racecourse without leave, representing himself further attempting to pick pockets—12 months hard labour.

Pt Ar. = Port Arthur B & W = Bread and Water

Edmund was given his freedom certificate in 1844.
He died in December 1885 and is buried in the Amherst cemetery where his burial plot is marked by a small bronze plaque erected by his descendants.


ISABELLA HALLEY (nee Black)

Isabella was born in Falkirk Scotland, circa 1820. From her criminal records we know that she had sisters Mary and Elizabeth, and a brother James. Her mother was Elizabeth.
Isabella was described as a country servant.
She married Alexander Halley on September 3rd. 1841 in the town of Stirling, Parish of Falkirk
On the 21st. of November 1842, Halley had been found guilty of robbery and assault, and exiled for seven years. At this time Isabella and Alexander had one child.
Halley arrived at Corio Geelong aboard the “
SIR GEORGE SEYMOUR” in March 1845.
Like Edmund Thorp he had been taught the trade of shoemaking whilst in gaol.
Tried at the Stirling Court of Susticiary on April 21st. 1845 for stealing £86 from cattle dealer John Robinson, an assault and stealing a pair of boots, Isabella was sentenced to seven years transportation, twelve months gaol and twenty days gaol respectively. Her convict record shows she had been twice previously convicted and had “bad connections.”
Isabella arrived in Van Dieman’s Land on June 5th. 1846. She had travelled on the “
EMMA EUGENIA”, a thirteen year old ship built at Whitby Yorkshire, the port where James Cook worked as an apprentice shipwright.
Edmund and Isabella must have met soon after her arrival—probably at the expiration of her six months gang probation—as their first child was born circa 1848, another in August 1850 and another in 1852.
They married in Hobart on the 21st. of February 1853. Isabella had been given her Ticket of Leave in November 1849 and her Freedom Certificate in April 1852.
Isabella must have decided to bury her past and forget all about husband Alexander and their child. She described herself as a spinster on her marriage certificate and gave her name as Black. She also knocked a few years off her age stating that she was twenty eight, when she was more likely to have been thirty three. Edmund also lost a couple of years!
Precisely when the family moved to Victoria has not been established, but they had set up home at Fryers Creek by mid 1854 when
Amelia was born.
Isabella survived Edmund by almost twenty three years, eventually dying at the Bendigo Asylum in August 1908.
She was buried in an unrecorded location at the White Hills cemetery Bendigo. Her burial there is marked by a small bronze plaque in the memorial area established for the recognition of people buried in unknown locations in the cemetery.

THE THORP FAMILY
By Dick Thorp (Born I907) at Waanyarra
Youngest Child of William Harvey Thorp and Elizabeth Jane Stone

I went to school at Waanyarra in I913. There were about I50 pupils going to the school then, with only two teachers and a sewing mistress. When I left school there were only 35 pupils and one teacher, the gold mining people had left the area by then.
We had dances and “send-offs” at the school. The “send-offs” were mainly for the ones going to the First World War. I remember reciting’When I grow up to be a man, I want to be a sailor if I can’, I was dressed up in a sailor’s uniform. Dick Douthat played the accordian at the dances. But before his time Albert Chamberlain used to come along and play his violin.
Waanyarra had a cricket team. The pitch was up the road past the school on the right, near the Dunolly road.
There were a lot of houses at Waanyarra in the old days. Ravens had the Post office, Cogswells had a store where we used to get our bread and other things, Jarrys had the ‘White Swan Pub’, sister Sarah had her wedding turnout there. I don’t remember Morton’s old stone place ever being a pub. I remember it being a store which sold wine and beer. It was never run as a pub as far as I can remember.
When we were kids there was never a kangaroo or a wallaby about. Now they’re thick through the bush. There were plenty of fruit trees around Waanyarra. Bohwen Douthat had beautiful fruit trees, peaches, apricots, pears, figs, quinces, apples.
Mortons had beautiful apples. You’d walk up there and you could smell the apples, they had like a white fur over them. They were beautiful apples to eat.
The first person I can remember to have a car at Waanyarra was Ed. Scholes. He bought a’Chev. Four I think it was. Then ’lcksey’ Jones got a ’T Model’ Ford, Aulichs also had a car.
We had kerosene lamps for lighting and a Coolgardie safe on legs for keeping the food cool. We got most of our meat from the butcher, but we always had a pig to kill every year. Jack Cogswell used to come over and kill it for us. We’d pickle a lot of the meat and also have some for bacon.
In the dry seasons we’d often run out of tank water, then we’d cart water from a natural spring at Bohwen Douthat’s place. It was beautiful water. A lot of people use to say the water came from the dam nearby, but it didn’t. The well would have to be cleaned out every year, the sides were all stones and the the water used to seep in and settle. You could see that water coming out between the stones.
After the rain we’d often go “ specking” for gold. We’d get a lot of gold off the old heaps. Mum used to go out and ’dish’ the heaps, she’d get quite a lot of gold sometimes. We also dug for gold during the depression. There was still an awful lot of gold around then.
The nephew, Dick Douthat and I got 35 ounces of gold from a place at the top end of Long Gully called “Toss Up”. Dick was Bohwen Douthat’s son. Bohwen married my sister, Sarah.
I left Waanyarra when I was about 25. I went to different places working. I was at Mildura grape picking, wood cutting, spraying oranges and that sort of thing. I was married at Korong Vale to Mary Grace Meriton. We lived at Waanyarra over behind Bohwen’s then moved to Baker’s old place. A while after that we went to Melbourne and I worked as a wood machinist. Then I went to the war and spent I3 months on the Kokoda Trail, I don’t want to go back there. I got my Fitter’s Certificate after the war and worked at the Ordnance Factory for I6 years, then I got a job at the Railway workshops in Bendigo.
During the Depression I worked with Ed. (Edgar, old Ted Mortons son) Morton for a while cutting eucalyptus shoots. ‘Knocking shoots’ was about the only job you could get then. It was good work. We made about £4.I0.0 a week, we’d start at about 7.30 a.m. We’d cut in an area about six or seven miles around Waanyarra and towards Dunolly.
The ‘eucy’ was taken by truck back to the Government Eucalyptus plant at Waanyarra. Jimmy Read rented the factory from the Government and ran the plant. Jimmy was a Scotsman, he also had a store in Tarnagulla.
Crowds of people came to Waanyarra during the I930’s Depression. They used to get three months work on the State Forest cutting down trees. We’d cut the butt legs off the trees then the townspeople would cut the rest up, and stack the bushes and that sort of thing. It was funny to see them cutting a tree down. They had no idea, they were absolutely useless. William Harvey Thorp and his wife, Elizabeth Jane (nee Stone) came to live at Waanyarra around I897. With them were their three children, Harriet, Rose and Sarah. In the following years more children were born to Elizabeth and William. Emma was born in I899, Edwin John in I904 and Richard in I907.
William worked as a forestry foreman in the Waanyarra district. His wife Elizabeth often walked, pushing a pram to Dunolly to the Doctor or to get supplies. This was, even in those times, considered a long walk with small children in tow.
All the Thorp children went to the Waanyarra school.
Harrict married Jack Thomas and lived in Dunolly. Sarah married Bohwen Douthat and lived at Waanyarra.
Rose married Eddie Thomas, a soldier who served in France. They lived in Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong at various times over the years.
Emma married Frank Tomlin, whom she met whilst working in Melbourne.
Edwin (Ted) married Dorothy Else at Tarnagulla in I935. They lived in the old Thorp family home at Waanyarra. Ted and Dorothy had three daughters during the time they lived there, Alison, Dorothy and Elizabeth (Betty). Alison and Dorothy attended school at Waanyarra. Richard went away to work at Korongvale. He married Grace Merriton at Tarnagulla. During World War 2 Richard served overseas in the armed forces.
Elizabeth Jane Thorp (nee Stone) moved to Dunolly after the death of her husband, William Harvey Thorp in I933.

Waanyarra

By Dorothy Gordon (nee Thorp)

“My first memories of Waanyarra are of a small farm with one cow, one horse, a few hens, a Rosella and a pet Curlew.
My cousin Nancy Joslin, my sister Alison and I would roam the bush at will picking wildflowers and playing in the creek. One time we had stayed out too late and were afraid to go home because we’d be in trouble. We could hear people calling for us and see our parents searching for us, but we hid until they went past, then ran home. We did not know the worry we caused or of the dangers our parents knew were around us, we were happy wandering about picking everlasting daisies and wax flowers in the beautiful bush. I was very young at that time and could not help myself when all was calm and everyone was glad to see us safe, I said ‘Uncle Bert, we hid, we tricked you’. I don’t think I will ever forget that day.
We would often walk along the dry creek bed to visit Grandpa Else. He always made time to read to us from his many bird books. He was very clever at wood carving and taxidermy, using local animals and birds as his subjects. Grandma Else was not a very active or healthy person, but she would knit us socks and toys.
We looked forward to the days Meer Khan the Indian hawker would arrive with his wagon filled with pots and pans, materials for making clothes, knitting wool and all kinds of things. He would give us ribbons or pretty buttons for our new jumpers.
We walked to school, calling at Mrs. Morton’s on the way. Ken Morton would ‘dink’ me to school on his bike, because I was so little and would get tired walking.
I had a pet hen named Henrietta. She was bitten by a snake one day and died. The next day Mum and Dad found the snake curled up in a bag of wheat. They killed the snake and put it on to an ants’ nest.
Dad would take us to the cricket matches played in the district. And I remember one great picnic where we had raspberry drinks and lots of games. It was a happy time that I remember
at Waanyarra.

 

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John Pallot 1857-1935

John and Druscilla Pallot

John and Druscilla Pallot

John Pallot was born on 26th September, 1857 at Dunolly, Victoria. He was the oldest surviving child of Pierre and Sophia Pallot although Sophia had a living son from a previous union with Peter le Messurier in 1851. (see separate entry)

His Early Life

John must have obtained a reasonable elementary education and several xamples of his handwriting have survived. It is thought that he attended the Tarnagulla school as the family lived mostly at Ironbark Gully until around 1871. This was situated about one mile south-east of Tarnagulla. After leaving school John worked in the forest as a woodcutter and engaged in part-time mining with his father and brothers wherever a new ‘rush’ occurred in the district.

John’s mother died in 1871 after bearing her 17th child in 20 years and the family moved to Waanyarra where Sophia’s parents and sisters could look after the younger children. John’s father Pierre had in 1869 taken up a cultivation licence at Nuggetty Flat north of Waanyarra.

John married Jane Mathews Trenoweth of Laanecoorie in 1881 and they had five children over the next ten years, Albert, Henry, Sophie, Edith and Lillian.

Land Selection

In 1886 John selected 20 acres of Crown Land (Allotment 14) at Nuggetty Flat immediately to the north of his father’s property. (Allotments 5 & 12). In conformance with the Government requirements he built a house, fenced and cleared the land and obtained title in 1891. Life must have been tough however, for within 4 months John had the property mortgaged to Thomas Comrie, the Tarnagulla storekeeper, possibly in settlement of outstanding debts incurred by his growing family.

Change in Fortunes

It is assumed that John must have had a massive upturn in his finances around 1905 as we find that on 25th November, 1905, he bought back the mortgage from Thomas Comrie and purchased three other blocks in the name of his son Albert. Shortly after this he commenced building a fine new house of mudbrick beside his old two-room timber dwelling. This must have seemed quite palatial with four large rooms (three bedrooms and a parlour).

The old building was retained as a kitchen and spare rooms and was not finally demolished until about 1948. The new building was constructed from local mud and the outside rendered with cement and painted bright red with white tuck pointing. Eighty years on, most of the paint and rendering has long since eroded away but remnants may be seen high up on the walls under the eaves. The interior walls were plastered and contrasted greatly with the papered hessian walls of the old building.

John and his wife bought a suites of mahogany bedroom and dining room furniture, and ornamental fire-surrounds to complete the dwelling. All of this is still in the house in good condition.

The source of John’s newfound wealth is uncertain but can only be as a result of a massive gold find at the Waanyarra Rush of 1902-5. In fact there is a story, in the 1931 ‘History of Tarnagulla’ published for the Back to Tarnagulla celebrations of that year, of ’Mr. A. Pallot of Waanyarra finding a 5Ooz. Nugget.

By 8th August, 1908 John’s money must have run out as the property was mortgaged again and the ornate and serviceable country verandah was never built around his new dwelling, although the metal ties for this purpose are still plainly visible on the south side of the house facing Tarnagulla Road.

Loss of Wife and Remarriage

John’s wife Jane died on 6th November, 1909 and although he was no longer flush with funds he had a home, a wagon and a fine team of horses and secure contracts to supply boiler wood to the local deep mines and those of Bendigo. John had met the widow Drusilla Aulich on numerous occasions and he took to leaving her with a little firewood on his trips past her house to the railway station. She had no income except a small pension from the City of Vienna (her late husband’s birthplace) and what she could earn dressmaking to support her three young children.

John and Drusilla married on 19th December, 1912 and she and her children Marie (11), Leon (9) and Ferdinand (7) moved into residence at John’s farm at Waanyarra three miles south-east of Tarnagulla.

Druscilla Aulich/Pallott

Druscilla Aulich/Pallott

Pallot Children

John’s son Albert Pallot had an 84 acre property 1 miles north of Nuggetty Creek and lived there in a small wooden house for some years. When he was about 40 years of age he married Annie Bofill of Waanyarra but they had no children.

Henry Pallot married Ethel Jenkins in 1914, and they had one daughter Ethel Gladys. Henry worked most of his life with the Forest Commission in Bendigo.

Sophie Pallot married Charles Raven in 1912. They had three sons and one daughter and in later life Sophie conducted a newsagency in Dunolly for some years.

Edith Pallot married Thomas Sweatman who was an officer in the Salvation Army. They had one son, also Thomas.

Lillian who had been living at home as housekeeper to her father moved out prior to the arrival of the new wife and young family. She married Tom Stephenson from Goldsborough and was a frequent visitor to the home until her tragic death at the age of 30 in 192 1.

Her son Wesley Stephenson appears in several photographs at Nuggetty during the 1920’s.

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Pierre Pallot

By Richard Shiell

“Pierre (Peter) Pallot was a true pioneer of the Waanyarra district. He arrived with the first prospectors, raised a large family and now has over 500 descendants.

Born on 9th December, 1824, at St. Peter Port Guernsey, he was the son of Jean Pallot and his wife Jeanne (nee Queripel).

As a youth Pierre went to sea and it was as a seaman that he arrived in March, 1849 at Port Adelaide and took whatever work he could find. At one time he worked as a shepherd on the pastoral station ‘Vectis’ near Horsham in Victoria.
Pierre was seized by gold fever which swept the country in 1851. He went to Forest Creek diggings (now Chewton) near Castlemaine. There, he joined a party of Guernsey men who had also travelled from Adelaide. The party included Nicholas Gallienne and his son Frederick, Peter Le Messurier and Charles Baker. Charles was among the first to find gold at Jones’ Creek (Waanyarra) in 1853.

On 15th February, 1853 Pierre Pallot married Sophia Gallienne in Adelaide. It was thought that they travelled back to Jones’ Creek later that year and followed the various rushes which occurred in the district.

Evidence of this can be seen in the birth registrations of the many children Sophia bore in the following years at Kingower, Two Mile Creek, Beechworth, Dunolly, Newbridge and Tarnagulla. Later the principal abode of the family was at Ironbark Gully, a source of rich alluvial gold deposits for many years, and situated about one mile south-east of Tarnagulla.

Pierre took out a cultivation licence on 10 acres of land at Nuggetty Flat, north of Waanyarra in 1869 (Allotment 5, Section A). Later he took an adjoining 13 acres of crown land (Allotment 12). After the death of his wife Sophia in 1871 Pierre moved to this property. No doubt this was also to be nearer to the other Guernsey men and their families, many of whom by now were related to Pierre by marriage.

Charles Baker had married Sofia’s sister Marie, and sister Harriette had married Robert Scholes. Nicholas and Rachel Gallienne lived at Waanyarra until their deaths in 1888 and 1882 respectively.
Peter and Sophia had 17 children but only seven survived to adulthood. The oldest son John Henry Pallot was the only one to settle in the district and John’s property is still in the possession of his step-daughter’s family. Sophia had a son prior to her marriage to Pierre Pallot. This boy Peter Le Messurier was raised in Waanyarra by his grandparents Nicholas and Rachel Gallienne. He later married a widow Annie Barnes and conducted a general store and post office at Jones’ Creek.

Two of his descendants still live at Tarnagulla.

In 1886 Pierre, now 62, married his deceased wife’s sister, Lucretia aged 45. Lucretia had assisted with the upbringing of several of Peter’s children but unfortunately she died within a year of her marriage to Peter.
Pierre continued to reside at Nuggetty Flat until 1891 when he then sold his land for £1 an acre and went to live in rotation with various members of his family. In 1911 Pierre Pallot, aged 88 died in Prahran at the home of his son Bill. He is buried at the Brighton Cemetery.

It is 77 years since Pierre Pallot died and there would be few people alive today who would remember him even as an old man. One such person is his granddaughter, Ivy Pallot.

Ivy described her grandfather as a “small, quietly spoken, active man who had white whiskers and an animated manner. Among his possessions was a 45 cm. long bottle in which was enclosed a model of the barque Water-witch, the vessel which brought him to Australia. Peter also had a tin trunk in his bedroom in which he kept biscuits and lollies for distribution to his grandchildren.

It was 1902, while Pierre was living with Ivy’s parents in Horsham that he wrote a letter to his granddaughter Sophie, aged 17, daughter of John Pallot of Nuggetty Flat. This letter is evidence that Pierre must have obtained an adequate education as the handwriting was good and the spelling accurate. Although the letter was written when he was aged 77, the handwriting is firm and there are no signs of the mental or physical deterioration often seen in elderly people.”

Thanks to Edna and Alan Holt for their book of 1983, “A Pallot Story”, from which most of this article is derived.
Richard Shiell, 1988.

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The “Penny” School

Gibbs home c.1950

Gibbs home c.1950

A privately run school, so named because (apparently) families could send their children there at the cost of one penny (less than one cent) per week.

The Gibbs’ mud brick house was constructed with stone at the bottom five courses and corners and resisted erosion very well until the shingle roof collapsed about 30 years ago.

Rumour has it that the house once served as a Penny School with Richard Gibbs as teacher. However, other authorities claim this is not so and that the Penny School was a wooden structure in the adjacent paddock owned by John Gibbs .

Indeed this block was always referred to as the “School Paddock” by Andrew Sturni who bought the land long after the building had been demolished.

These small private schools all closed when the State introduced free education in 1871.

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Jones’ Creek School No.339

Victoria was the first colony to institute free, compulsory and secular schooling. But this was not achieved without argument, debate and conflict between Church leaders, politicians and colonial dissenters. By 1872 Jones’ Creek School had become one of the many secular schools in Victoria.

The first school at Jones’ Creek was at Secret Hill. Its structure was like many other school buildings on the goldfields. The roof was made of shingles and the internal walls were lined with boards up to a height of about four feet. The remainder of the walls was constructed of lathe and plaster, with a ceiling lined with calico. The outside walls were made of slabs.

William Harper was the first Head Teacher at Jones’ Creek School No. 339 the annual attendance being sixteen, eleven boys and five girls. The school was established by the Church of England on the 28th September, 1857.

At the end of that year Mr. Harper took charge of a school he had organised at Tarnagulla.

It is not clear what happened after Mr. Harper left the Jones’ Creek School. One source stated that in the winter of 1859 the School was closed. But by May, 1862 subscriptions were collected for repairs to the School.

By 1864 the School was operating under the care of Head Teacher, Mr. Samuel Heming with 38 children in attendance.

On the 10th December, 1867 a picnic and programme of events was organised by Messrs. Bragg and Page of the Jones’ Creek School Committee. The occasion was to mark the visit of H.R-H. The Duke of
Edinburgh.

The picnic was held at Jones’ Creek cricket ground. ‘The children were regaled with buns, tea and cake. Sports consisted of running, jumping, hurdle races and football.’ The school committee thanked G. Thomson Esq. and Mrs. Thomson for the children’s prizes, Mrs. Hackendare for ’the splendid currant cakes’ and Mrs. Corkingdale for ’the large quantity of currant buns’.

Mr. and Mrs. Mudge took over the positions of Head Teacher and Work Mistress after Samuel Heming resigned in 1870.

Mr. Mudge arranged a picnic for his pupils at the Recreation Reserve. Mr. Boan of the ’White Swan Hotel’ and Mr Burns, the Jones’ Creek Post Master, collected for the picnic.

The picnic, which was attended by 50 people, was held on Monday, 18th April, 1870. Buns, apples, grapes, lollies, plum cake and tea were given out. Visitors enjoyed sandwiches of beef tongue and fowl.

There were swings, and cricket was played. Prizes for the boys’ flat and hurdle race were ’money and two pretty pocket inkstands’, which were presented by Mr. Boan. ‘Money and two pretty brooches’ were the prizes for the girls’ races. The day ended with ‘dancing on the green to violin music provided by Mr. Green of Tarnagulla’.

The average attendance at Jones’ Creek School was 16 when Mr. and Mrs. Birrell took charge in January, 1871. The Birrells continued at Jones’ Creek No. 339, teaching in the inadequate premises rented from the church of England Trustees until 1877.

The 1871 School picnic was held at Thomas Leech’s paddock at Grassy Flat on the 17th March, with Mr. Birrell supervising the games.

The children who attended the picnic were given grapes by Mr. Leech.

The cricket ground was chosen as the venue for the 1872 picnic. Mr. Birrell marched his pupils to the picnic spot where, on their arrival, they were given fruit supplied by their parents.

Cricket and football were played and there were races. Lunch was served at the booth. In the afternoon adults danced to violin music and the children received fruit and lollies. Jones’ Creek School correspondent, Mr. Leech, congratulated the company on the spirit of cordiality and good feeling which had made the occasion enjoyable. The National Anthem concluded the proceedings.

Mr. Thomas Leech was elected to the School Board for the Tarnagulla Riding of the Bet-Bet Shire in June of 1872.

In December, 1873 the District Inspector of Schools was Mr. Bolam. He recommended the erection of a new school’as 339 Jones’ Creek was too small and not centrally situated’. Mr. Bolam recommended a site of 1.25 miles from the present school.

The inhabitants of Waanyarra supported Mr. Bolam and his request to the Board of Education.

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Waanyarra State School No. 1879

LETTER TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
from Waanyarra residents (c1873)

Dear Sir,

We, the inhabitants of Waanyarra desire to draw your attention to the fact that we are desireable of the means of instruction for our children, having no school in the locality and would earnestly pray that you would use your influence to establish a Common School, there being 54 childrenof school age residing in a radius of four miles, taking the centre from the bridge on the Eddington and Tarnagulla Roads. The nearest school being Eddington 3 miles, Jones’ Creek 4 miles, Laanecoorie 3 miles, Tarnagulla 5 miles and Newbridge 7 miles.
We humbly pray therefore, that our wants may be considered.
Signed on behalf of the inhabitants,
George E. Hiatt,
Edward Carey,
Thomas Lanyon.

Waanyarra State School No. 1879

Waanyarra State School No. 1879


The New School

Mr. Thomas Archard’s tender of £354.5.6 to build the 40 ft. x 20 ft wooden school room at Waanyarra was accepted by the School Committee. In March, 1877 Mr. Archard varnished the ceiling and repaired four ornamental cash vents for the amount of £25. 10.0.
The school was ready to open, but Mr. Birrell was not satisfied with his accommodation at Jones’ Creek. In his letter to the Board of Education he wrote requesting a new teachers’ residence be built, his reasons being:-

“1. The cottage we now live in is the property of the Trustees (Church of England), of the school. It is dilapidated and too small for our family.
2. There is no place in the locality to rent as a teachers’ residence.
3. The new school site is two miles from 339.
4. There is a probability of a night school being established
and it will be important to have a teacher nearby.
5. The new school site is near the road with few people in the area to protect school property.
Signed: David W. Birrell.”

“The new Waanyarra School opening was celebrated on the lst May, 1877 with a tea meeting, concert and ball.The scholars,their parents and friends from many miles around were present. The Tarnagulla Glee Club led by Mr. H. Treloar entertained with musical selections.”
(Dunolly Express, 4th May, 1877.)

WAANYARRA SCHOOL CLASSROOM
c1900

Miss M R (Revee) Green

Teacher at Waanyarra 1940 to 1942

Waanyarra school relocated to Eaglehawk

School Residence

“Tenders closed on 22nd May, 1877 for the erection of a wooden residence at Jones’ Creek school, 1879.”
(Dunolly Express, 8th May, 1877)

In the same newspaper on the 25th May it was reported that the tender of James Faulkner of Dunolly (lowest tender) of £266.7.O had been accepted for the Jones’ Creek teachers’ residence.
On the 30th April, 1877 Jones’ Creek School No. 3 3 9 was struck off. Mr. Birrell and his wife Elizabeth began teaching at the new School and work had commenced on their teachers’ residence which would be their home for many years.

TEACHER’S RESIDENCE WAANYARRA SCHOOL

Thomas George Strange, Mrs Bridgay Strange
Gwendoline Olive and Harold Raymond Strange

The Residence relocated to Tarnagulla, lovingly cared for today.

School Picnic

“A monster school picnic was organised for the children of the Dunolly District at Bet-Bet on 3rd October, 1874. Mr. Bloomfield, the contractor for the Maryborough to Dunolly railway line, arranged for young ones to have a first ride on the train before the official opening on 6th October.
A total of nearly 900 school pupils and their teachers marched through Dunolly to the station. Bands from Castlemaine and Dunolly and a “really good fife and drum band under the leadership of Mr. Tunstall”, added to the gaiety of the day.
Mr. Birrell from Jones’ Creek and his fifty-five pupils travelled to Dunolly “in every conceiveable type of vehicle”, to join other children from outlying areas.
The Mayor, Mr. Daly, gave out oranges and lollies at the picnic where visitors numbered around 1,500, most of whom had never seen a train. The National Anthem was played to finish off the picnic. When the train reached Dunolly just after sun-down there was an immense crowd of parents and onlookers to greet the children.”

Extracts above from “The Footsteps Echo” by Lynne Douthat

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Fence Restoration and Signage

Some photos of the fence restoration work done by “The Families and Friends of Waanyarra” and information signage installed.

Dilapitated entrance prior to restoration - (Max Douthat working on the first of the three burial records plaques)

Dilapitated entrance prior to restoration - (Max Douthat working on the first of the three burial records plaques)



Restored entrance

Restored entrance


Restored entrance

Restored entrance

The builders of the post and rail front fence

The builders of the post and rail front fence


Plaque rocks

Plaque rocks


Old wooden sign

Old wooden sign


Main sign

Main sign


Etched Stainless steel information sign  (Designed by Guy Morton)

Etched Stainless steel information sign (Designed by Guy Morton)

This sign was one of the first projects completed by the Families and Friends of Waanyarra.
It was made by photo engraving the text and images into the surface of a sheet of stainless steel—the etched areas then being paint filled.
In addition to the text the sign shows an impression of the gravesite of Jesse Turner, the operator of a “Shanty” during the heady days of gold fever in the Waanyarra area, and a depiction of the Double Wax Flower (Eriostemon Verrucosus) also known as the Fairy Wax Flower.
The Wax Flower occurred extensively in the Waanyarra area in days gone by, but is now unable to be found. This may be because many plants were dug up in an attempt to move them into home gardens or to provide stock for plant propogaters, thoughtless harvesting of the flowers and possible changes in climatic conditions.

THE TEXT ON THE SIGN READS

“The first rush to this area occurred in 1853 and brought with it deaths from mining accidents, illness and disease.
The oldest surviving marked grave in this historic cemetery is that of John Gibson Brown, who died on October 10th. 1859. The recorded history of this rich gold-mining region indicates however, that many burials must have taken place prior to this date.
Initially the cemetery was situated to the south of this site, but seasonal flooding of Jones’ Creek resulted in it being moved to higher ground. When Phillip Chauncey surved this area in 1861 a reserve for a cemetery had been marked out on the north side of the Dunolly to Tarnagulla road, west of this site, but it was not favoured by local residents and was never used.
Chauncey officially named the area Waanyarra during his survey, replacing the name “Beverly” chosen by Governor Latrobe. “Beverly” was used only by a few of the early goldseekers, and was quickly forgotten. This eastern section of the Waanyarra area, and the creek running through it, became known as Jones’ Creek, after Charles Jones, an early prospector.
Before the introduction of wooden coffins it was usual to enclose a body between two sheets of bark for burial. Local identity Mr. Cheetham is credited with making the first wooden coffin used here. It was made for the burial of a child.
In April 1871, a public meeting was held at Morton’s “Welcome Inn” where the first Trustees for the various sections of this cemetery were elected.
They were:-

THOMAS LEACH—Anglican
THOMAS BOAN—Hebrew
JAMES GOURLEY—Presbyterian
MICHAEL MORTON—Roman Catholic
WILLIAM HOLT—Wesleyans

These people organised the burials and kept the cemetery in good condition for many years. It was totally funded by public subscriptions, but as time passed the population of the area declined, money dried up and public interest in maintaining the cemetery waned. This made the task of the Trustees very difficult and they resigned their positions. A new team of Trustees unsuccesssfully attempted to rekindle community support and the cemetery closed officially in 1891.
Despite its official closure, local families continued to use the cemetery for many years without permission, preferring to be buried in family graves in the district in which they had lived for most of their lives.
As far as can be ascertained, Mrs Beborah Chapple (nee Corrie) is the only person to have gained official permission to be buried here since its official closure.Debbie, as she was affecionately known, had been a tireless worker for the maintenance of this cemetery.
The Shire of Bet Bet became the Trustee of the Waanyarra cemetery in 1965 and receives annual grants for its maintenance.
Since 1988 an informal group, The Families and Friends of Waanyarra, has dedicated itself to maintaining the historic significance of the area. A bronze plaque recording the names of those buried here without a marker was placed here by the group who have also cooperated with the Tarnagulla Recreation Parks Committee, the Bet Bet Shire and its Development and Tourism Committee in the erection of this signboard and the renewal of the front fence and gates”.

 

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Michael Morton’s amazing transportation journey to Australia

MICHAEL’S JOURNEY.

Many interesting stories of how Michael came to Australia have been handed down through the various branches of his descendants. Each of these stories has been checked, but no records can be found to verify them.

Ireland to Australia

No ships carrying either assisted or unassisted immigrants to Australia listed a Morton from Tipperary, or anywhere else in Ireland. The vast majority of Mortons came from England or Scotland.

Only two other Michael Mortons have been found in all of the record checking carried out-one an Englishman who arrived with his wife Sophia and infant son John in the 1850s-the other a convict transported to Van Dieman’s Land in 1822, six years before our ancestor was born.

During 1988, the Irish Government presented Australia with a Bicentennial gift-a computer data base containing records of all Irish people transported to Australia between 1837 and the early 1850’s when the transportation system ended.

These records contain the following information:

YEAR: 1847 CONVICT NAME: MICHAEL MORTON

AGE: 19 DATE OF TRIAL: JULY 13TH. 1847

TRIAL PLACE: TIPPERARY SHIP: MEDWAY

SENTENCE: 10 YEARS CRIME: COW STEALING

Microfilm records of the original gaol lists and transportation records revealed more details:

PLACE OF TRIAL: TIPPERARY EYES: GREY

HEIGHT: 5ft. 7¼in. HAIR: BROWN

COMPLEXION: FRESH READ / WRITE: NEITHER

DISPOSAL WHEN: 10/11/1847 HOW: MEDWAY

MARRIED / SINGLE: SINGLE / LABOURER

We are indebted to Lyn Mc Innes for her discovery of this information in Latrobe library. Lyn maintains that she leapt up and shouted “Eureka” when Michael’s name appeared on the monitor screen.

The next step in verifying that this man was our ancestor was to discover where the ship went-a task made difficult by the fact that there were seven “MEDWAYS”, six of which had come to Australia at various times.
None of these ships however had brought a Michael Morton here.

“Bound for Australia”, a book by David Hawkings, along with some British Home Office records on microfilm at the Victorian State Library, led to the discovery of the particular “MEDWAY” into which Michael had been herded in November 1847.

FIRST STOP BERMUDA.
Following his sentencing, it is most likely that Michael was transferred from Nenagh to the convict prison on Spike Island in Cork harbour to await embarkation.

Commissioned as a convict ship in October 1847, the “MEDWAY” took her human cargo aboard a short time later, probably at Cork harbour. She set sail for Bermuda on November 10th. 1847, having ridden out a severe storm two days before. Several other ships had broken their moorings and collided, causing much damage. “MEDWAY” appears to have survived the storm unscathed.

After a journey of some three months, the “MEDWAY” berthed at the wharves at Ireland island in Bermuda. As she was to be converted to a floating prison “Hulk”, her prisoners were immediately moved to other accommodation. Records show Michael was transferred on Feb.9th. 1848 to the “THAMES”, a twenty five year old hulk, destined to sink at its moorings there in June 1863. He was returned to the “MEDWAY” about nine months later, presumably when the conversion was complete.

Most hulks used as long term gaols were made by stripping the ships superstructure and replacing it with a two or three level dormitory style building with kitchen, mess hall, ablution block and chapel.

A  Typical “Hulk”

The Chapel

Convict Ward

Washroom

Gallery

All above images from David T Hawkings book “Bound for Australia”
(Published in Australia by Library of Australian History)

Convicts had been working in the dockyards and quarries of Bermuda since 1824, and from 1846 onwards much labour had been used to extensively alter and add to the fortifications of the islands. The English were afraid that the Americans planned to attack Bermuda to capture convicts to add to their slave numbers.

The British Home Office required the Supervisor of each hulk to make a quarterly report on each prisoner, and it was during his stay on the “THAMES” that Michael Morton became Michael Moreton – a misspelling that remained in his records until his arrival in Australia. These quarterly “hulk returns” provided the information that allowed the next stage of Michael’s journey to be discovered.

Then to the “Cape”
Earl Grey of the British Colonial Office keenly supported the idea of allowing well behaved prisoners to be selected for resettlement in the colonies as “Exiles”- an Exile being a prisoner accepting the option of serving his or her sentence as a free person in a colony. He also maintained that many convicts, particularly the Irish, were not criminals, and should be seen for what they really were, political activists.

Grey had an ideal opportunity to put these ideas to the test when, in May 1848, it was decided to dispatch 600 convicts to the Cape of Good Hope. They were to build a breakwater in Table Bay. In August of that year, Grey proposed that these convicts be exiled to the Cape, and immediately directed that 300 political offenders in Bermuda should be sent there.

In a letter to the Administrator of the penal colony at Bermuda, Grey refused to accede to a request that these prisoners be sent to the Cape at no charge to themselves. He ordered that each should pay ten pounds for his passage to the Cape. Presumably this fee was deducted out of any money the prisoners earned whilst working for their jailers!

The hulk return from the “MEDWAY” for the quarter to June 1849, shows Michael transferred to the “NEPTUNE .” The actual notation against Michael’s name on the hulk return reads:-

“Transferred to the Neptune on 20th of April 1849 for the Cape of Good Hope on Ticket of Leave.”

“NEPTUNE” was a 35 year old sailing ship of some 644 tons built in Calcutta in 1814, and the fourth convict transport ship to carry that name, the first being the infamous vessel which was part of the Second Fleet of 1790. An unusually large ship for those days of 809 tons, she gained her notoriety by having 161 of her cargo of 500 convicts die on the journey.

Michael’s “NEPTUNE” was always referred to as a “ship” which meant that it was a “full rigged” or “square rigged” vessel with three masts. She had been used only once before as a convict transport – this being in 1838 when she brought 350 male prisoners to Hobart.

A typical “Ship”

“NEPTUNE” sailed from Bermuda on the 24th. of April 1849. For this journey she was under the command of Captain Henderson. The surgeon entrusted with the formidable task of keeping “passengers” and crew alive and as healthy as possible, died before they reached the Cape. He was replaced by Surgeon Superintendent Thomas Gibson on their arrival.

Being put on a Ticket of Leave meant that on their arrival at the Cape they would be handed the “Ticket”, which would allow them to work for themselves in any spare time they had outside their required convict labours.

The people of the Cape colony were violently opposed to these arrangements, and in June 1849, well before the arrival of the “NEPTUNE,” had formed an Anti Convict Association to lobby the Colonial Office against the move.

After making a brief stop at Pernambuco on the east coast of Brazil on July 18th. to replenish water and supplies, the “NEPTUNE” dropped anchor in Simon’s Bay at the Cape on September 19th. 1849.

By this time opposition to the landing of these men had reached hysterical proportions in the Cape colony and they could not disembark. The colony refused provisions, medical supplies and water to the “NEPTUNE,” all of which had to be obtained from Mauritius.

Grey came under increasing pressure to abandon his plans and eventually bowed to the wishes of his opponents, both in England and the colonies. On February 13th. 1850, some five months after arriving at the Cape, he ordered Captain Henderson to take the ageing “NEPTUNE” on her second voyage to Van Dieman’s Land.

In the flurry of activity preceding the departure, people from the mainland were deployed in helping with the stowing of materials and provisions on the “NEPTUNE.” She sailed with 282 convicts (18 had died since leaving Bermuda), 43 troopers as guards, and 6 paying passengers. The number of crew is unknown.

“We sail this day: the wind full against us, blowing straight up the bay: no matter – the commodore has sent the war steamer “GEYSER” to tow us out. We have got the hawser fixed, and are slowly moving out of Simon’s Bay, and down the broad expanse of False Bay. The mountains are fading behind us. Another continent has arisen from the sea before me, now Africa vanishes too. Shall I ever set foot upon dry land more?”

Entry (Dated 19th.February) in the diary of John Mitchel, one of the prisoners on board the “NEPTUNE”, and a well known political activist for the freedom of Ireland.
Much of Mitchel’s diary writings are included in the book “The Gardens of Hell” edited by Peter O ‘ Shaughnessy.

It is possible that “NEPTUNE” did not clear the Cape until the 21st., as this is the departure date shown in the shipping movements columns of the “Hobart Town Gazette” and “Argus” newspapers of the day. The unfavourable winds mentioned by Mitchel may have delayed the departure.

No doubt Michael and the other sea weary people on board shared Mitchel’s sentiments as they braced themselves for the next stage of their journey.

THE “ARGUS” WEDNESDAY APRIL 24th. 1850.
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
“At length the question of whether the Cape shall be a penal colony has been settled. The “GLENTANNER” arrived in Table Bay on 12th. February, brought despatches from Earl Grey, intimating that the Order in Council constituting the Cape a penal colony would be revoked, and directing the removal of the “NEPTUNE” with her loathsome freight to Van Dieman’s Land. As might be expected the Cape colonists were in high glee at the success of their “passive resistance”, and they testified their gratitude and joy by public thanksgiving, illuminations and feasting.”

Pretty stale news item, “NEPTUNE” arrived Hobart April 5th.

Michael’s Five Year Journey

Immediately after clearing False Bay “NEPTUNE” steered due south to latitude 46°, where she could run before the strong westerly wind (The Roaring Forties), and ride the Antarctic Drift current. She often covered 200 miles in a day.

“NEPTUNE” reached the mountainous southern coast of Van Dieman’s Land in early April. The waters were placid as they rounded the many promontories, wooded to the waters edge. After one night becalmed, the ship made way to the head of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, taking on a pilot there to guide them to anchor in the Derwent river, a quarter of a mile from the quays and Custom house of Hobart Town.

Officials and police were soon aboard, checking the roll and informing the men that they would be landing as free men. Thomas Gibson had kept everybody on board alive to this point, but sadly he died just ten days later at Newtown.

All except John Mitchel received conditional pardons, which meant that they gained total freedom on the condition that they did not return to England until their sentence had been served. Mitchel was given restricted freedom with a “Ticket of Leave” requiring him to report regularly to the police.

Michael and his fellow passengers received their conditional pardons on Tuesday April 5th.1850.

Almost three years after his trial-HE WAS FREE!

Michael’s journey

To Victoria

Michael stayed in Tasmania for about two and a half years, another period in his life which he does not appear to have revealed to his family, who believed that he had lived only in Victoria. This segment of his life was not recorded in any official records or documents (Presumably his convict records were destroyed when he was conditionally pardoned) until he embarked from Launceston on November 8th. 1852 on the “YARRA YARRA,” bound for Melbourne. Goldrushes had begun in many parts of Victoria, and people were flocking to them from all over the world.

We do not know whether Michael made contact with his brother John during this time in Tasmania – indeed what happened to John remained a mystery for some time until records of his marriage, birth of his children and his death in Victoria were found in 1993.

Michael apparently never knew that John had moved to Victoria-although rumours of the existence of a mystery brother did exist amongst some older family members.

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Ireland for the Morton / Motens in the late 1840s

Ireland in the late 1840s

To better understand the reasons for Michael’s lawlessness, we need to appreciate what conditions were like for people such as he in Ireland at the time. Most of the rural land in Ireland belongs to wealthy men, some of whom live on their properties, administering them personally. Others are absentee English gentry who probably inherited their estate, and not wishing to live there, employ agents as Managers. Landlords rent out much of their land to the local farming people, taking a substantial percentage of any crop as part payment of rent. Poorer people unable to afford to rent a plot may get some work with the small farmers, work as servants of the rich-or starve!

The mainstay of the economy and staple diet of the common people is the potato, which, since 1846, has been rotting in the ground due to the Blight. People are unable to pay their rents or obtain food. Additionally they are all expected to pay “Tithes” (One tenth of any proceeds from their land) to the Anglican Church-known as the Church of Ireland-the Church of the upper classes.

Labouring class people are almost all Catholic, but are still required to pay these tithes, famine or no famine! People are being evicted from their homes and dying in thousands from starvation. Typhoid fever is rampant, claiming many more lives. Many realise that their only hope of survival is to flee the country by any means possible. During the famine years 1846 to 1851, about one million people died in Ireland and two and a half million left the country as emigrants or convicts.

Could it be that Michael’s “crime” was his desperate attempt to avoid death from starvation or disease by deliberately getting himself arrested, with the almost certain consequential sentence of transportation given his political activism?

Or was it an act of political protest? Answers to questions such as these would enhance the somewhat sketchy image that we have of the man so far.

The Agrarian Outrages

Groups of Irish men, mainly from the labouring class, banded together to plan campaigns of action against the injustices of the system which treated them so unfairly.

Their aim was to make their grievances known, and to reclaim “Ireland for the Irish.” They planned and carried out almost constant harassment of the property of the wealthy landlords. These actions became known as the “Agrarian Outrages” and included:-

Burning buildings, hayricks and crops.

Stealing livestock – sometimes for food – sometimes for revenge. Cows were often taken to provide the milk in which the potatoes were cooked whenever possible.

Killing or maiming livestock, leaving it to be found by the owner or his agent.

Predictably the privileged class soon had laws passed to outlaw belonging (or being suspected of belonging) to any protest group.

At the time of Michael’s arrest the most active protest group, “The Young Irelanders,” was causing great havoc. The severity of his sentence, compared to that handed out to others convicted on the same day, almost certainly indicates that the Magistrate believed him to be a member of that group.

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Edna’s Unidentified Photo

Wedding photo Melbourne 1893 Bridegroom surname is M(a)c Pherson Photo came to Edna from Queensland

Wedding photo Melbourne 1893 Bridegroom surname is M(a)c Pherson Photo came to Edna from Queensland

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Ken’s Unidentified Photo No. 2

Please leave a comment if you can identify these people.

WE,Us& Co & Kath's Little Girl

 

We, them and us, and Kath’s little girl

 

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Ken’s Unidentified Photo No. 1

Please leave a comment if you can identify these people.

James,Jean,Kathleen

Kathleen 7y 9m, James 2y 9m, Jean 8m.

100mm by 85mm B & W Print on 140 mm by 90 postcard

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The Cogswell Family – From Wiltshire to Waanyarra

Researched by Lynne Douthat and first published in her book “The Footsteps Echo”

The Cogswells originated from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England. The family has been researched back over many centuries and has branches in New Zealand, the U. S.A. and one or two in Australia.

The Cogswells who came to Waanyarra began further back than shown here. But more can be read about the family’s early beginnings in M. & A. Cogswell’s book “Search for a Heritage”.

James Cogswell and his wife Mary Ann nee Cogswell , (she was believed to be a cousin of James) had 14 children in 19 years of marriage. James was a shoemaker, whose trade did not bring in enough money to support his large family, Like many other large families in the working class areas of England in the 1800’s, the Cogswells were regarded legally as paupers. As a consequence of this situation the Parish of St. James Church, Trowbridge cared for their welfare, and buried their children. Mary Ann died in 1842 aged 35, leaving James to care for the young family.

1. Grace baptised 18.10.1823, Trowbridge
2. John buried 13.11.1825, Trowbridge (Parish burial)
3. Louisa baptised 26.12.1825, Trowbridge
4. Sarah baptised 5.10.1828, Trowbridge (Parish burial, died age 7 months)
5. James baptised 18.5.1830, Trowbridge. Married Ann Waite, Trowbridge, 29th June, 1852
6. Thomas baptised 1835, Trowbridge
7. A child not baptised
8. John baptised 7.8.1836
9. George born first quarter 1839, Trowbridge
10. Mary born second quarter, 1841, Trowbridge
11. Martha twin to the above, Trowbridge
12. A child, Parish burial 1835, 1841, 1842.

After his wife’s death, it was clear to James that he would have had to find someone to look after his children. Elizabeth Bannister, a widow and owner of land, married James in 1844 and took on the task of rearing his children.

Young James was 14 when his father married ‘Eliza’ and was an apprentice blacksmith in Trowbridge. By 1852 James Jnr. had met Ann Waite and soon after their marriage in June of that year they sailed to Australia to begin a new life away from the poor conditions in Trowbridge.

“The Hope” which brought Ann aged 19 and James aged 21 to Port Philip on the 18th March, 1853 as assisted migrants on their own undertaking, sailed out from the Port of London on the 8th November, 1852.

Collingwood was where James and Ann first set up a home after their arrival in Melbourne. The living conditions in Collingwood at that time were generally very crowded and unhealthy. It was here that their first surviving son, James Henry was born in 1854. Two other children were born in Collingwood to James and Ann but both children died in infancy.

In the 1850’s in Melbourne there was a great inward stream of gold-seeking migrants. Many of the migrants were skilled in some trade and were readily employed in the busy growing city of Melbourne. But the gold rushes took a large majority of skilled workers and labourers away from the city and James and Ann were among them.

James and Ann followed the ‘rush’ to Maryborough. James made a reasonable living prospecting and using his blacksmithing skills to mend and make miner’s tools. Their second surviving child, Mary Ann, was born at White Hills near Maryborough in 1858. Jones’ Creek had been “rushed” by this time and the family moved on to that area where they would eventually settle for the remainder of their lives.

A Cogswell Cow Bell

A Cogswell Cow Bell

At Jones’ Creek, James and Ann ran a store in conjunction with the blacksmithing trade. The store which sold bits and pieces of everything was also licensed to sell beer and ’colonial wine’ and was named The Blacksmiths Arms Hotel. Four more children were born into the family at Jones’ Creek – John, Matilda, Henrietta and Sarah,

James Henry and John Thomas Cogswell remained unmarried but the Cogswell girls married into the local families of Pearce, Douthat, Bofill and Kaye. The name Cogswell died out, but many reminders of the blacksmithing skills remain.

Descendants and friends treasure hand crafted cowbells, a shot gun, gold jewellery and a knife made from a file as some mementos of the Cogswells artistry.

James Cogswell bought land in Waanyarra in the 1870’s, as did his son James at around the same time. Old James must have been proud of his eldest son for on the land sale papers he stated that he was purchasing the land for his son as “A reward for well doing”.

On their land they built a slab-sided shingled roofed hut. The land was cleared of timber, the cut logs were used for fencing and a dam was dug out later to hold water for stock. They grew oats and wheat on their 20 acres and stored the grain in the slab hut, but they remained living at the store at Cogswell’s Crossing, about a mile away from their land.

Mary Elizabeth Morton (nee Sturni), John Thomas Cogswell, Matilda Louisa Pearce (nee Cogswell)
Edward Morton, Jesse Pearce

Mary Elizabeth Morton (nee Sturni), John Thomas Cogswell, Matilda Louisa Pearce (nee Cogswell) Edward Morton, Jesse Pearce

Mary Elizabeth Morton (nee Sturni), John Thomas Cogswell, Matilda Louisa Pearce (nee Cogswell) Edward Morton, Jesse Pearce

The family of James and Ann Cogswell

James Henry born at Collingwood 1854, died at Waanyarra 1918, buried at Tarnagulla.

Mary Ann born at White Hills 1858, died at Waanyarra 1904, buried at Tarnagulla. Married E.W. Douthat.

John Thomas born at Dunolly 1862, died at Waanyarra 1944, buried at Tarnagulla. John lived with the Pearce family, and was well looked after by ‘Pink’ (Mary Pearce) until his death.

Matilda Louisa born at Dunolly 1871, died at Bealiba 1942, buried at Bealiba. Married Jesse Pearce.

Sarah Jane born at Dunolly 1876, died … Married Wm. Kaye

Henrietta Grace born at Dunolly 1873, died Tarnagulla 11. 10.1951 buried at Tarnagulla. Married Martin Bofill.

James Cogswell Snr. died at Waanyarra on the 29th June, 1889. Ann died on the 17th August, 1908 at Waanyarra. They are buried together at Tarnagulla cemetery. Their sons James and John are buried in adjoining graves.”

Information regarding the early Cogswell family in Trowbridge was obtained from M & A Cogswell’s book ‘The Search for a Heritage’.

Alan and Mickey Cogswell of Yealmpton, Devon, U.K, kindly gave permission for their findings to be printed in Lynne’s original article.

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Impressions of the ‘Old Place’—Douthats—Waanyarra

By Sally Gourley (nee Douthat) daughter of Bohwen & Sarah Ann (nee Thorp)

“Dad never talked much about his family, so we never knew much about our grandparents. But Granny Thorp, Mum’s mother, used to tell us about the ‘Spanish Lady’ (our Grandmother Douthat) who once lived on the round shaped piece of land over the creek. I suppose that was where the family lived when they first came out from Spain. Granny told us that the ’Spanish Lady’ would come out of her house waving her arms and talking and yelling in her ‘own lingo’. “You didn’t know what she was saying, but you’d know she was going crook”, Granny said.

Part of the old house was still there when we were kids. There was an old yellow rose creeping over one wall but Dad wanted to plant some vegetables on the ‘island’ so he pulled down the remaining wall of the house and ploughed in the rose. Unfortunately, we did not take a cutting of the rose.

There was a bridge’ made of large slabs of timber taken from a huge tree which grew on the banks of the creek. When the tree was felled it formed part of the bridge crossing. The ‘old people’ planted the fruit trees which still grow along the creek today.”

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Alver Douthat

Born 1904. From a letter written in 1985

“I was four years old when my father, Robert Douthat died of cancer. We were burnt out at Nuggetty Flat in about 1910 and went to Melbourne. I was about 6 or 7 years old. My brother Bert and our uncle Dick (Dad’s brother) and I went to Orbost when I was 13. They were cutting girders at Mt. Buck, nine miles from Orbost. My brother Les spent a lot of time in Fiji, we had some family there. My brother Bert died at the Caulfield Repatriation Hospital from the effects of gas and uncle Dick died of cancer in Orbost.

I came to this place on the 13th July, 1943 after the War. The place would not run one head of cattle then, but now I have over 50. I have worked hard to improve this place, I had to fence it all.”


Alver Douthat

Alver Douthat

“Alver Douthat first stepped on to his wet and lonely Gippsland mountain 42 years ago.

It was a test of his independence – a test he has never failed. Douthat, 8 1, has treasured that independence ever since his left arm was blown off in World War 2 by a Japanese grenade.

Within a year, the former timber cutter from Tarnagulla had retired to a mountaintop farm up a timber-getters’ track from Orbost. In almost perfect solitude, he set to work. He put up fences, tended his 40 cattle, learned to cook, chopped wood, and mastered the chainsaw with just one arm. He spread superphosphate over his rugged 56 ha property by slinging the bag around his neck and tossing the powder out by hand, while he clambered over terrain too steep for a tractor. He even built himself a shed.

“ I just stood the nails up and hit them before they fell over,” the tall recluse said, his rugged face in a smile. “But it’s been a hard life,” he admitted as a Gippsland drizzle started to wet his shambling two-room cottage. Sometimes six months go by without a visitor. “But you get used to anything,” he said.

Besides, in 1943, there was no other work for him. “When you’ve only got one arm, they won’t look at you. Besides, I didn’t have the education for a desk job,” he said. What has helped him survive his test was a book a man once lent him, when he was driving cabs in Brisbane in the 1930s. ‘Personal Power’ it was called, and Douthat has spent much of his quiet hours memorising pages of it

“Nothing is hopeless until it has been thoroughly attempted,” he quoted solemnly. He likes to prove it by peeling an orange with one hand, or showing how he can cut his fingernails.

Douthat, now with a disability pension, could leave his lonely hilltop with its broad and beautiful views of forest and sea, and move to Orbost or Melbourne. ‘But I’m not leaving. If I didn’t work, I’d be dead by now,’ he said.”

Reprinted courtesy The Herald, Melbourne. October 4th, 1985.

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Harry Edward Douthat

Son of Robert and Margaret (nee Wilshusen) from a letter written in 1987

“I was born in Hargreaves Street, Golden Square, but left there when I was two years old. My father’s name was Robert Douthat and my mother was Margaret Wilshusen of Nuggetty Flat. My father worked on the steam engines around Tarnagulla.

After my father died in 1908 my mother married a man named Yelland. We had seven children in our family and Mum had two more sons when she married George Yelland. Mum went to live in Corryong, my sister Vera went to live there too. Mum, Vera and my half-brother George died at Corryong, my other half brother Charlie still lives there, he is 77.

My brother Alver and I are the only ones of our family still alive, brother Jim died in Orbost last year. Vera was 85 when she died and Mum was 92.

I have two daughters and one son from my first marriage, my son died when I was in New Guinea during the war. I have a son from my second marriage, he is living in Western Australia. My brother Alver lost his arm whilst serving in the Second World War.”

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Elsie Vera Douthat (Henderson/Sinclair)

From letters written in 1985 to Milly Miles and Lynne Douthat

(Elsie) Vera, born 1.11.1900, died Corryong, 1986

“I was born at Nuggetty Flat in 1900. My father’s name was Robert Douthat, he married Margaret Wilshusen. The Wilshusens lived near us at Nuggetty Flat. They were a very large family. My grandfather Hinerich Wilshusen had a bit of land and built a dam. He also had a beautiful vegetable garden and grew wheat.

Old Bill Gibbs, an Englishman, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Sturni, Peter and Andrew, two Italians and the Wilshusens were part of the little settlement around us.

Old Bill Gibbs’ house was built from mud bricks he had made himself. My father built our house with two rooms of mud brick. Dad prospected for gold in the Winter months and drove a traction engine in the Summer, he died penniless in 1908. He met with an accident when he was 52. A limb of a tree hit him in the stomach, the injury eventually turned to cancer and he died. My youngest brother was only one month old. Dad was buried at Tarnagulla Cemetery.

I was told that my father had a brother who was a doctor. He lived at Waanyarra in the old place made of split rails. The story goes that he went down to the gate for something and was bitten by a snake. He didn’t treat the bite until he got back to the house, but it was too late. He went to sleep at this time each day but on this day he did not wake up. I don’t remember what his name was. My father also had a sister who lived in Fiji, she married a man named Halstead.

Dad’s mother was Spanish. She died at our place in 1906, I can remember her because Mum looked after her, but I can’t remember Dad’s father.

There were seven children in our family, two girls and five boys. My sister, Mum’s first child died of thrush. My two eldest brothers were named Robert (Bert) and Les, then there is Alver, Harry and James, those three live around Orbost.

I have been married twice and have two sons from my first marriage. Tom and Dick Henderson. Both my husbands are dead.”

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Robert Henry and Margaret Wilshusen Issue Robert Henry and Margaret Wilshusen Issue:

Margaret Yelland (Douthat nee Wilshusen) and Family  Back: George Yelland, Margaret, Leslie Middle: Alver, (with Henry and George in front), Vera, Jimmy (with Charlie in front)

Margaret Yelland (Douthat nee Wilshusen) and Family Back: George Yelland, Margaret, Leslie Middle: Alver, (with Henry and George in front), Vera, Jimmy (with Charlie in front)

Isabel died in infancy
Elsie Vera married Henderson then Sinclair
Robert Henry not married
Lesley no information
Alver not married
Harold Edward married?
James married?

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John Moten (Morton)

Brother John

We mentioned earlier that Michael had an older brother John who had been transported for life to Van Dieman’s Land in 1845, two years before Michael. John, and accomplice Patrick Brien had attempted to assassinate a wealthy landlord, Mr. Theophilus Roe. Roe was on his way to a fair at Templemore when John discharged a blunderbuss (a crude type of muzzle loading shotgun that could fire multiple round balls of lead) at him, succeeding only in putting a “ball”through the victim’s top hat.

The laneway where John ambushed Theopholus Rowe

Today in Ireland members of the Morton families who are descendants of Thomas tell stories of the “Great Uncles” who were transported to Australia long ago, and are very quick to relate the legend which is supposed to be an additional reason for John being transported for life.

It seems that John was caught singing rebel songs outside the British garrison stationed nearby, and that one song “The Peeler and the Goat” (which was particularly contemptuous and derogative of the sexual behaviour of the British) stirred the “Poms” up no end and they decided to use this defiant behavior as a further excuse to get rid of him.

We have recently been told by an elderly Irish lady who is a decendent of Rody Morton (whom we believe to be a half brother to Michael and John) that Michael was singing protest songs, and songs of the plight of Ireland under the tyrannical rule of the British, as he was standing on the station platform in Nenagh waiting to be transported to gaol.
“PEELERS” was the name given to police—after John Peel, an early organiser of the English police force.

The convict record of John shows that his father was Thomas and that he had brothers Thomas, Michael and Edward and sisters Eliza and Mary. His mother’s name was not given unfortunately. John came to Victoria and married Mary Doyle in 1862. His marriage and death certificates give his father’s name as Thomas as we would expect, but his mother’s name is given as Catherine Madden. John named his children in the same order as Michael—first daughter Catherine, second Mary and third Elizabeth, first son Thomas, second John.

Hopefully at some time in the future we will be able to find out the truth about the mother’s name. One of the other strange things is that Michael and John do not appear to have made contact even though they were both living in Victoria at the same time for much of their lives. It would seem reasonable to think that if they had done so then some information would have passed down to us today.

The Nenagh “GUARDIAN” of July 21st. and 30th. 1845 reported extensively on the assassination attempt by John and his accomplice Patrick Brien, and the graphic details of their capture and trial.

John & Catherine’s Grave, Dartmoor, Victoria

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William Emanuel James Douthat

Son of William & Mary Ellen (nee Cassidy)

“We left Waanyarra when I was only young and came to live at Koondrook but often I would travel back to Waanyarra with Dad’s brother, Uncle Manuel in his gig.

The gig was a beautiful contraption with red wheels. His horse was a lovely bay mare. She was kept in top condition and was one of the ‘flashest’ around the district.

We’d leave Koondrook early in the morning and just jog along, we’d get to Waanyarra in a day.

My mother was Mary Ellen Cassidy from Waanyarra. My father was William Douthat, the eldest son of Emanuel William Douthat and Mary Ann Cogswell.

I had a brother named John Richard and my sister’s name is Mary Eliza. We have a half brother named Douglas from Dad’s marriage to Jane Kimpton.

I saw my father as a hard man who expected every bit of work out of us he could get. My mother was a great friend to me, we got on well together and were very close.

I married my wife Winnie (Eva Winifred Grigg) and had two sons Neville and Alan, and a daughter June.”

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Grandfather Bohwen Douthat at Waanyarra

Elizabeth Jane Thorp (nee Stone)

Elizabeth Jane Thorp (nee Stone)

By Grandson Max Douthat

“I don’t remember a time when the name ‘Waanyarra’ was not mentioned regularly in our house in Melbourne. Many holidays were spent at Waanyarra with my grandfather (Poppa) on his farm.

It was an epic voyage to Waanyarra in the family’s 1934 Plymouth tourer, taking around three hours without a stop for fuel, food or personal comfort. However, it was always exciting, as at the end there were holidays out in the bush where one could do almost anything without getting into trouble.

My grandfather presented an image to me of a strong, self-reliant man who got on well with his neighbours, but disliked visitors and shunned modern contraptions. 1 remember once travelling to Maryborough in the Plymouth, with my father driving. I noticed Poppa sitting rigid in the passenger seat with his feet planted firmly on the floor looking as though we were travelling at 100 mph. and about to crash. In reality the old Plymouth very rarely reached speeds over 45 mph. Poppa was not used to travelling at ‘high speeds’ as he only had a bike for transport.

One picture which is firmly imprinted in my memory is of the time Poppa and us kids were driving sheep down the road in front of the farm. We were supposed to be helping him herd the sheep into the front paddock. We did not know that sheep would not understand that they were supposed to go through the first gate instead of the second one. But Poppa let us know in no uncertain terms as he yelled at us poor, useless city kids.

I also remember the time I saw the tough side of my Grandfather. He caught us kids annoying the bull down at Williams’, by pawing the ground outside the fence. We were not aware that if the bull wanted to get at us a couple of rusty old wires would not deter him. Luckily Poppa came to our rescue. He gave us a tongue lashing which frightened us more than the thought of being chased by an enraged bull.

Most of our visits to Waanyarra, except for the long time we stayed when Dad got sick, were for long weekends or Easter and occasionally we visited over the Christmas period. I remember many a hot night with us three kids in the double bed listening to the mosquitos as they searched for an exposed area of skin in which to sink their suckers.

Fishing, rabbiting and wood gathering seemed to occupy a major part of the holidays. It appeared to me as a kid that living in the country was much cheaper than living in the city, where everything cost money. I remember a good day’s fishing I had, not in the river or Laanecoorie Weir but in Poppa’s dam down near the front gate. We were ready to head off to Laanecoorie but Dad got sick so we could not go. So I thought I would go down to the dam to practise my spinning. To my great surprise I caught a fish on my first cast. After about an hour I’d caught a dozen good sized fish which were proudly photographed for a permanent record of my success.

There always seemed to be an abundance of vegetables in Poppa’s garden, and various fruits on the numerous trees which had been planted by the early settlers. At the right time of the year one could have a feast of fruits ranging from quinces to mulberries to plums to persimmons. Once I filled up on red currants and not being able to make it back to the house to satisfy the call of nature, I was very embarrassed on my return to my parents.

Entertainment seemed simple but adequate at Waanyarra and many a night was spent visiting neighbours to play cards or listen to the radio. Dad used to play the accordion at the dances and parties and it always seemed much appreciated.

After I got married and had kids of my own it just seemed natural that as much time as we could spare was spent at Waanyarra, where our kids did the same things we used to do but with a little more sophistication.

We still visit Waanyarra regularly even though we have built a home at Murphies Creek. There is just something about Waanyarra which makes me feel good to know that I am part of the history of such an unique area of Victoria.”

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Richard Douthat (Son of Dick) Recalls

“The strongest memories I have of my grandfather, Bohwen Douthat at Waanyarra are of going fishing in his flat bottomed, corrugated iron boat. We fished at Anchor’s Bridge mostly, and always, we got fish. We caught red fin and measured our catches in bags full.

We lived at Bohwen’s for a while in the 1950’s when my father was ill. I remember the lovely glass kerosene lanterns in his house, there was nice furniture in the main front room and the walls and ceiling were lined with timber. There was no electricity and we used the lanterns or candles for lighting.

My brother, Max, and I did our school work on the front verandah, where Mum had set up some forms from the old Waanyarra school, and a table each on which to do our work. I’d do about two hours school work and then go off with the ferrets to catch some rabbits. Once, when I was rabbiting, I fell down an old digger’s hole and when I looked up there was a snake about one foot from my face.

We went out at night to neighbours’ houses to play cards, I remember going to Pearce’s. My grandfather had a crystal radio-set and a battery run radio. There were dances to go to, my father, Dick, played the piano accordion at most of the dances at Waanyarra. I used to collect beer bottles with my Uncle Ray there, he had a huge stack of bottles he’d picked up at these dances.

We also spent a lot of our holidays at Waanyarra. Mum had a 1934 Plymouth car, Max and I used to sit in the back on the blankets and clothes, our sister and my twin, Barbara, sat in the front seat because she got car sick. Once, on the way to Waanyarra we stopped and bought some pies. That was like Christmas for us, because Dad never stopped except for spa water at Kyneton, and he never bought things to eat. The pies were lovely until one of us discovered they were full of maggots.

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Dick Douthat looks back

Eldest child of Bohwen & Sarah (nee Thorp)

Bohwen's Family c 1936 - Dick, Milly, Sally, Ming, Bohwen & Isabel with Ray

“We as kids never thought to ask about our family, but by the way the garden was set out around our place at Waanyarra, I think our ancestors must have known about growing things.

There was an elaborate system for watering the many varieties of fruit trees and vegetables that were growing on the place. We had no pumps in those days. By excavating the land to create a ’fall’ from the dams, and with a number of pipes layed underground, the trees and vegetables were efficiently watered.

When it rained, Dad would go out wearing his oilskin coat and check to see that all the gutters in the dams were clear. We relied mostly on the dams for our water. But there was a spring or well which supplied water when it was a dry season and when the dams were getting low the well was fed by an underground stream, it was about six foot down to the gravel bottom. We would have to dig down and clean it out when we wanted to use it.

Many people got their drinking water from that well during the dry seasons. Mum’s flower garden was watered from the creek. We had a guttering system rigged up to lead from the creek to the garden. By bucketing the water into the guttering, the water would run to the garden some fifty yards away.

Mum had all kinds of flowers in her garden including opium poppies, which were in those days considered by us to be just ’pretty flowers’. I suppose the Chinese gave our family the seed in the first place because the flowers had always been there from the early gold days.

I went to school at Waanyarra and for a time at Koondrook when my parents went there to help Dad’s brother, Bill Douthat, grow tomatoes for the Melbourne market. School work at Waanyarra was no trouble to me with Miss Vera Bool as my teacher. Miss Bool was one of the best teachers who could have been around as far as I was concerned. I liked all the work we did at school, I got my Merit Certificate at Waanyarra.

We had a little dam at the school and a vegetable plot and just below it was a pine tree which is still there. An unusual shrub, which us kids called a ’Snotty Gobble’, grew near to the school. It had fruit on it about the size and shape of a ’Jelly-bean’. We’d squeeze its ripe fruit and eat the jelly-like flesh inside. There were many other things we’d eat from the bush, cranberries and geebungs but I never saw another ’Snotty Gobble’ in all my wanderings about the bush.

I went all through that bush around Waanyarra as a youngster chasing foxes and Starry Taylor’s, goats with the dogs. The dogs never caught the goats because they were too cunning and ran high up onto the rocky ridges where the dogs would not dare to go.

I used to play the mouth organ but would have loved to play the concertina. The first time I played the piano accordion was one weekend we went over to Uncle Emanuel’s house at Long Gully. We went to Greys’ who lived nearby and they had an accordion. I grabbed hold of it and found I could get a tune out of it, so I bought one, I think I was in my early teens then.

I played at the dances at Waanyarra, barn dances, waltzes and foxtrots, anything people would dance to but would go to the dances at Tarnagulla on most Saturday nights and would play cards instead of dancing.

Nearly every family around was self sufficient. We had a cow to milk, chooks for eating and eggs and of course, all our lovely fresh vegetables. The baker, butcher and grocer called regularly. We hardly had to leave the place.

One story I remember my father telling me was about the time he caught a 21 pound cod in the dam. It must have been there a long time to grow so big, he seemed to think it was put there by his grandfather.”

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The Memories of Mildred Miles (nee Douthat)

Spring Flowers Waanyarra c 1936 Mavis Else, Milly Douthat, Isabel & Raymond, Phyllis Perkins

“I was born in the family home at Waanyarra. My brother Dick, sisters Mary, Sally and Isabel were also born there. ‘Gran’ Strahan, a midwife and neighbour brought us all into the world. Brother Raymond was born years later at Dunolly.

When I was very young Dad took the family to Koondrook to live for about two years. Uncle Bill had an orange grove there and Dad went to help him. Dad let the Indian Hawker, Meer Khan into our house to look after it while we were away. When it was time to come back to Waanyarra, Dad came ahead on his bike to get everything ready for our return. On arrival, he found that Meer Khan had kept fowls in the bedrooms. We had to stay in Dunolly until the house was fit to live in again. We stayed in a two storey place behind Stafford’s shop. I was school age when we returned from Koondrook.

Waanyarra school had a picnic each year. People from other places came along and joined in with us. Our mother made large batches of scones, dozens of ‘snow balls’ and many other good things to eat for the picnics. Dad made cream puffs, he was expert at making them. Some of the shops in Bendigo, where the Waanyarra people had mail orders, sent boxes of fruit, lollies and small gifts for the prizes. Pat Daly and Alan Cairns, who had stores in Dunolly and delivered to Waanyarra, also donated many things for the picnics. Ison the butcher from Tarnagulla, who came out to Waanyarra with the meat chopping-cart, donated meat for the sandwiches, and Bill Davenport gave the bread. Reid’s store also gave many things for the prizes. The mothers would make buckets of raspberry and limejuice for the thirsty kids.

At the school picnics Nell Morton and I always paired up for the double-sack race and the Siamese race. We lived near each other and practised for the races together. We spent a lot of time with each other. We started school the same year and sat for our sixth grade exam and our Merit exam together.

Sunday night was visiting night at our place for the girls who were our friends. We took turns in going to each other’s places, Scholes’, Morton’s, Sturni’s, Lockett’s homes each Sunday. Mum encouraged us to bring our friends home, it was always open house at our place.

Each Guy Fawkes night we had a big bonfire at Waanyarra. Most times the bonfire was in our paddock, all the men helped to build the huge pile of wood and rubbish to burn on the night. Potatoes and onions were cooked in the fire and there was always plenty of fire-works.

Grandma Thorp used to save up old bones and fat to sell to the soap works (Peters) in Dunolly, to get money for fire-works for us kids. She was a wonderful grandmother, one of the best.
During the 1930’s Depression Dad gave the miners vegetables and milk. The men would sit out on our tank stand and listen to the cricket on our wireless, one of the first in Waanyarra. Mum gave the men drinks of home made hop beer.

Ed. Scholes was the first to have a car at Waanyarra, and we would go for rides with Nell Scholes. Vera Bool, our School teacher had a single-seater car. We would take it in turns to walk along the track to meet her and get a ride back to school.

A dance and cards were held at the school once a month. At a very early age we were taken along and taught to dance by our Uncles, Ted and Dick Thorp. When we got older we would hang lighted lanterns in Morton’s hotel and teach other people to dance. My brother Dick played. the accordion and the mouth organ at the dances. Isobel and I were allowed along because our brother was there. We’d ride our bikes to the dances, except when we were taken there by “Icksey” Arthur Jones on his truck.

Waanyarra had a cricket team. We travelled to different places with the team on Icksey Jones’ truck. The girls and young married women would sometimes play the men at cricket, and sometimes the girls would win.

Our Great Grandparents, Cogswells, had a mixed shop at Waanyarra. When we were kids the remains of the shop were still there and we used to bring home trinkets and fans. Our mother forbade us to go there as she was afraid there might be dangerous poison about. But by the next week we’d be back there hunting around in the odds and ends.

After I was married my husband Ern. and I would take our children out to Dads at Waanyarra to stay so they could live some of the lifestyle we had as youngsters.

Those were the good days when we were all together.”

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Mary Ann Douthat’s Obituary

Death of Mrs. Douthat – Tarnaguila Courier – 16th July, 1904

The news of the death of Mrs. Douthat widow of the late Manuel Douthat of Waanyarra was received with unfeigned regret on Tuesday morning. The deceased lady had been suffering for some time from an internal complaint and had been attended to by Dr. Wolfenden but he soon found out that her case was beyond the aid of human skill and she passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mrs. Douthat was a native of Jones’ Creek, and was much liked by all who knew her. She was 47 years of age. Mrs. Douthat leaves a family of three sons and one daughter who mourn the loss of a loving mother, who have the sympathy of the whole district.

The funeral took place at Tarnagulla cemetery on Sunday and the cortege was a long one. The Reverend George Hollow read the Church of England burial service at the grave and Mr. Roper carried out the funeral arrangements with his usual ability.

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Douthat Family

Researched by Lynne Douthat from family letters, interviews and the Public Records Office, Melbourne, 1988

“William Bowen Douthat was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1817. In 1848 he married a Spanish girl named Isabel Maria Fieri. Their son, Emanuel William was born in Vigo, a fishing village and port on the Spanish coast, in 1850.

On 10th August, 1852 four members of the Douthat family embarked on the ship ‘Winchester’ as unassisted migrants, bound for Port Phillip, Australia. All members of the family were recorded as ‘British’ on the ship’s passenger list.

  • William Bowen Douthat Age 36 Gentleman
  • Isabel Douthat 30
  • (Emanuel) William Douthat 2
  • Jedidiah S. Douthat 42 Gentleman (cousin of William Snr.)

The ‘Winchester’, captained by James Curry, took five months and ten days to complete its journey. The ship, with 152 passengers and crew, arrived at Port Phillip on the 20th January, 1853.

The family settled in Melbourne for a time, where William and his cousin Jedidiah set up a hide and wool merchants’ business, Douthat & Co.’. In 1854, a second child, Robert Henry, was born in Melbourne. By 1855 William, Isabel and their two sons had left Melboume for the goldfields. Jedidiah went into partnership as a general merchant with Emanuel Lopes continuing at the same address in Melbourne.

Jedidiah had come to Australia as a widower. His young son had been left behind in Lisbon, but came to Australia in 1858 at the age of thirteen on the ship Magi, presumably to join his father. In 1863 Jed. married Elizabeth Varty who was born in Cumberland in 1848. Elizabeth worked as a housekeeper at Schnapper Point near Mornington. The marriage did not last for very long. Elizabeth married Frederich Sonnenberg in 1881 and stated on the marriage certificate that she had ’neither seen nor heard from her previous husband for eleven years’. So she married Frederich without a divorce or knowing if Jed. was dead or alive. It seemed that Jed just disappeared. William, his son, was listed in a postal directory as being a dairyman in the Footscray area in the early 1860’s, but no other information is known of his whereabouts. The hide and wool merchant business reverted to Lopes who continued at the same address with a ‘Marine Dealer’ business.

William and Isabel first came to the Victorian goldfields as suppliers of goods to the miners, but like many other families who followed the rushes they settled on small holdings and became self-supporting. Not long after their arrival at Jones’; Creek, their third child Emily was born in 1856. William, Isabel and the three children lived on about an acre of land commonly called ’the island piece’, because it was almost surrounded by the Waanyarra Creek. This portion of Crown land is situated behind where the remains of Bohwen Douthat’s house stands today. The house on the ’island’, by all accounts was a long slab and mud construction. The roof was made from shingles. A feature which many people remember about the house was the ‘Seven Sister’ climbing rose which grew over much of the roof and around the doorway. The rose flowered in clusters of creamy-yellow blooms.

William and Isabel planted many fruit trees along the banks of the creek, some of the trees still bear fruit. The medlars, figs, grapes, plums, apricots, pears and apples do not bear as well as they did in the early days. But many people still come there for their annual taste of mulberries and quinces. These old trees are known to produce well each season. Following generations of Douthats continued producing food and gardening, in general, and from onions to orchids their reputation for growing things is faultless.

William Bowen Douthat (born 1817, died 1891) and Isabel Maria Fieri (born 1822, died 1906)

Their family:-

  • Emanuel William born Vigo Spain 1850, died 1903 m Mary Arm Cogswell, 1881
  • Robert Henry born Melbourne 1854, died 1908 m Margaret Wilshusen 1890
  • Emily born Jones’ Creek 1856 m Haistead, no other information.
  • Richard born Jones’ Creek 1857, not married, died Orbost
  • Thomas born Jones’ Creek 1861, not married, no other information
  • Isabella born Jones’ Creek 1866, no other information.

There were also at least two children who died in infancy.

Bohwen and Family c1920 - Mary, Bohwen, Dick, Sarah with Milly, Sally

Emanuel William and Mary Ann Cogswell issue:

  • William married Mary Ellen Cassidy then Jane Kimpton
  • Bohwen married Sarah Ann Thorp then Emma Jane Lockett
  • Mildred Ann not married
  • Emanuel James, married Mary Lenon

Robert Henry and Margaret Wilshusen

  • Isabel died in infancy
  • Elsie Vera married Henderson then Sinclair
  • Robert Henry not married
  • Lesley no information
  • Alver not married
  • Harold Edward married?
  • James married?
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Historical Sites

Historical Sites

Historical Sites

1. Original cemetery site – never used

2. White Swan Hotel

3. Jones’ creek school No. 339

4. Historic cemetery

5. Morton’s old hotel

6. Historic stone crossing

7. Head Teacher’s residence

8. State school No. 1879

9. Sports field

10. Penny school

Tarnagulla cycling club at Waanyarra’s White Swan hotel c.1905

Rock walled dam-Built c1860 by William Douthat and son Emanuel

Basalt masonary bridge over the Waanyarra creek

Michael Morton’s “Welcome Inn” circa 1854

 

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Quartz Crushing

The Dunolly Government Battery was managed by Mr. Hamilton. Stone was carted to Dunolly from Waanyarra for crushing. In February Raven and Gourley crushed two ton of stone for 55 1/2 ozs. of gold and another load of quartz weighing six ton yielded 5 2 ozs. 12 dwt.

The Mines Department called tenders for moving the Government Battery from Dunolly to Waanyarra in April, 1902. The equipment weighed 13 ton. The heaviest piece of machinery was the engine which weighed 41/2 ton. By the end of the month the machinery was dismantled and ready for removal to Waanyarra. Mr. Hamilton, who had been in charge of the Battery at Dunolly, was leaving the district.
Raven, Gourley and Thomson’s claim had been worked profitably for about three years. In April, 1 903 they worked 20 loads of stone through the battery and it yielded 50 ozs. The stone was taken from the south end of the reef adjoining Jarry and Baker’s claim which also had good stone.

Weather conditions affected mining operations to a great degree. The lack or surplus of water was an important factor on the goldfields. During the summer of 1862 temperatures soared to 120degrees F. in shade, and mining operations had ceased. There was little water in the creek for washing gold. There was often a great scarcity of water on the fields and for farming purposes at Waanyarra.
In 1888 the Shire of Bet Bet had built a dam which saved many animals from death. In the drought year of 1902 dust storms whipped through the area ruining orchards and vegetable gardens. Diggers were taking wash dirt to the Loddon River for washing as water was so scarce in the Waanyarra area, in January, 1903. Authorities quickly gave notice that washing in the Loddon River Backwater was forbidden.

Lack of water was a drawback at the Waanyarra Rush.

The Dunolly Express, 20th January, 1903, reported that parties were leaving the Waanyarra Rush daily. Many claims were getting payable wash, but many were getting nothing.
Workings at Waanyarra were upset by a heavy storm and flooding in March, 1903. Recorded fmds for March were made by the following parties:-

  • Carroll and Baker 9 ozs. (nuggets)
  • Lowrie and party 1 % oz. piece
  • Ampher and party 4V4 from 9 loads
  • Cain and Chivers 9 dwt. from 3 loads
  • Taig and Scorer 5 dwt. to the load
  • Nicholls and Radnell 2% from 5 loads
  • Young and Peppin 11/4 oz from 4 loads

By the end of March the Waanyarra Rush was still recovering from the recent flood and the latest gold returns were the smallest for some time. Parties still working included Lockett and Scholes (3 oz. 14 dwt.), Wilson and party, Brooker, O’Brien brothers (6 1/2 oz.’Speck’), E. Williamson and party’s claim was said to be the best on the creek at the time. But work was made slow because holes in the creek had fallen in and were too dangerous to work.

Radnell brothers and Nicholls had discovered an 8 oz. nugget and had obtained 3 1/2 ozs. of gold from 4 loads of dirt. An undisclosed party had sold £ 1 00 worth of gold in Tarnagulla some time in the last week of March, 1903. Another party had finds of nuggets weighing 5 ozs., 15 ozs. and 27 ozs.

April, 1903, saw a falling of numbers at the Waanyarra Rush. The large volume of water in the creek made work dangerous. McPherson and Co.’s claim near the creek was suddenly flooded, but the miners escaped in time. Water was being pumped from many claims.

A party of miners, which had been clearing out a portion of the creek with the idea of paddocking the ground, had difficulties, as the ground had fallen in on all sides. It was intended to timber the workings before removing the wash dirt. Claim holders stored wash dirt to put through puddlers.

For about three years, Raven, Gourley and Thomson had worked indicators in a profitable claim. About the beginning of April, 1903, a reef 5 ft wide was struck at the south end of the lease, where 20 loads of stone yielded 50 ozs. Jarry and Baker’s adjoining claim also had good stone.

J. McEvoy applied to select a water reserve in the Parish of Waanyarra in April, 1903, but the Mining Board refused his application, its reason being that all water should be available for miners and others.

May, 1903, saw the Williams brothers discover a rich reef in Tipperary Gully, a 1/4 mile east of the Waanyarra Post Office. A dish of stone from the 2 ft. wide reef yielded 5 ozs. of gold. The next month Morton, Neil and party discovered a rich patch near the Government Battery where 111/2 Ibs. of stone yielded 3 ozs. of gold.

June 1903 – Waanyarra Rush was described as ‘almost a thing of the past’ because of the rising of the creek, but still diggers were working and having success. Baker and Jarry found a 2 oz. nugget. Many other finds were not reported, or recorded. The people who lived at Waanyarra kept on with their claims and managed to keep their families by small finds and by producing their own food.

September, 1907 saw Goodman and Malone, Howard, O’Brien, Strahan and Baker, Hill and Schiller, and Baker and Jones working in the area. Yields at Nuggetty Gully, Waanyarra were improving.

Dunolly Borough Council sought a reduction of fees (6/- a ton) at the Waanyarra Battery. Cr. Desmond said there were two other Batteries at Waanyarra besides the Government one. Mr. Brooker and Mr. Nankervis said they would cart stone to Waanyarra if the rates were reduced.

Prospecting and stone crushing continued on at Waanyarra with small and substantial finds at various intervals. The next ‘Rush’ was in the 1930’s when the Great Depression saw many men ‘shipped off to the goldfields with a pan and pick, a tent and 6/- a week to supplement their finds. This was one way the government relieved the burden from the city’s unemployment problem.

There was a canvas township at Waanyarra Rush where nearly 100 were camped. Claims were 7 x 11 ft. It was like a revival of the early days where men with little experience were trying to survive on the gold.

The ‘old hands’ were still unearthing nuggets. Cooper and Neal found a 221/2 oz. nugget on Morton’s ground.

Two hundred men were on the field where water was scarce in February, 1932. J. Morton and Neal found another nugget this time weighing 25 ozs. and adjoining Mr. Graaf s claim. Mr Graaf recently got 56 ozs.

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Gold Discoveries 1855 to 1934

1855 – Two nuggets, one 145 ozs. 5 dwt., the other 140 ozs. were found at a depth of 20 ft.

1856 – 281 ozs found in shallow ground by an undisclosed finder.

1857

  • Henry Davey named the huge nugget he found at “The Shoots” Jones’ Creek on 11 th July, “Schlemm”. The nuggett which weighed 538 ozs.5 dwt. was located only three feet underground.
  • 15th September. A short distance from Thomson and Turnbull’s well established store two nuggets were unearthed. One weighed 62 ozs. and the other 58 ozs. Both were found in shallow ground.

1862

  • March. A 52 lb. nugget was found at “Secret Hill”.
  • October. Three men working a puddler found a 25 lb. nugget within a foot of the surface. The nugget was sold at the Inglewood Bank of Australasia for £1,190 and was described as pure gold.

1867 26th January. – Vaughan and party struck a rich leader which yielded £1,700 worth of gold.

1872

  • September – Henry Davey, the discoverer of the ‘Schlemm’ nugget in 1857 had more luck at ‘The Shoots Gully’ with the unearthing of a 45 oz. piece of gold in shallow ground.
  • November – A 20 oz. nugget found at the lower end of Jones’ Creek was sold at Dunolly. The nugget was reported to be close to Calder’s Reef.

1874  News Years Eve – A splendid nugget containing 43 ozs. of pure gold was a bonanza for its finders, Captain Bragg and T. Robinson, two very old residents on the Creek. The nugget was unearthed near the Post Office at Waanyarra.

1875

  • 7th January – Joseph Tyson and party were the discoverers of an 82 oz. nugget at Specimen Gully. The nugget was found at a depth of 14 ft.
  • March – A nugget found in shallow ground at Jones’ Creek weighed 34 ozs. 1 0 dwt. Two others weighing 36 ozs. and 26 ozs. were found in ‘Specimen Gully’.
  • September – Two old fossickers found an 1 1 oz. 3 dwt. nugget in comparatively new ground six foot from the surface. The nugget was sold to Thomson and Cornrie, Storekeepers at Tamagulla.
  • 22nd December – At a depth of 13 feet Robinson and Methven had two good finds. The nuggets weighing 48 and 32 ounces were found at one of the best yieldmg places in that year – ‘Specimen Gully’.

1876  December – More finds at “Specimen Gully”. A 43 oz. nugget was found at a depth of 26 fl

1885 – March. At the Bank of Victoria in Dunolly this month a 12 oz. 17 dwt. nugget from Waanyarra was sold.

1887 – July. A 2 lb. weight was unearthed at Gourley’s reef.

1888

  • 23rd July. Imadoe Jerold found a 46 oz. 6 dwt. nugget at a depth of 14 feet.
  • 22nd December. John Pearce and John McEvoy, who had been puddling for some time in an alluvial gully at Waanyarra found a 99 oz. 2 dwt. nugget. The gully, which had been worked in the early days of the diggings, had been famous for its large nuggets. The nugget which was found on bedrock of soft slate, about 6 ft. from the surface, was a solid piece of gold, waterworn and of irregular shape. It was also coated in parts with iron and contained small particles of ironstone and quartz.

1895 – Christmas Eve. At ‘Secret Hill’ in old ground, H. Raven and J. Gourley found two “small specks” totalling 53/4 ozs in weight.

1896 – ‘Secret Hill’ produced £20 worth of gold for A. Gourley and M. Flynn.

1903 – Waanyarra Rush.

  • Baker’s Orchard yielded 56 ozs. of gold found at 20 ft
  • Smith and Mason, Pallot, Hertinann and party bottomed at 26 feet and got 5Oozs, 51 ozs. and 70 ozs respectively, while Taig, Rymer and Storer found 106 ozs. Two feet above bedrock at 26 ft.
  • January – Donohue brothers bottomed at 15 ft., 20 chains west of their previous claim, and got a 20 oz. nugget. Hancock brothers got a 15 oz. piece in Mr. Montaigne’s paddock.
  • February 24 – Lancaster and party got a nugget weighing 80 ozs and Connolly and Clarridge one of 12 ozs. The next day Smith and party found two nuggets, one weighing 50 ozs. and the other 40 ozs.
  • March 31 -A party of Waanyarra diggers sold £100 worth of gold in Tarnagulla, and nuggets weighing 27 ozs., 15 ozs. and 5 ozs. were found at Waanyarra by undisclosed diggers.
  • June – Jarry and Baker discovered 2 ozs. of gold, but greater discoveries were being made at the rush. C. DeSantis and party 27 ozs. at 26 ft.
  • Lockett and Scholes 27 ozs. at 26 fL
  • J. Connolly and party 44 ozs. and 26 ozs. at 26 ft.
  • E. Williamson 29 ozs. at 26 ft.

1904. 22ndApril-Haywood and party produced a 9Oozs. nugget from a shaft they sunk in Baker’s Orchard. The gold was found at a depth of 20 ft.

1906 – The Poseidon Rush.

  • 8th December. ‘The Poseidon Nugget’ was unearthed in the Parish of Waanyarra. The huge nugget weighed 95 3 ozs. gross and 703 ozs. net. Woodall and party found the nugget 10 inches underground, 2 inches above bedrock with much quartz. This find began the last of the big rushes to the area.

1887 – The Jubilee Reef – 19th July.

120 shares at £10 each had been taken out to work the Jubilee Reef Co. at Waanyarra. Work had begun on the Jubilee mine. By March 1888 the shaft had reached 73 feet. The sinking was hard but the water level had not increased. By April the shaft had reached 97 feet and had been timbered. There was much water which was kept down with one horse and a whip bucket. A changing room had been built for the men. Reef mining and quartz crushing was also carried out at Waanyarra.

1867 saw several groups trying ground in the Canadian and Anglesea reefs but alluvial mining was more common. Several attempts were made to open the quartz reefs in the Jones’ Creek neighbourhood but were unsuccessful although in some instances some very rich stone had been obtained. A 2 lb. weight had been taken from Gourley’s Reef in July, 1887.

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Gold At Waanyarra

Gold Nugget Replica Australia Waanyarra, south of Tarnagulla - depth 22 feet

Gold Nugget Replica Australia Waanyarra, south of Tarnagulla - depth 22 feet

Waanyarra is known to have produced the purest gold ever found in the world, being 99.9% pure. Waanyarra is also known for the large amount of alluvial nuggets found there.

Nuggets fascinated the digger more than the awesome amount of finer gold produced on the fields. A dull time on the fields was always revitalized by the discovery of a nugget.This can be seen by the various rushes which occurred at Waanyarra over the years.

The Inglewood Advertiser on 3rd January, 1862 reported “Mining at Jones’ Creek is generally dull”. But it was only a matter of weeks before the place was rushed after the news that a 52 lb. nugget had been found at “Secret Hill”. Then followed larger finds and Waanyarra was bustling again.

Due to the unstable conditions of life on the goldfields diggers felt it was wiser to conceal their gold than to advertise it. The discovery of many large lumps of gold was often never disclosed, hence the very incomplete record of nuggets. It is safe therefore, to assume that less than half the nuggets found were recorded. No systematic list was ever kept of large gold finds by individuals. Local newspaper reports advertised the findings of huge nuggets, but many sizeable lumps were broken up before sale and the details never came forth.

The Chinese were known to have found vast amounts of nuggets but records were rarely kept.

Early reports of the Waanyarra area painted a vivid, if unrealistic picture of the Jones’ Creek diggings:

Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, 1857.

“Specimens were being constantly discovered, so much so that the diggers used to enjoy their Sundays by strolling about the Ranges picking up nuggets in all directions, and of all sizes and richness”.

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Bofill/Grey

By Estella Evans (nee Bofill) Born at Waanyarra 1900

My grandparents, Martin and Katrina (nee Dromana) originated in Barcelona, Spain. Katrina worked on the cork plantation owned by Martin’s family. Martin and Katrina were married and went to live in London, where they had begun a cork importing business.

By the early 1860’s they migrated to Australia on the vessel “Lincolnshire” with their five year old daughter, Annette. The rest of the children, Henry, Martin, Annie and Mary were all born at Waanyarra.
My Father was Henry, he married Evelyn Mildred Grey in 1894. They had three children, Catherine May, Estella Celia and Harry.

We lived in a lovely house at Waanyarra. Sadly, it is not there now. In my eyes it was the most beautiful stone, Spanish style house. We had vines, lucerne and a barley paddock. My Father did not like the land and sold all but two paddocks. The house was built over a wine cellar and I think there were fourteen steps down and it had two entrances.

Bofill Family c1900 - Katy, Estella, Evelyn (nee Gray), Henry, Katrina (nee Dromana), Bernard O'Callaghan

Bofill Family c1900 - Katy, Estella, Evelyn (nee Gray), Henry, Katrina (nee Dromana), Bernard O'Callaghan

In 1914 there was a flood which filled the cellar. We pumped all day and night to clear out the water. The flood was so bad that dead cows and horses were washed down the creek.

My father’s teacher at the Waanyarra School was Mr. Birrell, to whom he paid 1 /- a week for his education.

I remember my school days at Waanyarra very well. Mr. Strange was my teacher. He was very strict. It was said that he was sent to the school to tame the wild boys of Waanyarra. He would take the boys he classed as unruly, hold them by the shoulder, run them from one end of the room to the other, and would say, “Those I can’t bend I will break”.

My sister Katy was also taught by Mr. Strange, he seemed to favour us. He called Katy and I “his beautiful’. In those days we had dark brown eyes. He would call us out in front of the class and ask us to read something, I never wanted to go. Both Katy and I were very shy. He would say to the class “Now I will quote from “The Arab To His Steed”.

The poem would begin with “My beautiful, my beautiful, thou standest meekly by” (we’d stand there scared and embarrassed), “With thou proudly arched and glossy neck, and dark and fiery eye”. Then he’d turn away from us and say to the class, laughing, “When she’s in a temper”. We’d go home and tell our mother how embarrassed we felt and how we hated it. Now days I suppose that would be classed as some type of harassment.

We had wonderful school picnics where prizes were given for running and skipping and games. I won a lovely china slipper ornament in a skipping contest whilst I was at the Waanyarra School.
Our School had a porch entrance with a cupboard in which we kept our books. Inside the schoolroom was the teacher’s desk, a fireplace and cupboards, the walls were painted a sandy colour.

There were about 35 children going to the School when I started there in 1906.

The Post Office at Waanyarra East was run by Mrs. Williams, at least up until I came to Melbourne in 1919. The other Post Office was operated from Jarry’s White Swan Hotel along the Dunolly Road.
The Williams Family lived near us over the creek. Mrs. Williams had a lovely garden. She grew roses, white lilac and cyclamen. Along their side of the creek grew palm trees.

Elsie Williams

Elsie Williams

Pearl and Emma Williams were my best friends. Elsie Williams was Katy’s friend.

The creek to me as a child was a real river. Although Dad dug a well we relied on creek water to drink during the summer. We’d purify the creek water by sprinkling ashes in it.

There were a lot of old single men living in the bush in their huts. Mr. Carewickham used to come to our place and wait all day for the baker to arrive. Mum would give him scones and apple pie. Sometimes I would be sent by my mother to give one of the old men some bacon and a few eggs.

Granny Bofill nearly always had bread and butter and grapes for her lunch. We had no citrus fruit. I remember once some people came to Maunders and I thought they must be very wealthy because they came in a car and brought a case of oranges with them. I was given an orange and I made it last for a month. I kept it in its peel in a paper bag and I just ate a little at a time.

The Indian Hawkers stayed in the lane near our place and Strahan’s. Meer Khan and Naran Singh are the ones I remember. Meer Khan was a gentleman. He gave us things to keep our teeth clean. If Mum gave Meer Khan a hen he would make a chicken curry. He made Johnny Cakes and put the curry on them and we’d have some.

Katy and I would sit for hours, poking sticks into the fire whilst talking to the hawkers.

Bofills 1913 - Harry, Estella, Evelyn (nee Gray), Henry, Katy

Bofills 1913 - Harry, Estella, Evelyn (nee Gray), Henry, Katy

My father was politically aware and would go to meetings in the area. Some meetings were held at the School, I would go with him, but would try to make him promise not to stand up. I was very embarrassed if my Father got up to say his piece. Candidates for election had posters on trees and fences, some names I remember are Barker, Barnes, McKlisick and Russell.

I remember some of the places around Waanyarra as being very beautiful. Lockett’s place had a lovely smell in the dairy. The mud brick and the fly-wire on the windows was magnificent to my eye. There was a separator on a large stump in the middle of the dairy floor. The house was also lovely with the three gables and an orchard with apple trees.

Mrs. Williams’ dairy was close to their house. It was built like a cellar. Three steps were dug into the earth, there was a short passage and the roof was at ground level. The roof was slightly pitched and poles supported the earth which made the covering for the roof.

Williams' Cellar/Dairy?

Williams' Cellar/Dairy?

The Williams’ house was quite beautiful as I remember it, especially the garden.

In the bush behind Fred, and his wife Lillian (nee Pearce), Williams’ house we would gather arms full of Bendigo Wax flowers and Double Wax, which we called Waanyarra Wax.

My grandfather, Martin, imported grape vines from Spain, but during an outbreak of the virus Phylloxera, nearly all his vines died.
Aunt Jane reached her hundredth year in 1963. The following year my brother Harry had a heart attack and died very suddenly. Sadly, my sister Katy died early this year, 1987. She was in her 93rd year.

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“The Footsteps Echo” by Lynne Douthat

The Footsteps Echo

The Footsteps Echo

Waanyarra has its legends and myths set around the early gold-rush days of the 1850’s.

“The Footsteps Echo” relates many of these stories and records the events of the times, with an abundance of photographs.

Over fifty family histories and stories have been contributed to this book, thereby making it a book for future generations to enjoy.

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“In Neptune’s Wake” by Ken Morton

In Neptune’s Wake

Back cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst written primarily as a family history for his children, Ken Morton’s book “In Neptune’s Wake” records the story of one of Waanyarra’s pioneering families, the Mortons, and their associated families.

The family, established by Irish convict Michael Morton in the early 1850’s lived at Waanyarra for almost 100 years—their original homestead “The Welcome Inn” still stands.

“In Neptune’s Wake” – Introduction

“In Neptune’s Wake” – Chapter 1

“In Neptune’s Wake” – Chapter 2 part1

“In Neptune’s Wake” – Chapter 2 part2

“In Neptune’s Wake” – Chapter 3 part 1

“In Neptune’s Wake” – Chapter 3 part 2

The remaining chapters deal with the lives and activities of the people in the various branches of Ken’s family and not considered appropriate for inclusion on the site.

Hard copies of the book are no longer available.

Ken has updated the content progressively on CD since first publishing in 1993.

 

 

 

 

 

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“The Loddon Aboriginals” by Norm Darwin.

Occupying parts of the North Central area of Victoria were the Jajoweroung (Jajawurrung) tribe, also known as the Djadja Wurrung people.

The name, “Jim Crow blacks”, was also used by the early settlers. Jim Crow being the name given to Mt Franklin by Captain Hepburn.

It is thought Jim Crow was a corruption of the word Jumcra, a name given to the squatters run which covered the district. Coincidentally, the crow featured strongly in the Jajawurrung folk law, it was regarded as lord of the plains.

Another story is told of Captain Hepburn naming the mount after a popular James Rice tune of 1835,

“Wheel about and turn about and do just so,
Turn about and wheel about and jump Jim Crow.”

The Jajawurrung people spoke the same dialect, with minor variations and their `Clan’ chief was considered to be Munangabum of the Liarga balug tribe (located near Maldon). There were 16 tribes in the Jajawurrung’s area.

Note the comment of Helen Davey regarding the use of the words “Aborigine” and “Aboriginal.”

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Michael Morton – The Irish Rebel

This is a scanned image of the "Guardian's" column of one hundred and fifty two years ago.

This is a scanned image of the "Guardian's" column of one hundred and fifty two years ago.

Early in July 1847, a young Irishman in the County of Tipperary stole a cow.

Was he registering a protest against the poverty and oppression he and his family were suffering?

Poverty brought on by the failure of yet another of their meagre potato crops due to Potato Blight, and oppression from the harsh treatment of their landlord from whom his family rent their small plot of land.

Perhaps there was a much simpler reason. He may have hoped that this “crime” would have resulted in his transportation to Van Dieman’s Land where he would be reunited with his brother, sent there two years earlier for attempting to assassinate a wealthy landlord, but then other people stole cows with gay abandon and got off with a couple of months imprisonment.

The newspapers of the day carried many reports of this activity resulting in light sentences. Was this the defiant action of a politically motivated person, vehemently opposed to the occupation of his country by the British Crown and its privileged supporters? Was he in fact a member of “The Young Irelanders” movement? A group dedicated to the harassment of these foreigners and their eventual eviction from Ireland.

The severity of his sentence almost certainly indicated that he was a political thorn in the side of the English, who will use any excuse to get rid of him. Later writings by senior English bureaucrats, including Earl Grey, refer to people such as he as “political prisoners.”

The cow, which belonged to Mr. William Meara, was grazing on the grounds of “Moona Mona”, one of the town commons near the Northern Tipperary town of Roscrae and quite handy to the little settlement of Cullahill, where this young “thief” lived with his parents, Thomas Moten/Letsome and Catherine Madden.

On Tuesday July 13th. 1847, in the Quarter Sessions Court in Nenagh, Tipperary, Queen’s Counsel Mr. Sergeant Howley, sentenced the 19 year old labourer, Michael Morton, to 10 years transportation for his crime.

One of the local newspapers,”THE NENAGH GUARDIAN,” reported the Court proceedings. This publication is still being produced.

We are indebted to Liam Doran, a journalist with the “Guardian,” for taking the trouble to reseach the files of the paper and provide press clippings relating to Michael’s trial, and to the capture and trial two years before of John Morton (Moton) one of Michael’s brothers. Liam is also Morton descendant.

John attempted to assassinate a wealthy English landlord, was captured after an exciting chase, tried and transported to Van Dieman’s Land for life.

The transcript of the judge’s statement when sentencing Michael follows:

“Michael Morton was found guilty of stealing a cow, the property of William Mearn.

His Worship, addressing the prisoner said – you are a farmer’s son and having employment when you stole the cow from the poor man, not through want or destitution but through the corruption of public example – that contagion of dishonesty has has spread like an epidemic through the country. It is deplorable to perceive that gentlemen and farmers are compelled to send their servants to take care of their places, to protect their property from being plundered. It is very painful for me to be obliged to pass severe sentences on persons who are found guilty of these offences. Nothing but the severity of the law and the influnece of example will terminate those aggressions on the property of the industrious. Not a single iota can be offered in mitigation of the sentence which it is my duty to pass on you. You were employed upon the railway where the labourers receive good wages, where you perpetrated the offence of which you habe been properly found guilty. The sentence of the court is that you be transported for ten years.”

Michael is placed aboard the ship “MEDWAY” on the 10th. of November 1847 to begin his journey to the place of transportation.

Little does he realise that he is embarking on a unique adventure that will remain a secret from his family and descendants for almost 150 years, and rate as one of the most unusual journeys of a convict to Van Dieman’s Land.

IRELAND IN THE LATE 1840’s.

To better understand the reasons for Michael’s lawlessness, we need to appreciate what conditions were like for people such as he in Ireland at the time. Most of the rural land in Ireland belongs to wealthy men, some of whom live on their properties, administering them personally. Others are absentee English gentry who probably inherited their estate, and not wishing to live there, employ agents as Managers. Landlords rent out much of their land to the local farming people, taking a substantial percentage of any crop as part payment of rent. Poorer people unable to afford to rent a plot may get some work with the small farmers, work as servants of the rich-or starve!

The mainstay of the economy and staple diet of the common people is the potato, which, since 1846, has been rotting in the ground due to the Blight. People are unable to pay their rents or obtain food. Additionally they are all expected to pay “Tithes” (One tenth of any proceeds from their land) to the Anglican Church-known as the Church of Ireland-the Church of the upper classes.

Labouring class people are almost all Catholic, but are still required to pay these tithes, famine or no famine! People are being evicted from their homes and dying in thousands from starvation. Typhoid fever is rampant, claiming many more lives. Many realise that their only hope of survival is to flee the country by any means possible. During the famine years 1846 to 1851, about one million people died in Ireland and two and a half million left the country as emigrants or convicts.

Could it be that Michael’s “crime” was his desperate attempt to avoid death from starvation or disease by deliberately getting himself arrested, with the almost certain consequential sentence of transportation given his political activism? Or was it an act of political protest? Answers to questions such as these would enhance the somewhat sketchy image that we have of the man so far.

THE AGRARIAN OUTRAGES

Groups of Irish men, mainly from the labouring class, banded together to plan campaigns of action against the injustices of the system which treated them so unfairly.

Their aim was to make their grievances known, and to reclaim “Ireland for the Irish.” They planned and carried out almost constant harassment of the property of the wealthy landlords. These actions became known as the “Agrarian Outrages” and included:-

Burning buildings, hayricks and crops.

Stealing livestock – sometimes for food – sometimes for revenge. Cows were often taken to provide the milk in which the potatoes were cooked whenever possible.

Killing or maiming livestock, leaving it to be found by the owner or his agent.

Predictably the privileged class soon had laws passed to outlaw belonging (or being suspected of belonging) to any protest group.

At the time of Michael’s arrest the most active protest group, “The Young Irelanders,” was causing great havoc. The severity of his sentence, compared to that handed out to others convicted on the same day, almost certainly indicates that the Magistrate believed him to be a member of that group.

MICHAEL’S JOURNEY.
Many interesting stories of how Michael came to Australia have been handed down through the various branches of his descendants. Each of these stories has been checked, but no records can be found to verify them.

No ships carrying either assisted or unassisted immigrants to Australia listed a Morton from Tipperary, or anywhere else in Ireland. The vast majority of Mortons came from England or Scotland.

Only two other Michael Mortons have been found in all of the record checking carried out-one an Englishman who arrived with his wife Sophia and infant son John in the 1850s-the other a convict transported to Van Dieman’s Land in 1822, six years before our ancestor was born.

During 1988, the Irish Government presented Australia with a Bicentennial gift-a computer data base containing records of all Irish people transported to Australia between 1837 and the early 1850’s when the transportation system ended.

These records contain the following information:

YEAR: 1847 CONVICT NAME: MICHAEL MORTON

AGE: 19 DATE OF TRIAL: JULY 13TH. 1847

TRIAL PLACE: TIPPERARY SHIP: MEDWAY

SENTENCE: 10 YEARS CRIME: COW STEALING

Microfilm records of the original gaol lists and transportation records revealed more details:

PLACE OF TRIAL: TIPPERARY EYES: GREY

HEIGHT: 5ft. 7¼in. HAIR: BROWN

COMPLEXION: FRESH READ / WRITE: NEITHER

DISPOSAL WHEN: 10/11/1847 HOW: MEDWAY

MARRIED / SINGLE: SINGLE / LABOURER

We are indebted to Lyn Mc Innes for her discovery of this information in Latrobe library. Lyn maintains that she leapt up and shouted “Eureka” when Michael’s name appeared on the monitor screen.

The next step in verifying that this man was our ancestor was to discover where the ship went-a task made difficult by the fact that there were seven “MEDWAYS”, six of which had come to Australia at various times.
None of these ships however had brought a Michael Morton here.

“Bound for Australia”, a book by David Hawkings, along with some British Home Office records on microfilm at the Victorian State Library, led to the discovery of the particular “MEDWAY” into which Michael had been herded in November 1847.

FIRST STOP BERMUDA.
Following his sentencing, it is most likely that Michael was transferred from Nenagh to the convict prison on Spike Island in Cork harbour to await embarkation.

Commissioned as a convict ship in October 1847, the “MEDWAY” took her human cargo aboard a short time later, probably at Cork harbour. She set sail for Bermuda on November 10th. 1847, having ridden out a severe storm two days before. Several other ships had broken their moorings and collided, causing much damage. “MEDWAY” appears to have survived the storm unscathed.

After a journey of some three months, the “MEDWAY” berthed at the wharves at Ireland island in Bermuda. As she was to be converted to a floating prison “Hulk”, her prisoners were immediately moved to other accommodation. Records show Michael was transferred on Feb.9th. 1848 to the “THAMES”, a twenty five year old hulk, destined to sink at its moorings there in June 1863. He was returned to the “MEDWAY” about nine months later, presumably when the conversion was complete.

Most hulks used as long term gaols were made by stripping the ships superstructure and replacing it with a two or three level dormitory style building with kitchen, mess hall, ablution block and chapel.

A Typical “Hulk”

CHAPEL


CONVICT WARD

GALLERY


WASHROOM
All above images from David T Hawkings book “Bound for Australia”
(Published in Australia by Library of Australian History)

Convicts had been working in the dockyards and quarries of Bermuda since 1824, and from 1846 onwards much labour had been used to extensively alter and add to the fortifications of the islands. The English were afraid that the Americans planned to attack Bermuda to capture convicts to add to their slave numbers.

The British Home Office required the Supervisor of each hulk to make a quarterly report on each prisoner, and it was during his stay on the “THAMES” that Michael Morton became Michael Moreton – a misspelling that remained in his records until his arrival in Australia. These quarterly “hulk returns” provided the information that allowed the next stage of Michael’s journey to be discovered.

THEN TO “THE CAPE.”
Earl Grey of the British Colonial Office keenly supported the idea of allowing well behaved prisoners to be selected for resettlement in the colonies as “Exiles”- an Exile being a prisoner accepting the option of serving his or her sentence as a free person in a colony. He also maintained that many convicts, particularly the Irish, were not criminals, and should be seen for what they really were, political activists.

Grey had an ideal opportunity to put these ideas to the test when, in May 1848, it was decided to dispatch 600 convicts to the Cape of Good Hope. They were to build a breakwater in Table Bay. In August of that year, Grey proposed that these convicts be exiled to the Cape, and immediately directed that 300 political offenders in Bermuda should be sent there.

In a letter to the Administrator of the penal colony at Bermuda, Grey refused to accede to a request that these prisoners be sent to the Cape at no charge to themselves. He ordered that each should pay ten pounds for his passage to the Cape. Presumably this fee was deducted out of any money the prisoners earned whilst working for their jailers!

The hulk return from the “MEDWAY” for the quarter to June 1849, shows Michael transferred to the “NEPTUNE .” The actual notation against Michael’s name on the hulk return reads:-

“Transferred to the Neptune on 20th of April 1849 for the Cape of Good Hope on Ticket of Leave.”

“NEPTUNE” was a 35 year old sailing ship of some 644 tons built in Calcutta in 1814, and the fourth convict transport ship to carry that name, the first being the infamous vessel which was part of the Second Fleet of 1790. An unusually large ship for those days of 809 tons, she gained her notoriety by having 161 of her cargo of 500 convicts die on the journey.

Michael’s “NEPTUNE” was always referred to as a “ship” which meant that it was a “full rigged” or “square rigged” vessel with three masts. She had been used only once before as a convict transport – this being in 1838 when she brought 350 male prisoners to Hobart.

A TYPICAL “SHIP”
“NEPTUNE” sailed from Bermuda on the 24th. of April 1849. For this journey she was under the command of Captain Henderson. The surgeon entrusted with the formidable task of keeping “passengers” and crew alive and as healthy as possible, died before they reached the Cape. He was replaced by Surgeon Superintendent Thomas Gibson on their arrival.

Being put on a Ticket of Leave meant that on their arrival at the Cape they would be handed the “Ticket”, which would allow them to work for themselves in any spare time they had outside their required convict labours.

The people of the Cape colony were violently opposed to these arrangements, and in June 1849, well before the arrival of the “NEPTUNE,” had formed an Anti Convict Association to lobby the Colonial Office against the move.

After making a brief stop at Pernambuco on the east coast of Brazil on July 18th. to replenish water and supplies, the “NEPTUNE” dropped anchor in Simon’s Bay at the Cape on September 19th. 1849.

By this time opposition to the landing of these men had reached hysterical proportions in the Cape colony and they could not disembark. The colony refused provisions, medical supplies and water to the “NEPTUNE,” all of which had to be obtained from Mauritius.

Grey came under increasing pressure to abandon his plans and eventually bowed to the wishes of his opponents, both in England and the colonies. On February 13th. 1850, some five months after arriving at the Cape, he ordered Captain Henderson to take the ageing “NEPTUNE” on her second voyage to Van Dieman’s Land.

In the flurry of activity preceding the departure, people from the mainland were deployed in helping with the stowing of materials and provisions on the “NEPTUNE.” She sailed with 282 convicts (18 had died since leaving Bermuda), 43 troopers as guards, and 6 paying passengers. The number of crew is unknown.

“We sail this day: the wind full against us, blowing straight up the bay: no matter – the commodore has sent the war steamer “GEYSER” to tow us out. We have got the hawser fixed, and are slowly moving out of Simon’s Bay, and down the broad expanse of False Bay. The mountains are fading behind us. Another continent has arisen from the sea before me, now Africa vanishes too. Shall I ever set foot upon dry land more?”

Entry (Dated 19th.February) in the diary of John Mitchel, one of the prisoners on board the “NEPTUNE”, and a well known political activist for the freedom of Ireland.
Much of Mitchel’s diary writings are included in the book “The Gardens of Hell” edited by Peter O ‘ Shaughnessy.

It is possible that “NEPTUNE” did not clear the Cape until the 21st., as this is the departure date shown in the shipping movements columns of the “Hobart Town Gazette” and “Argus” newspapers of the day. The unfavourable winds mentioned by Mitchel may have delayed the departure.

No doubt Michael and the other sea weary people on board shared Mitchel’s sentiments as they braced themselves for the next stage of their journey.

THE “ARGUS” WEDNESDAY APRIL 24th. 1850.
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
“At length the question of whether the Cape shall be a penal colony has been settled. The “GLENTANNER” arrived in Table Bay on 12th. February, brought despatches from Earl Grey, intimating that the Order in Council constituting the Cape a penal colony would be revoked, and directing the removal of the “NEPTUNE” with her loathsome freight to Van Dieman’s Land. As might be expected the Cape colonists were in high glee at the success of their “passive resistance”, and they testified their gratitude and joy by public thanksgiving, illuminations and feasting.”

Pretty stale news item, “NEPTUNE” arrived Hobart April 5th.

Michael’s Five Year Journey

Immediately after clearing False Bay “NEPTUNE” steered due south to latitude 46°, where she could run before the strong westerly wind (The Roaring Forties), and ride the Antarctic Drift current. She often covered 200 miles in a day.

“NEPTUNE” reached the mountainous southern coast of Van Dieman’s Land in early April. The waters were placid as they rounded the many promontories, wooded to the waters edge. After one night becalmed, the ship made way to the head of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, taking on a pilot there to guide them to anchor in the Derwent river, a quarter of a mile from the quays and Custom house of Hobart Town.

Officials and police were soon aboard, checking the roll and informing the men that they would be landing as free men. Thomas Gibson had kept everybody on board alive to this point, but sadly he died just ten days later at Newtown.

All except John Mitchel received conditional pardons, which meant that they gained total freedom on the condition that they did not return to England until their sentence had been served. Mitchel was given restricted freedom with a “Ticket of Leave” requiring him to report regularly to the police.

Michael and his fellow passengers received their conditional pardons on Tuesday April 5th.1850.

Almost three years after his trial-HE WAS FREE!

Hobart Town to Melbourne

Michael stayed in Tasmania for about two and a half years, another period in his life which he does not appear to have revealed to his family, who believed that he had lived only in Victoria. This segment of his life was not recorded in any official records or documents (Presumably his convict records were destroyed when he was conditionally pardoned) until he embarked from Launceston on November 8th. 1852 on the “YARRA YARRA,” bound for Melbourne. Goldrushes had begun in many parts of Victoria, and people were flocking to them from all over the world.

We do not know whether Michael made contact with his brother John during this time in Tasmania – indeed what happened to John remained a mystery for some time until records of his marriage, birth of his children and his death in Victoria were found in 1993.

Michael apparently never knew that John had moved to Victoria-although rumours of the existence of a mystery brother did exist amongst some older family members.

1854 ONWARDS.

By early 1854 Michael had made his way to the rich gold producing region of Central Victoria known nowadays as “The Golden Triangle” an area bounded roughly by Bendigo, Wedderburn and Maryborough. In March 1855 at Maryborough, he married Elizabeth Hawkins, a Scottish lady from Roxburghshire. No record of the marriage has been found to date, and it is only from information given by Michael and Elizabeth when registering the birth of some of their children that this marriage detail was discovered.

 ELIZABETH HAWKINS.
Wife of Michael Morton

ELIZABETH HAWKINS
Shortly before her death in 1909
Despite a great deal of time and effort, very little information, has been found to indicate how Elizabeth made her way to Australia and thence to Waanyarra.
One romantic story related to her grandchildren, told of her being widowed as Mrs. Hawkins-Black, hailing from Edinburgh and traveling to Australia on the same ship as Michael.
Predictably the tale of a shipboard romance between them unfolds, with a mysterious brother of Michael also vying for the lady’s fair hand.
Michael, who according to another family legend was a defrocked Catholic priest, emerges triumphant, willing to marry Elizabeth despite her refusal to abandon her Presbyterian faith. The brother, being of stronger religious resolve presumably, retires from the contest, never to be heard of again.
This saga reaches its predictable romantic conclusion with a shipboard wedding.
The facts we know do not support this fable. By their own statements recorded on documents, we know when and where they married, that Elizabeth came from Roxburghshire, and Michael’s age and birthplace match the convict records.
At the time of writing, how Elizabeth Hawkins came to Australia remains a mystery. An Elizabeth Hawkins about the correct age and time of arrival in Australia arrived on a ship called “Blonde” in 1848, but hailed from Oxford shire in England.
Another Elizabeth Hawkins is being investigated—her name appears on a record of departures for the Brig “SWAN” which sailed for Port Phillip on April 26th.1849. This listing was made by Police at Georgetown (Launceston), to ensure that only “authorised persons” left Van Dieman’s Land.
This lady maintained that she had arrived in Tasmania aboard the “ROYAL SAXON,” a ship which made several journeys to Tasmania. No shipping list has yet been found to confirm this.
Elizabeth Morton (nee Hawkins) died of stomach cancer at Waanyarra on May 24th.1909, aged (78?). She is buried with Michael in the family grave at Waanyarra.

Michael and Elizabeth ?

Michael and Elizabeth

Michael and Elizabeth were in the County of Gladstone (probably at Waanyarra) when their first child Catherine was born, c.1855. About this time Michael began to establish himself in business in the area, erecting a substantial stone building as a combined dwelling and store, much of which still stands today on the road called Morton’s Lane at Waanyarra.

Morton’s store soon became one of the main sources of provisions for the many gold miners in the area, and it seems that Michael soon realised that there was money to be made by adding the sale and serving of stimulating alcoholic beverages to his business. Unfortunately he neglected to obtain the necessary licence for this part of his business, and eventually fell foul of the law.

In April 1865, Constable Patrick Fahey carried out a Court Order issued by the Tarnagulla Court of Petty Sessions, confiscating a quantity of liquor in Michael’s possession. On February 2nd. 1866 he was granted a licence, and by 1872 the establishment was known as “MORTON’S WELCOME INN.”

The “WELCOME INN” and Catherine Morton both feature in the recorded details of the inquest into the death of Swiss miner Stephen Pozzi on September 17th. 1872. The body had been brought to the inn late that day. At the inquest the following day Catherine gave evidence that she had served the deceased with a number of beers, not long before his death.

Buying and selling gold became another branch of the business.Michael’s gold measures are today looked after by one of his great-grandsons. The only other possession of his known to exist is his three quarter Hunter silver pocket watch-still in the family, and still working.

Undoubtedly Michael overcame many disadvantages to become a respected citizen in the Waanyarra community. He was unable to write in 1863, the year in which the inquest into the accidental death of his second daughter Elizabeth was held. Michael signed his testimony with a cross. He was able to sign his name by November 1865, when he was one of the jury at the inquest into the death of Alexandrina Draper at Grassy Flat.

The only public office he seemed to have held was that of Trustee of the Roman Catholic section of the Waanyarra cemetery, to which he was elected in 1871.

Sadly very little verifiable information can be found to build an accurate image of this somewhat mysterious man. That he possessed great resilience, determination and resourcefulness is beyond question. Regrettably he did not pass on details of his adventurous early years to his family, but then how was he to know how prestigious having a “Convict” in the family was to be today?

Michael died of asthma and senility in 1905, aged 77. He is buried in the family grave at the Historic Waanyarra cemetery in Central Victoria.

Michael’s Family.

Michael and Elizabeth appear not to have registered the birth of all of their children, even though the law requiring this was established in 1853. Maybe Michael’s inability to read at this time meant that they were ignorant of this law.

In order of birth, their children were:

CATHERINE TERESA Born 1854? or 1856?
MARY MAUDE Born 1857.
ELIZABETH Born 1858.
THOMAS Born 1861.
JOHN * Born 1862.
MICHAEL Born 1864.
EDWARD * Born 1866.
MARGARET * Born 1868.

* Births registered.

The years of birth shown for the unregistered children have been calculated from information in Marriage, Baptism or Death records.

From the book “In Neptune’s Wake” by Ken Morton

 

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Raven and Williams Families

Henry Raven

Henry Raven

The Williams Family By: Nell Callister

“There were eight of them, Dave, Bill, Jim, Tom, Ted, Jane, Emily and Alice.

Along with the Raven kids, they walked two and a half miles to attend the Waanyarra School. The families had no money but they had plenty of fun, and my brother and I were made to feel quite envious when we’d hear some of their stories.

Jane married a garage owner by the name of Frank Zinnecker. With their daughter Hazel and friend they decided to be the first to cross the Nullabor Plain by car from Perth to Melbourne, which they did in 1926.

There was no real road to follow, only telegraph poles. As they left each outpost a phone message was sent to the next stop to say there were travellers on the way, so that if they did not make their destination in a certain time a search party would be sent out. Fortunately, this measure was never used. They had many stories to tell about the trip. The Melbourne ‘Herald’ had a large spread on the journey when they arrived in Melbourne.

Jane Williams c1870

JANE WILLIAMS c1870

My parents were Jane Raven, the youngest of the Raven children and Thomas Williams. Being the youngest, my mother wore all the hand-me-down shoes and never had a new pair all her childhood. One time she had no shoes as there were none ready to be handed down so could not attend a picnic. I remember my mother being very conscious of the upkeep of her shoes, and would have them repaired immediately they became slightly worn, probably the memories of being shoeless remained with her all her life.

My parents were born and bred at Waanyarra. Henry Raven and his wife raised a large family, five girls and two boys and there is not one ‘Galah’ amongst all the Ravens.”

Emily Williams c1870

Emily Williams c1870

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Cemetery Records

Extensive research by FAFOW members and other volunteers over many years has lead to the reconstruction of the burial records for the cemetery, the original having been destroyed in a house fire in the early forties we believe.

Copies of these records have been placed with most genealogical societies in Victoria, and are now shown on this site.

Links to other pages showing some of the project work done by FAFOW over the years are on the “FAFOW” page.

 

 

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FAFOW – Families & Friends of Waanyarra

FAFOW

The Families and Friends of Waanyarra is a group of people dedicated to the preservation of the historic significance of this once rich gold mining area.

The group had it’s beginnings in 1988 when a highly successful “Back to” was held in March of that year.

Descendants of the pioneer families of the district and virtually anyone with any connection to the place gathered together for the first time since the early sixties.

In the intervening years these reunions have been held biannually with all proceeds being used to carry out various projects. Recently the group has received grant funds from

  • the Loddon Shire for the restoration of the post and rail front fence of the Historic cemetery,
  • Parks Victoria for the production and installation of gravemarkers to each of the unmarked graves therein, and
  • the Human Services department for the design, manufacture and placement of a new naming sign for the cemetery.

Other projects completed and funded by the group include

  • the complete restoration of the cemetery entrance, replicating as far as possible the original decorative gate posts, wrought iron main gate, picket side fencing and pedestrian gate.
  • the installation of an information sign, etched on stainless steel, giving some of the history of the cemetery.
  • the installation of three bronze plaques on large local rocks carrying the names of one hundred and twenty nine people buried in the historic cemetery with no gravemarker.

The team who rebuilt the cemetery front fence

 

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Welcome to Waanyarra

This site is dedicated to the historic “Golden Triangle” locality of Waanyarra, in Central Victoria, Australia.

Waanyarra

Information of its history, pioneering families and fabulously rich gold mining past will be found here.

The efforts of the “Families and Friends of Waanyarra” and other interested people to keep the history of the area alive—bring the descendants of the pioneering families together—and restore and maintain the historic Waanyarra cemetery will also be given some coverage.

Genealogists seeking information on people in the area in bygone days may find some vital clues in the cemetery records which have been reconstructed over the past ten years.

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The Gibbs Brothers

By Richard Shiell

William Gibbs

William Gibbs

William was born at Edbury, Oxfordshire UK in 1832. He arrived in Australia on the “Salem” in March 1854 and died at Dunolly (?) on August 18th 1912. He lived at Nuggetty Flat with brothers John Woodman and Richard. None of the brothers married, and all are buried at Tarnagulla.

William claimed he was the first to hatch out chickens without a hen!!

Four kilometres on the left, as one drives towards Tarnagulla from Laanecoorie, is an area of cleared land at each side of Nuggetty Creek, and the ruins of a mud brick residence. This land (A4) was selected by the Gibbs brothers in the 1860’s and titlee to the land was granted on 21st November, 1871.

Gibbs Ruins

Gibbs "Ruins" Today

John Woodman Gibbs arrived in Australia 19th August, 1851, on the ship King William. He must have sent back encouraging reports of life on the goldfields because his brother Richard arrived on the ship Negotiator in September, 1852, and William on the Salem in March, 1854. The brothers came from the town of Edbury in Oxfordshire where their father was a farmer.

Today the most notable feature on their 15 acre block is the ruins of what was once a very well constructed stone and mud brick house. Beside the house there is the remains of a cellar and 100 metres away the creek has been deepened in one area to form a small water catchment. This would have provided stock and irrigation water for some months after the remainder of the creek had dried. The banks have been reinforced for about 30 metres in one region, possibly to prevent flooding of the brothers’ vegetable patch.

The Gibbs’ mud brick house was constructed with stone at the bottom five courses and corners and resisted erosion very well until the shingle roof collapsed about 30 years ago.
Rumour has it that the house once served as a Penny School with Richard Gibbs as teacher. However, other authorities claim this is not so and that the Penny School was a wooden structure in the adjacent paddock owned by John Gibbs (Allotment 1).

Gibbs Home (1950's?) Built c1860?

Gibbs Home (1950's?) Built c1860?

Indeed this block was always referred to as the “School Paddock” by Andrew Sturni who bought the land long after the building had been demolished. These small private schools all closed when the State introduced free education in 1871.

The other notable feature of the property is the dilapidated orchard which straggles along the banks of Nuggetty Creek for about 200 metres. There are almond, peach and dozens of quince and plum trees and a multitude of self propagated offspring.

Ruth Ewart, a journalist with “The Age” wrote a piece published on 31st May 1988 in the Gardening Section entitled “Last Gift of Summer Lightens Dark Days”. In this essay she describes this deserted orchard and its homely quince trees which have continued to bear fruit for over a century.

The Gibbs brothers worked as miners in the early days but as they grew older turned their attention to farming their small holding. There was no main road past their home in those days but all the surrounding allotments were populated. so there was no shortage of congenial company.

The Pallots, Wilshusens and Bakers all had large families and lived within a few hundred yards. The nearest shops were some three miles away at Waanyarra but the old timers were extremely self reliant and probably only needed to visit town every month or so or to attend church services.

Richard Gibbs died in 1890 aged 63 and his brother John followed in 1899 aged 71 years. The youngest brother Bill lived on until 1912 when he died of “apoplexy and syncope” at the age of 80. None of the brothers ever married and Bill left his estate to his nephews Henry and John Gibbs of Longton, Staffordshire, England and small bequests to locals, Henry Wilshusen and Mrs. Carrique of Waanyarra.

Article originally published in “The Footsteps Echo” by Lynne Douthat

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“Sly Grogging” at Waanyarra

SLY GROGGING AT WAANYARRA

“The TARNAGULLA and LLANELLY COURIER”
Saturday April 29th 1893

Selling Liquor without a license

Daniel Ferguson Chief Inspector of Exercise Vs Jane Burstall

For selling liquor without a license at Waanyarra on the 18th of March. Mr Ferguson conducted the prosecution, and Mr Phelps appeared for the defence,
Mr Phelps objected to the layout of the summons which did not state what kind of liquor his client was charged with selling. This he contended was a fatal mistake and he would ask for a dismissal of the case, with costs.

Mr Ferguson said it was not necessary to state what kind of liquor was purchased, and pointed out that the Licensing Act empowered the presiding Magistrate to amend the summons if necessary.
The Police Magistrate took the same view of the case and added-to wit, beer- after liquor………………………… (text unreadable) of the similar cases, and asked the PM to make a note of his objections, which was done. Each charge was similarly amended.

Mr Ferguson in opening the case said it was taken under the 182nd section of the Licensing Act, 1890. In consequence of complaints made that liquor was being freely disposed of around Waanyarra an officer was sent to make enquires. The places were under no police control, and the Exercise department were strenuously endeavouring to put down the practice of sly grog selling, and he hoped if a conviction could be proved that this pernicious traffic was being carried on that the Bench would inflict a substantial penalty. He called Arthur George Henry, who, on being sworn, deposed that he was employed by the Customs and Revenue Department. On 18th 0f March last he visited Mrs Burstall’s place at Waanyarra and asker her if she had any wine.’

She said “No, but I have some beer” and asked her daughter to bring a bottle. A bottle of Cohn’s pale ale was brought for which I paid 1s. Was quite certain that the beer was of an intoxicating nature and was not hop beer.

To Mr. Phelps : Know Waanyarra, was at Morton’s the previous night collecting evidence. Left there on the morning of the 18th and was quite sober. I was sitting up until 4 o’clock in the morning. If anyone said I was drinking all the morning it is false. When I went to Burstall’s I asked for wine. It was not hop beer that she said she had. I told Mrs Burstall that I joined in raffles at Mortons and won a table which I sold to Mr Morton for 6s. No person was with me at the time. Did not take the bottle away with me because there were other places which I wished to visit, and the bottle might cause suspicion. I know hop beer from beer.

Mr Phelps contended that there was no corroborative evidence the bottle should have been produced. When getting up cases like these the prosecution have a right to be prepared to prove their cases without a doubt. The object of the informer is to get a conviction and he knows if he does not get a certain number of cases his name will be struck off the roll. He would show to the Bench that his client sold no beer, only hop beer, which she was entitled to sell, and would sell.

For the defence Jane Burstall was called, who deposed that she knew Henry who called at her place on the 18th March last and wanted to know if Henry Bofil was there. He said he came from Maryborough and asked for some wine. I told him I had no wine but could let him have some hop beer. He said he would have hop beer and I sent my daughter for a bottle. Henry gave me a shilling and I returned him 6d.He told me he had won a table in a raffle at Mortons and asked if I would raffle it again for him, which I refused to do.

To Mr. Phelps : It was hop beer which I made for my own use that Henry had: it had been bottled in one of Cohn’s ale bottles.

To Mr. Ferguson : Have been in the district 18 years. Henry bought a bottle of hop beer and put it down. I returned him 6d. I swear it was not Cohn’s ale which I gave him. Have bought some bottled beer at times from Mr Comrie which was drank by my husband and myself, but none of it was sold.

Florence Burstall, daughter of last witness, sworn, said she remembered Henry coming to her mother’s place on the 18th of last month and asking for wine. Mother called me and asked me to bring a bottle of hop beer, which I did.

To Mr. Ferguson : I know it was hop beer, it was made with hops, ginger and yeast. It was made about a week before, and there was some that had been made previously. Was not in the room when Henry was talking to her mother and did not hear the conversation. Have bought beer at different times for themselves, and have assisted her mother on several occasions to make hop beer. They have made it once or twice during the last two months. The last occasion being about a week before.

Henry Bofil, sworn, said he was at Mortons on the evening of 17th March and saw Henry there : he was there very late and joined him (witness) and others in raffling and drinking. Saw Henry about 11 the next morning, but did not speak to him. Could not say if he was sober as he was in a dray.

Florence Burstall, recalled by the Magistrate, said they sometimes tied the corks down with string and sometimes with wire. They did not always wash the labels off.
To Mr. Ferguson : The bottles were washed in a tub of water.

To the PM : “Hop beer” was put on the labels sometimes : it was written over the other label. Sometimes they put tinsel over the corks, but not always.

The Bench, after reviewing the evidence, considered the case disproved, and dismissed it. The Police Magistrate remarked however that the Bench certainly did not believe all the evidence of the witnesses for the defence and reprimanded them. He also pointed out that placing tinsel on the top of the bottles led to another charge which could be urged against the defendant. No costs were allowed.

Daniel Ferguson v Mrs Michael Morton.

For selling liquor at Waanyarra on the 18th March without a license to do so – to wit, beer.

Mr Ferguson conducted his own case, and Mr Phelps appeared for the defence.
Mr Ferguson gave an outline of the case, and called
Arthur George Henry, who deposed that he was employed by the Excise department for the detection of sly grog selling. On the 18th of March I was at Mortons at Waanyarra. Went there on the previous night, and stayed till the following morning.
I asked for a bottle of beer and Mrs Morton sent a little girl for one, which the son and myself drank. I gave the little girl a shilling which she gave to Mrs Morton. It was Cohn’s ale, and I am quite certain it was not hop beer which was bought.
To Mr. Phelps : Am perfectly satisfied that Mrs Morton was there and that she took the shilling which I gave to the little girl. The bottle was wired and tinselled. (A little girl was brought forward for identification, but Mr Henry would not positively swear that it was the same one which brought the beer, but it was a girl about the same age) The girl gave Mrs Morton the shilling but I got no change back. Several raffles were brought off, two of which I shook the dice on. Did not get any raffles myself.
Elizabeth Morton, sworn. Said that she was the wife of Michael Morton and lived at McKenny’s place Waanyarra. Her son purchased the old place from her husband and she had nothing to do with it now except to keep it tidy for the boys. On the morning of the 18th March Henry was having breakfast with her son and said something about ale, but she took no notice of the remark. Henry again mentioned that he would like a drink, and her son got up and got a bottle of ale which he and the gentleman drank. Never ……Mr Henry with liquor of any kind.
To Mr. Ferguson : Saw Henry in the morning. He had breakfast at her sons. Her son brought a bottle of ale which was drunk by the two. He never charged anything for it. The man gave the little girl a shilling which she supposed was for his breakfast. She gave it to me saying “The gentleman gave me a shilling Granny”. My son gave Henry ale for breakfast.
To the Bench : Gave no reply when Henry asked for beer, and took no notice.
To Mr. Phelps : Were three raffles. I never supplied any beer, and have nothing to do with the premises except looking after it for her son.
Lily Sinclair, 11 years of age, grandchild of last witness, deposed that she remembered Henry being at her uncle’s place and heard him ask her grandmother for a bottle of ale. Her grandmother never said anything. He was having breakfast at the time. Her uncle asked him to have some breakfast and brought out a bottle of beer. Henry had two glasses and uncle one. Henry laughed at her and put down a shilling on the table and she gave it to her grandmother. She thought he gave it to her as a present.
To Mr. Ferguson : Was a few minutes in the room. When he asked for ale Granny said nothing……………………(text unreadable) Don’t now how much was charged for a bottle. Don’t know how many bottles were sold. I have seen money being paid but do not know if it was for beer. Don’t know why Mr Henry gave me a shilling. Grandmother just took it, but asked no questions about it.
John Morton, son of defendant, said he resided at his father’s old place at Waanyarra. His father and mother lived some distance from him. Remembered 17th March. Henry and others were at his place raffling for a table, book and gun. On morning of the 18th got up between 7 and 8 o’clock. Henry asked my mother for some ale, but she took no notice of him. I asked Henry to have some breakfast, which he did. He said he felt seedy, and I got a bottle of ale and gave him a couple of glasses and had one myself.
To Mr. Ferguson : Was home on 17th and 18th March. On evening of 17th a gun, table and book were raffled at his place. This was about 10 o’clock. Was present when the shaking was going on. When Henry came in the morning he said he felt seedy. Don’t remember mother saying anything to him but she might have done so. Would not swear little girl was present and never saw any money given to her. I drew the cork myself and got the bottle off the table in the same room. Henry never agreed to pay anything for his breakfast and I saw no money passed. I felt I would like a glass myself and that was the reason I invited Henry to have one.
To Mr. Phelps : Never expected any money for the breakfast and never asked for any. Would have asked for it had I expected it.
The Bench, after considering the evidence, said they were satisfied that the case was proved and fined Mrs Morton £25, in default distress, two months imprisonment, and allowed costs, £1 – 14s. The fine was paid.

Daniel Ferguson v Michael Morton.

Selling liquor at Waanyarra on the 18th March without a license – to wit, wine and beer.

Mr Ferguson conducted the prosecution, and Mr Phelps appeared for the defence. Mr Ferguson gave particulars of the case.
Arthur George Henry deposed that he was on the defendant’s premises after midnight on the 17 ult. Went there in the evening in company with Pat Morrissy and was introduced by him to Morton. Asked could he have a drink, and Morton replied “Oh yes you can get plenty of drink with the company you are in”. During the evening a table &c. Was raffled, and after 12 o’clock it was decided to have a shilling in and the winner to shout. I held the money, and after the throw I handed Mrs Morton 6d and gave 6d to the man who won. There were 12 present who put in 1s each, and the winner had to pay for 6 bottles. 3 bottles of beer and 3 of wine were supplied which were of an intoxicating nature. The wine was very bad and I left it and had a glass of beer. I am quite sure it was after midnight. There was drinking, dancing and playing cards until 4 o’clock in the morning after, and I saw money passing on several occasions.
To Mr. Phelps : Don’t know who was paid the money but I know it was for liquor as I saw it supplied, Went there to collect evidence for a conviction.
Michael Morton, sworn, stated : Remember 18th March. Was at my son’s place on the morning of that day. I have nothing to do with the place, but am living a short distance away, and my wife sometimes goes down to clean and look after the place. On the evening of the 17th I was passing by and called in and stayed until about 11 o’clock. Henry gave me no money either on the 17th or 18th March for drink. I never had anything to do with the drink or the place and Henry never paid me any money at all. Saw Henry leaving at about 9 o’clock on 18th.
To Mr. Ferguson : Was at my son’s place till a few minutes past 11. In the morning I saw Henry and asked how he was getting on. There were raffles for a table and other things. They raffled for drinks but I never took any money.
John Morton, son of the last witness gave similar evidence to that which he gave in the previous case and said that no drink was sold at his place. About 12 0’clock he went out with Henry, and after putting his horse in the paddock I invited him to stay and have such accommodation as I could offer, which was accepted. Father never sold any drink to his knowledge.
To Mr. Ferguson : Cannot say what time I went to bed. My father slept at his own place, and went home after 12 o’clock.
To the Bench : Money might easily pass without my seeing it. I never received 6d from my father for drinks, nor did I authorise him to sell liquor at my place.
Michael Morton, recalled by the Bench, said he knew all the people that were present; they were friends and neighbours with the exception of Henry. Henry had a few drinks there. All the persons present were young men who had been brought up with his sons, and went to school with them.
The Bench, after a short deliberation, considered the charge proved, and inflicted a fine of £25, in default of distress, two months imprisonment, and £1-5s costs. It was also ordered that all liquor and utensils should be forfeited.
Another charge was preferred against Michael Morton was withdrawn. £1 – 1s costs were allowed.

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Aboriginal Occupation From “The Footsteps Echo” by Lynne Douthat

Once large in numbers, they declined to lesser tribes or families by the 1840’s when Methodist Minister E. S. Parker discovered them.

Parker established an Aboriginal Mission at Jim Crow (Mt. Franklin)with comparative success.

Observers state that Parker was well meaning and laboured for the blacks. He preached to his charges in their native language.

After the Aboriginal Protectorate was abolished Parker stayed on at Jim Crow for many years as a magistrate working for the aboriginals.

Munangatum was Jajoweroung chief in the early 1840’s, he dealt with one of the early European settlers Hector Nonnan Simson.

Although Simson saw the aboriginals friendly to whites and despite his good relations with the tribes, he built a water tank under his house and fortress gates, just in case of accidents.

The Jajoweroung tribe had no major clashes with settlers and no shootings occurred. Many of the settlers reported the tribes as ‘half civil’, and were pleased that the tribespeople could be used as servants, stripping bark, washing sheep and digging potatoes.

A few known relics of Aboriginal occupation have survived the turbulent early days of the colony. Apart from collections of hand tools still in the possession of early Loddon River families, many relics have been lost. But the Rock wells near Maryborough, Carisbrook’s ceremonial stone arrangements and a few canoe trees remain as signs of aboriginal traditional territories.

The total aboriginal population of Victoria in 1861 according to Census returns of that year was 1694, being 1046 males and 648 females. The aboriginal population diminished yearly under the influence of white settlement.

By 1879 Chief of the Jajoweroung, “King Tommy” was the last survivor of the tribe to live in the natural state in his own locality.


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Burial Records

You may download burial lists for the historic Waanyarra Cemetery here:

Waanyarra Cemetery Burial Records Adobe Reader).pdf

Waanyarra Cemetery Burial Records (Open Office).odt

Waanyarra Cemetery Burial Records (MS Word).doc

Have you additional information ? Please submit it.

 

One of the Bronze Plaque Burial Records

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Reunion Photos

OUR “HOME” (Formally known as the “Bicycle Rest Area”)

First “FAFOW” Reunion

Musical entertainment

A typical gathering

Centenarian Jack Lockett drawing a raffle winner

Our very first Auction item (1988)

Morton & Moten Families 2011 Reunion

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School Teachers

Roll of Teachers

Teaching staff records were not kept with much accuracy until the early 1890’s. Most of the Waanyarra School’s teachers roll was compiled from correspondence between the School the Board of Advice and the Education Department of Victoria. These letters are stored at the Public Records Office, Laverton, Victoria.

Other names not included in the Laverton records have been found by research and personal interviews.

HARPER, Williams Head Teacher Sept.1857 Dec. 1857
HEMING, Samuel Head Teacher 1862 1868
MUDGE, Mr. Head Teacher – 1870
MUDGE, Mrs. Work Mistress 1870
BIRRELL, David Watson Head Teacher Jan. 1871 1904
BIRRELL, Elizabeth Mrs. Work Mistress Jan. 1871 1904
BOAN, Alice Miss Pupil Teacher 1878 –
GOURLEY, Clara Miss Pupil Teacher 1885
FYFE, Miss Temp. Head Teacher 1904 –
CLARK, George Head Teacher 1904 1908
LOWRIE, Eva Pupil Teacher 1904 –
DESANTIS, Olive Pupil Teacher 1904
SLATTERY, Miss Sewing Mistress 1904 –
STRANGE, T. G. Mr Head Teacher 1908 1912
CRELLIN, Mr. Head Teacher 1912 1915
WAT-R, R. W. Mr Head Teacher 1915 1916
BOOL, Vera Miss Head Teacher 1916 1928
BAKER, Miss Eva Sewing Mistress 1918 –
BAKER, Fanny Miss Pupil Teacher 1918 –
CROCKER,MR. Head Teacher 1928 Nov. 1928
HORTLE, Alice Miss Head Teacher 1928 1929
HARVEY, Mary Miss Head Teacher 1930 1931
RYE, Frank Mr. Head Teacher 1931 1932
HARRISON, N. E. Mr. Temp. Head Teacher 1932 1934
STARR, Eisie Miss Head Teacher 1934 1936
MITCHELL, Edith Miss Head Teacher 1936 1940
GREEN, M.R. Miss Head Teacher 1940 1942

 

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Graves and Grave Markers

Part view—Waanyarra Historic Cemetery

McAvoy grave c.1912  (Rachel Ashton ?)

McAvoy grave  c.1970 ?


Grave markers

Grave markers

Charnley – Chandler


McCloy, Horan, O’Donnell

Burial records plaques


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1868

Burns caused the death of John Frayne, a native of Devonshire, England, aged 38.

The inquest was held at the White Swan Hotel in July, 1868. The verdict was that he had died from burns received when he fell into a fire. Mr. John Frayne, who was the cousin of Dunolly Publican, Peter Frayne, had been in Victoria for 15 years.

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1865

Cholera was believed to be the cause of death of Mr. Peter Campbell of Waanyarra. Mr. Campbell took ill and died only a few hours after returning from Dunolly on 15th April.

Seik Cassin, a native of Calcutta, died in his tent at Long Gully on the 24th August. The inquest revealed that he died from the want of proper nourishment.

Dr. McGregor performed the post mortem.

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1863

“On Saturday night last, the 14th instant, I was milking the cows in the yard when I heard a child scream.

I ran to the house immediately and saw the deceased outside the door with her clothes on fire.

I ran to her and tore her clothes off.”

This is part of the statement made by Michael Morton at the inquest into the death of his daughter Elizabeth, who died on November 16th 1863, aged 4, from burns she received when her nightdress was set alight by the candle she had been playing with.

Her sister Catherine testified:-

“I remember Saturday night last I was in the kitchen with my sister.

She cut up a candle into small pieces and was burning ants with them on the table – I did not see her clothes catch fire – I fell asleep and awoke when I heard my sister scream – she was then in the yard”

Other sections of statements made by the Doctor who attended, of Michael, and a witness Lachlan Roberts, tell of the treatment of her burns with salad oil and grated potato.

Elizabeth is buried in the family grave in the Waanyarra Historic cemetery.

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1862

In January, 1862 temperatures soared to 118 degrees F and 120degrees F in the shade. The following week temperatures went as low as 45 degrees F.

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“Murderer’s Hill”

(A Waanyarra tale of Murder, Lust ?, Betrayal and Revenge)

Double Murder at Jones’ Creek

On Sunday, 29th November, 1857 while crossing the ranges between Dunolly and Jones’ Creek, William Henry Dean, (“a black man”) whilst heading for a new “rush” at Jones’ Creek he had heard about, found the bodies of two men in a water hole.

The buzzing of flies had attracted Dean to the water hole, where he discovered the bodies partly covered by dirt and a foot protruding from beneath a possum skin rug in the water near the surface.
Police Officer, John McCormack of the Camp at Dunolly, was immediately informed by Dean and they returned to the spot.

The bodies appeared to have been there for some weeks.

The Coroner, Dr. Pierce held an inquest the next day at “Old House at Home” Hotel.

Dr. Louis M. Quinlan said it appeared that the two victims had died by being struck on the back of the head by a sharp object, such as a pick.

One of the dead men, Robert Dunlop, was once a sailor. He was aged about 35, of stout build, 5ft. 10in. tall, with light reddish hair, thick beard and moustache. He had come to the colony long before the gold rush era.

Dunlop was married with two young children and lived in the area of Thomson’s store at Jones’ Creek. His wife who was expecting another child was cared for by the people on the creek.

The other victim was Hugh McLean aged about 40 years, 6ft. tall with black hair, whiskers and a thin broad face. He was clothed in a blue serge shirt, moleskin trousers, pes jacket and Blucher boots. His calico cap had a hole in it, matching the hole in his head which had probably been made by a pick.

He was said to be a cultured man who was well known at the Maryborough rush where he had been known as “The walking library” on account of his learning.
Both men were buried at Dunolly.

William Henry Dean was arrested for the horrific murder, but was released because there was insufficient evidence against him.

He was again arrested when blood was found on his pick handle. He spent some weeks in gaol before suddenly remembering that he had taken the pick into the butcher’s shop in Dunolly—a story corroborated by the butcher. He was again released.

Samuel Dryden, John Anderson, Thomas Dearling and Robert Jones were arrested in Tarnagulla on Friday February 5th. 1858 by Detectives Williams and Randall and were taken to Carisbrook where they appeared at the Criminal Sessions Court on March 5th. charged with the murders.

The police however were unable to produce any real evidence against them and they were released on March 16th. to the cheers of their friends, and much criticism of Her Majesty’s Police Force!
In December 1858 a man named Charles Dunbeer came to the Carisbrook Police and confessed to taking part in the double murder.

Dunbeer implicated his cohorts Bill Brown, Job Neil and MaryAnn (Polly) Dodd saying he was tricked into committing the crime, believing that the two men had a large nugget.

“Polly” had been his girl, but had left him after the murders because of their frequent and violent rows. She had told him that she was going to her sister in Sydney, but he had found out that she had taken up with Neil

Dunbeer wanted to seek revenge on “Polly” and Neil who had “gone off together” after the crime.
He said he wanted to bring them to justice.

Dunbeer’s story was believed, and ‘Polly’ was arrested in Dunolly. She now had a new-born baby. At the time of the crime she was aged 28, and had two children, one of whom died before the arrest.
Job Neil was arrested at Pleasant Creek.

Bill Brown managed to elude capture and was never brought to trial.

Their trial began in Dunolly in February 1859 before Captain Murray, W.C.Day and Henry O’Brien Daly, and resumed at Castlemaine General Sessions on 30th June, 1859. Surprisingly, Dunbeer denied he had confessed to the crime and that he had implicated the others.

This complete reversal turned the court into chaos. There was a state of confusion, the judges were incensed, and said Dunbeer was a case for Yarra Bend (insane asylum).

Neil denied he was in Dunolly at the time of the murders and “Polly” and her sister Mrs Unwin (who was the keeper of a shanty on Sporting Flat) admitted that their original evidence was false. Mr Unwin apparently went to pieces in the witness box in having to deny his original evidence supporting his wife and “Polly” and said many foolish things.

The case laboured on with much lurid and contradictory evidence of what went on in the Sporting Flat and Jones’ Creek shanties.

During the confused and contradictory evidence given in this case, mention was made that the murdered men were ambushed not far from Boan’s shanty (later to become the “White Swan” hotel) on the Dunolly road.

The Unwins were charged with perjury and acquitted.

Neil was acquitted and released in July, 1859.

He returned to Kangaroo Reef where he was welcomed with the news that the dividends being paid by the reef were substantial.

Mary Ann Dodd was to be released from the Castlemaine Gaol, but unfortunately she encountered Dunbeer in the corridor of the gaol beforehand. She was walking there with her two children when Dunbeer saw her and asked permission to speak to her.

Immediately he came close to her he viciously bit off her nose.

Dunbeer was charged for this offence and was sentenced to three years gaol on August 31st 1859—his plea of insanity having failed.

The area where this shocking double murder took place was named “MURDERER’S HILL”, the name it carries to this day.

Read contemporary newspaper reports of the murder.

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The “White Swan” Hotel

From Tarnagulla Courier 15 June 1912.

“The Licenses Reduction Board sat at Dunolly recently to hear evidence in connection with the Waanyarra Hotel.
Mrs Susan Gray, licensee and owner, appeared on her own behalf.
Superintendent Callender said the present owner had purchased the place for 150 pounds. The buildings were old and rather poor. There was no fault to be found with the conduct of the place, but as a hotel it was not required.

Mounted Constable Comrie of Tarnagulla gave evidence of the situation, midway between Tarnagulla and Dunolly. The hotel contained seven rooms. Buildings old, but fairly well kept, the furniture not too good and flooring bare. The hotel was not required and it would be better to have three hotels at Tarnagulla. Witness gave particulars of the small population, but there was roadside traffic. He had not seen mobs of sheep on the ground, (Mrs Gray -“Since the stock sales started at Dunolly sheep pass that way frequently”). Evidence was given of 50 pounds worth of furniture having been placed in the hotel, and a piano to come in.

Mounted Constable Miles gave corroborating evidence.

Mrs Susan Gray, owner and licensee, gave particulars of the purchase of the hotel, the good travelling business on the road between Tarnagulla and Dunolly, bed and meals provided, bar trade, etc., and also as to profits.
Mr Andrew complimented Mrs Gray on the manner in which she had given her evidence. She had done well, and evidently was most capable.

In answer to Mr Cumming, witness said they held their own. The hotel was required. In a place like that there might be an immediate call for brandy or other spirits as medicine.

The chairman also spoke highly of Mrs Gray’s evidence, etc., and hoped, if the hotel was closed, she would enter into some really good business and that she would suffer no monetary loss.”

Shortly after this hearing, the Board decided that the license would not be renewed.

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The Founding of Waanyarra

Surveyor Phillip Chauncy surveyed the district between Tarnagulla and Dunolly in 1861 and officially named it Waanyarra.

Prior to survey, Beverly had been chosen by Lieutenant Governor of Victoria LaTrobe, as the name for the future township. This title was only used by the first discoverers of gold in the area.

Charles Jones was prospecting on a creek in the locality at a very early date, and this area in which he camped became known as Jones’ Creek. Even after the official name was adopted, many people referred to the”top end of the creek” as Jones’ Creek and the east end as Waanyarra.

Waanyarra is an Aboriginal name which has more than one interpretation, ‘Little Water’,’Running Water’and Les Blake’s book ‘Place Names of Victoria’ gives the meaning of Waanyarra as ‘Whan-crow, Yarra-moving, i.e. crow flying’.

During his time in the district, Phillip Chauncy had constant contact with the Aborigines. He was very familiar with their customs and language.

Text from “The Footsteps Echo” by Lynne Douthat

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Waanyarra Reunion Sunday 27 March 2011

The next Waanyarra Reunion will take place at its usual venue at the Waanyarra Recreation Reserve on Sunday 27 March 2011.

Although a number of the Newsletters sent out in February 2010 were “Returned to Sender” or the emails bounced, there are a number of new names on the mailing list and hopefully we will have a milder day in 2011 than the 39 c scorcher we experienced in 2008 and greater numbers.

It is hoped that individual families will organise a reunion of their particular family, to coincide with the Waanyarra Reunion, and so increase the overall numbers attending. A number of descendants of Thomas Comrie, who settled in Waanyarra in 1857, will be attending again.

If you receive this Newsletter and it has been redirected, please take the time to write to or email George Swinburne with new contact details. Also, it is important that you let me have a postal address in addition to an email address, so that notices can still be sent if you omit to notify a new email address. Over half our mailing list now receive communications by email which considerably reduces the administrative task of sending Newsletters

If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be, or if you know of descendants of Waanyarra Pioneers, or other people who lived at or have visited Waanyarra or who you think might be interested in being on the mailing list or receiving notices, please pass a copy of this Newsletter on to them and also take the time to email or write to George Swinburne with their contact details. The addition of an email address is extremely helpful..

The cost of holding reunions has in the past generally been met from the proceeds of the raffle held at the Reunion. In 2008 the receipts and several generous donations met the cost of the day as we did not hire a marquee but had several smaller shelters. If you would like to make a donation it can be sent to George Swinburne. Any surplus proceeds will be applied to future running costs and maintenance of the Historic Cemetery.

If you can donate a raffle prize please email or write to George Swinburne (as above) and bring your contribution on the day.

Traditionally, everyone brings their own picnic lunch and refreshments. A BBQ fire will be provided unless it is a day of total fire ban.
I am aiming to make the 2011 Reunion the biggest and the best ever. Any ideas for activities that may be an attraction to attendees will be gratefully received.
The Central Goldfields Concert Band (formerly the Dunolly Citizens Band) has again been invited to attend and entertain us. They provided a most enjoyable program in 2008 and stayed on and enjoyed their lunch with us.
I would be grateful to hear from anyone who will be attending who can assist on Sunday morning with the organisation and set up of the shelters and presentation of the memorabilia. Further, anyone who is attending who is a qualified first aider and anyone who can bring first aid equipment to the Reunion should contact me as this is a condition of the Permit from DSE.

David Gordon will again attend with his computer on which he maintains indexes to the names of pioneers and local identities whose names appeared in newspapers circulating in the district. This was a great success at the last reunion and many availed themselves of the opportunity to obtain details relevant to their family.

David’s indexes enable you to avoid all the hard research work. Where you identify the names in which you are interested, he will if they are too long to copy, be able to email the details to you later, of local newspapers in which they are mentioned.

Edna Arnold of Crown Castleton Publishers will also be invited to attend with books and photographs for sale which are relevant to the district. Edna and Ken Arnold some years ago produced the excellent reference book “Tarnagulla and District” (which incorporates Waanyarra families), and which is unfortunately now out of print. Several photo copies were made available for sale at past Reunions.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has again been invited to attend and provide a Forestry Display which has been a feature of past reunions.

Everyone who has old photographs and memorabilia of Waanyarra is encouraged to bring that memorabilia (or copies) for display. This has been an integral feature of past reunions.
Ian and Pat Belmont have agreed to join us and make available for sale their excellent CD which includes an Index of Burials at Tarnagulla and Waanyarra, photographs of graves and headstones, Cemetery Maps and some Tarnagulla township photos. This is a quality production which works on PC and Mac .

If you are unable to attend the reunion, the CD is still available for purchase direct from Ian (who produced the disk with his wife Pat), by sending a cheque or money order to him at 237 St Aidans Rd, Bendigo 3550. The cost is $25 per CD posted.

Ian has also informed me that if you have any corrections to information on the CD, he is happy to add/update the information on the CD so it is available on future CD sales. For those who have already purchased a copy and have found any errors, Pat would like to hear from you so he can make corrections. Further, he’s happy to add any good Waanyarra stories.

If you have any queries for Ian his email is ianpat@internode.on.net.

If our Reunion is to survive and flourish we will need to provide an interesting day, especially for our younger descendants who must be encouraged to join us so they can relate to their forbearers and the history of the area and the pioneers who developed the rural areas.

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