browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.


Posted by on April 21, 2012

John and Margaret CampbellJohn 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *