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Strahan Skuthorpe

Posted by on April 25, 2012

(Famous Waanyarra Midwife)
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.”

12 Responses to Strahan Skuthorpe

  1. Peter Lovel

    I have been doing some research in regard to Richard Strahan School Teacher who ended his days in Bendigo where he had his final teaching post. I am very distantly related by marriage to Richard Strahan. I am happy to send to you my fairly rough research on Richard. However, your summary page seems to indicate that Frank (or Francis) (Secretary to the Prime Minister) was one of Richard’s brothers. Quite to the contrary he was one of Richard’s son’s from his 2nd marriage to Sarah Hardwick. My Great Grandmother’s half sister. I am happy to provide you with a summary of that family
    Peter Lovel

    • Lorna kolac

      Richard Strahan’s first wife, Margaret Jane Low nee Tait was my great grandmother’s younger sister. She is buried at Fryerstown with a daughter of Richard and Sarah. I would love to know more about Richard’s early days in Fryerstown if anyone can help.

  2. alan strahan

    i am a direct decendant of richard strahan and sarah jane hardwick and have done a lot of research on my family history , i would like to hear from you regards alan

  3. Roberta Murphy

    Annie Strahan and Lance Skuthorpe had 2 sons, William and Walter, not Wallace : Birth Record Name: Walt Amos Skuthorp
    Father’s Name: Lance Albt Skuthorp
    Mother’s name: Annie Marion Strahair (Strahan)
    Birth Place: Bendigo, Victoria. Registration Year: 1898
    In 1963, Walter and his wife Kathleen were recorded as living in Merredin WA. his occupation was Sandalwood Settr. In 1980 he was retired, but still living with Kathleen in Merredin. William died in 1954 in the Kalgoorlie district hospital. he left his cattle station to his daughter Ann. Lance Skuthorpe’s 2nd wife Violet King was my grandmothers cousin.

    • Gary Strahan

      I am sure that I am related to Simon Strahan as I had great uncle called Edward Septimus Achibald and Richard . Both Septimus and Achibald were doctors in fact I believe Septimus was the doctor to the Carlton football club . If anyone has further information I would like to hear from them

  4. Renee Bennett


    Simon Thomas Strahan ( Dunolly) was my grandfather. Simon and Annie were his grandparents and his father was their son Edward. My uncle Rodney Strahan still lives in Dunolly – the only one left in the town I believe. Pop had two brothers – Bill and Fred and a sister Corrie.They are laid to rest in the Dunolly cemetary.

    I am from Bendigo but do not know of a Richard Strahan.

    I currently have a researcher working on the family history and would be happy to share information.

  5. Lyn Coy

    I descend from the Western Australian Strahan’s. We have heard from our Irish Strahan’s that we are related to the cabinetmakers who originally came from Dublin. Can I convince a male direct descendant from this line to have a
    DNA test done so that we can prove or disprove this line?
    We have found one of our line connected with this line in the USA.
    Happy to exchange information. Our family have several doctor’s and specialists and the more I look at this Victorian family I am sure they are connected back to the same Irish line as our Western Australian Strahan’s.

  6. Gail Skuthorpe

    My father Keith Skuthorpe was a cousin of Lance whom I met as an elderly man not long before his death. He was a fascinating character and very talented in the fields of art and literature as well as his fame as a horseman and handler He was one of the first to treat horses gently in their breaking working with their natural responses without harshness

    • Janelle Brunner

      Hi Gail. My husbands great grandmother was Caroline Skuthorpe and she married Patrick O’Sullivan. Caroline was Lance Skuthorpes brother.
      I am avidly compiling a family history and was wondering if you would have any family photos or stories that you would be interested in contributing.
      I know that their parents were from Richmond and Caroline and one or two of the older children were born there before the family moved west. Does your side of the family originate from there. I am not quite sure whether this is the Richmond which is now a suburb of western Sydney

    • Cheers Janelle Brunner

      Hi Gail. I was wondering if you had read my message please

    • TJ Tollefson

      Hi Gail,
      I am writing a treatment for the screen, of Lance Skuthorpe Sr.’s life. I am compelling all I can through the internet and published sources (from over here in the U.S., but I would appreciate any family reminiscences of him including information about him past his retirement, I am so far only in contact with one of the Laver, branch of the Skuthorpe tree, who has encouraged me to take up the project.
      I hope at some point to continue my research in Australia, but for now am collecting all the background I can. Some other elements I am trying to find still are any photos from the early part of Lance seniors life and career including people like Aboriginals King Billy, and Billy Waite, or the uncle that Lance spent two years apprenticing a young adolescent.

  7. Sue Barker

    My name is Sue Barker – grand-daughter of Sam Blackstock who owned “Forest Hill” at Blackall.

    I am doing some family history stuff and am told that Sam might have purchased “Forest Hill” from a Skuthorpe.

    If anyone knows anything further about this I would love to hear from you.


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