COMMANDER M.G.H.W.ROSS, MARINE SURVEYOR, DROMANA PIONEER,VIC., AUST.
The details of M.G.H.W.Ross's grants in present-day Dromana,their advertisement for sale in 1881, and John Saunders Ross (who is presumed to have been related) are given in my journal JAMES ROBERTSON BOAG. I assume that there was a marital connection between the Boag and Ross families who were neighbours on crown allotments 11 and 12 respectively of section 1 Kangerong(whose exact locations are described in the BOAG journal.)
The commander's 60 acre grant in Kangerong and his grants in Dromana Township are labelled with his initial and surname, not his title but the rate collector helpfully referred to him as Captain Ross in 1865. I had tried unsuccessfully to search ROSS, DROMANA and ROSS, KANGERONG on trove, the reason for my failure being that the digitised rendition of his surname was Roas. I found the advertisement of his grants for sale quite by chance while searching LORD, KANGERONG and discovered that the captain (army, navy, limecraft?)was actually a commander in the royal navy!
Deserting Trove, I searched on google and found his initials, which had been indecipherable on the Kangerong map but clearly M.G.H.W. on the Dromana Township map, to be exactly as on the township map.This led to the discovery of a chart showing the location of the submarine cable in Bass Strait, 1859,soundings by Commander M.G.H.W. ROSS, marine surveyor. Unfortunately the page would not open.However I soon found another chart by the commander that I could view. It is entitled SOUTH COAST ENTRANCE TO PORT PHILLIP. (I have since successfully opened the cable chart page. There is a fair deal of information about the commander in his days as a lieutenant.)
It is likely that Commander Ross came on the marine survey ship on which Edward Williams, an early pioneer on the peninsula arrived. It is also possible that Sidney Smith Crispo, who was a member of the coastal survey until about 1875, and was a great friend of Edward Williams,dying at Eastbourne in the care of Edward and his wife Mary (nee Campbell), came on the same survey ship.
Edward Williams had a legendary status as a harvester with the scythe, performing almost super-human feats for such residents near Dromana as the McLears, as told by Colin McLear in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. Sidney Smith Crispo obtained grants at Manners-Sutton/Canterbury/Blairgowrie and Rosebud West, calling the latter Eastbourne, a name carried on by Edward Williams. I wonder if Edward or Sidney influenced the commander's investment in Dromana?
Is it possible that the commander's family has the same naval tradition as Sidney Smith Crispo? If so,one of his family might have been a famous explorer (James Clark Ross) or commander of the Pacific fleet (Charles Ross.)
It is likely that the Ross family was mainly associated with Williamstown.
on 2012-12-31 10:46:41
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.