HILL HILLIS, PIONEER OF RED HILL NEAR DROMANA, VIC, AUST AND HIS RELATIVES (THE TWO BOB WHITES ETC.)
HILL HILLIS AND HIS RELATIVES, INCLUDING THE TWO BOB WHITES.
According to Colin McLear in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, Hill Hillis settled at Red Hill in 1855. His wife, Sarah, was a sister of James McKeown, a pioneer of Red Hill and Dromana. His son, William James Hillis,was a grantee
in the parish of Wannaeue and his sisters, Margaret and Hadassah, both married Blooming Bob White. Blooming Bob's sister Janet had a child by a James lad and because he was born before they could get a minister to marry them, the boy's birth certificate gave his name as Robert White.He grew up as Robert James and was granted land under that name. When he was to marry Hannah Roberts, he discovered his birth name and, probably
angry about being kept in the dark, became Robert White. To prevent confusion with his uncle, he became known as Bullocky Bob White.It seems that William James Hillis moved to Trafalgar in late 1898, three years after his father died.
Hillis, Hill b. 1817 d. 1895 Dromana Victoria Gender: Male
(Parents: Father: Hillis, Frank Mother: Collins, Margaret)
Spouse: McKeown, Sarah b. 1822 d. 1900 Dromana Victoria Gender: Female
(Parents:Father: McKeown, William Mother: Collings, Mary Ann )
Children: Hillis, William James; Hillis, Mary Ann; Hillis, Sarah Jane; Hillis, Odessa (b. 1864 Victoria
Gender: Female); Hillis, Hadassah
Hillis, Frank Spouse: Collins, Margaret Children:Hillis, Hill
McIlroy, Joseph Marriage: 1877
Spouse: Hillis, Sarah Jane b. 1857 Belfast d. 1898 Dromana Victoria
Parents:Father: Hillis, Hill Mother: McKeown, Sarah
Spouse: Hillis, Mary Ann b. 1846 d. 1920 Malvern Melbourne
Parents: Father: Hillis, Hill Mother: McKeown, Sarah
Spouse: Hillis, Hadassah b. 1864 d. 1927 Prahran Melbourne
Parents:Father: Hillis, Hill Mother: McKeown, Sarah
SOURCE:LUGTON FAMILY AND CONNECTIONS.) Thank you Tony Lugton!
The geographic reason for the marital relationship between the three Hillis girls and the McIlroy, Davey and White
families will be explained under the heading THE HILLIS LAND.
Colin McLear throws more light on the Hillis-McKeown connection but the name of Hill Hillis's wife will need to be checked.
( A spiral-bound book containing information about Dromana families in the Dromana Historical Society museum states that
James McKeown married Catherine Townsend Hill who was born in 1843. Her parents details are given and, if I remember
correctly,she was born at Tower Hill. This meant that she was about 20 when she married.)
On page 86 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA,Colin stated:
James McKeown migrated to New Zealand in 1853 and then to Warrnambool in 1856. His sister, Mary,had married
Hill Hillis in Ireland in 1846 and migrated to Red Hill in 1855 and taken up farming.
The following were found in a search for the death notice of Hill Hillis's wife/widow (to ascertain whether her given name
was Sarah or Mary.)
HILLIS- WISEMAN.---On the 1st November, at tho Presbyterian Church, Dandenong, by the Rev. H. A. Buntine,
George P. third son of W. J. Hillis, Trafalgar, to Ethel D., only daughter of the late James Wiseman, Ascot Vale,
and sister of T.B . Wiseman, Bass.(P.59, Leader, Melbourne, 8-12-1917.)
HILLISWISEMAN. Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Hillis announce with pleasure the 25th anniversary of their marriage,
celebrated on November 1, 1917. (Present address, 3 Hastings street, Burwood.)
Although there seems to be no connection to the Red Hill area, I am extremely confident that there is!James Wiseman might
have been one of the Wiseman brothers who built the mirror-image mansions in Glenroy circa 1890 to give prestige to the
"Toorak of the North" but it is more likely that he was the Red Hill blacksmith who had lived across the road from Hill
Hillis over half a century before this marriage.Unless my transcription is faulty, William James Hillis (Hill's oldest
child) was no longer occupying his grants (23AB, Wannaeue) in 1900 and the first mention in trove of Hillis in Trafalgar
was in 1899.
THE HILLIS LAND.
The Kangerong Road Board had jurisdiction over the parishes of Kangerong ( basically the area between Port Phillip Bay
and Arthurs Seat/Red Hill Rds) and Wannaeue, Fingal and Nepean to the west of Mornington-Flinders Rd/south part of Main
Creek.To the east and south of Kangerong was the parish of Balnarring which was part of the Flinders Road District, formed
about five years later, with residents first assessed on 8-6-1869.
William J.Hillis was assessed on 60 acres, Dromana in 1872. This was a very poor description of the land by the Kangerong
Road Board rate collector because the land was near the corner of McIlroys and White Hill Rd,(Melway 190K1) crown allotments
18B and 18D Kangerong, of 59 acres 3 roods and 14 perches, granted to poor noseless Briant Ringrose.The battle axe block was
south of Henry Dunn's "Four Winds"of 60 acres at the south corner of McIlroys and White Hill Rds. Although it had a small
frontage to White Hill Rd, it had a northern boundary of 564 acres and adjoined Arkwell's land to the south.
This was the land on which William Hillis operated as Red Hill's first butcher as mentioned in THE BUTCHER, THE BAKER, THE.
At this time, William's sister,Sarah Jane, was about 15 and was no doubt taking interest in the opposite sex, especially
Joseph McIlroy, a neighbour whom she married five years later.
(Incidentally, Tony Lugton's genealogy shows that Sarah Jane was born in Belfast in 1857 so Colin McLear's claim
that Hill came to Red Hill in 1855 is wrong; he may have immigrated soon after Sarah's birth in 1857.Colin's information
probably came from an elderly pioneer rather than documents so Hill's wife was probably Sarah McKeown rather than Mary.
N.B. cOLIN COULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT AFTER ALL,AS EXPLAINED BELOW.)
The Ringrose grant was occupied from 1873 by Francis Hirst, William possibly selecting land in Wannaeue at that time.
The Kangerong and Flinders Road Boards merged to form the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong, Shire Secretary, Peter Nowlan's
first assessment in late 1875 being a model of calligraphy and detail, which few others emulated.Hill Hillis was assessed on
54 acres and two-roomed house, Balnarring,and William Hillis on 153 acres in Wannaeue,leased from the Crown. Although Hill's
farm was the first farm held by the family, I will deal with it last because of its probable influence on James McKeown's
move from Warrnambool to Red Hill.
William Hillis was granted his 153 acres and 36 perches, Wannaeue on 10-12-1885.Fronting Whites and Main Creek Rds, and
indicated by Melway 171 J-K 5-6, this was crown allotment 23B.His neighbour across Main Creek Rd (Melway 190 part A, B 5-6)
was James Davey Jnr, who was probably the husband of William's sister, Mary Ann. On 12-11-1888, William Hillis received the
grant for the adjoining crown allotment 23A of 59 acres 3 roodsand 34 perches(Melway 171 H6) between 23B and Wilsons Rd,this
road giving access at the south west corner.
The name of Whites Rd possibly indicates that Robert White, who married William's sisters,(Margaret and) Hadassah, may have
occupied William Hillis's farm in about 1920 but it could have received the name because the Whites(Ernest V., Robert, Robert
G, Albert C.) used the road as a short cut from Purves Rd to their farms on JAMES DAVEY JNR'S grant(28A Wannaeue) across
Main Creek Rd.
Robert White Jnr (who married two Hillis girls) had owned crown allotment 18,Wannaeue at Rosebud, bounded by Pt Nepean Rd,
Adams Ave, Eastbourne Rd and Jetty Rd, from 1875 until 1892. Robert's sons,Robert and William, (possibly named after his
mother's brother) were among the original pupils enrolled at Rosebud State School on its opening day in September, 1884,
according to P.15 of Peter Wilson's ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD.Robert's father, Robert had owned a Rosebud Fishing Village
allotment across Pt Nepean Rd from crown allotment 18. It was crown allotment 11, the second block east of the access road
to the Rosebud jetty.
Toolaroo is the great grandson of Robert and Hadassah White's daughter, Vera Florence. Here are some of his findings.
On 26-7-1877, Robert White Jnr (who owned crown allotment 18, Wannaeue at Rosebud) married Margaret Hillis, daughter
of Hill Hillis and Sarah McKeowan (sic), aged 25, at Mornington. Margaret had been born in Antrim, Ireland.
Margaret died in 1888 and on 15-3-1899 Robert Jnr married Margaret's sister, Hadassah at Red Hill. Notice that Margaret
Hillis is not included in Tony Lugton's list of the children of Hill Hillis and Sarah (McKeown.)
Robert White senior, a shoemaker, was born in Clackmannon,Scotland on 31-8-1804 and married Elizabeth Russell in 1829. With
his children, including Robert Jnr, he arrived in Australia aboard the John Linn on 20-6-1859. Robert Snr died on 25-4-1881
at Menstrie Hill, Rosebud.It is possible that Robert Snr had spent a few years at Robert, David and Alexander Cairns'
"Little Scotland"(Melway 170 B11) at Boneo, renting a hut from them and helping them to quarry and burn lime; the Cairns
family was also from Clackmannon and a Robert White was assessed on a hut owned by the Cairns brothers on 3-9-1864.
(I had initially thought that this Robert White was a member of the pioneering Irish Sorrento/Rye limeburning family but
it is just as likely that Robert White Snr had known the Cairns brothers in Clackmannon and they provided him with a dwelling
and job.Toolaroo has mentioned a connection between the White and Cairns families in Scotland.)
One of the reasons my journal about the Whites of Sorrento, Rosebud and Red Hill came to a screaming halt was the discovery
that the early Sorrento pioneer limeburners were Irish and Toolaroo's Whites were Scottish. To further confuse the issue,
Red Hill had two Bob Whites,Bloomin' Bob and Bullocky Bob.The jigsaw pieces are slowly starting to fit together and it
appears that Bloomin' and Bullocky were both descendants of the Scottish Robert White Snr (31-8-1804.)
Toolaroo says that in about 1860, Janet,(elder sister of Robert White Jnr who married two Hillis girls), gave birth to Robert
White of Main Ridgewho married Mary Hannah Roberts.
(The father of the child was (Charles?) James and because of the difficulty in getting a minister to marry them, the birth
took place before the wedding so the child's name was registered as Robert White. However he was brought up as Robert James
and it was only when he obtained a birth certificate to get married that he discovered his real name. He then changed his
name to Robert White. This caused confusion with his mother's brother (Robert White Jnr) so Robert James/White was called
"Bullocky Bob" and the bloke that married two Hillis girls was called "Bloomin' Bob". (Source: Jean Rotherham.) Toolaroo
told me some time ago that Janet's brother, Robert White Jnr,(who never swore) had been known as "Bloomin' Bob" because he
frequently used this word as a substitute.
On 23-3-1927, Hadassah White (nee Hillis) died at Crib Point. Her husband Robert White Jnr died in 1930.Bob White of Main
Ridge, husband of Mary Hannah (nee Roberts), died in May 1941.
WHY DID JAMES McKEOWN MOVE FROM WARRNAMBOOL TO RED HILL?
As I prepared to answer this question, I recalled Joseph Hillis down Warrnambool way and how that area had been a magnet
for Irish immigrants. Then a thought struck me about Belfast, the birthplace of Sarah Jane Hillis in 1857. Perhaps Colin
McLear was not wrong in stating that Hill Hillas had come to Australia in 1855 and only erred in inferring that he had gone
straight to Red Hill.
The following comes from the wikipedia entry for Port Fairy.
John Griffiths established a whaling station in 1835 and a store was opened in 1839. In 1843, James Atkinson, a Sydney
solicitor, purchased land in the town by special survey. He drained the swamps, subdivided and leased the land, and built
a harbour on the Moyne River. He renamed the town 'Belfast' after his hometown in Northern Ireland. The Post Office opened
on 1 July 1843 as "Port Fairy" but was renamed "Belfast" on 1 January 1854 before reverting to the original name
20 July 1887.
Was Sarah Jane born in Belfast, Victoria, in other words, Port Fairy?
Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) Wednesday 4 November 1914 Edition: DAILY. p 2 Family Notices
... DEATH. HILLIS.- At Koroit, on 3rd November, Jane, relict of the late Joseph Hillis, aged 71 years.
(The funeral will leave her late residence. Koroit, at Two o'clock This Day (Wednesday) for the Tower Hill Cemetery).
RUNDELL &SON, Undertakers..
Was Joseph Hillis a relative of Hill Hillis? The interesting thing is that James McKeown went to Red Hill in 1862 but
returned to Koroit to marry his wife, Catherine,and returned to Red Hill with her in 1863 by bullock cart
(P.86, A REAMTIME OF DROMANA.) Colin McLear did not give Catherine's maiden name but I wouldn't mind betting that she was
(POSTSCRIPT.I've changed my mind. Now I'd prefer to bet that she was christened Catherine Townsend Hill. Ah well,you can't
win 'em all!)
James McKeown had gone to New Zealand in 1853 and moved to Warrnambool in 1856, perhaps because his sister, Sarah,
(Mrs Hill Hillis), had relatives there.
James McKeown's move to Red Hill was likely influenced by the presence there of his sister, Sarah,.Hill could have selected
land at Red Hill in 1855 and taken Sarah to relatives near "Belfast" when she was expecting Mary Janein 1857.It is likely
that the land Hill selected at Red Hill was part of land eventually granted to James McKeown. He probably fattened cattle
or sheep,more likely the former because of the heavily timbered land, but most of his income, in common with other residents
on Arthurs Seat,would have come from providing timber for the construction of piers, sleepers for the railways to
Williamstown, Castlemaine and so on.
The first Flinders Road Board assessment of 8-6-1869 listed ratepayers geographically rather than alphabetically
as the Kangerong road board had done since 1864.Because of this,with the parish map in hand,I can follow the rate collector
as he proceeds through the parish. We start east of the north end of Tucks Rd at about Melway 190 G10 where Marquis had 70B
of 89 acres, later granted to William Hopcraft, and heading north, Hopcraft 70A of 89 acres, Alf Head 130 acres of his 200
acre grant straddling Stony Creek Rd (71B and 71A1), Joseph Pitcher 72B of 140 acres north to Mock Orchards, and Robert
Holding, the 140 acre corner block,72A, which extended east to a point opposite the Sheehans Rd corner,and was later William
Next listed were Hill Hillis 50 acres and a house and James McEwan (sic) 165 acres.Together they add up to the 215 acres
of James McKeown's grants, 73A and B, which extend east to include The Stables conference centre (190 J 5.) The next
ratepayers, the Wightons, were way down Pt Leo Rd near Frankston-Flinders Rd.
In 1870, Hill's land was amended to 54 acres and it remained the same in the first shire assessment of 1875, by which time
Hill was about 68 years old.It may have been soon afterwards that James McKeown took over the wole 215 acres.
In THE RED HILL, Sheila Skidmore states that Joseph McIlroy and Sarah (nee Hillis) had nine children. Joseph's diary,
excerpts of which are included in the book, show that Joseph and Sarah were married in Dromana at the Mechanics' Institute
at 12:30 by the Rev. James Caldwell of Mornington. Guests at the reception at Joseph's father's place were the McIlroy,
Simpson, Cleine,White,Ault and Hillis families, as well as Misses Kemp and Hopcraft who were probably friends of the bride
Joseph's McIlroy's older brother, William John, married Elizabeth Hillis when he was 32 and they lived at Littlebridge,
which was named after the place in Ireland from which the family came.
There is a list of their children in the book.
(P. 14, THE RED HILL.)
William Hillis Jnr applied to the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong for the position of rate collector in 1897.
(P.3, Mornington Standard,30-9-1897.) There are several other mentions of "Hillis, Red Hill" on trove in 1897, in regard
to the BAND OF HOPE mainly, but none thereafter. The first mention of "Hillis, Trafalgar" was in 1898, which increases the
likelihood that W.J.Hillis moved from Main Creek to Trafalgar soon after W. Hillis Jnr applied for the job of rate collector.
A close examination of the rate books is called for to determine (a)if W.Hillis Jnr got the joband (b) the year of William
Snr's last assessment.
BACK TO THE RATEBOOKS!
I didn't hold much hope that the rate records would name the rate collectorso the fingers were crossed. The 1898 estimates
bore the signatures of councillors, mentioned the President's allowance,cost of planned works, office expenses, and so on but
there was no detail to reveal whether W.Hillis Jnr got the job.
The 1880 rates revealed that James McKeown had the whole 215 acres of his grant between Blakeley's land (Holding's grant) and
the future Red Hill Village Settlement straddling Prossor's Lane. Hill Hillis, the brother in law, had earlier occupied 54
acres of it.(See the Wiseman-Hillis wedding notice and commentary.) William Hillis was again assessed on only the 153 acres
of 23B, Wannaeue.
In 1881, George White, The Irish lime burner was assessed on 103 acres, Wannaeue (Melway 168 K12). The occupant was
not recorded for the next assessment detailed as 1 allotment Wannaeue, but the owner was R.White. This was crown allotment
11, Rosebud (Fishing Village.) I had earlier assumed that George White had been assessed on this block and the rate collector
had forgotten to write .. (ditto.)This had led me to believe that the Irish Whites had invaded Rosebud. William Hillis had
again been assessed on 23B.
Forgetting that I had wanted to find out when William Hillis had settled (occupied) 23A (accessed via Wilson Rd), I next
inspected the 1889 rates.William Hillas (as his name was invariably written) was assessed on 60+213 acres, 273 acres,
Wannaeue and Kangerong. Oh dear me, I just knew what was going to happen.And sure enough it did! By this stage I had
decided to sort out the two Robert Whites once and for all.
209. Robert White, farmer, 27 acres Kangerong.
210. Robert White, farmer, 290 acres, Wannaeue.
In 1890, William Hillis was assessed on 60+213acres, 273 acres Wannaeue and Kangerong, but the 60 and the 273 were crossed
out. William had probably lost 23AB Wannaeue (213 acres and 30 perches) to creditors.Therefore the record stated that the
60 acres were in Wannaeue AND Kangerong. Therefore in 1891, the 60 acre block was recorded as being in both parishes.The
details for the two Robert Whites were exactly as in 1889.
In 1893, occupations were given.
294. William Hillis, CARTER, Red Hill, owner/occupier of 60 acres, Kangerong and 2 allotments, Kangerong.
416. Robert White, LABOURER, 27 acres, Kangerong.
417. Robert White, CARTER, 290 acres, Wannaeue.
The 27 acres had to be part of the original Red Hill Township, which was at the corner of White Hill and McIlroys Rds.Someone,
probably Sheila Skidmore in THE RED HILL, stated that only one township allotment was sold (meaning at the original sale),
the Post Office block. Jean Rotherham has been told by older members of her family that the 27 acre block was near the post
office (710 White Hill Rd, Melway 160 K12) so it could have been on the west side of White Hill Rd between Harrisons Rd and
Tumbywood Rd or on the north side of McIlroys Rd west of Bowring Rd.
The 60 acre block owned (if we can trust the rate collector) by William Hillis was most likely the grant of Brian Ringrose,
18B of 59 acres 3 roods and 14 perches,previously occupied by William until 1872. William seems to have been a good friend to
the poor disfigured ex-goldminer,paying his rates for him on one occasion, which I think I mentioned in thE RINGROSE entry in
my family tree circles journal DICTIONARY HISTORY OF RED HILL. (See paragraph 2 of THE HILLIS LAND.) It could have been Henry
Dunn's grant "Four Winds" (see next paragraph.) In 1900, 18B belonged to ArthurE.Hill of St Kilda, who still had not moved
onto the property by 30-8-1902 when AROUND RED HILL was on page 2 of the Mornington Standard. Hill's property was described
as being up the hill from Wheelers (the post office.) Mr White, mentioned between James Davis(5 acresunder fruit) and the
Wheelers (who had run the post office for over 30 years) had a good view of the bay, some fruit trees and a small crop.This
would be on the 27 acre block.
In 1900, Mrs Maude Strong was assessed on 60 acres, Kangerong. She was obviously a widow, otherwise her husband's given name
would have been used, and she wasleasing from Trustees. In 1902, Jon Davis (40 acres facing Port Phillip Bay with 6 acres
of young trees), who was mentioned before James Davis,was dairying on 60 acres leased from Mrs Strong. Whichever 60 acre
block William Hillis had in 1893, he was not there in 1900, supporting the belief that he had moved to Trafalgar circa 1898.
Details re Hillis and White remain unchanged in 1894.
In 1896,William Hillis was assessed on the 60 acres and 2 allotments; Robert White, labourer, still had the 27 acres.
Robert White,carter, now had 160 acres, Wannaeue.The missing 130 acres adjoined this 160 acres to the south being crown
allotment 27A, Wannaeue, granted to John Cain on 6-4-1897. (Melway 190 A-B, part8,9.)
In 1897, the rate collector actually gave some detail of land assessed. (I'd forgotten this when I debated which 60 acre
block William Hillis had in 1893 but it hasn't been too painful finding out about Mrs Strong and Jon Davis, has it?)
Robert White, labourer, still had the 27 acres near the Red Hill post office.
Robert White, carter, Dromana??, was assessed on 160 acres,27A1, Wannaeue.
Charles James Snr had 105 acres , 19A Wannaeue.
William Hillis, carter of Red Hill, still had the 60 acres and two allotments.
The reason for the inclusion of Charles James here will soon become apparent.19A of 105 acres 2 roodsand 13 perches was
granted to D.James on 21-1-1878. Located at Melway 254J2, it is bounded by Old Main Creek Rd, the tributary of Main
Creek and Barkers Rd, which originally met Old Main Creek Rd not far east of Splitters Creek.Not far east (Melway 255 B1),
bounded by Main Creek, ShandsRd and Roberts Rd (on east and south) is crown allotment 1C, parish of Flinders, consisting of
46 acres 3 roods and 8 perches, and granted to C.Robertson 21-7-1890.It is easy to see how Janet White's son Robert, brought
up as Robert James, bullocky Bob White, met his future bride, Hannah Roberts.
The assessment of 30-9-1899 shows that Robert White of Red Hill still had 27 acres and Robert White of MAIN CREEK, DROMANA,
still had 160 acres, 27A1, Wannaeue. So do you know which was Bloomin'Bob and which was Bullocky Bob? Neither did I until I
looked at27A1 on the Wannaeue parish map.
Crown allotment 27A1 Wannaeue, of 160 acres 1 rood and 39 perches, indicated by Melway 190 A-B 7, part8, extended east almost to
Main Creek.It was granted on 6-4-1897 to ROBERT JAMES. I have actually seen a rate record where Robert James was assessed
but the surname was crossed out and replaced with WHITE.(I'm sorry I teased you by leaving the grantee's name until last but
I always wanted to do the "and the winner is" routine!)
Therefore, the 27 acres near the Red Hill post office was occupied by Robert White Jnr,Bloomin' Bob White,(son of Robert
White Snr born in Clackmannon in 1804),who owned 18B Wannaeue between Adams Avenue and Jetty Rd as well as Crown Allotment
11,Rosebud Fishing Village from 1875 until about 1892. Like William Hillis, he probably lost his land because of the
Bloomin' Bob struggled on as a laborer,perhaps doing roadworks for the shire,until at least 1910. It is unclear which Robert
White had James Davey Jnr's grant, 28A, Wannaeue in 1910. Bullocky Bob White, son of Janet, (the sister of Bloomin' Bob)
still had 27A1 of 160 acres.
In the Dromana Historical Society museum is a spiral-bound book with record of enrolments at Main Ridge State School,which
closed when the Red Hill Consolidated School was built.Many pupils had the WHITE surname and I presume they were the
offspring of Bullocky and Hannah (nee Roberts.)
In 1919 (the last raterecord available on microfiche), the following were assessed. Iwill leave it to family historians to
work out whether they were Bloomin' or Bullocky's mob as the aborigines would say.
Ernest V.White, Main Creek, 53 acres(part 28A), 30 acres (part 22B).
Robert, Robert G, Albert C. White 53 acres (part 28A), 53acres (part 28A), 160 acres and buildings(27A1.) The second entry
would seem to be connected with Bullocky because of 27A1.
22B, of almost 142 acres fronted the west side of Main Creek Rd and is indicated by Melway 171 J-K 7-8.
R.G.White of Main Creek also had 13 acres and buildings, being lot 9 of the Billingham Estate.
Eden White of Main Creek had 36 acres and buildings, part 20B, section B, Wannaeue.
Florence A.Bellingham was assessed on 147 acres, part 9A, 24B Wannaeue; this is presumably unsold land in the Billingham
Estate.Crown allotment 9A, a battle-axe block, fronted the east side of Greens Rd and includes the Main Ridge Pony Club and
Melway 254 D 5-6 roughly. ,Crown allotment 24B consisted of 145 acres and was a queer shape wth frontages to Heath Lane/Main
Creek Rd and the north side of Whites Rd. The estate obviously included Peter Watson's 25A of 83 acres, as Bellingham Rd
extends about another 300 metres to Arthurs Seat Rd.
Ignore the details about 9A; I just realised I've been caught by the rate collector's joke again.c/A. Imagine the slash
being so close to the C that it touches and going lower and c/a become 9a.
HEC HANSON AND THE WHITES.
Hec Hanson was a descendant of Peter Purves, the real* Purves pioneer of the Tootgarook run. Peter, a mason, had left for
Van Dieman's Land with his architect brother, James,when his wife Barbara died only a month after giving birth to their son,
James, on 29-9-1835.Heart-broken, Peter left little James with an aunt and spent some years building bridges in Tassie with
his brother. At 18, the boy travelled to Australia to be with his father, arriving in 1852 aboard the Thomas Lowry. The
brothers had been managing Tootgarook for some time for Edward Hobson who had been busy managing a station near Traralgon
(to which the later owner of the"Rosebud" gave its name.) The Purves bought Tootgarook in 1850. Peter died in 1860. His son,
James, married the daughter of Robert Dublin Quinan,the Dromana teacher who committed suicide over an error in the shire's
book, as detailed in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. James established Greenhills in Purves Rd, apparently between 1883 and 1885.
(*James spent as much or more time at his Chinton Station, east of Mt Macedon ,and living the high-life in Melbourne.)
Hans Christan Hanson, Hec's other grandfather, had been building bridges but settled at the north end of Tucks Rd in 1887.
His son, Alf, married Frances Purves in 1906 and Hec was born on 14-2-1913. Jim Wilson,of "Fernlea" after whom Wilson Rd
(entry to Hill Hillis's 23B) was named had married Barbara, another daughter of James Purves in 1915.
In MEMOIRS OF A LARRIKIN, co-written with Petronella Wilson, Hec discusses George White, who seems to have been a descendant
of Bullocky Bob rather than Blooming Bob. On 15, Hec who won many prizes for show riding, states that George White had a
dapple grey pony which won 1st prize for a pony in harness in Hec's last Show entry,presumably before 1931 when he headed
for Quuensland looking for work.
P.38. 'The Whites lived just up the road from uncle Jim Wilson's (Fernlea) and always had horses. Things were improving a bit
and George White bought an International truck that had pride of place in the shed. Cocko (Harold Wilson) and I got a couple of
shovel fulls of horse manure and placed it behind the back wheels of the truck. When George came out in the morning and saw
what had been done , he roared like a bull and said:"Christ Almighty, I thought I was finished with horses!" We never let on
who did it. What a temper he had!'
I have scribbled a note in my copy of Hec's book: "See Mornington Standard 19-4-1902 P3, Thanks (Laurrison/White
THANKS, TO THE EDITOR SIR,-Will you kindly allow me space in your valuable columns to thank Mr Hoskins, who so kindly lent
his horse and trap and drove my brother-in-law, Robert Wilson, to Mornington in a very short space of time on the occasion
of his recent serious accident. Also great credit is due to Dr Somers, who performed such a successful operation and pulled
such a dangerous case through. I must likewise thank Mrs Edwards for her kind attendance to him.-Yours truly,
C. H. LAURRISEN. Shoreham, April 14, 1902.
My note was wrong and has been amended to Laurrisen/Wilson but I'll leave this entry here as it involves quite a bit of the
area's history. The Laurrisen family arrived in Balnarring parish about early 1870 and Bev Laurissen has been a hard-working
member of the Dromana Historical Society for Years.
The Hansons lived in Alpine Chalet (Melway 190 F9) and across Stony Creek's gully were the houses belonging to Bob and Esther
Wilson and the Laurissens. (P.9.) They were probably on W.Baynes's grant (i.e. Webb Rd.) Alf Hanson,Jim and Bob Wilson were
cutting a branch from a tree to get a hive on 9-3-1902 when Bob fell into the path of the axe-swing and his head was split
open. Constable Edwards of Dromana asked Hoskins to help convey them to Mornington. (After Edwards was promoted up north, he
was forced to retire due to injuries received while arresting two fiends and developed a farm near Flinders.) A report of the
incident can be found in the Mornington Standard of 15-3-1902.
POSTSCRIPT ON WILLIAM HILLIS.
William had occupied his second grant in Wannaeue, 23A of almost 60 acres (accessed via Wilson Rd) by 1883. By 1889, he also
had the 60 acres Ringrose grant in Kangerong.By the 1890 assessment he had lost his Wannaeue land and was occupying only the
Ringrose grant (18B Kangerong.) In the assessment of September 1898, his name was crossed out and replaced with that of
Arthur E.Hill of 353 High St, St Kilda as occupier of 18B and 2 lots,Dromana.(He still owned the lots in Dromana!) William
Hillis was still assessed on 2 lots, 13 1 Kangerong until 1902, his assessment being between those of Hill and Hillyard. His
name did not appear in 1903 or thereafter.
Tommy Bent was an enthusiastic minister for Railways in the boom of the late 1880's. The line to Mornington opened and
shortly after, Tommy's mate, Henry Gomm, saw the Somerville station commence just over the road from "Glenhoya" at
Somerville. A railway to the fort at Portsea seemed a necessity, the only argument being whether it should go through Red
Hill or Moorooduc. A route had probably been surveyed through Dromana, most likely along the flat Palmerston Avenue, and
the 36 acre crown allotment 13, section 1, bounded by Jetty Avenue, Boundary Rd, and Palmerston Ave was subdivided (possibly
by Peter Pidoto's widow) as the Railway Estate.The 1890 depression halted the railway plans and the estate housed part of
Dromana's first golf course, as shown on Melbourne Brindle's fantastic map (available for purchase from the Dromana
Historical Society.) William had probably paid a good price for his two lots but had cut his losses by mid 1903.
From W. J. Hillis, Trafalgar South, offering to remove logs and repair culvert on road below Miller's for 2.
-Cr. Crisp explained that the work was on Kitchener's block, and Mr. Hillis was anxious TO GET HIS FURNITURE INTO HIS HOME.
He was a very straightforward man, and had made the Council a very reasonable offer which he (Cr. Crisp) thought should be
accepted.-Agreed to. (P.7, West Gippsland Gazette, 15-11-1898.)
I think I can now be fairly certain that W.J.Hillis of Trafalgar, first mentioned in 1898, and waiting to get his furniture
into his house in November was William James Hillis, son of Hill Hillis, who had left Red Hill by September 1898.
DIED OF WOUNDS
Pte J.E. HILLIS, Trafalgar, Vic. Pte A. KELLEY, England.(P.5, Bendigo Advertiser, 19-7-1915.)
HILLIS-YOUNG On the 23rd October, at Methodist Church, Trafalgar, by the Rev W E Lancaster, Henry Collins (late AIF) third
son of Mr W Hillis, "Ingleside" Trafalgar South, to Olive, only daughter of Mr and Mrs J.C. Young, Malvernia," Trafalgar,
Carlisle, Traralgon.(P.13, Argus, 13-12-1919.)
POSTSCRIPT ON ROBERT WHITE.
When transcribing all ratepayers in my area of interest, I usually only do about every ten years or so, as it is a very
time-consuming task. One of the Robert Whites seemed to have disappeared between 1910 and 1920 (as well as occupancy of the
27 acre block near the Red Hill post office, so I hit the rate books again. I decided to re-examine the 1910 assessments in
718. White, Robert, Main Creek, Dromana,farmer, 159 acres and buildings, 28Ac W.(sic, 28A) NAV 16 pounds, paid 19-6-11.
719. .. .. .. .. .. .. , 160 acres and buildings,27A1 Wannaeue, NAV 25 pounds, also paid 19-6-11.
720. .. .. .. .. .. .. , 27 acres and buildings, Kangerong,NAV 25 pounds, not paid and the arrears of
2 pounds 16 shillings and 3 pence (obviously accumulated over several years) were more than half of the arrears for the
whole of the Centre Riding. Robert was in danger of the shire selling the land to get the owed rates!
As the rates for 28A Wannaeue and 27A1 Wannaeue were paid on the same date and 27A1 was granted to Robert James (Bullocky
Bob White), it can be assumed that Bullocky also had James Davey's grant as well.
In 1911, Bullocky paid the rates for 28A and 27A1 on 5-6-1912 (aSSESSMENT NUMBERS 771 and 772) while Blooming Bob (AN 773)
paid 12 shillings and 6 pence on his 27 acres, Kangerong, near the Red Hill post office, on 11-6-1912 and a further 18
shillings and 10 pence on 27-6-1912.
In 1912, Eden White's name appears before those of the two Robert Whites at assessment 849. He had 36 acres, part crown
allotment 20B, Wannaeue.No wonder Cr Terry demanded better descriptions of properties! One would assume from "part 20B"
that this crown allotment had been subdivided but it hadn't. At this stage, I will predict that Eden White was the son of
Robert James/White and Hannah (nee Roberts.) You will recall that C.Roberts was granted crown allotment 1C, Flinders,
bounded by Main Creek, the south side of Shands Rd and Roberts Rd, the turn to the west being its southern boundary, on
21-7-1890. A member of the Roberts family, John, was Rosebud's first postmasterby 1900, who used to check his watch at noon
on the Rosebud foreshore every day at noon (ROSEBUD:FLOWER OF THE PENINSULA, Isobel Morseby.) His daughter, Rose, married
William Brady, and they ran the post office until William died, after which Rose moved to the Brady farm, Mt Evergreen,
(21C Wannaeue of 121 acres, Melway 171 south half of K9 and Morning Sun Vineyard halfway to Mornington-Flinders Rd.)
John Roberts had two blocks in Woolcott's subdivision of Crown allotment 17 Wannaeue (between Jetty Rdand Norm Clark Walk,
extending south to Eastbourne Rd. He also received the grant in February 1908 for 18A2 Wannaeue of 58 acres, Melway 170 F10.)
John Roberts, perhaps not the postmaster, was in 1919 occupying 19 C Wannaeue (Melway 254 Parts JK3) between Barkers Rd and
Main Creek for which he later received the grant (Tiyle from the Crown.) consisting of almost 30 acres, this land is possibly
all part of 291 Barkers Rd today.
Immediately south of Mt Evergreen was 20A of 175 acres granted on 16-6-1903 to John Shand, and occupied by 1919 by William
G.C.Roberts, bounded by Main Creek and Shands Rd (Melway 171 K11 to the left half of 190B 11-12.) This was across Shands Rd
from the Roberts grant at the north east corner of the parish of Flinders.Between 20A and Roberts Rd (Melway 190 right half
B11-12) was crown allotment 20B Wannaeue,of 36 acres and 14 perches, granted on 6-7-1903 to William Shand. This was the land
occupied by Eden White in 1912, the WHOLE OF CROWN ALLOTMENT 20b, NOT PART OF IT. As the land to the west, north,and south
was occupied by William G.C.Roberts,the Bradys including Rose (nee Roberts) and C.Roberts or descendants on 1C, Flinders and
20B Wannaeue was only 600 metres upstream along Main Creek from David James' grant, 19A, Eden White would likely be the son
of Robert White (JAMES) who married Hannah ROBERTS.
In 1912 (assessment numbers 850, 851), Robert White (Bullocky), described as a CONTRACTOR,was assessed on 28A and 27A1
Wannaeue.Robert White, labourer was assessed on 27 acresand buildings, PART CROWN ALLOTMENT 19, KANGERONG, but his name was
crossed out and E.Bowring substituted. This leads me to believe that the 27 acre farm was at 161 A11, east of Bowrings Rd.
The Bald Hill Reserve is part of Appleyard's 20C which was north and west of crown allotment 19.
Who was this fellow that followed Robert White on the 27 acres?
EXTRACT FROM DICTIONARY HISTORY OF RED HILL ON FAMILY TREE CIRCLES BY itellya.
Edward Bowring, the father of Red Hill's Eddie Bowring lived in Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon and it is possible that an uncle
had run the Coburg Electrical Service with a Mr Stubbs. Eddie must have arrived in Red Hill in about August 1901 as "Around
Red Hill" on page 2 of the Mornington Standard of 30-8-1902 stated that he had been on his Village Settlement block for
twelve months. Why was Thomas Harvey building a house on his block? The details of his crops are in the Village Settlement
Eddie Bowring was no slouch as a cyclist. He had ridden his bike to Melbourne, probably to visit his parents in Essendon,
and decided to "open her up" on the way back to Red Hill. He made it in just over three hours!
(Mornington Standard 26-4-1902 page 2.)
March 1903 was a busy month for Eddie. Firstly he was best man in the wedding of Fred Wheeler and Miss Goodman at Brunswick
on Friday 6th and then he married Emily, the eldest daughter of Mr T.Harvey "Fernside" Red Hill on the 11th. Eddie was the
eldest son of Edward of Essendon. His best man was Will Bowring, late of Red Hill and his groomsman was Mr E.Harvey. The
bridesmaids were Sophie Harvey and Gertie Bowring. (Both items, M.S. 21-3-1903.)
Back to Bullocky Bob White. In 1913, he was assessed on 27A1 of 160 acres, granted to him in 1897 in the name of Robert
James.The James Davey Jnr grant, 28A of 159 acres had been broken into three parts of 53 acres with the portions of
Robert George and Ernest V containing buildings (probably meaning houses) but not that of Albert C.White.From this
information, I conclude that Ernest V., Robert G. and Albert C. were sons of Bullocky Bob White and grandsons of the Roberts
and James families, as was Eden White. I believe that Robert George White would have called George White to avoid confusion
with his father and great uncle Blooming Bob White. It is likely that he was the George White whose temper produced the
desired result about 14 years later for the 14 year old Hec Hanson (born 1913) and his cousins, the Wilson lads.
Today Iwas on Museum duty, with Jean Rotherham again. Jean, who is a descendant of Bullocky Bob White, found a White family tree for me. You will remember that toolaroo had mentioned a Cairns connection in Clackmannon, Scotland. Henry Whyte* married Margaret Cairns on 10-12-1803.(*SPELLING OFTEN VARIED ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL OR CLERGYMAN FILLING DOCUMENTS FOR ILLITERATE PEOPLE. THE DAVIES FAMILY OF BALNARRING WAS WRITTEN AS DAVIS AND DAVIS OF RED HILL AS DAVIES IN RATEBOOKS!)
Their only child mentioned in the family tree is the ancestor of both Toolaroo and Jean. (Robert White Snr, as I have called him here, was born in Clackmannon on 31-8-1804 according to Toolaroo's information.) The tree states that he married Elizabeth Russell; Toolaroo adds that the marriage took place in 1829.
Their children were:
Jean (9-3-1830), Margaret (b.25-7-1832), Henry (b.11-11-1836), Janet (married Charles James), Ann (married Henry Bucher), Robert (married Margaret Hillis), Elizabeth.Robert Jnr was Blooming Bob; Margaret Hillis died in 1888 and he married her sister Hadassah in 1899. Henry Bucher was a pioneer of Rosebud Fishing Village; more about him later.
The children of Janet (nee White) and Charles James were:
Robert (JAMES/WHITE), Elizabeth (MrsHobley*), Donald (D.James,who received the grant bounded by Barkers Rd and Main Creek), Janet (Mrs Vivash), Charles, George, Harry.
*See Hobley wedding notice below.
The next line of the tree concerns only the children of Robert James (who started and ended his life as Robert White, Bullocky Bob White)and Mary or Hannah (nee Roberts.) They were:
Robert George, Albert Christopher, Eden edward, Ernest Victor, Frederick, Lillian Janet, John Gilbert and Sidney William.
HOBLEY.SEE COMMENT 1.
FROM PETER WILSON'S "ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD".
Henry Bucher was granted crown allotment 17 of the Rosebud Fishing Village,which was on the west side of Bucher Place
(Melway 158 E11.) (The Wannaeue parish map has no date for the issue of the grant but I'm sure he would have been one of
the first grantees in 1873.) Henry busher and his wife , Ann (nee White), settled on the foreshore in 1863 where Henry built
"Modesty Cottage" (pictured in the book) on the west side of today's Bucher Place. Henry came from Boston, Massachusetts and
Ann came from Scotland with her parents.Ann came from Clackmannon in Scotland,as did the Cairns. Their eldest daughter, Rose,
was the first child born in Rosebud.
FROM ROSALIND PEATEY'S "PINE TREES AND BOX THORNS".(A copy of this book is archived at the Rosebud Library and another copy
is available for perusal at the Dromana Historical Society museum in the Old Shire Office.)
George Peatey's wife, Sarah was one of the midwives on Jamieson's Special Survey (Safety Beach area east to Bulldog Creek Rd)
and oversaw the birth of children in the pioneering Clydesdale, Morgan, Thompson, Watson and Gibson families. (Morgan was a
stonemason, who in March 1864, had probably come by ship to the Dromana pier with his heavily pregnant wife to work at
constructing more substantial buildings at the eight year old quarantine station at The Heads.I hope he didn't ask Rosebud's
Maori fisherman to sail him, his wife and baby to Portsea as four other unfortunate masons did!The others were Survey
(Susan's reputation must have spread to the other side of Arthurs Seat where there were only a handful of farms, some
probably vacant, between the Burrells on Arthurs Seat and Boneo Rd. Captain Henry Everest Adams had part of Wannaeue Village
based on today's Wattle Place, with his house on the car wash site, plus Isaac White's grant between Parkmore Rd and AdamsAve
by 5-9-1865. Warren was paying rates on his 152 acres between Adams Ave and Jetty Rd but may not have been living there.
The first certain occupant of this land was Blooming Bob White from 1875 to about 1892. By 1865,Woolcott,a speculator, had
bought the land between Jetty Rd and Norm Clark Walk. Hugh Glass of "Flemington" owned his grant between First Ave and Boneo
Rd and the land between Norm Clark Walk and about Fifth Avenue;the 101 acres between Fifth and First Avenues had probably
been lost through insolvency.
South of Eastbourne Rd were pioneers such as the Fords on Wannaeue Station,the Cairns on Little Scotland and Robert White
who was renting a hut from them, the Purves near Boneo and on Greenhills on Purves Rd, Tweedale, Catherine Sullivan, George
Barnaby and CHARLES JAMESwho was assessed on 272 acres on 3-9-1864 but only 2.5 acres and a house on 5-9-1865.As you
can see, the hinterland was far more lively than "The Rosebud". But there were some residents living on the foreshore,or,
should I say, squatting.There were fishermen doing the same thing all round the bay. If a rate collector tried to extract
money from them,they'd just move to a different place and build another hut. The Kangerong Road Board may have influenced
the Government to declare the fishing village in 1873 to expand its inadequate rates base.
You will see why Rosebud's birth rate was not breaking any records and why Rose Bucher was the first white (not White!!)
child born there.) With the assistance of Susan Peatey, Rose Ann Bucher was born on 8-9-1867.
By 1879, Rosebud fishermen such as Henry Bucher, Antonio Bosina,William Gomm*, William Jamieson (former whaler), Antonio
Latross, John Jones (store keeperin an upturned boat who later built a store on the FJ's site) and Fred Vine were paying
*William Gomm later moved to Hastings where he died in 1915 (probably because of the effort keeping up with his 20 year old
second wife and was followed on the Jetty's Cafe site by his brother Henry, one or both in charge of the safety light on the
jetty and being described as harbour master in rate records. Their brother died in about 1896 at Dromana not long after
giving evidence at the hearing concerning Alf Downward's disputed election victory.They were sons of a convict, Henry Gomm,
and unrelated to Henry Gomm of "Glenhoya" in Somerville.See my Gomm journal.
By 1900, Henry Bucher must have died and Ann Bucher was assessed on lots 17 and 19 Rosebud (a term correctly used only for
the fishing village), as she was in 1910, when Arthur Ernest, Henry and D.R.Bucher were also paying rates. Arthur was
assessed on 30B Wannaeue of 50 acres,(Bayview Ave area, Melway 170 G 6-7), Henry,an inspector living in Brighton, on four
other fishing village lots and four lots in Woolcott's subdivision, and D.R.Bucher on 187 acres, 1A Wannaeue (Melway 170 G12
to 253 G3.) I've also read in the Mornington Shire heritage Study that a member of the Bucher family ran the sea baths at
on 2013-01-14 06:58:57
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.